So, I got XS Sights for my carry guns. Little front sight for my S&W 640, and rear and BIG honking one for the Colt Commander.
Before I got them I was told by well meaning folks I respect and had tried it themselves that, "You're gonna be soooooooooorry..." At least with the big honking one. That I wasn't going to like the lack of precision.
Well, I do like them.
Put aside the snubbie. It's just a tritium replacement for the nearly invisible standard blade on the double action revolver, and isn't that much fatter. It needed something for low light at any rate and is probably what I'd have to hand in house if something went bump in the night. That kind is not what folks fault, I am almost sure.
The 1911... It's post and dot. Bright tritium, and BIG dot, as I mentioned. That big dot does indeed cover up the target area, and you have to cover what you want to hit to shoot it. I already shoot like this with my sight picture no matter what kind of sight I am using, so I didn't make any adjustments (see #3 here and below). If I used a lollipop style hold (picture #1), then yes, it would be a problem.
With shoot n see sticker targets about 9 inches in diameter, dinner plate size, the front sight about half obscures the target at 7 yards. I need to adjust my practice and do more 25 yard events. In fact, I did last Sunday. Sent a silhouette all the way down with NO shoot n see to give me feedback. Both the conventional sighted 1911 and the XS commander had groups in the center mass at the same area as usual for me. A little low and right, but all on. I am faster re-acquiring with the big dot.
I'm not that good a shooter to do competition like a bowling pin shoot. But if I did I'd use my full size Springfield 1911 with more standard sights. But this Commander is a carry pistol, not a bowling pin pistol. I was never going to be shooting at eyeballs with either one. Again, I'm not that good. If my only visible bad guy in a self defense situation is presenting an eyeball sized target for me to hit 25 yards away I am not only moving laterally to make his problem harder, I am moving laterally and attempting to extricate myself from the whole bad scene. As I assume most folks will be. I'm not hunting bad guys, I'm trying to save my skin. If I was hunting bad guys I'd have a rifle. I can hit an eyeball at that range with an 1894C.
So, I am happy with the change to XS sights. And, in fact, am getting comfortable enough to carry the 1911 concealed at this point. It is edging the Sig 229 out for holstered CCW, versus the pocket carry I do with the revolver. But this is certainly a "your mileage may vary" type situation. They aren't for everyone.
I am kinda shocked I took to the post and dot style sights of any description. Before I tried them they just seemed wrong and I gravitated to 3 dots, in a row, horizontally. Surprisingly, I get along with post and dot (non XS) like a house afire.
I would consider the smaller front post on future modification, and XS sights on other carry guns. Not that I need more carry guns. Maybe spares...
Here is a target set at 25 yards with both styles of sights and 1911s, and I think the one outside the circle is from the gov't model:
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