Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Marksmanship and Life 2 - The Front Sight Post

"God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference."
In life, the best one can hope for is control over one's self and actions.  On the rifle range, the best one can hope for is control over one's rifle and the shot from it's origin to the end edge of the muzzle.

The two main aspects of proper aim with a rifle are sight alignment and sight picture:

Sight Alignment. Sight alignment is the relationship between the front sight post and rear sight aperture and the aiming eye. This relationship is the most critical to aiming and must remain consistent from shot to shot. To achieve correct sight alignment, center the tip of the front sight post vertically and horizontally in the rear sight aperture.

Sight Picture. Sight picture is the placement of the tip of the front sight post in relation to the target while maintaining sight alignment. To achieve correct sight picture, place the tip of the front sight post at the center of the target while maintaining sight alignment.

The human eye can focus clearly on only one object at a time. For accurate shooting, it is important to focus on the tip of the front sight post the second the shot is fired. When the shot is fired, focus must be on the tip of the front sight post; secondary focus will include the rear sight and the target. The rear sight and the target will appear blurry. To stare or fix the vision on the front sight post for longer than a few seconds can distort the image, making it difficult to detect minute errors in sight alignment.

The human mind can only focus clearly on one task at a time.  To properly aim ones will towards a goal one should properly align oneself with the achievement of that goal and focus one's activities only on those things over which one can exert influence.  Truly, one only has control over the bullet until it leaves the rifle, so ones focus should be on  the front sight post at the end of the rifle barrel.  To focus on the rear sight assembly, is to dwell on the ego, and ones aim will drift off target.  To focus only on the target is to lose the present moment, and the task at hand of keeping that 24 inch tube directed where it needs to be.

Two illustrations of what I'm trying to express:
  • While I am certain that making money was surely a goal of Henry Ford, I doubt that he went in to work each day focused on that.   One can see from the results of his life that he went in each day focused on the best way to make as many quality cars as possible, the money was a desirable side effect.
  • If a person is lonely and wants a partner, I think the best way for that person to achieve his/her goal is to focus on being happy first, and then companionship will follow. I have heard it sarcastically said that nothing attracts women like the sweet scent of desperation. It's only when one stops grasping after the fruits of desire and performs ones duty that those fruits are obtained.
The lesson I took from this aspect of shooting was that the best results are achieved when one is concentrating on those things one can directly do, and trust that the rest of the universe will do it's part.  Doesn't always produce success, but I've not found better success with anything else.

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