Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Front sight focus - I don't get it?


Recommended Posts

I don't want to come across as argumentative, or doubting what someone has learned from a GM, but I wonder if GM's or any shooter that has been at this for a while has become so familiar with the front sight that to them it doesn't seem like they focus on the front sight so much anymore, but in reality they do and just don't realize it? Has anyone else considered this possibility?

Although, I'm biased in regards to my opinion on the importance of a front sight focus or at least having an understanding of it, I really am posing the question and would like folks to chime in.

Edited by grapemeister
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 111
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

[quote name="Seth" post="1998659" timestamp="13784099

If you are blindingly fast at 10 yards and can yield 2 As with your eyes closed, then there's your answer. Each shot needs to be given the appropriate level of attention that it deserves. A target at 3 yards doesn't, FOR ME, need a whole lot of attention to be scored 2 Alpha. I'll look just close enough to get the desired score and shoot as fast as I can to yield that outcome. 15 yard partial is going to take a LOT more attention to sight alignment. Winging it with a target focus most likely will yield 2 Mike/ 2 No Shoot.

You write about each target needing the attention it requires is order to shoot two A's which I whole heartedly agree but then talk about "winging" two shots at a target resulting in two mikes/no-shoots because of target focus. I'm sorry, "winging" shots at a target and getting two mikes/no-shoots is a result of "winging" shots, not visual focus.

Lets face it, accurate (relative term) shooting can be accomplished with both target and front sight focus. The greatest cause of less that accurate shooting is trigger manipulation followed by lack of visual/trigger patience. Sight picture error (whatever the reason) might be third although grip and follow through might be in the hunt.

Yes there are times when both can and maybe should be used in a cof. It's just that neither is necessarily wrong.

Back to the original post, Russell was unable to perform front sight focus. Maybe with time he will get there. Mean time, go with (not against) target focus and go have fun.

Dwight

Link to post
Share on other sites

"If all you own is a hammer, everything looks like a nail".

Gotta be able to do both and know when and where to employ them. You won't be satisfied with target focused results on partials at distance. I'm confident of that.

And Juan, that's what I've been saying repeatedly. Gotta know your capabilities to deliver the goods.

Edited by Seth
Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems target focus means different things to different people, so just to clarify, I'm not talking about point shooting or not using the sights. When I shoot with a target focus (which is currently the only thing I'm able to do with both eyes open) I'm looking through the sights at the target. I can see the front and rear sight and I properly align them before breaking the shot. However, the front sight is not in perfectly crisp focus. This works fairly well for me even on smaller and further targets.

Of course I'm not implying that I think this is superior to front sight focus or I'm going to give up trying to shoot with a front sight focus. I'm going to work on it with taping up my glasses and see how that goes.

As far as my eyes, I wear contacts and can see 20/20 with them. I don't need reading glasses and with my contacts can see well and focus on an object at any distance. I do wonder if it's possible that my non-dominant eye might be almost as strong as my dominant eye so my dominant eye is just barely dominant. That might be what's causing some of my problems with front sight focus. If I squint my non-dominant eye I can focus on the front sight fine. Then if I slowly start to open my non-dominant eye, once it becomes fully open it seems like it takes over too much which is what causes the rear sight and target to completely blur out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there is anything wrong with squinting one eye a little. Hell, when I get in the sun it's hard for me to not squint both eyes just walking for point A to B.

In all seriousness, the tape is going to help, to the point that you may even shoot some matches with it. I actually started rubbing just a little chapstick in the lense instead of tape so that I could control the level of distortion. That way I still had decent depth perception yet still have the effect of handicapping the eye I don't want mucking up the sight picture.

I generally don't have to do this anymore, but now and again do it anyway to reinforce the training that keeps my mind from fully registering the double image.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course I'm not implying that I think this is superior to front sight focus or I'm going to give up trying to shoot with a front sight focus. I'm going to work on it with taping up my glasses and see how that goes.

As far as my eyes, I wear contacts and can see 20/20 with them. I don't need reading glasses and with my contacts can see well and focus on an object at any distance. I do wonder if it's possible that my non-dominant eye might be almost as strong as my dominant eye so my dominant eye is just barely dominant.

A couple things. Try just one piece of scoth tape over the non-dominant eye, right in the middle of where the sight plane is when you are shooting.

Contacts will have the same effect as glasses with the focal plane. I figured you were using corrective devices for distance vision? Even though you can focus on and read things at 20/20 both near and far with your corrective devices, they still change your ability to focus on your front sight at speed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Target focus, or front sight focus; does it really matter if one can call his shots and is accurate?

We can measure accuracy/precision. There are degrees of that. There are also degrees of shot calling. That makes sense, right?

How good is the information we are getting? Where is the best feedback going to come from? For me, it comes from the sights. The trick is to get the best feedback, without it costing you anything.

I like that. To me it came down to "getting the best information" from a front sight focus. Even on really close targets, I would tend not to tense up and over grip the pistol, if I was looking right at the front sight. If I was looking at the target and blasting away, I'd often freeze up on the trigger.

Link to post
Share on other sites
A couple things. Try just one piece of scoth tape over the non-dominant eye, right in the middle of where the sight plane is when you are shooting.

Contacts will have the same effect as glasses with the focal plane. I figured you were using corrective devices for distance vision? Even though you can focus on and read things at 20/20 both near and far with your corrective devices, they still change your ability to focus on your front sight at speed.

Thanks. I actually tried just that with the tape last week. I put one strip on the non-dominant side on the upper/middle part of the lens so when I'm in my normal shooting position I'm looking through the tape and if I tilt my head up a little I can look under the tape. I figured that way I can go back and forth with using the tape at the range without constantly changing glasses. I haven't made it to the range yet to try it out, just dry firing at home. I didn't want to use the tape in a match last weekend without first trying it at the range.

Yes, the contacts are for distance. I guess I've always assumed that with the contacts I can see the same as someone who doesn't need glasses, but maybe not? I don't think I notice much of a difference in my vision with contacts vs. glasses, except I feel like I can see a bit better with the contacts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems target focus means different things to different people, so just to clarify, I'm not talking about point shooting or not using the sights. When I shoot with a target focus (which is currently the only thing I'm able to do with both eyes open) I'm looking through the sights at the target. I can see the front and rear sight and I properly align them before breaking the shot. However, the front sight is not in perfectly crisp focus. This works fairly well for me even on smaller and further targets.

+1 That's what target focus is, also sometimes referred to "indirect sighting". Point and shoot is entirely irrelevant since that is just shooting without aiming the gun, but, like you, I have seen countless posts where P+S is equated with indirect sighting.

"How good is the information we are getting? Where is the best feedback going to come from?"

Depends. If a person is nearsighted, it's possible to adjust the lense power on the dom (sighting) eye so that with eyes relaxed to full distance, the focal length falls at the point where the sights are. That way with both eyes open (target focused) the sights actually are focused in the dom eye and the target is in focus in the non-dom eye. It's a relatively clear sight image "floating" over a focused target image. You are "looking through" the sights but they will be in focus. Seeing both sights and target in focus is best information I can get.

Edited by bountyhunter
Link to post
Share on other sites

Target focus, or front sight focus; does it really matter if one can call his shots and is accurate?

We can measure accuracy/precision. There are degrees of that. There are also degrees of shot calling. That makes sense, right?

How good is the information we are getting? Where is the best feedback going to come from? For me, it comes from the sights. The trick is to get the best feedback, without it costing you anything.

I like that. To me it came down to "getting the best information" from a front sight focus. Even on really close targets, I would tend not to tense up and over grip the pistol, if I was looking right at the front sight. If I was looking at the target and blasting away, I'd often freeze up on the trigger.

Along these lines, Brian?

Information means KNOWing... And, knowing is less tense... ?

Not knowing leads to hoping/trying...tension. ?

I've seen so many good shooters get trigger freeze from trying to go fast on targets. Where is their attention focused?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just started using contacts for shooting. It is amazing to see the front sight clearly, I never experience that before without squinting my non-dominant eye. The current recipe, that is working for me, is the non-dominant eye for distance and the dominant eye for the front sight. To accomplish this the dominant eye is your current prescription plus 1.25. You can get disposable lenses and try this without it being cost prohibitive. In addition, I no longer see the need to squint my non-dominant eye to eliminate the slight double vision I was experiencing. It has been an Ah ha moment for me, I hope it helps you too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Target focus, or front sight focus; does it really matter if one can call his shots and is accurate?

We can measure accuracy/precision. There are degrees of that. There are also degrees of shot calling. That makes sense, right?

How good is the information we are getting? Where is the best feedback going to come from? For me, it comes from the sights. The trick is to get the best feedback, without it costing you anything.

I like that. To me it came down to "getting the best information" from a front sight focus. Even on really close targets, I would tend not to tense up and over grip the pistol, if I was looking right at the front sight. If I was looking at the target and blasting away, I'd often freeze up on the trigger.

Along these lines, Brian?

Information means KNOWing... And, knowing is less tense... ?

Not knowing leads to hoping/trying...tension. ?

Absolutely!

Knowing: smooth, fluid, precise, certainty - no double checking required.

Not knowing: jerky, doubt, unsure - requires double checking.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"You can only shoot as fast as you can see, and you just see what you need to see to make your hit."

"But at the warp drive speed you're looking for on a close, fast Type 2 stage, what focusing on the target actually does for you is that the time it takes your eye to acquire the focus on the target gives your body the time to get the gun on the target to fire the shot."

"Based on your practice and experiences on the practice range, you can, after time, look at any given stage and just by seeing the distance and the size of the targets you'll know what you'll need to see; you'll know what you can get away with to hit the targets."

"You need to realize that you have to see something, you have to pick something, and if the targets are easy enough to allow the Type 2 target focus to hit them, then that may be all that you need."

"Rob Leatham was really the first IPSC shooter who just flatly admitted that he didn't necessarily need a sight focus to shoot, and that in a lot of given scenarios he looked at the target. And a lot of the traditional "front sight" shooters couldn't deal with that. The reason he's so much faster that most IPSC shooters on close stages is because of that focus--the vision he allows himself to use lets him acquire each target faster."

"When I was first learning to use Type 2, I remember that it was a major breakthrough for me going to the Steel Challenge where I had to do this for real, one time, and to trust myself to line up and focus on the target. I knew that if I could just see the target in clear focus on a lot of the shots---8 yards and under---I was going to hit the target."

"I knew that I didn't have to shoot every shot like the bullseye books told me I had to."

Brian Enos

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just started using contacts for shooting. It is amazing to see the front sight clearly, I never experience that before without squinting my non-dominant eye. The current recipe, that is working for me, is the non-dominant eye for distance and the dominant eye for the front sight. To accomplish this the dominant eye is your current prescription plus 1.25. You can get disposable lenses and try this without it being cost prohibitive. In addition, I no longer see the need to squint my non-dominant eye to eliminate the slight double vision I was experiencing. It has been an Ah ha moment for me, I hope it helps you too.

Interesting. Next time I'm at the eye doc I could see if he'll give me some samples in a stronger prescription to try. Would be a lot cheaper than getting special glasses made just to try it out without knowing if I'd like it. But how do you drive to and from the range like that? I wouldn't want to try changing out my contacts at the range. And that doesn't give you a headache having different strength contacts in all day?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just started using contacts for shooting. It is amazing to see the front sight clearly, I never experience that before without squinting my non-dominant eye. The current recipe, that is working for me, is the non-dominant eye for distance and the dominant eye for the front sight. To accomplish this the dominant eye is your current prescription plus 1.25. You can get disposable lenses and try this without it being cost prohibitive. In addition, I no longer see the need to squint my non-dominant eye to eliminate the slight double vision I was experiencing. It has been an Ah ha moment for me, I hope it helps you too.

I am quite farsighted and have used reading glasses for 40 years. In my last eye visit, I mentioned that I was having trouble with front sight focus. I can see the target just fine, but the sights are a blur. My doc suggested a 1.5 diopter add in the dominant eye main lens. He said he's been doing it for a couple of sheriff's deputies for a while. I was concerned that I'd have difficulty moving around, but I have to say it takes only about a minute for my brain to figure out how to deal with it. I love being able to see the front sight clearly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

The points of binocular convergence and point of optical focus are two separate things. They most often happen at the same point in space, but you can fairly easily decouple them if you want. The ideal sight picture is where the front sight is in perfect focus, but there are in fact two of them (the non-dominent is ignored), and there is a single blurry target.

This is an excellent compromise based on how our vision works. When an object is blurry, its hard to see. When it is out of binocular convergence, it's also hard to see. When it's both blurry and out of converrgence it's very hard to see, especially in low light situations, if its shape or color blends into the background, or if its moving. By setting our optical focus on the front sight we can shoot as accurately as possible, and by setting our binocular convergence on the target we have maximized our ability to see the shape, position and motion of the target despite the fact that it is blurry.

When transitioning between targets, your binocular convergence always stays on the target, and your optical focus shifts from front site to the next target and back to the front site. It may take a little time to learn how to do this, but once you figure it's easy from that point forward.

One thing to note, as someone earlier in this thread mentioned defensive shooting, is that use of the front site is only a training aid for defensive purposes. Should a person have to use their firearm for defense in a lethal force encounter, there are a number of physiological effects that occur. One of them is the eyes become incapable of focussing on anything closer than around 10 feet, and often lock at a fixed distance away and simply cannot be moved from that point. Using your front site as a training aid is an important thing, but if a person is interested in being able to shoot well defensively, they should also practice shooting with their eyes focussed out past the target to infinity and even remove the sights entirely from time to time

In a lethal force encounter, you will be point shooting based on the procedural memory that was developed while using the sights as a training aid. Ditching the sights as a "crutch" from time to time and practicing shooting how you would under those circumstances is also very important.

$0.02

Edited by Jshuberg
Link to post
Share on other sites

When transitioning between targets, your binocular convergence always stays on the target, and your optical focus shifts from front site to the next target and back to the front site. It may take a little time to learn how to do this, but once you figure it's easy from that point forward.

Could you go into more detail here, thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just started using contacts for shooting. It is amazing to see the front sight clearly, I never experience that before without squinting my non-dominant eye. The current recipe, that is working for me, is the non-dominant eye for distance and the dominant eye for the front sight. To accomplish this the dominant eye is your current prescription plus 1.25. You can get disposable lenses and try this without it being cost prohibitive. In addition, I no longer see the need to squint my non-dominant eye to eliminate the slight double vision I was experiencing. It has been an Ah ha moment for me, I hope it helps you too.

I am quite farsighted and have used reading glasses for 40 years. In my last eye visit, I mentioned that I was having trouble with front sight focus. I can see the target just fine, but the sights are a blur. My doc suggested a 1.5 diopter add in the dominant eye main lens. He said he's been doing it for a couple of sheriff's deputies for a while. I was concerned that I'd have difficulty moving around, but I have to say it takes only about a minute for my brain to figure out how to deal with it. I love being able to see the front sight clearly.

That actually works quite well. I have the right eye of my shooting glasses corrected to front sight distance (about 1.25) and the left lens is plano. It DOES take me a few minutes to adjust once I put them on, but after that it works great.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Could you go into more detail here, thanks.

Sure.

Lets say you have 2 targets - A and B. You start with target A. Your binocular convergence should be on the target, meaning there should be one of them. Your optical focus should be on the front sight - it should be crisp and clear, but there will be 2 transparent front sights.

You take your shot.

You should now move your optical focus outward and move your eyes to target B. At this point both your bincoular convergence and optical focus are are the target. Your eyes should lock onto your intended POI.

You should now bring your pistol to target B where your eyes are looking. At the same time you should pull your focus back to the front sight. However, your point of optical convergence should remain on the target.

You take your shot.

All you do is shift your focus back and forth between the front sight and target as you transition between them. You do not shift your point of optical convergence, there should always be one single target in your field of view. Again, this is the best compromise at being able to see the sight as clearly as possible, and being to see the target behind it as well as possible, despite the fact it is blurry when looking at your sights.This should be practiced slowly and methodically for form a lot before introducing speed.

Once you get good at this one of the tricks for speed is to actually prefocus your eyes on the space the front sight will occupy before it actually gets there. Changing the focal point of your eyes does take time (albeit a small amount of time). If you don't prefocus your eyes on the spot the front sight will come to rest in one of the following results:

A - You slow down taking the shot by the amount of time it takes for your eyes to shift - which gets longer with age

B - You take the shot before your eyes have fully shifted focus to the sight, and your accuracy will begin to suffer

C - You can point shoot just fine at the distance your shooting and don't need to worry about front sight focus

Hope this helps

Edited by Jshuberg
Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume that those of you who wear contacts are aware that there is a contact lens available called progressive contacts or continual focal length contacts? These contacts allow you to see far and near at 20/20. I started wearing them a couple of years ago when my near vision started to be less than 20/20 and I didn't want to get pair of reading glasses. A much better solution than one lar and one near lens if you need to correct both near and far vision ...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...