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Rating: 57 votes, 4.98 average.

The six o’clock hold

Posted 06-30-2010 at 11:29 by Butch

It is all too apparent that there are a lot of people in the shooting world that know of the ‘six o’clock hold’, but don’t really understand its use or purpose.

For most uses handgun sights should be adjusted so that point of aim is equal to point of impact. In other words, the projectiles should hit the target at a spot right at the top center of where the gun’s front sight is seen on the target. Like this:



A primary use for the six o’clock hold is in competitive bullseye shooting matches when iron/open sights are in use. It is used because it gives a specific, repeatable point of aim, which is more consistent, which makes for better accuracy.

Wanting his bullets to hit in the center of the bullseye to get higher point value, the shooter sights the gun so the rounds hit high, in the center, while aiming at the bottom edge of the bull…..a six o’clock hold.



When someone comes to GlockTalk asking if Glock sights their guns in to use a six o’clock hold, my first thought is that their Glock is shooting high, and the sights need to be adjusted, or the shooter isn’t using the correct sight alignment, such as this:



Sometimes someone says that you are supposed to cover up the target completely with the front sight so the bullets will impact the target ‘behind’ the front sight, rather like this:


This works OK as long as your target is big enough and/or close enough that your sights don’t completely cover your target so you can’t see it. In my opinion, it’s an inefficient/ineffective way to shoot, and if this is where your gun is shooting, it means you need to sight it in; the rear sight needs to be higher.


I like to use a six o’clock hold on a bullseye target for the purpose of sighting in a gun, or to test the guns accuracy potential. It comes right back to using that specific, repeatable point of aim to get the best accuracy, that way I know where my shots are going in reference to where my point of aim is.

Once you have your gun sighted in so the rounds impact at the point of aim as shown in the first picture above, you are much better able to hit any sized target at any distance that’s inside your ability range using a ‘center hold’ on said target.
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  1. Old Comment
    Drew Furst's Avatar
    100% right. Wouldn't change anything you have said.
    Posted 11-23-2010 at 12:27 by Drew Furst Drew Furst is offline
  2. Old Comment
    ADK_40GLKr's Avatar
    Butch,
    I like this. The type of thing I'm working on right now. But, with your sight picture #2, with the front sight on the bottom of the black area on the target and the impact at the center of the bulls eye (2" higher)- won't the target have to be at a specific distance, or else the bullet will continue rising to it's mid range zenith and then start dropping back to the line of sight?
    Posted 11-25-2010 at 16:20 by ADK_40GLKr ADK_40GLKr is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Butch's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ADK_40GLKr View Comment
    But, with your sight picture #2, with the front sight on the bottom of the black area on the target and the impact at the center of the bulls eye (2" higher)- won't the target have to be at a specific distance, or else the bullet will continue rising to it's mid range zenith and then start dropping back to the line of sight?
    Correct! But that's how you sight the gun in when you are shooting in a competitive bullseye match.....you want the bullets to hit the center of the target to get the highest point value.

    If you aren't shooting bullseye competition, you probably want to sight the gun in so your bullets hit the target just above the top of your front sight (like shown in the first pic above).

    Then, if you use a six o'clock hold (so you can shoot your best group), your bullets would impact the target near the bottom of the black bullseye...like this:

    Then, if you want to hit the center of the target, you'd use a center hold instead of a six o'clock hold.....point of aim equals point of impact:
    Posted 11-25-2010 at 21:33 by Butch Butch is online now
  4. Old Comment
    ADK_40GLKr's Avatar
    Thanks Butch. That will help me work on my aim.
    Posted 11-26-2010 at 06:43 by ADK_40GLKr ADK_40GLKr is offline
  5. Old Comment
    My G26 was purchased used and has an aftermarket front sight - and it hits consistently low when using 6 o'clock hold. Is the aftermarket sight too tall?
    Posted 04-06-2011 at 10:39 by barefoot barefoot is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Butch's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by barefoot View Comment
    My G26 was purchased used and has an aftermarket front sight - and it hits consistently low when using 6 o'clock hold. Is the aftermarket sight too tall?
    Well, it sounds like it!

    Do you have a way to measure the height of the front sight? And how far below point of aim is the impact?

    Check out Ameriglo's sight calculator too, you might find it very helpful. http://www.ameriglo.net/sights/calculator
    Posted 04-06-2011 at 13:02 by Butch Butch is online now
  7. Old Comment
    I don't have anything that would measure it precisely enough, I'm sure - but it looks like it has a Glock logo on top and it has "AJ2" on the side. I checked the Glock website and didn't find this - my initial impression is that all front sights would be the same height, since there are different rear sights to adjust elevation ... but maybe you can tell me different? or perhaps I need to replace the stock rear sights with the taller rear sight?
    Posted 04-06-2011 at 22:21 by barefoot barefoot is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Butch's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by barefoot View Comment
    I don't have anything that would measure it precisely enough, I'm sure - but it looks like it has a Glock logo on top and it has "AJ2" on the side. I checked the Glock website and didn't find this - my initial impression is that all front sights would be the same height, since there are different rear sights to adjust elevation ... but maybe you can tell me different? or perhaps I need to replace the stock rear sights with the taller rear sight?
    Sounds like a night sight:


    What's on the rear? Steel? Does it have a single line on the side like the second one in this pic? (6.5)
    Posted 04-06-2011 at 23:03 by Butch Butch is online now
  9. Old Comment
    thanks for taking the time to write this.
    It has helped.
    Greg
    Posted 08-29-2011 at 09:05 by rpgman rpgman is offline
  10. Old Comment
    This was very informative. Is there an easy way to convert the sights from stock so that they will shoot like in pic #1? It looks like #3 is the standard sight picture, which will leave a shooter using #1 hold shooting pretty high?
    Posted 10-07-2011 at 01:13 by Any Cal. Any Cal. is offline
  11. Old Comment
    ADK_40GLKr's Avatar
    Here's my problem with "sighting-in" my G27 as you describe:

    I did a rough measurement of the distance from the barrel axis to the top of the front sight, It is over a half inch - more like 9/16". This means that the bullet has to rise and cross the "line of sight" and then fall back to it somewhere along it's trajectory. Thus the gun has to be "sighted in" for a desired distance so that the bullet's path and the line of sight intersect, hopefully for the first time. What is that distance? (7 yd? 10 yd? 15 or 25 yd?) I guess it depends on the application, but for range practice for self defense, what's the optimal distance?

    I found a trajectory table here http://www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_trajectory_table.htmthat show of a 9mm (with 115 grain bullet) is sighted in for "Maximum point blank range" the bullet will be about 3" high at 50 yards and about 4" LOW at 100 yards.

    So I guess sighting-in for 25 yards wouild decrease those tolerances substantially?
    Posted 10-09-2011 at 20:43 by ADK_40GLKr ADK_40GLKr is offline
  12. Old Comment
    glockpeter's Avatar
    thanks
    Posted 11-04-2012 at 05:28 by glockpeter glockpeter is offline
  13. Old Comment
    I've got the ameriglo 113's and was told they were not adjustable. But I seem to shoot low and to the left predominately at 25 yds. I'm waiting on good weather to go out shooting again.
    Posted 02-26-2013 at 07:33 by Ohiomike Ohiomike is offline
  14. Old Comment
    good day. just want to clarify some things. my G17 at 10 yards is POA=POI using center hold. does this also hold true from let's say 25-30 yards? or do i need to compensate for the bullet rise/drop? thanks very much.
    Posted 05-05-2014 at 21:52 by isxela isxela is offline
    Updated 05-08-2014 at 07:12 by isxela
 

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