AR15.Com Archives
 Explain 'combat' sights vs 'target' sights
niceguymr  [Team Member]
8/6/2008 11:27:48 AM EDT
What's the difference? Isn't the idea to hit your 'target' with either?
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mtk  [Member]
8/6/2008 11:44:58 AM EDT
Target sights are adjustable.

Combat sights are fixed.
ikor  [Team Member]
8/6/2008 12:04:38 PM EDT
HooBoy...can of worms here...but I will give it a stab...

Traditionally, 'target' sights are designed for pure precision...very narrow notch in the rear and sharp, clearly defined front blade...often square or even undercut...usually plain, flat black. Rear sights are usually fully adjustable. This does not lend itself well to CCW or even duty carry but does provide the maximum in accuracy. They are slow to align, and are often set for a '6 O'Clock hold so that the top of the front sight can be held on the bottom of the sharp dilenation between black and white of a bullseye target yet shots will impact the center 'X' ring.

Today, there are 'compromise' target sight setups that use slightly wider notches, are more holster-friendly and such but that is the old way.

'Combat' sights are usually fixed, more rugged and lend themselves to CCW or holster carry, and have a wider rear notch so the shooter can pick up a target faster. They are usually regulated to hit 'center'...that is, wherever the top of the front sight is pointing when the bullet leaves the barrel. They are faster but more 'coarse'.

This is very basic but should get you started on the difference.
AR15fan  [Team Member]
8/6/2008 12:11:27 PM EDT
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dfariswheel  [Team Member]
8/6/2008 12:14:07 PM EDT
Combat sights can also be adjustable, such as the excellent sights used on S&W revolvers like the Model 19 and 66 Combat Magnum series.

One key difference between Combat and Target sights is, Targets are usually larger and have sharp rear faces and edges to give a very sharp sight picture.
Combat sights are usually smaller and more compact, with smooth edges and rounded corners to prevent snagging and from ripping up hands and holsters.

As example, most combat front sights have forward angled ramp-like shapes and Target have perfectly vertical or even under-cut front sights.
The sharp Target sights will often actually cut the front of the holster, where the ramped Combat will slide over the surface.
Target sights are usually made with no thought given to using them in a holster.

Target adjustable sights also typically have finer "click" adjustments than Combat adjustable sights.
Target sights often have "click" adjustments that give as little as 1/8 inch movement, or even more, while Combat sights often have adjustments of one inch per "click".

There is no perfect line between the two, but usually the Combat sights are smaller and "slicker" and the Target are larger with no effort made to eliminate sharp surfaces.
3rdpig  [Team Member]
8/6/2008 1:05:59 PM EDT
Fine control vs. Gross control. Slow and careful vs. fast and furious. Delicate vs. Tough. Large and high vs. small and low.
ED_P  [Team Member]
8/6/2008 2:39:00 PM EDT
Combat sights are adjustable, you just have to use a hammer and punch on most for horizontal adjustment and move the whole sight, and order a different height sight for vertical adjustment.

Target sights can be adjusted by a screw most of the time.
NVGdude  [Member]
8/6/2008 9:01:44 PM EDT
Combat sights typically have a wide front post and wide rear notch. This aids in sight acquisition at the expense of a more refined sight picture. They will often incorporate aiming aids such as dots (either white or self illuminated)

Windage is drift adjustable. No real height adjustment.

Typically combat sights are designed to shoot point of aim at 25 yards.

Target sights will tend to feature a smaller front post, preferably of the patridge type. They should be dead black, and often will have fine horizontal serrations to limit reflections. The rear will typically be windage and height adjustable with a fine flat bladed screwdriver.

Typically they will be set to a 6 o'clock hold, but they can be adjusted to a pont of aim hold if desired.
ALPHAGHOST  [Team Member]
8/6/2008 10:33:50 PM EDT
combat sights:

Target sights:

basically, imo, combat sights are simple and durable; meaning, the front and rear are fixed in place

target sights are adjustable
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