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From: (John Bercovitz)
Subject: Idea: pistol sight
Organization: Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, California

Like everyone else, I've had a few gun-related ideas over the years
which I haven't gotten around to effecting and may never, life being
finite. 8-) It seems to me that this might be a good place to post
some of these long-lost ideas as they recur.  I would warn you that
I've never done a patent search on them so they may not be legally
original.  If you use one of these ideas, I'd only ask to hear how
well it works (and if it doesn't work well, don't tell me).

Back when I used to hunt, I noticed that the patridge sight arrangement
wasn't the ideal in every situation.  As you know, the principle of
this sight is that a little light leaks through on either side of the
front post so that you can see where the front post is relative to the
rear notch.  Sometimes when I was hunting, I'd be in the light and the
target would be in a darker area, and the way it worked out, the target
and sights both had the same brightness so I couldn't tell if the sights
were lined up or not.  It occurred to me that the principle of the sight
is contrast so you don't want to depend on the light level of the target;
you want to have sight contrast built into the sights.  That way only
one light level is involved, the light level at the sights.

I propose that a good hunting front sight would be a black vertical
stripe between two vertical white stripes.  If the white stripes are
ramped, they will catch the sky's light.  I envision the configuration
sketched below:

Direction of          ____________
shooter's view       / / \         \
   --->             / /   \         \
                  1/ /2    \3      4 \  front sight
                  / /       \         \
                 / /         \         \
                    barrel                |   muzzle

                 Side View

                 12 3   3 21
                 || |   | ||
                 || |   | ||
                 || |   | ||  sight
                 || |   | ||
                 || |   | ||
                /           \
               /             \
              |     barrel    |
              |               |
               \             /
                \           /

          Shooter's view plus barrel

I've labeled the corresponding lines so you can see where they are in
both views.  The space in the lower view from line 3 to line 3 is undercut
and painted flat black for maximum light absorbtion.  The two spaces from
lines 2 to lines 3 are slanted as is a normal ramp in order to pick up
light from the sky.  These spaces are painted white.  The spaces from
lines 1 to lines 2 are also ramps, parallel to the white-painted ramps
but closer to the shooter, and they are there to protect the white paint
in spaces 2-3.  The slants of the slopes are a little steeper than intended,
but that's ASCII sketching for you.

John Bercovitz     (

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