Do you know why many people don’t agree with you about XS Sights?

Big Dot Sight Picture at 7 yards

At 7yrds a mere 1.1 inches of the target is obscured by the dot.

The XS Express Big Dot sights are a love it or hate it choice for many gun owners.

Where you stand on the issue may come from your view of your firearm and how you train.

Group #1: If you are a competition shooter, a bullseye shooter or a plinker… you probably don’t like them.  You probably rarely shoot inside 7 yards and without the hard vertical edges it can be difficult to make a precision shot or keep a tight group on the “X.”

Group #2: If you are a defensive only shooter, you likely focus on the rule of 3… 3 Shots at 3 Yards in 3 Seconds and your goal is to put rounds on target.

Many people even fall into both groups… They have the 1911 they shoot and the J-frame they carry and that is completely ok with me.


At 25yrds the bullet should impact at the top of the dot.

Personally I fall in Group 1… but I have learned to shoot using 3 different reference points.

1)      The back of the slide super imposed over the target.  I jokingly call this the 300MOA dot. Some people call it index shooting, but inside 3yrds I don’t need my sights to place rounds on the center of mass.

2)      Front sight only. Inside 5 yrds I need some level of sights, but really only the front one. I know that with my skill level if the fiber optic dot is on the target the bullets should be too.

3)      True aimed fire. When I get out to 7 yards I need both sights. Depending on the distance and the size of the target the front sight might just need to be in the vicinity of the notch, but I need to at least where it is.

These are all good skills to have and they are really the basis of how you should shoot the XS Big Dot Sights.

The bullet trajectory of a pistol (cartoon)

XS Sights are regulated so that with the proper sight alignment the bullet should impact at the top of the dot at 25yrd. (Should is the key word, and you need to experiment with your gun and chosen defensive round to see exactly where that is)

Because of the trajectory of a bullet, past that distance the bullet will strike the target somewhat above the circle… but 25 yards is a LONG defensive shot!

So inside that distance, the bullet will impact somewhere behind the dot, and defensively that is good enough.

For the purposes of this post, I measured the distance from my eye to my front sight to be 67cm which works out to be 2.19816 feet, I measured the front dot to be .116 inches and then I sat down with a spreadsheet to do some math.

At 7 yrds – The dot on the XS Express Big Dot Sight covers 1.1in of the target
At 25 yrds – The dot covers 3.96in of the target, and impacts at the top of the sight
At 50 yrds – The dot finally covers the full IDPA -0 zone and if you line it up perfectly you will likely shoot the target in the head and you can tell your buddies you did it on purpose.

pepper_popperBut Ron! I saw James Yeager hit a pepper popper at 100 yrds!

Yep! The interesting thing about that target choice is that Pepper Poppers are 3.5 feet tall and the weakness of the XS Sight is in its vertical alignment.  Horizontally you have a 10-8 sight!

With just a little practice and a steady hand you can do that too.

There is 1 class of guns I love the XS Big Dot Sights for…


Does this change the way you think about the Big Dot Sights at all? Do you love them or hate them?  Let me know in the comments below!

If you are in the market for a set, we have the Glock and M&P Shield models in-stock, but we’d be happy to source any model for you.


  1. Linkscoach says

    Had a set on a G30 but didn’t like them. I think the point of the sites are quick front site acquisition in defensive situations. They do that well but fail at easy accuracy at longer ranges. You really don’t have to get very far away from a low probability target for the size of the front sites on the XS to become a hindrance. Very few people want to think about how to use their sites before they fire at a target. I think their are sites out there that allow quick close shooting as well as the XS without the short comings of the XS at longer ranges. The “Hack” sites and Trijicon HD’s come to mind right away.

  2. Brian J says

    A pepper popper is 3.5 feet tall….. And Humans are smaller than this? If I can hit the top 1/3 of a PP at 100, I can hit you in the chest at 100. So the sights are good out passed distances you will ever need. Can we move on now?

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