Front Sight Focus: Why?

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posted on May 28, 2016
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undefinedWhen introducing new students to handguns, I point out that there are a 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 (front sight), 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?

The reason lies in our eye's inability to focus on more than one point at a time. Look at the fingerprints on your index fingers as in the photo above. 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 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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