Let's Talk About The Sights

Let's Talk About The Sights

This is a discussion on Let's Talk About The Sights within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi Everyone, Have been reading more than posting, as I am a new member but haven't seen many posts about sights, so I thought I'd ...

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Thread: Let's Talk About The Sights

  1. #1
    Member Array jbailey's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    NC coast

    Let's Talk About The Sights

    Hi Everyone,

    Have been reading more than posting, as I am a new member but haven't seen many posts about sights, so I thought I'd start a new thread.

    I don't have very good vision, and wear bifocals. Getting a good sight picture is a bit of a task. When target shooting, I can adjust my head position so that I look through the bottom of my glasses and focus on the front sight; the target is blurry, but discernable enough that I can shoot fairly well, at least at reasonable distances.

    The delema is sighting my carry gun in a SD high stress situation where getting the head positioned properly would not be possible, or worse yet if I needed to react quickly at night as someone was breaking into or already inside my house. I don't know if I would even take the time to put on my glasses, or maybe knock them on the floor in the process of waking and getting my gun and flashlight from the nightstand.

    I have seen ads and read a few posts about sights that are supposed to help one sight better in poor light/stressful conditions and for those with limited vision. Suresight and Big Dot are brands that comes to mind. Do these really help? I haven't considered laser sights - it seems to me that they might not be effective in a dynamic situation with everyone moving. Am I wrong?

    I haven't been able to find any of these sights in our area to look at. The little 3 dot tritium sights I believe are too small to be any benefit to me, I have to look carefully to get them aligned in daylight, without stress.

    I thought some of you - especially in LE might have dealt with this type of situation, and could offer advise. Any and all comments and suggestions are much appreciated.

    Right now, I would have to do my best to point and shoot accurately, but I know how little muzzle deflection it takes to miss

  2. #2
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    Array Chorizo's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    I too, have "old eyes" requiring reading glasses (and at times bi-focals)

    I just put Big Dots on my RAMI and took them out for a test run. I couldn't get back fast enough to order additional sets for my carry rigs. They are great! There is another thread that also goes on about the benefits of Big Dots wtih lots of LEO's wading in.

    I am sold as I have never been able to find anything that does as well as the Big Dots for situations where I might have to use my weapon without my glasses on.

  3. #3
    me is offline
    Senior Member Array me's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Shanandoah Valley VA
    Have you given thought to a laser sight? This may be a fast way for you to get on target and assure you are on target.

    "The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."

    -James Earl Jones

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  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array lowflyer's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Middle Earth
    Here is one idea:


    I have read a number of posts in XDTalk praising these sights.
    Whatever doesn't kill you postpones the inevitable.

  6. #5
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Moderator Central
    My opinion.

    Laser sights are probably the best modern option for folks with vision problems in nearly every environment but, outdoors in bright sunlight.

    They are incredibly reliable these days & you put the red dot on what you want to hit...locate the dot...and you pull the trigger & you hit it.

    It's almost like cheating.

    Are lasers a fantastic perfect replacement for good marksmanship and a perfect end~all panacea for self defensive shooting???...heck no and of course they are not but, they are probably the best working alternative...since you'll only need to be able to see & identify your target and can basically ignore focusing on the firearm front sight.
    The laser electronically projects the front sight out and directly onto the intended target.

    The reality is that "less than perfect" flawed vision and prescription eyeglasses (especially bi & tri focals) are somewhat of a real world PITA handicap to ideal self~defensive shooting.

    You might as well take advantage of laser likely benefit to you in what will probably be the majority of possible scenarios.

    My suggestion would be decide which firearm you naturally hit with best.
    Stay with the gun that points best for you & fit it with a best quality laser & also add Hi Vis Fixed sights.

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array fotomaker57's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    QKShooter summed it up very well. Follow his very sound advise.
    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
    Thomas Jefferson

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    I highly recommend Tru-Glo TFO sights (yellow rear dots, green front dot) in combination with Crimson Trace laser grips.
    "It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out” – Clint Smith

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    OBX, NC
    I haven't tried any of these new sights, but my eyes do fairly well with the square notch in the rear sight widened to show more light on either side. Sights are out of focus when I am concentrating on the target, but it works well enough to shoot fairly nice groups.

    When they make the Suresight for my gun, I may give them a try.

  10. #9
    Member Array Warren's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    I've sent off for some Suresights for my P220.

    I'll post a report once I get them on the gun and do some shooting.

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array fed_wif_a_sig's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Denton, TX
    Having just ordered my first pair of bifocals, this problem bothered me. Research showed that the late Jeff Cooper suffered the same problem and I like his solution. He ordered a AO Big Dot front sight and matched it with a Novak Wide Notch rear sight (opened up .145"). This system works very well and the AO Big Dot can be had as a night sight.

    On the subject of laser sights. I use them on my "J" frame revolver as it has real ugly small sights. That said, I did have a set for my duty Sig and tested it for about a year before I removed them. My reason for removing them was that I found with myself (and other better shooters I work with) the times slowed down during presentations because we were wasting time looking for the laser dot instead of finding out front sight. Now it wasnt a scientific test by any means, just a couple of guys who put thousands of rounds down range monthly with very restrictice time limits for qualifications and none of us found it to be an aid. In all fairness, one of our worst shooters was able to imporve their times by use of the laser (we used the CTC Laser Grips). Another issue we had was once we passed the 7 yard line, finding the laser during a sunny day was very difficult. During indoor shooting the laser was more prominant and good for "holding" on a target. However when holding on a target, it was also found that if you took your sights off the target, the target could immediatly see that and allowed for them to make their move. After all was said and done, I pulled them off my weapon and sold them and havent seen a pair on another weapon (other than small j frames) of any others I work with.
    "Respect all ... Fear none!!!

  12. #11
    Member Array shooter1's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    I think I like those sights! Do you have them on one of your pistols?

  13. #12
    Member Array Optimistic Paranoid's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Upstate NY
    I'm in essentially the same position as you. I used to need glasses for distance viewing, but not for reading, and I could see sights just fine.

    Then I developed cataracts.

    The opthamologist did a marvelous job, but he reversed my previous condition. Now I have 20/25 distance vision, but need glasses to read. And I couldn't see my sights worth a damn.

    I got a couple of pairs of shooting glasses - clear and dark - from Hansen's Eagle Eye


    and tried wearing them as my everyday glasses, but, like you, I worry about them being knocked off in a fight.

    Also like you, I haven't been able to find any guns with Big Dots or other aftermarket sights to try.

    I did discover that stock Glock sights - the front white dot and rear white U work VERY well for my eyes, even without my glasses, and I'm now carrying a Glock partly for that reason.

    Life Member - American Society of Armed Political Malcontents

    Question Authority. Hang As Necessary!

    In God I Trust. Everybody Else Keep Your Hands Where I Can See Them!

  14. #13
    Member Array jbailey's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    NC coast
    Hi again,

    Thanks to all for your input. I learn something every time I log on here.

    Are any of you familiar with the TruGlow tritium/fiber-optic combination sight? Just wondering whether the colored dots would be bright and/or large enough for "problem eyes". I have some F/O sights on a hunting pistol, and really like them (with glasses).

    My carry weapon is a Glock 36, and the way the C/T laser sights would attach, snapping onto the grip, looks less than an ideal setup to me. I was advised against the guide rod internal lasers as being problematic. Maybe I am too skeptical about laser sights, but I know from using a red dot on my hunting pistol, that I have only one frame of reference with which to align the pistol (seems like this would be similar to using a laser). If it isn't pointed pretty close to proper alignment, the dot disappears, therefore when shooting small, active animals like squirrels etc. at less than 25yd. or so, I remove the dot and use the light tube FO sights that came on it (Ruger Mk III Hunter). I find I can align the barrel to a moving target much easier this way, as the gun comes up, my peripheral vision sees the front and rear sights and helps align the gun even though I am focusing on the animal. This is wearing my glasses, of course.

    The J-frame S&W's with the C/T laser does look inviting, but I still wonder about finding the dot and keeping it on a moving target. I also think about the round capacity of revolver vs auto.

    Thanks again,

  15. #14
    Lead Moderator
    Array Tangle's Avatar
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    Dec 2004

    I have the same problem. But, I have a little bit different take on the issue. I shoot about 200 rounds every week except this year it's been a little more.

    I have alternated between safety glasses and reading glasses in numerous shooting sessions. I find out to at leat 30 feet, and I'm not sure how to explain this, that I actually shoot faster and just as accurate with plain safety glasses even though my front sight is not in sharp focus. When I don reading glasses +1.0 to +1.25, I see the front sight quite distinctly.

    I shoot a lot though and I may have simply adjusted to the blurred sight picture. But even though it's blurred it's still centered on the target.

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    me too? Bad eyes here but i currently wear contacts and that helps, however, I've been trying to practice more and more with simply point shooting. When I took a class (along time ago), a retired FBI agent spent some time teaching us point shooting. I was very skeptical at first but he used the illustration of hitting an elevator button. he explained your hand starts from your side but you're looking down on the button but you're able to touch that button. He taught us that its the same thing working in point shooting so we practiced pointing our fingers (w/gun in hand) moving up from the wait until pointing up and out towards the target. I've been nothing short of amazed at how effective this is for human sized targets at ranges under 10 yards. With some of my guns I can amaze myself but with others I have a hard time doing it. I think it has a LOT to do with the natural pointability of any given weapon. With a 1911 or Kahr P9 I'm deadly, with my J frame or Keltec P3AT I'm dismal.

    Having said all of that I don't like the laser option other than for fun. I don't have one so i'm not qualitfied but to me it's something that you focus on other than the BG. I think in a real shoot our focus will be on the BG period and that we'll need to point shoot or simply bring the weapon up into our line of sight as we keep our eyes on the BG. to that end I think the truglo or that yellow triangle above sounds good along with the big dots but I really think point shooting is the way to go.

    I have night sights on my Kahr P9 but in a real dark situation I have to focus too much on the front sights which means I'm not focused enough on the direction from which I expect the treat to materialize. I have come to the conclusion that the need for night sights is somewhat overrated.

    Just a few thoughts from someone who doesn't have any experience in real shooting scenarios. In my military career it was an entirely different ball game.

    So for me, in the future I plan on going gold bead, or fiber optic or big dots but even the three combat dots I think are good enough but I'd recommend we all practice far more with point shooting.

    God Bless

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