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Thread: Williams Firesights vs. Hi Viz on PT145 MilPro and PT640

  1. #1
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    Williams Firesights vs. Hi Viz on PT145 MilPro and PT640

    About two months ago, I purchased two pairs of Williams Adjustable Firesights #70969 from Brownell's. I installed a set on both my PT 145 MIL PRO (stainless) and my PT 640 PRO (blued).

    After I installed them, I took both pistols to the range (outdoor, covered firing points) to sight them in. I found that with the front Williams Firesight was so high that I had to adjust the rear sight very high. Once sighted in, the adjustable Williams Firesights were a pleasure to use as they were very bright and very visible.

    Other shooters at the range admired the Firesights, and also commented on their excellent visibility. I let several other shooters try both the PT640 and the PT145 with the Firesights, and the response was unanimously positive, with some of the other shooters saying that they also wanted to purchase a set.

    On several subsequent range trips, on dank cloudy days and bright sunny days, the sights functioned well and maintained their excellent visibility.

    As I continued to use the Williams Firesights, I became more aware of a shortcoming in their design, explicitly in the front Firesight. When carried in a case, the PT's had no problems, but when holstered in my Fobus, Remora, or Taurus 24/7 holster, the height of the front Firesight caused it to scratch and drag in the holsters, it was almost impossible to insert the PT's into the Taurus 24/7 holster, as the front sight would catch in the sight channel. Since the rear sight had to be elevated so high in order to line it up with the front sight, it would sometimes catch or snag on my shirt or on the holster when worn. Also sitting up so high, it appeared that the rear sight could be potentially damaged.

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    I had previously seen the HiViz front fiber optic sight ("Lightpipe"), which is a direct competitor to the Williams Firesights. When in another forum here on TA a PT 145 MilPro owner displayed the difference in height between the Williams and HiViz front sights, I decided that I would have to try them. I found that the green HiViz front sight for the 24/7 and MilPro dovetail series was in stock at Midway (the red sight was out of stock), and I had a "$10 off $50" Midway coupon, I decided to purchase two of the #TR2009 Handgun Sights with the green lightpipe. As is typical for Midway, they were delivered very promptly.


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    HiViz recommends gunsmith installation for the Taurus sights, but I have installed a lot of sights in my day, so I decided to do it myself. Removing the front Williams Firesight with a .05" Allen wrench was easy, but the HiViz is a friction fit. Unlike the Williams front sight, it took a few minutes with a flat file on the bottom of the HiViz sight base to get it to somewhat fit, and a few light taps with a plastic hammer and plastic push rod (being extremely careful to ONLY push on the base - NOT the lightpipe) to force it tightly in place.

    While UPS only delivered the Midway package tonight at dinnertime, I have not yet had the opportunity to try the HiViz sights at the range, but I can tell you that in the house, the front HiViz sight is very bright, possibly only slightly less than the Firesight, but still very bright. With the adjustable Williams Firesight rear sight (red fiber optic), and the green HiViz front sight, the sight picture is excellent. I will still have to go to the range to sight in both pistols now that the sight geometry has changed, and the new front HiViz is only half the height of the front Firesight. With nothing concrete to go by, I cranked down the adjustable rear sight about half way, as it will obviously not need to be as high with the lower front sight. I also found that with the lower HiViz front sights, both pistols now fit all three holsters perfectly.

    Weather permitting, I plan on going to the range this weekend and sight in these puppies.

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  2. #2
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    Looks like a nice solution!

    Have you got a micrometer you could measure the original front sight from top of barrel to top of sight and do the same for the other two Reason I ask is I hate the POI with the Straight Eight and am looking to just install a new lower front site.
    WisconsinKen

    Now living in the semi-communist state of Illinois.

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    We have the WFS on my wife's PT111 and will have to keep an eye on this issue. It is her carry gun. I was thrilled about the sight picture presented by the WFS as they are extremely easy to pick up.

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    On my PT with the same setup I cranked the rear William's sight all the way down...indexes perfectly with 185gr XTP's at 15 yards, 2 inches high with 200gr SWC's, and about 6 inches high with 230gr hardball ammo, all at 15 yards. In an attempt to zero the 230gr's a little better, I took apart the William's rear sight and machined down the bottom of the sight to get it to set lower on the slide. Using the calculations that dbeardslee uses, I think the 200gr bullets will be zeroed, need to go a little more to get the 230gr zeroed. Unfortunately, the only way I can do that is to mill the slide, which I'm not sure I want to do. I milled the sight as much as I can, the windage adjustment screw prevents me from taking off any more material....

    Mike

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    The sight combo on my PT145 MilPro SS:

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    Williams red adjustable Firesight in the rear, HiViz Lightube green sight in the front.

    Now fits my Fobus SP11B, DeSantis Tuck This II, and Taurus (ITC) 24/7 holster perfectly with the lower HiViz front sight; this also allowed me to dramatically lower the rear sight as well.
    joker1.8t and jwc007 like this.
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    Let us know how your range time pans out.
    " The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

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    I have the Williams original and they are spot on. Stop light in back Go in front.
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    UPDATE 3/13/12 on HiViz front sight

    I finally had some range time today to try out my hybrid combo of Williams rear adjustable Firesights and the front HiViz sight.

    On the PT145MilPro, the combination worked great with others at the range commenting on the excellent visibility of the sights.

    Much the same happened with the PT 640 Pro, EXCEPT I could not seem to get the windage correct to stay on target.
    I found that the front HiViz sight was loose and drifting to the right while firing 165gr and 180gr .40 S&W factory loads!
    The sight appeared tight before I went to the range, as it took a LOT of fitting and tapping (light hammering) with a plastic hammer during the install to get it centered in the dovetail, but this afternoon it was totally loose!

    After a thorough post-firing cleaning, I will degrease the dovetail and sight base and try a little Loctite (Blue) to see if that holds it securely.
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  9. #9
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    So it zeroed ok with the HiViz front sight? What distance were you shooting at? Bullet weight? I've been shooting my PT145 with this combo for a couple of months now, I agree with you, the visibility is excellent.

    Mike
    Last edited by ooben; 03-14-2012 at 10:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ooben View Post
    So it zeroed ok with the HiViz front sight? What distance were you shooting at? Bullet weight? I've been shooting my PT145 with this combo for a couple of months now, I agree with you, the visibility is excellent.

    Mike
    I was firing the PT145 MilPro using Freedom Munitions "REMAN" (reloaded) 230gr FMJ at 7 yds, 15 yds, and 25 yds. When I was getting consistent tight groups, many in one ragged hole in the 10 ring, I stopped fiddling with the adjustable sight.

    The PT640Pro with the loose HiViz front sight was shooting the Federal Valuepack 180gr FN-FMJ, at the same ranges as the PT145.

    I posted a range report of the Freedom Munitions reloads here at:
    RANGE REPORT: FREEDOM MUNITIONS .45 RELOADS WITH SR1911 and PT145 MIL PRO
    See post #1
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