Reading back through some of my reviews of pistols during my tenure at TTAG, I’ve realized that the only features I really care about (besides reliability) in a carry piece are grip size, trigger, and sights. The first is usually set in stone (or polymer), the second is sometimes a costly fix, but the third is where the money is. Unfortunately, pistol sights are susceptible to the theory of Long Tail. There are soooo many ideas out there, and the barriers to entry are so low, that cool ideas can get lost in the noise. Fortunately, TTAG cuts through the noise and puts new products to the test. With that out of the way, let’s get to reviewing. In this case, Aimline’s pistol sights. Do they work? Absolutely. Make the jump to learn more.
Pistols I’ve shot in the last few years basically use three sighting systems. First is the three-dot system, then there’s the blade & dovetail, and finally web have the GLOCK ‘U’ system. I favor the three-dot system for speed, the blade & dovetail for precision, and the U system for occupying space in the trash can.
My experience has been that the dot system is good enough for a quick shot, but unless there’s a crisp horizontal line that can be leveled across the top, a precise shot can be hard to take. Conversely, a blade & dovetail setup, assuming enough light shows between the sights, can be very accurate, but in low-light or quickly developing situation, they aren’t as easy to use. That’s not to say impossible, just not ideal.
Aimline figures that lining up horizontal lines in the same plane is easier for the brain, and making those lines stand out vibrantly can only help. My experience bears that theory out. My process for pistol presentation is to sight my target, bring my up pistol two-handed from my chest, and wait for the front sight to materialize in my peripheral vision as I push the pistol out towards the target. The neon green on the Aimline is impossible to miss so once the front sight is on target, the rear lines up very easily.
Again, your brain loves to have things in alignment, so those three bright, green bars naturally come into alignment. These sights are very quick to acquire in sunlight, indoors, and in low light conditions. Aimline promises on their FaceBook page that Tritium sights are in the development pipeline. Eagerly, we shall await them.
As you can see above, there’s also a crisp horizontal line formed by the non painted portion of the sights that is useful when a precision shot is necessary. Simply rough it in with the painted lines, and then utilize the top line as a reference to make a very precise shot. One unexpected benefit of the Aimline system is how easy it is for newbies to pick up. As proof of this, I took a bag of pistols on a visit to see my in laws shortly after getting the Aimlines installed. After trying out red dots, three dots, blade/dovetail, and the Aimline system, my sister in law declared the Aimlines her favorite. To my knowledge, she can count the number of times she’s held a pistol on one hand. She felt that the Aimlines were very easy to pick up and made lining up on target simple.
For those who like the ability to rack the slide on a belt, counter, or boot, Aimline has you covered. The rear sight has a flat, perpendicular face perfect for catching on any surface you have available for those one handed manipulators. Operator status achieved!
Before I discuss accuracy, I’d like to address installation. If you have a gunsmith you like, advise him to have a MGW Sight Pusher before he installs the rear sight. If you’re planning on doing it, you should do the same. I say this as a guy who busted up a Glockmeister tool doing these. Aimline’s Jason Starne acknowledges that these sights are uber tight and actually made the recommendation of the MGW tool. I didn’t listen and ended up breaking a borrowed tool. What finally worked was running the rear sight on a honing stone for a few minutes. Once I did that, and lubed up the Glockmeister took, the rear sight finally got into place.
Now to the most important part, accuracy. Well first, precision. These sights are very precise. As evidenced by the slow fire targets below, the Aimline sight system holds up.
Unfortunately, precision isn’t accuracy. And while these sights have helped me shrink my groups, they now sit some distance below my point of aim using a “front sight under target” sight picture, and accuracy that is not. Much like the compensation I had to adopt to shoot the FNS 9 to point of aim, the Aimlines need a bit of user tweaking to hit where they aim. Specifically, cover the target with the sight versus placing the target on top of the front sight.
Specifications: Aimline Sights – GLOCK 19
- Type: Replaceable Front & Rear
- Color: Neon Green as tested (White, Yellow, Green, Orange available)
- Material: 4100 Series Steel
- Coating: Oxide
- Country of Manufacture: USA
- Guarantee: 30 day money back
- Price: $75 (includes 50 rounds of 9 mm Red River ammo)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Form & Function * * * *
With the squared-off rear dovetail and generally snag-free design, the Aimlines are a very nice combat sight. They allow the user to rack the slide on a belt, boot, or countertop but won’t snag shirts or pants. And they function very well. I was able to precisely place my shots, albeit a few inches low. All that’s worth it though, as I’m now able to shoot with my GLOCK like I shoot with my XD(m). Which is a very good thing.
Fit & Install * * *
If you pay someone to install these, this is a five star rating But if you do the install yourself, you’ll need a very solid sight pusher and a little bit of elbow grease. Once installed, torque down the set screw on the rear, and you’re guaranteed to never have your rear sight to depart.
Overall Rating * * * *
Once installed, these sights are rock solid. They show a well thought-out design. They’re just enough, without being too much. They’re intuitive and accurate. However, they’ll only get four stars until POI equals to POA.