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Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

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Zeliard
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Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#1 Post by Zeliard » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:16 pm

Originally posted by Swampy

Don't know if I'm the kind of "Expert" you are after, but that's what my NRA Highpower card says I am... Have not quite made it to Master yet, but I'm getting real close... just have to string 3 matches back to back in which I make it above the 94% Master break point. Done 2 in row several times, but keep missing that third one.... Oh well...

Sight pictures....

There are several different sight pictures that apply to all USGI Service Rifles. What sight picture the shooter chooses is purely personal preference. There is no specific sight picture that relates to the position being used.... it's all subjective.

Probably the most common sight picture is the 6 O'Clock hold, or the "baseball on the fencpost". Obviously, it's putting the target's aiming black so that it sits atop the front post as if it's resting on it. This picture is probably the easiest to teach to shooters who are new to USGI type iron sights with a front post and aperture rear.

The next most common sight picture would be the Center Mass, or Navy hold. This is putting the top edge of the post in the center of the bull or whatever target is being used. For many seasoned and experienced competitors this is a bit more precise than the 6 O'Clock hold, but you do have to have a very fine control over your focus in order to hold down variances in windage and elevation. Shooters who are new to aperture and post seem to have the most trouble with this and do better with the 6 O'Clock.

Variances to these two are the "Flat Tire" hold and the "Line of White" hold. Flat tire is bringing the post just up into the black bull so that it appears the bottom is flattened, the Line of white is just opposite, holding the post slightly away from the bull so that a bit of light shows between them.

What you choose to use where depends on your eyesight, and what seems easiest for you to use in the conditions you shoot.

Personally, I started out using the 6 O'Clock hold in all positions.... It works. I shot a lot of very good scores with the 6 O'clock hold. Many shooters though, especially those with older eyes, have a problem with elevation because of a visual phenomenon I call the "bloop".... When you bring the post up to the bull and try to make a fine alignment with the bottom of the black, it appears that the black does not want to let the post touch it... it seems to contract and expand like a black balloon that is being compressed between two books.... but as you bring the sight up further to try to make it touch, it all of a sudden goes "bloop" and the sight is not just touching the black, but is fully into the bottom third of it, looking alike a "Flat tire" hold. There seems to be no middle ground here......

This is strictly a subjective phenomena.... Many shooters have never experienced it and look at you like you just landed from Mars when you try to explain it. Good for them... glad they don't have that visual handicap. As for me and many others I know, the solution to this was to intentionally go to another hold.

For me, I ended up using a Flat Tire hold for the rapid fire stages and a Navy Hold for the Prone Slow and Standing Slow fire. So far these have given me the best results..... My scores have improved significantly from the 6 O'Clock hold. Again, that's just me. Every shooter has their own preferences as to what sight picture they use in what position or circumstances...

I know many Master class and above shooters who still use 6 O'Clock and are happy. Many also use other holds.... or combinations of holds like I do.

In the end, try them all and use what works for you....

One thing.... Re the Sight Wings on the front sight. I know very few shooters who actually try to use these as a part of their sight picture. For me trying to keep track of where the wings are while doing everything else would be an added and un-needed distraction. My eye naturally centers the front post and bull without the need to use them. Most other shooters I know feel the same way. I'd advise letting your eye's natural ability work for you and just concentrate on the post and bull (FOCUSING, of course, only on the front sight post).
Also, if you index your sight alignment off the sight wings, your head position will make a difference in elevation. The effect of moving your head and indexing the wings agains the aperture changes the position of the top of the post within the aperture itself. Move your head forward and the post moves up in the aperture, move your head aft and the post drops. You will be shooting high and low depending on inconsistent head positon... IF you are indexing your sight with the wings against the rear aperture.
Ignore the wings...... Let your eye's natural centering ability do the work.
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Re: Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#2 Post by Gunny » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:40 pm

Good information, thanks for sharing
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Re: Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#3 Post by DaleH » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:52 am

Appreciate the insight into some of the advantages or disadvantages to the various sight pictures.

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Re: Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#4 Post by Rapidrob » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:20 am

I shot for the Navy and we did use "center Hold", however even with sooting the front sight,in low light,say as in the winter,the sight would meld into the black center of the target we would use the six o'clock hold on the front sight .
I still use that today on 90% of my shooting at long range.
As for the sight "wings" I do use them for one purpose, Do I have the rifle canted? I'm sure you have seen many shooters on the line in the prone or standing where their sling is so tight the rifle is pulled off vertical to the target. As long as they comp the rear sight and do it the same way every time,it works for them.
I on the other hand make sure my sights are horizontal to the horizon. This hold really improves the center hit probability using the Mauser/Enfield type sights as you will only have to compensate for bullet drift rather than add an angle due to rifle canting.
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Re: Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#5 Post by Ghoulardi » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:47 pm

I make it simple, I aim where I want the bullet to hit. for me that means aiming center mass
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Re: Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#6 Post by Smokey » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:19 am

I don't do competition any more, instead I'm using the rifle for utility out in the woods. For that I prefer the "center hold" sight picture, to align at the point the bullet will hit. That has the group sitting on the tip of the front sight at 100 yards. For competition, elevation is set to the "battle" point and I use a 6 o'clock hold.
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Re: Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#7 Post by M14man » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:53 am

Excellent write up for those who are skillfull enough and whose rifles are accurate enough to decern those differences. Most shooters would have large groups just due to their shaky hold or average 3 minute rifle. Those competers who can see a difference in a 6 ' O'clock hold and a 'flat tire" hold are rare since many rifles and shooters can't hold that difference. Then the health and decernibilty of ones eyes have to be good. Not easy to do all those things during the rapid fire stages, or hold steady enough to see those differences in the offhand stage,
Then when I was reading this..I said to myself; "This guy is one of those top notch competitors". He knows his stuff and has the quality rifle to get the effects.
I think those sight plans would be out the window with many of the Garands who have trouble holding black even off the bench and all the time needed between shots.
Good write-up though.

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Re: Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#8 Post by Smokey » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:30 pm

A standard issue Garand was expected to hold about a 4 inch group at 100 yards. With a little tuning (assuming a decent barrel) they will shoot much better.
The fit of the action to the buttstock is the first thing to work. Another it the tightness of the gas cylinder to the splines in the barrel. There's books written on accurizing Garands, But a few simple things will make most able to do 2 inch groups or better at 100 yards.

Of course, the shooter is most important. Participating in DCM competition will really improve a person's marksmanship.
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Re: Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#9 Post by Triumph6 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:38 am

I am struggling to understand how different sight pictures could have the same results. If the objective is to hit the center of the bullseye, I try (notice I said try) to put the post in the center of the bull. So, that's my picture. If I put the bull on top of the post my shots will be low. I don't shoot my rifles a lot but, my garand just amazes me and makes me think I know how to shoot. I really don't

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Re: Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#10 Post by les1234 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:04 pm

Triumph6 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:38 am
I am struggling to understand how different sight pictures could have the same results. If the objective is to hit the center of the bullseye, I try (notice I said try) to put the post in the center of the bull. So, that's my picture. If I put the bull on top of the post my shots will be low. I don't shoot my rifles a lot but, my garand just amazes me and makes me think I know how to shoot. I really don't
Triumph, using different sight pictures will require adjusting the sights for each different style. For a 6 o'clock hold, you have to adjust the sights to bring the point of impact a little above the "dead center" hold you're used to using.

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Re: Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#11 Post by Triumph6 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:32 pm

Thanks les123, makes sense now. I've read lots of things talking about using different sight pictures but not saying anything about changing sight adjustment.

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Re: Sight Pictures for the M1 Garand

#12 Post by Smokey » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:46 pm

If I remember correctly, with the sights set so the group (tight in this case) sits on the tip of the front sight; setting the rear sight for 300 yards allowed a 6 o'clock hold on standard competition targets. Note that the rifle would hit a little higher from the standing position (because the shooter would move more in recoil). For standing the black on the target was a little larger.
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