Adjusting Handgun Sights

      Here is a tech tip that can get your handgun sighted in quickly.   This article will help center your groups on the target much better than in this picture.   This technique gives you a little extra confidence to know "exactly" how much to adjust your sights, and this confidence is important in a shooting sport that involves more more mental abilitiy than physical conditioning.

Handgun Sights       After seeing this 25 yard target, how many clicks (to the right) would you adjust the rear sight on this pistol?   Most shooters would guess two or three clicks.   Actually, there's no right answer to this question unless you are very familiar with this particular handgun . . . . so stop guessing.

      This is my Springfield Trophy Match 45.   It takes 10 clicks of windage to move the strike of the bullet one inch at 25 yards.   The sights on my Colt Python require 3 clicks to move bullet impact the same amount, and my High Standard Victor takes 5 clicks to have the same effect.

      You need to start by getting familiar with each individual handgun, and fire one 5 shot group at 25 yards.   I then adjust the sights 20 clicks to either side, and fire another 5 shot group.   Find the center of each group, then measure how far the groups are apart (center-to-center).   Then divide that number by 20 (the number of clicks you moved the sights before shooting your second group).   That will tell you "exactly" how much bullet movement you get per click.   The reason for shooting 5 shot groups is to locate the center of your group, not one of the flyers.   Your groups need to be tight or you will be wasting your time collecting bad data.

      I once spent a few days shooting with a distinguished shooter who shot over 60,000 rounds each year in practice.   He could easily outshoot me (and everyone else I know).   However, he had never tested the sights this way on any of his handguns, and he was surprised to realize how accurate and useful this method is.   This is especially important information if you own several handguns, because the sight clicks will have a different effect on each gun.

      Occasionally, you'll find a rear sight with an elevation adjustment that provides a different amount of bullet movement than the windage adjustment.   A different barrel length also affects the amount of bullet movement that you get from each click on your rear sight.   This whole article also applies to rifles.   You may have heard the old saying "beware of the shooter that only has one gun".   He has probably spent the time learning the "exact" effect from each click on his particular sights.

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