Do you own one or more accurate scope sighted handguns? Perhaps you are a handgun hunter and routinely take game with a scope sighted handgun. Maybe you have a flat-shooting specialty pistol with high-powered optics and enjoy giving the rifle guys at the club a run for their money. Or, maybe you simply like punching small groups in paper with an accurate .22 pistol mounted with a good scope. If you fit any of those descriptions this article is not for you. Stick around anyway and share your experience in the comment section below.
The people I most want to reach out to today are the optics virgins – the guys who shun anything but open sights on a handgun – the red-blooded individuals who always stand upright at the range and fire their open-sighted handgun off-hand the way God intended. I understand you guys. I was once one of you.
I began using handgun scopes somewhat late in life and begrudgingly. I was a little past 40 when I noticed handguns were not as accurate as they used to be. I fired off a few irate letters to the manufacturers insisting they get their act together but it turned out not to be their fault. It was my aging eyes that were to blame. It was then I discovered how useful an optical sight can be on a handgun.
Handgun scopes have value beyond simply providing more precise aim, however. They are also useful tools in developing good trigger control. In the quest for accurate shot placement with a handgun, good trigger control is at least as important as precise sighting, often more so. A rifle shooter may get by with sloppy trigger work, though he will never be able to make full use of his rifle’s accuracy. I know rifle hunters with chronic flinchitus who bring home the venison every year. Handguns are much less forgiving because their short barrel, relatively light weight, and lack of a stock for support magnifies every twitch.
The most common complaint among those who shoot a scoped handgun for the first time is that the crosshairs bob and weave all over the place and they cannot hold them on target long enough to squeeze off a shot. Of course, their open-sighted handgun bobs and weaves just as much only they cannot see it with the naked eye. To achieve true shooting skill one must learn to deal with the movement and release the shot during the fraction of a second the sights settle in on target. With enough practice this will become a conditioned reflex and it will almost seem the gun fires on its own when the sights are right. This is what is meant by trigger control.
In the same way bodybuilders use special exercises to isolate and concentrate on certain muscles, regular practice with an accurate scope-sighted handgun allows you to isolate and concentrate on trigger control. A scope lets you see exactly what is going on with the handgun as you try to release a perfect shot. If you put in the practice required to master an accurate scope-sighted handgun and reach a point where your groups on target reflect the true accuracy potential of that handgun, I guarantee you will be a better shot with most any handgun you pick up.