Correct Sight Picture

This is a discussion on Correct Sight Picture within the MP Full Size Pistols forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; I know that the sights should line up/level up. My question is should the center of the target be lined up with the center of ...


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Old March 24th, 2013, 02:25 PM   #1
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Correct Sight Picture

I know that the sights should line up/level up. My question is should the center of the target be lined up with the center of the Dots or on top of the front sight?
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Old March 24th, 2013, 02:30 PM   #2
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M&P full size are 6'oclock sights unless I misread.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 02:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopherloaf View Post
M&P full size are 6'oclock sights unless I misread.
Should a horizontal line going through the center of target also go through the center of the three sight dots?
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Old March 24th, 2013, 02:49 PM   #4
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Of these three, what is the correct dead center sight picture?
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Old March 24th, 2013, 02:57 PM   #5
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Center or #2 is correct. You should see, blurry target, blurry rear site. FOCUS clear at front sight. This has worked for me perfectly @ 15 and 30 feet. Using 11" x 18" target.
Do a Google search on "sight picture" and "sight alignment" or use you-tube, it will help you get a better understanding of what to look for. I'm a noob and these things helped me immensely.

These are from my 1st range visit, I was advised to use the method I just described to you.

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Of these three, what is the correct dead center sight picture?
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Old March 24th, 2013, 04:34 PM   #6
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Ok I forgot about number 3 so I'm not sure what I called 6'oclock is what I mean now. What I meant was target number 2. Going to have to look up 6 now. Both technically are I guess. Lol. As far as the sights, ginzo is spot on. Clear front sight, blurry target and rear sight.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 07:06 PM   #7
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Here is the best description I could find on sight picture:


Some people prefer a “6 o’clock hold.” Which one of the above images is that? Depending on who you ask, it could be #1 or #2.

Others shoot for “point of aim = point of impact.” Which one of the above images represents that? Depending on who you ask, it could be #2 or #3.

I am most accurate at #2. #3 blocks what I am looking at on the target. #1 is the "traditional" 6:00 hold.


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Originally Posted by Christopherloaf View Post
Ok I forgot about number 3 so I'm not sure what I called 6'oclock is what I mean now. What I meant was target number 2. Going to have to look up 6 now. Both technically are I guess. Lol. As far as the sights, ginzo is spot on. Clear front sight, blurry target and rear sight.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #8
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+1 on number 2!....Wait a minute that sounds weird!
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Old March 24th, 2013, 07:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopherloaf View Post
Ok I forgot about number 3 so I'm not sure what I called 6'oclock is what I mean now. What I meant was target number 2. Going to have to look up 6 now. Both technically are I guess. Lol. As far as the sights, ginzo is spot on. Clear front sight, blurry target and rear sight.
First image is 6 o'clock hold, third is generally called "shoot the dot", center is usually correct if you've done your job right. There are a number of variables that can effect POI including range, altitude, humidity, temp, but most of all... bullet weight. Heavier bullets leave the barrel later in the recoil stroke causing a higher POI, while lighter/faster bullets leave the barrel sooner, so naturally they'll have a POI below the heavier bullets.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 09:27 PM   #10
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With ALL M&P pistols I've shot, and I've shot at least 4 different ones, the top center of the front sight is the sight referece point.

I went to the range for the past few days, and was able to hit 4 inch and 6 inch wide steel plates that are 35 yards away with that sighting method.

I find aiming with the front sight dots to be inferior method. The reasoning is explained in the document below that I have made:

Combat Operations With Firearms Volume 1 Chapter 1 Basic Gunnery Release 2012-04-20

page 13~27.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 03:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grayblue View Post
With ALL M&P pistols I've shot, and I've shot at least 4 different ones, the top center of the front sight is the sight referece point.

I went to the range for the past few days, and was able to hit 4 inch and 6 inch wide steel plates that are 35 yards away with that sighting method.

I find aiming with the front sight dots to be inferior method. The reasoning is explained in the document below that I have made:

Combat Operations With Firearms Volume 1 Chapter 1 Basic Gunnery Release 2012-04-20

page 13~27.
I went to page 13 of your document and found that the site picture is what was shown earlier as the second of the three (front site cutting the bullseye in half). Is this what the firerms industry uses? Do all gun makers use this as a standard? Inquiring minds need to know. Thanks
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Old March 25th, 2013, 04:33 AM   #12
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Yeah and I do 2 for my M&P and for my Sig I do combat sight picture which is 3. I do remember that much!!!!
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Old March 25th, 2013, 04:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commonground View Post
I went to page 13 of your document and found that the site picture is what was shown earlier as the second of the three (front site cutting the bullseye in half). Is this what the firerms industry uses? Do all gun makers use this as a standard? Inquiring minds need to know. Thanks
That depends on a number of factors.

Many manufacturers do not state upfront what zero method they used. Also, it is my impression that most manufacturers, except for semi-custom type shots, do not actually zero each pistols. Manufacturing tolerances also is in play, so even if a manufacturer claims to zero with a certain method, there's always a possibility of difference.

TRAINING industry standard, not manufacturing industry standard, in USA is to zero with the top center of the front sight as the aiming reference point. Instructors such as Paul Howe, Gabriel Suarez, to name a few, and books such as Modern Technique of the Pistol which summarizes the doctrine of Gun Site training facility, Tactical Pistol Shooting by Erik Lawrence, The Modern Day Gunslinger by former NAVY SEAL Don Mann all advocates that method. Former FBI HRT Robert Taubert even says he does not want any dots or night sight inserts on his pistol sights.

Of course there are exceptions. Magpul Dynamics The Art of Dynamic Handgun video will show a method of aiming with the front sight dot. However, Chris Costa, one of the instructor in the video later states that he has an aging eye problem and prefers the fiber optic sights for that reason when he discusses a special version of an M&P he contributed to in a different video.

Company such as SIG Sauer states that they zero the pistol with the front sight dot as the sight referece point. However, my shooting results with many P22X series pistols showed contradictory results. I was able to hit targets out to 100 yards shooting with the top center of front sight as sight referece point. But, if the iron sight sight reference line and the 3 dot sight referece line is totally parallel, then impact point difference between the two methods are negligible. Comparing it with Von Stavenhagen type sights(a.k.a. Bar-Dot or dot over dot "snow man" on M9) would be a problem, since there is no true vertical "alignment" with those type of sights, which is the reason I hate them.

I have encountered one person on this forum who claimed that S&W told him they zero with the aiming with the dot method. However, when I asked that person exactly who at S&W told him that, he did not answer. There are many instances of customer service people who have poor knowledge of shooting giving non-sense advice, so they're not the best person to ask. My actual shooting with S&W M&P pistol shows that it is actually zeroed with the top center of the front sight as the aiming referecen point. I have also shot with the front sight dot as the aiming reference point, and I could not hit the point I was aiming at when I did that.

Even though most the real professionals and people who have real combat experience advocates aiming with the top center of the front sight as the sight reference point, aiming with the dot method has some proponents.
I have nothing against different people prefering different methods or trying different stuff, but I am against people spreading misleading ideas.

Some of the proponents of aiming with the dot would make a misleading effort to spread the idea that their aiming with the dot method is called "combat sighting," probably in an effort to promote the idea, even tough real combat experts say the opposite. Then they'd go on about why it is more suited for combat with ideas that are not supported by facts. Some of it may sound convincing at first to people who don't know better, and some if it is complete non-sense.

Certain major police department instructs the recruits to paint over the night sight dots during the initial training phase, so that the recruits won't start pointing the gun with the dot covering the point of aim.

Last edited by grayblue; March 25th, 2013 at 05:12 AM.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 10:08 AM   #14
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Wow, lots of great info feedback. I am trying to train the best way and stick with one way. I used Third sight method, center on the sight dot and was grouping low left. This means if I use top of front sight I would be even lower. I think my issue is trigger pulling and some anticipation on recoil. On my last mag I lightened up on the grip and used more of the center of finger pad on trigger and did better. I need to do a lot of training and sure look forward to the next range trip.

Thanks Members for the advice and training materials.

MP Carolina,
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Old March 25th, 2013, 10:59 AM   #15
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grayblues' comments are great, will have to read them closer. I enjoy the range, but I am there to work on my defensive skills. I don't think if the time comes to be defensive, you will have time to go "what now"? I work on skill set when I am there so I don't develop any bad habits. (I have my fun at the end of my session). Anal as I am, I take notes with me to remind myself finger pad etc..

As for S&W guns, almost exclusively, any forum, most people agree use #2, 3 dots across, top of front sight. The blurry issue I described earlier is your eyes can only focus on 1 thing at a time, we don't have the ability to focus on 3 things, (rear sight, front sight, target) the front sight is always it.
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