AN ATS PRIMER
SOME TECHNICAL THINGS worth considering about alignment, color selection, and elevation adjustments before finalizing your set-up:
Buyers of Advantage Tactical Sights come in three acclimation categories:
1) those that get the sight right away and can shoot it well from the get-go;
2) those that need some learning curve time, before the sight kicks in for them.
3) and finally those that have difficulty with the concept, because their motor memory is so programmed to traditional sight usage.
Fortunately, at least 85% fall in the first category, about another 10% may fall in the second category, and maybe 2-3% may actually fall in the final category. The following is for those very few in the last category, who are having trouble with the transition:
First, before a shooting session, sit in a place quiet, relax, close your eyes and visualize the sight picture. Make sure you visualize the very tip-top of the pyramid as being where the bullet will go. Next, at the range, just before you shoot, look at the target and look at where you want the bullet to impact. Continue to look at the place of intended bullet impact on the target and don’t look anywhere or at anything else. Then, present the pistol; the instinctively aligned pyramid sight picture will be there, without any need to consciously align anything. Lastly, while still looking at the intended point of impact on the target, as you look through the pyramid sight picture, fire your pistol. You’ll hit where you were looking. Continue to fire, even rapidly, and you’ll punch out the target where you were looking. This method works well, out to about 12 to 15 yards or so. I’ve taught many to do this in a manner of minutes. Anyone can learn to do this with our sights. Most do this with both eyes open and some even learn to do it a greater distances. Personally, beyond about 15 yards, I need to close one eye and precisely aim.
I’ve read customer comments from different sources, where certain ATS users seem to be joyous that they didn’t need to use shims. Those statements were made as if shimming were a bad thing and somehow they had escaped having to do it. With a properly formed sight picture and good trigger control, utilizing the very tip-top of the pyramid as the focal point for bullet impact, the ATS will most surely shoot high at 25 yards without shim, especially now that we are making our front sight base floors thinner with a little more room for even more shim.
We want everyone to shoot high at 25 yards without shim, because that means somewhere between almost no shim and .060″ of shim everyone will find his or her zero, given their particular barrel and load. Sixty thousands of an inch of shim will impact one’s zero by 25″ to 30″ at 25 yards. There is plenty of room in there for zeroing to your load, barrel and eyes. Eyes are also another factor, because even with traditional sights, two people might have a slightly different zero when using the same pistol and load, for reasons I don’t quite understand. Furthermore, one may adjust elevation by using our shims in increments of .002″. Two thousands of an inch will affect elevation by less than an inch at 25 yards. So, one may make precise elevation adjustments when needed. I guess if one confines one’s shooting to close range, amount of needed shim may be less relevant. As an action pistol competitor, I always shim so that I’m shooting around 2″ high at 25 yards. That way I’m on at 50 and even 75 yards with my handgun. It’s also fun to get together with my shooting buddies to see how the ATS fairs on combat targets placed out to 100 yards.
One last thing about shimming: Always insert the thinnest shims first. In other words, when using a combination of shim thicknesses, place the thinnest shim under the next thinnest shim, and the thickest shim that you use on top. It makes shimming easier and it makes adding the most amount of shim easier. Some sight packages will include up to .059″ of shim. One should be able to use all .059″, where necessary.
A frequent question to Advantage Tactical has to do with color combo selections. It seems that men, more than women, have color perception challenges. When I show up at an action pistol match were several are using our sight system, everyone seems to be sporting a different color combo, and each will swear by the particular choice that was made. What are the factors that decide one’s color choices? As I understand it, though I am not an ophthalmologist, there are four main factors:
- how one perceives a particular color by itself.
- how one perceives the intensity of a particular color by itself.
- how one perceives the color itself, along with the intensity of the color, in combination with other colors.
- how one experiences the 3 above factors, in regards to barrel length.*
*That’s right! The color combo you prefer on a 3 1/2″ barrel, may not be your color combo choice on a longer barrel. The perception of color, color contrast and intensity of color may be experienced differently, as barrel length changes. This is especially so with our long gun sights. So, choose the best color combo for you in the majority of your shooting environments with a particular firearm, knowing that a different color combo may (not always) be more suitable for another firearm.
In regards to limited light shooting, any color combo featuring green, yellow, orange, or white seems to be good. The primary colors are red, blue and yellow; white is not really a color. However, white as well as anything with yellow in it, like orange or green, and yellow itself, of course, will show better in diminished lighting.
For me, I like green rear and orange (not red) front for all around shooting. A close second is red rear and yellow front. The more ambient light sensitive yellow front sight stands out well for me in low light, against the larger though less ambient light sensitive red rear. At any rate, those two are what I like on most of my pistols. However, on my Glock 17L, and all other 6″ barrels, the only thing that really works for me is green rear and red front, for outdoor, daytime shooting. Currently, when we send out our sight system, we always factory install a green rear insert and a red front insert. It seems to be a good place for most to start, and many do stay with that particular color combo.