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Old 01-19-2020, 11:46 AM
Amos Iron Wolf Amos Iron Wolf is offline
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An interesting observation on sights.

No pun intended.

Been a while since I'd pulled my still unfired Colt Combat Elite XSE out of the safe. I also pulled the RIA GI out and did some dry fire. Comparing the sights between the two was to say, eye opening (pun intended). And not what one would expect.

I run triple progressive lenses. Now if I tilt my head way back I can see the sights on my handguns clearly out of the bottom of the lenses. However, from a more normal head position they are blurry. But, not so blurry that I can't separate the front sight from the rear. That is where it gets interesting though.

With the GI sights I found it easier to distinguish front from rear and get a more usable sight picture than on the Colt CE with its better sights. Even blurry I could get horizontal and vertical alignment on the RIA's GI sights without much trouble. On the Colt with the Novak style rear and better front sight and with the three dots I had more trouble discerning placement. The three dots were not distinct and not immediately visible. I've never been a fan of the three dot setup anyway, preferring the post and dot if there are any markings on the sights. However, dots or no dots, I had more trouble with what would normally be considered the better sights.

I've always been a fan of true GI type sights for quick work when I could see them better. I found the front was easier to find on recovery without a big rear sight making it harder to find. The rear just added a quick horizontal reference. Naturally for tight target work target sights are nice when shooting slow. Once things started getting blurry though I figured the GIs were not going to work for me at all. So it was surprising when comparing the two that with everything a bit blurry the GI sights were easier for me to align than the nice sights on the Colt.

Now for the range I could get a pair of single vision glasses and just have everything beyond the gun be blurry. However, it's not likely I would be wearing those glasses in a SD situation or in the field. Probably not a good idea to have the world around me blurry all the time just to have the sights clear. I can do that without my glasses. The sights are clearer when I don't have my glasses on. I can look over my glasses and get a clear sights so I can just tuck a little lower on the head for that matter.

I just found it quite surprising that the minimal GIs were easier for me to get a good sight picture with. Albeit a blurry one. Thinking back a few weeks ago I was at the range and one gun I had with me was a S&W M65-1. Now that I think about it I was shooting pretty good in single action with those basic fixed sights. I did have more trouble with my "better" sighted guns.

One thing for sure these days. The pointability of any handgun has gone from something I really like to something a bit more important now.
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2020, 12:36 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is online now
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Very interesting find.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2020, 12:36 PM
guns90 guns90 is offline
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As Bob Seger sang, "I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." Getting older can suck.

Just last week, I had cataract surgery on my left eye. Out-of-pocket has cost me $2500 for 'multi-focal lenses to be inserted. I emphasized to my ophthalmologist that what was most important to me was my intermediate vision followed by my distant vision. I've worn glasses since I was eight so I figured I wouldn't care about having them for reading. The clarity of my distant vision hasn't come yet, but he tells me it will. Intermediate is improving every day. Supposed to get the right eye done two weeks later. If I couldn't see the sights on my guns, I honestly wouldn't know how I would handle that. It's the main reason I decided to have the surgery. Trips to the range had become more difficult and less enjoyable..

My newest acquired .45, a Dan Wesson ECP, had sights that I just couldn't use now, a small brass bead for the front, and plain black for the rear. I swapped them out for some tritium sights, and it even made the gun much more usable (to my eyesight) in daylight. I'm just trying to be patient now. Time will tell.
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Old 01-19-2020, 12:47 PM
david_root2000 david_root2000 is offline
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2020, 12:52 PM
magazineman magazineman is offline
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I'm surprised that bigger, better sights were not standard back in the late 1800's through WW2.

Even back when my vision was good, the tiny sights on old handguns (early 1911's for example) seemed like an obvious & easily cured design flaw.

Maybe people back then were all eagle-eyed supermen.
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2020, 01:24 PM
guns90 guns90 is offline
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Originally Posted by magazineman View Post
Maybe people back then were all eagle-eyed supermen.
I think that they had just not yet been exposed to fast food, soy, tofu, etc.
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:34 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magazineman View Post
I'm surprised that bigger, better sights were not standard back in the late 1800's through WW2.

Even back when my vision was good, the tiny sights on old handguns (early 1911's for example) seemed like an obvious & easily cured design flaw.

Maybe people back then were all eagle-eyed supermen.
The mindset back then was that bigger sights would simply blot out the target at long ranges where precision shooting was needed. At across-the-room distances you were not expected to waste precious milliseconds trying to align the sights anyway. Of course it was also an era where nobody took the time to use two hands to hold the pistol either unless they were going for a really long-distance shot. What we know now about combat handguns took 150 years to finally figure out. But you can easily see when looking at vintage guns that small sights were thought to be beneficial. Large sights were purely for bullseye shooting where you could take your time and line the sights up on the bottom of the black target center.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:00 PM
magazineman magazineman is offline
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Makes sense.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:03 PM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
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I think most people dealing with "over 40 eyes" experience the same dilemma.

Articles in "Bulls eye-L" by the ophthalmologist Dr. Wong go into details about glasses, prescriptions and sights. Some challenges faced by shooters requiring corrective lenses can be mitigated if your "eye doc" is a shooter and or at least understands front sight, rear sight and target acquisition.

I also had trouble with "combat" sights ie. three dot system. Although adequate at self defense distances not so for precision beyond about 10 yards. Black on black Patridge sights are quite a bit better and red dot sights are "golden".

The 15 or so "over 40" shooters I shot with almost every week for years have made similar observations. Our club allows "over 65" shooters to shoot our club matches with "red dots" without penalty. Good business!

All the best in 2020,
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:34 AM
Prange Prange is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfitch View Post
I think most people dealing with "over 40 eyes" experience the same dilemma.

Articles in "Bulls eye-L" by the ophthalmologist Dr. Wong go into details about glasses, prescriptions and sights. Some challenges faced by shooters requiring corrective lenses can be mitigated if your "eye doc" is a shooter and or at least understands front sight, rear sight and target acquisition.

I also had trouble with "combat" sights ie. three dot system. Although adequate at self defense distances not so for precision beyond about 10 yards. Black on black Patridge sights are quite a bit better and red dot sights are "golden".

The 15 or so "over 40" shooters I shot with almost every week for years have made similar observations. Our club allows "over 65" shooters to shoot our club matches with "red dots" without penalty. Good business!

All the best in 2020,
The good Doctor also has a "Guide for Professionals" that you can print out and give to your Dr. when making your shooting glasses.

Norm is a shooter, so he understands what shooters require.

Many shooting vision issues can be solved with a proper set of glasses.

Last edited by Prange; 01-20-2020 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:22 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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As we age, our eyesight is one of the biggest challenges we face as a shooter. Understanding the dynamics of a good shot is most important, followed by properly correcting our eyesight and finally, sights that work for us, as an individual.

Hopefully by the time our eyes start changing, you already understand and have somewhat mastered the sight picture, sight alignment and trigger control aspect of an accurate shot. Front sight focus being an important element. A natural pointing handgun with enough practice that instinctive shooting is possible goes a long way to ensuring success should the day you need to defend yourself come your way.

For range use I prefer to be able to see my front sight, allowing my target to be slightly blurry. Not blurry enough that I can't identify my target, but I like my vision correction to be just enough to see my front sight for very accurate shots. Not everyones eye sight will give you this option. It takes some trial and error, even with a good eye doctor.

My preferred sights are a plain black rear (Dawson Charger) combined with a red fiberoptic front (Dawson fiberoptic). For me the bright fiber optic pops and screams "Im here" even with out my glasses on and at self defense distances gives me consistent center mass hits on target with little effort.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:31 AM
RandyP RandyP is offline
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The honest reality of the "Golden years" is that the 'gold' is actually just rust and urine.

Triple progressives here too - we all start to get CRS (Can't Remember Sh**) and also CSS ( Can't SEE Sh**) either - lol
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyP View Post
The honest reality of the "Golden years" is that the 'gold' is actually just rust and urine.

Triple progressives here too - we all start to get CRS (Can't Remember Sh**) and also CSS ( Can't SEE Sh**) either - lol
Priceless!

I'm going to try to remember these two, at least if my CRS doesn't kick in beforehand!
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:05 AM
hardluk1 hardluk1 is offline
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I wear trifocals too but can't get use to progressives . Anyhow I also have a astigmatism and I'm right handed left eye . There was a time I was a heck of the open sight shooter mainly with a skinny gold bead front sight but those days are behind me .

I have used a style of shooting for years for defensive shooting and even hunting hogs at short range that I see has a name . Flash Sight Picture - style . I doubt this type shooting will allow me to ever shoot tinny groups but I can fire a mag full at 15 yards that will measure at or under 4x 6 with a split time in the .750 range , More like a 8" plate size cluster if splits are in a .500 range . I can shoot 25 yards the same way but far more control has to be used just to keep a mag full on a 9x15 silhouette and split times are a gone , maybe a 1 to 1.5 second a shot !! Nothing remotely like target shooting will be found except by accident unless I'm out the door early well before I read anything or sit down at this key board ! Then I'll have a few good minutes plinking with my old colt huntsman at 12ga hulls but that does not last very long now .

I hate white dots and tend to black out the rear and add testers 1144 metallic gold paint to the front . Also dislike todays overly larger brite rings around night sights that are popular today but a green fiber rod seem good . I still like a gold or brass bead on a skinny front sight and have this on my 1911 and DW revolver or just a black skinny front sight so I have plenty of day light down each side .

I do find red dots are easy to shoot well with but practice is needed . I started using a 2moa tube type dot since '78 on a revolver for hunting with and have a 2moa ultra dot on it today . Also have a m&p core with a dot optic and now a p320XC with a Dot optic , both 6moa dots . I know that day is coming that I will want one for carry . What is good about a dot optic is you only need your distance vision to see the target and the dot will appears on the target . With my astigmatism I need to turn the dots bightness down so I get no flair out of the red dot and prefer to use a larger dot when turned down so some auto adjustable dots don't work well for me .
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:02 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Being a somewhat competitive minded shooter - my IDPA vest logo is "Team Mediocre" - I wear monovision shooting glasses to get every break on the range.
I apparently need new lenses, a friend was showing the Eyepal stick on aperture and it definitely sharpened the sights for slow fire.

This does not mean I cannot shoot with my progressives as required; I recently got in a rush and slapped my earmuffs on over my street glasses and did not do too badly.

I think I will practice some with no glasses, or plano safety glasses for protection only. I might have to grab my bureau drawer special and repel boarders.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:09 PM
Frank Vaccaro Frank Vaccaro is offline
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Originally Posted by RandyP View Post
The honest reality of the "Golden years" is that the 'gold' is actually just rust and urine.

Triple progressives here too - we all start to get CRS (Can't Remember Sh**) and also CSS ( Can't SEE Sh**) either - lol
Wahoo, never heard it better said... I'm going to steal that.
If memory holds up!!!
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:05 PM
AZ Desertrat AZ Desertrat is offline
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Love the topic. I just paid 522 bucks for new trifocal glasses. My optometrist was a real hip guy...he knew exactly what I needed. Bottom part of the lens for my reading....check....middle part for front sight shooting distance.....check....and top third for distance….check....which I don't really need because Im pretty far sighted. But I wish I would have figured this out about 5 or 6 years ago!
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:53 PM
Frank Vaccaro Frank Vaccaro is offline
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I have worn bifocals for years. If i want a really sharp sight picture shooting paper I'll use my bifocals.
For normal shooting & hunting I use the regular lens.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:32 PM
Amos Iron Wolf Amos Iron Wolf is offline
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I did get a second prescription for a set of single vision glasses that would work for seeing the sights clearly. I haven't filled them yet though. I figure that just like asking an assailant to wait while I manipulated my handgun from condition three to condition one would be the same as saying wait while I change my glasses. If I ever have to actually use a firearm in self defense then I will be wearing my always on my face glasses unless I'm in bed. Those are the ones I'd better be using to shoot with on the range.

I can actually see the sights pretty clearly without my glasses and can see well enough to ID my target at legally defensible distance. I could train more to look over the top rim of my glasses for a clean sight picture, or do as I am and learn to just align the fuzzy and roll with whichever is happening should I need to shoot for a "live fire exercise."

It just so happens those good old GI sights are easier for me to fuzzy align than the target sights. Like Hardluk, I'm also right hand, left eye dominant with a bad astigmatism in my right eye. I also use flash front sight picture for fast work and always have. Again, for me, I've found that little GI front sight and the basic GI back has worked well for a few decades. I can find the front sight flash picture without losing it in a big rear sight, but have a subtle horizontal reference with the small back sight. It just so happens for slow fire those minimal sights actually have less distraction and are easier to align when fuzzy front and rear.

Maybe the slightly round edge on the rear help too. Think about fixed sights on a single action or on the rear of your basic revolver. Lining the front sight with the rear is as much settling the front post into a position that sort of rounds everything into place. Similar to where a peep sight and post tend to lead you do a natural centering. It the sights are off on a basic rear notch standard post front set then you notice the lack of symmetry and correct to that. Express rear and bead front are similar. It's just off unless the bead settles into the bottom of the V.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:44 PM
havanajim havanajim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyP View Post
The honest reality of the "Golden years" is that the 'gold' is actually just rust and urine.

Triple progressives here too - we all start to get CRS (Can't Remember Sh**) and also CSS ( Can't SEE Sh**) either - lol
Excellent! On the plus side, I suppose we can consider ourselves lucky to have lived long enough to now suffer from these syndromes!!!! Several generations further back, and we likely would not have had to worry about them.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:53 PM
Amos Iron Wolf Amos Iron Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyP View Post
The honest reality of the "Golden years" is that the 'gold' is actually just rust and urine.

Triple progressives here too - we all start to get CRS (Can't Remember Sh**) and also CSS ( Can't SEE Sh**) either - lol
Maybe that is why often enough our GivaS***t button is broken as well. Overuse.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:25 PM
Welder Guy Welder Guy is offline
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I’ve got the CSS syndrome as well. When I wear my contacts my front sight looks a little fuzzy. However when I wear my eye glasses its crystal clear. I’m wondering if I should get something like the Trijicon HD sights put on my guns to see if that’ll help.
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  #23  
Old 01-22-2020, 10:02 PM
clayburn clayburn is offline
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Had that done 2 years ago, you are in for some real fun. I had glasses as long as I can remember, never remember not having them. Had bifocals for years and at times I still tilt my head shooting distance.
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:14 PM
Robin Hood Robin Hood is offline
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Originally Posted by Amos Iron Wolf View Post
I did get a second prescription for a set of single vision glasses that would work for seeing the sights clearly. I haven't filled them yet though. I figure that just like asking an assailant to wait while I manipulated my handgun from condition three to condition one would be the same as saying wait while I change my glasses. If I ever have to actually use a firearm in self defense then I will be wearing my always on my face glasses unless I'm in bed. Those are the ones I'd better be using to shoot with on the range.

I can actually see the sights pretty clearly without my glasses and can see well enough to ID my target at legally defensible distance. I could train more to look over the top rim of my glasses for a clean sight picture, or do as I am and learn to just align the fuzzy and roll with whichever is happening should I need to shoot for a "live fire exercise."

It just so happens those good old GI sights are easier for me to fuzzy align than the target sights. Like Hardluk, I'm also right hand, left eye dominant with a bad astigmatism in my right eye. I also use flash front sight picture for fast work and always have. Again, for me, I've found that little GI front sight and the basic GI back has worked well for a few decades. I can find the front sight flash picture without losing it in a big rear sight, but have a subtle horizontal reference with the small back sight. It just so happens for slow fire those minimal sights actually have less distraction and are easier to align when fuzzy front and rear.

Maybe the slightly round edge on the rear help too. Think about fixed sights on a single action or on the rear of your basic revolver. Lining the front sight with the rear is as much settling the front post into a position that sort of rounds everything into place. Similar to where a peep sight and post tend to lead you do a natural centering. It the sights are off on a basic rear notch standard post front set then you notice the lack of symmetry and correct to that. Express rear and bead front are similar. It's just off unless the bead settles into the bottom of the V.
I’m in favor of the original GI sites as well. I seem to be a lot quicker and more accurate than the larger new site windows/dots/and narrow front site. Same stupid left eye dominant right eye astigmatism as well. Pain in the azz.
The only thing that would be better is if reverse dovetail front sites went mainstream.
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:05 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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Think about this.

What was the average life expectancy of a man back around say 1850?

And what is/was the average age of your average soldier/gunfighter?
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