Shooting can be broken down into 2 very basic parts.
#1 – Aiming
#2 – Pressing the trigger.
Yeah, it really is that simple. It’s also exceptionally more complex than that. I believe it was another instructor friend of mine, John Hearne, that said “the art of pistol shooting is putting the gun between you and the target and pressing the trigger without moving the gun”…Or maybe it was Lee Weems? Shoot I don’t know but it doesn’t matter.
O.K., back to the topic at hand, Shooting…let’s call it “Shooting accurately” or simply, Aiming and Pressing the trigger…I’d like to start with Aiming, which is also 2 parts. Those 2 parts are Sight Alignment and Sight picture. We’ll only cover aiming today today. We’ll cover Trigger manipulation a different day.
Sight Alignment. So, this is kind of a misleading name because when you align something it is done. And Sight Alignment is kind of a continual process. You will be constantly refining how your sights are aligned. Let’s back it up just a little bit and talk about our sights, what are Sights?
Well, your sights are nothing more than a visual indicator to tell you where your barrel is pointed. When you put your gun on your sightline, between your eye and your target, you will be able to see If your gun is crooked because your sights will not be aligned. That misalignment should be your “queue” to change, tilt or move the pistol in such a way that the front sight post ends up directly centered in the rear notch of your gun. (If you have a clear and safe gun, feel free to look and find the Rear notch and front sight post)
What you should see from your perspective is this: (I only want you to know what it looks like when it’s RIGHT)
You will notice that the front sight is almost exactly perfectly centered in the notch of the rear sight. The top of the rear sight and the top of the front sight is also almost perfectly “flat”. The space on either side of the front sight is Nearly perfectly equal. That space is called “light”. You will hear this referred to as the Sights having “Equal height and equal light”.
If you see this when you press the trigger, you Can rest assured that if nothing changes, you will score a hit on whatever your sights are aligned on. Now that we know what properly aligned sights are Let’s talk about the second piece of the “aiming Puzzle”. Sight Picture.
Sight picture is also not entirely “accurate”, because a picture, much like a photograph is an instant moment. The movies we watch are called “motion pictures, because there are many pictures that flash in progression to put together a “movie”. So, the sight picture that you will see is not just a “one and done”. You will see most accurately, a “sight movie”. Just like with Sight alignment, your sight picture will continually be moving. We all have it, it’s normal, don’t wait to shoot until you have no movement, shoot when the 1 picture in the movie is the exactly right time.
Here is the target that you may be aiming at (in real life, there is no dot in the center). But for this, let’s pretend you are aiming for that tiny dot.
Knowing that your sights must be aligned right….The second piece is moving those properly aligned sights to the RIGHT spot on the target to complete your “sight picture.
Notice that the center dot on the front sight post is directly over the dot in the center of the target.
If you do this EVERY time you smoothly press the trigger to the rear, Your targets will show the results that look something like this
This is 15 rounds inside of a2 inch Circle. That shot group Is about the size of a quarter.