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drmweaver2

When did you switch from original iron sights... and to what?

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I'm currently a beginner, skill-wise, to be honest. So, the question arises: at what point, if any, should I even consider changing from the original iron sights to something else? The fiber optic sights look interesting in youtube videos and reviews/discussion posts speak highly of most of them; the Tritium ones look expensive and 95% low-light oriented. Big Dots look useful but I've never seen them on a gun in person.

I've got both an S&W SD9VE (9mm) and an SW M&P 22LR (full size) that are currently using the original iron sights. I shoot the 22 99% at an indoor range and don't really intend to use it elsewhere. The lighting is mediocre-to-dark by any standard but "range standard"' that is, it's a bit darker than would be best for me, but I can see the targets and holes well and each lane has its own light for use if desired. The 22's primary purpose is simply to get inexpensive sight and trigger time while augmenting LASR/SIRT dry-fire training. I don't have any other plans for it, but haven't ruled anything out for the remaining 1%.

For me, the SD9VE doubles as a self-defense gun and a USPSA Production competition gun (because I'm cheap). I don't expect "to win" with it, just to have fun. But I'll try to get the most I can out of it (I doubt I will ever be able to "outshoot" it). So, it's a mostly outdoors during daytime, indoors-as-needed-under whatever-lighting-conditions-exist-at-the-time, weapon.

In both cases, I am not acquiring or holding the sight picture particularly quickly. About 65-75% of the time, the sight picture is 100% clear for me. Any difficulty maintaining focus on the front sight has more to do with the wear and tear on my 60 year old eyes than with holding the pistol steady, it seems to me. Near-sightedness and astigmatism require me to wear prescription glasses if I am awake, period; my glasses are currently no-line bifocals with which I can see 20/15 (used to be correctable to 20-10). Oh, fwiw, I am left-eye/right hand dominant if that is pertinent.

If you have any advice or comments relating to my specific situation, bring it on. I'm open to both opinion and factual information if any exists.

I'm also interested in hearing any comments relating to when you switched from your original iron sights, why and to what - if you are no longer using iron sights?

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I have always immediately removed factory sights. On carry guns, night sights were installed. No use carrying at night if I can't see the sights. I have installed high quality fiber optic front sights and black rears on all my competition guns. Much quicker and easier to pick up.

Factory sights aren't bad for casual plinking. They're just not very durable and there are much better options out there for just about every application.

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Dawson Precision will take care of everything you need for sights. All you need is a vice and a hammer.

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Agreed Dawson Precision is the way to go. I would highly recommend black-out rear and a nice bright front fiber optic. This is going to allow you to get a much faster sight acquisition.

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If you are going to shoot USPSA, fiber optic sight should be first change. Only problem is you also mentioned low light indoors which isn't really what fiber optic is designed for. You didn't mention it but I'm 63 and can tell you if you can afford it and are serious about USPSA, an open gun is like the fountain of youth.

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New(er) guy here too. My take on the fiber optics, is do it!

For the last 5 years my shooting was self defense based and not competition so I had no time on fiber optics. Started USPSA with standard glock sights, then picked up a 2011 with an FO front HOLY GEEZE! When you hear someone say that front sight "jumps out at you", they aint kidding. FO in the front draws your eye attention, making the front sight easier to find quickly and help align the sights. Again, I'm a newer competition shooter that has not perfected the draw, press out sight alignment; the fiber helped me get the sights where they need to be.

It is certainly worth the money IMO for outdoor use. Dry firing indoors my FO looked much like a standard red dot on the front sight.

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If you do go fiber optic then don't forget to keep it clean and to always keep extra fiber and a lighter in your bag

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I had fiber optic sights and then went back to steel. Flat top painted flo orange front, blacked out rear. so there is no absolute best sight, people like different styles and the only way to know what is best for you is to try a few.

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If you are going to shoot USPSA, fiber optic sight should be first change. Only problem is you also mentioned low light indoors which isn't really what fiber optic is designed for. You didn't mention it but I'm 63 and can tell you if you can afford it and are serious about USPSA, an open gun is like the fountain of youth.

Well, I ordered FO front sights last night off eBay... The chance of me being able to afford an open gun is slim and non-existent (fixed income military-retiree/60yo). I'll be in Production until the gun I have breaks or I win the lottery, possibly longer. Shooting Open or Limited Minor, well... I'd never be "competitive" anyway the skills just aren't there). Lol.

Seriously, my primary gun is 1st a self-defense pistol & then a far distant 2nd, it's for competition (and then mostly just for fun and as a live fire training augment to the self-defense primary function.). I have few to no aspirations of making GM,M or even A.

As for my comment about low light indoors, I guess it's all relative. I've seen/sighted with other people's pistol with F/O sights at the range and they are more than light enough for my eyes. I say the range is darker than I'd like because there's another local range that I have gone to which seems to be about 2x as brightly lit - it's not DAYLIGHT bright, but the targets don't have any shadows as they track back/away from you like the range I am a member of does. But "my" range is about $300/year cheaper for a membership and then there are no additional costs whereas the brighter range does have additional costs.

I'm also trying to afford matching sight setups on my 2 pistols - an SD9VE and an M&P 22LR... So, again cost is a considerable factor... I guess, if money weren't a concern, I'd get TFX Pro's but... $$$...it is what it is. So I decided to change out just the front sights on both - for under $70 shipped. They should be here on Tuesday.

Thanks for all the comments and advice everyone. They were useful.

Edited by drmweaver2

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I am a new and have been shooting iron sights, for,the hell of it I shoot a match last week with my rmr pistol.  It was fun but one thing is for sure I had some trouble initially finding the dot. Once I found it I was good to go but lost a lot of time. It just a training issue I'm sure.

 

chris

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Narrowest fiber optic front, Warren rear if available.  If not, cut the corners off the rear sight.

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Another vote for Dawson. Although I am in the process of venturing into carry optics which should be fun and create a whole new set of hurdles to jump over.

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Got the HiViz fiber optic sights installed on the M&P 22LR's front only last night (got the original sight off with a drift pin without damaging it). I'll try them out at the (indoor) range tomorrow. I realize the advice was generally to go with something other than f/o sights indoors, but I can also shoot this outdoors... I went with them because they were fairly inexpensive and I'm cheap.

I'm waiting for a sight pusher to change the front sights on my SD9VE...eBay comes to the rescue again, but the Post Office still has to deliver it. I got TruGlo sights for the SD9VE. My fallback position will be to go to the fiber optics if the TruGlo sights don't do it for me. I have both front and rear TruGlo's. They cost about 4x what I paid for the HiViz front sight for the 22, fwiw.

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