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.45 ACP 3.8 Compact - Dawson Precision Fiber Optic Sights

This is a discussion on .45 ACP 3.8 Compact - Dawson Precision Fiber Optic Sights within the XD-45ACP Discussion Room forums, part of the XD Talk category; Hey everyone, I have been reading a ton of great info on the site and it has motivated me on a lot of my upgrade ...

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Old 12-16-2012, 03:28 AM   #1
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.45 ACP 3.8 Compact - Dawson Precision Fiber Optic Sights

Hey everyone, I have been reading a ton of great info on the site and it has motivated me on a lot of my upgrade choices for my new XDM 3.8 Compact. I think I only put 200 rounds through it before deciding to tackle some upgrades I read about on the site.

So far I have upgraded the trigger with a drop in competition trigger and done the laser cut X-Treme grips from PRP. I was able to accomplish those upgrades myself no problem but was a little scared to attempt the sights after reading how hard they were on XDM's. Well I had to order them from Dawson Precision and love the gun too much to be without it for 4 weeks while they install them so I figured I would try the install myself. If it got too hard or I felt I would do damage I would stop and send it to XD-HS2000 since I heard great things and quick turnaround. Anyways things went great and I got them done, although I have to admit they were hard to get out even with all the tricks I read like using Kroil and everything.

I wanted to take some good before and after pictures to help out anyone that was thinking about the sights since I felt I needed to give something back to the great forum since it has helped me so much in my research. I took some pictures that really get both the rear and front sight in focus so you can get a idea of sight picture and visible light between front sight width and rear sight notch. The DP rear sight is .115 notch and front sight is .100 wide with height of .205 as suggest by DP. Have not shot it yet but using bore laser the height appears to be spot on. You can see the difference in sight picture between the factory and DP. When I measured factory front sight I got a width of .144 and a rear notch of .128 so I did mix some things up to change my sight picture when ordering DP based on some reviews I read. What was interesting was my factory sights were installed so both front and rear sights were lined up their edge on the left mark in dovetail rather then centered between the two marks. I installed my new ones perfectly centered between the marks so we will see if that changes things. Factory sights shot dead on at all distances though.





Thanks for the help all and sorry for the long detailed post, had to make my first one, correction 10th one since I cant post pictures till 10, a good one
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.45 ACP 3.8 Compact - Dawson Precision Fiber Optic Sights-factory-sight.jpg   .45 ACP 3.8 Compact - Dawson Precision Fiber Optic Sights-dp-fiber-optic.jpg  

Last edited by Carn723; 12-16-2012 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Getting pictures to display properly
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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You say you ordered the .205" front sight, was that the height from the top of sight down to the top of slide or to the base of dovetail ? Did you measure the original front height?

Was that height due to pairing with the rear you selected, or due to the short sight radius or just their general std. XD replacement advice?

BTW, Nice sharp well aligned pictures, you must be a photopro.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
You say you ordered the .205" front sight, was that the height from the top of sight down to the top of slide or to the base of dovetail ?
It is the height from top of slide and not the base of dovetail. Here is link for the site that shows measuring if you need to adjust for point of impact with different height sight.

Quote:
Did you measure the original front height?
Yeah it was .170 from what I could tell, I found it hard to make exact measurements even with a digital caliper since the differences are so small.

Quote:
Was that height due to pairing with the rear you selected, or due to the short sight radius or just their general std. XD replacement advice?
It had a lot to do with all of them. The DP rear sights are a little taller then the factory. According to my measurements I found the factory rear sight to be .180 tall and the DP rear to be .230 tall. Rear sight is kinda hard to measure height on but that was as close as I could get for demonstration purpose. If you do their adjustable rear then you need a slightly taller front sight then the one I did. When I called them to get recommendations on front sight height they said they suggested the same .205 height the website recommended for my model as a starting point since they were a little unsure on the short sight radius of the 3.8. It seems to be spot on from what I could tell with bore laser and without shooting for the time being. The cool thing about DP is if you order the sights from them and use the measurements that I linked to above, they will replace sights for free if the firearm does not zero properly.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info.
I measured mine with both a caliper and a depth mic to the top of the slide and like you , found it hard to get a consistent reading. I measured 2 XD Tacticals, (a 9mm & a 45) and both of them were the same as far as I cold tell. Initially I measured the 45 at .170 but once I switched to the depth mic, I came up with .165 on both of them more often than not. I decided for now to keep the stock rear and their website suggests the .160 height for that combo as did the rep i talked to.

He also said he didn't know if the 5" model's longer sight radius would make any difference. One would think with the number of sights they sell for all the different guns they would have a ref chart for each on hand, I don't buy the IDK as anything else than CYA for returns from people claiming the rep told them to get xxx model.

It's good to know that the adjustable rear might require a different front height.
We shall see.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #5
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Yeah I think my initial reading was .160 but I settled on .170 and then kinda gave up realizing that the DP sights came in so many different slight variations that my measuring was not going to help hah.

I agree they could benefit from a size chart or something, I get the whole infinite possibilities to get your pistol to sight in exactly as you want but you would think the distance between sights would make it more of a exact science then a overall recommendation. I guess most people wouldn't notice the difference as long as its not hitting left or right.

I personally was striving to get back to factory specs like the manual states for factory sights. Factory point of hit is exactly at the top of the front notch at 25 yards apposed to dot covering. I actually prefer that style as you see more of the target and while I can still see the sights well I am not trusting the dots as much for lining up. Just wasn't ready to leave them and do a tactical rear sight that has no dots.
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