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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
FINALLY got to try out my XDM 40. I haven't shot much in several years and really apreciate the tips I found on this site and linked sites. The good news is my XDM (one of the first 5000 batch) is working fine. The other good news is my 14 yr. old loves it too. (first time shooting a real firearm, 8's and 9's avg at 15 yds) Bad news is I don't think my shooting will reach the level I want it to until I can get the "fuzzy" white dots on my sights to look less "fuzzy". Yes, it seems my next improvement will have to be in my eyesight. Thanks again to all of you for the info.
 

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lol! Congrats on your purchase. Haven't got to shoot an XDm yet, but they seem nice. Glad you and your kid like it! FWIW, maybe check out some TFO's to replace those "fuzzy" dots?
 

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Here is a tip that I got from my CPL instructer, which actually makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Don't focus on the sights, focus on the point where you want your bullet to hit.

Now, as to why it made a lot of sense to me. Over 30 years of using a camera as a hobby means that I have developed a very good understanding of the concept of Depth of Field. Which means that even a 20 year old with 20/10 vision will only be able to focus on one point in the lighting typical to most indoor ranges. So, those who can actually focus on the sights have to decide what they want to see clearly, the front sight, the rear sight, or the target. Just like us old farts who need reading glasses just to see the front sight.

BTW, the instructor didn't go into that level of detail, that's me being thorough. What he said was, "you can only focus on one point clearly and it better be what your shooting at".

Then he made his second point. Which was the statement "focus on the target so you can make your followup as soon as the sights hit the line between your eye and the target". Which in my more wordy way, means that by focusing on a single point you'll keep your gaze fixed on the target and be able to fire a followup as soon as the sights come into alignment with the target. Trying to follow the sights during recoil isn't really possible and shifting your eyes to do that will cause you to have to re-acquire your target and that takes TIME, time you may not have in a shootout.

It all made perfect sense to me. And it goes against the advice of some of the writers in the gun mags who keep telling us to keep our focus on the front sight. Advice that I now think is ill advised and wrong. BTW, I have also been following this advice even when shooting from the bench. What I have found is that by not shifting my gaze between shots my bench groups have gotten much tighter. So, it's not really "point shooting" it's more a matter of learning how to align a sight picture that's out of focus. With today's high contrast sights, it's not at all difficult to do and I have found that it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tips. I know what you mean regarding depth of field, as in camera f-stop settings. I guess I just miss being able to switch my focus from sights to target quickly. I also read much about concentrating on the front sight. In my case I just have to align ALL the "fuzzy dots" until level with each other and sight the target. After thinking about it more I did notice the lighting wasn't the best and the target was dark and blended with the sights. I'll try some brighter targets next time if I don't get outdoors to shoot first. (of course my son had to comment HE didn't have this problem:rolleyes:)
 

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Tell you son that sooner or later his eyes will be just as bad as your are now. I had 20/15 vision until I hit the big 40, now I have to read menus at arms length and I'm only 53.

Personally, I think that those gun writers who recomend focusing on the front sight have it totally wrong. I have seen a big improvement in my shooting since I started focusing on the target. In addition, over 30 years of using my left eye for my cameras and shooting with my right eye for strong hand shooting has left me dominant in both eyes. So, if I focus on the target I see 2 guns in my visual field when shooting with both eyes open. If I focus on the front sight, I see 2 targets in the background. So, by focusing on the target, I can choose to use the right hand image for sight alignment when shooting righty and hit the target. However, that decision making is slowing me down at this point so I'll admit to cheating and half closing my left eye when shooting right handed and doing the opposite for my left handed shooting. Point is, I have found that target focused shooting is far superior to sight focused shooting and you'll probably find that same truth once you start practicing using this method.
 

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Personally, I think that those gun writers who recomend focusing on the front sight have it totally wrong.
Actually, they're not wrong. But you've focused on the wrong thing (no pun intended). It's all about "Sight Picture". Sight Picture involved three components, the target, the front sight, and the rear sight. Because most people can't maintain sharp focus on all three at once, the discipline is to maintain focus on the front sight, but to STILL MAINTAIN THE SIGHT PICTURE. Focusing on the front sight gives you the physiological ability to use it as a "pivot" as you maintain your sight picture (along with other reasons).

Over time, particularly as you shoot a lot, accurate shooting can be driven by muscle memory far more efficiently than concentrating on the whole sight picture, which may lead you to believe that us instructors are "full of it" :wink:
 

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I have to say that with my personal experience and from what I've read and have heard many of the top pro shooters in the world say (in print and on tv).....front sight focus is a good thing....I have a hard time thinking that guys like Rob Leatham, Jerry Miculek, Brian Enos and many many others are just wrong about how to make fast accurate shots.
That beeing said point shooting and target focus shooting are things I think are good to practice as well. However I use the large majority of my practice time working with front sight focus. I think the key is to be able to achive that focus as fast as possible. I shoot with both eyes open and when I am focused on the front sight, the target as well as the rear sights are very fuzzy and where they are concerned I might as well have very poor vision. Alignment of the three are the key and I feel it helps me to practice with an unloaded gun and just getting fast sight picture and also to spend alot of time focusing my eyes on the front sight while trying to analyze objects that are unfocused in my vision for minutes at a time. Look at the front sight but concentrate on the back ground if that makes any sence...:shock: and do it for as long as you can stand too
 
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