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Front sight windage adjustment

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Lone_Gunman, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    I know if I move the REAR sight to the right, it moves point of impact to the right.

    But what about moving the FRONT sight? Doesn't moving the front sight in one direction cause the point of impact to move in the opposite direction?

    In other words, I have a rifle that shoots to the left. The front sight is windage adjustable. Which way do I need to move the front sight?
  2. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Well-Known Member

    Front sight opposite the direction you want the impact point to move.

  3. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Well-Known Member

    Concerning front sight adjustment, it's easier for me to remember to "chase the bullet." That means if the rifle is shooting to the left, I chase the bullet, and move the front sight to the left.

    Or just do the opposite what you'd do with the rear sight.
  4. 230RN

    230RN Marines on Mt. Curibacci

    The hinge point (fulcrum) of a lever system.

    Don't forget that's sometimes a pretty small amount, especially for handguns.

    For either sight, using inches...

    Distance to move sight = "A"
    Distance to move impact point on target = "B"
    Distance from front sight to rear sight ("Sight Radius") = "C"
    Distance to target in the same units = "D"

    Then, if all in the same units, say inches, you can use the proportion,

    A / B = C / D

    ("A is to B as C is to D.")

    Transposing the quantities, with Distance to Move Sight ("A") as the unknown,

    A = (B X C) / D

    Example 1:

    My 1911 with a sight radius of 6.5 inches shoots four inches to the right at 25 yards. How far should I drift the rear sight?

    Distance to target in inches = 25 yards X 36 inches in a yard = 900 inches

    So A = (4 X 6.5) / 900

    A = 0.029 inches to the right for the rear sight.

    Example 2:

    My .22LR rifle with a sight radius of 14 inches shoots four inches to the right at 25 yards (same as in the example above). How far should I move the rear sight ("windage")?

    So A = (4 X 14) / 900

    A = 0.062 inches to the right for the rear sight.

    Notice how much more this is for the rifle with a longer sight radius than the pistol.

    In trying to visualize what direction should either sight be moved, it helps to hold the gun and imagine the front sight as a "hinge" as you watch where the muzzle points while you rotate the gun from side to side around the "hinge point" formed by the front sight.

    The fact that these are such tiny distances can lead to confusion in adjusting sights because it is so easy to "overdo" the adjustments.

    So then you "overdo" it in the other direction and you end up chasing the impact point around all day long.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2006
  5. BobMcG

    BobMcG Well-Known Member

    It's a pretty small amount even with a rifle!;)
  6. 230RN

    230RN Marines on Mt. Curibacci

    'T'sall relative

    Not when you've been a precision machinist for years and years and "a tenth of an inch" means 0.0001 inches. ;)

    Still, they're small distances when you think of pounding on a sight with a brass rod* and a hammer to move it --what you say is twue, twue, vewy twue.

    It helps to use a precision calibrated hammer.

    (* or whatever)
  7. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    it does the exaact opposite, than when moving the rear site.
  8. ripcurlksm

    ripcurlksm Well-Known Member

    Great post 230RN, its safe to say that of all I have learned in math, I have used proportional equasions the most in my life....now I can add it to firearms as well.
  9. Kruzr

    Kruzr Well-Known Member

    The way to remember is FORS. Front Opposite, Rear Same (when talking about POA/POI.)
  10. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

    I've been using precision instruments and fine micrometers for practically all my life and I've never heard a "tenth of inch" to actually mean a tenth of a thousandth of an inch (1/10th mil). To me a tenth of an inch is 0.10 inches. Is that accepted shorthand in your shop?
  11. ripcurlksm

    ripcurlksm Well-Known Member

    Maybe he means he can get 1/10th of an inch to within .0001 of that measurement?
  12. Remander

    Remander Well-Known Member

  13. 230RN

    230RN Marines on Mt. Curibacci

    In our shop, "3 tenths" meant 0.0003 inches, or three ten thousandths of an inch. Might just be a regionalism, though.
  14. hksw

    hksw Well-Known Member

    Going back to the original question, sometimes drawing out the problem/question helps.


    The illustration also goes for windage. Just go the other direction if the POI is on the other side of POA.

    Difficult to measure the changes in movement of the sights in tens, thousandths, and ten thosandths of an inch at the range. Just adjust, shoot, re-adjust as needed.

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