By Chris Sajnog
We’re now going to cover sight picture, which is taking your sights and aiming at a target. As we found with Sight Alignment (The Third Habit of Highly Effective Shooters), Sight Picture is also not as simple as point and shoot. There are a few things you need to keep in mind if you plan on walking away from a two-way range.
So What Is Sight Picture?
Proper sight picture is when you take a PERFECTLY ALIGNED sight and place it on a target. The thing to remember is that sight picture only has to be on the target (anywhere on the target) to score a hit while sight alignment needs to be perfect or you risk missing the target completely. I guess that makes it hard for me to get you to continue reading this article now that I’ve down-played its importance, but keep reading because like I said in the beginning, there’s more to it than point and shoot.
The reason sight alignment is more important than sight picture is explained in detail in The Third Habit of Highly Effective Shooters when I talk about the difference between angular and parallel shift errors. To recap, imagine that you’re shooting at an eight-inch circle and that the circle is at the end of an eight-inch diameter tube. I’m sure they could set up something like this on Top Shot, so it shouldn’t be too hard to imagine.
If your sight alignment is right, you can fire anywhere into that tube as long as you’re pointing somewhere at the target and you’ll hit the target. Whereas if your sight alignment is off, just a little, you’re likely to miss the target completely, even if your front sight is pointed directly at the center of the target.
Let me know if this helps you next time you’re at the range, or even better if you’re taking out bad guys and protecting our country. The next article in this series will cover breathing; and you thought you knew how to do it.
This is a series of articles by SEAL instructor Chris Sajnog.
Chris Sajnog, a Master Training Specialist in the Navy, was hand-selected to write the US Navy SEAL Sniper Manual. He used this experience, plus four years of studying neuroscience and elite performance, to develop the New Rules of Marksmanship — a fundamental shift in learning how to shoot. He’s the author of two bestselling books, How to Shoot Like a Navy SEAL and Navy SEAL Shooting, and the owner of Center Mass Group, LLC a 100% Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business in San Diego, CA. Chief Sajnog, now offers his unique training online at https://chrissajnog.com.