Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Details Of Typical Pistol Sight Picture

    I do not own a pistol and I'm currently living far from my rifles and firearm owning friends.

    I'm discussing recent police shootings here in Australia with gun-ignorant friends.

    My memories of a friend's 44 S&W I once used at home are that the iron foresight would completely obscure a target the size of a person at, say, 20 yards, or near enough to it.

    The point being that accurate aimed shooting at any part of that target was therefore practically impossible.

    Lacking guns and such I can't prove this so I'm hoping someone here can provide me with authoritative information to either substantiate my claim or make nonsense of it.

    Failing that I guess I'll have to do some geometry on subtended angles assuming a fore sight of about, say, 1mm thick ?

    regards,

    ab

    p.s.

    Well, hmm, I'm a silly bugger aren't I? I just did a rough test. Held two car keys flat sides together and viewed edge on - would be much thicker than a foresight - and sighted on a column of our carport which wouldn't be as thick as man side to side but would be about as thick as the trunk of a man and thicker than the width of the head of a man.

    AND - it wasn't obscured at 20 yards and obviously less obscured at 10 yards.

    So I am wrong.

    But why do I feel like this? Why do I have this memory?

    Because, I think, I'm right inasmuch as you can't AIM.

    So perhaps I need to rephrase my question to the members to something like :

    What is the exact sight picture and - the hub of it all - what effective aiming do you have from that sight picture when all things are considered ( i.e. holding that weight of iron at arms length, the lack of cross hairs, any precision aiming point.. and whatever else ) ?

    Myself I'm accustomed to shooting full bore over iron sights, lying prone, taking all the time in the world, breathing carefully, centering the target in my sight circle, etc., etc...

    Or using my telescopic hunting sight.......

    The hunk of iron at arms length with this gross piece of iron sight......

    Last edited by abrogard; October 21st, 2010 at 06:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Details Of Typical Pistol Sight Picture

    Just center everything up, anything is possible.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Details Of Typical Pistol Sight Picture

    Its been a while since I fired a .44 but I was just over at the range yesterday and I was shooting my Beretta 92FS Inox and I was shooting 25 yards at a 10"x10" piece of steel and the front sight on it by no means covered the whole target. So.....the chances of a .44's sight covering an entire full grown man at 20 yards would be a stretch.


    I could be wrong, I'm just giving you some perspective on my personal circumstance yesterday.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Details Of Typical Pistol Sight Picture

    The front sight on a handgun won't obscure a person at 20 yds. A person would have to be pretty far off for the sight to cover them. Shooting competition and a human form target (B-27) at 50 yds, the sight didn't obscure the target.

    Now, aiming at a target that is that close is a different matter, especially if the target is headed for you with thoughts of doing you harm. In that case you are basically going to point shoot as you won't have time (probably) to get an accurate sight picture unless the perp is walking. This is why you practice all types of firing positions and scenerios.
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Details Of Typical Pistol Sight Picture

    You might be recalling that the front sight will be the only thing in sharp focus. The back sight will be slightly out of focus and something at 20 yds out will be even less in focus.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Details Of Typical Pistol Sight Picture

    Offshorebear,

    thank you very much for your picture. That's excellent. I can use that.

    I am wrong, without a doubt, but I'm right, in what I meant, and your pic shows how that comes about.

    Your foresight is thicker than the head on the target and about as thick as the trunk (i.e. body without arms).

    Now wave that up and down - you can see nothing.

    Hold it like the top class target shooter you no doubt are, and many others who post here, and, yes, many things are possible.

    With complete discipline and confidence and top technique and well sighted in gun at the correct range and you can pull off shots and know they'll hit the target right in the centre and slightly above the horizontal line shown on your sight picture there, an imaginary line across the top of foresight and backsight together.

    "6 o'clock" hold I'm talking about there, I guess.

    It's a beautifull diagram/picture/whatever I should call it.

    A 'common' shooter like me looking at a sight picture like that has all the trouble in the world keeping it like that. The sights waver up and down, side to side.

    If I can keep them trained on the target I might want to move them up and down. I DID want to, that time I had that .44 to play with. I wanted to pick a point of aim and fire.

    I soon learned I couldn't.

    AND I was confused (my friend not there to tell me) about where the shot would fall - above the top of the foresight, below, on it?

    Anyway I soon learned I had no 'points of aim' on a figure size target. I had only the thickest part of the target - choose that, get as careful as I could, squeeze one off.

    Your pic I think demonstrates that very clearly.

    Thanks again.

    Now should I start another thread or can I/should I ask this questions here:

    How much better the sight picture, the aiming and the precision shooting ability on a lighter, smaller calibre weapon - specifically .22

    What I'm thinking here is that such a weapon is easier to hold and aim, has far less bang and is built much less massively and therefore has finer sights and with such a weapon ( in .22 magnum ) I could kill or disable at choice.

    regards,

    ab

    p.s.

    I'm actually trying to help myself. I did read the excellent wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_sight but it doesn't (that I could see) actually answer that latter question for me.

    What it does do is make me think 'ghost sights' are the way to go for these applications.
    Last edited by abrogard; October 21st, 2010 at 11:43 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Details Of Typical Pistol Sight Picture

    Jeff Cooper was a huge supporter of gun games, when he was winning them at least...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Details Of Typical Pistol Sight Picture

    Thank you for the URL. A very clear and interesting page.

    I have also found something that may be of interest:

    http://www.suresight.com/

    Looks to me like a sure and certain winner. I wonder if anyone has experience of this sight and can comment on it?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Details Of Typical Pistol Sight Picture

    I prefer my front sight on a 5" gun to be .090 or .100 wide. Thats precise enough to crush clay birds on the berm at 50 yards. If you need more....put a pencil mark hash on the front sight.

    Lycanalmosttoooldtoseethehashthrope

    I taught Chuck Norris to bump-fire.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Details Of Typical Pistol Sight Picture

    Inches you're talking there, I guess? About 2.5mm.

    That's interesting. You're obviously a top class pistol shooter. Do you happen to have any experience/opinions on the question of smaller/lighter pistols/calibre?

    Would it be easier to shoot accurately enough to pick a target point (an arm, a leg, a thigh, a shoulder) using a .22 calibre than using the large calibres?

    "caliber" I mean. In the USA you say 'caliber'. The spell checker keeps complaing about my 'calibre'.

    sorry.

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