The quest for better handgun sights isn’t all that different from the quest to create a better mousetrap. There are myriad companies — aftermarket and OEM — manufacturing sights of almost every design imaginable. But nearly all of them have the same goal; the most rapid sight acquisition possible while retaining acceptable accuracy. For the last few months I’ve been playing with a set of Delta 1 Sights from Gun Pro — available for GLOCKs and 1911s, with M&P sets coming soon — and it’s high time for the review. . .
That lead photo is a bit of a spoiler, since it shows the unique sight picture — and it’s fair to say that’s the “secret sauce” — of the Delta 1 sights. Of course, so does the product logo and I figured it was as good a way as any to get folks to click on a review for yet another aftermarket pistol sight option.
Both sights are milled from steel. The front sight is similar to a standard sight blade, but it has a deep “V” notch cut into the top. The front of it is enameled in neon orange.
Instead of a traditional friction fit, two set screws lock the rear sight in place.
At least that’s the theory, as usually set screws like this indicate a sight that can be adjusted for windage by hand. In my example, though, the rear sight would have required a decent amount of filing before it would have fit in the dovetail and been able to slide left or right without massive amounts of force. As it was, this sight’s actually a bit tight even for a friction fit and, as I don’t have a GLOCK sight pusher, I had to beat it like a red headed, 3-legged, rented mule with Tourette’s.
Assuming successful installation, then, the idea behind the design is to improve sight acquisition as well as alignment precision through greater simplicity. It may look like there’s a lot going on here — lots of color and angles — but the result is “a single point sight picture” (I think that’s the “1” in Delta 1). Touch the top point of the rear delta to the bottom point of the front “V” and you’re aligned.
The image above is of the first design version, but as you can see in this review’s lead photo at top, version 2.0 is even more open and blocks even less of the view downrange.
While most of us probably don’t think of aligning standard sights as particularly complex, when put in the context of explaining the process to a new shooter, it certainly involves a lot more than “touch the top of the green pyramid to the bottom of the orange ‘V’ and the bullet impacts right at that point” (as though it’s a marble that has fallen to the bottom of the “V”). With standard sights, the shooter has to find the front sight and get it in the rear notch, vertically align the tops of the front and rear sights (or, when relevant and at some shooters’ preference, align the 3 dots), and horizontally align the front sight inside of the rear notch. In some cases the bullet impacts right on top of the front post, in some cases behind the front post (behind a front post dot, typically), and in some cases a distance above the front post.
That really is a lot more complicated and requires more mental power and focus on multiple places (along the tops as well as inside of the notch) than simply touching two points to each other. If nothing else, I do believe the Delta 1 setup will be simpler to teach new shooters on and will produce better results right off the bat.
On The Range
Gun Pro suggests that it takes something like 40 rounds for shooters used to traditional sights to start getting used to this new method of sight alignment. In slow fire, I shot the Delta 1 Sights almost as accurately as the factory Glock sights right off the bat. Aligning the two points is simple, and it just took a bit of time to get used to sinking the intended point of impact into the “V” notch consistently.
Rapid sight acquisition took me a few mags to get comfortable with. Once I was there, raising the pistol from the low ready and putting 10mm holes on targets happened about as quickly and as accurately as with the factory sights. Transitioning rapidly from target to target happened about as quickly and as accurately as with the factory sights.
What I came to find after shooting this setup more and more was that tracking the front sight blade is easier than normal, which is no surprise considering it’s quite tall and it’s neon orange, plus the rear sight blocks less of your view. Focusing on the front sight like you’re supposed to is also easy, as it draws your eye’s attention much more so than the light green, translucent rear sight does. On traditional sights, the front is often identical in color and general shape (i.e. 90* corners and straight lines) as the rear sight and is only visible inside of a small notch, so finding it and maintaining focus on it is definitely more difficult.
This allowed for two things that helped me shoot very quickly but with acceptable combat or USPSA-style accuracy…
First, inside of 15-or-so yards I basically ignored the rear sight’s alignment, caring only that I could see at least a smidge of green somewhere on top of all of that orange, and just tracked the front sight target-to-target and made hits. Not particularly different from rapid, multiple-target shooting with standard sights, really, but it’s easier with the Delta 1s because of how visible that front blade is compared to the rear, and how very open the rear sight is.
Second, for a long time now consensus has been that focusing on the front sight blade — everything else is as blurry as it needs to be depending on your eyesight — nets the best shooting results. A few sight designs were intent on changing that practice so, instead, the target can be the focal point and the sights basically superimpose themselves on top; actually designed to be viewed “blurry” in the foreground. I think the Delta 1 Sights are capable of this style of shooting, mostly because of how large and visible that front sight is, but also because the open and bright, yet translucent, rear sight means I can easily maintain rear-on-front alignment even when focused on a distant target instead of on the front sight.
Honestly, I’m probably not the best person to test out these sights since I really haven’t been able to commit to getting completely used to them. I’ve had 6 handguns in for review since I installed these sights on my GLOCK 20, and they all have standard-style sights. Going back-and-forth isn’t doing the Delta 1s any favors.
That said, I’m faster with them — with the same accuracy — as with 3-dot or all-black standard sights (or factory Glock sights). I’m about the same with them as with irons where the front sight stands out, either because it’s a fiber optic or it has a dot but the rear is plain, etc. But I’ve been shooting standard sights forever, so I think this actually says a lot given the limited experience so far with the Delta 1 Sights and the fact that I haven’t been able to commit exclusively to them to really dial things in.
Complaints would be the rear sight’s overly tight fit in the dovetail, and that the sights don’t really “go together” in that the rear is low-profile and snag-free for carry, but the front is gigantic and practically dead square. It may work just as well if, from profile view, that front blade were essentially delta-shaped, which would also make it at least snag-resistant for drawing and holstering. They sure are tough, though, as that rear shrugged off a hell of a beating.
They’re staying on my G20SF, which is my woods carry gun, and I’m confident they’ll shoot minute-of-bear as quickly as I can bring the gun to bear (in more ways than one).
Specifications: Gun Pro Delta 1 Sights
Material: steel; appears parkerized. Green fiber optic insert in rear, neon orange painted or powdercoated front.
Models: Available for GLOCK, which are fixed sights as seen here, and 1911 Novak cuts, which are fully adjustable. S&W M&P coming soon.
MSRP: $89 for GLOCK (fixed). $119 for 1911 (adjustable)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Overall Rating: * * * *
If the rear sight allowed for by-hand windage adjustment, which I think it’s supposed to, and the front was maybe sleeker in some way (at least angle the front of it rearwards, maybe), I’d likely be giving the Delta 1 Sights five stars. They’re simple, stout, and very effective in that they allow for rapid acquisition and fast shooting with solid accuracy. I also like how simple the sight picture is and feel it would be easy to train new shooters with them.