I confess to being tedious. If it were up to me, marksmanship would be like everything else, constantly changing, based on popular whim and fashion. If that were the case I could constantly sell new books on the same old subject. Unfortunately, marksmanship is science. There is only way to use a firearm to accurately strike a target at distance.

The other day, I read another shooters’ blog in which the members were debating whether one should focus on the front sight, rear sight or target. It astounds me that these discussions did not end when fixed sights were placed on muzzle loaders.

The human eye can only focus to one depth at a time. Therefore, please consider the following:

1. The purpose of marksmanship is to control the flight path of the bullet with the intent of striking a predetermined target. Wherever the muzzle is at the instant the round leaves the barrel is the sole determiner of accuracy. Nothing can be done to correct bullet flight and impact once the round has left the barrel. The front sight is the shooter’s guide to muzzle location. By controlling the front sight, the shooter is controlling the muzzle. The front sight must be the point of focus.

2. Angle of error increases dramatically over distance. A fraction of error in sight alignment can result in a miss of several feet at 15 or 25 yards. In order to properly align the sights, constant adjustments must be made to within fractions of an inch. The adjustments are constant because the body (muscle, circulation, respiration) is in constant motion. In order for the hand to make those adjustments, the eye must gather accurate information relating to sight picture and sight alignment. Focus must be fanatical and constant if the shooter hopes to know and control front sight location.

None of the above is open to opinion. If you focus on the target and claim to always hit your target, then we know two things about you: you use large targets, and you fire at very close distances. The same applies if you focus on the rear sight. Let’s not fool ourselves into believing that point-and-jerk is “realistically practical” for self defense. The recent unpleasantness in Missouri will confirm that firing at a fast. closing target is tough and accuracy takes effort. The issue of marksmanship was settled centuries ago. Further reading can be found in The Perfect Pistol Shot.

The new book is still progressing and on target for an early 2015 release. The subject is the comprehensive and defensive use of the handgun. Practics Holistic Handgun will be available in Kindle and paperback. For more information: www.practicsusa.com

The Author
Albert League is a former Marine and law enforcement firearm instructor who consults on a variety of security topics.