Most pistol manufacturers offer front sights with glow-in-the-dark dots on the sights. Originally, these dots were intended to help tactical shooters find their sights in low light, but having been with us for a couple of decades the intended purpose has been rather lost. Many shooters use the three-dot system to achieve what they believe to be sight alignment. Incorrect. Sights are regulated to be used by aligning the front sight tip and the top of the rear sight blades. By regulated, I mean the manufacturers design the weapon to be fired using the sights. Dots are certainly not just slapped on the sights by neither are they placed with great precision. More to the point, dots are not precise by nature. Which could you horizontally align more accurately, three paper plates or three straws? If the straws were not perfectly aligned you would certainly know that at first glance. Likewise the line that runs from rear sight blade across front sight tip onto rear sight blade has much greater potential for perfection than does three imperfect dots. The dots are always imperfect and will only get worse over time as the inserts fade, chip and discolor. Think about where the dots are placed, halfway up the sights. Would you steer your car while sitting on the floorboard and staring at the steering wheel? The front sight tip is marksmanship and while the tip must be clear and the rear sight must be blurred, and the target must be blurred–you still have to see the rear sight and target. The tip sits on the aiming point, the dots sit blindly in the middle of the sights. Use your sights like a marksman, they way they’ve been used since the inception of fixed sights on firearms.

The Author
Al
Albert League is a former Marine and law enforcement firearm instructor who consults on a variety of security topics.