Adjustable Revolver Sights yes or no?


October 13, 2010, 11:04 AM
How many of use use the adjustable sights on our revolvers?

The back story is this.

A financial windfall is coming my way and beside it has been a few months since I bought a gun. So I am looking around for an old Smith or Colt to buy.

I found some nice looking Model 10s for 225 bucks. I also noticed a couple of Model 15s for 265.

As I contemplated the purchase (still not made) it occurred to me that I have revolvers with adjustable sights and those without. While I find the deeper rear sight useful when shooting targets, the adjustability is not a factor.

Of course for punching paper the more-easily-snagged sight is not an issue.

So the questions are
What is your experience and preference?

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October 13, 2010, 11:23 AM
I think it depends upon how the revolver will be used....

For a concealed carry revolver I prefer fixed-sights and a short the classic .38 snub-nose revolver.

But for a house/truck gun, one that sits on the nightstand or in the console, adjustable sights and a longer barrel just makes more sense.

October 13, 2010, 11:26 AM
I much prefer adjustables on a .357, but on a carry .38, not so much. Being able to regulate a .357 from .38 to magnum via the elevation adjustment is very nice IMHO. I own a M10, a Taurus 85UL, and a little Rossi 68 at the moment for .38s and none have an adjustable sight. Between 10 and 15, I THINK, especially since it's a range gun, i'd go with the 15. I do have a 10 anyway, but even if i didn't, I'd probably go for the 15 I think. Not sure why, though, maybe just tired of looking at the 10. LOL! Can't make a wrong decision there, don't think. I never carry my 10, a 4" gun and I have a 3" magnum medium frame Taurus that's a fine shooter, carry it in a JIT Slide holster, and it HAS adjustables. Not a problem IMHO. The 10 is an inheritance and a range gun primarily, but it's a danged nice shooter and very well made gun.

October 13, 2010, 11:33 AM
"Use" adjustable sights, as in "how many actually tweak the adjustment to fine tune POI during a range outing?" I do. One of the things I like about revolvers is the versatility in ammo selection, but to take full advantage of that versatility, POA needs to be adjusted to accommodate different POIs. Easiest way to do that is with adjustable sights.

That said, I've used fixed sights to good effect as well, so long as I can see and align the front sight through them. In some cases, they're too narrow or not deep enough...or maybe that the front sight is too wide or not visible enough. Either can be fixed, though.

Me? For range use I'd go with the M15, assuming similar condition.

Don't forget pics and the range report! :D

October 13, 2010, 11:35 AM
Don't forget pics and the range report!

When a decision is made and the purchase arrives I will certainly report and post photos.

No matter what I had better start loading some extra 38s

October 13, 2010, 11:44 AM
(SHHHHHHHHH...there is a little secret and that is that if I decide to go with fixed sights then I have to decide Model 10 or Official Police)

October 13, 2010, 12:45 PM
not adjust adjustables, but you cannot adjust fixed. Just my $.02.
Gratuitously, if you do not already have one, consider a Model 19, a beautiful gun.
Good luck.

October 13, 2010, 12:47 PM
I have a fixed sight four inch S+W M-65 that I drilled and tapped for a red dot sight.
It turned out to shoot as well or better then my M-14.
I can always take the scope and mount off if I need a K frame .357 to carry.

October 13, 2010, 12:48 PM
consider a Model 19, a beautiful gun

I LOVE the model 19.

Have owned a couple.

The last one I gave to my daughter for her 15th birthday.

My thought was that if she could only own one handgun for the rest of her life, that would be the one. Of course she says that it is just one of many. (love that kid!)

October 13, 2010, 01:01 PM
>>How many of use use the adjustable sights on our revolvers?<<

Some are.. some aren't. Got 'em both. ;)

October 13, 2010, 02:39 PM
A model 19 is a work of art. There is nothing like wood and blue steel.

October 13, 2010, 02:47 PM
the Model 19 would be a good first gun. They are so lovely you would be hooked instantly.

October 13, 2010, 02:50 PM
Yes for target shooting.

No for concealed carry.

October 13, 2010, 03:15 PM
All my handguns have adjistable sights. Caveat - none have a barrel length under 4" and I don't carry.
OT - I have a 19-3 I bought new. Since I had a 20+ year haitus from the shooting sports it's got a low round count through it. Loaded with wadcutters in 357 cases it's my favorite shooter.

M2 Carbine
October 13, 2010, 03:26 PM
So the questions are
What is your experience
Been shooting revolvers since sometime before 1960. I'm especially a S&W J Frame fan and probably shoot them more than all my other guns put together.

and preference?
Since all my guns, even dedicated carry guns are shot on the range, I find it irritating when a fixed sight gun does not shoot to point of aim.
Yesterday, shooting three S&W J Frame and two S&W K Frame pistols, three shoot nicely to POA but a J Frame and a K Frame hit a few inches left and left and down.
If I could have my preference ALL my handguns would have adjustable sights. I know where these guns are shooting but it's a pain trying to remember what shoots where.

So I could sight in the gun to hit POA and I wouldn't have to remember there a particular gun shoots.

For instance I have three Polish P-64 pistols. One shoots left, one right and one shoots to POA.


dagger dog
October 13, 2010, 04:23 PM
Some fixed sight revolver sights are regulated for a certain weight bullet, powder combo, to hit where the sight is placed on the target at a specified distance, 158 gr for .38 S&W Special, 250- '55 gr .45 Colt. etc

If you handload and want to shoot a bullet powder combo other that the one for which your revolver was regulated, you will either need to hold over or under,file or add to the front sight height, to get the bullet to impact where the sights point.

It is a whole lot easier to have an adjustable sight.

October 13, 2010, 05:16 PM
I've got some of both. I LIKE the adjustable sights at the range, and I DO adjust for different ammo, etc. HOWEVER, my fixed sight .38 & 44 revolvers generally group will and shoot to point of aim out to 10-15 yards which is about all I could ever hope for.

Ya' pays your money & ya' make your choices. Don't think you could go WRONG with either.

October 13, 2010, 06:12 PM
I find it difficult to stay in the black at 100 yards with a Detective Special. There's something to be said for real sights.

October 13, 2010, 06:20 PM
I do fine with the fixed sights on my J-frame...But I had a 3" was very accurate, but it hit 3" low and 3" left at 25yds. After I found a deal on a Model 19-4, I sold the SP101. No problem CCW'ing the Model 19 with it's adjustables.
Along the same lines, I used to own a Ruger Vaquero Bisley 44mag. I really wanted to like that revolver, but again, it's fixed sights were way off.
Get the Model 15...They are a real joy to shoot. Mine makes me look good every time I take it to the range.

October 13, 2010, 07:00 PM
I've only got a couple of handguns that have adjustable sights, but oddly enough I've never adjusted them. They shoot to POA at the ranges I usually shoot them, so I've never fooled with them. When I'm looking, it's not really a factor in what I'll buy.

October 13, 2010, 07:40 PM
Generally speaking, I only use the adjustable sight to zero after I've found a good handload. After that I almost never make adjustments. But I don't hunt or shoot long range. I do have better luck picking up the shallow rear notch with my old eyes than I do a trench sight.

Been shooting and carrying pistols for 30 years. All mine have fixed blade rear sights. Only started shooting revolvers since joining this forum and getting brainwashed. But I do like the ability to adjust the sight to a consistent load rather than search for a load that matches the sights.

October 13, 2010, 08:05 PM
Only started shooting revolvers since joining this forum and getting brainwashed.

it is not brainwashing, it is getting your mind right

October 13, 2010, 08:12 PM
Shoot often and shoot alot. Know your firearm. Use the force Luke. Let Go. Remove the sights.

October 13, 2010, 10:16 PM
Had both over the years and I prefer fixed. Simple reason, all my fixed sight guns are dead on accurate. If I had adjustable sights and a bad day on the range ~ it would be a temptation to start adjusting. I certainly would not knock a Model 19 or a Model 15 S&W and have owned both at one time. However, my favorite S&Ws are the Model 10 and Model 60 with fixed sights. I also own two Colt Detective Specials and a Police Positive Special, all with fixed sights.

Just personal preference.

October 13, 2010, 11:30 PM
Well, I've got both a 10 and a 19 as well as a 28. I've found that fixed and adjustable sights can live within a collection very well thankyou. I've also got a couple of fixed sight SAA's for CAS events.

I got into reloading a short while back and one of the first jobs was to make a load for the 10 that shot to POA. Once that was done I filed down the sights of the two SAA's to work with the same loads that the 10 likes. Now I've got three guns that all shoot nicely with the same load.

The 10 and the 19 see about equal range time for practice as well as shooting in our club's Speed Steel events. I'm also getting into IDPA and as soon as I gather up enough speed loaders and make or get a suitable high mount holster and speed loader holders I'll be using the 10 for IDPA fun.

October 14, 2010, 06:21 AM
I prefer adjustable sights, but I have noticed a tendency for the screws to work loose on a couple of my older guns.
Of your three choices I would go with the model 15, because it is on my want list. YMMV.

October 14, 2010, 08:47 AM
Between the Model 10 and 15 I would go with the 15. I have both and shoot the 15 more because it is more versatile. If you do decide to carry a 4" revolver just look for a holster that covers the rear sight like a speed scabbard. BTW $265 is a great price on a Model 15 if the condition is good. If they are beat up I would go with the gun in the best condition. Use the revolver check out sticky at the top of the revolver section. Good Luck, Bill

October 14, 2010, 12:56 PM
In addition to those times I'm target shooting or just "plinking", I prefer adjustable sights on any handgun that I carry holstered, whether carrying it for hunting or for self-defense. The only times I prefer fixed sights are those occasions when I may have to draw from a concealed/covered location (pocket, ankle, sob, iwb, etc.) or if I have the gun for its "historical" character (i.e., a sa revolver for use in cowboy action shoots, etc.).
Because I reload a lot and use different powder amounts/bullet weights in various configurations, an adjustable sight is the only practical solution for accomodating poa with poi when shooting different loads in the same handgun.
Finally, short of the severe use one might expect if a pistol is being used for military duty or SWAT team assignments, in my experience (which includes thirty years of le employment), adjustable sights aren't nearly as fragile as some people make them out to be.

October 14, 2010, 01:04 PM
Lots of folks have offered well thought out reasons for their preference.

Thank you


October 14, 2010, 01:09 PM
IMHO, adjustability is a distant second on its list of advantages over fixed sights, first being its vastly superior sight picture. No less evident anywhere than on your average SAA-type single action. If more of them were like the old dovetail rear sight Single Sixes, I'd have a lot more of them. As is, most my sixguns wear adjustable sights.

Vern Humphrey
October 14, 2010, 01:35 PM
Let me tell you a story. Some while back, I got a great deal on a Colt New Service --$300. The gun was in great shape, but had been reblued so was no longer a collector's item. No matter, I wanted a shooter.

The front sight on this gun was about as thick as a razor blade, with a rear sight to match. It shot 18" high and 12" left. How the heck do you fix that?

I finally pulled the original sight off and soldered on a great honkin' 1/8" thick slab of steel. I made it way too high, and loaded up a bunch of ammo, and started shooting. I would shoot several groups and measure each hole based on the aiming point, then establish mean point of impact statistically, and file off metal.

I finally got the elevation right, but it was still shooting about 12" left. So I took a needle file and started opening up the rear sight groove, filing away the right side only -- in effect adjusting the sight to the right.

It took about a month and about 600 rounds of ammo to get it right.

Now ask me if adjustable sights are worth the money.:fire:

October 14, 2010, 01:49 PM
It depends on how you plan to use the gun. Since all you mention is target shooting, then adjustable sights are strongly recommended. If it's concealed carry then fixed sights would be the way to go.

In short if it's important that the gun shoot exactly to point of aim, get adjustables. If close enough is good enough and ruggedness is more important than pinpoint accuracy, get fixed.

October 14, 2010, 02:54 PM
I prefer the fixed its just preference

October 14, 2010, 07:13 PM
it is not brainwashing, it is getting your mind right
I now own considerably more revolvers than pistols. I like the variety of calibers available. Love the .45 Colt and, for some reason, love revolvers chambered to the .38 Special or .357 Mag. even though I don't care that much about either round. Most of them are fixed sight, but lately I've gravitated toward adjustable sights as much because I can see the notch better as for the adjustability.

October 14, 2010, 07:32 PM
ajustable sights are ok ,but not necessary

get the model 10................J&G sales has them starting at $180

October 14, 2010, 09:23 PM
Financial windfalls deserve a S&W Model 29.

Nothing else compares.:)

Hondo 60
October 14, 2010, 10:41 PM
My S&W M10, M36 & my Ruger SP101 are plenty accurate w/o adjustable sights.

I also have a Blackhawk & M66 w/ adjustable sights. They're OK, but I like the cleaner look of the fixed sights.

The reason I bought the Blackhawk instead of a Vaquero is $$.
And I'd prefer to have a M65 instead of the 66.

October 15, 2010, 08:10 AM
From a practical point of view, I seldom adjust the sights on adjustable sighted revolvers. So there is little real gain for me. I tend to buy revolvers with adjustable sights when I intend to shoot longer distances on a regular basis. You never know.

October 15, 2010, 09:12 AM
BTW $265 is a great price on a Model 15 if the condition is good.

Amen to that! Buyer beware, though. I don't like ordering stuff sight unseen. I bought a M1917 20 years ago for 100 bucks supposed to be in NRA good, shootable. It was not shootable. I had to have a smith work it over and he told me to "take it easy on the old gal", which I did. I woulda kept that old gun, looked okay with bluing wear, but for the fact that it didn't shoot cast bullets worth a toot. I probably shoulda kept it anyway just for what it was, but sold it.

October 15, 2010, 09:48 AM
Buyer beware, though

good advice

this is a reputable fellow with whom I have dealt before.

The final price will add 20 bucks for shipping and 10 to my FFL, so 295 is the bottom line.

(BTW, THR member Waterhouse does $10 transfers in Round Rock Texas. REALLY nice guy)

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