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Old 08-25-2012, 14:32   #1
PettyOfficer
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What makes Glock factory sights poor for competitive shooting?

I have a NIB 17 that I want to start competing with (complete and absolute newb), and I've read a lot of threads on which sights others use, but I'd like to learn why are factory sights so bad?

What are the ideal characteristics for a competitive sight?

When people mention sight sizes, I suspect sight radius is important, is there an equation that would help me isolate sizes to radius so I don't buy something too big or too small?

I don't have friends who shoot non-stock guns, so I have no access to trying other sights to find out what I like. I'm going to have to take others opinions and maybe some mathematical analysis into account when deciding on sights.
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Old 08-25-2012, 14:37   #2
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with Glock factory sights. Many, many GSSF competitors use them. Folks buy aftermarket sights to tailor their Glock to their vision needs. Some like plain black sights. Many cannot shoot with plain black sights. Some seek a slight competitive advantage by using fiber optic sights. Some fit their Glocks with 2-dot or 3-dot night sights. There is no magic set of sights. Everyone's eyes and needs differ.
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Old 08-25-2012, 14:53   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyR View Post
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Glock factory sights.
Exactly, except that everything is wrong with them! I don't know why Glock wastes the time putting sights on the gun. Just send it blank because everyone I know changes their sights anyways. It's one of the cost factors you have to include when buying one. You aren't spending $500 on a Glock....you actually spend about $600 on it once you've put real sights on it.

I generally never complain about Glock's products, but this is one area that a lot of other gun manufacturers get right from the start.

PettyOfficer, go shoot a competition and then try to shoot someone else's gun with real sights. You will soon find out how bad the stock sights really are.
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Old 08-25-2012, 16:05   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonfly View Post
Exactly, except that everything is wrong with them! I don't know why Glock wastes the time putting sights on the gun. Just send it blank because everyone I know changes their sights anyways. It's one of the cost factors you have to include when buying one. You aren't spending $500 on a Glock....you actually spend about $600 on it once you've put real sights on it.

I generally never complain about Glock's products, but this is one area that a lot of other gun manufacturers get right from the start.

PettyOfficer, go shoot a competition and then try to shoot someone else's gun with real sights. You will soon find out how bad the stock sights really are.
I shoot both Glock sights regular Glock sights just fine.
What's the problem?
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Old 08-25-2012, 16:07   #5
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Nothing if they work for you. Sights like firearms must fit the shooter.
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Old 08-25-2012, 19:53   #6
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My advice is compete with the factory sights to start with. Personally I wish Glock would only offer two options. Either the factory adjustable or Trijicon night sights but that is just because that is what I prefer.
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Old 08-25-2012, 20:44   #7
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The problem with the stock Glock sights is they are plastic. They work well enough, I just want a sturdier sight.


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Old 08-25-2012, 21:11   #8
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The "radius" is mostly affected by barrel/slide length, although some sights might change that marginally. So don't consider that factor.

Many competitors don't like the stock sights because they're plastic, although Glock's changing from the old staked front to a screw helped the problem with front sight coming off.

Many don't like the stock ones because of the front sight width... it's too wide for me. Also too busy. I like all black front/rears, others maybe a fiber optic front.
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Old 08-25-2012, 21:16   #9
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Originally Posted by DannyR View Post
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Glock factory sights. Many, many GSSF competitors use them. Folks buy aftermarket sights to tailor their Glock to their vision needs. Some like plain black sights. Many cannot shoot with plain black sights. Some seek a slight competitive advantage by using fiber optic sights. Some fit their Glocks with 2-dot or 3-dot night sights. There is no magic set of sights. Everyone's eyes and needs differ.
You also missed race guns with red dot sights. I know not something you carry everyday but its an option.
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Old 08-25-2012, 21:24   #10
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Shoot with the original sights and see what you can improve on. Ask the other shooters if you could look at their sights and sight pictures.
It has taken me a few years to get a good idea of what works for me. I'm still tinkering with my sights. For me a wide slot in the rear sight, a narrow front sight with a fiber optic or a bright flourecent orange dot works for me.
I started ten years ago with the stock glock sights.

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Old 08-25-2012, 23:25   #11
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Originally Posted by ron59 View Post
The "radius" is mostly affected by barrel/slide length, although some sights might change that marginally. So don't consider that factor.

Many competitors don't like the stock sights because they're plastic, although Glock's changing from the old staked front to a screw helped the problem with front sight coming off.

Many don't like the stock ones because of the front sight width... it's too wide for me. Also too busy. I like all black front/rears, others maybe a fiber optic front.
Yeah, I'm aware of what the sight radius is.. However, when considering that a fixed width object like a front sight will get smaller the further away (larger radius), a logical person would want to know how to pick the proper width such that it's not too small if too far away or too large if not far enough.

Are there rules of thumb or any industry thoughts on sight size selections?

I'm sure with a little effort and trigonometry I could calculate the expected perceived sized over a given radius.
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Old 08-26-2012, 00:32   #12
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Like others have said, sights really are a personal preference thing, with use and experience, you will find what you like.

Shoot with the factory sights for a while...you might like them...I use them for GSSF competition, I also used to use them for USPSA back when, and I've done very well with them!

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Those who tell you that factory Glock sights are junk, are simply giving their opinion. Keep in mind that whether they have a clue or not, it's just their personal preference.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:15   #13
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I could stare at these sights all day.......just saying.

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Old 08-26-2012, 08:27   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch View Post
Like others have said, sights really are a personal preference thing, with use and experience, you will find what you like.

Shoot with the factory sights for a while...you might like them...I use them for GSSF competition, I also used to use them for USPSA back when, and I've done very well with them!

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Those who tell you that factory Glock sights are junk, are simply giving their opinion. Keep in mind that whether they have a clue or not, it's just their personal preference.
Hey Butch,

You forgot to mention, when you shoot the Gunny Challenge, you do not get to choose the sights to use. You use which ever they feel like installing on the Gunny Challenge guns provided by Glock.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:33   #15
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Quote:
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Hey Butch,

You forgot to mention, when you shoot the Gunny Challenge, you do not get to choose the sights to use. You use which ever they feel like installing on the Gunny Challenge guns provided by Glock.
Yup, the sights don't make the gun more accurate!

The differing guns used there over the years have had a bunch of different sights....Factory polymer, three dot night sights, Warrens, and last year, the Ameriglo fiber optic....and they all worked, but the plain black Warren sights were hard to see well against the black hit zone on the steel D-1 targets, ya really have to concentrate on staying focused on the front sight.

My least favorite? The three dot night sights....just never liked three dot sights.

Here are the sights on the G38 I carry, they're steel with a night sight on the front, but they give a sight picture very similar to certain polymer sights that I like a lot.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:40   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch View Post
Yup, the sights don't make the gun more accurate!

The differing guns used there over the years have had a bunch of different sights....Factory polymer, three dot night sights, Warrens, and last year, the Ameriglo fiber optic....and they all worked, but the plain black Warren sights were hard to see well against the black hit zone on the steel D-1 targets, ya really have to concentrate on staying focused on the front sight.

My least favorite? The three dot night sights....just never liked three dot sights.

Here are the sights on the G38 I carry, they're steel with a night sight on the front, but they give a sight picture very similar to certain polymer sights that I like a lot.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:57   #17
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shoots the Gunny?

how about won it THREE TIMES!
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:46   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch View Post
Like others have said, sights really are a personal preference thing, with use and experience, you will find what you like.

Shoot with the factory sights for a while...you might like them...I use them for GSSF competition, I also used to use them for USPSA back when, and I've done very well with them!

GSSF

Those who tell you that factory Glock sights are junk, are simply giving their opinion. Keep in mind that whether they have a clue or not, it's just their personal preference.
I also shoot the regular factory sights, albeit not as well as Butch does. I have tried fiber optics and will give them another chance but right now I'm leaning to going back to the stock sights. I shoot them well and having the same sights on all your glocks for all 6 divisions seems to aid in my consistency.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:17   #19
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I find the amount of white on the stock sights to be distracting as it seems to catch the light and become too bright.

When I try to line up the stock sights for a "precision" shot, the dot on the front makes me slower to get the up/down I need.

Personal preference, for nonXring shooting is a thin front sight with a fiber optic (red most often) and a wide notch for the rear. I also like my rear sight to be some sort of configuration that doesn't shine.

On my self defense guns, I use a night sight front sight and plain rear. This is suffcient to recreate my target set up.

For precision shooting, I prefer all black.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:56   #20
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I find the amount of white on the stock sights to be distracting as it seems to catch the light and become too bright.

When I try to line up the stock sights for a "precision" shot, the dot on the front makes me slower to get the up/down I need.

Personal preference, for nonXring shooting is a thin front sight with a fiber optic (red most often) and a wide notch for the rear. I also like my rear sight to be some sort of configuration that doesn't shine.

On my self defense guns, I use a night sight front sight and plain rear. This is suffcient to recreate my target set up.

For precision shooting, I prefer all black.
Precision shooting? Precision shooting I prefer....well.......I guess I prefer to let someone capable of shooting with precision take the shot!!!
Seriously I actually got a chance to shoot all black sights not long ago and I prefer them to the FO sights I was shooting FOR GSSF, for USPSA I use a different setup but that has no bearing here. The one thing I learned this year was to pick a particular style of sights and use them and just them on all your guns. Then as Ron says "shoot the crap out of them". I have even decided to only shoot my 17. One gun, one set of sights, and a butt load of practice. That's my plan for accurate shooting.
(UL division excluded of course)
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