The best sights for your 1911 allow you to quickly and easily acquire your targets at different ranges in varying light conditions.
Colt, Rock Island Armory, Springfield, Rugar, Kimber and many more. Regardless of the manufacturer, one of the best things about the 1911 platform is the wide range of options available to customize it. Of course, that can make picking the right part or accessory challenging. In this guide we’ll look at sights. We’ve done the heavy lifting of narrowing down the options for you by compiling this informational guide. Use it to help you find the right 1911 sights to fit your needs.
Top Ten 1911 Sights Table
Choosing a sight for your 1911
The most important things to consider when determining which sights to buy for your 1911 pistol are your vision requirements and your gun make and model.
- The first and most crucial step in choosing the best 1911 sights is to examine your shooting needs and vision requirements. Whether you are using your pistol for recreational or competitive shooting, self-defense, or law enforcement, the use will influence the type of sight that you need.
- Consider your gun type and manufacturer. Although the 1911 is highly standardized, parts and accessories may not fit all guns. Likewise, many parts are made specifically for an individual gun or manufacturer. Check the manufacturer specs to make sure your gun is compatible.
- Installation can be pretty simply, but must be done correctly in order to ensure accuracy. Know what you are doing before undertaking a sight change project. That’s not the scope of this guide, but for more information on installation check out these tips for sight installation from the NRA.
What are the types of sights for 1911s?
- Plain Black. This is the most basic type of sight and provides a good, clear sight picture. It is particularly useful for target shooting. These sights may prove problematic for self-defense or law enforcement, however since the plain black sight can be hard to focus on when under stress or when shooting targets set against a random background. Many guns come with plain black sites as a standard.
- White Dot – These sites add white dots to a traditional plain black configuration to help your eyes better pick up the front and rear sights and create more contrast with targets. They do not have any enhancements for low-light shooting.
- Night Sights or Tritium. Used to brighten the dots on both front and rear sights, tritium is a radioactive hydrogen isotope. It gives off a soft, radiant glow that allows for easy low light shooting. Tritium sights do have a shelf life and will lose their glow over time.
- Fiber Optics. Fiber optic sights are highly visible in daylight, and are often preferred by shooters with older eyes or vision difficulties. These sights gather available light, so the brighter the sun, the better these sights work. Unlike tritium sights, fiber optic sights will not lose their glow over time. They do fade to black, however, in darker light conditions.
Front Sight Profile
Most modern sights have a semi-ramp profile. With this type of sight profile, the face of the blade is angled slightly upward and away from the shooter. The semi-ramp design presents a good clear sight picture. Some other less common sight profiles include undercut target sights, which are shaped almost like a hook, full ramp, and straight post with a flat vertical sighting surface.
The front face of some sights will be smooth, while others will have ridged serrations. The ridges help to reduce light glare off the front sight. Sights with ridged serrations are often recommended for outdoor shooting, especially when shooting in bright sunlight.
Rear Sight Design
- Two-Dot Sights. This is the most common type of rear sight. These are easy to use and produce consistent accuracy. The shooter lines up the front dot between the two rear dots and places it on the downrange target. For speed shooting, these rear sights can cause some visual distraction, however, making it difficult to focus when haste is a necessity.
- Bars and Boxes. These sights increase visual distraction making them difficult to line up during stress or when shooting speed is important. While they may have a cool, tactical look, they do not always facilitate as precise or repeatable a sight alignment as the more basic sight designs.
- Plain Black. This basic rear sight design is a simple solution for speed. The simple lack of distraction at the rear sight helps drive the shooter’s focus to the front sight, making for faster shooting. However, accuracy can be an issue with these basic rear sights.
Top 3 1911 Sight Reviews
If you want to increase your nighttime tactical effectiveness, this rugged, impact resistant, tritium night sight set is just what you need. The Tru-Dot sights deliver three highly visible and consistent aiming points for easy target acquisition whether you’re shooting during the day or at night.
These sights install easily, even without the aid of a gunsmith, although professional installation may be preferred. These high-quality sights are a preferred favorite of law enforcement and military personnel alike, and with a 12-year illumination warranty, you can rest assured that these night sights will be improving your shooting accuracy for years to come.
The contrasting brightness of the front and rear dots on this fiber optic sight make sight alignment easier. The fiber optic front sight really pops compared to the tritium rear sights, grabbing your visual attention for fast sighting and easy target acquisition. The concealed optic fibers can only be seen by the shooter, not the target. These sights are a great option for older eyes that sometimes need a little help focusing on smaller sights.
Built from high-quality CNC-machined steel, these sights can take a licking without shifting or losing accuracy, and they allow for smooth and easy snag-free draws from any standard holster. Perfect for outfitting your concealed carry 1911.
We like this sight for it’s simplicity. Fusion’s 1911 white dot sights are a high quality option without low-light enhancements. This makes them ideal for daytime shooting and for gun owners that prefer to use a laser sight as their primary targeting system.
Designed for Kimber style pistols, they are standard profile (325 height .350 x 60 degree dovetail) with smooth edges for snag-free drawing. Constructed from machined steel.