Watchin’ the Front Sight

It’s working.

Six weeks ago I removed the red dots from all my guns because, with the dot, I found the urge to snatch a shot as the dot approached the “X” to be irresistable. Invariably, I would jerk the shot elsewhere on the target. No amount of self-talk was able to sway me into an ignore-the-target smooth trigger pull.

So I removed the dot and starting shooting iron sights. And ever since then, I’ve been shooting — not as often as I’d like because of work and travel — no worse and sometimes better than before.

Shooting iron sights not only renders the bull a fuzzy, indistinct ball, it also focuses attention on the hand and what’s happening there.

And for my purposes, that’s exactly what I want. I want my attention back here at the end of my hand where all the important stuff happens. That’s where the work is going on, that’s where I am re-training, that’s where the fix has to happen.

And in spite of appearances, the “X” is not out there on the target. Instead, the “X” might as well be right here at the end of my hand because that’s where I do or don’t shoot it. When the gun goes bang and the bullet leaves the end of the barrel, it’s all over. Later, the bullet will get to the target but where it lands is predetermined. When the hammer fell — and that happened back here in my hand — I either shot an “X” or I didn’t.

Target, schmarget. It doesn’t matter.

Got your guitar handy? All together now, “He’s got the whole world, in His hands…”

(Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

The simple fact is that when I’m shooting iron sights, it’s easier to keep my attention focused on what I’m doing and ignore how the target wobbles around. My hand is shooting the shot, not the target. Forget the target.

“Talk to the hand, because the ear’s not listening.”

Yup, that’s right.

“Talk to the hand,” because that’s what needs fixin’.

“Hear that, hand? It’s your job. Hold the gun tight but keep that index finger loose. Bring it straight back — you can feel a little arch in the finger as it comes back — push it straight back into my nose, feel it pressing up near the bridge of the nose, right where the boney skull ends and the cartiladge of the nose begins. Here, let me tap that spot so you can feel exactly where you need to be pushing toward. There, feel it? Now, come straight back toward there.”

Tapping the bridge of my nose before a shot looks pretty weird, you’re absolutely right. But, let’s walk down to the targets and see what they say.

(Good job, hand!)

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