New From Dead Air and KNS Precision: Flip-Up Suppressor Sights

Dead Air Sights

A typical centerfire pistol silencer, like Dead Air’s Ghost-M, is about 1.375″ in diameter. When installed on a threaded pistol barrel, it’s often taller than the sights and can obscure view of the target. Tall sights are a simple solution. But they aren’t without drawbacks, such as holster incompatibility and snagging. Dead Air, in conjunction with KNS Precision, think they’ve come up with the solution . . .

Down.

Up.

Down.

Up.

Down.

Up.

Whew, I’m tired.

While I happen to love both Dead Air and KNS, I’m not sure I’m “feeling” these sights.

Given the option, I just run tall “suppressor sights.” I’ve encountered one instance where they wouldn’t fit in a holster. So I got a new holster.

Which was almost certainly cheaper and easier than buying new sights (MSRP is expected to be $149) and swapping them.


I’ve also sent thousands of rounds downrange with standard-height sights behind a suppressor. It’s less than ideal but it ain’t a big deal. You still line up the sights as usual and reference a higher part of the target that isn’t blocked by the slight amount of suppressor eclipse.

I dunno. Not exactly a “solution in search of a problem” as it is solving a minor, though completely legitimate problem. But do they flap down while shooting? We’d have to assume not, obviously, as that would be a total fail. So I’m sure they work fine, but I’m admittedly left scratching my head.

In fact, I think they’re more useful for red dot-equipped pistols where they’re only serving BUIS (back-up iron sights) duty. Leave them flipped down and out of the way. All the time. Unless the red dot craps out, in which case flip up the BUIS and now they’re tall enough to be aligned through the optic’s window. This seems like the real value-add use case to this keyboard commando.

comments

  1. avatar sound awake says:

    pretty slick idea

    front sight doesnt look very robust though

    1. avatar Tom Barnett says:

      They’re tougher than you’d think, and survived the full week of SHOT plus range day fiddling (and subsequent KNS employee fiddling). We have now moved on to the ‘abuse-testing’ phase and they are still doing surprisingly well considering their size. Material is hardened stainless, black nitrided, so pretty tough.

      I wouldn’t open soup cans with them, but they’re stronger than your finger tips, and have survived drops & bumps nicely so far. Do keep in mind that when using them in the raised position, you would typically have a silencer or red dot present, which would almost certainly take the brunt of the abuse. The intention is to keep them folded until use, so the rear sight leaf will generally be inside the beefier rear sight base, and the front will be folded with a minimal lever arm to act on the pivot pin.

  2. avatar MIO says:

    Interesting idea. Thanks for the review

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      This is not a review! …just a “new from” post about a product we saw at SHOT Show. We may well try to get our hands on a set for a full review in the future though. But we have no experience using these yet so please don’t consider anything above anything more than high-level info and a few thoughts based solely on seeing them and touching them at the trade show.

      1. avatar Jason says:

        Definitely get them for a full review. This seems so obvious, I’m surprised we don’t have these yet. If they are well-built and tough enough I will certainly buy them. Provided they’re strong enough.

  3. avatar Defens says:

    I, too, like the notion of using them with a red dot. The rear sight looks kind of long, front-to-back, which could make it difficult to sandwich it in along with the RDS in the limited space between the ejection port and the back of the slide, though.

    1. avatar Tom Barnett says:

      It will clear anything that’s .1″ forward of the dovetail edge (minus a few thousandths). The protruding portion is shifted back on the sight dovetail a fair bit.

  4. avatar Geoff PR says:

    The corners on those sights have some sharp edges on them, even while folded.

    I’m curious as to why they call them ‘snag-free’…

    1. avatar Tom Barnett says:

      The front sight is not as snag-free as the final units will be; these are the very first prototype units our machinists managed to complete just barely in time for SHOT. The rear sight actually has small chamfers on every outside corner, and overall profile very similar to OEM Glock sights, so it is very ‘un-snaggy’ despite looking so faceted. The front site will ultimately have its leading edges similarly broken. Both are/will be tested with a ton of holsters to make sure they never get snagged or lifted up during a draw (it hasn’t been an issue so far). I will add that they snap down properly when dropped back into a holster from the upright position.

  5. avatar Oh noes says:

    The prog pukes found a new horse to beat, I was watching Prog-puke news when they ran a story about 80% ghost guns. They said you don’t need a BG check and you can order on line (ALL THE CRIMINALS ARE DOING IT!) AND no serial # so it can’t be registered/traced.
    Also, GASP with my hand on my chest they’re 100% legal (oh the huge manatee)
    They ordered one and it only took 6 hr to build a super MaJiK EvL untracable Glock 7 that only every criminal in the history of crime buy and own. Any way Kiss 80% firearms
    good bye.

    1. avatar Defens says:

      Not unless they reclassify chunks of aluminum or spools of plastic filament as firearms. Which would be pretty near impossible to do. You going to require a serial number and registration for the same chunk of 6061-T6 that I could machine into an AR lower, or the base for a camera tripod?

      Libs may whine and moan, but the best they might do is require that you serialize and register a completed lower, like they are doing in California. And even then, how can they check for compliance? I put a serial # on every lower I build.

  6. avatar ironicatbest says:

    I will buy this sight and put it on my Silver Ford Escape as a hood ornament

  7. avatar Chadwick says:

    Looks like a cool idea. If I didn’t have a Glock mos then I’d probably look into these more as that money will likely go towards a red dot. I agree that shooting through the suppressor isn’t the easiest thing, but he’ll I shoot my pistol better with the can obscuring the sights. Not sure why really. Maybe the extra weight or maybe it is balancing my poor trigger pull or something. Anyway looks like a cool product that someone has probably been waiting for.

    And oh my I actually like the stippling on that AK hand guard.

  8. avatar ChainsawWieldingManiac says:

    The weird thing is that they’re demoing these sights on a pistol with an RMR cut. They make zero sense if you’re running an RMR, since you need suppressor sight heights (or none at all). What you “need” them for is a threaded pistol that does NOT have an RMR, but that you might run a suppressor on.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I think they make the most sense if you’re running a dot. See last paragraph.

    2. avatar Tom Barnett says:

      No more or less useful than BIUS you see on rifles using magnified or electronic sighting systems. The main thing, is it lets you reconfigure a gun to temporarily add/remove a silencer (which is fast & easy), without having to dig out your alternate sights and installation tools, and re-zero your gun.

  9. avatar Tom Barnett says:

    I would like to post a slight correction to the article; the current MSRP estimate is 149$, not 175$-200$. We also hope to have these available for sale sometime early this summer.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Thanks, Tom! I’ll update.

  10. avatar J says:

    Anyone buying suppressors likely has the money to just buy whatever host they choose. By the time you buy a threaded barrel and then these sights you’re pretty close to the price of a new gun anyways.

  11. avatar Alex in Oregon says:

    Are theses going to be a Glock only thing or will they be available for other makes of pistols? Seems a lot of these neat ideas are only for that band of gat.

    1. avatar Tom Barnett says:

      No reason we can’t modify the design for other platforms eventually, but for now it’s the most common, most consistent sight format, Glock. Personally, I hope to adapt the design to anything that commonly runs a red dot or silencer (FN, S&W, CZ, etc)

      1. avatar Jason says:

        CZ for certain but don’t forget about my beloved PPQ please!! I’ll buy them!

  12. avatar Raul Alvarez says:

    Might also be useful in making long range shots with a handgun using the rear sight only (up position).

  13. avatar little horn says:

    i think its a pretty cool idea. i would hope they ratchet or lock in place somehow.

    1. avatar Tom Barnett says:

      There is a satisfying, solid ‘click’ at each end of motion, that takes 4-5lbs of force to overcome. Similar to a high-quality electrical switch. None of the prototype units have shown any sign of wobbling under recoil, so far.

  14. avatar crzapy says:

    I like it.

    I hate Suppressor height sights if you don’t have a can attached.

    For $150 a pop I would get some.

    Looking forward to the review.

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