A 1911 gun is not limited to a single gun maker. 1911 is a particular style of handgun that is distinguished by several features. These pistols have a short recoil operation with a tilting barrel and swinging link when fired. The safety is on the back of the grip which is pushed into the frame by the web between thumb and forefinger of the shooting hand. The trigger is single action and is not hinged. It pushes straight backward, which makes it much less likely that your trigger-press will move the gun off of the target. These are the major defining aspects of a 1911.
Many guns have been designed from this base but also include other features that are different from the original, like no barrel bushing and an exterior extractor instead of internal. While there is plenty of debate among enthusiasts about what can or can’t go into a 1911’s design, it is enough to know that there are plenty of great guns out there that are considered 1911s. And a great gun deserves a great sight.
The 1911 model tends to be the weapon whose owners most often want to modify the sights on and this is because the iron sights that are the default on these models tend to be very simple. When this gun was designed for the military, it was not done so with precision target shooting in mind. Though they are technically accurate, they can be difficult for new shooters to use and cannot be used in the dark at all. Therefore, many owners decide to replace or augment them with more modern or high-tech sights. If you are thinking of doing the same, these are the five best options to go on most 1911 pistols to improve target shooting accuracy.
One of the biggest knocks against the factory installed sights on 1911 pistols is the fact that you cannot use them at night. While white dot sights have helped with this deficiency, sights with tritium are the best option for night time shooting. Whether you are a law enforcement officer, concealed carry holder, or a founding member of a nighttime range challenge group, if you need to be able to aim accurately in low light settings tritium cannot be beaten.
TruGlo is a trusted manufacturer of a wide range of sights so you can trust that the visibility on these will be exactly what you need. These have a 12-year limited warranty, which is two years longer than the average lifetime for a tritium sight, so you know you are covered if anything happens before the end of their usable life.
This sight set by Trijicon is also intended for improved night shooting, but instead of using tritium, which wears out after about a decade, it uses high contrast white and green dots. These install on a wide variety of guns, including the 1911, but it is recommended that you take it to a professional instead of trying to install these yourself. Depending on the firearm manufacturer, the front sight may be a bit of a tight fit,but that should not be a problem for a good gunsmith.
Target shooters often prefer fiber optic sights to tritium sights. While fiber optics rely on ambient light to give them brightness, this is usually the case at the range or in outdoor settings. Dawson is the preferred brand of sights for competition shooters, so if you are looking specifically for something to help with target accuracy, then this is a great option. In this setup, only the front sight is made of fiber optic material, which allows you to better focus on your target.
Red dot sights are very popular for handguns, but the problem with the 1911 is that it does not have the same rail style as the majority of popular pistols. Most pistols use a Weaver or Picatinny rail, so that is what most red dot sights are made to mount to. If you want to use a red dot sight for your 1911, you will need to get one like this ADE Advanced Optics sight, along with an adapter or proprietary mount base. This one from ADE Advanced Optics fits many 1911 models.
This 3 MOA red dot sight in conjunction with the 1911 mount is a major upgrade for your basic service weapon. The sight is so easy to install and use that many owners have said it is like cheating. There is no parallax,so it will not cause any eye strain. There are several brightness settings, so it can be used anywhere and at any time. There is both manual and auto light control,and it holds its zero very well, even after hundreds of rounds.
When you are picking sights, you will need to make sure they fit your gun properly. Since the 1911 is a style and not an exact gun, different makers have different angles for their dovetail sights. If you are not sure what you have, then you will be better served to go to a gunsmith and use their guidance rather than trying to do it yourself.
Kimber, specifically, is a popular brand whose 1911 does not usually work with the more generic sights. In this case, it is usually best to buy a sight directly from the manufacturer or find out which brands they can certify as working with their firearms. The last thing you want to do is invest in a costly upgrade and have either itor your pistol damaged during the install.