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Proper Sight Alignment and Sight Picture

Proper Sight Alignment and Sight Picture

The key to hitting your target is pretty simple, put your sights on target, and pull the trigger in a way that doesn’t disturb your sight picture. Well, it certainly sounds simple. If you’ve ever been shooting you know that in practice this doesn’t always work so simply. It’s certainly something you need to go out and train for. The problem occurs when you don’t know how to train properly.

Today we are going to arm you with the proper means to train and teach you about proper sight alignment and sight picture. We’ll also touch on how to train with these techniques at home.

Proper Sight Alignment

The terms sight alignment and sight picture get tossed around so much you’d think they were the same thing. However, they are quite different, and you need to understand what both are to be successful.

Sight alignment is the relationship between the front and rear sights. Proper sight alignment is critical if you want to hit your target. Improper sight alignment will throw your shots in any number of directions.

The front sight should be placed evenly between the rear sights. Perfect is a relative term, and rarely can we achieve perfection. Your goal should be to place the front sight as perfectly even between the rear sights as possible. The tops of the rear and front sights should be aligned.

This is step 1. Once the sights are perfect you have to keep them that way as you pull the trigger. That’s an article for another time though.

Proper Sight Picture

Once you have your sights aligned we can start working on sight picture. This is one of the biggest flaws I see from new shooters. I understand why, it took me some time to really understand front sight focus, even though it was drilled into me.

Your eyes should be perfectly focused on the front sight. Everything else should be slightly blurry. I want you to do something for me. Hold 1 finger up directly in front of your face. Focus on that finger.

Is the background behind you blurry? It should be if you are focusing on your finger. That’s how your sights should look. The front sight should be crystal clear. The good thing about Night Fision sights is that’s pretty easy to do. The ballistic polymer ring is very bright and easy to focus on.

Your target will be slightly blurry, and your front sight should be sharp and in focus. This is important for consistency sake. If you lose focus on your front sight, you’ll start developing those shotgun style groups where shots are everywhere.

With proper front sight focus, you’ll be stacking rounds on top of each other over and over.

Putting it Together

Now the job is to put it all together. Gain proper sight alignment first. Get that front sight perfectly in the middle of your rear sight. Once that’s done focus on the front sight. Hold that alignment and front sight focus throughout your trigger pull.

To train at home we go to dry fire. Dry fire is an invaluable tool for shooters who don’t get to the range very often. This is a tool for teaching you good habits. Of course, double check to make sure your gun is unloaded and store ammunition in another room. Take it slow, consciously and purposefully set up proper sight alignment and get that perfect front sight focus. Now slowly pull the trigger and maintain your sight picture and alignment.

Now drill it for 15 minutes a day. You can divide it into 3 five-minute intervals, or 5 three minute intervals or whatever. Just 15 solid minutes of training will make a major difference once you get to the range. Remember the basics, they are what you’ll fall on when things get rough. There is nothing more basic that proper sight alignment and proper sight picture.

Train hard, train safe, and train often.

-Tommy Tips

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