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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This question comes up all the time. Brian Bilby did a good commenatry on it some time ago.

Here is the link.

http://gunrag.com/showarticle.php3?article=20

Brian and I agreed in part. I am not a fan of the roll pin in the front sight and will not use them.

His comments on the rear sight picture could be detailed even further. Suffice it to say that with some study on how the eye works, the "cleaner" sight picture is easier to shoot. There is a reason Bomars have dominated the competition circles.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-10-26 02:10 ]</font>
 

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Although I do not have the expertise others do. I believe a lot is driven by personal preference.

I have three dot Novaks on a duty gun for 11 years and my second duty gun (Back-up) for 10 years.

I like the wider aperature of the Heinie sight for faster front sight acquisiton but prefer the Novak as I often have to look over the sight at the potential subject, before he/she is suspect, and be aware of the surroundings (mutliple targets, kids behind or near the field of fire, or whatever).

I have found the Novak for some reason allows me to have a greater awareness of the area surrounding the suspect while being able to place a "shot" where it is intended to go. Or greater aquistion/reaqistion of the target for a "flash sight picture."

Not sure of the terminology above but I think I got my point across.
 

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Agreed Terry. I have used Heinie and Novak under some pretty extreme conditions, and while both are excellent sights, my choice favors Novaks.

While the Heinie is nice because it has a flat plane for quick indexing, I prefer the Novak design that has the notch inset into the sight body. It is not confusing to me in any way. I have had Heinies "white out" under direct sunlight from a certain angle, even though they are serrated and slanted downward. The Novak allows a clear view of the notch in any light.

All things being equal, I choose Novaks.
 

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I have both on carry guns and bomars on my competition guns. I don't use them under the extreme uses of work like y'all do, but I do spend a lot of time shooting and using the sights in either practice or match conditions. I know its different.

Anyway..I like both. I like the flat blade of the Heinie and the only thing my eye found confusing when i started using them was the coarse serrations. I shoot the Novaks pretty well and like them..What I did find and am pretty excited to try is an old heinie sight that has a bomar rear blade look. Mr. Heinie said theis sight was a very early model. If I like it I am going to have my heinie's modified to mimic this...Just got to go find some of the old style sighs now.
 

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I am a big fan of the Heinie Slant Pros. I've never owned a gun with Novaks, but I have experienced them on other people's gun. I do not like the sight picture nearly as much as the Heinie's.

This may sound crazy to some people as well, but I also think the Heinie Slant Pros look so much better on a 1911 than the Novaks.

To each his/her own though.
 

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Dane--I know you like express sights on rifles, but I don't recall you ever posting your opinion of the Ashley express sights for pistols. What do you think of them? Do you install them on your customers' guns?
 

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I agree with Mr. Peters and Mr. Kropf. "Flash pic" indeed! To me, at least, Novaks dominate in this respect. Perhaps (as my wife states) I'm just odd, but in quick acquisition firing, my mental and visual focus is upon the intended target, and not on the ass end of the gun. I flash the front sight in secondary focus upon the correct part of the target, and I'm good to go. Rear sight is merely a portal to scan through. Hell, I don't even get a picture of what the rear sight looks like when shooting. Either that or my short memory... :wink:

As regards serrations on the rear sight, I don't really find that they do much to scatter reflecting light, but I DO find their glints of reflected light to be something that can catch my attention while shooting, i.e., a distraction. FWIW, I was trained on the post WWII M1911A1 sights, and don't really remember them being any big deal when under stress. Too much else going on.

I've read much of the "tech-study" stuff on eye function and visualisation time, etc. Supposed to favor single plane rear sights. All-righty then. I wonder if Mr. Leatham would agree...

_________________
Make It Hot!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: dpcdivr on 2001-10-27 13:11 ]</font>
 

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Well I'm going to add my .02 worth in here as well. Sights are a real dissapointment to me in this day and age of all the good combat enhancements being done.

I dont like rear sight serrations. Same reasons as dpcdivr. Once the serrations are cut, the sight is blasted. The bottoms of those serrations never seem to get the benefit of the blasting and have a "glint". When the light is over my shoulder to any extent it is a downright distraction.

I much prefer an agressive blasting.

Up to 7 feet , its point and shoot drills for me, no sights, 7 to 21 feet usually I line the front sight on target and fire looking over rear sight, 21 to 35 I try to practise getting a rough line up of the sights before i shoot. 35 to 75 i use the sights as normal. I'm getting pretty good at this even under stress.

My next beef with both these sights is this. They are made from some real soft steels, 12L14 or softer to be exact. Where is the sence in making a sight out of soft material? What's the first damn thing that is going to get damaged in a holster? The exposed rear sight, thats what. Imagine rapelling down the side of a building, slipping and crashing your gun against the side of a concrete building, or any other of a million circumstances. Make the sight out of 4140 material with a mill run heat treatment of 28-32, and dont give me that crap about no one being able to afford it. I own a machine shop and cut this stuff regularly, it aint that costly to make a nice finished product on a CNC machine. What , you telling me people are going to skimp on the sights? Get real.

My last beef is with the one handed slide rack. Neither one of these two designs is worth a crap for that in my opinion. The Novaks are designed around the most cosmetically appealing lines, you aint racking a slide reliably with that sight, I dont care who you are. The Heines are only a little better but give no real purchase to a boot heel or belt. I have milled a rear sight with a reverse angle at the front of the dovetail just to see what would happen. Not only does it work like a charm, it looks pretty good too.

You would think that any maker of combat sights would take all things into consideration and design the finest system they are capable of. I dont claim to be an expert at combat guns, but I can tell when a sight doesn't live up to "combat" requirments in its entirity.

Yea , I have a problem with sights, and yea, I might just do something about it one of these days too.

Stepping down off the soapbox and making room for the next in line.
 

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Has anyone here tried the high-visibility fixed sights that Robar makes? A heavy-duty, non serrated rear sight that fits the standard Colt dovetail, and a long, ramped, serrated front sight. I've always liked this sight picture, it doesn't require modification to the slide, and the rear sight can be used for one-handed malfunction clearance operation.

I always thought the older Wilson "Snag Free" sights were nice, as well.

While the sloped Novak-style sights don't help during one-handed slide operation in the event of a disability, they do make it easier on the support hand when clearing malfuctions (such as stovepipes), or when performing a TRB.

As long as the notch on the rear sight is wide enough to allow for fast acquisition of the front sight, I've found that the shape or texture of the rear sight doesn't effect me that much.
 

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Novaks, will if you request them mill a falt on their sights for one handed drills. They may even have some in stock.

Original Heinie Sights give good purchase for a one handed rack off a stable belt, pocket, etc. Slant Pros, work well too.

Bomar and other adjustable sights have a tendencey to become tangetnally moving objects on slides. They break. I have seen it on numerous occassions, both while training and competing. The worst offender is the Colt Eliason, haven't seen one yet that hasn't sheared a few pins.

AO Express sights are great sights. They are fast at short range and with practice 12" plates at 25yds are no problem. No with tritium front and rears they are a great option. Neat concept, they have instructions on how to use them--read and follow.

Application wise, most people under stress shoot off/out of the sights. We think because the handgun is pointed generally at the target we will hit it. This is why there are so many rounds unaccounted for in officier involved shootings.

Using that little bump in the front of the barrel or slide rapidly increases hit ratio; unless we are talking up close and personal. At contact distance 5-7ft one must be able to shoot from a retention position(factory ported Glocks or any ported handgun suck for this)is needed.

Much over 7ft, as a shooter for both stopping the assailant and liablity reasons use of sights is a GOOD THING, and just as fast as "point shooting". The problem occurs here when we have the mind set, I have to have a Weaver, Isos-Weaver, Isoceles stance. Your feet and leg position don't matter, you shoot with your arms, shoulders, and hands; feet provide a platform.

What happens when you are on the ground, on steps, uneven ground, etc., for that matter shooting from a supine position? You have to use your sights to get hits. Where ever the front goes, so will you rounds.

I share this with you as someone who is a competitor, trainer, former MP, I have been shot at and shot other individuals. You have not seen my name in any of the guns and bullshit articles, nor will you. I have trained and trained with FBI SWAT Teams, variuos military Special Operations Units, several PDs nationwide, attended many istitutions of higher firearms education and FWIW, I am a former SF Operator. In all cases use of sights is taught, even when using shotguns and M60 machineguns.

Take your pick of sights, Millet, Heinie, MMC, AO, Novak, factory; USE THEM. You will hit what you aim at; packing a handgun on the street be you a civilian, a local cop, federal agent; you are responsible for every round that you send down range if you are in a situation that requires you to shoot.
 

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Ok I guess I'll throw in my pennies as well. Disregarding durability or weather or not you can use the rear sight to hammer in nails I think that it's more about the persons eyes or mind than the sight. For quite some time I didn't want to shoot anything but the novak, hated everything else. I'd sit there and practice dry fire sight pictures and decide that the novak was indeed the fastest for me. Now I think it is all mental,I hate the sight picture of the new Wilson 463 but if I don't think about how much I hate it I shoot just as fast as with the novak, and my groups do not suffer. I just recently had the opportunity to shoot three different combat style sights one right after the other. When not thinking about it I saw NO difference and I was shooting in semi rapid succesion. Of course the Sraight Eights were on a BCP so maybe that's why they hit the target but who knows :smile:
Ok after rambling like that I feel like I should say I haven't slept since saturday night so take that into account :razz:
Andy



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: AndrewT on 2001-10-29 19:19 ]</font>
 

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Just an interesting aside regarding serrations, with no offence intended, I promise. On the "New type Bo Mar Install" thread now running, look at the bottom photo, showing a partially-serrated rear blade, with the top half left unserrated. Now, which portion of the blade is easier on your eyes? Do you see the 7 horizontal white lines of reflected light from the blade serrations? Are these the first things your eyes draw to when looking at the sight? Think this might be a distraction? Thought so. And this isn't even reflected sunlight...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Express sights on a hand gun?

I am not a fan of express sights. You need a longer sight radius than a handgun offers to use them under all conditions. Post and notch sights offer more options in overall use is still my feeling.

"I believe a lot is driven by personal preference"
Ok, I'll bite and add fuel to the flame :grin: If you take the time to study how the human eye actually works, which changes depending on the level of adreneline in the system, it becomes very clear that there are indeed preferences. Those "preferences" are human physical limitations. Add to the eyes' ability to see, the gun skills of a GM and the "preferences" become mandatory to run a gun at that skill level adroitly.

Bill Wilson wrote a commentary in one of his books about how he could never break into the winner's circle while using S&W sights low mounted on a 1911. He acknowledged that the change to Bomars gave a better sight picture and allowed his shooting speed, in reality his SEE SPEED, to improve enough to play with the big boys.

There is a reason at the top level of the action shooting sports, Bomars and Heinie's are in the majority. The reason? "SEE SPEED" If you don't care to push your own skill level it is no matter to me.

Doesn't matter to me what you shoot. It does matter to me what I build. I don't build full house guns with an Essex frame or a stock Colt barrel. There are better products out there for accuracy and for durability. Sights are no different. You have three options in my shop, Heinie, Bomar and for the collector, Colt style pre War NM.

You want second best, have someone else build to your personal preference.

How's that for a perference :grin:


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-10-31 20:12 ]</font>
 

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Mr. Burns,

Do you have a preference between Heinie's old style and the Slant Pros?
 
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