So there she was at a shootin’ school, and her trusty M&P inspired, shall we say, “trust issues” by shucking off the upper half of the rear sight.

Hey, as we’ve demonstrated with our Quick Kill reporting, you don’ need no stankin’ sights at pistol ranges. Still, they’re kinda nice to have.

Basically, when the slide assembly reached the rear limit of its travel, the back half of the sight decided it wanted to keep going and it had enough inertia to do so. I don’t recollect it actually hitting me, but always wear eye pro, kids! .

via View From The Porch.

Thinking about the physics of it, a rear sight ejected from the rear of a firearm is unlikely to hit the eye. Because even as it moves eyeward at a speed equal to recoil speed minus the velocity lost shearing the molecular bonds inside the (probably metal injection molded or sintered) sight, it’s also seeking the center of the earth at 32 feet per second per second (unless you’re outside the USA, in which case it does it at 9.81m2.

So you’re more likely to take it on the chin, cheek, or shooting vest, than in the eye. That’s why actual eye loss from such catastrophic dumbassery as firing 7.62 Tokarev ammo in an old Broomhandle is quite rare. The broomhandle bolt breaks the dummy’s cheekbone or knocks out a few teeth, instead of sailing through the orbit and turning his not-too-splendid brain into mush.

And back in the days of Broomhandles, they had never heard of metal injection molding.

This entry was posted in Pistols and Revolvers, Safety on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

10 thoughts on “Tam Goes in for Quick Kill… Involuntarily

Tim, ’80s Mech Guy

Kimber had an issue with the same thing as I recall. Too thin of a piece of metal right at the shearing plane. Add in the magic propensity for dropped guns landing on the sights and maybe cracking. Another reason to go with an aftermarket sight like the 10-8. Careful not to lose that little disk and the spring for the saftey plunger, I assume they are still under the sight, or did they change that?


This was an aftermarket Ameriglo unit.

It’s been on the gun… well, I stopped keeping a log on it, I’m sad to say, somewhere past 6k, but it wouldn’t shock me to find out that the gun/sight combo’s passed the 10k mark. Not an abusive total, but a reasonable amount of shooting. I don’t recollect the gun ever taking a smack directly to the sights, but it could have gotten hip-checked into a door frame in the last four or five years.

People (myself included) make fun of the ski jumps from Heinie and Novak for being exactly the wrong shape for running the gun one handed off a belt, bootheel, or holster mouth, but I’ve never seen one of them do this, and I’ve seen a lot of busted sights, let me tell you.


PS: The other photo is a better illustration of the crack, but the sight sheared vertically aft of the dovetail, and the part that was in the dovetail remained in the dovetail.

Tim, ’80s Mech Guy

The 10-8, Vickers and other new style sights made with single hand manipulation in mind tend to have more metal in the right place and thus less chance of

That particular failure. The blocky night sights on Berrettas and most of the designs I have used on Glocks are solid and allow you to wrack the slide easily, some do have a downside in that they eat clothing, furniture and flesh. I have had sights get banged around plenty, if you carry all the time it’s gonna happen, on doorways, counters and such. I’ve gotten in the habit of checking the sights when I do my normal-hopefully unobtrusive-tactile inspection of the gun/holster after any activity that might have shifted anything.


The Ameriglo and 10-8 rears are pretty much identical in profile, yes.


When I get to where I can take a picture of one of my M&P22s with a 10-8 and one of the other centerfire guns with an Ameriglo unit, I will, and hopefully this will better illustrate things for you.

Tim, ’80s Mech Guy

Running Ameriglow Hackathorns on my 19 but thats the limit of my experience with the brand. They seem solid and I put the rear on with a brass drift without deforming it which is more than I can say for another popular brand with eastern Mediterranean ties. Good sights but soft steel. If yours is a 10-8 looking profile and made of crap or MIM/sintered or just poorly cast I would not be surprised to see it fail. All those processes have their place but I prefer forgings when available.


Wow. Similar thing just happened at a local three gun, a guy’s front sight sheared off his Glock, but we think it may have been caused by the upper side of a circle cut in plywood. For the record it was just a polymer stock sight, he has metal ones now.


As a side note, he finished the course of fire with no loss of accuracy, and he did not even notice until clearing it before the RO at the end of the stage.