Skill Set: the Speed of Sight

Courtesy of Mr. Grassi, Mr. Shepherd, Tiger McKee and The Tactical Wire

“You’re in a tight spot. You’ll probably have to shoot to solve the problem. Your visual focus is wide, taking in the info needed to make decisions. Once you decide to shoot, your focus shifts to the exact point on the target you want the bullet to go. The pistol comes up, the sights intersecting the line of vision between your eyes and target. At this point your focus shifts to the front sight. On a close, large target we use a “flash sight picture.” As soon as you see the front sight you’re pressing off shots. As the distance increases, or the target decreases in size, more accuracy is required. You focus more intently on the sights, making sure the front and the rear sight are in alignment. This is a “dedicated sight picture.”

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  • FormerSFMedic

    Man, this is unfortunate. Here is an outstanding article that brings up training methodology and there are no comments posted. This kind of thing is starting to get old. Forty comments (so far) have been posted concerning the new MARSOC 1911 and nothing on this write up. There are comments about the 1911 is junk, the 1911 is old, the Glock is better, the 1911 rocks, and so on and so on. All those “experts” commenting on a gun over there and not one of them wants to talk about training apparently. Makes you think about things doesn’t it? Everyone wants to be an “expert”, is an “expert” on all things guns, YET, don’t want to talk about shooting fundamentals and methodologies? Interesting. Scrutinizing the weapons choice of some of our best SOCOM Warfighters and doesn’t want to talk trade craft. Yeah, I would say there are alot of commentators who don’t have quite the knowledge they have led us to believe.

    Anyway, this is a great article. I just wish we had a discussion going on it!

    • Sharon Friedman

      It is much easier to use crutches all your life and never dare to try to walk without them. Another reason people avoid commenting on such articles is due to the fact most do not shoot to stay alive or do not shoot at all.
      Breathing, awareness to posture and eye work are hard to sell and need constant work to stay effective.
      Nylon and steel require upkeep but so much less.

    • Nicely put FSFM!

  • Wilton Deets

    FormerSFMedic and Sharon Friedman, AMEN!!

  • smedlybutler

    I couldn’t agree more about all the “experts” out there on the inter-webs (hang around the counter at the gun shop long enough and you’ll be even more disgusted b/c those jokers are actually “advising” people) but this article is so basic not sure any of us current or former action guys really have much to say…..and the “experts” aren’t even reading it.

  • FormerSFMedic

    I definitely see what your saying. The article in and of itself doesn’t necessarily bring up a complex training topic or problem. However, I have seen in the past alot of articles like this one spark great discussions on different types of methodologies and theories in training. My thing is, where did these readers go? What happened to those discussions? There was a time when I would get on this site (and other) and find the comments section full of great information, questions, and ideas that we could all benefit from. It’s not just here but it’s on the other blog sites too. I love talking about guns and gear but training philosophy, theory, and methodology intrigue me even more.

  • Art

    Stressing sight pictures et cetera is important for the technical aspect of using the tool that is in your hand; however, consider that when the tool in your hand no longer becomes a separate thing in your hand, but, becomes part of an extension of your fingers, then, sight pictures no longer are important. The ability to project a pinpoint to the target is lost in today’s modern mouse-guided misfits! Instead of resorting to getting lifetime warriors on the range with the technical alone; it is important to get back to the REAL basics. I start my students off with archery… without sights. I have them aim with an imagined line from the nock of the arrow, through the head tip, and to the intended target. Using this very technique with a firearm, eliminates having to use sights.

    How’s that for a tip from a “non-expert”?


    Amen brother….