Before I get into MY theories on looking at the target or the DOT (not iron sights) I have a couple of things that I need to throw out there. First, I am a very jovial kinda guy and take very little personal or too serious. Second, The comments submitted by those who quoted The Great Bill Blankenship and the Late Don Nygord - They are legends in the game and at no point would I argue to say that they are wrong. I submit to you another way of accomplishing the same goal of shooting better in another way. I learned to shoot under the guidelines that Nygord and Blankenship wrote about. I have had the opportunity to shoot with and learn from some of the greatest marksmanship instructors the Marine Corps has had to offer. We were allowed to think out of the box and try new ideas. I only stake a small bit of claim to the ideas that I propose as they were a collaboration of Andy Moody, Mitch Reed, Mario Lozoya, Chris Hill and myself.
Basically we were trying to get Marines to 2600 as fast as possible because unlike the Army we Marines do not get the luxury of staying on the Team for life. We came up with ideas to get Marines better, faster. Last, before I get into the Dot conversation, I have found that many shooters think entirely too much. This is not rocket science, as if it I were I would not be a shooter. Hence, I am not smart enough to shoot bad. Erich Bujung, when he was the Olympic Pistol Team coach always said, "No stinking thinking". The mind is a terrible thing to waste and in Bullseye on the firing line, the mind is just a terrible thing.
First to address a couple of questions. I use a 1" Ultra Dot, not the match four dot, though it is an awesome scope and recommend it for anyone with failing vision. On a bright day outdoors my dot level is on about 8 in order to have small dot. With a dot I am not a big advocate of the Iris thingy on my shooting glasses. With iron sights, thatís okay.
At some point or another we have thrown a ball to someone right? Think about, when you threw the ball what were you looking at? The Ball or the person or object you were throwing at. Iron sights involved 3 items. Front sight, rear sight and the target or aiming area. With the dot you have but 2 items in play. The DOT and the target. (Before I forget, I do understand the difference between sight alignment and sight picture, but thank you for the reminder.) When I first started shooting Andy Moody and I were talking about looking at the target vs. looking at the sight. I was young and knew no better so I tried it. Keep in mind this was my first year as a bullseye shooter. I proceeded to shoot my first ever 100 long-line with my .22. Heck it was my first 100 long-line period. The Team Captain called everyone into circle and asked me tell them what I did that string and if I learned something. I told him I turned my dot down and looked at the target as opposed to the front sight. Oh My God. He about had a fit, but learning had occurred and not just for me. From that moment on it became not so uncommon for Marines to look at the target.
Here lies the problem. Many shooters that try this and do not get the desired results are not truly looking at the target. Keep in mind, to shoot a dot in Bullseye and do it well, you have to either focus on the target or on the DOT. Too many people are focusing somewhere between the DOT and the target. This is equivalent to looking at the target with iron sights. Not gonna work. Be true to yourself when determining where your focus is.
FOR ME, I find that when looking at the target I accept the wobble of the dot more and do not get hung up on the trigger. NOTE: if you have a big wobble area this is harder to acheive. There are days that my dot may not sit as still as I like and on said days I will bring my focus back to the dot. So if you have a decent hold you should be able to do this with a good deal of success. If you a big wobble, the true method of looking at the dot is great. Remember that is how I learned to shoot.
Does the DOT need to stay centered in the scope. The answer to that is a great big MAYBE. First of all we humans like to see things geometrically correct (I don't even know if that makes sense) What I am trying to say is We like to see a circle in a circle in a circle. If we had change sitting on our desk at some point or another we are going to stack it in the following order quarter, nickel, penny and then dime. If you stack another way that just means you are little more creative than the average bear and good on ya. So it makes sense to us to put the dot in center of the scope. Some dots you have to put in the center or you will get some parallax and the dot is really not where you think it is. Andy Moody shot with the dot in the bottom of his scope. Because that is where it rested when he brought the gun to the target. Why fight it, why MUSCLE the gun to place you want it to be as opposed to allowing the gun to rest where it wants to be? Make sense?
Please keep in mind that when it comes to shooting pistols, that I have had the opportunity to shoot with and learn from the likes of the earlier mentioned Marines and Steve Reiter, Doc Young, Jim Henderson, Jimmy Dorsey and have learned from all of them. I would like to think that I have an original idea to make people shoot better, but I am pretty sure that all I can do is relate what I have learned and maybe shed a different light on it. However I would like to think that if I wrote a book, someone would still buy it. If not for the informational value, at least from the entertainment.
I hope that this helps.