Everything today is reduced to such simplicity as to hardly have any value. Politics is kept at the bumper-sticker level in order to spoon feed a lazy electorate. Entertainment has devolved to idiocy and audiences seem to enjoy it. Fitness hucksters sell muscle powders and fat loss pills to millions of people who ought to know better. But quick and easy rules the age. Shooting is no different. There is a constant search for the next single thing that can take the blame for bad marksmanship. Right now, its grip. I don’t want the reader to misunderstand, grip technique is a modern shooting travesty but the popular approach is too make it worse: grip harder, crush the can, lock the arm, etc. The problem is never solved by increasing the error but that foolishness has caught the interest of the quick and easy crowd. The shooting gimmicks are just as bad. Currently, the hot trick is placing a coin on the slide for training. The popular resurrection of the old coin drill reveals all one needs to know about what is wrong with modern shooter education. Some bright fellow recently came up with the idea of placing a “mark” on the front sight to assist with concentration. We already have a point of focus, the only one that matters–the front sight tip. We don’t need a coin or spot of paint, we need proper sight alignment and sight picture. Sighting should drive handgun placement not coin tricks. If the handgun is on target who cares whether it will carry pocket change? Dry-fire is pure marksmanship exercise, balancing a coin is a cheap card trick that obstructs proper sighting by taking focus away from the front sight tip. I digress. Below is the reason that every shooter since the inception of firearms with rifled barrels and properly regulated gun-sights has missed their mark.

The front sight was not properly aligned within the rear sight aperture and placed on the correct point of aim at the instant the round left the barrel.

The cause:

The shooter did not fanatically focus on the front sight tip and was not able to see the front sight had wandered. Therefore, the shooter could not release the trigger and correct the error prior to discharging the weapon.

Everything else was no more than a contributing factor as to why the front sight moved off target. Marksmanship is like anything in life, it requires understanding for mastery. The good news is that you can dramatically improve in a single range session. For more on sighting, read earlier entries on this blog or download a copy of The Perfect Pistol Shot. NRA shooter programs can assist you. Marksmanship is easily within your ability, its not a matter of instinct, tricks, or equipment. It’s just applied knowledge. Learn and leave the tricks behind.