The Facts about Aftermarket Handgun Sights

atermarket handgun sights

Well, I will say it at the beginning that I am not a big fan of adjusting the sights on a pistol or even aftermarket handgun sights. Now don’t get me wrong. I think they can make you a better shooter and aid in certain conditions.

Pistols Shoot Dead On Always

The problem is that most people are not as good a shooter as their gun is.  What I mean is most problems can and will be corrected by better trigger squeeze/push, better sight capture, better stance, better breathing, etc.

I remember when I first started CQB shooting one of the less experienced Weapons Sergeants started adjusting sights for people. The old grizzled Team Sergeant stopped him and said, “a pistol shoots dead one always.” Now what he meant was that we had a bunch of new people on he range., let’s get them shooting correctly before we start messing with the sights. Sometimes a little dot of Whiteout on your front sight will help you pick it up better and save you the money on new sights.

As I said before, if you are doing everything right and still need to adjust or compensate new sights might take you to a new level in accuracy and speed.

Remember, the purpose of sights on a handgun is to allow the user to aim and send the bullet to the intended spot on a target. Nothing more. Not to scare anyone, not to make them surrender. Too many buy lasers with the idea that an armed, aggressive intruder is going to see your little red dot and lay down. He/she probably won’t even see it. If they do are you prepared if they return fire instead of quitting?

In the distant past handguns were often manufactured with sights that relied on a post front and V notch in the back. The traditional style is called a black on black where the front post was black and the rear V notch was black. Many shooters started to paint the back of the front post so as to make it stand out better. As this became a trend the manufacturers started changing the sights to reflect the style of shooters. With the advance of technology and the desire of shooters to be able to use their sights in low light situations manufacturers are starting to offer tritium or fiber optic stock sights. These bright sights make it easier for the shooter to see and allow for faster target acquisition.

To properly use sights an individual needs to get a sight picture. A normal sight picture is where the shooter looks through the rear V notch to the front post and to the target. The front post should take up the rear V from the bottom to halfway up the V and placed over the center of the area the shooter wants their bullet to land on the target. I favor a flash sight picture for a compromise between speed and accuracy. Check out this post on how to do it.

Many shooters are replacing their both sights with aftermarket sights. Only after you fix all of your shooting problems think about aftermarket sights. Some of the issues aftermarkets sights are good for are if you have really poor eyesight and need to see them better, if you conceal carry and need to a smoother draw than what the stock sights give you, and if you want/need a good illuminated front sight to pick it up better in different conditions.

Red Dot

Many people like the red dot holographic type sights. These sights were traditionally for tactical rifles, but smaller versions are on the market for handguns. These sights project a red dot only within the sight itself and cannot be seen unless looking through the correct side of the sight. This is very different from a laser sight that can be seen on the target, and the whole beam can be seen especially at night. Laser sights are considered to be less tactical than the holographic sights as they give away the position of the shooter. I never liked lasers. I found too many people spent too long placing the laser on target and it really slowed them down.


For those that are using a suppressor aftermarket sights is almost a necessity. Many stock sights cannot be used as the can of the suppressor gets into the way. This prevents a shooter from getting a proper sight picture. Suppressors are something to consider for shooting inside your house at night. They reduce muzzle flash and noise. Shooting a large bore handgun inside at night can be very stunning for both the intruder and you. A suppressor might allow you to get a follow on shot on target.

What aftermarket sights do you like and use? Let us know in the comments.


Photo Credit – ROG5728


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