Front Sight Focus---Or Not...

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C-dub
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Re: Front Sight Focus---Or Not...

#16

Post by C-dub » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:17 am

Rafe wrote:
C-dub wrote:
dlh wrote:Opinions, anyone?
:lol:

Of course we have opinions.

My own real life experience is limited to IDPA and IDPA style self defense matches. At self defense distances, figure less than 20 feet and probably more often than not, bad breath distance, getting your handgun out in time will be the biggest challenge. After that, point and shoot will be GOOD enough if you even have time to bring it up that far.

Probably the best tool I purchased to aid in my training was a timer. IIRC, it used to take me as long as 1.5-2 seconds to get my first shot off and on target. (i.e. center mass) After some practice, also IIRC, that time came down to around 1.2-1.3 seconds. Then I began to analyze the whole thing and decided to try it at 3-5 feet without bringing the gun up to eye level for aiming. My first shots dropped easily below 1 second and with further practice was getting 2-3 off, center mass, in under 1 second. Not regularly, but usually within 0.97-1.2 or so.

IMH, non-expert, opinion, at extremely close range self defense distances, getting the first shot off will be crucial. Aiming will be instinctual and precision non-existent. That can be for a little further out. Not bad breath distance. Plus, your off hand might be busy fending off the BG, so your usual two handed grip or stance or whatever has already gone out the window. Now, you're in a fight for your life.
If your like 8 ft or less from a threat you don't even want to try to extend the gun do you? I mean if you extend all the way to get any kind of sight picture aren't you just making the gun easier to knock aside or take away? And your times back up that if a bad guy can cover the distance in two steps cutting a half second off the time to draw and fire is a really big deal. I remember one guy, I think it was Kelly MacCann, talk about the whole pistol presentation thing being like a continuum. That you had to be able to fire from a retention position if your in physical contact with the bad guy and be able to to fire at any other point in the process of extending to a full sight picture, and that circumstance and distance dictated when the shots broke. In other words you shouldn't get used to practicing just one way because if your fighting him off with your left hand you can't get a sight picture at all and if it's a 15 yard shot no way you should be firing from the hip.
Correct. For what I was talking about no sight picture is obtained. The first shots are taken from the hip as soon as the gun clears the holster and can be turned towards the target.

If the fight is still going or there are other targets as distance is created then what others have said about the front sight are also what I practice.
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Re: Front Sight Focus---Or Not...

#17

Post by OldCurlyWolf » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:31 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:This is an excellent and often not fully understood subject. I teach all of my basic and intermediate students to focus on the front sight. Whether they need a flash sight alignment/sight picture or near-perfect alignment depends upon distance and aspects of the target. (Ex. dreaded hostage shot v. full-on stupid threat target.) I equally stress proper grip and, contrary to many instructors, proper placement/alignment of the thumbs. This is absolutely critical for shot placement under stress, especially the extreme stress of a deadly confrontation when you know you may die very soon.

After students achieve a certain skill level, I tell them the truth about threat-focus under extreme stress. I also tell them that, when startled, they will not be capable of seeing the front sight for some period of time, due to physical changes in the eyes. This is why proper grip and thumb alignment is so critical for those sudden and quick shots on which your life will depend. Proper handgun presentation must be automatic and reflexive without requiring conscious thought. This is why dry-fire presentation practice at home is so important.

So my answer is I practice and teach front sight focus, but with the knowledge it isn't likely to happen during a fight for your life. Sometimes it won't even happen in a match. This is the greatest benefit to using a red dot sight. RDS isn't only for us old guys with old eyes. They make threat-focus intentional, instinctive and accurate.

Chas.
:iagree: :thumbs2:
Without have practiced in way too long, I shot 237/250 a month ago when I took the LTC Course. Most of my center hits were when I got my grip right and watched the front sight. A little practice and it would have been 250/250.
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Re: Front Sight Focus---Or Not...

#18

Post by flechero » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:40 pm

I am not an "expert" but I trust the opinions of some of them... in Tom Givens' book Fighting Smarter, he details actual gunfight debrief interviews and facts from past students. It was 65 [62 wins-0 losses and 3 forfeits] at the time the book came out. All his students that had a gun with them at the time survived but 3 didn't have their gun and were killed and only 3 were wounded in their fights.

He teaches sighted shooting at all but actual contact distance.


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Re: Front Sight Focus---Or Not...

#19

Post by Tex1961 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:13 pm

I just got back from the range. My last two mags were shot using double taps. Target was out about 4.5 yards and was a standard 12 x 18 size target. Inside range, so I can't holster draw, using my hammer fired DA/SA 9mm with no safety and hammer down, low ready and eyes either closed or looking down before I start. I quickly bring up my firearm and fire. Usually round 1 is center low and 2nd round is high right (I'm a lefty). I make sure and practice this at least once every range trip. Point and shoot.. I couldn't tell you what site I am looking through or even the color of the sight.. What I can tell you is that using a natural eyes down the barrel and pointing I can consistently put two relative kills shots on target... Practice, practice, practice.... I usually don't go for the 25 yard bulleye type of shots. I try to spend the majority of my range time practicing what I feel is going to be the most likely type of self defense scenario. Don't get me wrong.. I also spend a lot of time with my targets out around 7 - 10 yards trying to make one big hole in the center using a lot of small holes...

I guess what I am saying, is like someone here said before, quit trying to learn from youtube and get to the range as often as you can. Develop those muscle memory skills and practice over and over....
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Re: Front Sight Focus---Or Not...

#20

Post by Grundy1133 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:52 pm

Tex1961 wrote:I guess what I am saying, is like someone here said before, quit trying to learn from youtube and get to the range as often as you can. Develop those muscle memory skills and practice over and over....
I bought 6 mags from cabela's and they should be delivered today which will bring me to 8 (plus 1 as my carry mag so 9 in total). Im gonna load em up and head to the range. more mags = less time reloading (in theory).
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Re: Front Sight Focus---Or Not...

#21

Post by Paladin » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:55 pm

Jim Cirillo is another good example of a highly skilled traditional marksman (President's One Hundred) who won a ton of gunfights and also taught point shooting.
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Re: Front Sight Focus---Or Not...

#22

Post by flechero » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:14 pm

Paladin wrote:Jim Cirillo is another good example of a highly skilled traditional marksman (President's One Hundred) who won a ton of gunfights and also taught point shooting.
Great read! Interesting though, that the first story details a crisp sight picture upon engagement.

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Re: Front Sight Focus---Or Not...

#23

Post by Paladin » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:56 pm

Cirillo's first story was classic:
“I was never so terrified in my whole life. They never told me in the academy that the targets were going to jump and move all over the place. There wasn’t one 3′ by 2′ target to shoot at like on the police range. One gunman only gave me a 6″ circle of his moving head to shoot at. The other two jumped behind the cashier and only exposed about 9″ of their bodies on each side of her. During those hectic microseconds when I popped up from concealment, my protective crotch piece fell off my bullet-resistant vest. I prayed that none of the gunmen would hit me in what I considered a most vital area.

“When the metal nylon-covered crotch piece fell to the floor with a resounding clunk, all three turned toward the sound and pointed their handguns in my direction. The next thing I knew I heard shots. I felt my Model 10 Smith & Wesson bucking in my hands, and I was asking myself mentally, ‘Who the hell is shooting my gun?’

...Jim fired those shots at 60 to 75 feet — up to 25 yards — from the perpetrators, in a crowded market, shooting two of the perps out from behind a human shield.
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Re: Front Sight Focus---Or Not...

#24

Post by AndyC » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:54 am

I have a lot to say on this subject, based on both competitive and real life experience, but I'll write some when I have some time.
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