Sighting a Beretta 85F

I think the Beretta 85F is a sweet little gun. The more I learn about it, the more I like it, but until recently, I haven’t been able to hit my target. After missing a 6” gong at 10 yards with every shot, I thought “this is crazy,” and I must be doing something wrong.

With the gong, I couldn’t tell where my shots were going, so I grabbed a tall board left behind on the range, and marked it with blue tape. My first shot was revealing:

I had been aiming with “equal height, equal light,” but obviously my shot was way low. So I lifted the front sight, and immediately hit my mark:

Going back to my 6” gong, I put all 8 rounds from the next magazine on target.

The rear sight on the 85F is a half circle, while the front is a full round dot. Still figuring this out, but it seems to me that the proper sight picture is the front sight covering the mark, but with its post above the rear sight notch rather than inside the notch.

Has anyone here shot this gun? What are your thoughts? Do I have this wrong?

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No matter what are the notches, shapes and markers on the sights, there always the same rule that applies:
Top edge of front sight has to be even with top edge of the rear sight.

So the depth of the notch doesn’t really matter…

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Are those the original sights? I used to have an 84FS. Front and rear sights were white, the front one a full circle and the rear one a half circle on the bottom like yours. Proper sight picture was when you saw one perfect circle - the upper half of the circle came from the front sight, and the lower half of the circle came from the rear sight. In other words, the bottom half of the front sight was covered/obstructed from view by the rear sight. I am not sure if the 2 circles were the same size, but they appeared to be exactly the same size when sighting.

It also had “combat” sight alignment which means it will seem to shoot low unless you literally cover the target with the dot. Sight image 3 in the link:

I replace the link with the graphic, hope you don’t mind Gary_H! ~Dawn

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That’s what I thought, and it how I was aiming and how I got consistently frustrating low shots.

I’m going to take this out again over the weekend and have another deep look at what’s going on. Probably put it in the shooting rest too.

Thanks.

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Thank you. Yes, they’re original sights, but repainted; the white on the rear was partially chipped.

The full circle sight picture was what I assumed was correct. But that’s what was getting me in trouble. I’m trying to recall the image in my mind when everything started working — I had the front dot sitting on the flat of the rear as opposed to being half-covered.

Going to try to figure this out again this weekend after both you and @Jerzy confirmed what I originally believed (but couldn’t get to work). Again, thanks.

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Iron sights only work at two ranges, close and far away (ballistic arc). If you are lucky close falls into your SD mode and far away is like 75 - 100yds down range. My Colt Officers Model (3.2" bbl) is dead NUTZ on at 7 .5 yards it is also dead on at 100 yards with 230 ball ammo from a certain MFG. How you align your sights is up to you. Obviously at 7.5 yards I aim center bullseye as I do at 100. Knowing where to aim for other ranges is a product of knowing your platform and how it works with your ammo of choice.

Cheers,

Craig6

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You can also ask RSO to shoot this gun as well. Rest bench may give some answers.

From my experience, every new gun in my hands shoots low for first 100 - 200 rounds. And it’s most because of me.
However I own two pistols in my collection which had sights that had to be replaced to fix that problem.

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Planned to do this over the weekend, taking my rest with me to do as you suggest, but the siren call of my 5.56 captivated all of my range time.

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More fun with the 85F…

As I learn its aim, this is becoming an enjoyable little gun to shoot. Still haven’t put it on the rest, but I shot 26 rounds today at 10, 15, and 20 yards. All but three on the paper 8-1/2”x11”). The diamond (my new go to shape, thank you @Craig6) is 2”x2”.

There’s no question that I need to tighten up my grouping, but it’s much better than when I didn’t understand the sights.

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Well as you say your grouping needs to be tighter but the good side is that out to 20 you are in the center of mass. There are a thousand recommendations as how to do that but unless you ask me I will not offer mine with the exception of the term “Prairie Dog”.

The diamond shape I have found to be the most receptive target of self reflection. You can tell when you are off left to right and up and down at a glace (or when the shot breaks) where round targets seem to “fuzz out the edges”.

FWIW I use a target that size at 400 yards and am rarely in the white but I have been doing this for more than a minute. That said 500+ I go back to 1 IPHY (Inch per Hundred Yards) targets as that’s where it starts to get fun.

Cheers,

Craig6

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