Handgun Training: Pistol Sight Design Breakdown

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Rob Pincus has seen many different sights on students’ self defense pistols and has used even more himself over the last 30 years, but has never seen a design that works better than the traditional notch and blade type sight. The front sight is designed to fit into the notch of the rear sight. Rob discusses how this design has been refined over the years and why it works.

Discussion
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13 Responses to “Handgun Training: Pistol Sight Design Breakdown”
  1. Tim Farley

    I found this video very informative. I have tried a number of sight packages over the years, such as the ball and wedge setup, but always return to the post and notch.
    The “square” solid colored front sight makes sense when you view it through a square rear notch. I have never figured out why sight manufacturers offer a round front dot, viewed through a square rear notch. I guess they never heard, “you can’t put a round peg in a square hole”.

    Reply
  2. William

    Wow. Rob I do not think you have ever used the HEX SIGHT. Unlike your notch and blade sight where toy have to focus on the front sight and the target is blurry, the HEX sight is used both eyes open and you are focused on the THREAT. I do not know why you think the ring does not disappear..it does. And for those of us with imperfect vision, it allows one to still shoot accurately without glasses!
    I think you should try it before you make up your mind.

    Reply
  3. Greg Beals

    Rob, I’m curious what your opinion is on the ODS (optimized duty sight), and the AIMLINE sight, both are handgun sights.
    One issue I have with picking the “right” sight is that I cannot afford to buy one of each set and try them all on my pistol (gen3 glock 30sf). It is my edc so I currently have a Glock front night sight with a TAS TJ sight (tfo style rear sight with sort of a heinie straight 8 style aiming method). Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Reply
    • CST

      Hi, Greg. Thank you for your comment. I am not a fan of that sight…far too busy. As for the “straight 8” type designs, I think they are less than optimal as well.

      Reply
  4. Steve

    You did not mention color coded fiber optic sights. While these are still notch and blade, is there a gain by using the colors to more quickly line up the dots? When I am at the range and trying for speed with three white dots, I find that my clear focus is on the target and the dots are fuzzy until I make a conscious effort to close one eye and bring the sights into focus. So I was thinking the fiber optic sight might work better when the sights are not initially in focus.

    Also, will the lines in the fiber optic sights 1) make you more effective in non-aim intuitive shooting or 2) more quickly move from holster draw to aimed shot because instead of three points you have three lines (when not in aim) becoming points once in proper aim position?

    Reply
    • CST

      Hi, Steve. Thank you for your comment. I don’t subscribe to philosophies that include references to any use of sights when you are focused (physically and cognitively) on the target. As for fiber optics, they certainly can be great at drawing your attention to the front sight, but they are round, so you will still have less than optimal alignment if you focus on the circle and not the edges of the sight. That said, “optimal alignment” isn’t always needed.

      Reply
  5. Tig

    I enjoyed the video, thanks. I have to say though that my older eyes aren’t what they used to be and focusing on a N&B is difficult. Especially with these progressive lens glasses. That said, I have found my answer in the XS Big Dot. They are on my carry gun and at distances up to 25 yards, they are a big plus and are quite accurate. Takes adjusting to if you spent your life on N&P, but for us Boomers, they work.

    Reply
  6. MIKE D

    I agree w/much of what you said Rob, but I installed some XS sights on my Glock 21 and I absolutely love them. Maybe you aren’t a ‘fan’of them, but I am, and for the following reasons: I went with the Tritium Big Dot front sight coupled with the Tritium rear sight(24/7 Express sights as they are called). I find it easy to gain a good sight picture by simply ‘dotting the “i”. At 15 yards and in, where the white dot is, is where the point of impact is(if the shooter is doing his/her job that is). From just shooting my gun once(just recently installed these sights) with said sights, I hit my target consistently. Just sayin’! But I just bought a G19, so in all fairness, I will shoot it with it’s traditional sights, and analyze what works best for ME(emphasizing ‘me’because all that is important here is how I shoot the gun with the sights I choose. Fair statement?) Keep on rockin’ on Rob..love you’re videos. I try to be the best sponge I can be and soak in as much good info as I can. Appreciate the teaching videos, Mike D.

    Reply
  7. George

    I tried several times to start the video and it would not start!! Very disappointing and wasted a lot of time!

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, George. We are sorry to hear you are having trouble viewing this video. Please contact us at 1-855-231-0650; our Customer Service Team would be happy to troubleshoot with you.

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  8. Bill

    Rob – I’ve tried most everything you mentioned or drew on the whiteboard and am still dissatisfied. At 60 years of age, I just cant make the classic sight system work for me anymore. I love the idea of a red dot sight but on a EDC pistol, it is kind of clunky and not as concealable. Additionally, I’m not sure if speed might not be compromised as I try to find the dot. Any suggestions any for us fogies?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Bill. You didn’t specify why exactly the notch and blade have left you dissatisfied. Is it a problem with obtaining a clear front sight post, differentiating between the sights or the target. Depending on which problem or problems you have a change in front sight color or technique could be the solution. Check out this PDN article from Grant Cunningham for some solutions to try based on your particular issue. https://www.personaldefensenetwork.com/article/i-cant-see-my-gun-sights/

      Reply

Tags: Free Videos, Front Sight, Rear Sight, Rob Pincus