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Old March 18, 2017, 05:20 PM   #1
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Sight Focus Problem on Just one Pistol

I was able to buy a used S&W 3913 for a good price but have a terrible time focusing on the sights and am looking for advice. I am an experienced shooter, 62 years old, and do not have this problem with other pistols. I wear trifocals and typically use the 'computer distance' portion of my lenses for pistol shooting. But when shooting this pistol I get 2-3 top edges of both the front and rear sights so I really can't decide which edges I should be lining up. In my single range session so far I was consistently shooting reasonable groups (for a new pistol at least) but very low. The dots on these particular sights were very faded but I tend to want to use the traditional sight picture with the top of the post aligned with the top of the rear sight and centered in the notch.

My immediate question is whether anyone can explain the fuzzy sight picture I am experiencing. Could it be glare from the sights (black with a little bit of gloss to them)? In the same session where I experienced this problem I took out a brand new Kimber Micro 9 and had zero difficulty with the sights.

A second question is whether shooting low might be a function of using the tops of the sights instead of the dots. Is it possible that the dots are correct while the tops of the sights aren't? During this session I'd asked one of the range safety officers to try my pistol and he put three rounds right through the ten-ring. I didn't think to ask him how he was aiming.
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Old March 18, 2017, 06:03 PM   #2
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Maybe you just need to get used to the trigger IMO, that was my first results with my nephews 3913 (3-4 inches low at a 7yrd target) I put a snap cap in the chamber and watched the front sight dip right before the trigger broke every time I pulled it. Once that was corrected (I adapted to the trigger) it was right on with using the tops of the sights at 7yds. Hope I was some help.
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Old March 18, 2017, 08:40 PM   #3
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Thanks B

There is definitely room for multiple issues to be involved here. I own a 6906 which I can shoot just fine and I THINK the triggers are similar. but the 6906 requires a different grip because of the double stack so I am definitely not shooting them the same.

I did put Hogue rubber grips on and plan on trying it out tomorrow.
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Old March 18, 2017, 10:22 PM   #4
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barrel length

Could be barrel length.....the SW3913 may have a shorter tube than the other guns you are familiar with.....and inside your depth of focus.

It could also be the sights themselves.....I have a heck of a time with factory Glock sights, ....not enough daylight on either side of the front blade.
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Old March 19, 2017, 04:52 PM   #5
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Any gun I cannot shoot well is no longer in my possession.
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Old March 19, 2017, 06:00 PM   #6
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I'm 81 and have a similar problem. What I have found effective at the range is to squint a bit and the extra images go away. I hope that if I ever need to employ one of my handguns, for self defense, I will remember to squint.
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Old March 20, 2017, 11:17 AM   #7
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S&W 3913

The 3913 us a well built gun! If you focus on the front sight, the rear sight will be a bit blurred as will be your target. Don't forget the correct grip, and stop your breathing before you fire. The trigger draw should be a steady squeeze and not a jerk pull...always following through after each round.

Every firearm has a different "feel" to the shooter. Your basic NRA training will smooth your skills. You could also add some glow to your front sight and back sight to help you align the the front sight to the back. I've used a white paint pen on one of my pistols to get a good sight on the range.
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Old March 20, 2017, 12:49 PM   #8
T. O'Heir
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The whole thing being with only the Smith 39 indicates the pistol vs you.
"...dots on these particular sights were very faded..." Put a bit of 'Whiteout' or nail polish(pick a colour that matches your eyes. HAHAHAHA.) on 'em. As daft as that sounds.
Plan 'B' would be to blacken the dots altogether. Testors model paint or the like(car body touch up pens work too) for that.
Guy I used to shoot with, long ago, had a 39 that nobody in the club, including the guys who had been invited to try out for our Olympic team, could make shoot well. Possibility exists the thing is just a piece of junk. Smith pistols, except for the 41, aren't know for being high end kit.
Spelling and grammar count!
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Old March 20, 2017, 01:02 PM   #9
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Black the sights out with a magic marker and try again. You just might like plain ol' back sights.
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Old March 20, 2017, 02:19 PM   #10
Sweet Shooter
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Could you use a lens mounted aperture on your shooting glasses? It nice to have more in focus.
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Old March 23, 2017, 03:08 AM   #11
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I have to give you credit for even attempting to shoot with bi/trifocals! I don't know how anyone can tolerate them. I tried twice and gave up.
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Old March 23, 2017, 11:20 AM   #12
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I am at the age where I have to wear my reading glasses to shoot my pistols but I can still shoot them. I have seen small aperture devices that mount on your glasses that help bring the sights and targets into focus for older eyes but I have not used them. One caution with the aperture is that they fail in low light conditions.
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Old March 26, 2017, 06:55 AM   #13
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Every Ruger MKIII Target version that I have had the rear sight has always had the problem of the top of the sight blade leaning back at me while among. I remove the and file any edges that are visable away even in the sight notch. Then use touch up blue on them. Light reflections disappear and your sight picture looses all the fuzziness.
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3913 , sights

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