Remove rear sights on a CCW

This is a discussion on Remove rear sights on a CCW within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Was at the range today, outside at a falling steel plate range. Was practicing fast target acquisition and point-shooting to a degree. Thought that came ...

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Thread: Remove rear sights on a CCW

  1. #1
    Member Array tomwalshco's Avatar
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    Remove rear sights on a CCW

    Was at the range today, outside at a falling steel plate range. Was practicing fast target acquisition and point-shooting to a degree.

    Thought that came to me on the way home was how much picking up the rear sights slows everything down. And when I do find them, I was shooting where I was pointing anyway.

    Was wondering if anyone has removed their rear sights to simplify things and make the sight picture less complicated? I know the Colt New Agent has literally no sights (sight trough) and those that take the time to get comfortable with system get quite good with it.

    I feel like if I can get the front dot on my target, I'll be pretty good.
    Aren't there some revolvers configured this way?

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  3. #2
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    While I think that point shooting is a good skill to have, and there are some minimalist rear sights on weapons (smith and wesson j-frames come to mind). I would not remove the rear sights from my carry weapon. Most modern ones are rather un-obtrusive, and don't add significant weight. So I don't see a reason to take them off. If you don't need to use them, great. But if you take them off, and then need them, it might cause an issue.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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    Array WHEC724's Avatar
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    As Buckeye stated, inside of 7 yards is well enough within the 'cone' that you may not need the rear sight as much, but beyond that distance you most certainly will. I don't see any advantage to removing them.

    When you start thinking of what's beyond your target is when things really start getting tricky. I hope to never be in a defensive shoot, but if I am, I at least intend to use my sights to shoot the most accurate shot that I can.
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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Why would you remove an attribute of the weapon, if it isn't interferring with anything else?.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    I have a .22LR 1911 based (Colt lower with a Marvel Precision 'Unit 1' top end) that has two slide ribs; One with bullseye type mounted sights and the second is smooth top 1913/Picatinny rail.
    This gun is dually my bullseye competition and trainer gun.

    I regularly practice with it as having just the Pic rail installed with no optic attached.
    I'll do same toward students.

    Why?

    Because it is excellent for teaching students the concept of NPOA (Natural Point of Aim).
    Also for me it is excellent toward training point shooting.

    As well other visible cues (firing pin or side of the gun) work very well for coarse aiming at close distance as far out as 21', max I've tested myself ans students as configured.
    Additionally no-visual cues are developed in this manner too including teaching the brain natural pointability of the gun...Which in turn expedites time from draw/handhold to bringing the bore to bear toward the target and prepping the shot, while USING sights.

    I recently (2 wks ago) showed this concept to a very much doubting friend.
    I first had him shoot ten rounds (magazine capacity) with the gun having the iron sights.
    Next I removed the iron sight 'rib' and placed on top the flat 1913/Picatinny rail rib. It has no sighting device attached to it at all.
    I directed him to reload the magazine at full capacity and to fire when ready.

    The target was an FBI 'Q' target....Set to 21'.

    His first volley of ten were ~2" in spread at the "Q" of the target.
    His second volley of ten were ~ 4-5" in spread as among the "Q" area.

    Consider that combat accuracy with a handgun is deemed to be 8" full frontal on an an average human being.
    Here this gentleman who is not unfamiliar with running a handgun but had never shot my specific gun before and is not normally a 1911 shooter was able to shoot half that in _fine accuracy_, and he had a gun that literally had no _conventional_ sighting aids at all.
    No laser. No ultra long barrel (5.25"). No David Blaine trickery.

    Minus the barrel weight my top end with noted rib is exactly like this.

    Image source - http://www.marvelprecision.com/unit1.php

    Now would I advocate shooting guns in this configuration toward combat.
    No.
    Would I advocate shooting guns minus a rear or front sight altogether?
    No.
    Would I suggest training in this manner?
    Most definitely.
    Why? Because within typical street combat distances at 21' and less being able to have the programming in your brain and muscle memory at your body toward NPoA as well as having some point shooting skill sets on board too will not in the least harm you, while quite possibly benefiting a shooter toward getting the gun up and on target quickly to score a combat accurate & functional shot by these items alone...Even as view of a given sight front, rear or even both (low light with non-illuminated sights) are not within view or even on the gun usable.

    $0.02 Street

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  7. #6
    Member Array tomwalshco's Avatar
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    It is interfering with my ability to pick up the front sight. Hanging out at the range when you've got all day and there's no pressure is one thing. It doesn't seem to be an attribute for me. I'm just curious if anyone has done it.

    I'm going to do it anyway because I've got a set of night sights that have been laying around for 6 months. But I'm going to try it naked for a while first.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Now would I advocate shooting guns in this configuration toward combat.
    No.
    Would I advocate shooting guns minus a rear or front sight altogether?
    No.
    Would I suggest training in this manner?
    Most definitely.
    Why? Because within typical street combat distances at 21' and less being able to have the programming in your brain and muscle memory at your body toward NPoA as well as having some point shooting skill sets on board too will not in the least harm you, while quite possibly benefiting a shooter toward getting the gun up and on target quickly to score a combat accurate & functional shot by these items alone...Even as view of a given sight front, rear or even both (low light with non-illuminated sights) are not within view or even on the gun usable.

    $0.02 Street

    - Janq
    +1

    bosco

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Jim Cirillo use to teach the "weapon silhouette point" by covering the rear sight with tape. Before covering the sight he would have the students get a sight picture and notice how the slide looked in this posistion. He would then put tape over the rear sight and have the students use the slide to align the pistol to the target. When properly aligned the sides of the slide did not show on either side of the weapon nor did the top of the slide show that would indicate the weapon was pointed high. There was also no visible gap between the slide and frame indicating the weapon was pointed down. (Pages 86-88 of Guns,Bullets and Gunfights) This method was taught out to 10 yards and I have found it to be quite fast and accurate out to that distance.
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    A tip for folks on this...

    Under almost the lowest of low ambient lighting including even moonlight (I've tried this) the firing pin on many if not most autoloaders with a hammer being stainless steel and silvery will reflect any light brightly enough to be seen.
    As the firing pin is _directly_ in line with the centerline bore of the guns barrel...Where you point the firing pin is where that bullet will point.

    This works in my experience functionlly on black guns against dark targets in low ambient light conditions where the gun might not have tritium vials in the sights.

    So when you bring the gun up be it a one hand hold straight or slightly canted or a two hand hold...Point the firing pin at what you want to hit grossly (forget about fine degree occular shots) and odds are good if you do your part toward trigger control (do not flinch) and recoil management then the bullet will strike within a CD sized area of where you had pointed that guns bore as by way of the firing pin.

    Cocked hammer 1911 showing exposed firing pin which among other items could functionally be ones visual cue toward combat accuracy aiming

    Image source - http://www.grizzlycustom.com/parts_1911.html

    I would not suggest this though as being anything other than an advanced skill tool in ones box of skills.
    Newer and novice shooters should very much master the fundamentals first. That should be a no brainer.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  11. #10
    Member Array tomwalshco's Avatar
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    Janq, I like all your points very much. There is no doubt in my mind that when a defensive situation arises, your eyes won't leave the bad guy for even a microsecond. Especially old eyes like mine. I'll do some research on the NPOA. You could point me (no pun) in the right direction. If I take it off and can get on target faster, then I'm leaving it off.

    Another thing I've learned - I've got a stable of carry guns in many calibers and if I don't choose one and practice with it exclusively, then I become mediocre with all of them. Different sights, different grip angles, different feel, different triggers, etc, etc. I doubt Tiger Woods hauls around 6 different types of golf clubs...

  12. #11
    Member Array southchatham's Avatar
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    You need big dot xs sights. Same idea but still a rear sight. I have them on my Glock and M&P.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Tom,

    I'll PM you some info on the subject which I typically will share with my own students as expansion information.
    There is much to be found and read out there on NPoA.
    Knowing as much being specific to the individual as a shooter AND to the gun in hand (it can and commonly does differ gun to gun) is beneficial if not outright key to 'inherent' shooter accuracy and ease of accuray be they running a handgun or a longgun, including shotgun.

    Agreed regarding multiple tools.
    Myself I'm centralized on .22LR, 9mm and .45ACP for handguns; Always in 1911 format.
    I can shoot other guns decent enough...But for my own purposes as I am not a gun collector (not that there is anything wrong with that) I simply standardize on one gun platform while all of my guns are purposefully setup same in trigger type and pull as well as grip to my best comfort.
    The only real variable being caliber and sights.

    My hope and prayer is that none of this effort and exercise I've invested ever in my life is required.
    Best case scenario it's just one big waste of time, effort and bullets down range.
    Likely case scenario...My own Boogie Mn will pop-up at the least expected and opportune time as when I'm not armed (non-permissive environment) and at some time frame 20+ yrs. from now when my own now 40 yr. old eyes will be 60+. : |
    But with that even if I can't see the sights so well if I can get hand to a gun and see the target, then I can feel reasonably comfortable that I can hit it with combat rather than fine accuracy.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  14. #13
    Member Array redstgunnut's Avatar
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    If you remove the sights, or modify your gun in a "nontraditional" way, you better hope you never have an "oopsie" because if you do, your problems will be compounded by your shade tree gunsmithing when the lawyers start circling your carcass.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomwalshco View Post
    It is interfering with my ability to pick up the front sight.
    If you are trying point shooting, and the sights are getting in your way, your not quite doing it right. It sounds to me like you are having problems from mixing 2 disciplines. Sighted and unsighted fire. You can't mix them and get the best of both worlds. I love point shooting. It's the vast majority of what I shoot. While point shooting, even from shoulder height, I completely ignore the sights. But I would never remove the sights. Because they are very useful when you need them. It sounds to me like you need to completely commit to point shooting and see if the sights are still an issue when you do.

    Personally, I like options. I want to be able to point shoot, or sighted fire, depending on what I need.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

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  16. #15
    Member Array tomwalshco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redstgunnut View Post
    If you remove the sights, or modify your gun in a "nontraditional" way, you better hope you never have an "oopsie" because if you do, your problems will be compounded by your shade tree gunsmithing when the lawyers start circling your carcass.
    Wow, so if I put on the night sights, they'll throw the book at me. I'd better call Alan Dershowitz and put him on retainer.



    After putting 7-8 rounds in a row down range, it's pretty easy to get your sights on target.

    But when you're off balance, hanging on to a car bumper, and yanking a gun out of your pants, it's not so easy centering that little dot in a tiny U-shaped channel. Add any low-light condition ..... and I think you see my point.

    Anything that can obscure seeing that front sight in a high stress situation will slow you down.

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