Chance WeldonAdministrator
(Distinguished Expert)
12/25/18 05:41 PM
How to become proficient with open sights

As 2018 winds down and we start looking to the next year, I?ve begun to think of New Years resolutions. One resolution I?ve been strongly considering is becoming proficient with open sights. How proficient? Well, a whole lot more proficient than I am now at least. Not just with hunting handguns either. Defensive handguns too.

I know, I know, practice makes perfect. What I want to know is what?s the best way to go about practicing without breaking the bank? I?ve had a few ideas.

1. Take the scope of my Ruger Mark II 22 pistol. My reasoning is simple - it has adjustable sights and it?s a 22. Also, it?s sight radius and size are similar to my 1911. My only fear is a potential repeat of the great 22 shortages would make it a less viable option in the future.

2. Have my 221 Fireball Encore barrel drilled and tapped for open sights. I already use this barrel for cheap practice with scopes handguns at 100 to 200 yards. Why not make it capable of helping me practice with open sights? The longer sight radius would make it a bit easier to shoot accurately, at least while I practice, and it can be handloaded for cheaply.

3. Have MGM make me a custom Encore barrel for the application. Probably a 9mm chamber, 8?-12? long, drilled for open sights. I could handload for this type of setup cheaply (which would also allow me to handload for my sister?s new Kimber) or buy cheap factory ammo.

Certainly, other ideas are more than welcome. These are just a few thoughts I?ve had on the subject.


junebug
(Pooh-Bah)
12/25/18 10:45 PM
Re: How to become proficient with open sights

A 22 is a great gun for practicing form . Your grip ,grip pressure, sight alignment,trigger control breathing and follow thru are all easier to work on without recoil and noise.To get better with open sights you have to work on all of the above. 22 shells are available again and can be found relatively cheaply .04 to .05 cents per round so stock up when you can.TO BE GOOD WITH THE BIG BORES WITH OPEN SIGHTS YOU HAVE TO SHOOT THE BIG BORES WITH OPEN SIGHTS. but you need the good form first.

45MAN
(veteran)
12/26/18 07:43 AM
Re: How to become proficient with open sights

I RECENTLY REDISCOVERED THE 22 WHEN I PURCHASED A RUGER SINGLE SIX 22MAG/22LR. IT SHOOTS GREAT "OUT OF THE BOX" AND I HAVE ADDED ONE OF 2 DOGS' FRONT SIGHTS AND SOME VERY NICE HOLLY WOOD GRIPS BY SIXSHOT, AM ALSO GOING TO GET A No. 5 STYLE BELT MOUNTAIN PIN FOR IT. I HAVE GOT IN A LOT OF TRIGGER TIME WITH IT AND MY SHOOTING GOT BETTER AGAIN.

I HAVE HAD THIS ARGUMENT BEFORE WITH GUYS THAT BELIEVE THE ONLY WAY TO LEARN TO HANDLE AND SHOOT THEIR HEAVY KICKING BIG BORES IS BY SHOOTING A LOT OF THEM. I BELIEVE YOU DEVELOP GOOD FORM, TRIGGER PULL AND HABITS WITH LIGHTER RECOILING GUNS, WHICH THEN TRANSFER OVER TO YOUR BIG BORES.


MS Hitman
(enthusiast)
12/26/18 08:38 AM
Re: How to become proficient with open sights

Perfect practice makes perfect, practicing poor form just reinforces poor shooting.
You may even want to find a pistol instructor to spend some time with you if you feel it may help you.

I would start with an open sighted .22 and stock up on the brand of ammo it likes best, or reasonably likes if it's tastes run expensive. No point in buying poor ammo if you are working to improve your shooting.


billa
(old hand)
12/26/18 02:09 PM
Re: How to become proficient with open sights

Chance, I agree that the 22 Rimfire is the best platform for live shooting to refine your skills but I also have a few additional suggestions. Extensive dry firing is probably the best tool for improving your sight alignment, trigger squeeze and follow through that?s available. Daily dry firing with a blank wall (no target) is a great exercise. Focus on the sight picture. Get it perfect every time. Watch the front to rear sight alignment as you very deliberately squeeze off the trigger. If you cannot hold the sight alignment through the trigger sequence without a target every time (I mean every time 25 - 50 times) do not waste your time with live ammo. Once you get this part move to dry firing on a small square target that sight pictures the same width as the front sight. Hold 6:00 o?clock and maintain through the trigger squeeze. Again master this every time, every day. Once you mentally get to this point start visualizing the midpoint of the front sight on even smaller targets. I suggest that this exercise be done regularly throughout your shooting career even after you develop your skills to your desired level. Even 10-20 dry fires a couple times per week will help keep you sharp.

billa
(old hand)
12/26/18 02:33 PM
Re: How to become proficient with open sights

One of my other practice suggestions is a decent air pistol. I have a Daisy 717 that?s over 30 years old that I shoot in my basement and backyard. It?s a decent gun with thick sights and a trigger with creep. Shooting it well is tough but training and warming up with it before I go to the range or the woods has benefitted me greatly.

karl
(addict)
12/26/18 05:47 PM
Re: How to become proficient with open sights

 Originally Posted By: billa
Extensive dry firing is probably the best tool for improving your sight alignment, trigger squeeze and follow through that is available.


This is a great thread as this is one of my projects for the coming year too. WRT dry firing. Can you dry fire revolvers safely? does the answer differ between rim fire, center fire, BH, RH, SRH or GP100?


45MAN
(veteran)
12/26/18 07:33 PM
Re: How to become proficient with open sights

BILLA: ON SAFARI I WUD ALWAYS HAVE SNAP CAPS WITH ME AND AS TIME PERMITTED I WOULD DRY FIRE TO KEEP MY TRIGGER FINGER CONDITIONED, BUT I HAD NEVER THOUGHT OF ADDING DRY FIRING TO MY REGIMEN STATESIDE.

KARL: I DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION BUT I BELIEVE DRY FIRING WITH SNAP CAPS IS OK. I HOPE SOMEONE THAT KNOWS MORE THAN I DO WILL ENLIGHTEN US.


racksmasher1
(veteran)
12/26/18 07:42 PM
Re: How to become proficient with open sights

Muscle memory is the key.

billa
(old hand)
12/26/18 08:19 PM
Re: How to become proficient with open sights

Guys, I usually just use fired cases in my guns for dry firing although snap caps are probably best. Dry firing covers all the basic elements of marksmanship training without the distraction of recoil. It?s also a great way to cure a flinch.

Being old school I grew up shooting iron sights on a B.B. gun and a 22 Rimfire single shot rifle. I knew how to shoot long before I used a scope. Same for my early handgun development. With the exception of hunting, most of my training and competition shooting (IHMSA silhouette, NRA bullseye, and steel plate / bowling pins) was done with iron sights. Good luck to you all. Investing in your skills with training and practice always benefits.