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Target or Reticle Focus

Sorry, what i meant is do you look at the reticle or the target when you press the trigger?
It depends....
If I am shooting a static target and trying real hard for a tight group, well stabilized, I look at the reticle.
If that target is moving, I tend to focus on the target and the lead I need to make a hit.

EDIT: But I am no top notch shooter...
 
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When dealing with optics, you are able to have the reticle and image on the same focal plane. So you don't need to concentrate one or the other like irons.

That's the short answer. The long answer is going to be dependent on things like how much time you have, is the target moving, etc etc.

But the overall idea is that since both are on the same focal plane, you just focus on fundamentals to make the smallest amount of wobble and break clean shots. Without the need to hyper focus on either target or reticle more than the other.


Of course when you have something like heavy mirage, then you're going to shift more focus to the reticle.
 
When dealing with optics, you are able to have the reticle and image on the same focal plane. So you don't need to concentrate one or the other like irons.

That's the short answer. The long answer is going to be dependent on things like how much time you have, is the target moving, etc etc.

But the overall idea is that since both are on the same focal plane, you just focus on fundamentals to make the smallest amount of wobble and break clean shots. Without the need to hyper focus on either target or reticle more than the other.


Of course when you have something like heavy mirage, then you're going to shift more focus to the reticle.
Thank you. Follow up questions 🙂. In your opinion what creates the smaller wobble zone? Maybe being too hyper focused creates tension, making the wobble zone larger?
How about when you are zeroing your rifle and trying to make tight groups?
 
When considering the “fundamentals of marksmanship”, that also includes Front Sight focus along with the others; NPA, breathing, etc. The front sight has been replaced by the reticle, but the fundamentals are still the same.
 
It depends....
If I am shooting a static target and trying real hard for a tight group, well stabilized, I look at the reticle.
If that target is moving, I tend to focus on the target and the lead I need to make a hit.

EDIT: But I am no top notch shooter...
Thank you very helpful
When considering the “fundamentals of marksmanship”, that also includes Front Sight focus along with the others; NPA, breathing, etc. The front sight has been replaced by the reticle, but the fundamentals are still the same.
Yes. i have always been taught this and have taught this as a pistol instructor, but there has been a lot of new research and things are moving more towards target focus (even with iron sights). I am new to precision rifle and am trying to learn if those principles transfer. I have found my wobble zone is mess when i am target focused but hasn’t necessarily translated to better shooting (i know a lot is simply me as shooter)
 
but there has been a lot of new research and things are moving more towards target focus (even with iron sights).
Ok, if precision rifle is going that route then follow the research. F-class/XTC/Benchrest are the old fudd sports I participate most of the time and they are all sticking with front sight/reticle focus since that question comes up a lot with new shooters. I do see that action pistol such as IDPA and USPSA are moving to a "Hard Target Focus" for faster times.
 
Definitely situational dependent. I'm absolutely focusing on quadrasecting paper bullseyes and steel silhouettes, and probably focus on the reticle more when target shooting. As said above, with both being on the same focal plane you aren't forced to put a clear object over a blurry one or vice versa.

Shooting at live stuff, I'm paying just as much attention to the animal, trying to anticipate any movement that might cause my round to be off...as well as observing the environmental factors. I definitely lose track of the reticle and remain on the animal during recoil.
 
Definitely situational dependent. I'm absolutely focusing on quadrasecting paper bullseyes and steel silhouettes, and probably focus on the reticle more when target shooting. As said above, with both being on the same focal plane you aren't forced to put a clear object over a blurry one or vice versa.

Shooting at live stuff, I'm paying just as much attention to the animal, trying to anticipate any movement that might cause my round to be off...as well as observing the environmental factors. I definitely lose track of the reticle and remain on the animal during recoil.
I know when I'm after coyotes, if I don't get them first round, it's a rarity that I get them on the second round or third. Since I don't really care if I shoot them in the leg or brain them, I go ahead and take shots 2 and 3 if I can. But I remain focused on that dog and not the reticle. I will very very rarely shoot the first round at a moving dog. I have a friend who is just next level at shooting them on the move. I'm not that good. I watch with my finger on the trigger waiting for them to stop. They don't usually sit or stand in one spot for more than a second or two and I have only rarely had one stop after taking the first shot. Usually they are gone as fast as they can get gone. Suppressed doesn't seem to make any real difference, they are getting gone. I have hit them as they are doing 40 mph but I'd lay that more to luck than skill. Not my buddy, though, he does it often enough that I would say it is skill. I tease him that he can't hit them first round because they are too still.

Sighting in a rifle or doing load development, I get myself and rifle as stable as possible and I pay much more attention to that crosshair and I pay real close attention to where that crosshair is when the shot breaks. i can usually tell that THAT shot hit where the crosshairs where when it left the barrel. Not every time though.

As for the wobble mentioned....that's sorta what I'm talking about. I USUALLY zero at max magnification. However, when shooting groups with friends (I still have 2) I can usually get better results at mid magnification. Less wobble that I can see, not that there is less wobble.

Iron sights? Well, even with my glasses on, that's nearly a lost art for me. Age takes a toll. I do best when I have the rifle zeroed with the post at 6 o'clock, so the circle of the target is resting on that post and the impacts are actually above point of aim. But that is for the NRA type black target and doesn't work on others unless I make an adjustment to the sights...M1 Garand, 1903A3, M1A1 rifles. I can tell that the black circle is on the post easily but I'll be damned if I can see that bullseye and the post.
 
Caylen touched on this on a recent MDS episode. I believe he has changed from the way he used to do things. Might be episode 99, but I'm not sure.
 
When considering the “fundamentals of marksmanship”, that also includes Front Sight focus along with the others; NPA, breathing, etc. The front sight has been replaced by the reticle, but the fundamentals are still the same.

This is simply not true. You don't just assume that you "replace" the front sight with the reticle. That's not taught in most any precision rifle course. Iron sights and magnified optics are not the same.

Take a course like Rifles Only or any other known course and we'll touch on parallax and thats about it.
 
Thank you. Follow up questions 🙂. In your opinion what creates the smaller wobble zone? Maybe being too hyper focused creates tension, making the wobble zone larger?
How about when you are zeroing your rifle and trying to make tight groups?

You apply the fundamentals of marksmanship in all scenarios. Anything else is in your head or you're applying fundamentals incorrectly.

You'll have to figure out through training and experience what acceptable wobble is giving your position and equipment. A 25lb rifle on a sandbag is going to have far less wobble than a 13lbs rifle on a lightweight bag with poly beads.

When zero'ing the rifle, you have the opportunity to perfectly perform fundamentals and you should have zero perceived wobble.


And on another note, perceived wobble in alternate positions is all in your head. You have the same amount of wobble at 10x that you do at 30x magnification. So, train yourself to not care about perceived wobble.
 
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Target focus.
Whether it’s technically right or wrong that’s what I do for practical shooting.
Scope, dot, or irons. Rifle or pistol.
 
According to Ryan Cleckner, author of "Long Range Shooting Manual" and formerly sniper team leader in the 1st Ranger Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment for a number of deployments in the GWOT, focus on the reticle after target acquisition. That is, find the zone of the object in the scope but focus on the reticle cross hairs or hold-overs.

Edited to add:

I should have prefaced that with the fact that Cleckner calls himself a tactical shooter. His job as a sniper and team leader in the rangers was to put .300 Win Mag pill into an IPSC shaped target, rather than piercing the earlobe. So, focusing on the reticle works well for that. But I imagine others may have different experiences shooting long range targets that are sized only at 1 MOA.

So, for example, Cleckner might not get a gong on the first round at the Texas Plinking 1K challenge. But he would definitely take down an enemy agent at distance.
 
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Sort of both. Place reticle on target and concentrate on keeping reticle locked on target before, during, and after trigger pull.
 
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