Years ago, the folks at XS Sights caused quite a ruckus on the internet when the introduced their Big Dot sights. Now they’ve upped their game with introduction of the XS DXT2 Night Sights.
Since the beginning of time, when station wagons roamed the earth, pistols have been equipped with the traditional notch and post sights. The rear sight is a squared-off or “U-shaped” notch while the front is a vertical post. The idea is simple. Look through them so that the front post is centered in the rear notch and both line up with the target.
That sounds simple, right? It is. Sort of. For maximum precision, you need to worry about alignments in two dimensions.
The post itself has to be centered in the area defined by the rear notch laterally. That ensures your shot doesn’t go right or left of where you intend. Second, the top of the post needs to be perfectly aligned with the top of the notch area on the rear sight. This ensures that your shot doesn’t land too high or low.
With some practice, that approach works just fine. Bullseye shooters knock the centers out of targets at 25 and 50 yards with regularity. However, when used in high-stress defensive situations, it takes training and concentration to use sights in this manner.
The human brain insists on focusing on the threat, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Defensive handgun training and practice is supposed to condition one to tear their eyes off of the looming threat and focus on sight alignment. As for all of those fine vertical and horizontal alignments of notches and posts, well, that’s difficult in a life or death situation.
The stir caused by the introduction of the XS Big Dot sights resulted from a new approach for handguns that was based on an age-old idea used on older guns like lever action rifles. Instead of using notches and posts, the front sight is a large “bead” while the rear sight is a shallow v-shaped ramp.
To line them up, you set the circle inside the “V.” The internet screamed things like “You can’t shoot with precision!” and “How am I going to make precise head shots at 325 yards?”
We’ll explore those claims to see whether the Big Dot sights are precise. We’ll also note that in a self-defense encounter, the more important factor is shots on target – fast. Hold that thought for a couple of hot seconds.
Of course, there’s quite a bit more science involved in the new XS DXT2 Night Sights than a simple dot and “V.”