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View Poll Results: My assessment coupled with yours, XS Big Dot sights?
Yay 18 56.25%
Nay 14 43.75%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old April 19, 2013, 10:20 AM   #26
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What if for the sake of conversation and for never knowing what will truly happen..You need to make a farther shot and/or are holding down on someone and need to make a precise shot?
I'd probably be SOL if I had to be too precise with the ol' sp101 no matter what sights I had on it

They seem pretty marginal for longer shots. But, I don't really have anything to compare it to. It's better than the stock front blade was, but that doesn't say much. It's not as good as my PPQ or 22/45, but that's less a function of the sights than the gun it's self.
If you handload you could probably cook something up so that you'd get a 12:00 POI, and improve it's precision.

Since the SP101 doesn't have a rear sight anyway I definitely feel like it was a step up - and even a step up from a smaller front night sight - but I do think I still prefer the 3 dot setup when available. Maybe someday when I have extra money (I have a kid, so that's doubtful) I'll get a set to try out on one of my autos so I can do an apples to apples comparison.

A enlarged front dot with a standard rear sight might just be a great combination.
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Old April 19, 2013, 10:22 AM   #27
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I like them, but I like the standard dot better, and the Ameriglo I-Dot just as much as the standard dot XS.

Unfortunately they don't make Ameriglo I-Dot Pros or Trijicon HD sights for my Shield, otherwise I'd use one of those.
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:35 AM   #28
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I have the Standard Dot I believe on my 315 Night Guard and my 310 Night Guard.

They are great for the intended purpose, which is being able to get on target in a self defense situation in low light. They are not designed to be a accurate target sight.

If you are a plinker or target shooter this sight probably is not the best choice for you.

If you conceal carry in low light situations, being able to pick up the front sight might save your bacon. When it is light enough to make out the target, but to dark to see normal sights, is where the XS sights shine.
Some night sights work pretty well when it is too dark for target identification. Add enough light to see the target and they wash out. I had a set of Wilson Night Eyes that were not bright enough for low light shooting.

For what they are designed for the XS sights work pretty well.

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Old April 25, 2013, 11:44 AM   #29
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You have to try them to see for yourself.

I've been using a set of the original Ashley Express Big Dot sights (no rear tritium capsule, just a white line) on my CS45 for many years.

Yes, they're fast and easy to see. A nice, big bright white plastic ring that stays cleaner & brighter than white paint (wipes off more easily, too).

I had to get used to covering the intended POI with the center of the front sight (instead of the top edge). Then, I had to get used to the "dot-the-I" alignment. It's easier than you might think to tip the front Big Dot one way or the other without really noticing it, though.

Yes, you can use it for adequate sighting out to very reasonable handgun distances (I shoot steel at 50+ yards), but it doesn't lend itself to "precision" shooting. At one distances I typically use for drills the Big Dot covers the entire "head" of the threat silhouette, while standard 3-dot sights can easily be used to sight a much smaller part of the threat target, making smaller grouped hits.

So, it depends upon your expectations and application.

I have the standard size XS front night sight dot on my pair of M&P 340's (factory sight setup for the M&P 340/360's). Instead of a wide rear notch and painted line, though, the rear of the snub top-straps have been machined to form a tight U-notch, into which the standard size front night sight fits.

This standard size XS dot sight setup is still very fast to acquire and use. I find I like the standard size dot better than the Big Dot I've been using on my CS45.

It's easily the fastest & mostly easily used sighting system I have on my more than half a dozen J-frames. It makes my J's shoot like full-size guns ... because I can SEE the sights, and they're still small enough to be used for greater precision than a much larger front sight.

I've seen a number of other instructors try the Big Dot sights over the years. Some liked them, most didn't.

They have their practical advantages & disadvantages. Try a gun equipped with them first, if possible. Not just at some gun store counter, but on the firing line of a range for some live-fire.

If I had it to do over again, I'd probably try the Trijicon HD sight setup before the XS Big Dot. Having found the S&W version of a U-notch to capture the XS front sight post so helpful, I prefer having more of a tight rear notch in which to position and align the front sight. The standard Big Dot doesn't do that.

I'll probably continue to use the BD's on my CS45 (although the front capsule is aging and starting to get dim), as I've become accustomed to them over the years ... and I'm too lazy to pull them and install one of the other 3 sight setups I have for the S&W 3rd gen .45's. They work well enough for their intended role on that little .45 pistol, in my hands.

I think we have a wider range of choices available nowadays, though.

Just my thoughts.
Retired LE - firearms instructor & armorer
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