Sight picture or instinct

Sight picture or instinct

This is a discussion on Sight picture or instinct within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have only been shooting a very short while, so I am still learning and practicing the basics. For those that have been shooting for ...

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Thread: Sight picture or instinct

  1. #1
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    Sight picture or instinct

    I have only been shooting a very short while, so I am still learning and practicing the basics.

    For those that have been shooting for 5, 10, 50 or 100 years, how do you line up your shots?

    I still take a second or more (I know that is way too long, but I gotta start somewhere), to get my sight picture right.

    Do you get the ideal sight picture when you are training for a SD situation, or do a James Bond and point in general direction and get the bullseye?

    Also, if it is by instinct, does that naturally come after 1000's of rounds of sight pictures, or 1000's of rounds of pointing in general direction?

    Disclaimer: Assume for argument sake the BG is 5 yards away and standing upright and not moving. (I know not quite realistic)
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  2. #2
    Member Array nbk13nw's Avatar
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    Long story short... Perfect practice makes perfect. Mostly muscle memory when it kicks in. To hard to type on this thing. Someone will be chiming in with more details I am sure.
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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    For me and Im no instructor or anything just been shooting a long time with SD being the primary focus it depends on the distance. 5 yards I dont use sights at all or out a bit farther. 7 to 10 yards ill transition to focus on the front sight both eyes open. Im not going to go actually lining up sights with any intent until Im out past usual SD range like 25 yards and out.

    Instinct or point shooting you really dont have a sight picture any more than you do if you are pointing your finger at something. You just look where you want to hit and after some shooting like that at least for me it sort of just starts happening as your body gets used to using the barrel of the gun vs your finger as the pointer.

    I know thats simplistic, likely some more refined teacher instructors can explain it better in more correct terms.
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    I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not taking gun fighting advice from some writer's fictional secret agent hero.

    Whether I use sighted fire or instinct is all going to be dependent on perceived danger and distance at the moment it all happens. Contact or 'bad breath' distance, I'll likely pull and shoot. Yards away and under cover or concealment? Probably time to take an aimed shot.

    This question is like asking if you should just jam on the brakes or come to a controlled stop if you see an accident happening up ahead. It all depends on the circumstances.
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    Personally I use the sights. I always figured that was what they were there for...
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    You always have some form of sight picture. The question is how you acquire it and how quickly you can do so. Muscle memory is a big deal with getting on target fast and correctly .Like pointing your finger at someone. Real close range many acquire the sight picture using the front sight post.
    Close enough for a center-mass close shot.
    You will in time learn to bring the gun to you and not chase the sights. Good luck and enjoy your shooting.

  7. #7
    Member Array Chasejax's Avatar
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    Use the force. Errr sights.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Pinot's Avatar
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    SD shooting for me is all point shooting. We throw a football without any sights and after much practice ( muscle memory ) we become able to hit a target.
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    I can go 10 for 10 to COM from 5 yards consistently just point shooting, no sight use at all. I practice that with my carry guns the most. Any further and I'm at least going off the front sight. I feel the more I practice just point shooting, the better prepared I'll be in a defense situation. And the more I practice the better I'll get at longer ranges, 20-30' being the limit for me. If I have the time to acquire a target with the sights, it's a bonus.
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    Senior Member Array Matthew Temkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyPX4 View Post
    I have only been shooting a very short while, so I am still learning and practicing the basics.

    For those that have been shooting for 5, 10, 50 or 100 years, how do you line up your shots?

    I still take a second or more (I know that is way too long, but I gotta start somewhere), to get my sight picture right.

    Do you get the ideal sight picture when you are training for a SD situation, or do a James Bond and point in general direction and get the bullseye?

    Also, if it is by instinct, does that naturally come after 1000's of rounds of sight pictures, or 1000's of rounds of pointing in general direction?

    Disclaimer: Assume for argument sake the BG is 5 yards away and standing upright and not moving. (I know not quite realistic)
    Here is a free home study course on how to point shoot.
    Nothing James Bond about it.
    Matt Temkin's Point Shooting Lesson Plan - The Firearms Forum - Gun Community
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    VIP Member Array Jaeger's Avatar
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    Jaeger: [gets up and takes a blast helmet] I suggest you try it again, LuvMyPX4. Only this time, let go your conscious self and act on instinct. [puts the helmet on LuvMyPX4, which covers his eyes]
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    Member Array Sturgis's Avatar
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    Most gun battles are within 12 feet or so and things will be frantic. There's no time to line up your sights. Point and shoot for close up and then use your sights for distance. Practice with your sights at close distance until it becomes muscle memory. That means 2 shots and holster, then two shots and reholster. Continue this practice. You want to get use to reaching for your gun and getting it pointed at your target quickly and safely. After enough practice, you will be able to hit center mass just by point and shoot.
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyPX4 View Post
    Sight picture or instinct

    For those that have been shooting for 5, 10, 50 or 100 years, how do you line up your shots?
    There is a lot to be said for humans' basic comfort and skill with the simple act of pointing the finger. Basic aim is a built-in skill ... whether it be for tossing a rock, playing 'catch' with another, or shooting a weapon (bow/arrow or firearm).

    Initially, with practice, I'm comfortable enough with trusting on my pointing ability, when rapidly bringing the muzzle up toward a target. In time, even without specifically nailing the sight picture, accuracy for me can be quite good.

    When doing the 'paper target' thang at the range, particularly when doing slow fire, I'll certainly take pains to line things up with the sights, sure. But, for me at least, I tend to avoid the slow-fire type sighting techniques while rapidly engaging, given the simple reality that in no actual situation with an assailant is it going to be a slow-fire, aimed deal.

    Ditto on others' commends: perfect practice can make perfect.


    Suggested reading: Ayoob's StressFire series of books.
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  14. #14
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    Most gun battles are within 12 feet or so and things will be frantic. There's no time to line up your sights. Point and shoot for close up and then use your sights for distance. Practice with your sights at close distance until it becomes muscle memory. That means 2 shots and holster, then two shots and reholster. Continue this practice. You want to get use to reaching for your gun and getting it pointed at your target quickly and safely. After enough practice, you will be able to hit center mass just by point and shoot.
    Sturgis while I agree with the basic concept that you posted be very careful training yourself to fire two and holster. Sometimes two may not be enough or you may have to bad hits or just a really bad man. Fire two, great, but do not reholster until the threat has stopped doing whatever made you shoot him in the first place.
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    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Member Array coorslight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    Sturgis while I agree with the basic concept that you posted be very careful training yourself to fire two and holster. Sometimes two may not be enough or you may have to bad hits or just a really bad man. Fire two, great, but do not reholster until the threat has stopped doing whatever made you shoot him in the first place.
    I agree, years ago a police officer was killed when he fired 2 rounds at an armed suspect, then re-holstered, (that's what he was taught at the academy)the armed gunman shot and killed the officer while re-holstering.

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