Many action pistol shooters, especially those with “older eyes,” prefer fiber-optic front sights. They’re fast to find. But, not all popular competition handguns come with them. That was a situation I recently faced with my Ruger MKIV .22 LR pistol.
Cataracts had kept me from competing with iron sights for the last couple of years. The factory black front blade wasn’t an issue since I was running a reflex sight for Steel Challenge RFPO. Cataract surgery changed that, and I wanted to shoot that gun in Rimfire Pistol Iron Sight (RFPI). I had only fired one RFPI match since the recent surgery, while testing a Kel-Tec CP33, and wasn’t classified. It was a simple matter to pop off the Burris FastFire III reflex sight from the MKIV, zero the iron sights and head to a match.
I was quite disappointed. My “new eyes” let me see the sights clearly. But finding that black front blade quickly, and getting it aligned with the rear sight and then onto a plate, was like a frenzied game of “Where’s Waldo?” Maybe that’s because I was so used to seeing the red dot from my reflex sights on the white plates and the brain didn’t quite compute. But, it wasn’t fun.
A quick look through the Shop Ruger website showed a HIVIZ fiber-optic replacement front sight (#84147, $39.60) for the MK series of .22 LR pistols. I used a similar HIVIZ unit on my two GP-100 competition revolvers and was happy with them.
Like the GP-100 sights, it came with interchangeable, reusable fiber-optic rods in red and green—along with a solid white (which I had found works very well on indoor ranges). A small tube was included to house them.
The sight was simple to install—unscrew the existing front sight and screw on the HIVIZ. They were identical except for the .090 FO rod. A replacement screw was included but I used the existing screw, added a drop of Blue Loc-Tite and was done. The first three-round sight-in group from my 25-yard benchrest showed the impact point was right in the middle of the FO dot. I didn’t have to touch the sight setting.
That bright red FO front sight made a big difference! My first eight-stage match with the black front sight classified me in lower C Class RFPI. One eight-stage match later, with the new front sight, I advanced to middle B Class. That’s a huge jump in one match. And the only change was the front sight.
HIVIZ offers FO replacement sights for virtually all popular competition handguns. They can brighten up your day.