Thursday, May 26, 2016

New Sights For Old Sight

For those of you in your twenties you probably won’t understand a thing we are saying in this article. But read it anyway. You will learn your future.
Getting older has its advantages. Senior discounts. Really knowing your limitations. Wisdom of having been there, done that. But one thing that sneaks up on you is your body wearing out. I’ve worn glasses since I was 10 so being a little blind was something I was used to. I separated from the military over 20 years ago and my vision is exactly what it was leaving the military… except now I need bifocals. How the heck do I use bifocals while focusing on the front sight? This is a common problem so let’s talk about it.
There are many things you can do to make your sights more visible. Traditional iron sights can be customized for high visibility. If you like your iron sights then this is a good help.
You can actually paint the front sight with colored paint or nail polish in a bright color. The late Jeff Cooper made the statement, “If you are going to use a contrasting front sight, use a color not normally found in nature,” and you would do well to heed that advice. That means bright orange, bright red, super pink.
Glock lovers will understand aftermarket sights. I’m not a big Glock fan but have shot a lot of them. I don’t like the factory plastic sights they use. There is Trijicon HD Night Sights. The only compromise with them is that at greater distances (around 20-25yds+) the large front sight obscures a lot of the target.
Also available is XS big dot sights. There is also fiber optic front sights. The point is that there are a LOT of different night sight/high visibility sight combos on the market and you can find the ones that work best for you.
Lastly, if you choose a night sight configuration where the rear dots/sights also have tritium — if in low light you have trouble distinguishing the front sight from the rear sights — you can use a red sharpie to “fill in” the rear sights, dulling their brightness to help the front sight stand out.
Another great option is laser sights.
Crimson Trace is the pioneer in this industry and have finally made these sights small enough to make them a great option. With these you can focus on the target and not the front sight. Red is more difficult to see in bright sunlight but green is available. If you have shot a lot and trained a lot it will take some getting used to. You have to train to use lasers or your focus will go right to the front sight. This is a good option if your eyesight is really having problems but great for anyone.
Red dot sights are also available.

I like these systems and there are many out there. You can even pick up a cheap one if you want to just see how they work and if they are for you. Just know that the cheap ones are not as good as the expensive ones.
I like red dots on rifles. They have a proven track record on ARs and AKs. They are faster to acquire the target and stay on target. I have never used a red dot on a pistol. Right off the bat I would say that I would not like the bulk of a red dot on a handgun. But I can honestly say I’ve never tried it. I understand that there is mounting problems doing this on a pistol so be aware of that possibility. Eotech, Trijicon, and Aimpoint are the top red dots. I’m sure there are others and I’m certain there are cheaper ones.
I like red dots on a rifle with see through mounts to use the iron sights also. Red dot sights run off of batteries and I want a good option in case they fail.
Whatever you choose you must train and practice with those sights to make them a good option for you.
These suggestions are also in order of my preference but they are price driven. Try high visibility irons first before moving to the higher tech, and higher priced, options. I like iron sights and feel I shoot best in close quarters with them. But I no longer hunt or shoot competitively. So I only shoot for pleasure and for defense. I can probably get away with iron sights. You should find out what works best for you and what you like best. If I had a choice I’d probably have Eotechs on every gun I own just because that would be cool. But that would probably not be very practical, cost wise. I think I’m a purist and want the iron sights to feel like I’m not giving into the newfangled electricity. Although I’m not out buying candles…

Semper Paratus
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