He writes a lot on the topic, so you’ll just have to click through to read it.
Note: I respect the good doctor a great deal. I just don’t totally agree with him in this case. But that’s how life can be sometimes — and we’ll still be friends tomorrow. 🙂
I tried the XS Big Dots some time ago. They’re fast, they’re for fighting! I wanted to look into them because I wear corrective lenses and figured if I didn’t have my lenses on for some reason, could I still find a front sight and do my business? Well, the Big Dots didn’t help any in that regard. But I also found in my use of them a lot of difficulty in making accurate hits. Oh sure, I could get in the ballpark, but as distances increased and/or targets got smaller, it gets really difficult with those sights. What exactly do you line up?
They are big.
They are coarse.
I recall sitting in a restaurant one day with Daughter, we were far away from the line and cashiers, and I thought to myself: if I had to make a shot from here could I do it? The answer was “no”, because these sights just would not allow it. Oh sure, I’ve seen videos of people making “hits” at 100 yards, but just how accurate are those hits? A steel popper still rings if you hit it in the “toe”.
Even Dr. House alludes to this:
It also depends on the shooter, and which, “part,” of the dot you are using (meaning, “dot,” centered in the notch, the center of the, “dot,” or tritium vial bottomed out in the notch, etc).
That seems… complicated. When fur is flying, can I spend so much time trying to sift through such minutia?
Sure they can be “good enough for fighting” if you look at how most gunfights are within a car length (0-5 yards). But the reality is at those distances, you really don’t even need sights! Indexing off the frame/slide can be generally effective enough. Where sights start to become more important is at 7+ yards, and that’s where the Big Dots start to be more hindrance than help.
If you don’t believe me, try it yourself.
First, shoot some solid drills like the updated FBI Qualification, the Rangemaster Level 5 Qual, or other such tests. Something that requires fast, accurate hits, at distances from 3 to 25 yards, to relatively small targets. Shoot these with whatever sights you have now.
Then install some Big Dots, spend a little time getting used to them, then shoot the tests again. Compare your performance.
Then maybe even try getting other types of sights. My personal preference is a 0.100″ wide front sight with a red fiber optic insert, and a plain black (or maybe serrated black) rear sight with a 0.125″ wide notch. I get mine from Dawson Precision. Try shooting the drills. See how things do.
Try others, like from Warren Tactical, Heine, 10-8 Performance.
Spend time with whatever sights you choose. Make an honest assessment. You want things that will improve your performance, and that won’t fail under pressure.
Here’s where Dr. House and I mostly agree:
So pick what works for you. Get sights that you can see, and shoot to the point of aim and point of impact of your chosen practice and carry loading. Then worry about something else! It’s really easy to get wrapped up and concerned about the gear, but the gear is actually the LAST thing you need to worry about. In 99% of cases, most gear will do, if YOU will do.
I say “mostly” because I think it’s worthwhile to spend the time to research and try things out. Equipment DOES matter and it can help OR hinder your performance. So it is worthwhile to find gear that is solid, proven, reliable, and can enhance your performance.
But then yeah, once you get it figured out? Stop dwelling upon it. Move on to more important topics because gear is the least important thing.