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IVC

Calling Shots - Sight Alignment

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As a mid-B shooter working on my A class, I have been working hard on shoot calling. No matter which drill I do, live or dry, I'm paying intentional and careful attention to the sights at all times. I don't even care if I miss in speed mode, as long as I was observing the sights and recognizing where they were. Transitions practice is about snapping to the next target and indexing as fast as I can without overshooting, while at the same time working on getting sights to "appear" aligned (enough). 

 

This works well when I slow down, but I still find myself surprised if the shot is not where  I thought it would go when I'm shooting fast (live fire). I know I saw the sights, but the bullet impact says otherwise. This has been a puzzle for a few months now and I've been trying to diagnose the problem. My default position was that I wasn't seeing the sights correctly and that I needed to pay attention to the moment when the shot was fired, believing that I was missing that moment in my reading of the sights. 

 

However, I have recently acquired an open gun, same manufacturer, same grip, same safety, same holster, etc. What I noticed was that some of my indexing would be slightly off in rapid transition and that while I can see the dot being off the target, when I do the same with my Limited gun and the irons, I see them on target - what I am doing is calling the shot correctly in principle-I see the sights when the shot is fired-but the misalignment of the sight is sufficient to pull the shot enough. 

 

So, I would appreciate some input from more experienced shooters.

 

First, is this normal that when calling shots one learns how to see sights before learning how to judge misalignment? Should I keep the speed and work on getting a more consistent index, learn the amount of misalignment I can tolerate, or should I slow down and ensure that I get better sight picture? My concern is to train correctly and not ingrain bad habits. Just seeing the difference between the dot and irons made me think quite a bit, but I don't know what the best way is to proceed without creating training scars. 

 

Then, there is the issue of sight vs. target focus. Is there any trick to judge misalignment of sights in target focus? Is this something that comes to more precise index and understanding the sight picture that is slightly blurry, or should I do something different in training? 

 

At least I feel much better about figuring out that the problem is not the vision itself and seeing the sights at the time the shot is fired, but processing the overall picture/image and making mental determination about the shot. 

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The  perfect alignment of the sights doesn't matter as much as the sights being in the center of the target and having a good trigger pull. Obviously this varies as distance increases 
Ever shoot a 1 inch group right in the C or D zone? Sight picture was good, trigger control was good, wasn't aimed at the center of the target. 

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Did you ever try the drill Cha-Lee recommends for shot calling from his book?

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2 hours ago, B585 said:

Did you ever try the drill Cha-Lee recommends for shot calling from his book?

No, I have Anderson and Stoeger books (I don't believe Cha-Lee is either of them). Do you have a link to the book or the drill?

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Posted (edited)

Ben Stoeger has some interesting thoughts in his newest book about shot calling (not relying solely on the sights), sight focus (shoots everything with a target focus), and how an iron-clad index is key to going as fast as you're physically capable of.

 

I recommend you buy it.

Edited by elguapo

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Actually sounds as if you could benefit from a high quality instructor to help answer those questions.

Especially if you don't want to have to overcome bad habits.

There are so many items that can cause shots to stray.  The one thing I have noticed with a Dot is it shows when I milk the grip, am moving before the shots are off, etc...  After practicing with a Dot I shoot better with my Iron Sight guns.

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Posted (edited)

I have found that when trying to learn to call shots, a thinner front sight is good. The thinner sight allows you to see the movement. During matches, I prefer a front sight that takes up most of the rear sight notch. The fatter front sight helps me to align the sights quicker and not look for perfect sight alignment. As long as the front sight is inside the rear sight, I press the shot. 

Edited by EA308

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14 hours ago, elguapo said:

Ben Stoeger has some interesting thoughts in his newest book about shot calling (not relying solely on the sights), sight focus (shoots everything with a target focus), and how an iron-clad index is key to going as fast as you're physically capable of.

 

I recommend you buy it.

 

Can you tell me the name of that book? I'd like to read it.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Yondering said:

 

Can you tell me the name of that book? I'd like to read it.

 

 

 

Breakthrough Marksmanship

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On 7/7/2019 at 3:30 PM, IVC said:

 while I can see the dot being off the target, when I do the same with my Limited gun and the irons, 

 

Working with the dots will be of great assistance (sounds like it already is)

in helping you understand the complexities of shot calling.

 

If you can solve the problem with the dot, in dry firing, you will probably solve

your problem with the iron sighs as well.    :) 

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On 7/7/2019 at 2:36 PM, waktasz said:

The  perfect alignment of the sights doesn't matter as much as the sights being in the center of the target and having a good trigger pull. Obviously this varies as distance increases 
Ever shoot a 1 inch group right in the C or D zone? Sight picture was good, trigger control was good, wasn't aimed at the center of the target. 

 

Aim small , miss small, be able to call. 

That is the way it is with me anyway. When I start shooting the brown thing instead of the center of the A zone or the white thing instead of the center of the steel, I can not call the shots or get the good hits. 

 

Visual patience is hard. 

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Good thread, I am struggling with the same thing.  Easy to do in slow fire but once I get moving quickly it’s been very difficult for me to have the proper focus.  It’s when I kick into high gear is when I only see the sights on target, not the ignition and rise of my dot.  This has been very difficult for me to do at this point (B level shooter).  

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Lowly B class iron sights shooter here.

 

For what it is worth, have just started thinking about what focus I need on each target or array as a part of my stage planning during the walk through. Seems like it is helping. Would be interested to hear from a better shooter - do you consciously pre-plan your required sight picture on targets of various difficulty or is it something that just happens while you are executing the stage? 

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a couple things come to mind for me with this situation.

1    I shoot target focused 90+% of the time with irons, on closer range go fast stuff I tend to use the fiber front sight like a red dot and just aim with that, occasionally I will grip wrong after a reload (revo so lots of them) and end up seeing the fiber to the right or left of the rear sight not in the notch, so shooting fast suddenly the hits are way off even though I called "good" shots, I am working on paying more attention to the rear blade to fix this.

2   several have mentioned it above, aiming at a spot on the target makes a huge difference, aiming at the middle is not the same as aiming at a spot on the target, when calling shots its much easier to see that the sight was 2" to the left of the spot you were aiming at than 2" to the left of some nebulous area you think of as the middle.

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I cover this topic solidly in my book Path of Focused Effort along with some drills to help promote the shot calling skills.

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8 hours ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

 

Working with the dots will be of great assistance (sounds like it already is)

in helping you understand the complexities of shot calling.

 

If you can solve the problem with the dot, in dry firing, you will probably solve

your problem with the iron sighs as well.    :) 

That's good to know - I thought so, but having it confirmed helps. 

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6 hours ago, IHAVEGAS said:

That is the way it is with me anyway. When I start shooting the brown thing instead of the center of the A zone or the white thing instead of the center of the steel, I can not call the shots or get the good hits. 

 

3 hours ago, MikeBurgess said:

2   several have mentioned it above, aiming at a spot on the target makes a huge difference, aiming at the middle is not the same as aiming at a spot on the target, when calling shots its much easier to see that the sight was 2" to the left of the spot you were aiming at than 2" to the left of some nebulous area you think of as the middle.

 

This makes sense and I can see how it factors into the problem - a small misalignment in sights won't create a delta or mike if the aim was at the center. Aim at the "color blob" and you can be close enough to the edge where you miss even if you see it correctly. 

 

However, it also answers the question of calling shots with imprecise sight alignment - the imperfection is a feature, not a bug, so adjust the aim to take it into account instead of trying to get a better sight picture (much slower). In other words, accept the imperfect sight picture and practice such that its effect is under control. It gives the new and deeper meaning to the "acceptable sight picture," where it's not just that the sight picture doesn't have to be perfect, but it must be accompanied by a very solid index and aim if it is not to be detrimental. 

 

I'm beginning to see the light (pattern) here. Thanks guys. 

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2 hours ago, CHA-LEE said:

I cover this topic solidly in my book Path of Focused Effort along with some drills to help promote the shot calling skills.

Thanks - I'll look into it. I think I'm getting to the point where I can benefit quite a bit from more advanced technique books. 

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19 hours ago, elguapo said:

 

Breakthrough Marksmanship

 

Thanks! Ordered a copy.

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8 hours ago, CHA-LEE said:

I cover this topic solidly in my book Path of Focused Effort along with some drills to help promote the shot calling skills.

 

Yep.  That is what I was referring to in my earlier post.  From how the OP described his problem, your book on this covered it completely.  The angle you approached it was something I had never thought of before reading it.

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