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front sight problems on RIA

bellcatbellcat Senior MemberPosts: 1,854 Senior Member
So I got my new 1911 RIA to the range last Thursday.   I think I posted a couple weeks ago that I had a Smith put Trijicon night sites on it?

Well, it shoots too low.   I'm thinking the front sight is too high.   I am going to try some heavier bullets but I don't think it will fix it enough.  

Can a Smith take the posted front sight off and shorten it down?   

I hope I don't have to get a full set.   When I bought them I checked with several sources to see if they'd be the correct fit and everything came back 'yes'.

So, any input from you pistoleros would be appreciated.

Bellcat
"Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain

Replies

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    edited March 2019 #2
    What ammo?

    My pistol is a 45 so bullet weight POI disparity has not happened in my case. 9mm could be a whole different fish kettle.

    Edit
    A testing with different bullet weight ammo could be a good idea if ammo flexibility is desired. Careful notes and comparisons before permanent sight adjustment would be advisable if that's the case. Sticking to one type, brand, bullet weight ammo would simplify things, but it short changes a desirable characteristic of that cartridge.
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,854 Senior Member
    Thanks Early!  Makes perfect sense. Never even thought about ammo brands! I guess that’s why I’m not an astronaut or brain surgeon 😆
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,251 Senior Member
    What barrel length?

    How did it shoot before your gunsmith went to work?

    230 grain hardball is pretty standardized at about 830fps, and that's what 1911's are generally formulated for.  Lighter/faster will typically hit lower. Buy a box from one of the major U.S. brands & try that before wrenching on it again.

    Shortening the height on a tritium post is not really feasible.  A taller rear sight is your better option.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    From a non-expert POV, here are some conclusions I have reached from my own experiences. There are many possible variables involved, so your variables may not be the same as mine. I have heeded advice from pros like Bigslug, and they have helped me to find my own solutions.

    For one thing, do not assume that something is wrong with the way the sights are aligned, in either plane. The variables that can be injected into the equation by the shooter are limitless. Before you change anything, make sure that you have eliminated as many shooter-induced variables as possible, just like you would have to do with a rifle. For me, this consisted of shooting from a very solid rested position, at very close range. When I was trying to assess my accuracy problems with subcompacts, I had to move in to about 5 feet to shoot tiny groups, and then extend them out gradually to 10-15 yards, to discover that most of my problems were 'shooter sloppiness.' I was a decent rifle marksman, so I assumed that my handgun skills were much better than they actually were. The 'bench tests' proved this to me, and once I understood it, I began to make considerable progress.

    My experiences with 9mm, once I improved my personal skills, were that all of mine shot closer to POA with heavier bullets, preferably 147 grain, but still OK with 124 grain. This may not be your solution - I'm just relating my personal perceptions, and yours own may vary from mine. I am not competent to discuss modifying handgun sights, because quite frankly, I have never needed to, once I reduced my own personal shooter variables.


  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,854 Senior Member
    Thanks....lots to think about and work out!   Still a lot of flooding and snow, and coaching track, so maybe this weekend.   It is a 9mm and I do have several different ammo brands.   Before the sights, I only shot 27 rounds through it just to see how it cycled with different ammo and the 2 aftermarket mags.
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    Bell, first of all, several things immediately come to mind. #1. What range to target? #2. What bullet weight. #3. How low is low? 

    Did you shoot it before having the sights installed to see if the gun fired to point of aim out of the box?

    Remember. Bullet path generally starts out lower than line of sight. Are you shooting at 7 yards? 10? 15? Are you shooting a bullet that is 115 grains? 

    Is your front sight staked or dovetail? Even with a shorter front sight, will the next step shoot too high?  

    If you're shooting a couple inches low at 7, you will probably be pretty darn close at 15. If you are shooting 115 or 124 grain bullets now, 147 grain bullets will help, but your velocities will drop a bit. 

    So how low is too low and at what range? 


    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,854 Senior Member
    I was shooting Winchester 115 gr ammo.  At 25 yds, with a rest, it shot 14" low.

    I moved up to 12-15 and it shot 8-10" low.

    As I said, I only shot 3 magazines before I took it to Smith, just to see how it cycled and didn't print the shots.

    I will head out this weekend with multiple brands and assorted weights and give it a solid run though.
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,712 Senior Member
    How are you aligning the sights and is that the way the manufacture recommended?.



    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,493 Senior Member
    1. How does the new front sight height compare to the old?
    2. Were these originally GI spec sights?

    You may need a taller rear sight blade. Maybe not a Trijicon one. Just a plain one would do.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    edited March 2019 #11
    1. How does the new front sight height compare to the old?
    2. Were these originally GI spec sights?

    You may need a taller rear sight blade. Maybe not a Trijicon one. Just a plain one would do.

    14 inches at 25 yards is more than a heavier bullet will compensate for. Was it shooting this low before you sent it off for the new sights? 

    An option would be to solder a shim to the bottom of the rear sight and with a little file work to the rear sight's base contour, you could elevate the rear sight that way. A smith could do this or you could if you have the tools. Don't mess with the dovetail. Just file the necessary angles to the rear sight to get it to fit into the dovetail after you have a shim soldered to the base... 
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,854 Senior Member
    1. How does the new front sight height compare to the old?
    2. Were these originally GI spec sights?

    You may need a taller rear sight blade. Maybe not a Trijicon one. Just a plain one would do.
    Yes, GI sights. 
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    Thats a significantly low POI.
    a higher rear sight blade might be the ticket.
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,610 Senior Member
    edited March 2019 #14
    It may be a stupid question to ask (I have ZERO experience with Trijicon sights), but I'm assuming the rear sight isn't adjustable?  

    ETA: I would have thought checking POA/POI would have been part of the service performed, or at least a recommended option?
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    Send it back to the smith who did the work. 
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,089 Senior Member
    edited March 2019 #16
    14" low definitely requires a change in the sights. Either a lower front, or taller rear
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,493 Senior Member
    Trijicon stake-on front sight height:  0.185"
    GI spec stake-on front sight height:  0.102"
    Difference:  0.083"
    Information about GI sights here:  https://brlcad.org/design/drafting/M1911-A1_REDUX.pdf

    Using the calculator here: 
    https://dawsonprecision.com/sight-calculator/
    8" low at 12 yds. means your front sight needs to be lowered 0.081", or the rear needs to be raised the same amount.
    10" low at 15 yds. means your front sight needs to be lowered 0.081", or the rear needs to be raised the same amount.

     A GI-spec rear sight has a height of .245"
    Trijicon's GI dovetail rear sight for their stake-on tritium front sight with a GI dovetail rear has a height of 0.325"
    The difference is 0.80"

    I'm starting to notice a pattern here.  If your 1911 had truly GI-spec sights, then putting the new sight on the front without a new rear basically meant you were destined to shoot low, it seems.


    Overkill is underrated.
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,854 Senior Member
    Trijicon stake-on front sight height:  0.185"
    GI spec stake-on front sight height:  0.102"
    Difference:  0.083"
    Information about GI sights here:  https://brlcad.org/design/drafting/M1911-A1_REDUX.pdf

    Using the calculator here: 
    https://dawsonprecision.com/sight-calculator/
    8" low at 12 yds. means your front sight needs to be lowered 0.081", or the rear needs to be raised the same amount.
    10" low at 15 yds. means your front sight needs to be lowered 0.081", or the rear needs to be raised the same amount.

     A GI-spec rear sight has a height of .245"
    Trijicon's GI dovetail rear sight for their stake-on tritium front sight with a GI dovetail rear has a height of 0.325"
    The difference is 0.80"

    I'm starting to notice a pattern here.  If your 1911 had truly GI-spec sights, then putting the new sight on the front without a new rear basically meant you were destined to shoot low, it seems.


    They did come in a set Bream.

    i shot again last Sunday at nothing but gongs and was able to hit many times.  My buddy who shoots better than me, actually shot it ok as well. So....I’m gonna shoot it some more before I make a final decision. It does have excellent trigger pull and I do enjoy cycling the ammo through it!
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
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