sights for self defense?


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Bezoar
August 7, 2007, 11:26 PM
i know that ayoob wrote an aritcle in which he said that he was happy he had had a revolver with target sights that he could have reached out and touched a criminal with at 100 yards when he was at a funeral for a policeman that went unpleasent.

So is it neccessary to have a handgun that has sights that can let you hit a target at 100 yards when by legal definition you can only legally defend yourself at close range, say 20 yards at best before it gets to be tried as murder?

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fletcher
August 7, 2007, 11:35 PM
It's not necessary by any means. Sights are completely personal preference - just make sure you can aim with them. Personally, I think target sights are more likely to snag.

lesjones
August 7, 2007, 11:35 PM
The standards for civilians and police are completely different. A policeman might reasonably have to stop a bad buy at 100 yards. If you shoot a bad guy at 100 yards, what are the odds you could convince the DA and jury that you were justified in shooting that person at 100 yards distance?

The Lone Haranguer
August 7, 2007, 11:39 PM
"Target" or any kind of high visibility sights are not just of benefit at long ranges. Even a quick and coarse sight picture will help you score more and better hits at typical gunfighting ranges (the canonical seven yards and less.)

Nomad101bc
August 8, 2007, 02:36 AM
All you really need are laser sights odds are lighting will be poor and you wont have time to aim accurately.

Doberguy
August 8, 2007, 03:28 AM
It is said that in the fear reaction of needing to use a handgun you never remember seeing the sights if you use them at all.
One naturally focuses on the threat, and if possible their eyes.

Many physiological actions working against you.
As Nomad has said probably seeing the red dot of a laser on the threat might be the best chance you have to get a shot off before you become a victim.

1911 guy
August 8, 2007, 10:39 AM
I've never shot at anyone with a handgun, but have with a rifle. I distinctly remember putting the front sight where I wanted it and squeezing the trigger. I can't imagine that using any firearm at relatively close range is all that different, as long as you've got sufficient training to build subconcious habits (front sight, press). The few situations I was involved in were all under 50 yards and involved rifles.

Lasers are useful to many, I've never used them. I've considered a set of Crimson Trace for my house gun, but haven't sprung for them yet. I do not consider them to be the end of all things, though. They are just a tool, gunhandling is what makes or breaks you, along with a large dose of luck.

My preference on a handgun is a plain black rear sight with a wide notch and a highly visible front sight. Blaze orange, canary yellow, a big white dot, whatever works for your eyes.

Ghost Tracker
August 8, 2007, 11:14 AM
When carrying an autoloading pistol for self defense it's important to remember that a jam (it WILL happen) must be cleared ASAP in order to get on with the critical task at hand. High-speed racking of a slide equipped with typical "target" sights can allow the sight "blade" (no pun intended) to slice a bloody gash across the off-hand palm. IMHO, a CCW should have fixed, smooth profile sights.

XavierBreath
August 8, 2007, 11:53 AM
Anecdotal evidence of 100 yard shots aside, being able to shoot your bad guy quicker than he can shoot you is what will have you going home instead of going to the mortuary after a gunfight.

If I had to choose between sights that gave me precision at the expense of speed, or speed at the expense of precision, I would choose speed every time.

By their nature, gunfights are dynamic, nasty affairs. They are first and foremost, fights. Fights for survival. There is a good chance your gun will get smacked against a doorframe, the pavement, or yourself. Having sights that do not loose zero after a good smack, such as fixed sights, is a decided advantage, assuming you will even go to sights.

I would advise tempering your reading of Mas Ayoob with some reading of Jim Cirillo's work. Mas held Jim Cirillo in high regard. Take his lead.

So is it neccessary to have a handgun that has sights that can let you hit a target at 100 yards when by legal definition you can only legally defend yourself at close range, say 20 yards at best before it gets to be tried as murder?You are correct, if a civilian shoots someone in "self defense" at 100 yards, they may end up with a problem in court. At 100 yards, your options of escape were great, and the need to defend yourself small. The needs of law enforcement, of which Mas Ayoob is a member, are different, however. What is necessary for law enforcement does not always transfer over to civilan self defense.

In addition, adjustable sights do not "let" you hit targets at 100 yards. Skill is what produces 100 yard hits, not adjustable sights. Zeroed sights are zeroed sights. If your fixed sights are zeroed at 100 yards, they will hit at 100 yards. Adjustables allow you to adjust zero for various distances. Are you planning on adjusting your sights in the middle of a gunfight? If not, stick with fixed sights.

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