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  1. #1
    nukehayes's Avatar
    nukehayes is offline Member
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    Peep sight trouble

    This is a little embarrasing. I had to re-qualify on the M-16 today and I didn't do so hot. The course of fire was 25 yards, 8x11 sheet of paper with a 1 inch bullseye, shooting 40 rounds from a combo of prone, kneeling, and standing. I didn't make the minimum and was told to come back next week. The course was time sensitive, this may have rushed me a bit. I am not new to shooting at all, I have been shooting since I was 5 or 6. Granted I would rather shoot a handgun, and I like carbines over full sized rifles, but the navy says I need to shoot their M-16 well, so... I don't think I am using the peep sight as I should, I never liked them in the first place. It was on the smaller aperature setting, things would go blurry, I still am not sure on what to focus on with it. I think a few of my shots today were off because I misstook one of the front sight protective flanges for the actual sight. I need help guys, before next week. My breathing and trigger control were okay, I just can't use the peep sight.

  2. #2
    jwkimber45's Avatar
    jwkimber45 is offline Senior Member
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    At that range flip to the larger of the two apatures. focus on the top of the front sight, center it on the bull. SQUEEZE the trigger. HIT, HIT, HIT.......

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    nukehayes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwkimber45 View Post
    At that range flip to the larger of the two apatures. focus on the top of the front sight, center it on the bull. SQUEEZE the trigger. HIT, HIT, HIT.......
    I tried to flip the sight aperature and got yelled at by the Range officer. I don't know why they would want me to keep it small, but that's what happened.

  4. #4
    jwkimber45's Avatar
    jwkimber45 is offline Senior Member
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    Dang. I wouldn't know either. focus on the front sight, your eye will auotmatically center in the rear apature. It a weird brain thing, don't ask, just the way the body works I guess....

  5. #5
    john doe. is offline Banned
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    Hey nukehayes. Iíll see if I can help you out here. I was a Security Policeman and sniper on a spec ops team in the Air Force. That was 1979-1983 so my old memory may be fuzzy since I have not shoot the M16 since the late nineties when I was in the Army Guard (and not much then- I was a Combat Medic)). I also shot competition on a marksmanship team (Air Force) and competed worldwide (1980 Worldwide Security Police Marksmanship Team). Ya, Iím patting myself on my back. I loved it and itís great memories for me.

    If I recall right, and Mike could help me out here, the small aperture is used for long range. The front post should be what is in focus just like on a handgun. The rear and target should be fuzzy. Take in breath, let a little out, hold breath, squeeze trigger, breath.

    Once you have a target in sight maybe take a look at the post and protective wings to make sure you are on the right spot.

    In kneeling position I was able to get down and sit on my right foot which was legal since my butt was not touching the ground. It was a very sturdy position. I put my gun elbow into the side of my knee and got very low.

    Standing as you know can be more difficult. What I was taught was to let the rifle get into a natural figure eight rotation and then slowly squeeze the trigger when it comes up to target. If you try to fight the hold on the target you will probably shake more than necessary.

    I hope I helped. Good luck. The M16 is a blast to shoot so donít let it intimidate you.

  6. #6
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    I use the small aperture on the Army's 25 yard "Alternate Qualification Course," which is somewhat similar to what you describe. I have worn an Expert badge my whole career; here's what I do:

    * Find your natural point of aim, where the rifle is pointed at the target without excess muscular tension holding it there. In recoil, it should pop up and pop right back down onto the target if you have your natural point of aim correct. If it is not correct, adjust your body position, sandbags if used in prone, etc.

    * Maintain a hard focus on the top of the front sight, as JW said, while firing the shot.

    * You need a consistent cheek weld to keep your eye the same distance from the rear sight at all times, in all positions. The best way to consistently achieve that index is to put the end of your nose in light contact with the charging handle. The M16 does not kick, so this isn't a safety problem. Nose to charging handle for every shot!

    * If you find it difficult to focus on the front sight, just close your eyes and rest them for a few seconds. You can also move the eyes from side to side, or focus MOMENTARILY on the target. When you return to the front sight before firing your next shot, the focus should be sharp again. This happens to me every time I qualify.

    * In unsupported prone shooting, "cheat" and rest the magazine on the ground. Works great as a monopod. The purpose of shooting is hitting.

    * Make every shot feel the same, in terms of where the sights are and how the trigger press feels. Consistency is the key to good shooting.

    Review of things you said were okay:

    * Control your breathing. I inhale, exhale, and fire in the "natural respiratory pause" between breaths. Some people inhale, let it half-out, and fire. Both can work, just don't have your chest moving while you fire a shot. Vertical stringing is the sign of poor breath control.

    * Press the trigger straight to the rear. Make sure you feel it reset between every shot; this will help your follow-through.

    As far as time, you're usually her ahead of the clock than you think you are. Even if you are behind, don't rush. A miss is penalized the same as a non-fired shot, anyway.

    If you can obtain a copy in time, study Jeff Cooper's "The Art of the Rifle" for excellent info on correct field shooting positions.

    Good luck next week.
    Last edited by Mike Barham; 10-25-2006 at 01:49 PM.
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  7. #7
    nukehayes's Avatar
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    I got yelled at for resting the bottom of the mag on the deck as well. Actually, this sounds wierd, my best group was standing. 10 rounds in ten minutes. I tucked my support elbow into my waist and placed the bottom of the magazine in my palm, with my fingers facing down range. Maybe I had too much coffee and not enough breakfast this morning, that front sight just seemed to dance every where, even prone and kneeling. By the way, I sat on my foot for the kneeling as well. I just wish I knew someone around here that had one to practice with it empty. This is so frustrating, esp. since I qualified expert on the M9 two days ago and got the best time/hits on the PWC course yesterday (it's kinda like an IDPA thing, lots of fun.) I think I need to work on cheek weld. That's the thing though, I noticed that if I moved my face a little left or right, the peep sorta 'moved' as well and then the muzzle would have to move to keep the front sight centered. ARRRGH! why can't the military just use a notch rear!!!!

  8. #8
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukehayes View Post
    I got yelled at for resting the bottom of the mag on the deck as well...ARRRGH! why can't the military just use a notch rear!!!!
    Eh, range control guys almost never do real-world shooting. They are usually target shooters rather than warfighters, and often think the qual range is the end-all be-all of firearms use. I always jam the mag in the dirt. Screw 'em. Army guys are supposed to love dirt, anyway.

    A rear notch is far less precise than an aperture. Also slower than a large aperture ("ghost ring"). The eye naturally centers the front sight in an aperture, when properly used, essentially eliminating one focal plane (the rear sight). A notch forces the eye to work on three focal planes (rear sight, front sight, target) rather than just the two (front sight, target) of the aperture sight. The aperture is superior.
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