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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I figure if anyone can understand and solve this problem, you guys can!

My question is about using the front sight of a pistol. Let's leave aside issues of using sights vs. instinctive, etc. Here's the issue: I was introducing an optometrist friend to shooting, and I was teaching him what I've always been taught: focus on the front sight. And the he pointed out something to me that I have NEVER noticed: focusing on the front sight is IMPOSSIBLE if you have both eyes open and want to see just one target He then demonstrated this to me. I hope I can explain this clearly: If you have both eyes open, and focus on the target, you'll see one target. If you have both eyes open and focus on the front sight, you'll see two different out-of-focus targets, because you're looking down two crossed visual lines. The front sight will be one one target (looking through the right eye) and another target to the right (looking through the left eye). So if you want to focus on the front sight, you have to actually pick one of the two out-of-focus targets while you're shooting! Try this with your own gun and you'll find the same thing, I think.

This baffled me - what have I been doing for 25 years if I wasn't focused on the front sight? I did some checking of what my eyes were really doing, and it turned out that when I am shooting quickly, my eyes are actually focused on the TARGET, although as strange as it sounds, my ATTENTION is actually on the front sight. (Kind of like if you deliberately let something in your vision go out of focus but keep looking at it.)

I feel like I just found out that my wife is cheating on me with my best friend - is there a better way to do it than the habit I've accidentally formed? Is this a phenomena that is widely known but I'm simply unaware of? Counsel me, oh wise ones!
 

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Don't worry about it. Sights have never taken a life, targets have. Theoretically all you have to do to hit your target is to get your barrel in line with the threat and pull the trigger. However you accomplish that is of no real concern. It also does not help that your natural focal distance is about 11-13 inches and when a gun is extended in front of you the front sights is about twice that. - George
 

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Interesting observation. Naturally, I too have double vision with both eyes looking at the front sight, but I never thought about it. Somehow my head just knew which background image to line up on.

Or perhaps Val Kilmer (Doc Holliday) said it best in the movie 'Tombstone': "I have two guns, one for each of you". :blink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses - but whatever the solution may be, don't you find it weird that we haven't heard of this problem? Every book and class I've ever taken preaches the front sight, and it can't be that they're aware of the issue that results, because you'd think that the next thing they would describe is that as a result of focus on the front sight you're going to see two targets, one of which is not your real target, and here's what to do about that! Yet I've never seen this issue described, not in books, videos, classroom instruction, etc. That fact alone is what's really baffling me.
 

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Front Sight Rule

Your strong/dominate eye will focus on the front sight. The target that is covered by the front sight is your dominate eye/focus.

At 7 yards, closing your weak/non-dominate eye, focus on the front sight with your dominate eye. Place the front sight in the 5 ring then open your non-dominate eye.

Close one eye at a time and you will realize the front sight is always on the actual target. It takes some practice but you will learn.

Ask yourself this question.
You walk into a convenience store one evening and the instant you step through the door you hear someone (the clerk) pleading for their life, immediately followed by a couple of quick shots. You look over toward the noise at the same instant the murderer locks eyes on you. You draw your CCW pistol and prepare to engage the threat . . .

Are you going to take the time to concentrate on closing one eye or are you, in your most heightened mode of survival, going to immediately bring your pistol up to eye level, place the front sight center-mass and squeeze the required number of well placed shots to incapacitate the murderer?

Train like you fight. Up-close and personal, from distances of face-to-face out to 10, maybe 15 yards. Practice multiple shot drills with both eyes open from a semi-crouched position. Practice multiple shot drills and shoot-and-move drills. Take cardboard boxes to the range and set them up to use as cover. Learn to use cover. Practice 25 yards drills. One shot, surgical type drills. Learn to use loud, clear, concise verbal commands while engaging the threat. "Stop!", "Drop your gun!", "Someone dial 911!" etc..

After firing your string practice tucking your weapon (pull the pistol into your sternum, low muzzle, finger off the trigger) and scan the area 360 degrees.

To paraphrase Ken Hackathorne: In the real world the threat isn't always "down range", learn to live in a 360 degree world.

Con1
 

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my $0.02

“Front Sight or No Front Sight that is the question”

By Tom Perroni


I have worked as a Firearms Instructor since 1986. I think the most debated topic in the “Firearms Industry” is the use of the front sight or not using the front sight. No matter whom you take training from, or what book you read or what internet forum or chat room you’re in everyone has their own opinion as to weather or not they use the front sight when shooting.

The arguments on both sides are very compelling and they all have good points as to why one choice may be better than the other.

However this article is not going to try and sway you one way or the other, instead I will tell you that I think that both methods are important and have their place in training and real world application. The trick is to have a proper understanding of both training philosophy’s and use what is needed from both in a given situation.

So let’s define Front Sight Shooting as Sighted Firing or using the front sight to line up the firearm with the target to get the bullet to go where you want it to.
The let’s define Non Front Sight Shooting as Point Shooting or Not using the sights to get the bullet to go where you want it to.(Pointing the firearm in the general direction of the target).

No matter what method you use Front Sight or No Front Sight continued training and practice is the key. I will also say that Combat Mindset is also critical I once had the opportunity to hear a very good firearms instructor say “If you had a person armed with a loaded handgun and No Combat Mindset and a person armed with a hammer and Combat Mindset, The person with the proper Combat Mindset would win the fight every time”.

I have also said at the moment of truth when your life is in danger you will not raise to the occasion you will default to the level of training you have mastered. (I did not invent this just repeating what I was taught)

So how do we train with both methods? What I teach my students is not “Point Shooting” but more of indexed fire. At close distances 3-10 feet I teach my students the elbow up, elbow down, handgun canted method. Let’s take this step by step:



No matter what stance you use make sure you have a good shooting platform or base to shoot from we begin with the handgun in the holster. Then you hear the command “THREAT”……and then….

1. Non shooting hand comes to the abdomen shooting hand acquires a firm grip on the handgun we release any retention device.
2. The elbow is pulled straight up.
3. The elbow is pushed down and then indexed next to the rib cage the handgun is canted out about 5-10 degrees so the slide is not impeded. The front sight is indexed in the center of the chest of the target. We then begin firing. (One handed)
4. The handgun is moved to the center of the chest (Retention Position) where we acquire a two hand grip. We are still firing at the target.
5. Then we begin to press the gun forward towards the target while we are still firing at the target. Are elbows are partially bent.
6. Then we press the gun completely forward bringing the handgun to our dominant eye or using both eyes we focus on the front sight for the precision shot to the head (Cranial Ocular Cavity) hopefully this stops the threat and ends the fight.

This takes practice...for a precision (Hostage Taker Head Shot) I would use my dominant eye. For all other combat shooting I teach both eyes open...Why? Because that is the way your body/brain will react in a gun fight...You will be very busy with trying to take in all the information your brain is able too at that point (See OODA Loop) you will NOT be able to close off one eye. (Live the way you train...train the way you live)
To continue:

7. We then compress back to the retention position finger off the trigger scanning left and right looking for threats and breaking tunnel vision.
8. Then we compress to Position SUL and scan 360 degrees.
9. Then we reload and holster a fully loaded firearm.

* Note* Once I am comfortable with the skill level of my students I teach them to move off the X. (In all directions) the above method has been called the “Zipper Method”

In this method we have used both non sighted fire and sighted fire and employed sound tactics to mitigate a threat. I am a BIG proponent of getting as much training as you can from as many instructors as you can so that you have many tools to put in your tactical tool box. So that when you need them you can pull them out and use them as the situation dictates.

Be very Leary of instructors who say never do this or don’t do that unless they can explain why! A good instructor should be willing to demonstrate any technique they are teaching and explain how any why the technique works.
And if they tell you not to do something they should offer an alternative. I have a saying in my training school. What I teach is A way to do it not THE way to do it.

Stay Safe & Shoot Straight!

Remember that conflict is inevitable….but combat is an option!
 

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In a defensive shoot, I'll be using my point N shoot philosophy. At distance, I'll try to evade if possible. IMO, sights are for the range and practice. Real world gun fights will dictate their use, i.e. the BG has the element of surprise. Then your best defense would be to shoot as fast as you can clear the holster, i.e. point shoot.
 

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In a defensive shoot, I'll be using my point N shoot philosophy. At distance, I'll try to evade if possible. IMO, sights are for the range and practice. Real world gun fights will dictate their use, i.e. the BG has the element of surprise. Then your best defense would be to shoot as fast as you can clear the holster, i.e. point shoot.
Just curious, how many force on force classes have you participated in?
 

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Just curious, how many force on force classes have you participated in?
Several, but not the type taken by many here. Mine came one on one and from my best friend of many years, a Navy Seal instructor. Many may doubt what I say and poke fun at me for saying it and I'm okay with that. In the end I know the instruction I was given is top shelf and I have the utmost confidence in his ability as an instructor. I can honestly say, I'm very well versed in defense and have used his instruction on a couple of occasions, both with and without a firearm and came through it unharmed. If I had to evaluate it as a win or loss, they were wins in both cases.
 

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At Front Sight, they told us to focus hard on the front sight, using only your dominant eye...
 

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At Front Sight, they told us to focus hard on the front sight, using only your dominant eye...
Just a question, not trying to be sarcastic at all, but if you're drawing you weapon and then trying to focus on the front sight your attention is now take off your attacker, more directly, what your attackers doing with his hands as he's advancing.

IMO, if surprised you would be better off drawing your weapon without losing eye contact with your attacker and while bringing your pistol on target being ready to squeeze the trigger the whole time while accessing the threat and whether or not to fire. if the presentation of your weapon doesn't change the attackers advance, well it's time to either take him down, or become a victim of his assault. If you can get your pistol to the point where the front sight aligns with your target, great, but that's an ideal situation and I doubt it will present itself that often. JMO, YMMV

GBK
 

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Just a question, not trying to be sarcastic at all, but if you're drawing you weapon and then trying to focus on the front sight your attention is now take off your attacker, more directly, what your attackers doing with his hands as he's advancing.

IMO, if surprised you would be better off drawing your weapon without losing eye contact with your attacker and while bringing your pistol on target being ready to squeeze the trigger the whole time while accessing the threat and whether or not to fire. if the presentation of your weapon doesn't change the attackers advance, well it's time to either take him down, or become a victim of his assault. If you can get your pistol to the point where the front sight aligns with your target, great, but that's an ideal situation and I doubt it will present itself that often. JMO, YMMV

GBK
Now I can see why you will never be a gun guru--too much logic and common sense.
Shame on you!!!
 

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XS Big Dots solve this issue for me.

You focus on the target and the big white golf ball floating over it is your front sight. Just put the golf ball on the target and press the trigger.
 

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Just a question, not trying to be sarcastic at all, but if you're drawing you weapon and then trying to focus on the front sight your attention is now take off your attacker, more directly, what your attackers doing with his hands as he's advancing.

IMO, if surprised you would be better off drawing your weapon without losing eye contact with your attacker and while bringing your pistol on target being ready to squeeze the trigger the whole time while accessing the threat and whether or not to fire. if the presentation of your weapon doesn't change the attackers advance, well it's time to either take him down, or become a victim of his assault. If you can get your pistol to the point where the front sight aligns with your target, great, but that's an ideal situation and I doubt it will present itself that often. JMO, YMMV

GBK
At the point the pistol comes to eye level, we're shooting. Using only the dominant eye to shoot is just the way they teach at Front Sight. The decision to shoot has already been made and the focus on the front sight is part of the trigger press. The bullet is micro seconds away from it's intended target. When the focus is obtained, the target becomes blurry, but not so much that you can't see what's going on peripherally. That's just the way I was taught. I'm sure there are myriads of ways and reasons for other techniques, just can't learn 'em all at once :wink:

On a side note, the sight picture doesn't have to be perfect. Focus on the front sight can be obtained as fast as the bullet is sent.
 

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Sorry about that . . . for me, spelling without a dictionary is like reading without my glasses. :smile:
:congrats:I love your reply....it was sooooooo smooooooooth. :rofl::rofl::rofl: You must have more of 'em where they came from....'fess up!!:blink:
 

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I have noticed that before. If you close your non dominant eye, you will see which one of the two to focus on. If you are right handed, right eye dominant, then the sight/target on the right will be the one, if you are left/left, the one on the left will be the one.

But, usually when I shoot, I just point shoot, not really focusing on the front target, except when I have to shoot to qualify. Then I close my non-dominant eye and squeeze out some nice and slow calculated shots.
 

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It's been proven in real life scenerio's ,when an altercation takes place a person DOES NOT use his site,instead he looks at his target usually the hand his target is holding the threat in,There's a time and place for sighted shooting and a time and place for point shooting you have to be the judge on when to properly apply the right system to you advantage so it benefits you!
 
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