Pistol sights…Iron sights or Optics ?

Pistol sights… Iron sights or Optics ? Whatever type of sights you choose to use on your pistol or revolver they should be of good quality and easy to use. Anything else is a waste of money. So, what are the best types of sights or optics for a pistol or revolver?

Iron Sights

Good old-fashioned gun sites that come already on most pistols and revolvers from the factory. They come in different styles with the front sight usually being a post or ramp style. The rear sights also come in different styles and should be chosen according to which one you find easiest to shoot with most accurately. Fixed sights have no adjustments for windage or elevation, such as guns with a groove that is cut into the pistol/revolver frame and lined up with the front sight. Adjustable sights have a screw for adjusting the rear sight for windage and elevation. Some adjustable sights only allow for windage, right to left adjustments, and others for both windage and elevation, up and down adjustments.

There are many styles to choose from, some that glow in the dark to aid in sighting your target in low light or darkness. There is also the three dot system that has two dots on the rear sight and one dot on the front sight to aid in lining up your target, and some of these also glow in the dark for shooting in low light conditions.

There are many manufacturers of these types of sights but one company that I highly recommend is Trijicon. Their sights are durable and very good sights. They can be a bit pricey but are worth the money spent.

Whether using fixed or adjustable iron sights everyone should learn how to shoot with iron sights and to shoot well with them.


I personally don’t put scopes on pistols/revolvers but I know a few people who hunt with pistols/revolvers that do. A former co-worker who hunts wild hogs and deer put a scope on his Model 29 S&W .44 magnum. He has had much success while hunting with this setup, especially on wild hogs, and likes it very much. Their thousand acre ranch/farm/hunting lease is over run with wild hogs and he claims that having a good powerful handgun is a must for working their ranch/farm.


Some people choose to mount lasers on their pistols/revolvers because it helps them to acquire the target faster and improves their accuracy. The two main problem I have with lasers are batteries and that on many lasers you can see where the laser is being fired from, not a good thing if trying to stay concealed. They can also spook your target making it harder to get a clean shot.

When used as a training aid lasers can help you with dry fire practice. With an unloaded gun you can put your laser on a target and pull the trigger. Did the laser move from the target? If it did then you know that you need to practice on trigger control. Practicing with a laser also allows you dry fire from many different positions getting some practice in different what if scenarios.

Red Dot Optics

Red dot optics is a sighting system similar to a scope except that instead of a reticle there is a red dot. You put the red dot on your target and that is where the bullet is supposed to hit. Some red dot optics use a green dot to make it easier to see during the day, and other red dot optics you can switch from red to green.

Some red dot optics have magnification like scopes while others do not. I have just recently purchased red dot optic but have not had a chance to use it as yet, but when I do, I will give you my opinion of it.


This is just a general rundown of the type of optics out there. I personally believe that everyone should learn to use iron sights properly before using another type of optic. But if you find an optic that improves your shooting then by all means use it. That’s what it is for.

Good day and good shooting!

Johnny Crumpton

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