AIMING THE HANDGUN: In order to make the bullet impact the target where you intended to you must aim properly. This goes without saying, but many do not know how to aim properly. The first step for beginner and intermediate shooters is to determine which is your dominant eye. There is a simple way to check this. Stretch the fingers of both hands as though you are going to "high five" someone. Bring your hands together laying one thumb on top of the other and crossing your index fingers. You should see a "hole" now in the area between the thumbs and fingers that roughly looks like a triangle with the top of the triangle at the first knuckle of both hands and the base of the triangle made by the thumbs. Stretch your arms out straight in front of you while keeping your hands in this position. Find a small "target" like a light switch, a clock on the wall....whatever you like and view it through the triangle. Your body should now be making an isosceles triangle with the "target" directly in from of you. This time your arms are making the sides of the triangle and your torso the base. Bring your hands closer together making the triangular "window" you're looking through small. Now, with both eyes open look through the opening left between your hand at the "target". Close one eye. Did the "target" disappear ? Open both eyes again and find the "target". Now close the other eye. Can you still see the target ? THAT is your dominant eye and is the eye you will use while aiming the pistol. Go ahead and close the other eye and just use the dominant. The human eye can only focus on one distance at a time. Even the distance between the front and rear sights of a small pistol is too much for the eye to focus on both sights. You must focus on the front sight ! The target and the rear sight will be blurry but still visible. Think of the rear sight as a window. Look THROUGH the rear sight AT the front sight and center that clear, sharp looking front sight in the center of the target (which is still a little blurry). Using only peripheral vision and while keeping the front sight in sharp focus, you will notice a gap on both sides of the front sight where it fills the space of the rear sight. The gaps on both sides of the front side must be equal. Lastly, the tops of the front sight and rear sight must be on the same horizontal plane. If you have white dot sights, all three dots must be on the same horizontal plane. The relationship of the two sights to each other is called the SIGHT ALIGNMENT and is combined with SIGHT PICTURE which is all of the elements put together. Maintain your sight picture all the way through the press of the trigger and watch the magic happen ! At this point, do not be dismayed of your shots are not all in the "bullseye". What matters here is the relationship of the holes in the target to each other. This is known as the GROUP. When all of the holes in the target fall within a small diameter circle (an 8" pie plate is a good beginning measure) you are shooting groups. THAT is the key to success, making small groups. Moving the group to the center of the target is the easiest thing to fix. If you recall from our discussion on proper grip, the trigger finger should touch the trigger halfway between the tip and the first joint, right on the fingerprint. If your group of shots is to the right of center, you have a little too much finger on the trigger. Back it out in very small increments until your group lines up with the center of the target in the vertical plane. If your group is left of center, you don't have quite enough finger in the trigger. Again, in small increments move a little more finger onto the trigger. Once your shots are lined up in the center of the target on the vertical plane, memorize where you feel the trigger on your finger so you can repeat this every time you shoot. If your group is low, chances are you are anticipating the recoil and unconsciously shoving the muzzle down as the shot goes off. If you notice when you press the trigger and the shot doesn't go off and the front of the barrel noticeably drops, you are anticipating. All you can do for this is make the conscious effort not to do it. One other reason for low (or high) groups is that the three dots (or tops of the two sights) are not lined up on a horizontal plane. The final, and MOST RARE cause of misplaced groups is the sights of the gun itself needing to be adjusted. This is not normally the issue, it's usually shooter error. If you are absolutely sure you have all the techniques correct and shot groups are still not in the center, have another shooter try. If that shooter's groups are equally "off" and in the same place your groups are, it may be the pistol. Have it checked by a qualified gunsmith. This was a rather lengthy post, and it is very difficult to put in writing what is so easy to demonstrate and explain. As always, if you have any questions please ask !
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