MARKSMANSHIP BASICS - Sight Picture

Ian M

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#1 What is the optimum number of seconds for your final focus prior to releasing the shot.

#2 Do you focus your crosshairs by releasing the lock ring on the eyepiece and turning the eyepiece as necessary? What is your actual procedure for doing this?
 

Buffalobob

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#1 What is the optimum number of seconds for your final focus prior to releasing the shot.

Depends on what kind of physical shape you are in. I would guess less than five seconds is normal. To me final focus is when the crosshairs are still on the target and the target is believed to be still and correctly positioned for the shot and every thing is ready.

#2 Do you focus your crosshairs by releasing the lock ring on the eyepiece and turning the eyepiece as necessary? What is your actual procedure for doing this?
I normally only do this when I get a scope but I am growing more concerned with it and seem to be adjusting a lot more than I used too. I fiddle with the parallax each time I change distance or if things don’t seem right.
 

BountyHunter

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How long to hold.

Depends if from bench or less stable position. From the bench it should not matter greatly, but you can only focus for 3-5 seconds and your breathing must be controlled. full breath, half out, slow steady pull of the trigger.

Less stable, pretty much the same only you must remember, you will rarely be solid and unmoving in the middle of the target. You will normally have an arc of wobble and same breathing tech and slow pull of the trigger. All shooters have an arc of wobble, just smaller in the Olympic shooters.

BH
 

Sludge

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#1 What is the optimum number of seconds for your final focus prior to releasing the shot.
That depends on whether I am on a stable or unstable rest. I just let the shot happen when its ready. I dont time it and each shot is a little different. On a decent rest, I would say it averages around the 3-5 second mark that others here have mentioned.

#2 Do you focus your crosshairs by releasing the lock ring on the eyepiece and turning the eyepiece as necessary? What is your actual procedure for doing this?
Well, I usually work on the eyepiece only when I first mount a scope. I take it out on a star lit night. I turn the side focus to infinity and then I open both eyes and look at a distant star. One eye through the scope. One eye not. Since the star will appear to be a single point of light to both eyes I focus the eye peice until I can see clearly with both eyes. Then I lock it down and I dont mess with it again. From there on I just use the side focus and my crosshairs are always in the same focal plane as what ever I adjust the side focus to. Now, I mess with the side focus every time I change distances, but not the eyepiece. Thats what works for me. My two cents, your mileage may vary...
 
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Ian M

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All of you fellows, sincere thanks. Appreciate your input, more info I have to work with the better.
ian
 

cva54

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Dec 24, 2007
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this is just me and what ive learned in 1 year it started out 1 year ago when I seen deer out 300Y or more didnt have range finder THEN and my scope was a VX1 3-7x32 (i think 32) after that realized I set up this rifle wrong ! So new scope was looking at a zisse conquest 3.5-10x40 lepuold VX3 3.5x40 I had the 650.00 in my pocket I ended up getting a burris full field 2 3-9x40 saved me a lot of $ I put the rest into the rifle triger job and so on I beeded it my self after it was shooting all over the place it now shooting 1 3/4 at a 100Y useing a vary bad rest log in the woods perty shure it is better than that I now feel confendent on shooting farther
 

BigSkyGP

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Billings, MT
#1 What is the optimum number of seconds for your final focus prior to releasing the shot.

Fucus as in concentration, or focus as in optical?

#2 Do you focus your crosshairs by releasing the lock ring on the eyepiece and turning the eyepiece as necessary? What is your actual procedure for doing this?
> +1 on Sludge's method. For paralax use SF, or AO. The reticle absolutely must be seen clearly, that is the base sight alignment, precedes your sight picture, in importance.

I have a few lower end scopes, and adjusting the eye piece focus other than at the range, where zero can be re-verified, is a no-no. The distortion from the poor glass, and lose thread fit on the eye piece, actualy apears to move the reticle.
 

BillR

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Feb 28, 2002
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Nebraska
#1 how long do I wait before release. I might look at the animal through a scope for quite a while before deciding to shoot depending on circumstances but when its time it isn't long. Maybe a couple seconds max.
#2 To focus your cross hairs I find a blank spot on a house or building with nothing to look at except for the blank wall and then I focus the cross hairs till their clear. I check focus 3 or 4 times and readjust if needed. Once that is done its done. I never have needed to do it in the field unless its a new scope that I have not done this with and find it necessary. If I have a side focus or AO I might move this back and forth till it clears up the sight picture but it should not be necessary to adjust the cross hairs.
 

gunsmith

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I have a huge, powerful heartbeat every 2+ seconds that really rattles my sight window, and so I prefer a military take-up trigger and I pull it back when I'm on the target. No surprise, and I have to live with the fact that it is easy to develop bad habits. If I get my angle on a game animal, I wait for the heartbeat, drop the crosshairs in place, and squeeze the trigger.

Most range masters are amazed at how long I can stay in the sight window and still hit the bullseye, but I do not recommend that anyone shoots like me. It is all wrong for everyone else, but best for my limitations.
 

Greyfox

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For me the sight picture is directly linked to my trigger break. I intensify my focus on seeing just the crosshair(like the front bead on open sights). As this intensity hits max, the trigger breaks. All this occurs in under 5 seconds.

I focus my crosshair with the eyepiece adjustment when I mount the scope and check it before every shooting session visually.
 

Cold Trigger Finger

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Copper Basin, Alaska
For me it's all about trigger timeing. I can most of the time call my shots.
I try to go by the rule of take my time in a hurry.
I'm not a target shooter competitively as there are no rifle competition s close to me.

The 2 biggest problems I see with guys hunting is rushing the shot and taking WAY TOO LONG to shoot.
But there is a boat load that I don't know about shooting so.
 

Cold Trigger Finger

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As I am continuly learning about long range and precision shooting I did have a question, how many focus on the target, how many focus on the cross hairs??
Historically I have focused on the target but now I'm getting unexplained fliers that I know are not the rifle.
Sorry for asking such a greenhorn question but I'm getting very frustrated trying to get the best group my rifle can shoot. Thank you.
Grey fox; I was hoping more members would comment on your post. I will try your method next time I'm at the range.
 

gunsmith

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Cold Trigger - My uncle was a famous range master - most police say he was the best ever, though he immediately bought up Gunnery Seargeant Carlos Norman Hathcock III's name if the issue was ever brought up. He said Gunny Hathcock could teach windage better than anyone he ever knew, so at least figure my uncle was pretty doggone good at teaching shooting.

I very clearly recall him scolding me on that very question.

He said, "Now I'm going to tell you, look at the target, but you're a **** college student and you're going to try to line up the target, the front sight, the back sight, and you're going to be shooting all over the place.

If I tell a brick layer, 'Look at the target', he's going to look at the target and he'll out-shoot you for as long a time it takes for you to learn to look at the stinking target."

Now, scopes in a hunt are a bit different. If he's standing, I let my eye peek at a point of aim above the animal, click and hold over for wind, but look at the shoulder blade (or appropriate place on the animal as I break on the trigger. I usually know right about where in the crosshair window I'm using as point of aim, though I don't trust many scopes right down at the bottom of the window. Spherical abberation throws you off a bit on most scopes. Zoom out, and sight him in the good part of the glass.

Practice this on deer and coyote silhouettes until you KNOW your scope's zoom, and how it affects holdover and drop. If he's moving toward cover, don't waste time peeking. Lead him and pull the trigger.

I hope this helps. Humbly, gunsmith.
 

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