Why Black out the Front Sight of my Gun?

October 20th, 2007  

Dear Dr. Piazza,

I have read and fully understand your reasoning behind blackening out the front sight.

I am a Peace Officer here for a county in UpState New York. I am one of two Armed Inmate Transport Officers at the dept.

I was in the U.S. Navy for almost 9 years, mostly over in the Philippines. We didn’t do any weapons training on the ship, but I wanted to become proficient in firearms anyway. So I hired a few people from the Philippine Army to train me. They were very experienced soldiers who had lived through the fall of Marco’s regime and to say the least, needed the money.

For about 4 years, from anywhere from 3 to 4 days per week I would train with these guys with weapons that some might say to be illegal, if they were here. From single shot bolt action to full auto M16’s, AK 47’s ect., we did it all, from rain or dry conditions up to 112 degress in the shade. It got to the point to where you didn’t even notice the sweat pouring into your eyes as we trained.

With this being said, let me say that these soldiers told me and showed me the exact same thing about blackening out the front sights as you and the reasons for.

While at the range with my dept. here in New York, I was preparing my own personal weapon, a Glock 22 which I have modified with a much better after market return spring, and a recoil buffer, I took out a pen specifically made for blackening out sights. The Glock I have came with the white dot on the front and the “U” shaped white on the rear sight. I leave the rear sight alone, but always blacken the front sight out. The other officers told me I was ruining the front sight and that the Range Master would not allow me to continue, since I had “Altered” the weapon. Low and behold the Range Master came over and said that others have accused me of Cheating on the range. You see, I’ve consistently gotten a 100% for 6 years, at both the range and what we call “The Gauntlet” where we go through the door and shoot the bad guys who have taken hostages, without hitting the hostages. I asked that I be allowed to show the range master the difference between a white front sight and a blackened out sight, using my own ammo. There was time for us to do this, while the others prepared their own Glocks while the range master and myself to perform a test. First we used his Glock, same model and we both fired both slow and fast with 4 mag’s.

Then we used my Glock with the blackened sights, performing the same slow and fast firing with 4 mag’s. And they were 15 round magazines too. From 6 feet to 75 feet, the blackened out sights out performed the white dot Glock. The Range Master got a 96, while I got another 100% with the altered sight but I got a 92% with the white sight.

After this test, the Range Master just stood there and looked at me and said, “Where could you have possibly learned something like this? And why haven’t you told me about this before?” I said, “You never asked.” For 6 years I’d been getting 100%’s across the board and never once did he ask me how I was doing it. I don’t know if he was just too busy teaching the other officers or it just never crossed his mind to ask.

After this test, the other officers asked me to show them what I was doing so they could improved upon their own scores. Some of them were actually failing the course and really needed some more “One on One” instruction and for me to put the 15th round in their mag’s because their hands just weren’t strong enough. I tought them how to do that themselves also.

After I showed some of them what I was doing, the why’s and why nots, the officers who were failing or close to failing brought their scores up from the low 70’s to the lower to upper 90’s in a matter of minutes. You should have seen the smiles on their faces when their scores were read aloud by the Range Master.

Of course I go to the range almost religiously 2 or 3 times per week while most of them only go once every 6 months as mandated by our S.O.P.’s. I always invite others from the dept. to go with me or tell them what days I’ll be at the range, but nobody ever shows up. They just want me to give them pointers on Range Day. I tell them that it’s going to take a little more than every six months at the range to get a 100%.

I’d just like to add that I also own and practice with a mini-14, folding stock Mossberg 12ga., and I’m an accomplished sniper, with a Remington 700Pss, .308 with Leupold 6.5X10. I’m only out to 200 yards with it, but that’s still further than the average dept. sniper usually has to fire. I practice on hitting plastic soda bottle caps with an MOA of 1″.

Thank you for all of the information you’re sharing with me and others. I just wanted to say that, I for one and now many others even in the Philippines have the tools and instruction to be at their best.

I hope to someday travel to Nevada and train with you and your instructors at Front Sight and learn even more.

I’m not a rich guy, but I believe that your course is more than worth the price of admission. Time to start saving.

Thank you,


Entry Filed under: From the Mail Bag,Front Sight.

Ignatius Piazza
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