Front Sight Focus―Why?

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posted on September 27, 2018
front-sight-1.jpg

In this article, we’ll take a look at techniques I’ve learned from Master shooters at the National Championships and the things I teach in NRA handgun classes. We learn from each other, so feel free to comment in the section at the bottom.

When introducing new students to handguns, I point out that there are few things about shooting a handgun that are counterintuitive, like focusing on the front sight. Most sports encourage us to focus on the target, such as a baseball pitcher’s focus on the catcher’s mitt or a football quarterback’s focus on the receiver. Golf is more like shooting a handgun, where we should watch the ball, rather than the cup (target). When aiming a handgun, rather than looking at the target as in most sports, we want to focus on the front sight. Why?

Chip Lohman competes at the Bianchi Cup
The reason lies in our eye’s inability to focus on more than one point at a time. The eye can focus on one or the other, but not both at the same time. Similarly, our eye can’t focus on the rear sight, front sight and target simultaneously. If we focus on the target, which is the natural tendency, then the barrel alignment can be far off before we’ll notice it.

So, the best way to ensure that the sights and target remain aligned while we squeeze the trigger is to focus on the one point that is “most in the middle”―the front sight. Even though the rear sight and target will be blurry, focusing on the front sight allows us to keep everything lined up.

Next time, we’ll cover trigger squeeze so that we don’t undo everything we just fixed with sight alignment.

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