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Sight alignment and the rear sight width.

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Sight alignment and the rear sight width. Empty Sight alignment and the rear sight width.

Post by r_zerr 12/21/2022, 8:56 pm

On Sunday I took a S&W .45ACP to the range. What seemed very noticeable was the very visible gaps between the front sight and the rear sight. I always felt that I was struggling with sight alignment on my 1911 with Bomar rear and .125" wide front.

So I broke out the Scatt and dryfired. I noticed my hold from one shot to the other was not consistent. I broke out a Swiss file and took about .010" off of both sides of the rear notch. I know have visible gap that I'm not struggling to see.

I dryfired some more and the previous inconsistencies are gone. 

It makes me wonder if others are struggling with this and dont know it. I dont recall this detail really being discussed here. 

I'm interested to hear others thoughts or experiences.
-Ron

r_zerr

Posts : 176
Join date : 2014-12-15
Location : Tucson, AZ

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Sight alignment and the rear sight width. Empty Re: Sight alignment and the rear sight width.

Post by rsp 12/21/2022, 11:01 pm

I'm just a sharpshooter but I'm pretty sure I like big sights in general.

My Steyr LP50 Compact air pistol came with a 4.5mm (~.180") front sight and a 4mm rear sight notch (~.160"). And I definitely like that sight picture better than anything I can get on an adjustable sight service pistol.

Bear in mind that the sight radius on the LP50 is much longer than a 1911 which makes that .180" front look a little smaller. So to get roughly the same sight picture on a 1911 you'd use a .160" width for both the rear notch and front post. That's quite a bit bigger than the Kensight Bo-Mar which is a .125" front and .112" rear.

I suspect most pistol sights are really designed for a two-handed hold. When you bring the sights closer to the eye with two hands, you enlarge the apparent size of the front sight *and* the apparent gaps alongside it. So that makes smaller, tighter sights make sense, but when you hold them in a bullseye stance it's another story. I also have fairly long arms (armspan of 6'3") which makes the effect of holding those little sights at arm's length even worse.

rsp

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Post by Wobbley 12/22/2022, 12:11 am

If the rear notch is too narrow, the light can refract and small misalignments of the blade to the notch can be masked.  So it’s best to have a wider notch than narrower.  A reasonable “rule of thumb” is a notch that appears to be 1.5 times wider than the blade.
Wobbley
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Post by r_zerr 12/22/2022, 11:31 am

That refraction situation appeared to be the exact effect. I have watched it among people using peep sights on a rifle so I knew what it was.

It just made me wonder how many people are being effected by it in pistol, especially since I dont see that aspect in discussion, along with how people do have sight alignment problems.

r_zerr

Posts : 176
Join date : 2014-12-15
Location : Tucson, AZ

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Post by bruce martindale 12/22/2022, 3:14 pm

rsp nals it! Smith rear sights are notoriously narrow.

Wider is better than too tight.

Few people REALLY understand irons these days. Sights; somewhere around page 53

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https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t20747-feeling-center-a-10-bullsey

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