The goal of pretty much any practical application of a handgun is to be fast and accurate. Engaging multiple targets accurately can slow anyone down and your .20 splits don’t look so cool when your cadence has a half second delay as you transition onto the next target. We’re accountable for each hole down range. At this point in history the hard front sight cult is pervasive, but what if I told you shooting with your front sight is less important than you probably believe? Well stay tuned and I will explain . . .
This is a gun blog and you, dear reader, are no doubt well familiar with the fact there are gun channels on YouTube. Many of those gun channels will harp on the importance of the front sight with the whole “equal height, equal light” taking a back seat to the “the holes show up where the front sight is” school. That’s unquestionably true.
But then there are more and more videos out there like the one above.
The front sight is important…IN THE CONTEXT OF THE REAR SIGHT. As long as that little post shows up inside the notch, good things are going to happen at handgun defensive ranges (10-15 yards and in). So they’re both important, right? Right.
Well, what do you drive as you transition from one target to the next?
If you answered “put your front sight where you want the hole to show up”, then you’re likely to find that when the gun shows up on target, the sights are out of alignment. If you steered the front sight and not the rear to the target, the front sight may very well be on target…but the rear sight not so much. If Ron Avery taught us anything, it’s that the rear sight establishes the plane where shots will appear with “good enough” sight pictures. There’s a good chance you’ll miss by a greater margin than you would hope if you don’t establish a reference on the target with the rear sight.
Now think about the transition as framing the next target in your rear sight, then adjusting your front sight as required. You may have to minutely adjust your front sight, but there’s a strong chance the sight alignment will stay preserved as you’ll hold the front sight in the notch as you move to target. Think about your draw, you index the gun on target then adjust the front sight as required (generally), right? It’s no different in transition.
It’s a small shift in a way of thinking that lead to me improving accuracy and speed in transition, as well as settling in on sights faster when entering a shooting position. Give it a shot the next time you’re on the range and see what it does to your times.