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Laser vs Sights for vision problems

This is a discussion on Laser vs Sights for vision problems within the SA-XD/XD(M) Accessories forums, part of the XD Talk category; Not sure if this would be better posted here or in Discussions, but I'll try it here. First, the question is not simply which is ...


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Old 03-30-2012, 12:15 PM   #1
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Laser vs Sights for vision problems

Not sure if this would be better posted here or in Discussions, but I'll try it here.

First, the question is not simply which is better, laser or sights, or what are the best sights... those questions have more answers than Carter has Little Liver Pills.

My situation is that I need reading glasses for anything small that is within 36" or so. That makes the factory sights of my XDM 3.8 rather fuzzy. (By the way - love the gun!!) In dim light, they might as well not even exist. I have shot with my reading glasses & the sights are nice and clear, but the target is rather out of focus. Plus, I don't want to ask the bad guy to wait for me to put on my reading glasses so I can accurately sight him in.

So, my question is this: For those of us with presbyopia, what are the recommendations and/or expriences of others regarding aiming? What seems to work better for you... laser, sights, or a combination? There are a number of tritium sights that are very similar & I certainly don't want to debate those variations (HD vs TruGlo TFO, etc), but are there any sights that might be better for presbyopia? What about the XS 24/7 Big Dot? Does color seem to make a difference for the front sight (orange, green, yellow)? What about CT's LG-448 laser for the XDM?

There's not a perfect sight for everyone under every condition, but I would like comments on what might help those of us that are aging and have short distance focus problems, especially in low light conditions.

I did have a police officer that was a range trainer make a different recommendation... just point it at the bad guy and for a home SD situation (close range, quick reaction), you're likely to hit him. That takes some practice, but he says that it's actually rather accurate.

Thoughts, comments, suggestions...
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:28 PM   #2
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Practice point shooting

Invest in contacts?

Corrective surgery

Glasses with two different lenses

Red dot sight

Most important thing... I'm sure you know this. It doesn't really matter if the target is fuzzy. Your target should be fuzzy regardless, if you are focusing on the front sight.

I understand your frustration not being able to check where your bullets are landing on paper... But with practice even with fuzzy eye sight you should become proficient enough.

I personally don't believe it is possible to preform at your top level without properly corrected vision... You can only practice to become proficient with what you have available.

I'm not sure if this will help you... But XDM's sights are not sighted to hit point of aim at closer distances. Your XDM is going to shoot on top of the properly aligned front sight. (6 o'clock hold)

Might also help shooting at colored targets rather than black and white silhouettes?

In regards to using laser sights... Not sure... Have never used one... The more I think about it, I feel experimenting with colored targets / hit marker targets would help a lot. At least to establish a good basis for getting comfortable using point shooting. (instinctively holding firearm at what you want to shoot)
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:44 PM   #3
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Sounds like a laser would be perfect for you IMHO '

Also agree 100% on practiceing point shooting. We all need that.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:36 PM   #4
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+1 to practice reactive Point Shooting controlled pairs. I set aside 2-3 mags every range time just for this. In a home defense situation you will not have time to aim your weapon in the traditional sense. You will have time to simply point the gun at their chest and work the trigger until they fall.

Corrective eye surgery is also a big one, I am saving up for it.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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There's been a couple of suggestions for corrective eye surgery & that would be great... but, it wouldn't help me any. I currently wear contacts 24/7 so regular vision is not a problem. The problem is that I have to have reading glasses for close up (sighting a handgun) and surgery won't fix that. My opthamologist says that I would be perfect for laser eye surgery, but since I don't have any problems with contacts and since I would still need reading glasses, it's not really worth it.

At the range I stick the Caldwll Orange Peel targets on the silhouette, so seeing the holes isn't a problem.

I'm thinking that I just need to practice the point & shoot approach. Even with a laser, it will be dumb luck if I have overlapping holes at 25 yards, but then that doesn't really matter. My primary range will be 25 feet (or less inside the house) and I can do that blindfolded (well, almost).

I'm still interested in thoughts and comments if there are any sights better suited for those of us that need reading glasses. Unfortunately, the big sights that are easy to see cover up more of the target.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:00 PM   #6
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Hi Titan,

I am in exactly the same situation as you are regarding eyesight. I wear contact lenses and need reading glasses for clear close-up vision, meaning the sights are fuzzy.

I have two ways that I deal with it. One way is with a laser sight. In my opinion, for any fast sighting a laser cannot be beat. I have used a Crimson Trace Laser Grip on several guns and currently have a Crimson Trace Laser Guard on order for my XDm9. I will let you know how it works when I get it out to the range. Several members here mentioned practicing point shooting and a laser simply makes point shooting a blast (pun intended!). It is loads of fun.

The second method I use is what is called "Mono-Vision" contact lenses. You may have heard of them or even used them. One contact lens is focused for distance sight and one is focused for close up sight. They work for 90%+ of my day to day use. I can use the eye with the close-up lens for seeing the iron sights clearly and keeping both eyes open see the target as clearly as in the old days when my youthful sight was much better. They can be worn all day long by most users since the eyes become accustomed to the differences. Check with your optometrist. Some people can use them and some can't.

I hope this helps.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:25 PM   #7
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I;d recommend the XS 24/7 Big Dot front sight, an ONLY front sight; non-illuminated rear.

The large white dot will stand out in the day, and the lumnous green dot will stand out in lower light conditions.

I don't like lasers. When I briefly had one, I found that in a failure drill--that is, the laser didn't come on when I expected it to--I woudl spend a second or so looking for it when I could have/should have been shooting. This is the type of thing that can kill you.

Learning to point shoot is also a good idea.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:39 PM   #8
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I only have the vision problem one eye and went with the Crimson trace (Rear) laser. Candidly, I found it much better than expected and well worth the $300 bucks I spent. I would have only squandered it on food and bills anyway....
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:52 PM   #9
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i too wear glasses i bought the truglo tfo I really like them a lot in the day time with my glasses but everything is a bit fuzzy without my glasses. I bought a virdian green laser. It works very well for me
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:47 PM   #10
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If i were you, i'd go with some nice night sights that are EASY to see, day or night. I prefer the Trijicon night sights, not the HD's, but the regular night sights they have. All the dots are nice and big, and they have a protective rubber around the tritium vial that not only protects them, but makes it much easier to acquire sights durning the day with the white ring around the sight. IMO this would probably help you out most, other than that it's just practice practice practice.. And make sure you're practicing perfectly, because if you're doing something wrong when you practice, it's going to make it a habit that you then had to break, so make sure you're doing everything right, positioning your finger on the trigger correctly, good grip, sights to POA and hold them there, as well as trigger pull which IMO is most important. If you don't have a good, clean, straight back trigger pull you're going to jerk shots. Trigger jobs can help with this, but in the end it comes down to keeping the sights to POA and gradually adding more pressure to the trigger until it fires, and when it does it should surprise you when the gun goes off. That is how you get more accurate groupings and trains your body so it'll become more of a reflex if you continually do it every time you shoot. Good luck with everything and i'd recommend changing out to different night sights, if you want the sights shooting to POA, then you need to make sure you get sights that do that. Find out he stock height of the front sight as well as the rear, and make sure the sights you buy are the same height as stock. Changing the height of the front sight especially is going to change your impact point, but the rear sight can affect this as well. The Trijicons i got are basically stock size sights, just with tritium inserts and rubber cushion to protect the vials and that rubber is white, so it has a white ring around it making the sights great for day use as well!
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