CSAT sights

Back in October 2015 when I attended the Combat Shooting and Tactics (CSAT) Tactical Rifle Operator course taught by Paul Howe, I picked up a set of his iron sights.

The front is is a TROY Industries M4 folding sight, and the rear is a TROY Industries folding sight as well. But the real hook? The rear sight is using the CSAT Aperture.

Here’s a short video of Paul Howe himself demonstrating and explaining the CSAT Aperture:

And here’s another video that explains it a little more in-depth:

I finally got a chance to install them on my S&W M&P-15TS. It came with factory Magpul BUIS, and these TROY replace them. I do use a Aimpoint T-1 most of the time, but that’s what the BU in BUIS is about.

I started zeroing at 7 yards using the small peep, just to get on paper. Only had to make a slight windage adjustment to the rear. That was a small pain because the TROY uses a pin in the adjustment wheel to keep things in place. BUT, making it a pain to adjust means it’s a pain to adjust – accidentally. So I actually like that feature since it will keep things in place. Once I got on paper, I went to 10, 15, 25 yards, all standing, Things seemed to be working well.

When I got to 50 yards, I wanted to go prone. Well, that didn’t work. 🙂  I was of course shooting at the KR Training facilities. The past few weeks, Texas has been getting lots of rain, so that means grass has been growing and no mowing has been able to take place. Karl’s only been able to mow bare essentials for class, and so much of the non-essential areas are tall grass. Going back to 50 yards? Non-essential, tall grass, and when I went prone I couldn’t see the target at all. 🙂  I did some kneeling, but I suck at shooting from a kneeling position, so not an ideal way to try to zero. I figured there was no point in going back to 100 yards either. Of course now as I write this, I’m thinking I should have just pulled a barrel and bench back to 100 yards and shot from that, but I guess the Texas heat fried my brain and it didn’t occur to me. Ah well. Things do seem zeroed enough for now, and I can refine it later.

After that was done, I went back to 7 yards and played with the CSAT Aperture’s rear notch. It takes a little getting used to the sight picture, but it works great. At 7 yards I was POI = POA and that’s some surgical shooting. I was using a 3″ dot as a target area, and was drilling the center out just fine at 7 yards. So I played with distance. I went up to 3 yards and nothing — you’re just way too close, the bullet hasn’t has any time/distance to start rising, so it’s still holdover time. At 5 yards it was hitting at the bottom of the 3″ dot. Around 10-12 yards it was hitting the top of the 3″ dot (aiming at the middle of the dot). After that it rose pretty quickly out of the dot, so for sure it’s back to the peep.

The more I shot it, the more I got used to the new sight picture. Really, I am digging this.

It almost makes me want to shoot irons and not red dot. 🙂

And think about it. In a home situation, that sort of 5-10 yards is about your distances, yeah?

I did a little more shooting too.

Most of the work was just using some Freedom Munitions .223 Rem 55 grain new manufacture ammo. But I did switch to some Hornady TAP 5.56 55 grain GMX barrier-blind — just 1 box of 20 (because expensive and hard to find), but after I had things dialed in I tried that ammo. Fed and ran fine, and at these shorter distances I noticed no difference in trajectory or impact point vs. the Freedom Munitions. 100 yards will be more telling. Yeah, switching to the TAP 5.56 55gr GMX for more serious purposes (from the TAP 75 grain non-GMX stuff); seems to be the better recommendation these days.

Also just did a bunch of mag dumps — because fun. 🙂

A couple things I need to work on.

First, I should dry-practice my rifle more. I focus mainly on pistol, but I really should do rifle dry work more.

Second, I’d love to take Paul’s class again.

Third, when I shoot I need to square up my body more. I tend to get bladed and that puts more of the recoil into points in my shoulder/pectoral and it gets old after a while. If I’m more squared up, the recoil is spread out more and it’s more comfortable. This goes back to point 2, as dry work will help me get my body into the habit.

Anyways, I’m digging the sights.


2 thoughts on “CSAT sights

  1. Now that is a slick and simple solution. And for somebody like me with machine tools I can mill a slot into my own existing sight(s).

    Although I have to say that is a good setup worth outright purchase.

    • You could, but will it work? I would reason a millimeter here and a millimeter there of heights will all add up.

      Granted, nothing’s stopping you from doing this — because if you can, why not?

      But I also look at the time/trouble factor. I know what my time is worth, and the tradeoff between time and money. For me? Better to just buy and be done with it. But that’s not always what it’s about. I mean, when it comes to reloading ammo, sure on paper it saves you money but there’s a huge time investment that a lot of people don’t factor into that — but then if you look at it as a good hobby, it works out. And so if milling it out factors into a fun thing, heck, go for it! 🙂

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