Thursday, January 05, 2012

...for a savings of $5.97 per gun.

ToddG is in the process of wringing out his new Glock 26:
The gun still has the stock plastic “sights” (it should be a law that you must put that word in quotation marks when referring to disposable plastic aiming nubbins) but things turned out all right.
Since Day One, Glocks have come from the factory with little plastic things that technically qualify as "sights" only due to the position they occupy atop the slide. They are frequently the first things replaced on the gun, sometimes because the owner wants to and sometimes because they have no choice.

Take my second Glock 23, for instance: I was using it in a casual action pistol match, one stage of which involved engaging a couple of close targets weak-hand-only around one side of a barricade, then reloading behind the barricade, leaning out around the other side, and engaging three pepper poppers at longer ranges.

*BANGBANGBANGBANG* I shot up the first set of targets and pulled the gun back behind cover, jammed in a full mag, rolled out around the other side, and... found myself having a hard time picking up the front sight. Not due to any lack of visual acuity, but because it didn't seem to be there anymore. I managed to get the seven-yard popper just by pointing the gun at it and squeezing off a couple rounds, but without the front sight, the 10- and 25-yard targets might as well have been on the moon as I futilely pumped the remaining eleven rounds into the berm. This will affect your score.

As it turns out, in my haste to get on with the stage I had banged the top of the slide against the barricade, and without really noticing, at that. I was finally able to pick up my front sight... out of the dirt a couple feet in front of the firing line. That made me a believer in putting more better sights on the gun right there.


Tango Juliet said...

This will affect your score.

But man oh man, what an excuse! (which is the main reason I suspect most shoot the game trap: to see who can come up with the best excuse.)

I've never understood the whole plastic sight thing either.

The Duck said...

I think it was 06, every new student with a new Glock, had the front sight blow off the gun within 5 rounds, we had at least a dozen lose their front sight.

Anonymous said...

Glock owners replace the sights, M&P owners replace the trigger.


Army of Dad said...

Not owning a Glock I had no idea that the sights were plastic too! I know some (ok, a lot) of people love them, but I can't stand Glocks and I wouldn't own one if you gave it to me.

I will be sure to pass this tip onto friends that do own Glocks though so thanks!

Jay G said...

Anon, from what I've heard, M&P owners often replace the sights, too - IIRC, didn't both Robb Allen and Say Uncle have issues with the sights on their M&Ps?

I've got two, and while, yes, they both need new triggers, so far the front sights have stayed on...

Now, if only they didn't catch on every less-than-perfect round...

Anonymous said...

Jay +1

My M&P9 and M&P Pro 9 both had sights fall off or slide around in the dovetail. It was bad enough with the Pro 9 I traded it in on a Glock 17.

The M&P 9 front sight disappeared on round number 48 out of the gun. I guess I should be glad to know that I do look at the front sight because I noticed it was gone right away.

Mr Vickers will go on a bender about stock Glock sights but so far no problems on mine but I have night sights on the 19/17/26 and I wonder if that is the difference.



Pakkinpoppa said...

A hint...
Use the slide plane. It's square enough to use, though I've only tried it a few times at the indoor range at 7 yards, but it worked. Saw that someplace online.

Not to defend Grock for putting those plasticky little dotted items aboard a perfectly good piece of equipment, but that's about the only complaint I have about them.

pdb said...

Some Guy On The Internet(tm) told me once that Glock gets extra ATF import points on the plastic sights, because the rear is so easily driftable it can be considered a "target sight".

Either way, they're still highly obnoxious and should be replaced as soon as practical.

Tamara (remotely) said...


"I have night sights on the 19/17/26 and I wonder if that is the difference."

Yes. They are not the plastic nubbins in question.

Incidentally, (and this is not directed at you, Gerry) all the "Yeah, but... but... M&P sights suck TOO!" is a splendid example of why I have largely abandoned internet gun forums.

I (who have owned a bunch of Glocks and very nearly bought another last fall) linked to a post by a guy who carries a Glock, writing favorably about the Glock 26 he just paid his own money for, and because I mention that the factory sights might not be all that and a bag of chips, Internet Glock owners set up a cry like they've been kicked in the junk and had their kid called ugly and immediately set up a "Brand A vs. Brand B" war by comment 4.

If a shooter is satisfied 100% with their gun, ANY GUN, as it comes from the factory, and can't see any area where it could be improved, it tells me more about them than it does about their heater.

seeker_two said...

Good thing about the comes with usable sights & trigger right out of the box....

Glock should just sell their pistols like Remington & Ruger sell their bolt-action rifles....

Unknown said...

If minor tweaking makes an otherwise desirable pistol work better, what's the problem? Tweak! That's a lot less work than blueprinting the engine in your automobubble. Looks to me as though way too many folks want to make a career of picking flypoop out of pepper.

bluesun said...

You could get a long slide and just sight down the barrel like like a shotgun!

TomcatTCH said...

I didn't know that about M&P sights, but it sure seems to be one of the criteria for a modern polymer pistol doesn't it?

Crap stock sights.

The Glock, the XD, and I guess the M&P.

Maybe they figure for those that will buy it and never shoot it, it doesn't matter, and those that buy em to shoot em, will change em anyway?

Gladorn said...

So, Glock uses a high tech polymer to form the frame of their pistols. Yet they use such a soft plastic for their sights that I can scratch them with my fingernails.

And on an aside rant: What idiot came up with the idea of a rear U sight? On my personal Glocks, I have replaced them with Tritium three dot sights. But my agency issued Glock has to have the U sight and no amount of arguing can change that. I have a bad habit of lining the site with the top of the U instead of in the center of it, thus shooting high. If I make such mistakes with it (and I've competed for years in IDPA and IPSC) I'm scared of what my fellow officers will do if there is ever an actual shooting incident.

Unknown said...

I've only had one gun that didn't get a sight change - a springer ultra compact - and that's because it came with black Novaks (wanted night sights, but stuck with 'em anyways).

I order sights for a gun weeks in advance, kinda like when I order a holster and ammo for it. Even the P30's pseudo night sights never felt one bit of recoil. With that said, Glock could at least put some MIM steel sights on there for the folks who don't mess with such things.

Goober said...

I am getting shivers considering what would have happened had this been a real life or death situation, Tam.

I imagine the courthouse shooter from a few years back. Someone like you or me would probably not stand around and allow that to happen - we'd engage if we saw an opportunity. You go to engage, pull your piece, and find out that as you are engaging a rampaging man at 25 yards, you have no sight. No going back now, he's seen you and is coming for you. Best of luck to ya.


rremington said...

I'm just as glad Glock uses cheap plastic sights. That way I'm not losing much when I take the sights off and put on what I want.

NotClauswitz said...

Uncle's post on Glockworx optic-cut slides has me in a fit. My (favorite) ex-SWAT armorer who won the Best in The West competetition a few times and fixed my Sig-sights had been shooting somethignlikethat on his Glock - for the past ten years or so...
Might be enough to get me to buy a Glock, but 9mm??? Please no!

Dwight Brown said...

Guns I have had the front sight fly off of:
* Glock 35
* Colt Commander

Guns I have not had the front sight fly off of (not a complete list):
* any of my S&W revolvers

(I don't own any of the S&W M&P guns, either the autoloaders or the original M&P.)

My conclusions:
* All guns are mechanical objects, and can break.
* I need to work on preparing myself for mechanical failures.

Garrett Lee said...

Having the front sight fall off of a M1 carbine was kind of interesting...

(It was an aftermarket sight; my grandfather, in his infinite wisdom, disliked aperture sights and fitted a standard post-and-notch sight arrangement. It has since been restored to original sights.)

Tamara (remotely) said...

Dwight Brown,

"Guns I have had the front sight fly off of:
* Glock 35
* Colt Commander

Yes, the old narrow-tenon 1911 sights were notorious for flying off when used with a front blade any larger tha the classic fingernail-clipping-size Government Model sights for which they were intended.

That's why almost all modern 1911-pattern pistols use .087" or .125" tenons or (even better) dovetail cuts to retain the sight.

Matt G said...

If the plastic nubbins were stronger, the lightness of the plastic would be a good thing, with regard to reducing the likelihood of the sight being heaved off by its own inertia. Aluminum is light, but too soft, and has a bad habit of rubbing off its finish. I wonder about titanium, or perhaps carbon fiber?

Can something be mixed into the titanium alloy to make it black as night, all the way through? Hmmm.

Anybody here a metalurgist, or know one?

Sigivald said...

MattG: No need for it to be black all the way through; a hard surface coating would be fine.

(Honestly, real world? Even a soft one you can touch up is fine.

Gonna hurt anyone to hit it with the moral equivalent of a black sharpie once a year? Naw.

Me, I don't much care about sights, as long as they're not awful, and let a bullet hit the target.

But I'm also not a competitive shooter. - Tam's needs aren't mine, and vice versa!)

abnormalist said...

Is this where I come in and say

"Even Taurus uses Novak or Heinie sights"

Or would that be considered rude? :-)

Anonymous said...

Matt G,

Blackbirds were black. And titanium. Check with the Skunkworks.

My favorite airplane.

Terry T

Tamara (remotely) said...


I'd rather have to replace the sights than everything below them. ;)

Ritchie said...

1000+ rounds with a 10mm G20C and no sign of trouble with the box adjustable sights, but will certainly take the matter under advisement. Gen 2.5, CHW prefix. Most shots at low or middling power level.

Dave R. said...

Though I could do my own research, so as not to pass on the experience represented here in the comments, what is a good sturdy type or brand of sights to put on a glock?

Anonymous said...

Dave R., I've been happy with the DeFoor sights shown here:

If you want Tritium inserts, Ameriglo has other options.

Al T.

mikelaforge said...

Great discussion. Thinking Tritiums now, thanks.

Spud said...

I take care of my Sig, it will always take care of me. Box stock.

Tam said...


Trust not the sword until it is tested, no matter whose name is on the hilt.

Spud said...