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  #1  
Old 05-31-2020, 06:56 PM
Ollies930 Ollies930 is offline
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Sight height for fast acquisition

Sorry if this has been brought up before, but I am curious if the height of the front sight blade matters in acquiring a target quickly. I have an adjustable rear, so I can play with it a fair bit. One of the main things brought up in my searches, is the relationship in blade width to notch width, but nobody ever mentions height.

Thanks, Oliver
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2020, 07:01 PM
anonymouscuban anonymouscuban is offline
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Rear notch width with relation to the front sight width is most important when it comes to sights for action shooting. The more light on either side of the front blade the better to picking up a sight picture quickly.

Front sight height does help but only if the rear notch depth is deep. The depth of the rear notch is going to limit how much of the front sight you're gonna see. One thing I don't like about adjustable rears. The tend to have shallow rear notch.

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  #3  
Old 06-01-2020, 12:35 AM
markm markm is offline
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I pick sight height so the gun is zeroed but have noticed that FO front sights can obscure the top of the sight in bright sun so I tend to shoot high. Other than that I like a moderate amount of light on the sides for quick shooting.
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  #4  
Old 06-01-2020, 06:59 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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OP
The heights you are talking about to still utilize that adjustable sight are so small it is insignificant to acquiring a target quickly. Additionally it could get you to close to the adjustment limit that would have some disadvantages as well.

markm
Not all fiber optics are created equal. FO sights that obscure the top of the front sight are typically not counterbored for the FO rod, like the counterbored Dawson precious FO sights. When counterbored the rod is positioned inside the sight so it controls the bloom that can happen in bright sunlight that can over power your view of the actual sight outline.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2020, 10:51 AM
Magnumite Magnumite is offline
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^^ Good tidbit of information about the Dawson front sights. Thanks.
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  #6  
Old 06-01-2020, 01:43 PM
Ollies930 Ollies930 is offline
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Thank you all for some great insight. I tend to fixate on details that do not make a significant difference until I have an explanation that makes sense to me. Now I can order an appropriate width front sight blade and not worry about the height.

Thanks again!
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  #7  
Old 06-01-2020, 02:34 PM
jtq jtq is offline
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Originally Posted by Ollies930 View Post
Thank you all for some great insight. I tend to fixate on details that do not make a significant difference until I have an explanation that makes sense to me. Now I can order an appropriate width front sight blade and not worry about the height.

Thanks again!
I'd think your adjustable rear sight would be the limiting factor, unless you can either buy a wider notch, or make it wider.
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  #8  
Old 06-01-2020, 05:30 PM
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RickB RickB is offline
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I like to cut any rear notch deep enough so the entire front sight is visible, if possible; most rear notches are wider than they are deep, so the front sight looks more like a box than a post.

If you go taller than about .200" for the front sight, a low-mount adjustable rear will have to be cranked up higher than necessary to zero.

I prefer the Heinie rear, as it has a very dep notch, with a .100" front, as there's plenty of light on the sides and I can see the entire sight in the notch.
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2020, 06:54 PM
markm markm is offline
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Originally Posted by RickB View Post
If you go taller than about .200" for the front sight, a low-mount adjustable rear will have to be cranked up higher than necessary to zero.

I prefer the Heinie rear, as it has a very dep notch, with a .100" front, as there's plenty of light on the sides and I can see the entire sight in the notch.
On adjustable sights I bottom they out and add 6 clicks and then calculate and buy the right height for that.

I like the Heinie's also but the notch is pretty wide, I use a .125 or .135 front or there is too much light for me. On my STIs with faxed sights I've getting the .135 Satccato fronts because the have a larger, more common, fiber which has more color options/choices.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:47 PM
anonymouscuban anonymouscuban is offline
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Originally Posted by markm View Post
On adjustable sights I bottom they out and add 6 clicks and then calculate and buy the right height for that.



I like the Heinie's also but the notch is pretty wide, I use a .125 or .135 front or there is too much light for me. On my STIs with faxed sights I've getting the .135 Satccato fronts because the have a larger, more common, fiber which has more color options/choices.
WOW. That's a pretty wide front sight blade. I run .95 or 1.0.

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  #11  
Old 06-02-2020, 06:45 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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Originally Posted by anonymouscuban View Post
WOW. That's a pretty wide front sight blade. I run .95 or 1.0.

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Front sight width is truly a personal preference to some degree. Often dictated by age. Like in my case, a .95 front has so much daylight it appears I could have two front sights and still not fill the rear notch. When I was younger, and my eyes sharper, I could pick up any sight combination and make good accurate hits with it. Now at 57 years old, and wearing readers to see up close, the rear sight is just a huge fuzzy mess when focused on the front sight. Its a big help to accuracy if the notch is close to filled with the front sight.

Years ago before my eyes started to change on me I did some testing for my own purposes and found the skinny front didn't really show markedly faster times on the clock, but shooting accurately at distance was much better with a .125 front sight. For the tournaments I was shooting I felt accuracy was more important than what little if any speed gain there was to a thinner front sight.
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  #12  
Old 06-02-2020, 09:32 AM
jtq jtq is offline
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Originally Posted by anonymouscuban View Post
WOW. That's a pretty wide front sight blade. I run .95 or 1.0.
If there is anything in the front sight, such as a fiber optic rod, or a tritium vial, you're probably looking at something at least .110 wide. Most tritium sights are .125 wide or wider.

Fast acquisition front sights, which the OP is looking for, are typically larger and sport some high visibility feature such as a fiber optic rod or paint.
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  #13  
Old 06-02-2020, 11:42 AM
Rowlf Rowlf is offline
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Just for some ideas...



This a competition pistol for International events, a Pardini SP. These are used in 25 meter events. Rapid Fire stage of Standard Pistol gives you 3 seconds to raise and fire the pistol from a ready position of the pistol arm lowered 45 degrees from horizontal. Raise, aim and fire in 3 seconds or you miss the shot. (Rapid Fire Pistol, a separate event from Standard Pistol, is raise and fire five shots in four seconds.)

The front sight height is 7mm or 8mm and widths are available in 0.5mm steps from 3.0 - 5.5mm. Usually the front sight blade width is set to the width of the target. 8mm tall front sight is standard on the Rapid Fire Pistol models

The rear sight is adjustable for height, windage and notch width.

pardini.it/img_pagine/armi/sp-3.jpg

Edited to add that the front sight height selection is to allow for either sub-six or center hold on a target and still have rear sight height adjustment range. On Hammerli and Feinwerkbau pistols I have had to use a 2mm taller front sight for center hold to allow my rear sight to be in the middle of its adjustment range.

How PPC shooters get their pistols to work using a neck hold has me curious. I suspect some fancy gunsmithing.

Last edited by Rowlf; 06-02-2020 at 12:09 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-02-2020, 01:20 PM
jtq jtq is offline
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Originally Posted by Rowlf View Post
Just for some ideas...
It is probably worthwhile to know what the OP is considering "fast acquisition", and in what sport he's competing.

A shot every 3 seconds in a Rapid Fire competition is a little different than what an IDPA or IPSC shooter would probably consider "fast acquisition".
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  #15  
Old 06-02-2020, 04:16 PM
Rowlf Rowlf is offline
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Originally Posted by jtq View Post
It is probably worthwhile to know what the OP is considering "fast acquisition", and in what sport he's competing.

A shot every 3 seconds in a Rapid Fire competition is a little different than what an IDPA or IPSC shooter would probably consider "fast acquisition".
Sure. ISSF Rapid Fire finals have a 13cm (for Men) or 8.5cm (for Women) diameter A zone at 25 meters with scoring in a hit-or-miss format.

Here are some notes on sight notch width:



(Image from www.australiancynic.com/sights.pdf
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Old 06-02-2020, 05:52 PM
jtq jtq is offline
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  #17  
Old 06-02-2020, 08:18 PM
Ollies930 Ollies930 is offline
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I am planning on entering some Steel Challenge competitions, once I get more proficient with my gun. Problem right now is the fact that my eyesight is starting to go away as I am closing in on 60. My 1911 Government size gun with a 6.75" sight radius, approximately 22" from my eyeball to the rear sight and a .120"front/'116" rear sight gives me a sight picture in the neighborhood of 1-4.44-1 (assuming I did the math correctly). I did just order a new front sight blade that is .100" wide from Dawson Precision (very nice gent to talk to), which should give me a 1-3.7-1 sight picture. Should improve my speed a bit. Might even help accuracy.
And thanks markm, I used your formula to order the appropriate front sight height.
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  #18  
Old 06-02-2020, 08:33 PM
Rowlf Rowlf is offline
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Oliver,

Are you using any lens correction in your glasses to get a sharp front sight image? I use a +1.0 or +1.25 over my normal correction depending on lighting and how far the pistol is away from me (one hand or two hands). Stack the variables in your favor.
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  #19  
Old 06-03-2020, 12:16 AM
Ollies930 Ollies930 is offline
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Tried 1.25 readers, but at 30' or so the target gets pretty fuzzy, at 45' it is a complete blur.
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  #20  
Old 06-03-2020, 03:01 AM
markm markm is offline
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Originally Posted by Ollies930 View Post
Tried 1.25 readers, but at 30' or so the target gets pretty fuzzy, at 45' it is a complete blur.
You might try 1.00. With my aging eyes I started wearing glasses for computer where my monitor is at arms length and I thought they might work for shooting but at 20+ yards the targets were way out of focus then I backed off 1/4 diopter and that made all the difference.
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  #21  
Old 06-03-2020, 04:29 AM
Ollies930 Ollies930 is offline
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Good suggestion, I will try a 1.00 and 0.75. Hopefully one of those will work.
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  #22  
Old 06-03-2020, 06:29 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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Originally Posted by Ollies930 View Post
Good suggestion, I will try a 1.00 and 0.75. Hopefully one of those will work.
Those are the two I tried and the .75 was just as clear on the front sight. Elvex RX500 are the glasses I use. Their like $10.00 on line.
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  #23  
Old 06-03-2020, 07:18 AM
Rowlf Rowlf is offline
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The Elvex RX500 are great. Inexpensive, clear, comfortable and hard to scratch. Safety Glasses USA has sales from time to time so sometimes you can save on shipping. If I see a sale I buy a +0.75, +1.00 and +1.50 every year. (no +1.25 offered). Since they are for range use I put a square of Scotch translucent tape over the non-aiming eye as an occluder. (Scotch brand tape doesn't leave a residue if removed)
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:17 AM
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Tim Burke Tim Burke is offline
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Originally Posted by Ollies930 View Post
I am planning on entering some Steel Challenge competitions, once I get more proficient with my gun. Problem right now is the fact that my eyesight is starting to go away as I am closing in on 60.
Use the Steel Challenge experience to get more proficient with the gun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollies930 View Post
Tried 1.25 readers, but at 30' or so the target gets pretty fuzzy, at 45' it is a complete blur.
Figure out what strength reader that you need to see your front sight clearly. You can do that at the drug store display... they usually have demo text for you to use. Instead of standing where they tell you 14" or so, stand in your shooting position, and leave about 5" of air between your fist and the text. That will be close to your front sight distance. Figure out what strength readers makes the text clear. Once you know that, look here.
Or you can search on Amazon for top-bifocal safety glasses. Some of those are cheaper.
If you really want to get fancy, you can get the SSP and some replacement lenses without magnification, and just have the top bifocal in front of your dominant eye.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:32 AM
anonymouscuban anonymouscuban is offline
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Originally Posted by Ollies930 View Post
I am planning on entering some Steel Challenge competitions, once I get more proficient with my gun. .
Stop waiting to get more proficient with the gun and start shooting matches. Trust me. It's the same for Steel Challenge as it is for USPSA.

GO SHOOT A MATCH!

Any practice you think you're doing to prepare is all for not and all you're doing is procrastinating. Until you experience your first match you won't know what it it's like to shoot a match or had to prepare and train for your next one. No one is going to laugh at you. No one is going to expect you to be good. On the contrary, most everyone will be very supportive of you.

NOW GO ON PRACTISCORE AND REGISTER FOR A MATCH! NOW! NOT IN 15 MINUTES. NOW!


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