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Soooo... should I focus on Target sights for my next 1911?

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Howdy Pards, a non-SASS topic here,

I really enjoy shooting paper, In range up to 50yards. No competition shooting (yet).

I've a few 1911s - most with adjustable target sights (SIG, Kimber, Colt, SA, all the usuals). Over time I also bought a few pistols that have 'open U' rear sights (oarticularly FN). The 'Combat' pistols were appropriate for their designation, but for precision shooting felt 'sloppy'. Some of that is def on me!

I love my traditional, big plate, adjustable, Target sights. So much that I am in the market for another. Maybe even a fancy one (WIlson, Alchemy, Nighthawk). But am seeing that these premier companies have very few offerings with adjustable rear Target Sights.

How fixated should I be on this? Meaning, if I find a dream gun (as long as it has a Bomar slide cut), should I just go for it and put an adjustable on? My initial resistance to this is spending lots of cash for a gunsmith special only to change out it's sight.

Looking for advise from you folks who are Target sight experts :)

Many thanks,
~Robin Trains

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A relatively inexperienced opinion from me is that once an adjustable sight is adjusted, it becomes no different than a fixed sight. Based on the fact that I have never readjusted one after it was dialed in. I don't really understand why adjustable sights are illegal in our sport, can't imagine anyone tweaking one on the line or playing with the adjustment at a match.

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I've used 1911's of all sizes and sight configurations, including the low mount BOMAR sights.  Generally I found that once I settled on a load I liked for accuracy and performance, I didn't need to re-adjust the sights later.  Having said that, I never tried shooting competitively at 50 yds, so there may be a use for them in that application.  Now that I'm older I find the accuracy and precision afforded by those sights to be more than I can utilize, whereas having a larger front sight and rear sight opening helps me get on target faster.  In fact, as my eye's age as fast as the rest of me, I'm starting to see the value in a red dot sight more and more.  A friend's Springfield with a red dot is amazingly easy to shoot at 25 yds and stay in the black, which I can't do with irons as much.


There are a few makers out there that offer a replacement for the more fragile adjustable sights that are solid, no moving parts, but the same match sight picture.  Those that worry that a BOMAR type sight on a carry gun might be vulnerable can switch to that instead.




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Ah, proper sights.   They can be a mystery of sorts because we all have different eye sights which

either love all black, greet glow or green dot, or red glow/red dot.


And rear sights can be had in various looks also.


Find out if your eyeballs prefer black, green, red, etc...... and start from there.


As you probably already know, just as important as your sighting system will be a GOOD trigger set up with

consistent pull, etc........  


One thing to consider is to make sure the width of the rear sight and front sight accommodate each other

correctly.   Basically, I like my front sight to fit between the opening of the rear sight with just a tad of light

on each side.   The light on each side of the front tells me I am aiming straight and true when the light

appears equal on each side.


P.S. - I prefer green dot on my front sight post and basically, an all black rear leaf to look thru.


Good luck




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Thanks folks, I appreciate the thoughts!


I'll see if I xan borrow/rent a few different sights. Good advise to try some of the newer designs. 


The quest continues!



*And RIP, your right - I should also ask there - but find that there are a bunch of 'video-game' shooters on the 911 forums I've seen - instead of the venerable (*cough* .. old), and sagacious folks found here ;)

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I have had both on my 1911s.  Adjustable sight and fiber optics are generally more durable then they used to be. But twice at bigger matches I have had adjustables fall apart. Once at the end of  day 1 of a 2 day match as I put the gun in my bag i noticed the rear blade was gone. I thought how could I have not noticed it. I went back and at the very last target of the day where you had to lean out around barrels, there was the blade and parts in the gravel. Used my backup for day 2. Now I have solid drift only sights and feel more confident.  You do have to get the correct height front/rear sight combination to have elevation where you want it.

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Well if an Ed Brown would float your boat I have a pair of Ed Brown Executive Targets  (NIB) I'm thinking of selling.  First cpl pics are actual guns then a couple from Browns site for better clarity. These retail for $3500 with a 9 month wait. I'd make you a deal!!

These are stainless guns with gen 4 coating. Stainless pic is to show how low he mounts his rear sights.

FULL Specs:


  • • 5" Government model slide, single stack government model frame.

  • • 25 LPI checkering on forestrap and mainspring housing.

  • • Optional Gen4 coating for low glare, superior rust protection, and improved wear resistance.

  • • Matte finished slide for low glare, with traditional "square cut" serrations on rear of slide only, top of slide is flattened and finely grooved at 40 LPI.

  • • Adjustable rear sight buried deep into slide, cross dovetail front sight.

·        The Executive Target features an adjustable rear sight for precise target and range work.  The top of the slide has been flattened and finely grooved at 40 LPI, which naturally guides your eye to the front sight and eliminates distracting glare. Known as our best firearm for target shooting, this elegant design has a beautiful simplicity that has yet to be matched. Unique with the Executive series pistols is the 25 LPI checkered frame and mainspring housing. This pattern is not too rough on the hands, but not too fine for a secure grip.  Stainless gun coated with Gen 4 coating !






ET closeup.jpg

Brown BoMars.jpg

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I have two 1911s with adjustable sights.  A Colt Gold Cup and a Springfield Armory Loaded.  After taking them out of the box, and setting them where I wanted the rounds to hit, I have never adjusted the sights again.  I've had the Gold Cup over 25 years, and the Springfield about 12 or so.  I have about 17 other 1911s that are pretty much stock, with a couple of exceptions.  I have replaced front sights on several with fiber optics.  Most notably, a Springfield EMP.  Dang thing always shot low, so I measured the front sight and found out it was way too high.  Ordered a Dawson Precision that was the appropriate height, and it's been an awesome shooter ever since.

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I go the opposite way, preferring fixed sights on my guns. I have a Springfield Range Officer 9mm with adjustable sights, I had to modify them to make the gun shootable for me, back was too wide. I do not target shoot, everything is action oriented. I prefer a bright green front sight and black rear.

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I use a Les Baer with red dots for NRA bullseye competition.

That's better than my super annuated eyes can do.



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