Fixed Sights on a handgun

Smitty of the North

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Nother thread reminded me of this. Humph!

I've not had great luck with them.

I hadda Colt SA Army with only the groove for a sight. I figgered it was only for close range Bear Protection, so I probably would just be pointing anyway.

I had me a Ruger Bearcat, and it wasn't much good for it's purpose of bagging small game, because I could never figger out the proper sight picture.

Also, a Cap'n Ball 44 Colt, with only the notch on the hammer for a sight, when it was cocked, and that did purty good, ????

They are close range sights at their best.

What good are they, anyway? Am I missing something, (More than usual)

Please share your thoughts on such sights. If you don't mind.

Thanks

Smitty of the North
 

iofthetaiga

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Are you berating all fixed sights, or just the few examples you sighted? All my pistols and wheel guns have fixed sights, and I wouldn't categorize them as "close range sights at best" simply by virtue of them being fixed. I would ask what is the point of having adjustable sights on a handgun anyway; in reality, how many handgun shooters are ever going to adjust their sights for windage or elevation between shots?
 

AZVince

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Using fixed sights requires knowing your load but they do work, and well I might add, on fighting handguns.
I prefer fixed sights on my carry revolvers and bottom feeding pistols.

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BrownBear

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I'm happy with them on guns that will be fed only one load. They can be really frustrating if you're shooting lots of bullet weights and vels.

It's pretty easy to do a little reloading to find a load that hits right on with fixed sights. But wander too far into loads with more or less recoil than standard loads the gun was sighted with, and you're not going to be happy. Snort up a 45 Colt to 454 vels, and you're not going to be a happy camper. But fixed sights on a 454 will likely be right on the money, even if standard vel 45 Colt loads hit elsewhere.

Guys that are happy with fixed sight usually aren't the same guys who complain about short case life using their Super Dooper Internet Loads. The pressure gauge on a computer keyboard just doesn't work well enough for fixed sights.
 

Snyd

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...all of the above. And, you can have a couple different loads that have the same POI. I have two 45 Colt loads that hit the same POI out to 50-70yds when shot from my SBH, 355gr 1200fps (21.5gr H110) and 255gr at about 8-900 (8.5gr Unique), can't remember for sure the exact fps.

But I have a Ruger P345 45 Auto that according to Ruger is regulated for a "standard" 230r 45 load. They are right. My 200r swc target loads shoot a few inches high. Factory Speer Gold Dot 230gr hp's are right on the money.
 

rbuck351

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A lot of the older type guns had a very poor groove/notch in the top rear of the frame or even in the hammer. These sights are frequently hard to align rapidly and usually aren't square sided making them harder to align. Not sticking up from the gun makes them difficult for me to align rapidly. That being said, there are some very good fixed sights and semi fixed (slide for windage) that are excellent sights. The fixed and semi fixed are a lot more difficult to knock out of adjustment and once either filed to fit or load adjusted, rarely need anything tweeked forever.
 

AGL4now

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Perfect assessment.........

A lot of the older type guns had a very poor groove/notch in the top rear of the frame or even in the hammer. These sights are frequently hard to align rapidly and usually aren't square sided making them harder to align. Not sticking up from the gun makes them difficult for me to align rapidly. That being said, there are some very good fixed sights and semi fixed (slide for windage) that are excellent sights. The fixed and semi fixed are a lot more difficult to knock out of adjustment and once either filed to fit or load adjusted, rarely need anything tweeked forever.
 

Smitty of the North

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Are you berating all fixed sights, or just the few examples you sighted? All my pistols and wheel guns have fixed sights, and I wouldn't categorize them as "close range sights at best" simply by virtue of them being fixed. I would ask what is the point of having adjustable sights on a handgun anyway; in reality, how many handgun shooters are ever going to adjust their sights for windage or elevation between shots?

I was knockin ALL fixed/non-adjustable handgun sights. Why not? It's not like knockin Motherhood and Apple Pie. Or is it?

Surely, we can't expect that fixed sights will be that closely sighted in for any ammunition.

My Ruger SS has a dovetailed rear sight which I had to adjust a long time ago when I bought it.

My Walther PPK, has a dovetailed Rear sight, and I've never felt the need to adjust it.

My CC 38 has the groove rear sight, and I hafta use a HIGH front sight picture so it shoots even close.

The Bearcat was unsuitable for anything but fun. The sights on the Colt SA 357 limited it's usage too.

Surely, adjustable sights are better. I was just curious as to how other folks felt about the non-adjustable variety. (In this day and age)

Smitty of the North
 

Smitty of the North

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I'm happy with them on guns that will be fed only one load. They can be really frustrating if you're shooting lots of bullet weights and vels.

It's pretty easy to do a little reloading to find a load that hits right on with fixed sights. But wander too far into loads with more or less recoil than standard loads the gun was sighted with, and you're not going to be happy. Snort up a 45 Colt to 454 vels, and you're not going to be a happy camper. But fixed sights on a 454 will likely be right on the money, even if standard vel 45 Colt loads hit elsewhere.

Guys that are happy with fixed sight usually aren't the same guys who complain about short case life using their Super Dooper Internet Loads. The pressure gauge on a computer keyboard just doesn't work well enough for fixed sights.

I would think that many, if not most of us would be using loads that are not like the FLs that the gun was supposedly sighted in for.

When you HUNTED with handguns, did you use those that had Fixed Sights?

SOTN
 

Smitty of the North

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A lot of the older type guns had a very poor groove/notch in the top rear of the frame or even in the hammer. These sights are frequently hard to align rapidly and usually aren't square sided making them harder to align. Not sticking up from the gun makes them difficult for me to align rapidly. That being said, there are some very good fixed sights and semi fixed (slide for windage) that are excellent sights. The fixed and semi fixed are a lot more difficult to knock out of adjustment and once either filed to fit or load adjusted, rarely need anything tweeked forever.

Sure, but I'm not talking about how "Good" the sights, "sight", but the fact that you can't adjust them.

SOTN
 

AZVince

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You must have a reason for that preference.

SOTN
Yes I do.
For me a handgun is a defensive tool, be it human or animal. In my day to day life I have knocked adjustable sights off the gun. I've had them disappear from the gun due to mechanical breakage. Last, but not least, I tend to use one load power gun and if I change loads I'll deal with fixing the sight then.
For hunting or target shooting I can see the advantage of adjustable sights but that's not what I'm using a handgun for.
On my old 38 Special I would, using the B27 Target, hold on the X at 3 Yards, the 9 at 7 Yards, the 8 at 15 Yards, and the 7 at 25 Yards. That put, if I did my part during qualifications, all my rounds in the X.
My .41 Mag is for defense as it has fixed sights. My .44 Mags have adjustable sights and don't serve in a back up or defensive role. I'll be dialing in a load and adjusting the fixed sight with a file for my defensive load.

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Snyd

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A lot of the older type guns had a very poor groove/notch in the top rear of the frame or even in the hammer. These sights are frequently hard to align rapidly and usually aren't square sided making them harder to align. Not sticking up from the gun makes them difficult for me to align rapidly....

Ya, I've got an old smith like this. In fact, unless you cock the hammer you cannot see the rear sight. Seem kind of strange for a DA gun.
 

BrownBear

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I would think that many, if not most of us would be using loads that are not like the FLs that the gun was supposedly sighted in for.

When you HUNTED with handguns, did you use those that had Fixed Sights?

SOTN

Yup. Over the years I've killed something north of 30 deer with the 45 Colt launching a 255 grain bullet at 750 fps from a 5" barrel. No shots past 50 yards, but never a need for a second shot. Probably shot a few more with a similar load from a 4" 44 Special. Both are fixed sights.

If you want to use hotter loads, you can always modify sights to a degree. I just never felt the need after cutting a whole bunch of hair with standard loads. Dead is dead is dead, and right away too. If I want more power I'll grab a bigger case in a different gun. But the adjustable sights on those guns are pretty senseless too. Once I sighted in with my load of preference, I've never touched the adjustment screws again, other than adding a dab of Loktite so they don't go to wandering on me. They may look like "adjustable" sights on my hunting guns, and they once were. But for the last 20-30 years they've been fixed sights. I do all my practicing and all my hunting with the same loads from any gun, so what's the point of an adjustable sight once you're set? A little more trouble if the gun came with fixed sights and you want to shoot something non-standard, but that's why Santa's elves invented different calibers and different guns.
 

rbuck351

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I have yet to see a fixed sight gun that I can't fix the sights to where it shoots where I point it. I have a torch and lots of files.
 
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