Archive for May, 2014

Choosing a Sight Upgrade for Your Handgun

May 29, 2014 Leave a comment

At a shooting range, the sights on your gun are one of those seemingly inconsequential things that can either be a joy to use or can become more and more frustrating with every shot you squeeze off. 


Some sights are well-designed and require little thought or effort to see or aim.


Well-designed sights align easily on your target and often, the process of aiming can become automatic.


What you’ll find is that some weapons have a weak point in their sight design.


This can be for a variety of reasons.


Some guns are simply meant for close-range shooting, while some companies are trying to save money on the manufacturing costs to get their prices down for marketing and sales purposes.


Other gun manufacturers are expecting that people will want to upgrade their sights and put cheap ones on their products. They know the included sights will probably be taken right off and replaced as soon as the gun is purchased.


For example, many Glock owners complain about the poor sights on their weapons. There are many excellent upgrade options for this particular model, with one of which being detailed by author Duane A. Daiker in his article “Heine Sights” on


“…I have found that serious Glock shooters gravitate toward Heine sights. Heine Specialty Products makes a wide variety of handgun sights in a variety of styles. The Heine Slant Pro sights offer a great no-snag profile together with a good sight picture. (Read more at


In many self-defense shootings, it is quite possible that you’ll be in close enough range that sights won’t matter. You may be shooting from the hip at your attacker’s center of mass.


This doesn’t negate the fact that you should be spending several hours a month practicing at the range where good sights are needed.


A good sight upgrade can make you love your handgun even more.  If you are able to see your sights without straining and are able to accurately place your bullets, you’ll likely be much happier. Being happier makes you more likely to carry the weapon in question.


There are also many different options for sight upgrades. For low light conditions, there are sights with Tritium in them, a substance that will glow for years. Fiber optic sights are another choice that costs less while still giving you an idea of where the weapon is pointed in the dark.


Red laser dot sights are another possible upgrade, but their application is narrow. They do add some weight and bulk to your gun.


With any sight upgrade that you might choose to install, keep in mind that they are not substitutes for knowing what you are shooting at. It’s not like the movies where they shoot at dark shapes that are always the bad guys.


Friends, family, drunken people, and even law enforcement officers have all been shot on accident because the shooter took the shot in twilight or dark conditions and wasn’t sure about what they were aiming at.


Just remember that the best sights in the world are not a substitute for common sense.


Less is More When it Comes to Handgun Complexity

May 8, 2014 Leave a comment

ImageHave you heard of SIGarms Academy? It’s a course put out by SIG Sauer, Inc., the handgun manufacturer. Did you know that SIG stands for “Simple Is Good”? 

This philosophy can be applied to all aspects of concealed carry from picking a weapon and holster to the sights you have on your guns.

Author George Harris talks about sight alignment and targets in his article “What We Need to See for a Successful Shot” on 

“Perfect sight alignment is the front sight vertically and horizontally centered in the rear sight notch. Sight picture is the target, front sight and rear sight as viewed by the eye. Perfect sight picture is the front sight centered vertically and horizontally in the rear sight notch superimposed on the desired point of impact of the target. (Read more at” 

Sights on a concealed carry handgun shouldn’t require a great deal of conscious thought. You’ll already have enough to think about if you have drawn your gun and are prepared to shoot. Thinking about how your sights are supposed to line up is not a good use of your brain in a potential shooting situation.

Have you ever used a computer or automobile where the controls were completely logical? You went for the wipers where you thought they should be and sure enough, there they were.

This doesn’t happen by accident with guns, cars, or computers. It is a result of careful planning, research, and development, as well as an understanding of the human brain and how it interprets sensory input. 

All of this translates into some very well-designed guns on the market that you can pick up and aim without even realizing that you are doing so.

It’s also important to keep in mind that concealed firearms are by nature, intended primarily for close range encounters and shots.

You will rarely find yourself aiming at a target more than a few yards away and if you do, there is a good chance you could escape the situation without firing any shots at all.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t train to shoot over a distance. You should, but you should also balance the development of these skills against the realization that most shots are so close that you won’t even need to use the sights for aiming.