In any pursuit, we can only succeed to the extent that we achieve a predetermined goal. In other words, we have to hit at what we aim. That’s a major problem for at least a broad majority of shooters. If you aim a barn door and hit the barn door door, are you a good shot? Maybe, if the shot was taken from 300 yards away. Otherwise, there’s no way to know because the target was too big. Let’s say your handgun is made to deliver 2.5″ groups at 25 yards from a machine rest. The only way that is mechanically possible is if the handgun is pointed in exactly the same direction for every shot. If you’re getting 12″ groups at 25 yards, you have a problem. A competent marksman in good health can match or nearly match the mechanical accuracy of a handgun. The underlying cause of that success is consistency in aiming. Aiming is a function of two things: sight alignment and sight picture. Alignment is controlling the handgun to perfectly align the sights and picture is placing that perfect alignment on an exact point on the target WHICH APPEARS NO LARGER THAN THE FRONT SIGHT TIP. You can’t aim at a barn door at 25 yards, you have to aim a knot hole in a barn door at 25 yards. You can’t use a full size silhouette at 10 yards but you can use it at 100 yards where it will appear to be the size of your front sight. Pick an exact aiming point for exact results. Letting your front sight drift over a black bullseye means you will never learn to keyhole shots because you’re practicing to shoot groups the size of the bullseye. Don’t use a paper target, draw a cross on the blank side of the target and use the center point of the cross. Shooting cans and paper plates at 5 yards is a great way to learn how to miss at 10 yards.

Aim like you mean it. Train intelligently.

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