Sight Picture Surprise

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by unit1069, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. unit1069

    unit1069

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    I love my Steyr S9-A1 but have always been somewhat frustrated with the sights, specifically having the front sight barely visible at the bottom within the two rear sights for accuracy at ten yards.

    So I took it to a highly recommended gunsmith yesterday and he had a chart on the wall with two illustrations; one showing left-front-right posts all aligned at the same level and the other with left-right rear sights with the front sight near the bottom of the illustration. Above the second illustration's front sight was a perfectly round figure and above that was the term "Sight Picture".

    The gunsmith told me that in the past ten years or so gun manufacturers have been shipping their guns with the "Sight Picture" alignment instead of the first illustration that I've found to be the best alignment for me. He told me he explains this to someone every day, sometimes more than once per day. I'd never heard this and said so, which caused him to laugh about it. He said there's nothing wrong with the Steyr sights and I could either adjust to it or put on new front/rear sights. I asked if the front sight could be adjusted and he said it couldn't.

    What do other GT members know about this issue? At this stage I am much better with my two other pistols by following (what I've always understood) putting the front sight on target but haven't yet tried to adopt the second "Sight Picture" method. What I do know is that if the front sight is even slightly to either side of the target my shots are off the mark more than I like and with the Steyr it takes me longer to achieve the front sight alignment than it does with the other pistols. I strongly prefer just adding new sights for consistency but wonder if there's some advantage to the "Sight Picture" method that caused the manufacturers to adopt that alignment, if in fact they did.
     
  2. Hoochrunners

    Hoochrunners

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    Never heard of that either. That’s why range time is important. You gotta know what your gun is going to do.
     

  3. Fatboy2001

    Fatboy2001

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    Not sure what your describing. I much prefer the first sight pic (center hold) and detest the second sight pic (combat-sighting).
    :cheers:

    center hold.jpg combat sight pic.jpg
     
  4. unit1069

    unit1069

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    The first illustration I mention is the one on the right in your post above. The second illustration I noted resembles the one on the left in your picture except the target circle is larger and completely above the front sight, without any other target lines present.

    Looking at other sources I'd characterize the chart I saw yesterday as Combat Hold vs 6 O'Clock Hold.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  5. pike bishop

    pike bishop finishes it...

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    agree with comment on combat sight pic in particular; was many years into handgun shooting before first encountering it with a used 228 i'd picked up along the way. i can flip back & forth between 6 o'clock/target & poa sight pic without issue, but the combat pic is simply not natural at this stage. reckon there's a science behind it; e.g., mind/eyes focusing on the threat & naturally pointing at it under stress, etc. seem to recall more than one article mentioning hands getting hit often as it's the source of threat. it's not for me anyway.
     
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  6. fredj338

    fredj338

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    The diff in those two sight pictures is maybe 1" @ 15-25y, where all service pistols get sighted. Imo, trying to align the dots is always going to give the most variation. I hate 3 dot sights a lot, they get replaced or blacked out with flat black paint. The front sight can be a FO or tritium but dots, so 80s, the manuf should pass. Glock should go to all black rear, dot front if they must have a dot.
     
  7. George Kaplan

    George Kaplan emeritus

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    I completely agree with the post above. I much prefer a high visibility front with a blacked out rear.

    Also, what are you trying to accomplish? If the answer is not target shooting, aim center mass and squeeze the trigger repeatedly.

    I live by this:

     
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  8. OttoLoader

    OttoLoader

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    Given that the Steyer came with 3 dot sight as delivered nib. Assume combat hold.

    What I would do.

    Check / confirm how the sights are regulated by performing a check-out at the range.
    1 . Inspect that the sights are secure and mechanically centered. The front is fixed, the rear is not drifted off the centerline.
    2. Use a bench and sandbag. Use the sandbag to rest your hands holding the sight picture level at the target.
    3. Target: Use a large blank white paper target.
    4 Set target at same level as the leveled handgun when aimed from the sand bag.
    5. Use a black magic marker to draw a large symmetric x on the paper in the center. Adjust paper to get to level centered aim position.
    6. Set up target at 25 ft distance .
    If you are using a range and only adjusted to yards then use 8 yds. This is a consistent value close to 25 ft.
    7.To check set up final adjustment so the leveled handgun has the sights aligned using assumed combat sight picture.
    The reason a large x is used so you can project by symmetry where the front dot should be aimed to cover the intersection of the x.
    8. Fire very carefully aim each shot at the same place ( centered on the x). Be as consistent as possible. But importantly do not chase your shots, aim for the intersection of the x each time.
    9. If shots at constantly high then they are likely set to a six o'clock hold.
    If they are close to the intersection then they are likely combat hold.

    Once you know the approch. Then you can decide what sight changes you prefer.

    Refine your skill and practice.

    After a while you may choose to change the sights or keep them as is.
     
  9. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

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    I have a garden and often use spoiled fruit and veggies during range time. I have always been the sort of person that doesn't really care where the projectile hits the cantaloupe as long as it hits the cantaloupe. My method regarding a sight picture has always been "kind of- sort of" and nothing absolute. I just put the tip of the blade on the target and "kind of- sort of level it within the rear posts. Sometimes I am not even sure that I use the rear posts. I mean … come on guys. We are talking about self defense not trick shooting.

    If you are a trick shooter, sharp shooter ( or whatever).. I get it. If you are a guy carrying a gun to potentially defend your life from the dangers of a sudden criminal attack.. whats all the hubbub?? Do you think this minor issue is going to cause you to miss? Shoot the gun, apprise yourself of the POI and incorporate the results into your method. Its not that big of a deal
     
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  10. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Well distance matters. No sights out to 7y or so, yes, beyond that, ya kinda need to find a front sight picture imo.
     
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  11. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    I'm always a center hold kind of guy. Sight image #2 on this pic.

    [​IMG]

    I used to like 3 dot, but much prefer dot in bucket of standard Glock factory sights. If slow fire target shooting, then all black is best :)
     
  12. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

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    basic principle apply of course but what I am trying to convey is that (in my view) a person is not likely to lose their fight over what we are talking about in this thread. At least not in the substantially overwhelming majority of citizen self defense engagements.

    Every gun has its own set of particular nuances.. that's why we need to shoot the dang thing. Its doesn't really matter how it differs from other guns or the one you may have carried last week. If you are going to carry (this one).. shoot it and learn its personality. Its not rocket science

    This thread sounds like a bunch of hand wringing. I just don't think this sort of thing warrants it. That's all I am saying.

    I think that a persons general knowledge about fighting, realizing the danger early, knowing how and when to fight, how to construct a proper defense, how to manage the chaos that is unfolding, how to keep their wits and how to exploit issues in their favor- is much more important ( in my view) than the simple nuances of accurate sight picture.

    basic principles apply and they do have a certain importance but at some point, a bunch of handwringing can turn the issue into "tire-kicking".
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  13. DirectDrive

    DirectDrive

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    Not really sure what your issue is.
    I like a 6:00 hold for up to 25 yards and then I'll switch to center hold for ranges beyond that.
    [​IMG]
    Simply pick your desired sight picture and adjust your sights accordingly.
     
  14. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Agree, why I said it would be less than 1" diff in poi at 25y. The aligning dors thing is more problematic.
     
  15. Fatboy2001

    Fatboy2001

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    1069, I an old school guy. I like to see the bullet into the target - call the shots - regardless of speed. IMHO, the "6 O'Clock hold" allows this. The "combat hold" does not allow this. I can live with "pumpkin on a post". Just my opinion. I want to see the shots and the POI. Just me. One last thought, if jerk the trigger on a high hold you will be a little low - if you jerk it on a "combat hold " you will very low - intestines. :cheers:
     
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  16. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    As said by someone, at ranges closer than 7 yards sights really aren't needed IMO.

    Beyond 7 yards, I used to be a sight image 2 guy for years. But when I got into shooting at small moving targets at 25 yards or greater, I found myself shooting low with the handgun sighted for 25 yards.

    When I went to sight image one, I started getting hits.


    I don't have an image, but when sighted for sight image one and shooting beyond 25 yards, I simply hold up the front sight the appropriate amount above the rear sight. Then sit the target still on top of the post, like in image one. That was Elmer Keith's recommendation, except he was shooting at much longer ranges with his 44 mag.

    He even had a couple of small gold lines engraved in the front sight of his 44 mag for extreme long distance shooting. He'd put the appropriate gold line even with the top of his rear sight and then the target on top of the front sight post.

    Of course I've never been in a gunfight, so I don't know. And I really don't expect a gunfight to occur at much over bad breath range. But I have shot a lot of small moving four legged varmints with my handguns over the years. Course they weren't shooting back either.
     
  17. unit1069

    unit1069

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    Thanks to everyone for their input.

    I was thinking that perhaps my sight picture for the Steyr was sub-6 O'Clock, but after considering that the tip of the trapezoid sight presents such a small figure it's actually a 6 O'Clock sight.

    I appreciate that close-up self-defense shooting incidents encourage quick point-and-shoot technique but so many self-defense gurus recommend acquiring a sight picture due to the fact that adrenaline and plain human error too often skew the defender's aim. Just like a pilot in bad weather erroneously feeling his instincts are better than what the instruments are telling him.
     
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  18. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    I think the best thing to do is practice.

    No matter the sight picture, no matter the time constraint, can you get your shots where you want them on the target?

    Start out real slow. Days and months later, speed up the process. Work on it from a draw, too.

    If you have the opportunity to use a timer, you can compare how you do with various techniques. Change the distance (or the size of the target, if your range doesn't allow changing distance) to work on speed.

    For example, at 3 yards how you aim, and your time expectation, might be different than at 12 yards. And if you can't change the distance, you can change the size of the target. At 12 yards, a target of 5" expanded to 20" effectively simulates 3 yards. And at 3 yards, a target of 20" shrunk to 5" effectively simulates 12 yards.
     
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  19. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Not sure I even follow this logic. POA/POI works at any reasonable combat distance, under 50y. Mash the trigger on a 6:00 hold & you will be very low POI. A 6:00 hold is a WAG in a SD shooting scenario. Where is the 6:00 hold on say high COM??
     
  20. Fatboy2001

    Fatboy2001

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    What is "this logic"? "Reasonable combat" distance under fifty YARDS? Really? Really? 50 yards - please give me a f-n break! 50 yards my ass! The last time I shot at 50 yards with a pistol (Baer Concept V) was in a NRA Action match. What is COM, what is WAG? Leave me alone "master expert".

    I like this sight picture. So?

    center hold.jpg
     
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