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Does Sight Radius Matter?

If you've seen more than a couple of our videos you know that I'm a fan of longer-barreled pistols. That's for a few reasons:

  • Longer barrel = more velocity = more energy on target. Most defensive loads are designed to perform from a 4" barrel.

  • Cyclic Speed: This may sound like a bit of a reach, but generally I've found longer-slide guns with a slower-moving slide to recoil smoother while shooting. My theory is that more recoil energy is consumed by getting the slide moving, and the recoil impulse feels stretched a bit; less snappy.

  • Sight Radius (distance between front and rear sight): It's easier to align the sights and more steadily when there is more mass, further from the fulcrum (your hand). Conversely, shorter slides require less movement of the hand to move and can more easily mis-align.

Gun Talk Media recently posted an interesting video demonstration of another factor of sight radius by shooting two similar pistols and deliberately aiming with the sights out of alignment. As you'll see in the video the same amount of error applied to each gun made a very noticeable difference on target. After watching the video let us know your thoughts and preferences in the comments below.


If you're curious about the Taurus G3XL seen in the video, our complete review is available HERE on The Truth About Guns.

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