1911 Front Sights

Stake on

1911 front sights can be broken into two types Stake in, and Dovetail.

Stake in

Lets start with the stake in sights. Most 1911 fans have seen these at one time or another. This type of sight is standard on GI models as well as a lot of Colt and Springfield models.  It was also the the original front sight on the platform. Pro and Con time.


1911 GI’s are very affordable for many reasons the stake on front sight is one.

In truth all the pro’s and Con’s are from an installation stand point and Stake in is just as usable as Dove tails.


Most gunsmiths don’t like dealing with stake in because of the time they take.

There are a few different dimensions from model and manufacture.

Depending on who the sight manufacturer is it might need special tools.

Stake in have a tendency to come loose and wobble.


Dovetail is what most of the market is using these day’s. Install wise they only require a punch and mallet, so there are a bit easier to install. If you were to ask me what kind of front sight i prefer this would be it, i have just never been a fan of stake in.


Adjustable, this minimizes the risk of a manufacturer defect in sight placement.

Verity, as this is the most common installation method, so these sights come in every shape, size, color and creed.


Adjustable, being that the sight is adjustable everyone thinks that the gun not hitting where they are aiming is the sight being off. Harsh reality time, most of the time is the shooter not the sights. please stop trying to hit your site over with your pocket knife.

For 1911 sights click the Brownells logo below

Dove Tail

1911 Rear Sights

Fixed Rear sights

There are a few styles of rear sights so we are going to focus on two aspects of the 1911 Rear sight. Fixed and adjustable.

These are pretty easy, it comes down to “everyday or target”. Im aware there are many additional things but those are for another time addressing a more specialized group of people.

Fixed Rear Sight

Most fixed rear sights are designed with the everyday use in mind, meaning that they usually have there corners rounded to be snag free and have a lower profile.


Install and forget, once they are installed you really don’t need to worry about them.

Carry, being low profile and snag free they are preferable for carrying.


Center Hold, most fixed rear sights are set up for a center hold sighting method. meaning your covering your intended impact area with your front sight.

Adjustable Rear Sight

Adjustable rear sights, are just that adjustable and more suited to target shooting or competitive shooting.


The ability to change different variables allowing you to tailor your sight picture.


Large, sharp edges that do not lend well to carrying.

For 1911 sights click the Brownells logo below

Adjustable Rear sights


In conclusion, when it comes to front and rear sight options its all a matter of personal preference and use. The competitive shooter that may shoot USPSA non optics divisions may prefer a solid front sight with adjustable rear, or may opt for a fiber optic front sight and adjustable rear. Some one that is more interested in Concealed carry will probably opt for the Tritium infused fixed night sights. There is no right answer to the “whats the best” question.