Dots on Your Sights: Help or Hinderance?


December 28, 2002, 12:21 AM
I notice that a majority of pistols produced today have some type of dots, dashes, or outlines on the rear and/or front sights. From a strictly range/competitive standpoint, do you feel that these sights help your shooting or hurt it?

I can appreciate the value of the sights in self-defence or low-light secnarios, but what about situations other than those?

In my case, I find that I only use the top of the front sight to place my shots, and the three white dots on my HK only serve to get in the way of my doing it. Not a serious problem, I just tend to ignore them, but I do notice that an all-black sight picture seems a bit cleaner and is not as fatiguing to work with. I don't mind the dots so much that I would replace them, but sometimes I wonder if they do represent a better way that I am simply ignorant of.

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December 28, 2002, 12:53 AM
Dots for fast and dirty, blank for careful and precise.

December 28, 2002, 01:07 AM
Dots don't help or hinder me, in fact I don't even notice they are there. If shooting fast I don't "see" the sights clearly, just a flash sight picture. If shooting precisely I don't use the dots either. If I had the choice I would rather they are not even on the sights.

December 28, 2002, 02:18 AM
I find them useful.

December 28, 2002, 02:41 AM
I prefer just to have a dot on my front sight. It is quick and easy to pick up, and draws my eyes to it immediately. Saves me from having to remind myself "front sight, front sight, front sight......"

December 28, 2002, 02:42 AM
I find them useful

In what way are they useful for you? Do they aid in your ability to shoot quickly, accurately, ect?

December 28, 2002, 08:48 AM
I like the Red or Orange front inserts even less. Some folks like them both but most of my handgun shooting is done at 50 yds and farther so I like my sights plain and black for a crisp sight picture with no distractions.
Your milage may vary.:D

Jim Watson
December 28, 2002, 09:03 AM
When I was younger and my eyes were fully corrected by glasses, I preferred black sights for all purposes. There were fewer choices in sights then, too.

Colored sights are for coarse, close, fast shooting. They are common in IDPA and IPSC. There are many different patterns; I am still looking for the most useful. Right now I have a white dot in front and a plain black rear.
If the range is long and the targets well defined, black sights are best; ask any Bullseye or PPC shooter.

December 28, 2002, 09:05 AM
I like dots on my autos and plain sights on my revolvers. The dots are quick to pick up, especially in lower light. Like Fiveshooter said, the inserts are annoying and distracting on a revolver. I usually take them out of my guns and replace it with flat black paint mixed with 5 minute epoxy. As he said, YMMV :)

December 28, 2002, 10:40 AM
I like the contrast the dots provide.

December 28, 2002, 11:12 AM
I prefer 3 dots/bar-dot sight configurations over black only...faster sight acquisition for me....Its probably a personal thing...just what Im used to......
Shoot well

December 28, 2002, 11:37 AM
No difference. I can take them or leave them.

For example, I shot a Browning Buck Mark .22 (don't remember exactly which model) a few months ago that had this bright yellow plastic tube-like thing as the front sight. It almost looked like a little level up there. It looked cool, but beyond that, I wasn't impressed.

Then again, I don't have the eyesight issues mentioned here.

December 28, 2002, 01:38 PM
All my pistols have plain black sights until I purchased a Kimber Pro-Tac, it has the three dots. Trying to use the thee dots to aim, I found my self shooting high. I would prefer them to be plain black. However, for quick acquisition I can see where the 3 dots could help.

December 28, 2002, 01:46 PM
I find the dots are useful in all light conditions. This is not the case for me with black sights as I am unable to get a good sight picture in low to mid light levels. This problem is particularly bad with a dark backdrop/target

December 28, 2002, 02:24 PM
I was going to type something, but Shmackey beat me to it. :D

I like dots for fast acquisition, but they distract me when I'm trying to stack bullets.

December 28, 2002, 04:40 PM
I like 3 dot sights, I have gotten very use to them over the last 20 or so years.

December 28, 2002, 04:46 PM
If it's a gun I shoot often and it has dots, I usually black them out with a marker. Or pop the paint out. Too distracting for me.

December 28, 2002, 11:27 PM
Yes, it helps me. Especially if you have older eyes. I need all the help that I can get!

December 29, 2002, 02:34 AM
Personally I find them distracting. Bold black on black gets the job done just fine at all speeds, including night fire with and without a flashlight. If it's too dark or too far to hit without sights, you can't justify firing in a civilian scenario anyway.

In a military setting where a bump in the night can be presumed to be a bad guy, then I would want night sights. Unfortunately good night sights were just wishful thinking at that phase of my life. (Along with a lot of other things.)

December 29, 2002, 03:58 PM
As I understand it you shoot them differently. With combat sights you put the dot where you want the bullet to go, and with target sights you place the sights under where you want the bullet to go. So of close, quick shooting I like the dot, but with longer more precise shooting I would want to use the target sights.

EOD Guy in VA
December 29, 2002, 06:12 PM
I paint the front blade fluorescent red-orange and man what a difference it makes.

December 29, 2002, 06:52 PM
I cut my teeth on black/black open rifle sights and for awhile it was the only way I'd have a handgun. Then I discovered three-dot Trijicons and never looked back. . . .for long time. Now, after shooting a friend's bar/dot set-up I am thinking that trying to align dots, even rough and fast, and especially in the dark, is a time waster compared to getting the dot on the bar.

Then I saw another friend with an AO Big Dot and thought man, just cover the target with the front sight at handgun ranges and pop with that thing against a black rear sight. Maybe I will try that.

I need to set up some different sights for myself and rethink what works best. I like having options. . .until I have to pay for them all.:D

December 29, 2002, 09:13 PM
I find that I like the dots for initial target acquisition, and ignoring them afterwards is not hard. Aiming my guns with plain black sights takes noticeably longer, but I don't exactly mind them being all black, either.

In a self-defense scenario, however, I definitely see the dots as being advantageous. Anytime I carry, I choose a gun that has dots.

December 30, 2002, 12:06 AM
I prefer them, no doubt.

December 30, 2002, 01:05 AM
Prefer plain black sights.
have dots on one gun, felt tipped them

December 30, 2002, 01:15 AM
I have found that sights (like other parts) are totally personal.

That said, none of my guns wear a 'dot', unless you count the Ruger gold bead I'm still testing (intial report: too fine for my old eyes), and my 1911 Caspian 'medium' optic-fiber rod front, which I do like, especially outdoors.
I tried the (Ashley) "dots", but found them not to my liking or style.
None of my guns have ever run rear sight dots.

I have a new gun with no sights; gonna try something different, maybe :confused:

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