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Hey Folks, I am now in my late 60’s and there are a lot of physical things that come with age. The worst, to me anyway, is fading eyesight. I love my time at the range and had a special set of bi-focal glasses made up just for shooting handguns.

With the glasses, I can shoot quite well but if I ever really need my guns for self or family defense. I very well may not have any glasses on at all and this is my big issue. My stainless steel PPK/s is the perfect handgun for me with glasses. Without glasses, the small silver colored sights are not visible.

I am planning on installing an XS Big Dot system on a second slide I picked up that I would machine the dovetails and mount the sights.

Are there any folks out there that have put a Big Dot on a PPK? If you have, please let me know how it is working for you.
 

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I have used the XS sights on three of my Glocks. They are fine for close shooting - when you don’t really need sights - but at any distance the front sight obscures too much target and the shallow rear is difficult to center on.

Since you have a spare slide ... experiment if you must, but if you want to actually aim your pistol and hit something, then I’d recommend fiber optic and a spare set of glasses!
 

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I feel your pain and I thought the stainless slide would be easier to pick up the front sight than the blued slide like I have but I guess the grass isn't always greener.

XS has 2 versions a small and a large front dot, I'd imagine the larger one would be a bit much for the PPK.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

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I had XS Big Dots on a used Glock that I had bought with it and had found no advantage using them. I had also shot my G19 without any sights and had no problem hitting the standard nine inch paper plate at 7 yards in rapid fire. I would recommend to just practice shooting without sights with a cheap airsoft gun until one can hit a paper plate at 30 feet or use a shot gun.

The good news is that presbyopia is not getting worse when one is about 65 years old.
 

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I have the XS Big Dot sights on a Glock and I'm afraid you won't see much, if any, improvement over the stock sights on your PPK.

Since the guns I have I use for CCW I have resolved myself to the fact that age and eyesight have changed how I shoot and I now practice center of mass shooting without using the sights at 15 yds., and closer. I've found that I now shoot groups that I can cover with my hand, which I feel is acceptable and I now leave the tack shooting to the younger shooters.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info Folks

I picked up a 3" barrel S&W J frame with Fiber Optic sights a few years ago. I don't shoot the FO sights very well. Maybe even less than the PPK stainless sights.

Starting to have a bit more time during the week to go shooting at the range. I'll do some "No Glasses" practice and see how well I can hit at reasonable distances.

Having a second slide and a machine shop gives me the ability to try a few things. Thinking also of removing the rear sight and see how that flies with no glasses. Might be enough.
 

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While already capable of delivering tremendous accuracy, I think a big dot would greatly improve the PPK at the close range it was intended for as a detective's pistol. (Yes, it would certainly detract from the PPK's classic looks.) Since you have an extra slide, go for it. (Alternatively, you could first try just painting the entire front sight, on your extra slide, the color that best suits your vision.)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Too much rain today so Saturday is my next range trip.

Going to see if I can hit anything without glasses. Should be interesting.

Then I want see how my spare slide functions on the gun. I found a full set of parts for a PPK/s that looks like it is a full gun with only the frame alone missing. Pins, springs, trigger, and all the internal parts. The slide is a complete Interarms with all the guts. I have a S&W PPK/s gun. On the bench the slide drops right on and seems to function as smoothly as the original. I'll see how it functions with ammo.

Either way, I will be milling off the front sight and milling a dovetail to mount a Big Dot. If I don't like it I'll get or make a standard black front and rear sight. The dovetails will be already in the slide just need to fit sights I feel comfortable using.
 

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I can barely see the sights on any of my PPKs. Good thing is that I don't mind a 12" group. I just love shooting them.
 

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You won't be able to turn back the clock with your vision. Prescription lenses or a clip-on pinhole may help for pure target work. So can an optic sight.

I have found I can see standard Glock 'ball in the box' sights well, and the night sights on the P365 work too. Fiber optic fronts help.
Try to be satisfied with a less-than-perfect flash sight picture for defensive work at, say, 21' If you can stay center mass (especially on a B29 half-scale silhouette), be more than satisfied.
If you cut your teeth on bullseye, defensive shooting is different.

Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Went to the range yesterday to practice with the PPK in a couple of scenarios.

I had a set of bi-focal glasses made with the lower, which is normally reading lens, focal at the best focus for seeing the front sight on a handgun. Had the split to the magnification high enough that I don't have to tip my head back to see correctly. The front sight is crystal clear and the target is a bit fuzzy AND my head is straight. To see the target I just tip my head forward a bit to see over the split for magnification.

With glasses. Defensive practice of raising the gun from the bench rapidly and firing 2 shots. Putting it down and doing it again and again. Shots were quick, felt good and center mass. I also practiced with my normal progressive bi-focal glasses. Shot well just needed to tip my head back for focus.

Without glasses the stainless gun was essentially a grey blob. Same routine as before. The hits all over the place. I am not looking to keep all shots in the 10 ring. Just looking for something that contrasts the grey to pick up as an aiming aid.

Practice was at 7 yards. Which is room distance and a likely time that I might not have glasses on. I don't really practice defensive shooting at 25 yards. I think it would be difficult to explain to a cop why I was in fear of my life from someone 75 feet away.

I'll be installing the Big Dot on the spare slide in a few of weeks. A bit too busy to break into a machine right now.

I'll be back once I get it installed.

Thanks again for the insights
 

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I wear full frame readers with enough correction for the front sight. +1.25 or +1.50 usually does the job. The target is not too much out of focus. You can get them pretty cheap at Costco
 

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Larry, you haven't said how old you are, but I'm guessing not the Class of '19. Have you dealt with cataracts yet? Things may well be better once you do.
I have (it's my daughter's currently) a .22 Centennial with a Big Dot, and found it some help in our badly lighted range. What were your plans for the rear sight; the notch will be too small.
Nice to have the extra slide.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey Moon

I'll be 67 in 2 weeks. As a mater of fact, Class of '70.:) I did cataracts on both eyes a couple of years ago.

In my world I need to be able to focus on small parts up close so I had the generic long distance focus lens installed. :)

I wear progressive bifocals which gives me the ability to focus at almost any distance. And I am very used to wearing glasses most of the time since about 45 years old.

The Big Dot set I bought has a Black rear sight that I can replace the stock rear by just pushing it out. Guessing that the rear looks high enough that the gun will shoot high with the Big Dot. We shall see. May be a good thing.

I just need something that contrasts with the grey blob I see without my glasses. I solved that issue with my current bedside S&W M60 3" with a set of CT laser grips. Ideal in pitch black. They want more than I paid for the gun for a PPK/S set of laser grips.

Tested out the spare slide also on Saturday. Had a few rounds that didn't fully seat in the chamber. Once I looked closely. I saw some raised dents on the bolt face around the firing pin hole. I think that was the issue. Other than that it ran mostly just fine. I'll smooth them out before I go again.

It is an Interarms slide on a S&W frame. I think you guys call is a FrankenGun. :)
 

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Excellent Choice ! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the pictures J Madera :)

These show the Big Dot setup I have to put on my PPK. I am and always have been a fan of the PPK. Not a purist I guess because I love the extended tang that many do not. It saves my chubby hands from hammer bite.

The pictures show, at least to me, that a PPK will look great with the Big Dot. And I am hoping it will be an aid in carrying mine as my EDC weapon.

OldRogue, I am hoping that the bionic eyes I now have after cataract surgery will stay fixed and don't continue to fade.

Looking to get the slide done as soon as my guys do all their vacations this summer. And will report back with my findings.
 

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Larry, I'm Class of '70 as well, but from college... :)
Been fighting the same battle for some time, and contrasting sights are a help. Keep us posted.
Moon
ETA-XS also makes a 'skunk stripe' front sight for ARs, which is a real help for older eyes and rapid sight acquisition; simply replaces the factory front. They also make a 'same height' rear sight, which gives you a choice of aperture sight size.
M
 
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