It’s the Square Thing

Or, if you prefer, “It’s the red thing, not the black thing.”

Regardless, ya’ gotta’ focus your eye, your mind and your attention on the right thing!

Pictured on the right is what you’ll see when iron sights are perfectly aligned in a six-o’clock hold.

  • The big round blob is the target some distance away.
    Notice it is blurry. That means your eye is not focused on it. Good. It’s not supposed to be.
  • Next are the two black, also slightly blurry, squares on either side just below the big round blob.
    Those are the rear sights, the ones closest to your face.
    Again, they are blurry because your eye is not focused on them.
  • Finally, there’s the crystal-sharp black post in the center under the big round blob.
    That sharply focused post is the front sight on your gun.
    That’s where you eye should be focused.

Here’s the aiming litany:

  1. Focus on the front sight.
  2. Bring the rear and front sights into alignment so their tops are perfectly lined up.
  3. Keep them aligned as you bring the gun into the aiming area on your target, six-o’clock in this picture.
  4. Keep this sight picture–front sight, rear sight, and target–in perfect alignment as you press the trigger smoothly back.
  5. After it goes bang, bring the sights back into perfect alignment again.
  6. Proceed with the next shot, or lower the gun.

The aiming area will depend on your personal preference. Some shooters align their sights so the hole in the target appears right where the gun is pointed. That is called a “center hold.”

But in this picture, the shooter is using a “six-o’clock hold.” The sights have been adjusted so they are aligned to make a hole in the middle of the black circle when it’s perched atop the sights as seen in this picture. Because everything is lined up, bottoms, tops, and sides, this is the most precise method of aiming.

And some shooters prefer a “sub-six” hold. Not shown here, the black target bubble would have white showing beneath it and above the black (aligned) front and rear sights. The amount of white between the tops of the sights and the bottom of the target “bull” will depend on the shooter’s preference.

But regardless of the shooter’s preferred “hold” (aiming area), the eye should focus on the front sight because the alignment of front and rear sights is the most critical part. A tiny error in front/rear sight alignment will make a big difference on the target.

Exception: A few shooters focus on the target and achieve excellent scores, but most find they shoot best when their eye is focused on the front sight.

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