Ox here with a little 2 cent trick with you that may very well completely change how well you shoot.
There are several factors that impact how well you can shoot a gun.
Some of them are controllable, and some you just have to deal with. And some are a combination of both.
As an example, if you’ve been shooting a long time, the fundamentals that you show up to the range with will probably be the fundamentals you’re going to use. If you want to change them, the range is not the place…the place to change/improve your fundamentals is at home, with dry fire practice. That’s why we created Dry Fire Training Cards.
The gun(s) that you own is also something that you probably can’t change on a whim. And there aren’t many changes you can make at the range that will help you shoot better.
But 2 things that you can do are shoot good ammo (like the Freedom Munitions SuperMatch that I mentioned earlier this week) and make a quick, easy, 2 cent modification to your front sight. The combination of these two things can each make a dramatic difference in how well you can shoot.
Today, I want to cover the 2 cent modification.
In reality, it probably won’t even cost you 2 cents.
It’s called a “Gip”.
I first learned about the Gip from Matt Seibert…former General Manager of Colonel Cooper’s Gunsite Academy and creator of the Insight Deadly Accuracy program.
Matt’s created several things for the firearms industry that many people take for granted today.
Ever see tritium night sights? They were created when a friend of Matt’s told him he’d just gotten stuck with a shipping container from China full of teddy bears with glow-in-the-dark eyes. Matt took a couple of the bears, started drilling holes in sights, putting tritium vials in the holes & experimenting with adhesives until he found the right one, and the rest is history.
Ever see a self-healing polymer target or self-healing polymer poppers for use in indoor ranges? Again, guess who came up with the chemical combination to make it work and patented it more than 20 years ago?
Well the Gip is something that’s been a secret of champion bull’s-eye pistol shooters for decades but Matt (Deadly Accuracy 1 Hole Group Course) and former Navy SEAL, Chris Sajnog (CenterMassGroup.com) are the 2 guys who I have seen make the biggest strides in introducing the concept to self-defense and combat pistol shooters.
So, what is the Gip?
It’s a scratch, imperfection, or mark on the front sight that is approximately the size of the head of a pin (approximately the same size as the macula in the eye. The macula is the area of the eye with the highest concentration of cones). The head of a pin is smaller than a tritium or fiber optic vial.
Deep, clear focus on the Gip does a few things that shooters are going to be interested in…
- Focusing on the Gip gets more of your brain involved in the shooting process.
Stay with me here for a second, but focusing on the Gip guarantees that you’re focusing on the front sight. Most shooters look at their target, converge their eyes to center the front sight in the rear notch and on the target, and then converge focus on the front sight. This focus is called a “saccade” movement of the eye. In reality, most people are looking THROUGH the front sight instead of having a fine focus on the front sight because they aren’t focusing on anything specific on the front sight.
Focusing on the Gip is a “pursuit” movement of the eye that insures that you are truly engaging the parts of the eye/brain that need to be engaged to make sighted shots with extreme precision. This pursuit movement of the eye engages a completely different set of nerves and different (additional) parts of the eye and brain than the saccade movement.
Put another way, shooting only with saccade movement of the eye is like a professional football team choosing to play with only 7 players. When you include the pursuit movement, you’ve got the whole team playing.
It’s a little complicated to grasp at first, but rest assured that the concept has very little to do with intelligence and everything to do with recruiting as much of your brain as possible to take part in the shooting process.
- In the 100 yard shooting video where I hit 5/5 shots with a Glock 26 (here), I used a Gip. The front sight on my Glock is wider than the target at 100 yards. The tritium/fiber dot on my front sight is wider than the target at 100 yards. It’s definitely possible, but much harder to shoot precisely when your front sight is wider than your target. By putting a small white Gip on my front sight I’m able to essentially have a front sight that is narrower than my target, making it MUCH easier to hit the target.
- Aim small, miss small. This concept is well known, but the Gip is key to it. If you pick the 2nd button down on a shirt instead of shooting center-mass, it’s much easier to center the front sight on that button if you have a Gip that is narrower than the button.
- Focusing on the Gip improves shot placement on moving targets. When you have a hard focus on the Gip, your eyes will naturally (and unconsciously) center the front sight in the rear notch and center the front sight on your target. The unconscious mind not only sees 10x more frames per second than the conscious mind, it also processes hundreds of thousands of times more computations per second. If you focus your conscious mind on the Gip, your unconscious mind can drive the mechanical process of aiming the gun and releasing the shot.
- Focusing on the Gip, fully stimulating the macula in the eye, and engaging the unconscious mind provides an entryway to “the zone” or “flow” mental state. If you’re not familiar with “the zone,” here’s a couple of examples…When a basketball player is in “the zone” the basket looks as big as a hula-hoop and it feels like there’s a bungee cord attached to the ball—they just can’t miss. In martial arts, “impossible” things start to happen and you react to strikes before you’re consciously aware that they’re even coming at you. MOST professional athletes are gifted physically, but the biggest common denominator is that they’ve figured out how to enter “the zone” more often than most people and, as a result, are able to play their sport with their entire brain instead of just part of it.
One of the “side benefits” of being in the zone is that your heart rate slows, you have more control over the release of adrenaline and cortisol, and are better able to perform at a high level in situations that cause extreme stress responses in people who aren’t “in the zone.”
The combination of these benefits leads to incredibly rapid quantum leaps in shooting performance. You’ve heard it said that most people only use 10% of their brain. Well, if you’re a shooter and you’re not using pursuit movement of the eye to fully stimulate the eye and engage the brain, you’re probably only using 10% of your brain…it’s THAT big of a deal.
Rather than go on with the article, here’s what I want to do…First, I’m going to tell you how to put a Gip on your gun and 2nd, I’m going to open things up for questions…
It’s incredibly easy to put a Gip on your gun. You need either white-out, an appliance paint pen, or “sight paint” (sold at gun stores). Take a toothpick, wet the end of it (you don’t want a whole drop) with your chosen marking fluid and touch it to the top-center of your front sight, right above your tritium vial or front sight dot (if you’ve got one) until you’ve got a spot that’s about the size of the head of a pin.
In a pinch, you can use a technique that I used at the range yesterday…simply take a piece of tape and cut a 1/16” wide piece and stick it on your front sight. It probably won’t stay on for more than a day, but in a pinch, you can use it to verify the effectiveness of the Gip before doing anything more permanent.
Easy? Yup. Almost too easy.
At this point, you probably have questions. That’s awesome. Fire away by commenting below and I’ll do what I can to answer them.
I’ve been using these techniques informally (without names or knowing the science behind what I was doing) for almost 20 years and formally for the last 6. They can truly turn someone with ordinary ability into an extraordinary shooter.
For more information on using the Gip as a tool to enter flow state or the zone and shooting at an extreme level, check out the Insight Deadly Accuracy Home Study Course by clicking >HERE< now.