Definition of "Six O'Clock Hold Sight Picture" in Shooting Terminology

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In target shooting, the term six o'clock hold or six o'clock sight picture refers to the technique of placing the sights just below the precise point you want to hit the target. When shooting a paper target, the center bullseye will appear to be a black spot resting just above the point where the front and back sights are aligned. Some experts refer to this as an edge-of-mass hold. The point of impact will be at or near the center of the target.


The six o'clock sight picture is so named because the point of aim is at the very bottom of the target, and because targets are usually circular "6 o'clock" is the corresponding clock position. 

Some shooters dislike this sight picture because the point of the bullet's impact will be an unspecified distance from the point of aim, which makes precise aiming impossible. The six o'clock sight picture really works only for shooting at one particular distance at the same size target; if you change the range to the target or the size of the target, then the relationship between point of impact and point of aim will change.

I generally prefer the hunting sight picture for all of my aiming. Some authorities call this a center-mass hold, and it involves placing the sights in the very center of where you want the bullet to hit. A drawback here is that the front sight of your gun may "disappear" into the black mass of a printed target.

If you are able to overcome this, though, greater precision is possible with the hunting sight picture. The hunting sight picture is regarded as better for game shooting, defensive shooting and shooting at moving targets.

With either method, the key to accurate shooting is in aligning the target, the front sight, and the rear sight.

In the proper technique, the eye focus shifts constantly from target to front sight while aiming. 

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Chastain, Russ. "Definition of "Six O'Clock Hold Sight Picture" in Shooting Terminology." ThoughtCo, Sep. 20, 2017, Chastain, Russ. (2017, September 20). Definition of "Six O'Clock Hold Sight Picture" in Shooting Terminology. Retrieved from Chastain, Russ. "Definition of "Six O'Clock Hold Sight Picture" in Shooting Terminology." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 18, 2017).