Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default On Pistol Sights...

    I have an observation, something I'm sure all have seen but I question its existence...Why are there gaps between the front post and the uprights on the rear sights? Way back when I was on the rifle team in high school the peep sights were sized to eliminate all white in the front sight when the target was properly acquired. So why aren't pistol sights that way? Why is it left to our perception as to whether the front post is centered or not?
    Sorry but I'm all out of pity right now, please try later.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: On Pistol Sights...

    Speed of target acquisition, especially in low light.

    Modern handgun shooting is less about pure accuracy, and more about practical accuracy. Can you get a good enough shot on target fast enough, and get back on target for follow up in a fast amount of time.

    (tactical rifles do this as well. See the MP5 sight... rotating drum lets you choose whether or not you need a more precise sight (tighter circle), or speed of acquisition/low light (bigger circle)).
    Last edited by TooBigToFit; June 4th, 2019 at 08:57 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: On Pistol Sights...

    Possibly because the front sight would only fill the gap exactly at one exact distance from the shooters eye. If the distance at which the gap is completely filled is, say, 2 feet, then a person with shorter arms would see gaps on each side of the front sight, but a person with longer arms would not even see the entire front sight, meaning sight alignment is not possible. The human mind can be insanely accurate in perceiving differences in small gaps or thicknesses, though, and can (I believe) automatically compare and compensate for such.
    Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? - J.R.R. Tolkien

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: On Pistol Sights...

    From a write-up:

    The most common type of rear sight is the two dot rear. In the execution of proper marksmanship fundamentals, the rear sight and target should be in soft focus while the front sight is in sharp focus. This is mostly because the front sight is the midpoint between the three focal planes and our eye is only capable of focusing on one. The concept of the two dot rear is that you basically line up the front and rear dots and you are all set. The problem with this is that the front dot, especially if it is white paint, tends to get dirty first during extended firing. It is not uncommon for the front sight to end up subdued and the rear dots to still be very bright, contributing to a bit of visual confusion when lining up the sights at speed. Another common problem as 3 dot sight systems age and wear is that each of the three dots ends up being a different color and/or brightness. This makes it quite a chore for your eye to sort out, especially at speed.

    Single dot rear sights mitigate the various issues with 2 dots to some degree, and are less visually confusing. Bars and boxes tend to increase the visual distraction at the rear sight, and do not provide as precise and repeatable of a visual index as a single dot.

    A plain black rear sight is the simplest solution for visual speed, as the lack of distractions at the rear sight drive the visual attention to the front sight.

    Notch width is the next factor to consider, and wider notch widths are increasingly common and popular. The popular width is the .140", which adds a little more light on either side of the front sight for improved speed, but with minimal effect on accuracy. The wider .156″ notch allows even larger light bars on either side of a front sight, but some shooters may experience a degradation in accuracy or slower sight alignment at speed on hard/distant targets. However, for shooters with some vision problems brought on typically by middle age, these wider notches are quite helpful. The traditional .125" wide notch is popular for the 1911, otherwise, most shooters prefer the .140" and .156".

    Noah
    I dream of an America where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: On Pistol Sights...

    How else ya gonna tell yer centered? An equal amount of gap on each side means yer centered.
    I don't speak English , I talk American!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: On Pistol Sights...

    Quote Originally Posted by abner13 View Post
    How else ya gonna tell yer centered? An equal amount of gap on each side means yer centered.
    No gap on either side would work too!
    Sorry but I'm all out of pity right now, please try later.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: On Pistol Sights...

    On my gun there is a gap on either side of the front sight about the width of the front site. I like being able to see more. It helps with quicker target transitions and shooting close targets really fast. On close shots I'm only looking for my front fiber optic to be somewhere between the rear sights and it's good enough. USPSA has a pretty big A zone. I'm just worried about hitting it as fast as possible , not shooting a 2 inch group at 25 yrds.

    If I was going to shoot bullseye, I would switch to a sight with less of a gap for a more precise alignment.
    "Take the guns first, then worry about due process" Trump

  8. #8
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    Default Re: On Pistol Sights...

    You could always get a Trijicon HD+ set. they have a standard rear sight with a much narrower blade up front. They claim it gives you more information in a stressfull situation in your sight picture.....maybe so, but I find thin front sights much more accurate. I like the green rears with orange front. A little salty, but anything that says trijicon is.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: On Pistol Sights...

    I’ve been buying Truglo Tritium Pro Night Sights for my last few new pistols. They work great and were only like $60-$65 on eBay.
    "The Constitution is the guide which I will not abandon. - George Washington

  10. #10
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    Default Re: On Pistol Sights...

    Quote Originally Posted by Walleye Hunter View Post
    No gap on either side would work too!
    If you have no gap, how do you know the sights are aligned?

    Gaps do work better for older eyes; 30-40 yrs ago I didn't need no steenking gaps. Something happened since then.

    Noah
    I dream of an America where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned.

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