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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been able to shoot my Springfield Range Officer and incredibly impressed with the pistol. There is a Bullseye League and looking to begin competing, but I am not interested in any optics, just iron/fiber optic sights. My goal is to increase my marksmanship skills and keep up my small arms proficiency while not deployed. Plus I enjoy competition and the advice/support of the incredibly skilled and experienced BE crowd is worth the price of admission and then some.

The steel sights on my RO are fine, but I had to paint them white to help see them better. Would I be better off with a Fiber Optic front sight from Dawson, similar to what I have on my XD(M) 5.25 or keep the standard black iron sights as is? I really like the Fiber Optic XD(M) sight, but I don't know if its as well suited to Bullseye or not.

Appreciate the help as always.



 

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I'm old and my eyesight is not good anymore, so Dave recommended the .100 width FO sight on my 5-inch Trophy Match.
 

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I'm in my 50's and have slowly warmed up to FO sights. I hate them from a traditionalist point of view, but am beginning to really like them for a shooting point of view. I have a DW Valor with FO sights that shoots very well, as well as a Kimber rimfire 1911 with a Dawson FO front.

There are several issues for target shooting though. The front FO rod will get dirty as you shoot and will become less bright - this may affect your sight picture. And some FO sets require you to heat the end of the rod to keep it in place. It's very hard to get a perfectly symmetrical dot when you do this and I've found it can really mess with sight alignment. I know one of the FO sights I have uses a barbed rod so you don't have to heat it.

Finally, it's also too easy to focus on the dot rather than the top of the sight. So it takes a while to get used to the holding the dot below the top of the rear sight plane. At least it did for me. And if it's really sunny, the 'glow' of the dot can make it hard to really focus on the front sight alignment.

In bright sunlight, I still like old school wide front blade iron sights for the best accuracy. But they do tire my eyes out a lot more quickly that the much easier to see FO sights. You may find your groups a bit looser with the FO sight, but it will be so much easier to see that you may not mind.

Good luck,


dakotaTex
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Gotcha. The FO are very fast acquisition on my XD(M), and if I'm shooting for accuracy at longer ranges, I can see them easier against the target backdrop, but I could see how it might be less accurate. I certainly can't shoot my XD(M) at the same level as my 1911. Maybe I can "simulate" the affect and get the best of both by just using some Fluorescent Orange paint instead of white on the Front Sight and see how it works. The Bullseye is being shot in an indoor range at the moment, and lighting is a little on the low side, but being on Active Duty, I'll be moving in 18 months to somewhere else, so who knows, it may be outdoors.

Even with the iron sights, I can shoot my 1911 faster than the XD(M) 5.25 45 ACP. But I thought the FO might help. I can see how the FO would be better for quick acquisition, but a small decrease some accuracy. Hard to tell if its the pistol or the sights in the case of the XD(M), might be both, this is my first 1911, I can't believe I waited this long, absolutely understand the obsession with them.

Video messing around at the folk's ranch at just 15 yards, whacking logs before starting a bonfire. Only the 45 knocked 'em down every time, unlike the 380 ACP, 9mm, 40 S&W. Crazy that a pistol this accurate is still a super fast shooter. Lots of fun.
 

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I'm in my 50's and have slowly warmed up to FO sights. I hate them from a traditionalist point of view, but am beginning to really like them for a shooting point of view. I have a DW Valor with FO sights that shoots very well, as well as a Kimber rimfire 1911 with a Dawson FO front.

There are several issues for target shooting though. The front FO rod will get dirty as you shoot and will become less bright - this may affect your sight picture. And some FO sets require you to heat the end of the rod to keep it in place. It's very hard to get a perfectly symmetrical dot when you do this and I've found it can really mess with sight alignment. I know one of the FO sights I have uses a barbed rod so you don't have to heat it.

Finally, it's also too easy to focus on the dot rather than the top of the sight. So it takes a while to get used to the holding the dot below the top of the rear sight plane. At least it did for me. And if it's really sunny, the 'glow' of the dot can make it hard to really focus on the front sight alignment.

In bright sunlight, I still like old school wide front blade iron sights for the best accuracy. But they do tire my eyes out a lot more quickly that the much easier to see FO sights. You may find your groups a bit looser with the FO sight, but it will be so much easier to see that you may not mind.

Good luck,


dakotaTex
+!:rock:
 

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I'm in my 50's and have slowly warmed up to FO sights. I hate them from a traditionalist point of view, but am beginning to really like them for a shooting point of view. I have a DW Valor with FO sights that shoots very well, as well as a Kimber rimfire 1911 with a Dawson FO front.

There are several issues for target shooting though. The front FO rod will get dirty as you shoot and will become less bright - this may affect your sight picture. And some FO sets require you to heat the end of the rod to keep it in place. It's very hard to get a perfectly symmetrical dot when you do this and I've found it can really mess with sight alignment. I know one of the FO sights I have uses a barbed rod so you don't have to heat it.

Finally, it's also too easy to focus on the dot rather than the top of the sight. So it takes a while to get used to the holding the dot below the top of the rear sight plane. At least it did for me. And if it's really sunny, the 'glow' of the dot can make it hard to really focus on the front sight alignment.

In bright sunlight, I still like old school wide front blade iron sights for the best accuracy. But they do tire my eyes out a lot more quickly that the much easier to see FO sights. You may find your groups a bit looser with the FO sight, but it will be so much easier to see that you may not mind.

Good luck,


dakotaTex
+1:rock:
 

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And some FO sets require you to heat the end of the rod to keep it in place. It's very hard to get a perfectly symmetrical dot when you do this and I've found it can really mess with sight alignment. I know one of the FO sights I have uses a barbed rod so you don't have to heat it.


dakotaTex
I've been using Dawson fiber optic sights for a number of years, but I mainly shoot USPSA type competitive shooting, though I shot my first BE match the other night with a .22 Marvel using their fiber optic front sight.

Here's a trick for getting a nice symetrical end to the fiber optic tube when you melt it: Insert the end of the FO tube from the barrel end and melt the side that you see first. I usually overinsert the tube by 1/4" or so and using a cig lighter melt the end. Once it starts to mushroon and while still hot I pull it back into the recess of the sight blade and that helps shape the final size/shape of the dot.

Then trim off the excess on the muzzle side of the sight and melt that end flush. With the hot metal lip of the lighter I then press that against the melted end above the muzzle for final shaping. I found that if you don't get the tube melted so that it is tight in the front sight, the sloppage will cause it to break. Done correctly the tubes will last several thousand rounds of shooting before needing replacement.

I also try to keep cleaning chemicals away from the tube. Just wipe them down with a clean cloth.
 

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I use a heat gun for RC Airplanes. Even heat, perfectly round. Kind of a waste if you buy it just for sights but it ends of getting a lot of use for $20.
Hmmm, I have an industrial strength heat gun that would probably work. It will soften paint in a hurry so I'll have to be careful I don't over do it, but I bet it will work.

Thanks for the tip.


dakotaTex
 

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I have a number of Dawson FO sights including on my Range Office. I find the comments from the website picture you included to be great advice so I have the .125 on my RO for bull's-eye shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I'm going to leave the sight stock for this season since it's my first Bullseye pisol. I'll see how it works, from reading above there are advantages/disadvantages to both and I'll need to figure out which works best. My Colt Woodsman Match Target doesn't have FO and they'll also be very similar.

Thanks DakotaTex, KS Pistol, 2MoreChains, and everyone else for the great advice!

Ad Astra per Aspera
 

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I can't wait to get my FO's installed. It have night sights on my "fun gun" but I'm having a hard time focusing on it (the front is too talk also). The other thing I like about FO is that the size of "dot" can be adjusted to your preference.

BTW where in Va are you doing competition? I'm transferring there in Spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
For practical shooting, the FO sights are phenomenal.

Fredericksburg, VA USPSA at Fredericksburg Practical Shooters. I prefer IDPA so I'm on the fence about participating. If you setup you shoot for free.
Stafford, VA Bullseye at "The Range" $6.00 entry fee on Monday nights.
Stafford, VA 22 Rimfire Benchrest at "Northern Virginia Gun Club"
Fairfax, VA Bullseye at Fairfax Rod & Gun Club, Inc. Matches start in March.

Quantico also hots NRA events.

That's all I'm aware of. I wanted to do IDPA very much, but the competition was closed at my Gun Club, so unless I want to run it, and I may next year, I don't believe there is any nearby. Big bummer, I bought an XD(M) just for that :(
 

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There might be more. I found a point of contact for the Tidewater area with information on competitive shooting. Here is the email I got from him, maybe it might help you.


Rick
Nice to meet you! Just to let you know, we have a decent amount of competition shooting in the are here in Tidewater. Our club has USPSA matches 9 times a year on the 4th Sunday. In May and September we hold a Steel Challenge match on those 4th Sundays instead of USPSA matches. Another section of our club has 3 gun matches on the 2nd Sunday. There is a High Power match once a month on the 3rd Saturday. Lastly there are IDPA matches every other Friday at another club.
If you are willing to drive a couple or so hours, there are other USPSA, 3gun and IDPA clubs within a couple of hours away to ensure you can shoot every weekend and then some. Hope that helps. Be sure to touch base with me when you get settled in after you get here and I'll be able to point you in the direction you want to go.
Take care.

Terry Bailado
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Absolutely. For me I'm constraining my trips to no more than an hour drive from the Fredericksburg/Dahlgren/Stafford area due to time available.

Tidewater is pretty far from me. I'd love to find out if there's some "Steel" pistol competition near me in the Northern VA area. Looks like a blast.
 

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I don't mind a little drive....I'm used to after being stationed out here. My furthest matches are 3 hour drive one way. The closest is 2 hours.
 

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Hey Jayhawker, you may want to start your own IDPA match. I did in Kansas, and was suprised at how much help I got from other shooters. A lot of shooters were looking for the same thing and there was nothing close by. I put up fliers at all the gun stores around, and after a few matches there were about 30 folks shooting. The range owners are very supportive too.



For practical shooting, the FO sights are phenomenal.

Fredericksburg, VA USPSA at Fredericksburg Practical Shooters. I prefer IDPA so I'm on the fence about participating. If you setup you shoot for free.
Stafford, VA Bullseye at "The Range" $6.00 entry fee on Monday nights.
Stafford, VA 22 Rimfire Benchrest at "Northern Virginia Gun Club"
Fairfax, VA Bullseye at Fairfax Rod & Gun Club, Inc. Matches start in March.

Quantico also hots NRA events.

That's all I'm aware of. I wanted to do IDPA very much, but the competition was closed at my Gun Club, so unless I want to run it, and I may next year, I don't believe there is any nearby. Big bummer, I bought an XD(M) just for that :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There was an IDPA club at the Gun Club I belong to. I've already been told I can run it, but I need to finish some Professional Military requirements that are potentially either career making, or ending. Once that's done I'm probably going to execute, since it more convenient to run it than drive 4 hours. I'm sure there's enough interest and experience to keep me in the right direciton and I'll contact the IDPA grey beards for guidance as well.
 
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