Dirty Harry breezed into the Hollywood scene, making it look effortless and stylish to pull out a .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 29. Unlike movie renditions and portrayals, the art of shooting a weapon takes skill and accuracy. It is important for shooters to understand the fundamentals of shooting, including how to analyze targets.
Shooting enthusiasts agree there several significant fundamentals associated with expert marksmanship, which includes sight picture, sight alignment, trigger control and accuracy. These four are the most vital and important.
Handgun sights must be properly aligned to ensure accuracy, which can prove tragic and deadly if off-center. Sights align horizontally, but the aim must not be too low or high. This makes shooting considerably easier. To properly align sights, the front sight is level with the rear sight. When properly aligned, they will be equal distance from the front and both sides of the rear-sight notch. If the sight is pointing further to the right, then the bullets will proceed in that direction. Having proper sight alignment is critical and helps ensure higher shooting accuracy. For example, if a sight is off by a mere 1/16-inch, at a distance of 20 feet the ultimate result will be off a staggering 4.5 inches.
Trial and error is the common prescription for an improperly sighted gun. This helps ascertain certain errors, where the bullet hits the target, etc., which allows for more accurate gun sighting.
The best way to begin practicing sight alignment is through dry-fire practice. This allows shooters to analyze where the sight lines intersect. Instead of just glimpsing through the sights, always stare at them, imprinting them in the mind. This makes it easier for live-round practice sessions. Additionally, dry-fire practice, without live ammunition, is safer than repeatedly realigning guns using live-fire practice.
The combination of sight picture and alignment allows handguns to be more accurate, making targets’ point of impact easier to predict. If the problem is scattered rounds, it could mean the shooter is not focusing on the front sight, but placing central focus on the target. This poses a more serious problem in real-life situations, especially those that rely on self-defense and life or death.
When depressing the trigger, expert shooters recommend placing full focus on the front sight. When doing so, the rear sight and target will appear slightly blurred. It is impossible for anyone to have full focus on all three, but shooters understand a single focus allows for improved aim and a higher rate of accuracy.