Pistol Sights

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    Devereaux
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    Pistol Sights

    Post by Devereaux on Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:55 am

    I have taken the stroll through sights over the years, going from the stock stuff on a weapon, to custom sights, to night sights - and am now back to "stock" stuff mostly. My journey has taken me from the stuff that came on my Colt Commander (really difficult to use, VERY "low profile") to thing like Novak's, to Trijicon, and now, at least on my Sigs, back to the original sights.

    Much of my early shooting was bullseye, so target sights were the standard, and I sort of thought one should have that kind of sight on everything. There certainly was the kool factor in target sights, especially with early Bomar ribs. Still, the large sight face plus the sharp corners, were not really good ideas for something to carry. But remember that in those days (probably before many if not most of you were born), carry was not much of an option, almost anywhere. I had one of the rare handgun licenses in Cambridge, Massachusetts because I shot regularly on a bullseye team. That license was necessary to simply bring a handgun from home to anywhere, and it allowed you to carry concealed to boot. So since I had a trip in questionable turf with a gunbox full of target guns, I had the regular habit of wearing my Commander in an original Jackass shoulder holster as a side carry.

    Eventually I went to Novak low profile sights. As my background was bullseye, I went with the adjustable ones - something I have only of late come to understand is not really necessary. Those went with me on deploymenyts to such exotic places as Honduras, plus was my regular ride down next to my seat as I traversed the wide open farmland of central Illinois. Not "legal" but I really didn't care too much, and since most of the time I was going to drill I couldn't be detained anyway (constitutions can be nice now and then).

    I went to Trijicons when I had my Glock 17. It was kind of the rage then, and I have never been one to not look at the rage in weaponry. They had the neat glow, and looked trick as heck, but I found thatg they were not so easy to line up in the dark. Too many green lights.

    Currently I have several Sigs that I would consider serious carry guns. On the 227 I still have the stupid rears with the dots and the rear overhang that come with the weapon, awaiting the availability of the standard blades that Sig has used on previous classic line sights. I received my first 226 with the rears turned around and found it SO easy to shoot well that I have turned the rears around on all my other Sigs, and will install the new rear on the 227 that way whenever I get it.

    My main reason to be so long-winded, however, was spurred by the podcast that I listened to from Doc featuring AJ's review of the Legacy 1911. He mentioned that it didn't come with night sights, as if that was a lack of an important feature. I cannot, for the world, understand just why that would be.

    "Night sights" appear to only allow you to line up sights in total darkness. That seems like a good thing - until you consider that while alining sights has benefits, having a target is more important. ?Does one really want to be shooting in total darkness without being able to ID and line up upon the target. To do that you need a light - and that makes night sights unnecessary.

    At the same time, those little glowers are bright. In the dark you can see the glow from those puppies. So in effect you have ID'd your position without the benefit of knowing where your target its. Stikes me as not a good thing.

    ?So what say you guys and gals.


    Last edited by Devereaux on Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Devereaux
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    Re: Pistol Sights

    Post by Devereaux on Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:01 am

    Sorry about some of the misspellings. This is done on an iPad, and it acts weirdly. Even in the edit mode I can't seem to see the whole thing - just the top part.
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    Charlie Foxtrot
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    Re: Pistol Sights

    Post by Charlie Foxtrot on Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:41 pm

    For any question on sights I suspect that there is no one answer; personal preference being key. It does make choosing a sight a long and somewhat frustrating endevour.

    Like Dev, I had an initial infatuation with Trijicon. It quickly faded (pun fully intended.) I found lining up the three dots with the target to be slow and ineffective. I recently got a set of Warren Tactical Sights for my G17. The green fiber optic front sight really captures the eye and works very well as a combat sight. And it's not bad as a low light sight, using only the front sight. However the pistol is shooting about 2 inches low at 7 yards - I probably need a shorter front sight. Frack.

    My wife's M&P 9 has a three dot sight. If it was mine, the Sharpie would be employed quickly on the rear sight.

    At a Kathy Jackson Cornered Cat class, she taught a dark shooting technique where you lock into your practiced shooting stance, trusting that you've automatically aligned the pistol. I works! I shoot an acceptable group without sights from 7 yards, and many students shot better.  

    For my duty pistol, I've got a weapon light and laser to supplement the front sight dot. When the balloon hits the fan, only what's on the gun is coming along. However, when I start carrying, I'm going to have to rethink those choices again. Does a weapon light slow/ complicate the draw stroke?

    BTW: Jon Hodoway has discussed sights and flashlights on The Roadgunner podcast.
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    Devereaux
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    Re: Pistol Sights

    Post by Devereaux on Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:15 pm

    CF - you probably have a point. ?But can we just put to rest this whole "night sights" thing. I can grasp that someone wants them to be "kool". What I can't grasp is the concept that they belong on a serious fighting gun. If it ain't that, then I really don't care what all goes on it.

    As for sights on fighting guns, perhaps you have a point that there will be some difference in preferences. I find the classic open sight, with the rear opened wider, to be neigh on perfect. Couple this with some kind of dot/brass bead/fibre optic on the front keeps you focused on what it important - the front sight. Lining it up with the rear is good, but some slop there is acceptable. And wider rears would make at least reasonable alignment easier.
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    Tennessee Jed
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    Re: Pistol Sights

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:17 pm

    I never really understood the night sight concept, for the same reasons Dev stated. After toying with flashlights and shooting, I quickly learned that if I could reasonably determine what my target was, odds were high that I'd be able to see my sights or at least their outline. After that, I've been more focused on extraneous lighting (flashlights on the gun or in the hand, leaving on certain key lights in the house before going to bed, etc.) than light-able sights.

    I also am a big fan of fiber optics on the front sight. I shoot IDPA indoor matches, and the light can be less than perfect. But those green light pipes always show up for me.

    I've also recently discovered that the joys of having a middle school daughter include having lots of day-glo colored nail polish around the house, which make fine sight paint on fixed sight handguns. I personally like the neon green nail polish.
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    Charlie Foxtrot
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    Re: Pistol Sights

    Post by Charlie Foxtrot on Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:02 pm

    Devereaux wrote:CF - you probably have a point. ?But can we just put to rest this whole "night sights" thing. I can grasp that someone wants them to be "kool". What I can't grasp is the concept that they belong on a serious fighting gun. If it ain't that, then I really don't care what all goes on it.

    As for sights on fighting guns, perhaps you have a point that there will be some difference in preferences. I find the classic open sight, with the rear opened wider, to be neigh on perfect. Couple this with some kind of dot/brass bead/fibre optic on the front keeps you focused on what it important - the front sight. Lining it up with the rear is good, but some slop there is acceptable. And wider rears would make at least reasonable alignment easier.

    I'm in complete agreement: if it glows and is on the rear sight - fugetaboudit. I'm not so sure about a glowing front sight. Professional Gun Writer's opinions seem about split. I'd like to play around with one in a darkened shoot house. I do think I'd prefer a light and laser.

    You'll probably like the Warren Tacticals: the rear notch is very wide with generous light gaps on either side of the front sight. Very fast. I'm considering upgrading all my duty pistols to them or the Warren Tactical Sevigny Competition Sights.    

    Tennessee Jed wrote:I never really understood the night sight concept, for the same reasons Dev stated.  After toying with flashlights and shooting, I quickly learned that if I could reasonably determine what my target was, odds were high that I'd be able to see my sights or at least their outline.  After that, I've been more focused on extraneous lighting (flashlights on the gun or in the hand, leaving on certain key lights in the house before going to bed, etc.) than light-able sights.  

    I also am a big fan of fiber optics on the front sight.  I shoot IDPA indoor matches, and the light can be less than perfect.  But those green light pipes always show up for me.

    I've also recently discovered that the joys of having a middle school daughter include having lots of day-glo colored nail polish around the house, which make fine sight paint on fixed sight handguns.  I personally like the neon green nail polish.

    Good thoughts, TJ. We should remember that we may need to go outside. I do think the green fiber optic front sight is usable. However, weapon lights and lasers come into their own there.

    Tired of tripping over randomly sprawled German Sheps, the wife put low wattage LED nightlights all around the house. I moved several to better illuminate the threat axes while masking our likely positions/ retreat paths.  Tactical and far less of a chance of encountering a fuzzy speed bump.

    I did con the wife into taking me into the girl's makeup section of Target for Optic Orange nail polish. Still got the "Creepy Old Guy" look - by the pierced, tatted, goth teenies.
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    Re: Pistol Sights

    Post by Devereaux on Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:18 pm

    Oh, I would probably pay real money to watch you in the teenie-boppers section of Target, looking at dayglo nail polish!  Cool
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    Re: Pistol Sights

    Post by Charlie Foxtrot on Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:11 pm

    Devereaux wrote:Oh, I would probably pay real money to watch you in the teenie-boppers section of Target, looking at dayglo nail polish!  Cool

    Ain't gonna happen.

    To never again have to face the scorn of 60 pounds of 13 year-old, with a significant percentage of body mass in metal piercings, black hair dye, mascara, black fingernail polish and white face paint, I'll look for my front sight paint on the intrawebz.

    In my underwear. Just to make it creepy.


    Last edited by Charlie Foxtrot on Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Devereaux
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    Re: Pistol Sights

    Post by Devereaux on Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:59 pm

    Bet you could find a small sample like can at a local paint shop.
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    Re: Pistol Sights

    Post by Charlie Foxtrot on Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:58 pm

    Devereaux wrote:Bet you could find a small sample like can at a local paint shop.

    Yeah, but I can't shouldn't do that in my underwear. Besides, I doubt if Ace Hardware carries Zombie Glitter Green. Amazon does.  Wink

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