In modern day pistol craft, the student is taught proper sight alignment then sight picture. The subject of your focus is the front sight, seeing both the rear sight and target a bit blurry.
Laying down some heavy stuff
Wow…earth shattering I know. I’ll bet you’ve never heard that before. So, then riddle me this, why do we have so many students who “chase their sights”. Chasing the sight is what I reference when a shooter who may start out by seeing his front sight, but then quickly advances down range to the target and then tries to return to the front sight. The problem is they general squeeze the trigger somewhere in the middle without any sight verification.
The myth of multi-tasking
Whether you subscribe to sight or target focus style shooting, you will have to choose one or the other because you cannot do both. That is exactly what is happening when a student chases their sights and it is very frustrating because they literally have a hard time “seeing” what they are actually doing. To help get back on the right path I strongly encourage the shooter to have a hyper-focus on their front sight. Start by observing the target, then zoom in on the exact point you want to strike. Once you have your strike point identified, drive the front sight to that point. As the sights come into focus, transition from target to your front sight and STAY there through the firing sequence.
I know this seems basic, but yet we still see several students during diagnostics that struggle with this issue. So, what is causing the problem in the first place. Ironically it is the student’s desire to be accurate, so the intention is good, but the execution not so much. Because they are so concerned with accuracy they are constantly shifting their focus. This shifting of their focus will invariably mean they break the shot while either focused on their front sight, the target or the transition. The other issue has to do with confidence, it’s not they are not confident of their skills it’s more they are trying to be too perfect so they keep “checking” to make sure everything is lined up correctly only they break the shot at an inopportune moment.
Fixed front sight focus
The remedy for this issue, which again we see a lot is to just focus on the front sight. See it so clearly there is no doubt and then trust your ability to place the sights on the strike point. That trust is the tough part, you have to trust your ability to see the strike point with your mind’s eye. It’s as if you know where that strike point is on the target without really seeing it at that instant. Your mind will properly line those two objects in space, but you have to trust your sight will be on the strike point.
Another can of worms
Now, those who use more of a target focus the real question is do you know you are doing it in the first place. Surprising there are more folks who think they are seeing their front sight, but actually see their front sight blurry while seeing their target in sharp focus. I believe their is a time and place for target focused techniques, but success stems from being down right awesome with sight focus first. So, before you go down that road ask yourself how good you are with your sights right now.
There are a lot of things coming at you in a gunfight, keeping focused on what is relative to being successful is the key. Stay focused, literally.