Not being a fan of open sights, I am always looking for better alternatives. This is why I have handguns with scopes, red dot optics, and laser sights. The one revolver I have that still wears its factory open sights is my Ruger Blackhawk Flattop .44 Special, and for some reason I can shoot it pretty well.
An interesting variation I gave a brief trial a few years back was a “Ghost Ring” rear sight called the “One Ragged Hole” sight. This was a replacement blade for a standard Ruger rear sight unit which is basically a rounded blade with a large hole in it to sight through – much larger than a “peep” sight, more like the Ghost rings sometimes used on shotguns. To aim, the shooter sights through the hole in the blade, centering the front sight roughly in the middle. More precise aiming can be done by “moving” the front sight blade up, down, or sideways in the hole.
It is actually more accurate than it probably sounds, and both faster and easier than shooting with a “normal” open sight.
I “lost” my original ghost ring sight after I left it on my .44 mag Super Blackhawk when I sent it back to the factory for repair work. Bad move. ANY after-market parts left on a gun sent back to Ruger will be taken off and replaced before they are returned, including grips and sights! When I tried to get another set last year, I found the company out of business and the website had turned into a porn site!
Luckily, another company is now offering pretty much the same sight (www.billllsidlemind.blogspot.com). It is made of quality steel, and for $10 you actually get two blades – one suggested for longer ranges, a different size hole for shorter range.
Installation should be simple, but has not been for me. The drill is to remove the original blade by loosening the windage adjustment screw, then use a tooth pick to push the screw which allows the blade to move when adjusted far enough to the left to allow the “foot” of the new blade to be seated so the spring and adjustment screw keep tension on it. I never could get the hang of this, nor could the maker “walk me” through it. I finally thought I had it figured out, but when I shot the gun – my Blackhawk .45 Colt – for a test, the blade flew off to parts unknown, and I put that gun back in the safe until I decided I had regrouped!
After nearly a year, I decided to give it another try. This time I was tempted to remove the spring altogether and glue the blade in place, as I don’t expect to need to adjust it – instead adjusting the sight picture when I shoot. Of course, as soon as I decided this, my try to get the blade in properly appeared to work! Just to be sure I didn’t lose my last remaining blade, though, I DID put a few drops of super glue in the track the blade is supposed to travel in!
Hopefully I will get to “range test” this sight tomorrow, if I can get some .45 Colt ammo loaded tonight. I will update this post with the results ASAP.