Ask Handgunner

Adjusting Handgun Sights

A Ruger Bisley Single-Six from Taffin's latest Sixgunner column.

American Handgunner has always welcomed letters to the editor and not a day goes by where we don’t hear from you. Many of your notes make it into our Speak Out column, but there simply aren’t enough pages to print them all.

In an effort to answer more of your questions, your favorite writers and editors will be sharing their knowledge and humor in a new series appropriately titled “Ask Handgunner.”

From Reader

I was reading an article by John Taffin in the Sept/Oct 2019 issue and Taffin said he clicked two clicks on the handgun he was using to center the group (with open sights). I know how much a shot moves with a scope on a rifle, but I have no idea how much a click is worth on adjustable open handgun sights.

Do all handguns with adjustable sights have the same click value?

—Roger E. (via email)

[Editor’s Note: The article Roger referenced is John Taffin’s latest Sixgunner column, titled “Rifle-Barreled Ruger Sixguns,” pages 40-41 in the Sept/Oct 2019 issue.]

From Roy


A great question. Adjustable sights vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so there is no consistency regarding what a “click” value might be. I find if I need to adjust an adjustable rear on a handgun, I’ll move it a “few clicks” in the direction needed, re-shoot, then fine-tune the impact point by clicking in smaller increments until things get dialed in.

Some rear sights don’t “click” and are simply moved by nudging in the dovetail, or using opposing screws to sort of “push” the rear sight one way or the other.

Some front sights can actually be adjusted (mostly on older revolvers), but modern sights from Ruger and a few others can be changed out easily using a detent system for different heights. Some makers also offer different height front sights, but changes require the sights to be pushed out of the front dovetail and new sights inserted. Some guns may require a sight pusher rather than a brass or nylon rod and hammer.

Good luck with your own sighting-in!

—Roy Huntington, Editor

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