1 Weird 2 Cent Trick For Precision With A Pistol

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 the creator, 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?

Putting a scratch or mark on the front sight is something that’s been a secret of champion bull’s-eye pistol shooters for decades and Retired Navy SEAL, Larry Yatch introduced it to the Naval Academy Combat Pistol Team when he was a Midshipman, but Matt and Sherrie Seibert (Deadly Accuracy 1 Hole Group Course) coined the phrase “Gip” and unlocked the potential of this little jewel and they’re the reason why military and tactical law enforcement units across the country use it today.

So, what is the Gip?

Gip precision mark on my Glock front sight

The “Gip” on my Glock

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.

The word “Gip” doesn’t mean anything or stand for anything…on purpose.  Matt and Sherrie made up the term so that it would have no pre-conceived  emotions attached to the name.

Deep, clear focus on the Gip does a few things that shooters are going to be interested in…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 1/16wide 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.  The training is truly cutting edge and unlike anything else available on the market.

Ox out.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Larry Crocker says:

    Hi Ox,
    Great article! I have gone through the INSIGHT Deadly Accuracy thumb drive 4-5 times now, and the INSIGHT thumb drive on Eye Dominance a couple of times. For those of us over 50, being able to really focus on the GIP is an issue. I had to get glasses made from an eye Dr. who is a shooter. Really helped – one lens let me see downrange, the other let’s me focus on my GIP. You mentioned “the Zone” and I think I know what you mean, what it is. My question is: How does one gain the ability to get into “the Zone” quickly, and then sustain it, for the duration of the number of rounds in the magazine? I know you may have to check with Matt and Sherri before giving out too much info on this, but are there any tips you can give me? Thanks. And, I completely understand if you are not free to share this info in this forum. You really are putting out some of the most practical tips that I have seen online. Thanks so much.

  2. Mark Evans says:

    This really looks to be a good idea for longer shots but the story lost a lot of credibility when you said it was conceived of by a midshipman. Ask any navy vet and they will tell you midshipmen are walking liabilities that may or may not become good sailors about the time they make Lt. JG.

    • Mark,

      You may want to re-read the article. It was not conceived by a midshipman and I didn’t say that it was 🙂 That being said, even if it was conceived by Larry (A Navy SEAL) when he was a midshipman, it’s an incredibly effective tool.

      As to the distance where the Gip is effective…it’s effective at any range you want to be precise. From 6 feet on out.

      • Mark Evans says:

        Whops, yes Ox, a little fussy writing and a little over fast reading on my part. “introduced”. Anyway, it is a great idea, but trust me on the midshipman thing. 🙂

        • My mom used to be on the selection committee for Annapolis and The Zoo and I’ve spent a LOT of time around midshipmen and cadets…I know what you mean 🙂

  3. That 10% thing is crap, we use nearly 100% all the time, even in sleep. However, here’s a quote from neuroscientist Paul King:
    “It is often said that 2/3 (60%+) of the brain is “involved” in vision. However possibly less than 20% of the brain is dedicated to “visual-only” functioning. The other 40% is doing vision+touch, or vision+motor, or vision+attention, or vision+spatial navigation, or vision+meaning, etc.”
    So 20% is fixed on the gip and 40% is the aforementioned unconscious section calculating and swinging into action.
    Great tip. I’m waiting for my package to arrive from Prescott any day now.
    Thanks Ox,
    Don

    • Hey Don,

      I’m glad you mentioned that. What you’re referencing is a very common mis-application of the fact that fMRIs (Functional Brain Imaging or Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) tell us that we’re using the majority of our brain all of the time.

      Are there neurons firing in the majority of the areas of our brain the majority of the time? Yes.

      Are there neurons firing in the majority of the areas of our brain FOCUSED ON A SINGLE TASK the majority of the time? No.

      For many people, the pursuit movement of the eye to the Gip is what allows people to silence the audio soundtrack or punchlist going in their head (focus, breathe, press…focus, breathe, press) & mute performance anxiety, second guessing, and anticipation (anticipatory jerk). They go from “looking” at the front sight and having lots of mental noise to “focusing” on the front sight, quieting and focusing the mind, and dedicating all available and appropriate mental resources to the task at hand.

      I try to show videos demonstrating the benefits and write about it, but…like your comment illustrates…it’s really difficult to fully convey the process without experiencing it. I’m not sure if that makes sense or not…let me know if you have any more questions and enjoy the course!

  4. Lt. Donn says:

    You are assuming that us “Old Timers” can actually see the Gip….lol

    • Yes…I am, and you bring up a GREAT point. Thank you.

      1. If you don’t have well established neural pathways and can’t focus visually, you’re only going to be shooting with a small fraction of your brain…kind of like putting an RPM limiter on a car that you’re going to run at the track.

      2. One solution is to have your eye doctor set up glasses with one of the diopters set to be able to read a business card clearly at arm’s length. Better yet, find a eye doctor who’s a shooter and set the diopter to focus on your front sight.

      3. There are eye exercises that you can do to improve your vision. The same flacidness and lack of flexibility that affects other muscles and connective tissue as you get older also affects the muscles that control the eye. There are eye exercises can help with both sight & target clarity as well as acquisition and transition speed here: ShootersVisionGym.com There are free drills there, but get the whole course if you’re serious.

  5. Ox,

    I am an associate instructor with Insight’s only franchise location in Lima, OH working under Matt’s protégé Steve Farmer. I just wanted to say thank you for your article as I enjoyed reading it as well as your outstanding responses to the comments and questions. It just so happens that I assisted with a deadly accuracy class today. The power of Matt’s “gip” is truly amazing!

    • Hey Berlin,

      Thanks for realizing how awesome it is and going through the instructor process. I’m almost there myself.

  6. Great article. I recently placed XS big dot sights on my VP9. Will the GIP method also work for these sights? I know the XS is not intended for precision shooting.

    I also recently won a glock 19 and will try this on the standard sights. I told myself I will not make any mods on this gun until I’ve put 1000 rounds through it first. The GIP doesn’t count :-).

    • Hey Dean,

      I’m not positive what the best way is to put a Gip on XS big dots. Is there black space above the dot?

  7. When you paint or put the paint drop on the sight(top center)aren’t you changing the point of impact?…………Larry

    • The short answer is no…

      There’s a couple of things going on.

      First, it’s difficult to shoot groups smaller than your sight.

      Second, the main point of the Gip is to force a pursuit movement of the eye and engage more of the brain in the shooting process…specifically the right hemisphere of the brain. Doing this will trigger some cool things that happen between the eye and the brain, namely a desire to center things to 1/1000th of an inch. When you get a hard focus on the Gip, your eyes/brain will pull your sights into alignment like a bungie cord. It’s not QUITE that simple, but it’s the best way that I know of to describe the phenomenon.

  8. ScottyP says:

    I have stock sights on my glock 19 and 26. I know many people change the sights, but i like them. If i add a gip, does it make sense to black out the white front sight with a marker? Would that make my eyes focus on the gip even more? Thanks

    • There’s no need to black out the white front sight. There’s 2 things that you can do…

      1. Put a smaller white dot (Gip) above your existing front sight dot. (easier option)
      2. Put a tiny black dot (Gip) in the middle of your existing white front dot sight. (harder option)

      Both will drive process to help you engage more of the brain into the shooting process.

  9. For Duaine, isn’t old West style really TV style? For Ox, will using a gip improve my accuracy as I am learning to shoot? I’ve been shooting less than a year and I am typically pleased if I actually hit the target. I’ve yet to hit a bull’s eye, but I am getting closer. I have a problem with anticipating recoil and sort of freaking out a bit. That’s just gonna take more practice. But the aim thing is also a challenge.

    • Great question…

      First off, congratulations on actually shooting after getting a gun! Many people don’t, and expect to be able to use it successfully if they ever need to. I liken that to someone owning (but not ever driving) a car for a decade and then deciding that they can handle driving in 5 lanes of traffic at 80 miles per hour. The real world just doesn’t work like that and I commend you.

      Second, I recommend that everyone start off by getting PROFESSIONAL live firearms instruction. There are some nuances that you just can’t LEARN from a book or the internet. As an example, making an incision and closing it back up with stitches is something that you should really learn in live training. Once you’ve got that live training as a base, there are some great videos you can watch and books that you can read to refine your technique and give you ideas on how to do things better.

      Same with firearms training. Start with live training from a professional. Try to find one at a range that has several guns for you to try. You should be able to find a gun that you’re comfortable enough shooting that you don’t flinch. (with proper form, you’ll be able to shoot MOST guns comfortably. I have a .357 magnum snub nosed revolver made of scandium (incredibly light) that hurts ME to shoot, so keep in mind that some guns are just more painful than others and you don’t need one of those guns.

      At first, I don’t care if shooters have to drop down to a .380 or a .22. I just want them to develop a positive mental feedback loop with shooting…and that means associating shooting with FUN and dopamine instead of fear and freaking out. Again, don’t worry about how good of a defensive gun/caliber it is at first…find a FUN gun.

      Once you’ve got that taken care of, I’d STRONGLY suggest getting Dry Fire Training Cards, 3010Pistol.com, and/or Concealed Carry Masters Course and a SIRT inert laser training pistol to practice your technique without ammo, at home, until you’re comfortable and natural manipulating pistols. (This will completely eliminate your anticipatory flinch AND the freaking out part)

      Next, I would suggest going through the 1holegroup.com home study course…or fly out to Prescott and take it live. It will completely reprogram your mind as to what is possible with a pistol and I can almost guarantee you that they’ll take you from where you’re at now to shooting 1 hole groups in less than 20 minutes on the range. They’ve done it with more than 5,000 students before you and they can do it with you.

    • Val, It is great that you are shooting, I found that one of the biggest challenges I had was believing that I could shoot better with a handgun. Believe, that with practice, you will improve. By practice I don’t mean pointing toward a target, firing the whole mag, then seeing what you hit. I found slowing down and loading one round at a time and just concentrating on making that one shot count, worked for me. Fundamentals breathing, sight alignment, trigger pull. Lastly go to the range spot someone who shoots well and talk to them. Good luck. BTW I like the idea of the GIP and will try it, thanks.

  10. I had to widen the rear notch to get the correct sight, factory on mine was less than a hack saw cut. Made it easier to focus on the front sight, and I still center it in the rear. There is a ghost ring available would that be an improvement over the notch?

    • There are ghost rings available…for me it’s just a matter of wanting the simplest, straight line solution possible that won’t compromise my neural pathways when I switch to other guns.

  11. Am looking forward to trying this. are you aware of any other names/labels for this technique? Also, I like your tritium story, but the 1st I heard of tritium sights was a salty old Marine at Weapons Training Battalion in Quantico in 1990. Something along the lines of “what good’s a glow in the dark compass if you can’t hit anything when you get there? I’m going to figure out how to put tritium on sites – then we’ll stop shooting helicopters out of the sky on night shoots.”

    • Matt came up with the name, Gip, and if there’s another name for it, I don’t know it. The tritium sights for pistols came about in the mid-80s and for rifles before that.

  12. jlbrody says:

    Excellent read. I wish I had read it yesterday. I was at a match and not happy with my groups.
    I will definitely be giving this a try.
    Paratus et duro!

  13. LEE GARRETT says:

    When I’m focused on the front sight or Gip, then the center of mass is not in focus – the button? What button!

    • Good point…you don’t need the button OR center of mass to be in focus. The subconscious takes care of that while your conscious mind is tied up focusing on the Gip. The MOST important thing is to have your front sight centered in the rear notch. If your front sight is off to the right or left 1/8th of an inch, your shots will be off 7 1/2″ at 20 feet (depending on barrel length). But if your sights are aligned, you’ve got to move the gun a LONG ways to be off that far…even if your target blurs out.

      On the 100 yard shots, I’m not wearing glasses or contacts and can’t even see the target 🙂

  14. Duaine here and new to shooting handguns. Thank you for the gip article. My sons and I set up a can waist high and shot 10 rounds at it from the hip. Each miss we got to take one step closer. The first one to hit it from the least amount of steps won the pot. Not the CO kind. None of us hit it even when we were 5 ft from it. Is there any tips to shooting old west style and making a shot count.

    • DUAINE, when point shooting you still have to aim, even if its sub-consciously. 1st you should always start closer to your target and then work your way farther away from it. 2nd You can try setting up a small mirror to shoot at instead of a can, and practice drawing several times before you actually shoot. Alternatively you could add a laser pointer and again practice drawing or “dry firing” many more times than you actually shoot. Good luck!

    • There’s a reason this style (Western from the hip) is not taught. It is inaccurate, and you are creating a liability for yourself, and a possible loss of life for an innocent every time you send a bullet downrange.

      You said that you are new to shooting a handgun. Well, go take a course. If you don’t have the money for a course, get on youtube and look for respected instructors’ video clips. Don’t be the guy that brings his kids to the public range to “learn how to shoot” and you or them flags people, handles a firearm unsafely, or has a negligent discharge (not accidental—NEGLIGENT).

      If you think I’m picking on you, I’m not. You are risking peoples’ lives. How much time did you take at home, with your cleared pistol, to familiarize yourself with it. Dry-fire practice, handling/manipulation, etc? Or, did you take it to the range without even doing a detailed stripping/cleaning of it?

      Last summer, I took my niece to the range. We ended up leaving because of a father and his two children. He was ‘teaching them how to shoot’ and he didn’t have a clue himself. After the third time they flagged us (I asked him to keep the firearm pointed downrange and not at us after the first time). As we were leaving, he shot the ground about ten feet in front of him. All this was after I asked him if he wanted me to give him a intro to his pistol (after the first flag).

      • Hey Jeff,

        I wear a CAT tourniquet on my belt when I’m shooting…not so that I look like a high-speed ninja commando combat medic, but to CONSTANTLY give people a visual reminder about how serious shooting is. I know the possibility exists, but I seriously doubt that I’ll ever need to use it at a range. That being said, I like to think that seeing it serves as a reminder to people who might be having “too much fun” or who’s brains are too flooded with adrenaline and endorphins to think clearly and help them get their mind back where it needs to be.

        For people who don’t know, “flagging” is pointing your gun at someone who you don’t intend to shoot.

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