Gun Skills | Occluded Dots

Photo courtesy Frank Melloni

By Frank Melloni. Mar 31, 2024

During your introductory pistol training, you were likely told to bring the front sight or dot into the sharpest focus possible while allowing your target to blur. This was and still is the best way to produce your most-accurate shot; however, accuracy comes at the cost of speed, and when fractions of a second could cost lives, one must weigh accuracy against speed.

It's important to immediately begin building a distinction between target shooting and shooting to survive. Taken to an extreme, survivors have attested to using nothing more than their body position to aim the gun. Getting to this level, though, often involves breaking free of your original marksmanship training and, thus, becoming target-focused instead of sight-focused.

One of the best ways to do this is to work with an optics-clad pistol that has an occluded or blocked-out sight window. Now, you might think this is a drill to help develop point-shooting techniques, but if you're using optics, it's not. Your brain will still see a dot superimposed over your target, but only if you keep your eyes down range. And, by staying focused there, you'll find that you remain in contact with the situation, get on target faster and move to the next target more efficiently.

Everything you need for this pair of drills is likely already in your range bag. Pretty much anything can be used to occlude your dot, with some materials being better than others. Some suggest using a target paster (the stickers you can use to cover holes in a target so you can re-use it), but those often leave behind a film, and removing one might require a solution that could damage the special coatings on your optic's lens. Blue painter's tape typically solves that problem [...] .....


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