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Old November 13, 2017, 11:28 AM   #1
OhioGuy
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Experience with "Dot the I" rear sights

Quick question.

This is NOT a fight about whether XS sights suck or are the greatest thing ever. It's not about brand names, etc.

I've found that a lot of experienced shooters seem to prefer simple sights consisting of an easily seen front post, and a single dot on a rear sight that gets positioned below that post when aligning sights. Especially for night sights, where it's possible to misalign three dot setups and end up with the front sight on the left or right when shooting in dark conditions.

So let's restrict this discussion to those who believe that this basic setup has merit. Having said that....

One style, like Ameriglo I-dot and stock sights on some Kahr pistols, have a standard square or U-shaped notch in the back. Put the square front sight in the notch, and "dot the I" to shoot.

The other is the Express setup, like Big Dot or Standard Dot from XS Sights. Same basic concept, only the rear sight is more of a V than a notch. You float the front dot above the rear bar and "dot the I" to shoot.

Apart from differences in the size of the front sight--all else being equal--do you think that the standard notch-style rear sight has advantages or disadvantages compared to the flatter, shallower XS style rear sight?

I've shot with both, but not extensively with either style. I kind of do like having that "dot the I" approach and find it faster to use than 3 dot sights. The XS setup makes it harder to lose the front sight behind the rear, and I think I was quicker to acquire a sight picture. However, the notch setup does allow me greater accuracy because the squared off shapes give more reference points for alignment. At least, to my eyes.

Thoughts?
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Old November 13, 2017, 11:52 AM   #2
Sharkbite
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I used Heine “straight eight” sights for years on the pistol i taught with and carried on the S.O.

I like the concept. Just stack the dots and go. You will see increased vertical stringing of your shots when using just the dots in the dark. I accecpted that because if its so dark im only using the dots... the shot is going to be CLOSE and people are vertically orientated anyway.

Once you introduce a flashlight for tgt ID, The dots disappear and the structure of the sights is visible.


I never bought into the “front sight outside the notch” theory and the need for different colored dots. If your front sight is SO FAR to the side the dot is visible, you dont have enough kinesthetic awareness of your pistol and need some training and practice.
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Old November 13, 2017, 11:59 AM   #3
Nathan
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To me, both have merit. 3 dots are nice as they align vertically and horizontally. Dot the i sights align horizontally only.

My favorite is front dot only relying on instinct to align the gun to the dot. I like this for it’s simplified sight picture.

2nd place woul be hard for me to define...
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Old November 13, 2017, 12:45 PM   #4
TunnelRat
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Quote:
Apart from differences in the size of the front sight--all else being equal--do you think that the standard notch-style rear sight has advantages or disadvantages compared to the flatter, shallower XS style rear sight?
Problem is all else isn't equal. I'm not aware of a company producing an XS style product with just a V rear sight that has no notch where the front sight isn't very large. I get the point of the large front sight: rapid acquisition. But frankly if you get good enough with point or reflexive shooting for those rapid engagements at close range you won't even be looking at the sights anymore. You will be looking at them for longer range shots and at that point I want a smaller front sight as it helps my precision. I've had issues with the old Trijicon HD sights because the front post was so wide that attempting say a headshot at 25 yds got challenging because the front post completely occluded the head. I imagine XS sights would be the same (and yes I'm aware of the YouTube videos of XS sights being used at very long ranges, I can only report my own experience).

To me I'd rather a notch than just a V. If the concern is I need rapid acquisition without ultimate precision then I can just point shoot. Like you the notch helped me as a reference. I've used the Ameriglo iDot Pros for a few years and they're my favorite night sights, though I still prefer a fiber optic front and black rear for the day. That said I find sight preferences are just that, preferences, and I hesitate to say one is better than the other as people have different preferences.
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Old November 13, 2017, 02:42 PM   #5
gnystrom
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Years ago the dot on the i were standard on some Sig pistols. Of ll the different guns I hand new shooters they tend to shoot my old P226 better than any other option I put in their hands. This includes people with very small or very large hands.
After putting a set of Ameriglo i-Dots on a Shield and having similar results, I have concluded they are very effective and worth a try.
It is possible to tape off each of the two dots on your existing rear sights and applying a small line of white-out correction fluid and put the front sight dot on top of the white line you just painted, and give it a try. Your impact point may not be where you want it but it will give you the general idea of how they work.
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Old November 13, 2017, 02:49 PM   #6
TunnelRat
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The point about SIG sights is a good one. Honestly SIG kind of cracks me up in that their existence essentially shows how trends are cyclical. SIG night sights have always, to my knowledge, had a ledge as part of their design. Now suddenly ledges on rear sights are popular for one handed maniupulations and bang, SIG already has them. SIG used the dot the i on their non night sights for some time, and again we see another market trend for that type of sight. The sad part there is I think SIG uses a three dot steel sight for their non night sights these days, but I personally like the old style.
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Old November 13, 2017, 02:50 PM   #7
jr24
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I prefer dot the I over 3 dot. Faster for my eyes to find and focus the front sight.

Heine straight eight, xs big dot, Ameriglo CAP all work well for me.
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Old November 13, 2017, 03:24 PM   #8
OhioGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TunnelRat View Post
Problem is all else isn't equal. I'm not aware of a company producing an XS style product with just a V rear sight that has no notch where the front sight isn't very large. I get the point of the large front sight: rapid acquisition. But frankly if you get good enough with point or reflexive shooting for those rapid engagements at close range you won't even be looking at the sights anymore. You will be looking at them for longer range shots and at that point I want a smaller front sight as it helps my precision. I've had issues with the old Trijicon HD sights because the front post was so wide that attempting say a headshot at 25 yds got challenging because the front post completely occluded the head. I imagine XS sights would be the same (and yes I'm aware of the YouTube videos of XS sights being used at very long ranges, I can only report my own experience).

To me I'd rather a notch than just a V. If the concern is I need rapid acquisition without ultimate precision then I can just point shoot. Like you the notch helped me as a reference. I've used the Ameriglo iDot Pros for a few years and they're my favorite night sights, though I still prefer a fiber optic front and black rear for the day. That said I find sight preferences are just that, preferences, and I hesitate to say one is better than the other as people have different preferences.
That's an excellent point. Beyond point shooting ranges, you WANT a more precise shot.

So here's a problem...maybe someone can help me out here...I have a CZ P07 with standard 3-dot sights. The aftermarket sight options are extremely limited. They have some night sights with a white-ringed front (and rear tritium dots) made by Dawson Precision. There are a few options for black rear and fiber optic front, which are generally always my preference. I actually find that with some illumination, the fiber optic sight is about as bright as tritium until I'm in near total darkness (when I can't see a target anyway!).

Then there are XS Big and Standard Dot sights, which are "dot-the-I" with a V-shaped rear.

Maybe my best option would be to get these (https://cajungunworks.com/product/40...-night-sights/) and paint a white stripe in the middle of the rear notch for most applications, and they'll become 3-dot in very dark conditions...?

Or just get a cheaper fiber optic set and take what I can get? I can get thin strips of phosphorescent material from a company called Nite Siters and use that as a small center strip...

Seems I have to jimmy something together since the aftermarket is so limited here. Suggestions? I really do like the "dot the I" arrangement though.
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Old November 13, 2017, 03:27 PM   #9
TunnelRat
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If you do the white line I'd try to black out the white dots in the rear though, otherwise I feel like you've got a lot going on in the rear that might make focusing on the front harder.
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Old November 13, 2017, 03:35 PM   #10
Joe_Pike
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Kahrs have the "dot the i". Couple that with their trigger, and I can't shoot them worth a hoot.
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Old November 13, 2017, 03:51 PM   #11
JN01
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I've used XS sights in the past, and currently have Ameriglo I-dots on my carry gun. I prefer the Ameriglos as they offer a better sight picture for more precise shots.
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Old November 13, 2017, 04:35 PM   #12
jr24
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Honestly, there's nothing wrong with the P07 sights. A flashlight is more important than night sights IMO, and if you really need glowing sights 5 seconds with your flash on the P07s paint will have them glowing brightly for quite a bit of time.

I like the dot the I best, yet my Sig and 1911s don't get changed from 3 dot. Mostly its only the Glocls due to crappy stock sights
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Old November 13, 2017, 05:06 PM   #13
Kevster
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My Kahr CW 9 with 3.5" has a "dot the eye" sight. I can shoot it just as well as most of my 5" guns with it. I don't know if it is that sight, the Kahr trigger keeping me from anticipating, or both. Thinking about trying a similar sigh on my 1911.
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Old November 14, 2017, 06:05 PM   #14
OhioGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr24 View Post
Honestly, there's nothing wrong with the P07 sights. A flashlight is more important than night sights IMO, and if you really need glowing sights 5 seconds with your flash on the P07s paint will have them glowing brightly for quite a bit of time.

I like the dot the I best, yet my Sig and 1911s don't get changed from 3 dot. Mostly its only the Glocls due to crappy stock sights
The ones on my P07 are aligned such that I have to aim the gun fairly below the intended point of impact. I know XS are intended to impact directly where the dot goes. That's more intuitive to me.
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Old November 14, 2017, 08:12 PM   #15
Dfariswheel
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The "Dot-I" sight was originally known as the Von Stavenhagen sight.

I actually have come to prefer it over the usual three-dot type.
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Old November 14, 2017, 09:37 PM   #16
Model12Win
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The M9 has those, but they're just white.
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Old November 17, 2017, 09:40 AM   #17
jreXD9
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I was looking at changing out my sights on my 4 carry pistols and had almost settled on TRU-GLO when I remembered how much I like the "dot the i" setup on the Kahr pistols I've owned. XS BIG DOT night sights now sit atop my Rami, PCR, Mod 2 9mm and Mod 2 .45. The front sight is much more easier to pick up and put on the target, much simpler than lining up 3 dots. After only a couple mags thru each gun I'd figured out slightly different views for different lengths. I highly recommend XS BIG DOTS, especially if you have 58 yr old eyes that don't see as well as they did 10 years ago.
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Old November 18, 2017, 08:56 AM   #18
OhioGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jreXD9 View Post
I was looking at changing out my sights on my 4 carry pistols and had almost settled on TRU-GLO when I remembered how much I like the "dot the i" setup on the Kahr pistols I've owned. XS BIG DOT night sights now sit atop my Rami, PCR, Mod 2 9mm and Mod 2 .45. The front sight is much more easier to pick up and put on the target, much simpler than lining up 3 dots. After only a couple mags thru each gun I'd figured out slightly different views for different lengths. I highly recommend XS BIG DOTS, especially if you have 58 yr old eyes that don't see as well as they did 10 years ago.
I have XS Big Dots already on my Walther PPS. I agree it makes the sight VERY easy to acquire. I took a class (150 rounds) on close-quarters and point shooting and found:

1. When I was able to take a bit of time to notice where my sights were, they made it very easy to get accurate hits under 20 feet VERY fast. The single white stripe under the dot made it much easier to align when not focusing carefully on the sights...I can't do this with 3-dot setups.

2. These hits weren't THAT much more accurate than what I could do point-shooting without sights at all.

3. I can still hit a 10" paper plate at 60 feet (max distance at my range) with aimed shots, so accuracy really isn't a problem.

4. At the in-between distances, my accuracy really was only compromised by the big "golf ball" covering more of my target area.

My CZ P07 is going to become my primary carry gun, and I was all set to get Big Dots for it too (especially since they're one of the only aftermarket options available!!!) But, I also like to shoot in some competitive leagues, and I find that fiberoptic sights with black rears are still quick to pick up and I'm definitely more accurate with them.

So I'm 50/50 on whether to get XS or a Dawson Precision FO sight set.

And because I'm in the middle, I'm wondering whether I should "split the difference" so to speak, and get the XS Standard Dot sights. Same setup, just covers less of the target area. I have to imagine it's still pretty easy to pick up the white front sight.
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