Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Range Trip – New Sights – 3/9/2015


The middle of last month I posted that I had installed new sights on my Glock 17. You can take a quick look at the post here if you like. The primary reason for moving to this particular set of sights was twofold. First, for better visibility of the front sight for more rapid threat acquisition. And, for alternate methods of single handed weapon manipulation using the “claw” style rear  sight.

The past month has been a bit iffy for range time. The last course I taught on the range reached a high of 8*F. My trip to the RangeMaster Tactical  Conference the end of last month saw the range work end in a downpour of ice/rain. And, the real world has demanded my attention until today.

The range was significantly different . . . 52*F, short sleeved polo shirt weather! The footing was typical of the range I use this time of year. At 15 feet there was 6 inches of water and a couple of mud. At 21 feet there was fairly thick ice with a couple inches of slush. At 50 feet there was about 6 inches of crusty snow, as was the case at the 25 yard line. Heavy sigh . . .

The goal today was to just get a feel for the new sights. The rear notch is probably 30% wider. The front blade is BRILLIANT! The clarity was stunning, my eye was simply drawn to it. It was almost like a holographic sight – put the green dot on the target . . . and you are “there”. I shot 5 courses of fire, 40 rounds per course. The first was at 15 feet, the second at 21 feet, third at 50 feet, fourth at 25 yards and the last at 15 feet working on my draw and multi round engagements. Let’s see how it went . . .

My first target was at 15 feet and shot from the High Compressed Ready. I shot a mix of center mass as well as higher precision on colored/numbered shapes.

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For 40 rounds I was down 6 for the course of fire, my first with the sights. Honestly, they were exceptionally clear. The misses, all low left . . . something I traditionally need to keep working on. Another thing I notices was that the precise shots demanded more attention on equal light, equal height. Good to know.

I taped the target, replaced the center and went for my second course of fire – 40 rounds at 21 feet. Again, from the compressed high ready.

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I was down 4 for 40 rounds. I worked on settling, being “deliberate” ( a topic for a future post), worked on my trigger press. A better performance and again, the front sight was amazing.

Let’s move back to 50 feet.

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Obviously my group started to open up and trend left. While the group held slightly less that an 8” diameter, sliding left increased my down count for a total of down 8. At this distance the front blade covered the center black area. Obviously everything comes into play here – from stance, grip, sight alignment and sight picture to managing my trigger press and breathing. But I was encouraged by the performance and will make sure every range trip contains a couple magazines at 50 feet.

Honestly, I don’t spend a lot of time at 25 yards. But, it will be part of every range trip as well this year.

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My group opened more and I ended down 12. So, I have a starting point for the year. As far as the sight performance, it was really good. The misses are not because of not being able to see the front sight, but was due entirely to my trigger press and sight alignment. That said, I am more than satisfied with the sights and look forward to working with them.

Finally, a little time with my draw stroke.

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You can see my first round engagement time as well as my splits. The traditional goal is 2 seconds or less. I nudged that consistently. This was the first time since about November that I didn’t have to work through my cold weather gear to draw. I was wearing my typical summer wear – an un-tucked polo shirt.

Working from a speed point of view, sight/target acquisition was smooth and quick. The transition from being focused on the target to picking up and moving my focus to the front sight was very easy. My goal was to keep everything inside the 8-ring. With this in mind I ended up down 7.

In short, if you are looking for a new set of sights to aid in the acquisition of a threat, I believe you’ll be more than happy with the AmeriGlo GL-444 rear claw set with a Trijicon H3-11 front blade.

Hit the range, push yourself more than a little and make sure to document your progress.


  1. Next weekend... sigh. And I need to order new sights for mine.

  2. Next weekend... sigh. And I need to order new sights for mine.

  3. Good advice and always. I recommended your book for a female friend interested in learning more about shooting prior to singing up formal lessons. Well done!

  4. Good advice and always. I recommended your book for a female friend interested in learning more about shooting prior to singing up formal lessons. Well done!

  5. Jim - Yep, I hear ya . . . I'm always going to do a ton of stuff "next weekend" . . . :)

    Bridig - Hope she finds value in it, thanks for the kind compliment!