I like to buy my sights like I buy my shoes… in pairs, because like shoes, your sights should be designed for the job you are asking them to do and presumably both the front and rear are asked to perform the same task.
Sight manufacturers do a pretty good job of pairing sights based on their intended purpose and knowing that purpose may help you pick the best sights for you.
Dawson Precision’s Perfect Impact sights are well known for… um precision. This scale illustration shows the large serrated square rear blade shape with a .125″ rear notch and a .125″ front post.
The thin light bars on either side of the post allow for very accurate shots for target shooting and are only visible because of the prospective difference due to the distance of the front and rear sights. (For me the front sight is about 20% further away than the rear sight).
While accurate, the thin bars make these sights slower and the rear notch depth is limited by the mechanism required to make these sights adjustable.
Warren Tactical/Sevigny Competition Fiber Optic Sights
Scott Warren and Dave Sevigny are both competition shooters, but focus on action pistol sports. Therefore these sights still have relatively narrow light bars, but with wider .130″ rear notch and thinner .115″ front post they appear about 50% wider than the Dawson’s. This allows for accurate fire, but also increased speed.
Additionally because theses sights aren’t adjustable, they can have a deeper rear notch as well.
Warren Tactical/Sevigny Carry Fiber Optic Sights
On the carry sights (and .150 Competition Sights) the notch is increase to .150″ and uses the same front sight. This opens up the sight picture to have light bars that are almost 3 times as wide as the Dawson’s.
These are fast sights and allow you to look through the sights as opposed to over them.
I.C.E. CLAW EMS Rear Sight Only
It is possible to buy just one sight or the other and there are many examples of that have been mentioned on the site…
- I have a Daniel Defense Fixed Front Sight and Troy Rear Battle Sight on my AR
- Caleb mentioned that one of his favorite sight combination was a 10-8 rear sight with a Warren Fiber Optic Front Sight on a podcast
- et cetera
The I.C.E. Claw is a new sight that is marketed frequently that way and Monderno seems to really like his.
It features a very wide .180″ rear notch and paired with it a .115″ Warren Tactical sight would permit light bars more that 4 times as wide as the Dawson’s. This enough precision for very quick shooting up close, but may be too wide for competition accuracy. Although it is never mentioned, these sights appear to be designed for use with a stock .150″ width front sight which reduce the light bar down to be consistent with the Warren’s.
I should also mention that the claw has an… um, claw shape that allows it to catch on holsters, gear or clothing for one-handed manipulations. It seems to be getting some traction in the industry, although I’m not sure what I think about it. I already have shirts with rips from being caught on my Warrens during presentations and pressing through it. I have to imaging I’d have more with these.
If your thinking about some new sights also check out this past post on the different sight markings and consider subscribing to the blog. There will be another post coming shortly on how the sight design can affect sight radius.
If you already have sights you like, leave me a comment and let me know if you considered the width or your front or rear sights when you were selecting them.
Written by Ron Larimer