PISTOL SIGHT INSTALLATION: Sight installation is an easy process with the correct tools and some mechanical knowledge. If you are not comfortable installing sights we recommend having a gunsmith do it. Installing the rear sight and front sight can be done with either a sight press (recommended) or with a small hammer and aluminum or brass punch. If using a hammer and punch we recommend placing the slide in a sturdy vise with padded jaws. Use the hammer and punch to remove the existing sight and then drift in the new sight.M&P pistols are designed to remove sight going from right to left and installed from left to right. Apply pressure only on the dovetail area of the sight. FP sights are designed to fit snug in the dovetail so that it doesn't move when shooting. In our experince it is not necessary to file the rear sight or front sight for installation, you may do so if you wish to make it easier to install. If you do so it will be at your own risk and should only be done very lightly. Once the sight is centered tighten the set screws. Blue loctite is recommended on these. When installing the front sight on Glock pistols, we recommend using red loctite on the front sight screw. All front and rear sights are designed to be installed with a snug fit in the dovetail with no fitting or filing required. Returns will not be authorized for sights that have been installed or filed. We cannot accept returns or exchanges for sights broken due to improper installation.
PISTOL SIGHTS (plural)
What’s up shooters! If you have spent any time at all pursuing the goal of being a better pistol shooter you have heard a lot of things about the sights on a pistol. Many times you hear something like; focus on the front sight or the front sight should be sharp and clear and everything else should be blurry. I don’t subscribe to that theory for a few reasons. One reason is that pistol have front and rear sights, their relationship to each other and to the target are important things for shooters to factor in order to shoot accurately and in order to read the gun and know where the shot went. Another reason is it takes time for your eyes to truly focus on one out of 3 things. I don’t think that for any practical application of a pistol you have that kind of time. What I believe in and what I teach is to see the things that matter in the order that they appear when shooting; rear sight – front sight – target. What I suggest and have found that is very easy for shooters to do is to SEE all 3 and their relationship to each other. The next time you are shooting just put the gun in front of your eyes and SEE rear sight – front sight – target. Don’t over think it or TRY to focus on all 3 just let your eyes do what they are capable of and see all 3.
Another thing I talk about in courses and we explore as shooters is how much sight alignment you need. For most practical pistol shooting 15 yards and in ( I use 8.5” x 11” copy paper as targets) you don’t need perfect sight alignment. For the most part If can see your front sight through your rear sight and it’s on the target you will hit an 8.5” x 11” target 15 yards away. There are a couple factors that can effect this though. One of course is trigger manipulation. The core of marksmanship is to put sights on the target and press the trigger without moving the gun off the target. For most dedicated shooters that isn’t a problem. The other factor is the amount off possible error in sight alignment due to the size of the sights. Many pistol sights these days have really wide rear notches and some even have wide rear notches with a narrow front. These combinations allow for more possible error. Inside 15 yards misaligned sights that are placed in the middle of the target will hit. This is not the case as the target gets smaller or further away and therefore smaller. A couple issues I see with many pistol sights are as follows, a wide front sight say .125 or .135 (most night sights are in this range) the wide front will cover a lot of what you need to shoot at distance. With a wide rear to “ let in more light and make it easy to see fast and work with old eyes etc” you have more opportunity for slight misalignment that will cause big misses at distance. A combination of a wide rear and a narrow front creates a lot of opportunity for sight misalignment that can matter within reasonable pistol shooting distances ( I consider 50 yards and in reasonable). Also added into the equation is sight height. After a lot of experimenting with sights I’m not a fan of tall sights because of what I see as a very sloppy sight picture.
What I prefer and believe make things much easier is less difference between the size of the front and rear sight and nothing taller than .180 on the front. For my style of shooting I want to see through the rear to the front to the target and It be good enough from 10 yards to 50 yards. For the smaller/further targets I don’t want to have to take time to ensure that the sights are good enough by visually centering them. A few years ago I started working on what I call performance grouping at 50 yards. What I wanted to be able to do was deliver 5 hits on a 12” steel target at 50 yards as quickly as possible with accountability. What I found frustrating was misses when what I saw though the gun should have been good enough. The issue was the difference in the width of the rear sight notch and the front sight. I had to take more time between shots to visually center the sights that I felt necessary. Here is a great exercise to demonstrate the issue with small sight mis-alignment due to wide rear notches. If you have or know someone who has a pistol with a red dot and iron sights, this is a great tool! Put the red dot on a target at 25 yards or greater distance, now look down at the irons. Next mis-align the irons even slightly and see where the red dot goes. It’s an eye opener to see what the slight mis-alignment of sights will do at distance even though what you are looking at in the irons should be good enough, the dot tells a different story. Now here’s another experiment to see if it if sight alignment or your trigger manipulation is a bigger issue for smaller targets. Put the red dot on target and run the trigger in dry fire 5 shots in a row, run the trigger at different speeds even. If you are using a Glock use a zip tie to keep the gun out of battery so you can manipulate the trigger. What I have found is that most shooters can run the triggers fast at 50 yards and not move the dot off target. My conclusion after a lot of work and experiments with sights is that most modern pistol sights have a much looser sight picture than I prefer and more than I believe is necessary. If you go shopping for pistol sights you may read things like “ for old eyes or bad eyes or for fast shooting you NEED wide rear notches and or narrow front sights” I did some experimenting with sight sizes. I had a 5” pistol with a .125 wide front sight and installed a .115 wide rear sight on it. Now all the books would say this won’t work. What I discovered for myself was that it did work for all my shooting. I’m a big fan of fast and accurate shooting and this sight combination didn’t slow me down a bit running USPSA stages and when I went to 50 or 100 yards there was still a bit more air on either side of the sight picture than I wanted. But it was much easier to make 50 and 100 yard hits with this rear sight than with the .140 wide rear notch that was on the pistol. Now I do have decent vision at 40 years old so I had to test this theory with some “old eyes” I was training with a fella in his 50s that had never shot fiber optic front sights, so I let him shoot the gun I was just talking about. I should mention that this guy told me at the beginning of the day that he had “old eyes”. I didn’t tell him anything about the size of the rear compared to the front, we just shot. Through the day he performed very well across the board from super fast target transition work to smaller targets at distance. When we were done for the day I told him about the sights, he was surprised that it worked. I let several other shooters shoot that gun with similar results. I think they wouldn’t have tried it or would have said they had issues if I had told them about the sight specs before they shot. It would have all been mental limitations they imposed upon themselves based on theory that they read or heard without exploring for themselves. If you recall it was once believed that the world was flat…..
So after all my experimenting with sights and not being able to buy what I thought would work very well I decided to pursue having some made different. I was very fortunate and ran into a dude willing to build me something different. What I wanted was a set of sights that made it very easy to see what you need for fast and accurate pistol shooting from the muzzle to 50 yards. I now have my own sight design in production and you can check them out on my website www.frankproctorshooting.com
Well that’s all the typing I can do for a day, I definitely have more info on this stuff to share come out to the range sometime and let’s explore! Thanks Y’all!
Pistol Sight Problems
Yesterday I was training with some guys and had them shooting what I call Performance Grouping at 50 yards. (we do it at other shorter distances too but 50 yards shots are a very real possibility in the practical applications of pistol shooting) In the exercise I push shooters to put 5 rounds on target as quickly as they can. Being able to group well on small targets is important but I think the time factor is a very real thing in the practical application of pistol shooting. I typically look for shooters to get 5 hits on a piece of 8.5x11 copy paper at 25 yards in 6 seconds or less from the holster.
Back to yesterday at 50 yards. During the exercise a guy came up to me and said…man my front sight is so big I can’t see the target at this distance. That’s a problem folks. We were shooting at 14 x 20 ish steel roughly the size of a man’s chest. I looked through his sights and sure enough the front sight covered the entire target at that distance, makes it hard to aim at what you can’t see. This is a problem that a lot of pistol sights cause especially the night sights. He was using a very popular style of night sight that offers tritum and some bright orange paint. The front sight is .135” wide. In my experience as a pistol shooter and a tactical shooter night sights offer more disability to shooters than capability. The front sights are generally too big and the rear notch is also very big and allows too much room for sight mis-alignment which is the biggest problem for pistol shooters on small targets. Another disadvantage of most night sights is there is no contrast in the font and rear ie 3 dots that all look the same. Our eyes see extremely fast but the 3 dot sight slow the eyes down because they have to interpret what they are looking at (which of the 3 dots is the front and which is the rear) From spending a lot of time with my eyes behind a pistol seeing and shooting fast, I have found that a contrast between the 2 sights makes it much easier for the eyes to work at the speed they can. I prefer a black rear and fiber optic front (red for me) I have found a .115 wide front to be very durable and narrow enough that it doesn’t cover a reasonable size target at distance. I’m sure some will bash that the fiber will break and that you have to have night sights for shooting in low light. If installed correctly fiber has lasted as many as 10000 rounds for me. I’m not sure how long it would go because I replaced it at that point. As far as low light shooting……If you have to shoot at night in a defensive or tactical shooting situation….you need a light to ID what you are shooting at, hand held or weapon mounted, either one of those will show you the sights. That’s what I’ve got for now, rock on and train to win!
Back up Iron Sights
Hey Folks, thanks for reading this. I wanted to share my thoughts based on my experiences regarding back up iron sights. In short I think they are a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist and many shooters hinder their rifles capabilities just to have them on the gun. Now in detail! I’ve spent a lot of time behind an M-4 or AR-15 in a lot of different environments, combat, competition, training etc and have also done so in the company of many other shooters. In all that time I have not seen a primary optic fail and a back up iron sight become necessary. Not saying it can’t happen, but I haven’t seen it. Now here’s what I have seen. Many shooters who have back up iron sights on their rifles hinder their ability to shoot the rifle well and operate the things they WILL use just to have BUIS on the rifle. Many shooters with magnified optics on the gun will have to mount the optic forward on the receiver because the rear BUIS is in the way. That causes a problem with eye relief and most shooters will collapse the stock to get the correct eye relief and view through their scope. Collapsed stocks are not a better way to shoot a rifle. I’ve written several articles and have several videos about the subject of shooting the RIFLE with the stock extended for better control. The next problem is where to mount lights and lasers so that they are accessible and still have a front BUIS. It can be a challenge. If a shooter is going to work at night they WILL need the flashlight and or laser, they MIGHT (once again never seen it happen) need the BUIS. As a Green Beret and a shooter I made a decision based on experience to stop fighting with BUIS problems and I don’t run them on my rifles. I have found it much easier to operate the rifle with he stock extended and without the BUIS I can mount every magnified optic I’ve seen and have a shootable, maneuverable RIFLE and use the optic with the correct eye relief. I’ve also found that it is much easier mount all my lights and lasers in very usable positions on the rail without BUIS interference. These are my thoughts based on my experiences and observations. Think about these when you are setting up your rifle and hopefully you end up with a really shootable rifle!
Take a look at the attached pictures: The one on the ATV was my first SF deployment to Afghanistan. Based on the mission and I chose to run an ACOG over a red dot. You can tell in the pic that I had a rear BUIS on the rifle and had to mount the optic forward and collapse the stock, I also was just like other shooters and thought that the stock was supposed be collapsed because it was cool etc. I didn’t know enough about shooting then! The picture out in the desert was my last SF deployment to Iraq. You can see the stock is extended, the Elcan Spectre DR 1-4 was mounted all the way back and no BUIS. The Spectre DR was a great solution to everything I might encounter from working in urban areas to open terrain. You’ll also notice the rifle has a longer free float rail, a CMC trigger, more ergonomically correct pistol grip and some other items that offered increased performance and solid reliability. In the time between these 2 deployments I got involved in competitive shooting and learned a lot more about shooting and how to set up my gear to be more effective! You’ll notice I have plenty of room on the rail for my flashlight and laser to go anywhere I needed them to be. You’ll probably notice there’s not a laser currently on the rifle. My TTP was to keep my LA-5/PEQ15 (laaaaaaaser) and NODS together, when I put on NODS, I put on the LA-5/PEQ15. The LA-5 was super easy to zero without shooting also. The other picture you see of how my current rifles are set shows continued development as a shooter. A common theme is they all have variable power scopes either 1-4 or 1-6. I have found that I can do everything I can do with a red dot with a variable power scope on 1x but when targets get small, are at distance or are hard to see……the 4x or 6x really shines and a red dot can’t give you the same capability. My current philosophy is ;if I’m going to put an optic on my rifle and add weight and spend money, its’ going to be a 1- something variable optic. Well that’s all I’ve got for now, I hope you all enjoyed this article. Take care and I wish you the best in your shooting!
POA=POI with Proctor Sights
PROCTOR Y NOTCH SIGHTS ARE DESIGNED FOR POA=POI
SIGHT PICTURE SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS IF YOU PRESS THE TRIGGER WITHOUT MOVING THE SIGHTS
IMPACT WILL BE BEHIND RED DOT
When I developed the Y notch and Square notch rear sights and sight sets, I wanted a set of pistol sights that offered speed and accuracy without a lot of room for sight misalignment error. I am extremely pleased with how they turned out and they have made my life easier when it comes to shooting pistols. While testing and developing the sights I noticed a few things. Before I get into my observations I should mention that to truly determine a zero or POA=POI we should be shooting very small groups consistently. With rifles 1 MOA is considered acceptable. That would be .25” groups at 25 yards. That is difficult to do with a pistol to say the least. I will accept 2” -3” groups with the pistol at 25 yards as a measurable of accuracy and POA=POI. I would encourage all shooters to push for something like that to quantify if your gun is set up right. You should also have a very defined point of aim and place the same sight alignment there for every shot. I would also recommend 5 shot groups with a pistol. Lots of times folks will aim at the middle of a paper target and shoot a 6” group to determine if their sights are good. That technique makes it difficult to quantify both point of aim and point of impact because ether isn’t a defined point of aim or a point of impact defined by a small enough group.
The things I discovered when testing my sights:
To determine if the sights where POA=POI I shot from a sandbag supported position to take human error out of the shot. To get a very refined point of aim and confirm the elevation was correct I placed perfect sight alignment on the bottom or top of a 3x5 index card at 25 yards. My front sight is .117 wide, at 25 yards it is as wide as the 3x5 index card! What that means to shooters is that even with a pretty thin front sight it is difficult to get a refined point of aim so that you are truly aiming at the same spot for every shot and shoot a small group. If you shoot a .125 or .135 front sight it is even more difficult.
My sights were designed to offer speed and accuracy with less room for sight misalignment error. For my style of shooting I want to see a front sight in a rear sight and that is good enough. I feel like the sights offer that easy and precise enough sight picture. To accomplish that I designed the sights with a narrower gap than most other sights for less windage error (the Y notch sights are opened up a bit more at the top to allow more speed with the precision) To help limit the amount of possible elevation error I went with a .180 tall front sight. Something I noticed when testing for POA=POI was that if I misaligned the elevation by one serration of the front sight it produced a 2” difference in POI at 25 yards! I should mention that the serrations on my sights are pretty thin, 50 lines per inch. What that tells us as shooters is that If we are zeroing we need to pay attention to all the details in sight alignment because little things can matter!
If you want to test your sights here’s how I do it:
Shoot from a seated position behind a table with a sand bag on it. Situate the gun on the sandbag where it is perfectly stable. For a target use a 3x5 index card at 25 yards. Place perfect sight alignment (the top of the front sight even with the top of the rear notch and an even amount of space between left and right of the front sight and rear notch). My Y Notch sights are designed for this type sight alignment only! Now place that sight alignment on the bottom of the index card. Dry fire. Watch the sights as you press the trigger, they shouldn’t move. Once you are comfortable, load up and shoot groups. I would shoot 5 round groups and wouldn’t accept anything larger than 3” if you can shoot 2-3, 3” groups and know that you have perfect sight alignment and placement you can quantify your sights are or are not POA=POI.
If you are still having problems, then you have the option to send me your gun. I will personally test it for POA/POI, if there is a problem we will do whatever we can to fix it.