Are iron sights reliable enough for EDC?

Generally, yes. Trust, but verify.

I somewhat recently purchased an H&K VP9, the newest Optics Ready version. Also one of their mounting plates, which I used to attach a holosun 507.

As H&K hates me and did not see fit to include iron sights tall enough to actually use with a plate mounted RDS, so after my first outing with the RDS and too-low irons,I ordered a set of lower 1/4 witness height suppressor/RDS sights from

I installed these sights using a Midwest Gun Works pro style sight pusher with VP9 shoe, as I have done to many pistols many times. Everything seemed normal. I took it to the range. All good. Took it to the range again, still all good. Started carrying it.

Took it to the range again today, and wouldn’t you know it, the darn iron sights failed. The front sight, which is a simple press/friction fit, and had remained in place through the first one or two range trips and time EDC’ing and dry firing, suddenly was sliding back and forth from one extreme to the other, left and right, it seemed ready to come off the slide entirely.

Good thing I had that Holosun RDS

Now, granted, I have swapped a lot of iron sights onto a lot of pistols and shot a lot of rounds over the years, but, this is the third time I have had iron sights fail. knock on wood I haven’t had an RDS, rifle or pistol, fail yet.

Not even sure how I’m going to fix this, if it is too loose, it’s too lose. Going to have to start again and pull the RDS again to pull the sights and replace with something else. sigh

(the other two iron sight failures were a Glock front sight I didn’t use thread locker on, and a Glock front sight I had installed by an LGS many years ago, because they didn’t use thread locker…had to learn that lesson twice in a way)

And note that it took hundreds of rounds for this failure to manifest.

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Take the sight out and put some dimples on it with a punch to increase the friction. And you can put green Loctite on there as well.


Interesting. I have never seen a press fit sight come off but have seen a couple of screw in front sights fall off at the range or in a class. Fortunately not on my own pistols :fist: :wood:


And actually the Iron sights did not fail, the installation needs fine tuning.

Edited for spelling.


The iron sights did fail. They, through their manufacturing defect or tolerance stacking or whatever (fit was not as it should be), become incapable of performing their task. They became worse than useless for sighted fire, a blank space or flat side top would be better.

Probably the sight base was made undersize. IDK, it’s weird the way it worked through a range trip and carry and dry firing and then just suddenly let go to be finger-loose all the way from one side to the other. Must have been one small area/protrusion that accounted for all the friction and enough recoil cycles of the slide broke that loose and away it went?

In many years, many rounds, and many guns, this is the first time I’ve had a press fit sight come loose.

But anything and everything out there can and eventually/for someone, will fail.


Thanks for recommending green loctite. Was not familiar with using a ‘thread locker’ product for a bearing surface such as under a sight, but searching it up, it’s a thing. I don’t have any green, will have to get some, slide the sight back and forth to degrease under it, and wick some green under it.

I’m not obsessively concerned with it since it is a backup and a visual inspection whenever I desire easily indicates its current status (at least until the next shot is fired, probably, lol)


I can see both sides of the coin. The manufacturer probably got tired of complaints about sights not fitting and started cutting them to the smaller side. Maybe the sight you removed was on the larger side and now the dovetail is opened up some as well. Personally I’d want a good friction fit by mashing steel somewhere instead of just counting on the locktite. The sight is cheaper than the slide, so it would get the treatment, even though it would be easier to hammer on the slide.


I could see that also, I have exclaimed plenty of four letter words at S&W sights when trying to remove/install them (yes after removing the set screw) because they are so &^$# #&^# ^@&@ tight even with the proper sight pusher. But now I kind of appreciate that because none of them have ever budged once I got them where I wanted them.

Honestly I might just buy a new completely different set of sights, I’m once bitten thrice shy and hold a grudge…backups or not


Definitely reliable and agree that we need to verify. Also, even if the “sights” are in working order, doesn’t negate the fact that we need to train and train some more. I would also suggest verifying zero every time we practice. Things happen and doesn’t take long to verify zero. Especially for pistols.

Remember, Firearm skills are perishable skills. Meaning, if not practiced, they will degrade overtime.


One of the many benefits to running an RDS is that you can zero both, observe they agree with one another, and then when you pick up the sights dry firing/etc at home, when they still agree with one another, you can be pretty darn confident the sighting systems themselves have retained zero (super unlikely they both lost zero in unison to still agree). There is still the possibility of a mechanical issue that changed zero, but, that’s why we shoot our EDC’s and why I was shooting mine today and how I discovered my irons were unreliable


Short answer – YES if you have good eyesight.

But… IMHO… optics are better, regardless of eyesight. I shoot competition and each year more and more people are shooting optics, because it’s just better. I started shooting optics 3 years ago and now have them on both of my EDC, too. Once you go the Big O you never go back!!


If you think S&W sights are tite try working on Kimber sites


So, lol, I was messing with it when I got home and put some blue loctite down, then was like what am I thinking this won’t work so I wiped it off and had to get going…wouldn’t you know it I went downstairs and that sight is very strongly in place (very not zero’d/off center lol) and stuck there with the blue. Stupid but lol

So I’m going to pick up some Loctite 290, hit that sight with the hair dryer, push the sight off, degrease, and slave it to the RDS with some of the 290 and I think I’ll feel good about that, I rapped that front sight on the edge of the workbench (well, set it on the edge and smacked it good with my palm) a few times and it didn’t budge…and that wasn’t even the type made for this application really

If I was smart and not smrt I would have left it in its correct place after dropping the blue stuff, but no


Yes and preferred.

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Experiences vary on the preferred part. :wink:

And those experiences and opinions, on the whole, are rapidly changing. Progress cannot be denied. :slight_smile:

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OP asked open opinion.
Can say it again if you like


Noted, Craig9 prefers iron sights


I’ll second that. Preferred! Add me to that column in the survey.

You could probably run over a pistol with iron sights with a light sedan and they wouldn’t be unserviceable. I wouldn’t be as confident with an optic.


What red dots have you used?


Romeo zero and a Shield with the same bolt pattern.

Have you seen the tiny screws that all of them are attached with??