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Old February 26, 2013, 07:31 PM   #1
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1911 sights for dummies

I recently bought my first 1911. Im not a big fan of the sights. They are small and hard to see IMO. I know there are a million options but which is best? Heck what is the difference between them? Is the dove tail in slide of my auto ordnance the same size as every other 1911? Who/what is Novak? Is it just a brand? A style? Will novak sights fit my weapon? Any tips would be much appreciated.
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Old February 26, 2013, 07:45 PM   #2
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Wayne Novak, sights...

To start, Wayne Novak, of WV is a widely respected pistolsmith. He's noted for custom work on S&W semi-auto pistols & the R&D of non snag after market sights. Novak was a design consultant on Ruger's new SR1911 line and he's been in the shooting sports industry for many years.

For my $, Id buy a orange-green set of Trijicon HD 3 dot sights from . If you plan to tote the 1911a1 series pistol as a CC sidearm or for general protection.
I prefer fixed sights over adj formats to for a duty or CC pistol.

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Old February 26, 2013, 08:09 PM   #3
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You need to decide what type of sights you want - fixed, adjustable, black, tritium, etc. - and then start down the road of deciding the type and brand of sights that will fulfill your needs/wants.

You can find improved sights that can be installed in the manner of your stock sights - G.I.-spec dovetail at the rear, swaged-on front - but you will have many more options if you have a dovetail cut for a replacement front sight, and if necessary, a different dovetail cut at the rear.
The most common rear-sight dovetail is the "Novak cut", for which there are many, many sights beyond just the Novak lowmount fixed sight. No matter what sort of sight you want - fixed, adjustable, night-sights - there are lots that fit a Novak dovetail.

For adjustable sights, the most common dovetail is the "Bomar cut", named for the Bo-Mar adjustable sight that became something of an industry standard over a period of decades. Though Bo-Mar is no longer in business, there are many, many options for sights fitting the bomar cut.
If you stick to having your slide milled with either the Novak or bomar dovetail, you will always have plenty of options.

At the front, there are essentially two "industry standard" dovetails, the Novak and the Heinie. Again, if you are going to have your slide milled for a dovetail front sight, get one of those, and you will never be short of options.
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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Get used to them.
Soldiers were sent to war and won it with those sights on the slide.
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:42 PM   #5
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1911 pistol sights...

I disagree.

Yes, factory sights can work & they are "GI" but since I was a teen(1980s) I read often that to convert the 1911a1 pistol sights was one of the major custom changes. Grips, barrels, action jobs, etc would come up too but pistol sights was always a mandate for a serious carry/duty 1911 series pistol.

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Old February 26, 2013, 10:43 PM   #6
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Jeff Cooper thought the addition of decent sights was one of the modifications really needed to a GI-style 1911. A good trigger job (crisp 4 to 5 pounds) is another. Both make it easier to shoot the pistol accurately.

Last edited by KyJim; February 26, 2013 at 10:56 PM.
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Old February 26, 2013, 10:50 PM   #7
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Sight upgrade will make a lot of difference.

However, you may come out better to trade your gun for a model with the sights already on it as this can be an expensive proposition depending on the sights you choose. I probably would not spend this money on an Auto Ord 1911.
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