Zero-In With These Classy Upgrades
By Celia Crane
Handguns are inherently challenging to shoot accurately and the challenge increases in direct proportion as distances grow, combined with the age of our peepers. Fortunately, we modern handgunners are blessed with more sighting options than this issue has space for. Here are a few that either caught our eye or stretched our brains recently. Don’t fret if your favorite didn’t make the cut — we have to keep you always wanting more, right?
Whether used as your primary sighting system or paired with another favorite optic, the super tough, incredibly tiny ATIBAL AT-MRD red dot sight ($124.99) offers long battery life, wide, both-eyes-open field of view and five handy brightness settings. Distinct clicks mean stress-free windage/elevation adjustment without tools, maximizing every minute of your weekend range time.
New to Leupold’s Gold Ring product line, the LTO-Tracker ($909) is a hand-held thermal observation and game recovery tool helping to spot game — and if this isn’t helping you to “sight” ’em, we don’t know what is! Able to detect heat sources to 600 yards, the LTO-Tracker boasts a 21-degree field of view and 6x digital zoom. Optimized for field use, a single CR123 lithium battery will deliver 10 solid hours of non-stop service.
Why, you ask, would we even show a rifle sight in Handgunner? That’s easy: Skinner Sights are so versatile you never know where one might come in handy. We have installed them on everything from single shot big and small bore pistols, .22’s — and more rifles than we have space to list. Some — like the nifty design here — can be adapted to anything with a conventional “tip-off” groove mount. Skinner gear is all crafted of cold, hard steel and brass, right here in the good ol’ US of A. One hundred percent excellent!
The lightweight Viper Red Dot ($329) from Vortex Optics offers a non-reflective lens and bright 6 MOA dot for any slide with the right milled cut to fit. Styling offers shooters the speed and ease of a dot sight with the ability to co-witness with suppressor-height irons. Waterproof and shockproof, the Viper’s electronics are protected by a hard-wearing O-ring. Easy access controls are intuitive to operate, even with gloved hands.
Glowing tritium night sights from XS Sight Systems are available for all common tactical handguns and include most everything you need to mount them yourself. A set of luminous replacement steel night sights is a marked improvement over the standard factory polymer GLOCK sights. Easier to acquire and functionally indestructible, these sights really expand the utility of an already-superb handgun. The XS Sight Systems pistol sights on my GLOCK 43 consist of a luminous rear post and an oversized front dot, both of which glow brightly in hard dark.
Ingenious Gunworks’ Diamond Sights instantly elevate an otherwise ho-hum pistol to heirloom quality. Oriented to direct every bit of collected light to the shooter’s eye, these high quality, fully faceted diamond sight tubes replace standard pistol sight inserts and can be fashioned in gold, silver or nickel. Highly effective in adverse light conditions, Diamond Sights retail for $300 and can be retrofitted to any pistol make/model with at least 5mm depth to accept the tube insert. Front and rear sight options available. Very cool, indeed.
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