Front-Sight Focus: An Essential Aspect of Defensive Shooting

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Crow Bar 1 year, 4 months ago.

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  • #5421

    Crow Bar


    Back in the 1970s, when some of these modern-day commandos were still watching cartoons, Col. Jeff Cooper began to teach the importance of focusing on the pistol’s front sight in a gunfight. First, he showed that, when done properly, sighted hits could be delivered just as fast as point-shooting misses. Secondly, he demonstrated that students could be taught to focus on their front sights in actual gunfights.

  • #5519


    Focusing on the front sight is so easy when you’re standing still but not so much when you’re moving around. Great article!

  • #5523

    James Mitchner

    I concentrate on the assailant.  I do not concentrate on the front sight.  I want to know that the assailant is doing.  I bring my front sight up into my line of vision, blurred though it may be, but I see enough to position it over the middle of the mass of that assailant.   If the assailant is armed I have to “move off the X”, meaning I need to move from a anchored static position to left or right, up or down, to cause the assailant to make adjustments.  This gives me a second or maybe two to target the assailant and fire first.

  • #5532


    both daisy and James makes the point to train to instinctive  shooting, most don’t have time or money for ammo to do so.  Your hand points to what you want to hit any position point and put rounds on target, allows for  consealed  shooting with deadly accuracy. Let’s face it unless you are àgressor, first thing you want is to get out of harms way which means run and make your self small or drop and move to cover. During this accurate shooting from standard range time is utterly useless.

    Front sight has it place but when it is close and two way rifle range yout first return fire as non àgressor will be a instinctive or reflexive shot till you get to cover then use front sight.



  • #5538


    As a semi reformed Cooper-ite, I agree with a lot the good Colonel said, but for combat shooting I tend to follow Jim Cirillo’s teachings.

    Cooper’s teachings work well on the range, but don’t work as well on the street when armor is in use for example.

  • #5541

    James Mitchner

    You can use your front sight while not having to focus on it.  Pick an object in the room then point your finger at it while staying focused on the object.  You can plainly see that your finger is there in the unfocused foreground pointing directly at the object even though you are not focused on your finger.  You can do the same using just your front sight in close encounters.

    My carry piece has high visibility day or night front sights.  Should I be attacked by some assailant and require drawing my weapon, I want to know exactly what that assailant is doing – what are they doing with their hands, do they have a weapon visible, are they coming at me.  I can’t tell if I’m busy trying to focus on my sights.

  • #5544

    Crow Bar

    I respectfully disagree with Daisy and James.

    If you train you can focus on the front sight, and have first round hits on your target.

    A few years ago in NYC, some guy walked into his work place and shot his boss in broad daylight.  I believe it was in the morning.

    Two cops responded to the incident, tracked the guy down.  He went to pull his hand gun, they drew and fired multiple rounds.  They hit and killed the shooter.  AND they also hit 9 bystanders, because they were focusing on the shooter and not the front sight post.

    As for training, I use a pellet pistol to reduce my costs, and trips to a range are not required.  I shoot across my bedroom into a pellet trap.

    Here is an example:

    Others have blowback or the action will faux cycle, forcing the shooter to have to re-sight-in on the target.  Many are officially licensed by the arms manufacture to be identical in size of the real firearm to fit in your holster for practice in drawing.

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