Having a hard time hitting your mark with your Glock?
Getting frustrated because you just can’t hit a bull’s eye?
Do you feel like you’re wasting your money on fancy optics that just don’t help you make your mark?
You need not give up just yet.
You may need to focus on getting a good sight picture.
- What Is Sight Picture?
- What to Consider When Sighting
- Sight Picture in Low-Light Conditions
- Sight Picture in Long Distance
- Other Tips for Accurate Shooting
- Final Thoughts
What Is Sight Picture?
Sigh picture refers to the resulting picture when you have good sight alignment.
Sight alignment is the relationship between the front and rear sights when aimed at a specific spot at a distance.
It should show a focused front sight in line with a fuzzy rear sight and target.
Sight picture and alignment make all the difference between a real shooter and someone who just likes to play around with guns.
Glock Sight Picture
Glock sights are just like any other sights on any other pistol.
As long as you know how to use Glock sights, you’ll know how to shoot any hand gun.
There are two factory Glock sights: One with a front dot and another with three dots to help you aim and hit your target.
These two sights don’t have much difference.
Using Glock Iron Sights
Most Glocks, like the Glock 43, go best with iron sights, which are exposed combat sights located on the front and rear of a pistol.
To shoot well with a Glock, you must know how to use them properly.
There are two sights on iron sights:
- Rear sight: This has a space in the middle at the rear of the gun, closer to your eye.
- Front sight: This is usually a small dot or sight post at the end of the gun’s barrel, further from your eye.
Using iron sights is simple:
- Hold up the hand gun properly.
- Look through the rear sight aperture.
- Adjust your handling of the gun so that you can see the front sight post centered between the two “arms” of the rear sight.
- For proper sight alignment, the top of the front sight post must line up with the tips of the rear sight aperture, with equal space on either side.
- Squeeze the trigger.
What to Consider When Sighting
Now that we know about proper sight alignment and sight picture, what factors play into sighting?
Let’s find out.
1. Eye Dominance
You probably know that most people either have a dominant right hand or a dominant left hand.
But did you know that the same applies to your eyes too?
One eye is usually better than the other eye. For most people, that eye matches their dominant hand.
For example, if you have a dominant right hand, you’re likely to have a dominant right eye.
It may be tempting to just go with whatever eye matches your dominant hand, but take note that some people may be cross dominant.
This means that the dominant hands of these people are the opposite of their dominant eye.
So, for instance, you could be right-handed but have your left eye dominant. You could also be left-handed but right-eye dominant.
You can do a simple test to figure out eye dominance without going out to the range:
- Find an object that can be your target. It can be a shooting target in the range or a water bottle.
- Hold your hands out at arm’s length, overlapping your hands together to make an opening like a triangle.
- With both eyes open, position the object in the middle of that triangle opening made by your hands.
- Close your left eye first while keeping open your right eye.
- Open your right eye and close your left eye.
- The eye which has the object in the middle of the opening is your dominant eye!
Eye dominance is important, especially for competition shooting. It lets you know how to align your sights.
If you align your sights with your non-dominant eye, for example, you are more likely to be off-target.
Thus, it usually also dictates the best stance for you.
2. Eye Open or Closed?
Is it better to have your non-dominant eye closed or open?
It depends on the kind of situation you find yourself in. It may be good to aim with one eye closed for better focus if you’re shooting out on the range.
However, if you are in actual combat, it may be best to shoot with both eyes open for maximum situational awareness.
The option to shoot with your weaker eye closed or open depends on your skill level.
When aiming with pistol iron sights, it is recommended that beginners start by shooting with one eye, especially if you notice double vision when focusing.
However, as you grow in skill and experience, you may move on to shooting with both eyes open for better depth perception.
TAKE NOTE: This will take some training to get used to.
Don’t rush it and force yourself to shoot targets with both eyes open if you aren’t ready.
You may end up developing some bad shooting habits that will be more difficult to unlearn later on.
It might be a (shooting) mystery as to where to look when aiming with so much going on.
Should you look at the rear or front sight? Or should you look at the target?
You can’t possibly look at everything in an equal light.
While your focal point boils down to what you would personally prefer and what works best for you, we recommend that you focus on the target for a Glock.
4. Sight Holds
While sight alignment stays the same regardless of whether you’re using a Glock or a Sig Sauer, the sight picture may vary between guns and even distances.
The different sight pictures are known as “holds.”
Some are better suited for some guns than others.
Different Types of Sight Holds
These are just three of the most common types of hold.
- Combat Hold – The combat hold, also known as a frame hold, is characterized by a front sight covering the bullseye. If using dot sights, targets are covered by the dot.
- Center Hold – This hold is when the top of the front sight bisects the target horizontally.
- Six O’Clock Hold – The Six O’Clock hold is characterized by the top of the front sight directly under the bullseye. This is also called the “lollipop hold” or “pumpkin on a stick” hold because, well, it looks like a lollipop or a pumpkin on a stick.
Choosing a Sight Hold
How do you choose which correct sight picture hold to use?
For one, take into account that pistols are usually designed with a specific hold in mind.
A Sig Sauer pistol, for instance, is designed for a combat hold.
While factory Glock sights are meant for a combat hold, they are usually more versatile and work great with a center hold as well.
Here’s a simple test to figure out what hold to use:
- Get a fresh paper target and silver marker.
- Using the silver marker, make a dot on the bullseye.
- Put up your target at 10 yards.
- Hold your pistol properly and assume the right stance.
- Use a combat hold to fire at least three consecutive shots at the target.
- Put down your pistol, take the paper, and set it aside.
- Take a second target and repeat steps 1-5 with a center hold.
- Compare the two targets. The sheet with the shot group closest to the silver mark corresponds to the hold best suited for you and your pistol.
- If you aren’t convinced, you can set the targets at 25 yards and repeat steps 1-8.
That is just a simple, unofficial test that you can use to decide what hold is best for you.
Feel free to try it as many times as you like with different holds and distances until you find the hold that’s best for you.
However, take note that your hold may also depend on the angle you are shooting from.
Angles also play into what kind of hold you use.
There are two different angles to fire from:
- Precision slow shooting (slow fire)
- Defensive shooting (rapid fire)
Precision Target Shooting
If you’re out at the range and have the luxury of taking your sweet time to make your shots, then you can use a center hold for precise shots at your target.
With a combat hold, the front sight tends to block targets.
By using a center hold that slightly lowers your front sight post to bisect the bullseye horizontally, you would have a better aim point.
You may wonder now if lowering your handgun into a hold that lowers the sight post will affect the aim point.
After all, wouldn’t that make the bullet go lower on the target? YES.
It does make it go lower, but this difference, depending on the sight radius, is usually negligible.
TAKE NOTE: USUALLY negligible.
This drop is dependent on the sight radius of the gun.
While vertical accuracy may slightly suffer depending on your gun, switching to another hold could seriously boost horizontal accuracy.
It’s in the name: Defensive.
Defensive shooting is used to defend our home or the people we love in high-stakes situations.
Because a split second could mean all the difference between life and death, defensive shooting emphasizes speed.
No bad guy will sit around and wait for you to get your shots right. In such cases, a combat hold is best.
It may not get you exactly at the bullseye the way that a center hold would, but it is close enough.
It will, however, give you much faster sight acquisition and give you the closest possible hit in a limited time.
Sight Picture in Low-Light Conditions
How many of us have bumped into a chair in the dark of the night while looking for a snack?
If you are having difficulty finding the fridge in your own house, imagine how difficult it would be to shoot in low light.
It could be very difficult to tell if your front sight post is bisecting the bullseye, under the bullseye, or if it’s even near your target.
These small differences can manifest as big horizontal and vertical differences.
To achieve a proper sight picture in low light, it’s best to go for a combat hold.
Instead of worrying about all the colors and shapes blending in together, you can just put the sights directly on top of your target.
This works even better if you are using Glock night sights.
Sight Picture in Long Distance
Bullets don’t travel in a straight line to hit their targets.
After the bullet leaves the barrel of the gun, gravity drags it down to the earth in a parabolic arc.
The farther the distance, the more time the bullet spends in the air. The more time that the bullet spends in the air, the more gravity pulls it down over the distance.
Thus, the farther the distance, the lower the point of impact.
So how do you compensate for this bullet drop?
You can do this by adjusting your sight picture to hit slightly higher than your point of aim.
By doing this, you allow gravity to pull the bullet down to the intended point of impact.
Other Tips for Accurate Shooting
Of course, a correct sight picture is not the only thing to focus on.
Here are some other tips for you:
#1 Work on Breath Control
The movement of your breathing can throw your shot off.
It is important to practice correct breathing for a steady hold and proper trigger control.
Here’s how to breathe properly for the right shot:
- Take a deep breath in preparation for the shot.
- Exhale half of the breath to steady yourself.
- Hold your breath while squeezing the trigger.
- After squeezing the trigger, let out a breath before inhaling again.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Holding your breath too long can cause your heart to beat faster, thus increasing your pulse and making your hold on the gun unsteady.
#2 Develop the Proper Grip
Your hold on the handgun greatly affects how steady or unsteady your shot is.
Remember to hold your grip in the hand that has the trigger finger.
This may not necessarily correspond to your dominant eye.
It is important not to use your weak hand, as this can result in a weak shot and limp wrist issues.
#3 Develop a Good Stance
Regardless of what stance you choose, be sure that you are stable.
An unstable stance, with your weight and center mass not properly placed, will result in a shaky shot.
Practice, practice, practice.
We cannot stress this enough.
Practice until the proper PRACTICE become second nature.
While sight picture can make or break your shot, it is NOT the most important thing when it comes to accuracy.
For a great shot, you also need to consider trigger control, sight hold, and alignment.
The proper alignment for Glock sights means that you can focus your point of aim on the front sights, which are set dead center between the rear sights.
You will also need to consider eye dominance, or whether you have your right eye or left eye dominant.
If you’re shooting in low light, it may be best for you to use Glock night sights.
Once you know how to focus with Glock sights, you’re pretty good to go with any hand gun.