Ideal 7 yard pistol sights

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by gunsmoker, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    When I go to an indoor shooting range almost everybody puts up their targets at either five or 7 yards. Rarely do people go 10 yards, even more rarely do they go 50 feet. And pretty much nobody shoots at 25 yards unless they're shooting a full sized silhouette target and shooting a full-size duty pistol--these are probably law enforcement officers or security guards who are practicing for an upcoming qualification shoot.


    Shooting from 5 or 7 yards makes sense if your goal is to become proficient in the defensive use of a handgun for personal protection. Whether you shoot an armed intruder in your home or out on the street in the alley or parking garage, or you interrupt an armed robbery in progress at the local liquor store, you are likely to fire from no more than 7 yards or 21 feet.

    BUT even modern combat handguns --whose sights are significantly larger and higher-visibility then generations ago-- are too small and too precise for most people to use effectively during rapid fire, at close range.

    All the popular mass produced handguns on the market today, whether they're revolvers or semi autos, and whether they have fixed sights or adjustable sights--have tiny little notches in the rear sights.

    A narrow little notch barely allows any light to be seen on either side of the front sight. It's not fast. It's not easy to acquire for a well-aimed but fast shot, and it's not even easy to get a glimpse of during what might be called a "flash sight picture."

    Sure, with good training in a lot of practice you can get good with it. And modern handgun sights have a rear sight that's a little bit bigger than what our grandfathers used to have to deal with in the early 1900s through the 1960's.

    But what we have today is still far from ideal. Instead the sights on today's guns are the correct proportions for bull's-eye shooting Camp Perry style out to 50 yards, or 50 meters. They are the wrong size and shape for fast shooting at 7 yards or 10 yards.

    (They are often the wrong color, too, being all black or all silver. But that's a different issue. Many companies are offering colored dots or contrasting colored lines on their sights. Some factory-supplied sights are this way, and for many models of guns aftermarket colored sights are available. So, the color and visibility problem can be fixed fairly easily on guns that have user-replaceable sights. But the same cannot be said for the dimensions of the sights themselves, and particularly the width of the notch in the rear sight blade.)

    DOES ANYBODY KNOW if There has been an experiment a study a test comparing how shooters with low to medium levels of experience react to testing to guns that are otherwise identical except for the size of the open sights? The guns have to be identical --same barrel length; same weight of the handgun; same size and shape of the grip; same trigger pull; same caliber. The sights should have the same color scheme, and if they use dots or lines that should be identical. Everything the same except for the physical size of the rear sight and the notch that you look through to see the front sight.

    You know how are modern trend in combat shotguns is to have a "ghost ring" rear peep sight? Well, think of the same concept, trying to achieve the same advantages as a ghost ring setup, but apply it to handguns. Of course it would feature an open Patridge style sight, not a circular sighting disc or aperture sight.
     
  2. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Soldiers are issued handguns whose sights were designed to shoot enemy soldiers in the chest at 50 meters. That's why the sights on those guns are proportioned as they are. Law-enforcement officers' duty guns have sites that are made to hit the 10 ring or Killzone on a full sized humanoid target at 25 yards because all law-enforcement agencies require 25 yard shooting as part of their qualification.

    The sights I am advocating for would be strictly for armed citizens to use on defensive handguns intended to shoot down an attacker at modest distances of 7, 10 and maybe 15 yards.

    But, these sights COULD Be successfully used it much longer distances. They just wouldn't be ideally proportioned for 25 yards. They would have perfect proportions for fast shooting at 10 yards, but you could use them for slow & careful shooting at 50 meters if you had to.

    They'd put you at a slight disadvantage for longer shots, but would give you an advantage for closer and faster shots.
     

  3. zetor

    zetor Gaston beat up John

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    I like 3 dot sights. Lots of space between the dots. It does take effort to ignore the dots when shooting smaller targets at 25yds though.
     
  4. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Yeah, 3 dots are a good system.
     
  5. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    D8D13529-9538-4F4A-ACA6-E9F69B860204.jpeg 9E88A5DA-CCDE-44BF-A9E2-346F6A71769D.jpeg I just took my digital calipers and measured the width and depth of the rear sight notch on several of my pistols and revolvers.

    S&W pre-Model 10, K frame, 2" bbl, fixed sights: 0.09" wide. 0.033" deep.

    S&W Model 34, j-frame, 4" bbl, adj. sights: 0.10" Wide. 0.059" Deep.

    Kel-Tec P3AT. 0.118" wide. 0.025" deep.

    S&W model 66-2, K-frame, adj. sights: 0.126" Wide. 0.084" Deep.

    S&W 637, j-frame fixed sights: 0.128" wide. 0.043" deep.


    S&W 317, J-frame, 2" barrel fixed sights: 0.130" Wide. 0.042" Deep.

    Springfield XD-9 Tactical, 5" bbl, fixed sights: 0.148" wide. 0.10" deep.

    Taurus Millennium G2: 0.162" Wide. 0.099" Deep. This was the only one that seemed almost wide enough for fast aiming and re-acquiring a sight picture during rapid fire.

    Added later: S&W M&P Shield EZ 380, a range rental gun:
    0.167" wide notch.
    0.13" deep.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  6. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    C8B1C2FB-4399-426C-AFE7-B746386DF839.jpeg Whoever came up with this ghost ring sight for a Ruger revolver sure is thinking outside the proverbial box.

    But I think an open sight is better on a defensive pistol.
     
  7. Wegahe

    Wegahe NRA Instructor

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    On a defensive handgun (pistol or revolver) the best sight is the point shoot. People need to face the fact that in a defensive situation you will almost certainly nit have time to establish a proper grip or good sight alignment. Shooting from the hip is a skill I never see anyone practice but is a requirement for self defense.
     
  8. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Yeah, even with the "ideal" handgun sights, I think that point-shooting (both from shoulder level and from belly level) are important skills. It's faster to shoot that way than it is to aim.

    With a little practice people should be accurate enough point-shooting out to 5 yards, maybe 7. But for 10 yards, and 15 yards, and 50 feet, I think defensive shooting at those distances is best done with sighted fire, if you have sights that are easy to see and pick up a 'flash sight picture" quickly.

    (Although in my case, I have a lasers on most of my carry guns. But I've got 30+ years experience of shooting handguns without lasers, and I still regularly practice taking the batteries out, or putting a bit of tape over the LASER output lens, to disable the laser for some of my range practice sessions. I realize lasers can be a crutch for beginners, and can impair their development into good and skillful shooters. And they can become dependent on lasers, so that if they fail to put their finger on the activation button correctly, or they find the batteries are dead, or through no fault of their own the unit just won't turn on that time... these new shooters will often freeze and fumble with the gun, instead of just doing the best they can to shoot without any laser light.)
     
  9. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

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    If it were possible it would be interesting to know how folks who with little or no training and have successfully terminated an aggressor with a handgun aimed or just point shot.
     
  10. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Plenty of people who don't carry guns have been able to fight off robbers, or talk their way out of being robbed, raped, or kidnapped.
    But I wouldn't count on it.
     
  11. Craftsman

    Craftsman Well-Known Member

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    Dunno about studies, but my two favorite sights are very similar. I have a Sig-Sauer P-938 with original Sig sights. The sights are three day/night dots. Rear sights are matching color and middle sight is different. Daytime, they are fiber optic light bars with open tops to gather ambient light. At night they have tritium light sources at the far end of each bar, giving a similar experience. Technically, the tritium is there all the time, but it is washed out in daytime. Lining up the three dots is simple and intuitive. My other favorite is my Springfield XD .45 Tactical with TruGlo TFO sights. Given the fact that Springfield sights are installed with a hydraulic press, it was a major gunsmithing effort to change the sights out. The TruGlo TFO has the same basic design (open top light tunnel with Tritium night booster) as my Sig. As I said, I don't know or care about studies, these both work for me and I really wish I could retro-fit something similar on my Taurus PT-92.
     
  12. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Consider how the M16 battle rifle has two different sized rear peeps. A really big one for fast shooting out to 200 yards, then a disk with a much narrower aperture for precise markmanship at 250-500 yards.

    A handgun intended for use at 15 yards or less needs different sights.
     
  13. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

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    A valid statement. In reality the larger of the two was used for whatever range in combat. On the range the smaller was used on the 300 and 500 yard line due to somewhat different circumstances.
     
  14. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

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    Point shooting or aiming? Assuming the video is not fake.

    https://trendingviews.co/video/attempted-robber-pulls-up-didn-t-know-man-was-packing-heat-9611.html
     
  15. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    I can't tell. Could be either-- point shooting by looking right across the top of the gun's slide, and not getting any "sight picture" at all. Just seeing the top of the gun in your peripheral vision. Or maybe the guy DID get a sight picture-- probably only possible if he spent a lot of time practicing drawing and aiming, so that through muscle memory his arms put that gun up to exactly the right level in front of his eye.

    I do see that this homeowner had the balls to begin his draw, in full view of the bad guy, when the bad guy already had his gun out and in hand, held at almost a low ready position (pointing at the ground near his feet). I don't know if I have enough confidence in my own drawing skills (smooth enough, fast enough) to do that. I think a bad guy would have time to shoot me at least once before I could shoot him, UNLESS he froze, or was distracted and not looking at me when I began my draw.)
     
  16. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Notice also in that video-- the bad guy's reaction to being shot at was to pull his arms back in a defensive posture, no longer able to shoot his adversary. He was all about fleeing at that point. The good guy maintained his firing position and stance EVEN AS he moved. The feet were scampering about, but the good guy's gun tracked the target. The bad guy's gun came off the target and stayed off for the rest of this encounter.
     
  17. zetor

    zetor Gaston beat up John

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    I doubt this guy took the time to acquire a good sight picture. Been posted before by
    Phaed. I’m not a shopkeeper confined to a small area and have never been in a gun battle and I like a plain black sight. Not useful info I know.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  18. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

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    I think the bad guy could not believe his potential victim was drawing a weapon on him and he hesitated just long enough for the good guy to do his thing.
     
  19. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Bad guy had no round in the chamber! You see him try to rack it. This was in South Africa and is posted on my Facebook page with an admonition to carry chambered.
     
  20. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

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    I see it now. Would have never considered that. A robber with no round chambered. :screwy: