Review: Williams FireSights

My Buckmaster is a super accurate little .22 pistol, and I thought it was great out of the box except for really one thing: the sights.  They’re your standard black on black adjustable pistol sights.  The rear sight is metal and has both windage and elevation adjustment screws, which is nice, but the front is just a chunk of black plastic.  I knew there were fiber optic sights out there, and I figured that they would be the best for a target pistol.  I settled on the Williams FireSights.  The primary reason was because they sell a kit to replace both the front and back sights with fiber sights instead of just the front blade.

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The sights come with a very small instruction sheet… and that’s it.  Honestly, that’s fine since the installation of the sights are mostly “remove old ones, install new ones.”  There is one extremely aggravating part, though.  The new rear sight does not include the elevation spring or the detent pin, which means you have to remove them from the old one and install them on the new one.  They recommend using a “small punch.”  By small, they mean tiny.  I ended up resorting to a paperclip… which was almost too big.  Then came the job of prying out the tiny spring without it going sproing and disappearing forever, and installing it in the new sight with similar issues.  Because of this, I would say that it completely fails Erin Palette‘s “so easy, her grandmother could install it” test.  It’s not necessarily a job to be relegated to a gunsmith, but if you don’t have good fine motor control, you’re going to have issues.

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After installation, I could tell that this would improve things right away.  It’s much easier to line up the three dots (red for the front post, green for the two points on the rear.  Of course, this was in my house at night, so it was difficult to tell how it would really work on the range.

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That was a couple months ago, and I’ve taken it to the range a couple times since then.  I can tell you that the sights are a huge improvement.  What surprised me was that they’re wonderful during our normal late fall/early winter weather (read: cloudy to the point that you start to forget what the sun looks like).  In truly bright light, the dots are easily visible but I don’t think they’re much better than painted dots.  In the dark, there’s not enough light for them to really do their job.  On a cloudy afternoon, they positively glow.

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Bottom line is I would recommend these sights to anyone that’s wanting to put together a precision target pistol.  They are kind of a pain in the ass to install because of the rear sight, but it’s worth it.  The front post is still plastic, so I’m not sure how it would handle abuse, but for a range gun, it’s worth the $45.

2 comments to Review: Williams FireSights

  • Darrell

    If you don’t have fine motor skills, the notion of a “precision target pistol” might be beyond you anyway. ;^)

    • oddball

      I’ve known a few folks that were excellent shots, but were hopeless when it came to the kind of fine motor control involved to install this fiddly bits. Think trying to properly put together ethernet cable or setting pin jumpers. Tiny bits that you kind of have to feel are there.

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