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Question U-notch rear irons vs traditional square notch sights. Login/Join 
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What's the deal with U-notch rear irons ? What makes them better, if any, or depending on use, than more traditional square noth rear sights ? Such as the Wilson Combat Battlesights, or the U notch varieties made by other sight makers like Trijicon. What do these sights do differently or better than factory square notches ? Are they a fad ? But most important, do you guys have them and what do you think ?

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Posts: 6093 | Registered: February 01, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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U notch rear sights will help you with horizontal front sight alignement. Such rear sights are normally used on .22 olympic 50m single shot pistols with 2 oz triggers. It´s a personal preference and its value depends on your aiming concept and the amount of aiming paremeters you want/can control and the trigger qualities of the pistol hosting it.

The concept has been abandoned in sports shooting because the U notch is too distracting. Such sights are well ment, but overly sophisticated for a service pistol although they had been used on Lugers, Walthers and the original P210.

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Posts: 3372 | Location: Switzerland | Registered: January 24, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like a large, easy-to-see dot on my front sight blade for combat style shooting. That in turn makes it advantageous to have a U-shaped notch at the rear for precise sight alignment. I first used that principle decades ago when shooting target rifles at round bull’s-eye targets with iron sights. It’s easier to achieve precise sight alignment when everything is a circle: the rear sight aperture, the front sight aperture, and the round target. Our eyes can detect small misalignments easier with that arrangement than if part of the array is rectangular, such as when using the sort of front sight post that’s common with U.S. military rifle sights. (The reason of course that military weapons seldom use circular apertures at the front is because they block too much of our field of view; also, the targets in combat are very seldom round circles.)

If the front sight of a pistol has a conspicuous round dot on it, using a U-shaped notch at the rear is a variation of the circle-on-a-circle array, except that the U leaves the top of the circle open. It’s still easier to detect any misalignment even if only the bottom of the rear circle is present. That’s why I have U notches on the handguns I shoot the most.

Caveats: I see no value in a U notch if the front sight doesn’t have that conspicuous aiming dot; without it I still prefer the square notch at the rear. Also, all that stuff about precise sight alignment applies only for precise shooting. When I’m shooting fast at close distances on a large target, I never even see the shape of the rear notch. Sometimes I don’t attempt to align the sights at all, but if I need a bit more precision usually all I see is the front sight well enough to know that the sights aren’t grossly misaligned.

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Posts: 37756 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I seem to get much more light around the front sight with U notch, my preference these days.

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Posts: 10196 | Location: Carolina but Texas in my heart | Registered: November 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't think U-notch sights are a 'fad' in that they have been made for many years and will continue to be made. They're not objectively 'better' than square notch sights but of course defining 'better' is difficult. I used to dislike them until I put a Wilson sight on a Beretta that had a fiber optic front sight. For the type of shooting I do (IDPA and IDPA-type matches) they're fine but I'm not going to replace the square notch rear sights on other guns.
Posts: 3779 | Location: NC | Registered: December 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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All personal preference really. I like them better than square notch.
Posts: 151 | Location: Virginia | Registered: October 19, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My 55 year old eyes are aging at an accelerated rate primarily due to years of staring at a computer screen for work (just you wait kids!) I find the U shape provides an easier sight picture for me.
Posts: 4120 | Location: NH | Registered: January 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like a bright front sight and a subdued rear; the sight I've settled on for all my carry firearms is the Trijicon HD with the u-notch rear.

There is a bit more daylight around the front sight; it helps indexing the front sight against the rear and against the target; to me it works in the same concept as a "ghost ring" does on a combat rile sight. The u-notch is cut lower into the rear sight body, giving a bit more room around the front sight vertically, as well as laterally. The front sight is round, and it matches the rear u-notch nicely in a way that the eye subconsciously drops the ball into the cup. If shooting quickly, where the front sight does the sewing-machine needle thing, it simply bounces up out of the cup and back down again.

On the G43, I put a set of square sights with an orange front, and it bugged me enough that I chucked them and put on the Trijicons. I just like the round bottom rear and round bright orange front.
Posts: 1717 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like them but honestly don’t notice it and have no issue switching back to regular.

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Posts: 3171 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I hav the TFX with the U notch, and TFX with the square notch. I prefer the square notch, but the unotch is not terrible. The u notch draws my eyes to the bottom, the square notch to the top.

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Posts: 5448 | Location: BPensacola, Florida | Registered: September 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a P227 with the XRay U notch sights. I find that I shoot better with it than my other Sigs. I couldn't tell you why, but I can line up the sights easier. I definitely prefer it.

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Posts: 17 | Location: Tampa Bay, Florida  | Registered: August 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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U Notch sights are both faster & easier for me to acquire. I now use some type of Ameriglo U Notch night sight on every new pistol that makes its way into my home.

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Posts: 1143 | Location: RR12 | Registered: February 17, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I prefer the square notch. but I haven't shot the U very much.

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Posts: 1716 | Registered: February 27, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I went to the U-notch about nine years ago and love it. For my eyes, they draw my focus on to the front sight and do it quickly. Nearly every carry gun I own has a set of Trijicon HDs or HD (R) sights on them. The exception being a Sphinx SDP Subcompact Alpha. I had to replace the rear sight as the 9mm was printing too low at just 10 yards, but Trijicon didn't have any offerings. A "10-8" U-notch rear sight for my Novak cut 1911, worked fine.

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Posts: 8329 | Location: So CA | Registered: June 13, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I prefer square. My favorite are actually the ameriglo Spaulding with square front also.
Posts: 2375 | Location: On the shore of Lake Lanier | Registered: November 19, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting takes on this subject. I use to actually think that the U-notch was faster. Truth is, it made me think it was faster. Only cause at the time and with most current designs they omit distractions on the rear sight. Generally of the more popular brands they have a black U notch and nothing more. That lets the shooter take his/her attention to the front of the sight, where it should be.


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Posts: 4817 | Location: surrounded by liberals. | Registered: September 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you think about it, the u notch with a dot from site is very similar to the "peep sight" on military rifles, just half the circle instead of all of it. With a dot I prefer a u, with a standard post square.
Posts: 13722 | Location: Lexington, KY | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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