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sig sight picture

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by roval, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Those two sets of sights (one with and one without dots ) would require different points of aim even though the sights could be physically identical except for the presence or absence of dots. How the sights are used would arguably depend on how the gunmaker expects the sights to be used.

    Glock recommends using sight picture #2 for sights WITH dots! Glock, in effect, expects the shooter to use the dots to align the front and rear sights, and then to use the TOP of the sights to point to the desired point of point of impact. I think a number of gun makers ex[ect their sights to be used that way. But they don't give us a lot of guidance.

    One website I visited recently called the "dead on" hold the 12 o'clock hold. They called the hold that has the top of the sights pointed to the intended point of impact the 9 o'clock hold. And they illustrated the 6 o'clock hold with the top of the sights on the desired POA (which was clearly NOT the desired POI). Some (maybe most) of the folks who use the 6 o'clock hold often say they don't need no stinkin' dots on their sights. :)

    Only the "dead on" sight picture (12 o'clock hold) assumes that the point of aim/point of impact is based on the position of the dots.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  2. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Well, it seems we're mostly in agreement. I just set them up the way that works for me, which is to directly coincide with the most obvious point of reference. I hope I didn't imply I would aim that way without adjusting sights to match.
    I expect people to adjust things to what gives them the best results; that's just what works for me.
     
  3. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    And, of course, three dot night sights -- used at night -- force the shooter to use the dots as the point of focus (because you can't see anything else when it's really dark).

    The same is true of the BIG DOT night sights. But one could argue that night sights are different.

    None of the sights that cause the shooter to align the sights ON the point of aim/impact are particularly useful when you get out beyond 40'-50'. (One could argue that most guns used in self-defense situations are typically used at closer distances...)
     
  4. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    I think, at least I hope, that the night sight picture is why sig went with their "combat hold". Otherwise I see no good reason for it. I run my Sig and HK guns that way because they aren't adjustable and I'm not changing that many sights, as all but one if those has good night sights. Anything adjustable I set up to the #2 picture, less precise but perhaps faster on multiple targets.
     
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  5. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Which is why I prefer that sight picture when possible. It keeps habit the same between guns with and without night sights.
    I'm more accurate with #2, but it's not what my habit and instinct drive to under stress. #3 is faster by far for me.
    Also why I see the thought that aligning the sights with the dots but POA occurring at the top of the front sight as utterly foolish. Aside from being different than what you're forced to do with night sights, and seems more common anyway, it forces you to pay attention to two alignments.
    If it works for some, great. I can only see it as a distraction.

    I always thought this was why competition shooters used the 6 o'clock hold. Align it for a certain distance, and you can still see the target at any you may shoot at. I just don't seriously practice any handgun shooting further than 25 yards, which is close enough that I never have any trouble with the other sight pictures.
     
  6. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    I absolutely hated that about my Sig p320...

    After googling (and finally fixing it) guys said something along the lines of "they're combat sights, cover up your target and fire". Why? Cause it's easier under stress to NOT see your target?

    I've put my p320 through it's paces with both sight pictures through various drills. 6 o'clock, pumpkin on the post is what works for me. Be it a long gun or short (shotgun being a different technique) I'll never believe in covering up a target with sights to the point I can't see what's behind them. Ymmv. Imo. Etc.
     
  7. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    It isn't easier to NOT see your target. Nothing will be easier in that situation.

    Folks who say things like that need to try some USPSA or IDPA and see, even with much LESS stress (but still with some), how ineffective you can be if you don't see your target or are unable to hit the important scoring points on the target.

    Regardless of the sight picture used, you've still got to ALIGN the sights no matter which one is used, and using the sights takes a bit more time -- time you may not have. If you use the sights, using the "dead on"/12 o'clock sight picture is arguably no quicker than any other sight picture. I'd argue that the rationale for using sight picture #3 -- that it's easier -- is pure BS.

    If you've got enough time, i.e., your attacker is coming at you from a distance -- but maybe shooting at you or coming with a knife or baseball bat -- either sight picture is likely to work. (Particularly if you've practiced and know which one works best for you and your weapon.)

    I suspect that in any confrontation that happens quickly and is also up close and personal, most of us will be point shooting because we won't have time to do anything else -- at least for the first shot.

    If I've got the time, then I'm going to be using the sights as precisely as I can, but who knows what's going to happen when the STUFF hits the fan?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  8. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Member

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    My understanding is that both Sig and Glock (and likely others) use the exact same sight heights (both front and rear) for multiple calibers and also multiple barrel lengths.

    So the chances that any particular gun, in a particular caliber, with any given grain weight and velocity, is going to hit at the No. 2 sight picture (or 9 o'clock hold) at the distance you happen to be shooting it, seems pretty unlikely. Change one factor and the POI will probably change too. Maybe by a little, maybe by a lot.

    For SD purposes, I simply like to know where my fixed sight guns hit at 25 yards with my chosen SD ammo. Otherwise, I'm going to use adjustable sights and set them to the 9 o'clock hold at 25 yards with my chosen load. This is my perferable sight pictures, but getting the right front and rear fixed sight combination to achieve this seems like more time and money than it's worth. And it still probably won't be exactly right.
     
  9. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    It is true that Glock makes only 4 different rear sight heights available for use on all the various pistols they sell, but it is also true, at least in my experience, that they all come from the factory regulated very similarly.

    6.1mm rear sight is for the G17L & G24 and the slimline Glocks (G42 & G43)
    6.5mm rear sight is for G17 G19 G22 G23 G26 G27 G33 G34 G35 G37 G38 G39.
    6.9mm rear sight is for G20 G21 G29 G30 G31 G32 G36

    Having shot at least one model of Glock with factory sights in each of those categories, I can tell you that the pistols I shot all came from the factory regulated to shoot to sight picture #2 as described above. Of course it's not possible for a firearm to shoot exactly to the sights at all ranges due to the arc of the trajectory and the fact that the bullet starts out below the sights initially, but within those limitations the ones I have tested have all shot to sight picture #2.

    For whatever it's worth, I have never encountered a fixed sighted centerfire pistol that came with sights regulated to hit point of aim with the front sight covering the desired impact point.

    The caveat is that I'm talking here about shooting at some significant distance. Shooting at very close distances, it makes sense to cover the desired point of impact with the front sight because at very close distances the bullet is still below the sights. Here's a diagram I made from shooting groups with one of my pistols that helps explain why this is true.

    attachment.jpg

    Note that initially the bullet starts out below the sights. However, by the time the bullet has gone several yards downrange the relationship between the bore and the sights has caused the point of impact to rise above the sightline to set up a 6 O'clock hold scenario.

    By the time the bullet is 25 yards downrange, it will be hitting more or less on the center of an 8" bullseye with a 6 O'clock hold.

    Here's more discussion on the topic.

    https://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=503476
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  10. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Member

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    You've been luckier than I have then.
    Of the last two Glocks I bought, one shot high and needs a 6 o'clock hold, the other shot low and needs a combat hold. This is out at 25 yards.
     
  11. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting. The 6 O'clock hold is normal. Which model did you get that used a "combat" hold at 25 yards? I can tell you how to identify which height sight is currently installed and which one you need to raise the point of impact to get it shooting to a more conventional point of aim.

    It should be noted that there is can be some individual variation although I haven't encountered it. That is why although Glock uses only 3 heights of rear sights in their pistols, they actually make 4 heights. And also a second height front sight as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  12. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Member

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    When I said 6 o'clock hold I'm referring to sight picture #1. In your previous post you said sight picture #2 is where all those Glocks you shot were hitting. My gun, a G23, was hitting about 8 inches high from a #2 sight picture at 25 yards. That's pretty bad. I had new sights installed that should have solved the problem (I assume Trijicon did some math before they made their sights), but it still shoots high in .40. But now I have a .357 Sig barrel installed, so that brought the POI down to a manageable place.

    But to answer your question, the model I have that needs a combat hold or #3 sight picture at 25 yards is a G42. The rental I used shot about right on #2. The one I bought had night sights and shoots low. I know why it shoots low. The wrong rear sight is install. I can live with it in this case.

    Oh, and my last Sig (a P224 in .40) came with a #10 rear sight and shot about 8 inches high at 25 yards also. Not cool. Had TruGlos installed but for the .357 Sig barrel I have. It more or less shoots .357 Sig at #3 hold, and .40 at #2.

    Quality control is not what it used to be.
     
  13. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    I don't think it ever was.

    I'm in my 70s, and when I was a teenager, all of the old coots (that's what some might call me, now) were constantly complaining about how things weren't as good as they used to be. Of course, not many of those old coots lived to be 80 or 90, like they do now...

    I'd argue that with some products at least -- cameras, cars, and TVs among them -- many products are MUCH BETTER than they used to be.

    Most of the newer guns I've bought over the past 30 years, while not as pretty as the old Colts, S&Ws, and Winchesters, shoot just as well as the old one,s and are generally just as reliable and accurate as the guns of yore. And despite three decades of inflation -- prices aren't nearly as high as you might expect.

    You can buy quality Ruger and Smith & Wesson handguns, made in America, for under $400, and sometimes well under $400! You don't see many high-gloss blued guns any more, nor rifles with beautifully-grained stocks, but that seems to be as much due to a loss of demand or interest as gunmakers trying to keep their costs down. You don't make what you can't sell.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  14. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    The plot I provided shows that a gun that shoots sight picture #2 at about 10 yards will shoot to sight picture #1 at longer distances and sight picture #3 at closer distances. The Glocks I have shot typically put the round an inch or two above the front sight at 15 yards, maybe 2"-3" at 25.
    As you say, that's too high.
    Interesting. As far as I know, there's only one rear sight height made for the slimline Glocks.
     
  15. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Member

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    Seems mine has a full dash on the right side, with a shorter dash below it. My understanding is that the smaller dashes below or above the main one, indicate if the sight is lower or higher than "standard". And I do seem to recall the polymer rear sight had only the longer dash. Perhaps it's just a difference between regular sights and night sights.
     
  16. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    It's slightly more complicated than that. From a parts identification standpoint (dash codes), the "standard" height is 6.5mm, regardless of what the gun model is.

    So a 6.1 mm sight which is standard for the G17L, G24 and the slimline Glocks shows the full dash with a shorter dash under it even when it is installed on a gun for which it would be the standard height sight.

    As far as I know, there is only one rear sight height made for the slimline Glocks (G42 & 43) and it is a 6.1mm sight which would be marked with a full dash and a shorter dash under it.

    I've edited my earlier posts on the sight heights. I was forgetting that the slimline models use 6.1mm height sights.

    6.1mm rear sight is for the G17L & G24 and the slimline Glocks (G42 & G43)
    Marked with a full dash and a shorter dash below the full dash.

    6.5mm rear sight is for G17 G19 G22 G23 G26 G27 G33 G34 G35 G37 G38 G39.
    Marked with only a full dash.

    6.9mm rear sight is for G20 G21 G29 G30 G31 G32 G36
    Marked with a full dash and a shorter dash above the full dash.

    There is a 7.3mm rear sight which is not standard for any Glock but is provided as an option for users who wish to raise the point of aim above what is possible with the 6.9mm rear sight. It is marked with a full dash and two shorter dashes above the full dash.

    Note that although the G42 and G43 use a 6.1mm rear sight, their sights will not fit the other Glock models, and vice versa.
     
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  17. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Hey, I'll respond to the OP after 24 or so posts that are totally overthinking the actual issue ...
    Maybe because SIG makes pistols for combat -- put that front sight dot where you want the bullet to go. It's that simple.
     
  18. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    To throw a monkey wrench into the works, although I haven't shot a ton of SIG pistols, none of the ones that I have shot were set up to have the bullet impact behind the front sight--at least not at the ranges I shot them. In fact, two of them shot quite a bit higher than I normally prefer.
     
  19. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I'm often saddened when I find a quality manufacturer, like SIG (Sauer), bow before shooter's abilities to accurately shoot handguns.

    I've been shooting SIG Classic P-series pistols for many years and have taught with a USPSA Gandmaster who also happened to be the foremost SIG pistolsmith in the country. It was always common knowledge that SIG sights designed to use POA/POI (sight picture #2) at 25 yards. I've also owned at least 6 SIG 220 models over the years and they all came with sights set that way...this also applies to a number of 225/226/228/229 models that I've owned or shot extensively.

    What has happened, over the years, is that shooters don't seem to be able to hold tight groups at 25 yards and now consider that a "long range" shot. 15 yards somehow became the "new standard" to zero your pistol (it actually works pretty well for IDPA and USPSA; until you encounter the 40 yard shots). At 15 yards, the guns were shooting low. But then someone noticed that if they covered the intended POI with the front dot, their shots seemed to impact where they wanted them.

    Rather than try to convince customers that there was nothing wrong with their sights except they weren't shooting at the distance from the target...and having sights changed under warranty...it was easier to just tell them to use the "Combat Hold" (sight picture #3). This had the additional advantage of making larger groups acceptable, since covering your aiming point means that your group size is limited by the area covered by the front blade...very few SIGs won't hold 2" at 25 yards.

    The first time I heard the term "Drive the Dots" was in reference to the Beretta 92, which was an early manufacturer to adopt of the 3-dot sighting system
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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  20. roval

    roval Member

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    as has been mentioned to me by several posts here the sig is a combat handgun. the 1911 certainly would have deserved that description and yet typically has sight pic 2.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2018
  21. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Combat handgun? How many modern center-fire semi-autos are NOT called "combat" handguns or "service" pistols? Generally the exceptions are either very cheap, very expensive or very specialized weapons.

    Glocks have always been considered "combat" handguns and were originally designed for the Austrian military and police departments. For a number of years, the civilian Glock user manual showed the #2 sight picture as the proper sighting method. (I don't think new manuals address sight pictures. ) Other manufacturers' user manuals tell the shooter to align the dots but don't show examples of WHERE the dots should be positioned on the target when they are aligned.

    I personally don't see any advantage to sight picture #3 -- Becaue if you must align the sights with any of the sight techniques discussed, you can look over the aligned dots as easily as you can try to look through them (i.e., drive the dots.)

    To me, the "drive the dots" approach seems to be a rationalization or an after-the-fact justificatio. If your target is 50+ feet away, or is returning fire from behind cover -- offering you a much smaller target -- your ability to make a well-aimed shot is greatly reduced if you must obscure much of the target area with the sights.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  22. roval

    roval Member

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    you may not have gotten it from the post that i agree completely with 9mmepiphany and that when i was asking about the sig sight pic the excuse was that its a defensive or combat handgun.
     
  23. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Oh, I got it. I wasn't trying to suggest that YOU said anything wrong but, rather, that "combat" handgun or "service" pistol are terms that can be applied to the vast majority of semi-autos in use, today. I used your response as a way to express my concerns about the possible shortcoming of the "Dots On" or "Driving the Dots method of using the sights.

    My point? Just because a weapon is called a "combat" handgun doesn't mean that the shooter using it will suddenly no longer need to aim at a smaller target -- which will be much harder (if even possible) using the "dots on" approach to sighting.

    As I've said elsewhere in this discussion, if the target/attacker is up close and personal, most of us, either intentionally or because we've run out of time, will be using "point shooting" -- where the sights become an afterthought. We probably all need to practice point shooting more than we do...
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  24. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    Both my 320 and my 365 have sights for combat hold, i.e. front sight dot is the point of aim. I can live with this but actively dislike it because then aiming means much of the target is occluded. I strongly prefer point of aim to be the top of the front sight blade.
     
  25. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Member

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    I'll have to double check my P220 at 25yds this weekend, and see where it's hitting. I know it's a combat hold closer in, but it might be pretty close to a #2 hold at 25yds.

    Edit: #8 rear sight, #6 front sight.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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