The Pro Sight Advantage - it's what's on my SD G17 and it's gonna stay on it...
I thought about what approach I wanted to use here, and decided to just describe my experiences with these sights as it happened. I will say right up front, there is some magic to the sights and I will attempt to explain the ‘magic’.
This is going to be long; be patient, read it all. It is difficult to convey the advantages of an improved sight in 25 words or less - first the sights.
Pro Sights are available from Tactical Shooting Academy. The sights consist of some very impressive components, developed with feedback from some special operators. You have a choice of a plain black square notch, a 2-Dot square notch or a V-Notch rear sight. You can order your preference and since the inserts (i.e. the square notch or V notch) are precision CNC machined and mount with a single screw, you can start with one and later if you want to try a different rear sight, just order the insert.
I much prefer the ‘V’. It would remind you of another brand of sights that has a shallow V and a big front dot. I’ve tried these a number of times and they simply would not give me what I wanted in a sight. The Pro V has a deeper V that is synergistic with the eye - more on that later.
The front sight is available in a plain or fiber optic sight with a red or green insert, you get to choose but you only get one front sight, either the plain or your choice of a red or green FO sight. I’ve been using the green FO sight.
The rear sight inserts mount in a brute of a mount. It’s a steel channel that press fits into the dovetail and is further secured, not that it needs further security, with two high quality, made-in-the-USA set screws. This provides tank like protection of the rear sight and provides an easy interface to mount the rear sight of your choice.
The rear sight is drift adjustable and thin shims included with the sights provide elevation adjustment. Basically a fully adjustable sight with more than the ruggedness of fixed sights.
The rear notches, both square and V mount in the channel with a single high quality, made-in-the-USA, stainless steel, Philips head, flat head screw. Whew! Well, I had to ask – why not black and why not an Allen head screw? Well, remember I said these sights were developed with feedback from some operators? Well they said two things: One, rust is a problem, hence the more rust resistant SS. Two, they said, everyone has a Philips screwdriver on their Leatherman so it’s is always available where (non-metric) Allen wrenches can be a problem over seas. Plus, the Allen head sockets can strip out easier than the #2 Phillips.
I had both the square and V notch, but I didn’t try the square notch because I was more interested in the V notch. When I first shot with the V rear on my G17 gen 4, I wondered what I had gotten into. I had shot frequently and a lot for over a decade with square notch sights and if I do say so myself, I’m pretty good with them.
This was a different sight picture. I discovered seeing a square notch for over a decade doesn’t just go away. I wasn’t sure exactly what I should be seeing with the V and I didn’t do so good shooting the first outing. But I was determined to give them a fair evaluation because I was aware of how many state championships had been won with these sights. The inventor, D.R. Middlebrooks, won a National IDPA Championship with these sights and so did Daniel Horner.
I used the shims to adjust the elevation of the rear sight to get the POA where I wanted it and started shooting. The ‘magic’ started to happen. I can typically hit a 2” x 3” oval at 15 yards with square notch sights, off-hand. Not every shot will be in there, but most will. Well, it wasn’t long until I was doing that with the V notch, but something was different. It wasn’t a change in accuracy so much as it was the ease of alignment which leads to faster shots with the same accuracy.
Repeating my standard drills yielded consistent, improving results. Accuracy remained nearly a constant but the ease of alignment was obvious, so my engineering mind couldn’t resist analyzing how that could be. I said earlier that I’d explain the magic, so here goes.
This explanation will be in the context of SD scenario shooting, including both accuracy and speed. On paper, meaning in theory, the Pro V has a significant advantage over square notch sights and in practice, the Pro V lives up to that theoretical advantage. Here’s what I determined:
First, the V and the critical shape of the V combined with the size of the front sight are very amenable with how the eye works. The human eye has a natural ability and propensity to center things. Because of the shape of the V, it is easy for the eye to quickly see ‘centering’ discrepancies. There is simply some ‘magic’ to the V, its shape, and the eye. It reminds me of a ball settling into the bottom of a V and that’s almost what it is. It is hard to appreciate how effective this is until you see it for yourself.
Let’s contrast that with a square notch rear sight. While the eye is talented at centering things, a square notch and front blade has no centering advantage to it. A square notch is about alignment of edges – and number of edges in fact. There are the two top edges of the rear sight with the top edge of the front sight, and while you’re doing that, you have to be sure there is equal light on each side of the front blade. I realize we’ve perfected that task, but it’s far from optimal. In order to accurately align a square notch and blade, the eye and mind have to constantly re-verify alignment of five edges. Is there any wonder that beginning shooters have sight alignment problems?
Second, the V provides a much wider window through which to acquire the front sight. A square notch rear sight actually hides the front sight until the front sight appears in the small notch window. Imagine this at speed: the front sight happens to come up either below or even with the top of the rear sight, but misaligned left or right. You can’t see your front sight! Now you move the gun and the front sight comes into the small window of the square notch. Unless the front sight has some light on each side of the front sight, you still may not recognize it’s there. Remember, this is at speed, say from a low ready or a draw. Now let’s look at the Pro V.
For the same condition as above with the same sight alignment error, you can see the front sight because the V provides a larger window. There is no top edge alignment, nor equal light on each side of the front sight to deal with. Just center the ball (front sight) in the V and let the eye do its centering thing.
Third, the V provides a better look at the target because it does not block as much of the target as a square notch.
I can’t help but wonder how a gold bead on the front sight would work – I’m thinking really well, but then that’s pretty much what you get with the FO sight.
I could show you some impressive shooting using the Pro V from my standard drills, but you’ve seen that before and the accuracy is not much different. And what you wouldn’t see from pics is the ease of alignment. So here’s just one pic of what I have done with the Pro Sights. I’m not always this good, but pretty close. This is 4 shots each at 3, 5, 7, 10, 15 yds:
I either dropped one shot really badly or the guy in the lane next to me shot my target – he was all over the place and I don’t recall making a hit that bad.
One pic I do want to show you is what a first time shooter did with the Pro V.
I was at Shooter’s Depot shooting my G17 with the Pro V and after a ‘volley’, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the guy in the lane to the left of me. He said, “What are you shooting!” I told him a G17 and he made some comment about how well I was shooting and I told him it may be the sights. Of course it isn’t just the sights, but they do make a difference. He was shooting a G22, and wasn’t very impressive so I decided to experiment. I asked him if he would shoot my G17 with the Pro V. He was eager to! I gave him a mag with 5 rounds in it. I gave him about one sentence of instruction regarding how to align the sight. I placed a 3” ShootNC dot at 7 yds and stepped out of the way. In the pic below, you see that dead center hit? That was his first shot. His next shot was the 10:00 o’clock hit, the third the 3:00 o’clock hit, and the fourth and fifth shots are the ones near the center.
IMO, what happened is he was so elated that his first shot hit dead center that he was so distracted he lost focus. Even then he didn’t miss the 3” dot. Bear in mind this was the first time he had ever shot with the Pro V. It took him two shots to get refocused and then he had good shot placement again.
His reaction? “I have to have some of those!” He took down all the info so he could order a set.
The Pro Sight V-Dot is faster than square notch sights. They are easier to get consistent sight alignment. They disclose more of the target/threat. They are synergistic with the eyes’ natural centering propensity. They are the result of feedback experienced in hostile environments.
Given a specific shooting level, I believe the Pro Sight V-Dot will improve shooting from that level.
Depending on a number of variables, you may have to work with the Pro V for a while to acclimate to the new sight picture. Stay with it; you’ll see a difference.
A couple of precision/accuracy tips:
Again, because of the profile of the V and the eye’s natural ability to center, there is one more thing you can do with these sights: use an in the V or out of the V sight picture. Out of the V will change the POI a bit, but it is fast! Here are some pics. The first one is in the V for more precise alignment:
This one is out of the V for more speed:
What they won’t do:
Although I believe the Pro Sight V is more forgiving with poorer eyesight than square notch sights, like any other sight, they won’t correct vision problems.
They won’t magically transform you into a top level shooter. They are magic, but not that magic. But, I believe they will help you shoot better and faster than you can with square notch sights.
Fiber optic or plain front sight.
Installation and this might be a biggie:
The rear sight housing installs in the dovetail like any other dovetail sight. They will require some fitting. One option is to do it yourself if you have the skill and triangular file. However, the file is a little problematic - I'm not aware of a file that's set to the angle of a Glock dovetail sooo...
The other option, and a good option, is to send your slide to Tactical Shooting Academy and have D.R. install and align them.
I now have this sight on my G17 carry gun and it's going to stay there! I added some Glo-On paint to the rear sight and am currently using a green FO front. But, I'm going to replace the front FO with a a plain front and add Glo-On to it.