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Not So Simple Sights, a New Product from SHOT Show

The press room at SHOT Show is on the third floor, and to get to and from the room, you had to traverse a large hallway filled with tables occupied by new manufacturers and vendors. Some of the more enthusiastic ones would scan passing nametags and, notice a “MEDIA” one, would all but jump into your path as they went into enthusiastic pitches for their gizmos.

One of the most enthusiastic was a man who had come up with a radical new idea for iron sights.

He called the light bars on either side of a traditional pistol sight “channels of failure” or something like that and had devised a new sight system…which he spent five figures of his own money designing and patenting…in which the extra wide front sight completely filled the notch in the rear sight.

So how does one know if the sights are properly aligned if there aren’t any light bars on either side of the front sight? Well, the ambitious inventor put two half circles on the front sight, and two on the rear sight, so that if the gun is aligned properly the shooter will see two side-by-side circles.

For reasons that are not fully explained, the left-hand circle is white, and the right-hand circle is green. Between the two is a little vertical hash mark to indicate the center point of the fat front blade– for all the world like the little fine aiming notch the French put on the fat front blades of their Berthier rifles way back in WWI. These agglomerations of half-dots and notches and different colors and whatnot are about to hit the market under the somewhat misleading name of “Simple Sights”.

The only problem with these sights is that pistol sights and human eyes just don’t work that way.

You’ll notice that we have separate pictures of the front and rear sights and not one of the whole sight picture? That’s because with the available light, the camera lens needed to be opened too wide to allow a field of focus deep enough to have both the front and rear sight in focus at the same time.


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The instructions make it sound so easy...

The instructions make it sound so easy…

Much like the human eye, which can also only focus at one distance.

While the depth-of-field issues with the eye aren't quite as bad as they are with the camera lenses we were using, it was impossible to get the sort of crisp, hard focus we're used to getting on a front sight. Discussion about these sights in the press room included statements like “I was getting a headache trying to get them both in focus” and “It felt like my eyes were getting crossed.”

The rear sight on a pistol, like a window, is meant to be looked through not at, and this sight system makes that effectively impossible.

While the novelty of these $100 MSRP sights may draw some fans, we remain a little skeptical of their actual utility.


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