Iron sights are too big


March 23, 2003, 04:55 AM
Now, don't get me wrong, ....maybe I just don't know nothin'. But I could swear that most all the iron sights out there are TOO BIG.

I'm talking rifle - I'm talking pistol........Iron sights are too big. When I read the advertising blurbs for various guns in the press....they will often brag about how BIG the sights are. OK....for defensive handguns....a big, thick, close range sight has its place. But these big sights are everywhere. My Ruger Ruger NEF Security Six (6" bbl)...Ruger MKII...........I love all of them...I shoot all of them with iron sights. But I could swear that I could shoot them better with finer sights. My SKS has a finer sight...and I shoot it most accurately of all, as a result.

Seems to me; back in the bad old daze, when people had to use iron sights or nothing at all. Back in the daze when it was very, very, very important to put that bullet where it belonged 1st time...cause you probably didn't have time to load a 2nd....they had extremely small sights on most of them guns.

I'm beginning to think that we shooters may have forgotten something thru the years......

Am I alone in thinking like this? :confused:

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March 23, 2003, 05:43 AM
No , the extremely small sights on target pistols in the 1800s were not better, nor were v notches or beads. E.E Patridge studied how the eye works and with that info developed the patridge sight - .100 - .125" square post and matching square notch rear. It's still the best handgun sight because it is the only one that considers how the eye functions.

March 23, 2003, 08:43 AM
I wish someone would put some of those "too big" sights on my 1911 mil-spec. I can't see the ones on there now.

There is something to be said for small AND big sights. The example above--A combat pistol that you cannot see the sights on and another, my S&W 22A had a front sight so big you'd cover the entire 7 ring at 25 yds with it. I eventually had to file it down (narrower) and ultimately put a red dot on it.


March 23, 2003, 08:50 AM

Hey badgerr.....ask this question again when you are 50+ years old, and have to put on the single-vision glasses so that you can FIND your tri-focals................

At my age and stage of life, the bigger the better when it comes to sights. Much as I like busting up those dangerous empty soda cans with my Marlin 99, I just can't do it nearly as well with those tiny sights. Much easier now, with the Tasco 4x32 on top

March 23, 2003, 11:24 AM
Get a Makarov. If you call those sites big, I'm gonna start calling you "Eagle-Eye Badger" :scrutiny:

March 23, 2003, 11:38 AM
I think the v notch sights are best.
I do notice that many sights are so large that they obscure the target. The sights on my SAR1 are finer than the sights on my AK hunter making my lower quality SAR1 easier to shoot and more accurate.

Chris Rhines
March 23, 2003, 12:12 PM
No. Most old-fashioned gun sights are way too small. Smaller sights are harder to focus on, and narrow rear notches block so much of the sight picture that they take much longer to align.

I like having a big, square front sight (easy to see, sharp edges, no reflected light to confuse the eye) with a HUGE rear notch (lets in plenty of light, easy to align precisely or flash-index on the front sight.) This goes the same with notch-and-post or apeture sights.

- Chris

March 23, 2003, 12:57 PM
Badger, I think if you will change your sight picture, your problem will be solved, no matter how big or small your sights are.

Dont aim at the center of a target; aim the the 6 oclock low position, where the black and white colors of the target meet. This is a more precise position to aim at, rather than guesstimating where the center of the target is.

In other words, set the bulls eye on top your your sights. Big sights wont block out your target that way.

March 23, 2003, 01:14 PM
She can be as big as a Mack truck. When your focus is correct it shouldn't matter. Front sight in perfect focus, a strong blur of the rear to line it up, and the target should be barely noticeable. From there, it's the "feel".

People think I'm crazy for getting rid of my 31 different types of rifles. The biggest reason for simplifying my collection was for focus. It's much easier and more satisfying, to me, to shoot my one type of rifle/pistol/shotgun well, than to be "so-so" with 30 or 40 types of firearms.

Concentrate only on what you have in your hands now. Do not compare the firearm in your hands to the one you shot before that was "better" in some way. That contributes to a lack of total focus on the job at hand.

Without total focus, sure, that front sight might be big as a house, then you think about how that ol' Mauser had better sights, then you think of how you oughta get back to that store you bought the Mauser from, then you think of the little hotty behind the counter that ran the background check on you when you bought that ol' Mauser, then you think about, .... well, you get the idea. Even subconscious has a way of screwing with your head.

Clear you mind, focus only on the task at hand. That's the key to why a farmboy can take his ol' 22 Hornet and pull up on a woodchuck to pop him off at 300yd without thinkin twice about it, but he can't hit the middle of a 200yd paper target on a good day with the same rifle (not that I know any such farmboy ;) <-- me ). The paper let's him think too much, the woodchuck doesn't.

See what I'm saying? I only because sometimes I make more sense to myself than anyone else.:confused: :D

March 23, 2003, 06:23 PM
good advice, Mr. Trash.

March 23, 2003, 06:39 PM
I'm wiith foghorn on this one and for the same reason!

Go with the 6 o' clock hold, and all will go well...

I've no problem, minus glasses, focusing on the front sight: anything beyond arms length is a big, fuzzy blur!

March 23, 2003, 06:48 PM
Gotta say badg' ... even in my younger days when sight was sharper .... I still preferred the bigger sights .. and still do of course as focus gets ever harder.

Reason?? I like to see a loada daylight between foresight and rear .... that I find helps be get quicker aquisition ..... and in fact ...... if all my pieces had a largish peep as rear sight i think I'd do better yet!!

Gimme the big ones!!!:p :cool:

Dave R
March 23, 2003, 10:40 PM
Big sights are quicker to pick up for defensive use. But you can shoot just as "fine" with 'em. If the alignment is right, the bullet will go where its supposed to.

Try using part of the front sight as your aiming reference, instead of using the whole sight. You can shoot at something smaller than the front sight that way.

March 24, 2003, 03:29 AM
I'm a dissenter, I guess. I prefer smaller sights. I have good eyesight, and without exception, all the guns I own with smaller sights provide me better accuracy, even with 6'oclock hold, etc.

DT Guy
March 29, 2003, 11:29 PM
I just made some sights for my Kimber that feature a .129ish rear notch and a .98ish front. Takes some getting used to, but I'm liking it.

I got the idea from Matt Burkett, who's IDPA gun has similar sights. Something about 'aim small, miss small.' (Mostly miss, with me!)

It really seems to help at 25+ yards.


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