Red dots?! We don' need no steenkeen red dots!

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  • 2AOK

    Marksman
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    1   0   0
    Mar 26, 2021
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    Northeastern Indiana
    I just want to pass this along, in hopes that your results will be as mind-blowing as mine are.

    My Dad taught me to shoot, and his Marine Corps training emphasized focus on the front sight. So that's what he taught my brothers and me. But arguing recently against pistol red dots here on INGO prompted me to look THROUGH the Romeo5 on my rifle. To look at the target, and not the dot. I was amazed at how well two-eyes-open works, and it taught me a valuable lesson. Up to that point, I had been squinting the left eye and looking at the dot with my right eye, doing as I was instructed long ago, "Focus on the front sight and let your target be a blur."

    Once I truly experienced the two-eyes-open phenomenon, where the red dot superimposed on the target, things changed for the better. Prior to that, I had tried many times to see my pistol front sight with both eyes open. NO DICE. I'm right-eye dominant, but opening the left eye and focusing on the front sight always shifted the dominant view to the left side of the pistol slide. No getting around it.

    Based on the rifle red-dot phenomenon, I tried opening both eyes while looking at the pistol target. Not the sights, the target. Amazingly, the front+rear open pistol sights superimpose on the target! Just like a red dot, but without a red-dot! My iron sights now function like a red dot, but without the expense, learning curve, pistol mods, etc.

    Red dots?! We don' need no steenkeen red dots! :D

    (link = Treasure of the Sierra Madre)
     
    Last edited:

    55fairlane

    Expert
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    4   0   0
    Jan 15, 2016
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    New Haven
    Well here we go..... regardless of what sight system your using ( peep & post, knotch & post, red dot, optic or doppler) you always look at the target, never the crosshairs or dot .
    I use peep & post (with custom apature) and doppler sights (with adjustable apature front & rear, plus color filters) rear apature, because your eye will naturally want to center what ever the eye sees, in this case it is a target, the front post just gives you a "flat plain" to air with. Doppler work the same, just line up the circles, the eye will want to center what you see.....look atbthe target, pull the trigger. Easy pezzy
     

    cedartop

    Grandmaster
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    1   0   0
    Apr 25, 2010
    6,189
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    North of Notre Dame.
    Well here we go..... regardless of what sight system your using ( peep & post, knotch & post, red dot, optic or doppler) you always look at the target, never the crosshairs or dot .
    I use peep & post (with custom apature) and doppler sights (with adjustable apature front & rear, plus color filters) rear apature, because your eye will naturally want to center what ever the eye sees, in this case it is a target, the front post just gives you a "flat plain" to air with. Doppler work the same, just line up the circles, the eye will want to center what you see.....look atbthe target, pull the trigger. Easy pezzy
    If it were that easy, national hit rates for LEO would be much higher, and people at matches would not be embarrassed so often. Personally if I am looking for accuracy with irons, target focus is not the way to go for me.
     

    2AOK

    Marksman
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    1   0   0
    Mar 26, 2021
    266
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    Northeastern Indiana
    Until recently, I thought there was only one basic way to use sights, and that sights were all pretty much the same...be they iron sights or electro optics.

    I posted my impressions above because, for me, they are revelations. I hope others here might experience a similar new perspective.
     

    2AOK

    Marksman
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    Mar 26, 2021
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    Northeastern Indiana
    If it were that easy, national hit rates for LEO would be much higher, and people at matches would not be embarrassed so often. Personally if I am looking for accuracy with irons, target focus is not the way to go for me.
    I hear you. My interest in defensive pistol involves man-sized targets at relatively close range. Admittedly, my vision is not what it once was, so doing what I describe above doesn't result in pin-point accuracy, but the sights line up well enough to facilitate headshots at typical gunfight distances. Works for me.
     

    700 LTR 223

    Expert
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    2   0   0
    Apr 5, 2008
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    I used to shoot handgun open sights at distances up to 100 yards like in NRA silhouette back when I had 20/20 vision. In the past 8 years or so my vision has greatly deteriorated to the point where achieving a proper sight picture is difficult even at 15 yards. Prescription glasses are great for most activities but have not allowed me to shoot like I did years ago. Red dots have me shooting as well at 60 as I did in my 20s and 30s so I'll continue to use them.
     

    gregkl

    Outlier
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    29   0   0
    Apr 8, 2012
    11,273
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    Bloomington
    I have always struggled with focusing on anything other than where you wanted to go. Or in the case of shooting, where you want the bullet to go.

    Most things in life, you focus on the "target", basketball players don't look at the ball, they look at the hoop. Quarterbacks don't look at the ends of their arms, they look to where they want to ball to be at arms length for a receiver.

    I could go on. I am still learning, but switching to red dots and being target focused is more intuitive to me than using irons. I can use irons but everything is blurry at my age. If I use readers with irons I can get the front sight sharp but there is no seeing bullet holes or scoring outlines of targets. They are significantly blurry at that point.

    Definitive statements about how something should be done doesn't take into account each persons situation.

    Oh, and I am cross dominant which added another layer of complexity to shooting irons. Red dots diminish the issues I was having with maintaining target views when the shot was fired.
     

    2AOK

    Marksman
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    1   0   0
    Mar 26, 2021
    266
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    Northeastern Indiana
    I have always struggled with focusing on anything other than where you wanted to go. Or in the case of shooting, where you want the bullet to go.

    Most things in life, you focus on the "target", basketball players don't look at the ball, they look at the hoop. Quarterbacks don't look at the ends of their arms, they look to where they want to ball to be at arms length for a receiver.

    I could go on. I am still learning, but switching to red dots and being target focused is more intuitive to me than using irons. I can use irons but everything is blurry at my age. If I use readers with irons I can get the front sight sharp but there is no seeing bullet holes or scoring outlines of targets. They are significantly blurry at that point.

    Definitive statements about how something should be done doesn't take into account each persons situation.

    Oh, and I am cross dominant which added another layer of complexity to shooting irons. Red dots diminish the issues I was having with maintaining target views when the shot was fired.
    All good points.

    For the record, the point of this thread is not to suggest to anyone how to do anything. It's for the purpose of passing along what is, for me, a liberating new approach to shooting.

    The main point is this:
    Experimenting with a rifle red dot taught me that pistol iron sights do THE SAME THING my rifle red dot does when I stop trying to focus on the pistol front sight, and instead relax and focus—both eyes open—on the target.

    I know my thread title is "provocative" :D but I'm not looking for an argument. I'm trying to spark new insights.
     

    gregkl

    Outlier
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    All good points.

    For the record, the point of this thread is not to suggest to anyone how to do anything. It's for the purpose of passing along what is, for me, a liberating new approach to shooting.

    The main point is this:
    Experimenting with a rifle red dot taught me that pistol iron sights do THE SAME THING when I stop trying to focus on the front sight, and instead relax and focus—both eyes open—on the target.

    I know my thread title is "provocative" :D but I'm not looking for an argument. I'm trying to spark new insights.
    Understood. My comment(s) were not directed at you. Just used for the sake of conversation.

    I have actually noticed that since I have been spending time behind the red dot that my irons shooting skills have improved. Go figure.

    I think that what I am experiencing dovetails to your point. I am focusing on the target, seeing the front sight come into view and am sending it. I am not wasting time lining up the rear sight vertically and horizontally going back and forth between the front sight, target, rear sight, target and on and on.
     

    2AOK

    Marksman
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    1   0   0
    Mar 26, 2021
    266
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    Northeastern Indiana
    Understood. My comment(s) were not directed at you. Just used for the sake of conversation.

    I have actually noticed that since I have been spending time behind the red dot that my irons shooting skills have improved. Go figure.

    I think that what I am experiencing dovetails to your point. I am focusing on the target, seeing the front sight come into view and am sending it. I am not wasting time lining up the rear sight vertically and horizontally going back and forth between the front sight, target, rear sight, target and on and on.
    Now you're talkin' :D And I didn't take your prior remarks personally.

    My new pistol approach (both eyes open, focus on the target) is dry-fire only, so far. Who knows where it'll end up, but like you, I notice that front and rear open sights automatically align. That's NEVER been the case before.

    At this point (early days) it seems the more I relax and ALLOW the sights to line up, the more they DO.

    Whodathunkit?!
     

    700 LTR 223

    Expert
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    Apr 5, 2008
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    When you were shooting open sights at 100-yard distances, what was your sight picture? Were you focusing on the front sight, or on the target, or what?
    When shooting open sights clearly seeing the front sight is the way I have always shot.
     

    NHT3

    Master
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    42   0   0
    Apr 12, 2009
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    South of the 465 loop
    All good points.

    For the record, the point of this thread is not to suggest to anyone how to do anything. It's for the purpose of passing along what is, for me, a liberating new approach to shooting.

    The main point is this:
    Experimenting with a rifle red dot taught me that pistol iron sights do THE SAME THING my rifle red dot does when I stop trying to focus on the pistol front sight, and instead relax and focus—both eyes open—on the target.

    I know my thread title is "provocative" :D but I'm not looking for an argument. I'm trying to spark new insights.
    I have another revelation for you.. Try covering the front of the Red dot with a piece of tape and you will find you can still see the dot as well as the target. I'm just as accurate and fast with the lens of the dot covered as I am with it uncovered.
    I have had enough students in class that I'm comfortable saying that most people can not separate the input from both eyes seeing the target with one and the sights with the other. More power to you if you can shoot as well with sights as with a red dot but that isn't the case for most people..
     

    gregkl

    Outlier
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    29   0   0
    Apr 8, 2012
    11,273
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    Bloomington
    I have another revelation for you.. Try covering the front of the Red dot with a piece of tape and you will find you can still see the dot as well as the target. I'm just as accurate and fast with the lens of the dot covered as I am with it uncovered.
    I have had enough students in class that I'm comfortable saying that most people can not separate the input from both eyes seeing the target with one and the sights with the other. More power to you if you can shoot as well with sights as with a red dot but that isn't the case for most people..
    I keep saying I'm going to try that and then I forget. I'll try to remember next time I go. I can stick a paster over it.
     

    DolomiteDave

    Plinker
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    0   0   0
    Nov 11, 2022
    54
    8
    Carmel
    Well here we go..... regardless of what sight system your using ( peep & post, knotch & post, red dot, optic or doppler) you always look at the target, never the crosshairs or dot .
    I use peep & post (with custom apature) and doppler sights (with adjustable apature front & rear, plus color filters) rear apature, because your eye will naturally want to center what ever the eye sees, in this case it is a target, the front post just gives you a "flat plain" to air with. Doppler work the same, just line up the circles, the eye will want to center what you see.....look atbthe target, pull the trigger. Easy pezzy
    To be fair with a scope you adjust the parallax of the scope so that your reticle and the target are both equally in focus so you can focus on either depending on the task.
     

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