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Thread: Focus on Sight or Target?

  1. #1
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    Focus on Sight or Target?

    This may be an old topic, but I am really curious about what actually the right way to focus, sight or target?



    Olympic archery only please.

    I also shoot 3 position rifle shooting both 50 meter smallbore and 300 meter centerfire. Front sight focus is a must for rifle or pistol shooting, but archery may require different way.

    Let's go at it!


  2. #2

    Focus on the target...long range focus...fuzzy sight in the foreground

    Quote Originally Posted by 22big
    This may be an old topic, but I am really curious about what actually the right way to focus, sight or target?

    Olympic archery only please.

    I also shoot 3 position rifle shooting both 50 meter smallbore and 300 meter centerfire. Front sight focus is a must for rifle or pistol shooting, but archery may require different way.

    Let's go at it!
    Aim small...hit small.

    Keep the target face in sharp focus. Select the point of impact on the target face.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 22big
    This may be an old topic, but I am really curious about what actually the right way to focus, sight or target?

    Olympic archery only please.

    I also shoot 3 position rifle shooting both 50 meter smallbore and 300 meter centerfire. Front sight focus is a must for rifle or pistol shooting, but archery may require different way.

    Let's go at it!

    I was a A level IPSC shooter, master class skeet shooter-and in pistol you watch the front sight, skeet you are supposed to focus on the target. Frangilli notes that the sight should be the focus

    me, I am a subconscious aimer except in the wind or on a field (a second shot if I am off ) I really don't know
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuts&bolts
    Aim small...hit small.

    Keep the target face in sharp focus. Select the point of impact on the target face.

    that sounds like a bernie compound thing-lots of recurve coaches don't agree with that
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  5. #5

    I wonder what is the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim C
    that sounds like a bernie compound thing-lots of recurve coaches don't agree with that
    Many of the compound folks talk about keep the target face in focus.

    I wonder why a recurve shooter would want to keep the sight aperture in sharp focus. Actually, the reference comes from George Ryals IV.

    I shoot both recurve and compound, so I am fascinated that the two disciplines has such diverging views when the optical principles are identical.

    Only two choices. Focus on the near distance object (aperture)
    or focus on the far distance object (target face). I know that Limbwalker advocates the open bushing for folks who "overaim". I have used the Beiter apertures (my favorite was the cross hair insert), but I have found and grown quite fond of the open bushing homemade aperture.

    Sooooo, the rationale for a sharp focus on the sight aperture is.......?
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  6. #6
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    Why focus on sight for rifle shooting?

    Allow me to share this phrase from Ways of the Rifle by Gaby Buhlmann, Heinz Reinkemeier, and Maik Eckhardt:
    Aiming is a process of concentration. The conjunction of rearsight and foresight produces a picture for the shooter, from whcih he deduceds very specific information. Firstly the overall image is checked (cant, movement pattern). In the final moments all that exists are the ring and the dot and the symmetry of the distances between the two. A sufficiently centralised dot will be answered with the shot release reflex.

    The phrase simply describes an aimming feedback about where you are going to shoot at the target. It is by a precise differentiation bewteen sight and the target image where shooter fires the shot. I can only see the possibility that front sight provides a clear view as a ruler to measure or search a satisfied symmetry between sight and target. In triangle theory, it is advantage to fine tune the aim displacement near the shooter instead. This is especially true when long distance shooting is involved.

    Later the phrase mentioned: Further advances come about through automation. Frequent intensive taining simplifies and perfects the sequence, because the brain adapts to its structure. Just as muscles becomes stronger through use, so the eye aims more truly when is has been regularly staring down the sight. The links to the brain becomes faster, the commands to the finger travel faster and more exactly.

    Does it make sense for archery? Again recurve only (no rear peep sight).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuts&bolts
    Aim small...hit small.

    Keep the target face in sharp focus. Select the point of impact on the target face.
    Disagree with that, in fact since setting up my scope/peep so that the target is always out of focus my scores have gone up and become more consistant.

    For newer archers I recommend an open ring apature, for more avanced archers I suggest a dot.
    Beiter Nocks
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  8. #8
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    My untrained instinct would lead me to believe that there is a huge difference in aiming while shooting a firearm and aiming while shooting a bow (esp. a recurve). The primary difference being that one has a loaded cartridge, while the other is being "loaded" during each shot

    I want students (and myself) to focus their efforts on executing a solid shot (loading the cartridge), with aiming being a secondary function. That's why I use an open aperature, and use progressively larger aperatures for less advanced students. So they will focus on shooting, not aiming. No point in aiming well if you can't load the same cartridge twice

    However, for a rare few archers, I can see where their shot execution is so solid that they may be able to afford to shift their concentration to aiming a little more.

    Personally, the target is in sharp focus and I never, ever focus on the aperature. Which is one reason I began making my own aperatures, as the factory jobs were too thin, and I would lose them in my secondary vision.

    3/8" metal shaft collar from the ACE hardware store. That's the ticket fellas

    John.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuts&bolts
    Many of the compound folks talk about keep the target face in focus.

    I wonder why a recurve shooter would want to keep the sight aperture in sharp focus. Actually, the reference comes from George Ryals IV.

    I shoot both recurve and compound, so I am fascinated that the two disciplines has such diverging views when the optical principles are identical.

    Only two choices. Focus on the near distance object (aperture)
    or focus on the far distance object (target face). I know that Limbwalker advocates the open bushing for folks who "overaim". I have used the Beiter apertures (my favorite was the cross hair insert), but I have found and grown quite fond of the open bushing homemade aperture.

    Sooooo, the rationale for a sharp focus on the sight aperture is.......?
    rick mckinney wrote a great article on this in archery focus. he discussed the difference between the Cardinale (bernie too, maybe strickland and the russians) and the Rabska (also Dick Tone, and Charlie Pierson) method

    one was aim hard, the other was let it float and concentrate consciously on the back end of the shot

    curious Nuts and Bolts-what are your compound fita scores vs your recurve scores. do you use the same for both?
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  10. #10
    I like Limbwalker's method. I agree, shooting an arrow from a bow is different than shooting a gun. I think aiming like you are shooting a gun gets people in trouble with a bow.

    The few times I shot a curve, the aperture was too big and covered too much of the target. I am thinking a ring about the size limbwalker said would be great. I shoot a ring for spots indoors and it is about that size. I also have shot a ring at the Big Sky Open and it seemed to be the right size for the gold on the different faces at different distances. I want the target to be in focus. That is where I would be looking and not looking at the aperture. This is how I shoot my compound. I focus on the place I want to hit and pay little attention to the recticle.
    Last edited by Ivorytooth; May 19th, 2006 at 03:06 AM.

  11. #11
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    Check out this thread, it has some good info.

  12. #12
    i focus on a small dot or ring in the aperture. Although, it is probably more relaxing to focus on the gold, use a large ring and let your subconscious mind line up the circles for you.

  13. #13
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    I am long sighted and I shoot compound and recurve the same way as far as sighting is concerned, my main focus is the target. I have the pin as far away as possible so that it is the best focus I can get. My mental focus is on aiming, I depend on the 'autopilot' for loose.

  14. #14
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    I look at the target. However, at the same time... I feel its important to get the correct aperature so you know you can line them all up. In addition, taking out some of the glare... color and correct distance is essential

  15. #15
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    22 -

    Your right this has been discussed a few times.

    Riflemen focus on the front sight,archers focus on the target. The reasoning is the same, but you need different results ...

    Really boils down to the fact you can hold steadier with a rifle, especially in the lower positions (sitting and prone). By focusing on the front rifle sight, be it an aperture ring or post, you can pick up smaller movements and so refine your aim. Samething with a bow, if you focus on the sight you'll pick up smaller movements, but you may not really want to! Seriously doubt even the best archers will hold as steady as a good riflemen. Therefore, seeing the increased movement can be more of a detriment than a benefit. Also, given the distances riflemen shoot at, having the "target" in focus is typically impossible. (Don't know too many people who can focus on a target at 200 to 1,000 yds - it's a blur no matter what you try!)

    Add to that the fact that most archers are using an aperture, it's easier to just look through the ring (letting it blur) and LETTING the target fall into it's center. Besides, you're trying to hit the target, not the sight, right?

    Viper1 out.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viper1
    22 -

    Your right this has been discussed a few times.

    Riflemen focus on the front sight,archers focus on the target. The reasoning is the same, but you need different results ...

    Really boils down to the fact you can hold steadier with a rifle, especially in the lower positions (sitting and prone). By focusing on the front rifle sight, be it an aperture ring or post, you can pick up smaller movements and so refine your aim. Samething with a bow, if you focus on the sight you'll pick up smaller movements, but you may not really want to! Seriously doubt even the best archers will hold as steady as a good riflemen. Therefore, seeing the increased movement can be more of a detriment than a benefit. Also, given the distances riflemen shoot at, having the "target" in focus is typically impossible. (Don't know too many people who can focus on a target at 200 to 1,000 yds - it's a blur no matter what you try!)

    Add to that the fact that most archers are using an aperture, it's easier to just look through the ring (letting it blur) and LETTING the target fall into it's center. Besides, you're trying to hit the target, not the sight, right?

    Viper1 out.
    I think some people are merging two things into one topic

    Topic one-EYE FOCUS ON PIN/Aperture or on the target-since the human eye is only able to focus perfectly on one of the two-debate here-top people have different views on this

    TOPIC TWO-aim hard (no matter where you look) or put conscious mind on the "back side" of the shot. This is the Cardinale/Russian vs Rabska/Tone/Pierson side of the argument. once again, top coaches have different views on this

    people have shot top scores on both sides of each of these topics

    ME-I agree with Rabska and Pierson (both have coached me) and as to what I look at-hard to say-field I do one thing, fita or indoor sometimes the other

    SOMETIMES I spend most the time looking at my clicker
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  17. #17
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    I am with John on this one. Before I had eye correction surgery I could not focus on the target. I shot descent scores, after the correction I could focus on the target and my scores jump dramatically. I have to go back to a book I got from the Olympic rifle shooter, I forget his name I am sure Jim can tell us. The mind can only focus on one thing at a time. The top archers shoot so many arrows that there form is impeccable and they have ingrained it into muscle memory. They can do things that us mere mortals can not. This is what we have to come to grips with. I know that there are a ton of self help books out there written by great archers. They all have individual forms and quirks the are truly there own. We all have ours too. So we have to think of one thing either finishing the shot or what ever you are comfortable with and let the subconscious do its thing.
    I think you must find your form and be able to do it over and over again flawlessly. We are all looking for the fast fix and there is no one thing. The only thing that will help you in the long run is repetition of your form over and over again.
    I focus on the target and let the mind aim and think of my conclusion point. If I think of two things my mind gets to busy and I will fall off under pressure. I think we have to remember most of us on this board do not shoot enough arrows a day to compare ourselves to the top world class archers. You have to walk before you can run.

    Just my humble opinion
    Doug
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    I agree with Doug and John.

    Topic one - I am focused on the target, not the aperture. Main reason being I feel more relaxed when I do that.

    Topic two - Like has already been stated, the mind can only do one thing consciously. For me, my mind can aim better subconsciously than it can executing the shot. I use a large Beiter open aperture and 100% of my conscious thought is on the execution of the shot. If I even think about aiming for a split second, I let the bow down because 9 out of 10 times I have locked my muscles at that point and the drawing motion has stopped.
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  19. #19
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    I think each archer must find what works for them, and keep an open mind to other styles.

    I prefer to concentrate on the exact center of my intended target and allow my ingrained behavioral patterns to execute the shot. I spend a considerable amount of time re-enforcing those patterns so that I need not break my focus to deal with them…

    It may not and most probably will not work for everyone, but it does for me…

  20. #20
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    Talking for myself here.

    I personnaly focus on the target. I also like to have a point, for a while I had a hunting pin, I now have a Titan. However I use a long fiber optic to make it very bright so that I can see it without having to focus on it. I forgot to mention that I shoot with both eyes open; this allow me to see what is hidden by the pin.

    My belief is that the brain will automaticly adust the sight where your focus is. It's like if you ride a bike and just look at a pothole in the road (I just said look and not stare ) you will most likely run into it unless you make a conscious effort to go around it.

    This has been my experience, with a reaseonable justification. I always tell this to people, try for yourself and decide what works for you. But be confortable with the WHY !!!

    TomG

  21. #21
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    Tom, has it right too. The mind will take the site to the center of the target. I think that you have to work one holding off too. When the wind picks-up you need this in your bag of tricks.

    When I shot compound I used to aim intensely. I would start the back tension on the release and it would go off as I was aiming. This kept me from punching the trigger. I can not do this with a recurve.

    Doug
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    I must add that aiming off has never been a problem for me, even though I aim subconciously. Reason being, I shot recurves and longbows "instinctively" for 15 years before I ever touched an Olympic bow, and "picking a spot" and "burning a hole" in it, as it were, was just part of the shot. So to aim off, I simply pick a spot on the target, "burn a hole" in that spot and let the aperature surround it. Not an issue at all, even though I use an open ring. Big advantage, so I discovered. The entire week of the Oly. trials, I aimed at the left edge of the gold.

    In fact, I've found that I shoot better when I have to aim off. Aiming dead center is just weird to me. I seem to shoot better groups when I aim at the edge of a color than when I aim dead center. Hmmm, something to that I think....

    I tried (yet again) to focus on the aperature this evening at the range. Ha, ha, ha. Not for me. I looked like... Well, I must have looked pretty ridiculous while attempting that.

    John.
    Last edited by limbwalker; May 19th, 2006 at 11:07 PM.
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  23. #23
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    Fascinating discussion!

    For those brave archers, please get out to the range and give them a try on both target and sight clear pictures, let's say 50m shoot. Then take some reads on group sizes.

    Let's see if you can manage the shot execution from one picture to the other. There is no target panic here my dear archers.

    Cheers,

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shootin Young
    Check out this thread, it has some good info.
    hehe, my bad, i forgot to put in the thread

  25. #25
    So I analyzed my aiming today and found some fascinating results. I focus on both the target and the pin equally well. They are both equally clear and equally blurry. To aim, I concentrate on the new floating dot of the titan scope, previously I focused on the inner circle of the shibuya aperture. Anyway, focusing on the dot seemed to work pretty darn good for me at 50m. Was averaging 54's. Tried to focus on the target, but just couldn't do it. The eye just kept refocusin in on the dot. Did try to "burn a hole" in the center of the target, but I didn't shoot as good.

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