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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been running a red dot on several of my carry guns for awhile. I have gone through the various contortions on trying to be the most effective with them that I can be. We hear a lot about the "learning curve" with them, which I have certainly found to be the case. For me, at least, effectiveness required a complete transition away from the traditional front sight press methods of sighting and shooting. I spent a lot of frustrating time "picking up the dot" and other time-and-effort-wasting distractions.

In order to get the most out of my dots, I have to throw absolutely everything I have ever learned and practiced with front sight press out with the bathwater. I believe that bit of reality explains why even in specialized red classes taught by accomplished and talented FPS instructors, I have found myself staying somewhere behind the curve. I believe this to be because even those guys approach the problem based on their expertise, skill and talents as FSP practitioners. Those techniques simply don't work for me, no matter how hard and how long I practice them. I simply am not a front sight focused handgun shooter. The red dot techniques I have developed, while certainly not unique, work for me to the exclusion of all else. They have for years. As time, practice and experience go on, red dots become more and more effective in improving and enhancing my handgun accuracy. As a threat-focused handgun shooter, my red dot results continue to improve as I keep that in mind and practice.

I recently attended a couple classes at the school where I received nearly all of my early advanced shooting training, Tactical Defense Institute in southern Ohio. It's a great school with great instructors, with the qualification that it is strictly front sight press. Strictly. While for the past five or six years, FSP has had no place in my handgun marksmanship skills, everything I did at TDI revolved around it. Consequently, I was always somewhere in the middle of the pack when it came to accuracy among my fellow students. Only after learning and acquiring my threat-focus skills was I able to move to the front of that pack, where I remain.

My last trip to TDI was for a three-day armed school staff course. It was hot, the training was fairly demanding and intense, and by the afternoon, I was feeling the effects. Adrenaline, fatigue, generally stressed. Hanging in with the rest of the class no problem, but feeling it.

One afternoon, I came out of the live fire house after running a very complex, stressful scenario, and moved to the plate rack for some partner tactics training. I was running my DeltaPoint-equipped Glock 17. Without all the details, we were shooting plates at fifteen yards. Simple enough, but I was missing. I was doing what I believed to be exactly what I always do, and I was missing. A lot. Lead instructor Forrest Sonewald was right there to diagnose my problems, and he told me I was slapping the trigger. Hard. A sixty-second coaching session later, and I was back to hit-making. He was, of course, correct, but there was something else going on that I realized only in hindsight and after an AAR of the incident with Brownie, my threat-focused shooting guru. He didn't tell me what I was doing wrong so much as my conversation with him allowed me to sort it out myself. By way of confirmation, I checked it out this morning with my Trijicon-equipped Glock 21. Repeating my mistake at TDI, I was scoring misses with the one gun that least tolerant of errors in aiming. Eliminate that mistake, and the hits return. Go back to the error, miss some more. Simple stuff, unless I get stuck on lapsing back into not knowing what I don't know. There at TDI, where FSP skills were a major part of my upbringing, it is easy to fall back on old habits as the training wears on.

So here is where I mess up when I miss with the red dot. I am a strictly-threat-focused handgun shooter. When I become something else, even just a little bit, I miss. Coming out of the holster, extending out from the ready positions, whatever, if I am utilizing my red dot, I must, and I repeat must maintain the target as the point of focus. I cannot "start to pick up the dot" as I would the front sight on FSP targeting. I absolutely cannot move my focus from the target to anywhere else. If I do, I become dot-focused instead, and miss my shot. If I stay on the target, the dot will present itself, every time. My adjustment will become instinctive, the dot will come into view and cover the target, and the shot will go where I want it to.

"Stay target-focused!!!" has not received the exclamation marks in any of the several red dot classes I have taken. I'm thinking that may be because those instructors are so accomplished as FSP guys that they cannot move off that bubble.

"Stay target-focused!!!" is my best, and only advice to red-dot shooters who have become proficient with the other fundamentals of grip, trigger pull, and follow-up. Forget FSP, focus on the target.
 

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I've been running a red dot on several of my carry guns for awhile. I have gone through the various contortions on trying to be the most effective with them that I can be. We hear a lot about the "learning curve" with them, which I have certainly found to be the case. For me, at least, effectiveness required a complete transition away from the traditional front sight press methods of sighting and shooting. I spent a lot of frustrating time "picking up the dot" and other time-and-effort-wasting distractions.

In order to get the most out of my dots, I have to throw absolutely everything I have ever learned and practiced with front sight press out with the bathwater. I believe that bit of reality explains why even in specialized red classes taught by accomplished and talented FPS instructors, I have found myself staying somewhere behind the curve. I believe this to be because even those guys approach the problem based on their expertise, skill and talents as FSP practitioners. Those techniques simply don't work for me, no matter how hard and how long I practice them. I simply am not a front sight focused handgun shooter. The red dot techniques I have developed, while certainly not unique, work for me to the exclusion of all else. They have for years. As time, practice and experience go on, red dots become more and more effective in improving and enhancing my handgun accuracy. As a threat-focused handgun shooter, my red dot results continue to improve as I keep that in mind and practice.

I recently attended a couple classes at the school where I received nearly all of my early advanced shooting training, Tactical Defense Institute in southern Ohio. It's a great school with great instructors, with the qualification that it is strictly front sight press. Strictly. While for the past five or six years, FSP has had no place in my handgun marksmanship skills, everything I did at TDI revolved around it. Consequently, I was always somewhere in the middle of the pack when it came to accuracy among my fellow students. Only after learning and acquiring my threat-focus skills was I able to move to the front of that pack, where I remain.

My last trip to TDI was for a three-day armed school staff course. It was hot, the training was fairly demanding and intense, and by the afternoon, I was feeling the effects. Adrenaline, fatigue, generally stressed. Hanging in with the rest of the class no problem, but feeling it.

One afternoon, I came out of the live fire house after running a very complex, stressful scenario, and moved to the plate rack for some partner tactics training. I was running my DeltaPoint-equipped Glock 17. Without all the details, we were shooting plates at fifteen yards. Simple enough, but I was missing. I was doing what I believed to be exactly what I always do, and I was missing. A lot. Lead instructor Forrest Sonewald was right there to diagnose my problems, and he told me I was slapping the trigger. Hard. A sixty-second coaching session later, and I was back to hit-making. He was, of course, correct, but there was something else going on that I realized only in hindsight and after an AAR of the incident with Brownie, my threat-focused shooting guru. He didn't tell me what I was doing wrong so much as my conversation with him allowed me to sort it out myself. By way of confirmation, I checked it out this morning with my Trijicon-equipped Glock 21. Repeating my mistake at TDI, I was scoring misses with the one gun that least tolerant of errors in aiming. Eliminate that mistake, and the hits return. Go back to the error, miss some more. Simple stuff, unless I get stuck on lapsing back into not knowing what I don't know. There at TDI, where FSP skills were a major part of my upbringing, it is easy to fall back on old habits as the training wears on.

So here is where I mess up when I miss with the red dot. I am a strictly-threat-focused handgun shooter. When I become something else, even just a little bit, I miss. Coming out of the holster, extending out from the ready positions, whatever, if I am utilizing my red dot, I must, and I repeat must maintain the target as the point of focus. I cannot "start to pick up the dot" as I would the front sight on FSP targeting. I absolutely cannot move my focus from the target to anywhere else. If I do, I become dot-focused instead, and miss my shot. If I stay on the target, the dot will present itself, every time. My adjustment will become instinctive, the dot will come into view and cover the target, and the shot will go where I want it to.

"Stay target-focused!!!" has not received the exclamation marks in any of the several red dot classes I have taken. I'm thinking that may be because those instructors are so accomplished as FSP guys that they cannot move off that bubble.

"Stay target-focused!!!" is my best, and only advice to red-dot shooters who have become proficient with the other fundamentals of grip, trigger pull, and follow-up. Forget FSP, focus on the target.
That makes perfect sense to me, Mike! (y)(y)
 

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I've been running a red dot on several of my carry guns for awhile. I have gone through the various contortions on trying to be the most effective with them that I can be. We hear a lot about the "learning curve" with them, which I have certainly found to be the case. For me, at least, effectiveness required a complete transition away from the traditional front sight press methods of sighting and shooting. I spent a lot of frustrating time "picking up the dot" and other time-and-effort-wasting distractions.

In order to get the most out of my dots, I have to throw absolutely everything I have ever learned and practiced with front sight press out with the bathwater. I believe that bit of reality explains why even in specialized red classes taught by accomplished and talented FPS instructors, I have found myself staying somewhere behind the curve. I believe this to be because even those guys approach the problem based on their expertise, skill and talents as FSP practitioners. Those techniques simply don't work for me, no matter how hard and how long I practice them. I simply am not a front sight focused handgun shooter. The red dot techniques I have developed, while certainly not unique, work for me to the exclusion of all else. They have for years. As time, practice and experience go on, red dots become more and more effective in improving and enhancing my handgun accuracy. As a threat-focused handgun shooter, my red dot results continue to improve as I keep that in mind and practice.

I recently attended a couple classes at the school where I received nearly all of my early advanced shooting training, Tactical Defense Institute in southern Ohio. It's a great school with great instructors, with the qualification that it is strictly front sight press. Strictly. While for the past five or six years, FSP has had no place in my handgun marksmanship skills, everything I did at TDI revolved around it. Consequently, I was always somewhere in the middle of the pack when it came to accuracy among my fellow students. Only after learning and acquiring my threat-focus skills was I able to move to the front of that pack, where I remain.

My last trip to TDI was for a three-day armed school staff course. It was hot, the training was fairly demanding and intense, and by the afternoon, I was feeling the effects. Adrenaline, fatigue, generally stressed. Hanging in with the rest of the class no problem, but feeling it.

One afternoon, I came out of the live fire house after running a very complex, stressful scenario, and moved to the plate rack for some partner tactics training. I was running my DeltaPoint-equipped Glock 17. Without all the details, we were shooting plates at fifteen yards. Simple enough, but I was missing. I was doing what I believed to be exactly what I always do, and I was missing. A lot. Lead instructor Forrest Sonewald was right there to diagnose my problems, and he told me I was slapping the trigger. Hard. A sixty-second coaching session later, and I was back to hit-making. He was, of course, correct, but there was something else going on that I realized only in hindsight and after an AAR of the incident with Brownie, my threat-focused shooting guru. He didn't tell me what I was doing wrong so much as my conversation with him allowed me to sort it out myself. By way of confirmation, I checked it out this morning with my Trijicon-equipped Glock 21. Repeating my mistake at TDI, I was scoring misses with the one gun that least tolerant of errors in aiming. Eliminate that mistake, and the hits return. Go back to the error, miss some more. Simple stuff, unless I get stuck on lapsing back into not knowing what I don't know. There at TDI, where FSP skills were a major part of my upbringing, it is easy to fall back on old habits as the training wears on.

So here is where I mess up when I miss with the red dot. I am a strictly-threat-focused handgun shooter. When I become something else, even just a little bit, I miss. Coming out of the holster, extending out from the ready positions, whatever, if I am utilizing my red dot, I must, and I repeat must maintain the target as the point of focus. I cannot "start to pick up the dot" as I would the front sight on FSP targeting. I absolutely cannot move my focus from the target to anywhere else. If I do, I become dot-focused instead, and miss my shot. If I stay on the target, the dot will present itself, every time. My adjustment will become instinctive, the dot will come into view and cover the target, and the shot will go where I want it to.

"Stay target-focused!!!" has not received the exclamation marks in any of the several red dot classes I have taken. I'm thinking that may be because those instructors are so accomplished as FSP guys that they cannot move off that bubble.

"Stay target-focused!!!" is my best, and only advice to red-dot shooters who have become proficient with the other fundamentals of grip, trigger pull, and follow-up. Forget FSP, focus on the target.
I see customers and people on the range using a red dot on their pistol like a scope. Closing one eye and looking through the "tube/window". Constantly demonstrating how to use one correctly at the shop when customers bring it to eye level and look through it like a scope.

How they are supposed to be used is threat focused and put the dot superimposed on the threat/target. Had to actually show my ranger buddy how they were designed to be used, so it's not just novices who don't understand how they should be using one correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I see customers and people on the range using a red dot on their pistol like a scope. Closing one eye and looking through the "tube/window". Constantly demonstrating how to use one correctly at the shop when customers bring it to eye level and look through it like a scope.

How they are supposed to be used is threat focused and put the dot superimposed on the threat/target. Had to actually show my ranger buddy how they were designed to be used, so it's not just novices who don't understand how they should be using one correctly.
Keeping both of my eyes wide open is a critical part of my target equation. I should have mentioned that in my OP. As soon as I close one eye, I have lapsed back into old FSP habits, and the results emphasize it. "Both eyes open!!!" are right up there with grip and trigger control for me.
 

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I would contend that technique when defensive shooting is a mathematical equation of time and distance.
I will use my terminology instead of yours. There are 3 types of aiming. One is indexed shooting (some call it threat focused, target focused, point shooting) and then aimed fire. The second is called flash sight picture. Where the minute to sight or dot hits the target you squeeze. And the third is aimed fire. Where you line up the sights or the dot and squeeze the trigger.
Time and distance is the equation. Closer 10-15’ index shooting makes more sense. 15-40’ flash sight picture makes more sense. Over that aimed fire would take precedence. Now keep in mind some are more skilled and can extend those ranges drastically.
But and here is the key. The tool does not dictate it, time and distance does.
An example Brownie who is skilled in threat focused shooting has no problem putting shots on target at 25’. Not many can. And even Brownie would admit, from concealment and at 45 yrds he is going pure sights.
Gunfights are a mathematical equation of time and distance. The problem is you don’t know the digits until after the fight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would contend that technique when defensive shooting is a mathematical equation of time and distance.
I will use my terminology instead of yours. There are 3 types of aiming. One is indexed shooting (some call it threat focused, target focused, point shooting) and then aimed fire. The second is called flash sight picture. Where the minute to sight or dot hits the target you squeeze. And the third is aimed fire. Where you line up the sights or the dot and squeeze the trigger.
Time and distance is the equation. Closer 10-15’ index shooting makes more sense. 15-40’ flash sight picture makes more sense. Over that aimed fire would take precedence. Now keep in mind some are more skilled and can extend those ranges drastically.
But and here is the key. The tool does not dictate it, time and distance does.
An example Brownie who is skilled in threat focused shooting has no problem putting shots on target at 25’. Not many can. And even Brownie would admit, from concealment and at 45 yrds he is going pure sights.
Gunfights are a mathematical equation of time and distance. The problem is you don’t know the digits until after the fight.
Once I come up to point shoulder (which isn't doable for me, as the aperture is in the way), my sight picture remains the same, whether at seven yards, or one hundred, terminology notwithstanding.
 

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Once I come up to point shoulder (which isn't doable for me, as the aperture is in the way), my sight picture remains the same, whether at seven yards, or one hundred, terminology notwithstanding.
Sight picture is not a term used in index shooting. It is only used in flash sight or aimed fire.
The problem with index shooting and you are correct, once the gun comes up to the eye you revert to aimed fire directly, your eyes automatically go to sights. In index shooting point shoulder the gun has to be below the chin. You cannot attain sight picture.
 

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Once I come up to point shoulder (which isn't doable for me, as the aperture is in the way), my sight picture remains the same, whether at seven yards, or one hundred, terminology notwithstanding.
And terminology matters when we talk about sighting systems. You say point shoulder you can’t see sights. Well you aren’t suppose to in point shoulder. You should be focused on the target.
 

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Had to learn to keep both eyes open on the AR with the Aimpoint Pro. It's an acquired skill
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
And terminology matters when we talk about sighting systems. You say point shoulder you can’t see sights. Well you aren’t suppose to in point shoulder. You should be focused on the target.
Right, the front sight post is obscured by the aperture, so it is straight to the dot, or more accurately, pasting the dot on the target I'm focused on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sight picture is not a term used in index shooting. It is only used in flash sight or aimed fire.
The problem with index shooting and you are correct, once the gun comes up to the eye you revert to aimed fire directly, your eyes automatically go to sights. In index shooting point shoulder the gun has to be below the chin. You cannot attain sight picture.
Sight picture is the term I use when discussing the placement of the dot on the target.
 

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Sight picture is the term I use when discussing the placement of the dot on the target.
And that is what it is. It is called aimed fire at that stage. Sight picture has zero to do with index or point shooting.
 

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I'm unsure of the point you are arguing.
I am not arguing anything. Other than if you talk aimed fire while talking about point shooting. One has nothing to do with the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am not arguing anything. Other than if you talk aimed fire while talking about point shooting. One has nothing to do with the other.
Did I talk comingle aimed fire with point shooting?
 

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Did I talk comingle aimed fire with point shooting?
Yea actually you did. When you stated point shoulder and not seeing your red dot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yea actually you did. When you stated point shoulder and not seeing your red dot.
Point shoulder utilizes the front sight post, at least as it was taught to me. The red dot aperture makes that extremely difficult, as I found out the first time I tried it.
 

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Point shoulder utilizes the front sight post, at least as it was taught to me. The red dot aperture makes that extremely difficult, as I found out the first time I tried it.
That is not true. Point shoulder is an index shooting technique. Your sight, regardless of if it’s aimed fire or flash sight picture, has zero to do with index shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That is not true. Point shoulder is an index shooting technique. Your sight, regardless of if it’s aimed fire or flash sight picture, has zero to do with index shooting.
The front sight post has zero to do with point shoulder shooting?
 

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Your post.

nce I come up to point shoulder (which isn't doable for me, as the aperture is in the way), my sight picture remains the same, whether at seven yards, or one hundred, terminology notwithstanding
 
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