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I just purchased a new RIA 1911 for the Mrs. and I am getting it set up for her to use in local competition and for EDC. The gun has the original style 1911 sights, and she would like to have those replaced. She likes the Lo-mount style sights like the Novaks on my SA.

So this brings up the question...

If you were going to replace the old mil-spec type sights for some of the new styling, would you go with Novaks or Heine?

and Why?

Also, would you place standard 3 dot style sights on it, or would you go with night sights on ?

And once again why?

Just looking for a little insight to how to set it up to make her happy, and the gun accurate and reliable.

Thanks for your insight.
 

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three dot tritiums. Because it's standard between all my handguns, and because I've learned (learning?) to shoot both eyes open with them.
 

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I looked at three dot tritiums in the Wilson Combat "Combat Pyramid" configuration (orange rears/green front) and although it was easier to gain sight aquisition in low light as compared to the standard three dot tritium setups, I found it quicker with the Heinie Straight Eight tritium configuration (two dot tritium).

I prefer nightsights, although you'll find some do and some don't. It all comes down to perferences.

If adjustables are what interest her, then look at the new Novak adjustables or Bomars.

In the end, both Novak, Heinie, and Bomar offer great choices (in both tritiums and without). Check out their websites for more information. You really have to go with which configuration works best for her.

www.novaksights.com

www.heinie.com

www.bo-mar.com

Good luck.
 

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Any adjustable sight can and does break, I have seen several Bomars and LPAs over the years become moving parts on a slide during matches and classes. Your call, Heinie, Novak, XS; all are good sights, and will suit someones needs.

Personally I have some of each on several blasters. XS sights once you get used to them are very accurate, and fast.
 

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If you're starting with a "virgin" slide, I'd go with the Heinie sights. I prefer the sight picture because it's very much like the Bo-Mars.

If you get night sights, the Heinie straight eight works nicely, but if you go with Novak I recommend the Bar-Dot. Or just get the tritium in the front.

As far as plain white dots . . . I'd prefer to just have plain black sights over dots I could not see in the dark anyway. I used to paint my front sight, but eventually I realized it wasn't helping with speed and it was actually slower for longer, more precise shots than just plain black sights.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the information. So far I have decided to go with Night sights, but for other than aesthetics, is there any real difference between Heinie and Novak sights?

Looks as if the cost of the sights are about the same. It also looks as if my gunsmith may have to do a little more milling on the slide to fit the Heinie sights than he would to fit the Novaks.

Are the sight pictures any different between the 2 brands. I know how the Novaks look, and am only slightly familiar with Heinie. (ie. ...plain black on a Kimber I once test fired, wasn't to pleased).

Which set would be less prone to snagging during concealment and drawing from the holster?

Any advice will be of great assistance.

Thanks.
 

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"Are the sight pictures any different between the 2 brands. I know how the Novaks look, and am only slightly familiar with Heinie. (ie. ...plain black on a Kimber I once test fired, wasn't too pleased). "

Many of the very most experienced and winning shooters use black on black and have for many years. If you do a search of many of the gun forums you'll find a lot of people who feel the Heinie's have a superior sight picture. Many also advise thinning the front sight on either brand to .100 inch to have more daylight in the sight picture for faster acquisition and no loss in accuracy.

As far as snagging goes, the Heinies and the Novacks have ramped front sights. The front sights are also taller than many stock sights so mention this to your holster maker.

Your mileage may vary.
 

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Heinie, fixed is my choice.

This is obviously a personal choice.
Some like one thing, some another.

If you want night sights, the un-outlined "two-vertical dot" approach of the Heinie Straight-Eights is less obtrusive for regular ambient light shooting than the "three horizontal dots", (which usually come with paint or plastic cylinders, making them obligatorily "three white dots") approach, IME.

I prefer plain black sights on a 1911, with a sight picture as close to that of the Bo-Mar as possible. The Heinies do that well, with the rear sight being flat, plain, and horizontally-grooved.
The Novaks have a "shadow box" effect at the rear sight, which I find distracting and uneven if the light is from the side.

I can't STAND the Ashley "Dot" sights, personally, and accordingly can't give a personal recomendation. Many folks love 'em, but I find them not only terribly imprecise, but SLOW.
While presumably most people find this sight picture to be "automatic", I found I was always trying to get the "dot" just pefectly balanced at the center of the "V", at just the right height so that the lower portion of the "dot" wasn't partly obscured by the rear sight, nor too high above the rear sight, and that this took TIME.
I can get a "flash" sight picture quickly and automatically with square blocky black sights, and hit what I aim at. With the Ashleys, I get a funny-looking sight picture which is terribly imprecise and slow and allows only "approximate" hitting. (Yes, I can hit the center of a B27 target with them quickly at 7 yards, who couldn't, but that's not my yardstick. I want to ALSO hit the center of a 2" bull at 25 yards, and the Ashleys aren't up to snuff for this, for me. And yes, I know about using the top of the Ashley dot, etc. for "greater precision" at distance. It's a convex surface, so center isn't as readily judged and accordingly aligned as with a flat-topped, square edged front sight.) I've tried 'em for months at a time, both Big Dot and regular, on two different pistols (after all, I figured Andy Stanford and 300 other guys can't be wrong), so I believe I gave 'em a fair chance, but they're not for me. YMMV, etc.

And JMNSHO, IME, etc
 

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been thinking about this recently too

From what I've been looking at--I would seriously consider getting the slide milled with the Kimber/CMC rear dovetail and the Novak front dovetail (I believe the kimber/cmc frames/sights use this same dovetail). I've heard the best things about the novak roll pinned fronts. And the kimber/cmc rear dovetail gives you the most leeway in what sights to mount--everyone makes a rear sight to fit the "kimber" cut--CMC(of course), Heine, Novak, AO, Wilson pyramid. You get all of your bases covered in case she ever changes her mind. I'm leaning toward a CMC rear filed down into a right angle in front so it will be better suited for one-hand malf. drills. I prefer the CMC and Heine sights because of the clean rear sight.

Just something to think about--I'm no expert.
-Chad
 

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I am considering changing out the Kimber plain black sights to XS big dot and also thinking about Laser Grips too! I've heard good things about Crimson Trace... I really don't care for the Wilson night sights "Combat Pyramid", but that is with aging eyesight. I think that would be just fine if my eyes were better...

H
 

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I'd choose fixed three dot night sights for carry. Adjustables would be nice for competition but my priority would be to get the night sights for carry and make them work for competition. I like the meprolight sights because the tritium vials are a larger diameter than many other night sights which enables me to pick them up quicker coming out of the holster. I've tried big dots and while they are quick for up close my accuracy suffered at a distance and up close the most I would need is a flash sight picture anyway.
 
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