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TIP TUESDAY: “RED DOTS ARE EMPHATIC SIGNALS” WITH DUANE “BUCK” BUCKNER

Tip Tuesday: “RED DOTS ARE EMPHATIC SIGNALS” WITH DUANE “Buck Buckner` 

In the world of shooting, it's crucial to differentiate between emphatic signals and subtle signals. Emphatic signals, exemplified by red dot sights, effortlessly insinuate themselves onto a target, allowing the shooter to focus on pressing the trigger. This preserves decision-making space in the brain, with the visual cortex handling most of the work in a sympathetic process.

On the flip side, subtle signals, such as those required for iron sights, demand significant front-brain engagement. Under stress, the front part of the brain's capacity diminishes, making the simplicity of an emphatic signal essential. Long-term shooters need extensive training to master iron sights due to their subtlety, requiring intricate front-brain involvement to direct the gun and develop a solution.

The analogy of spotting a bright red dot in the sky versus an airliner at 30,000 feet illustrates the disparity between iron sights and red dot sights. A shooter's skill lies in picking up the subtle signal of the front sight under stress, running it into reference, and making quick decisions. The mechanical thinking required for iron sights becomes a taxing endeavor under stress, emphasizing the essential role of red dot sights in preserving decision-making capacity.

For shooters in extremis, the red dot sight's emphatic signal becomes a crucial tool, allowing them to focus on the target and press the trigger, unburdened by the complex mental processes associated with iron sights. Mastering the use of red dot sights can significantly enhance a shooter's effectiveness in high-stress situations.


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Author Bio

Duane “Buck” Buckner

After spending 25 years in the USCG, Duane “Buck” Buckner is now the U.S. Director of Training for Aimpoint. The Aimpoint Training Division conducts training courses for military and law enforcement agencies up to the Federal level as well as for the prepared civilian. Buck is widely known for his emphasis on brain psychology as it relates to combat and survival.

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Posted by Duane Buckner, Aimpoint US Director of Training on Nov 14th 2023