Revolvers adjustable sights vs fixed

This is a discussion on Revolvers adjustable sights vs fixed within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am considering getting a revolver. I have done some reading and research to figure out advantages and disadvantages. One thing I am confused about ...

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Thread: Revolvers adjustable sights vs fixed

  1. #1
    Member Array keydet90's Avatar
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    Revolvers adjustable sights vs fixed

    I am considering getting a revolver. I have done some reading and research to figure out advantages and disadvantages. One thing I am confused about is the sight options. I know that some semi autos have adjustable sights, but most come with fixed. It seems most revolvers have adjustable. Why is that and do the adjustables really make a great deal of difference.

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    I prefer "fixed" sights on my defensive handguns, both Revolver and Autoloader.

    The advantage of "adjustable" sights is outweighed by the tendancy of the sights to be knocked out of alignment when you need them most. I work on the sight and file it down, raise it up, or whatever needs doing, for one load. Then that's what I carry in that gun.

    Target Guns are a different matter. I prefer "adjustable" sights on them as the Range is not a gunfight.

    Biker

  4. #3
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    It depends on your need for a revolver

    On my Concealed carry revolvers (mine are all 3" barrels our less) I like fixed sights. On revolvers I use for hunting or target shooting (4 and 6" barrels) I have adjustable sights.

    I don't know if it matters but IMO fixed sights have less chance of snagging during draw.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Adjustables

    Fixed sights are simpler, no moving parts to break, and usually snag-free. The disadvantage is that if your chosen load won't shoot to point of aim, you have to compensate or send the gun to the gunsmith. You also can't easily add white dots, etc, if hey are not factory equipped. Again a trip to the gunsmith. The adjustables are easier to change, for example white dots, outlines, or even night sights. They may be more likely to break if dropped, can shoot loose, and may dig into your ribs if they have sharp edges. The sight picture is usually better and you can zero them easily to any load. I have SD and HD revolvers in both configurations, they both have their place.

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    I agree with the other posters.

    Fixed for carry. Adjustable for target. Having said that, most of my fixed pieces don't need to be adjustable. They're dead on accurate.
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    Before I got my Kimber, My EDC had adjustable sights. They both function.
    There are now some adjustables that are less obvious. I like adjustables because it gives me more options, like if I want to use my EDC for hunting.
    It really is a personal thing.

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    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    My M60 3" has adjustable sights. I carry it sometimes, and overall I like it with the adjustable sights. I would not want fixed sights on it.
    My 642 and 640 of course have fixed sights, and shoot to point of aim with the fixed sights.

    Mostly I prefer fixed on self defense guns.

    Regards,
    Jerry

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    My taurus Model 44 6.5" barrel (.44 Mag) and my Ruger 4" GP-100 both have adjustable sights, my Ruger 2.25" SpeedSix and my 2 Taurus M85's have fixed sights. The snubbies are more for close range and I am not that worried about the sights. I like the ability to fine tune the longer barreled guns.
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    I'm a big fan of the revolver for my self defense use and prefer fixed sights for concealed carry. I've had outstanding results with both Smith & Wesson and Colt fixed sight revolvers. They shoot where they look with most loads and aren't materially "off" with many other specialty loads.

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Another one for fixed sights on a carry revolver and adjustable on a hunting or target revolver.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    I'd say fixed on my combat guns and adjustable on my target guns.
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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    Ex Member Array Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I'm a big fan of the revolver for my self defense use and prefer fixed sights for concealed carry. I've had outstanding results with both Smith & Wesson and Colt fixed sight revolvers. They shoot where they look with most loads and aren't materially "off" with many other specialty loads.
    Qestion, you said they shoot where they look, well what about handguns, they don't shoot where they look?

    I've always shot out of a handgun before, trying to figure why would fixed sight be an advantage. For example my eyes are not that great I have to adjust every handgun in order to aim, so using a fixed sight i would have to compensate.

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    Hi Mikey;

    The first thing I do if a revolver isn't shooting to point of aim for me is to review my shooting technique to see if I am the cause. Bad habits concerning the trigger are the "usual suspects" for me. Uneven pressure on the trigger as I squeeze the shot (usually to the right side of the trigger in my case) tends to make shots fall to the left of center. Taking care to squeeze straight back on the trigger using the center of the first pad of the index finger gives best results for me with the revolver. Other shooter related problems can be flinching, palming, and focusing on the target rather than the front sight.

    Second, I would consider the ammunition I was using in the revolver. Is it fairly close to traditionally accepted ballistics for the cartridge? For instance, one example would be the old time traditional .38 Special loading propelling a 158 grain bullet to about 800-850 fps. The Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers I have always used shoot such a load to point of aim. Jazz up this 158 grain bullet with a +P loading and the bullets will generally fall 2-3 inches lower on a target than will the standard velocity stuff at 15 yards. For self defense I can live with the slightly lower impact. It's said that most self defense encounters are closer than 15 yards so the difference won't matter. For longer shots I'm aware of it so can compensate. I have opportunity to take occasional shots at Texas critters in the field with +P 158 grain loads and fixed sight revolvers and this method works for me.

    Move to the lightweight 110-125 grain bullets and they tend to strike high on the target. They can also sometimes be a little "off" horizontally.

    Other fixed sight revolver cartridges I work with are .32 Smith & Wesson Long, .32-20, .38 S&W, .38-40, .44 Special, .45 Colt, .45 ACP/.45 Auto Rim, and .455 Webley.

    All these revolvers work well with what could be said to be "traditional" loadings as produced for many years. Stray outside of the traditional bullet weight and you're on your own.

    Last, one can modify the gun or sights to shoot the favored loading to point of aim. I've never had to resort to this but it is commonly done. By filing on the inside of the rear sight notch on the side that one desires to move the bullet's impact in the target one can make minor horizontal movements. The front sight may be bent or else also filed to make adjustments. The barrel may be minutely tweaked or turned to effect a change. Last and most radically, the revolver may be struck with a suitable mallet or else "strategically thwacked" on the bench in order to adjust bullet impact. I've seen factory service techs use such methods but you won't see me attempting such "adjustments."

    I've had good service from fixed sight revolvers so am happy with them.
    Last edited by bmcgilvray; November 10th, 2008 at 08:17 PM.

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    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    for concealed protection, my choice is fixed. Hunting would be adjustable.
    " Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "

    Just call me a pessimistic optimist !

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    Ex Member Array Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Hi Mikey;

    They first thing I do if a revolver isn't shooting to point of aim for me is to review my shooting technique to see if I am the cause. Bad habits concerning the trigger are the "usual suspects" for me. Uneven pressure on the trigger as I squeeze the shot (usually to the right side of the trigger in my case) tends to make shots fall to the left of center. Taking care to squeeze straight back on the trigger using the center of the first pad of the index finger gives best results for me with the revolver. Other shooter related problems can be flinching, palming, and focusing on the target rather than the front sight.
    wOw I never thought that squeezing can affect the shooting. I don't remember If I personally squessze it to the right or not, all I know is that every single gun that I've owned including rifles I had to adjust my sight to the right almost .080"

    I don't have the revolver yet, when I get it I will let you know the results. Thank you for the insight.

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