I read an interesting article on the Personal Defense Network “I Can’t See My Sights!” written by Grant Cunnigham , 16 November 2012. Grant did a great job explaining to older shooters the physiologic dynamics of older shooters, and recommended adjustments to help get you back on track.
I’d like to add a few things to “I Can’t See My Sights” that I hope will complement his excellent piece.
As most of you know, defensive shooting is quite different from target shooting; differing in several very important ways.
First is proximity. In a defensive situation the threat is generally within 20 feet of you. Second, you are shooting at a target that will react to your actions and finally you’ll probably be confronting a target in less than optimal lighting conditions. These situations are challenging to even the younger shooters, and finding your sights is a recipe for disaster.
To be a good defensive shooter you need to train regularly and diligently. Your training should emulate defensive situations; incorporating unholstering your weapon, dropping the safety, grip and extension. The effect that you are after is sight alignment without a sight picture. You are training the muscle groups in your arms, wrist, shoulders and chest such that when the weapon is drawn and raised your sights are already aligned, and on target.
As a defensive shooter your eyes are on your target and nothing else. You want to know what your target is doing, what’s in front of and behind your target.
There are a number of tools available in the market to assist you. LaserLyte, my personal favorite, has a line of excellent training lasers and systems. They are relatively inexpensive and very effective. This is a great starting point.
In my own personal training, for every live round I fire, I dry-fire 500. I set up a pendulum target ( to emulate target motion), I draw and fire; then start the cycle over again. If you choose to take a similar route start slow there’s no need to hurry. Find your sights and fire – remember that the effect we are after is developing muscle memory. Be patient, it takes time to develop skill. However, I feel comfortable in saying that by practicing two to three times per week, in two to three months, you’ll find yourself on target without a conscious effort to find your sights.
Give it a shot!