Iron sight adjustment made easy

The front sight dovetail is fine tuned with a 60 degree safe edge file. The sight is drifted in with a brass punch from right to left. Note: the sight has an arrow on the bottom indicating a taper.

If you’e ever struggled to adjust your iron sights, you’ve probably wondered if there was a better way.  There is.  A simple formula eliminates guess work and allows shooters to make precise adjustments of iron sights.


Amount of error X Sight radius
= Sight correction needed
Distance to target

A few notes on using this formula.  The units need to be the same.  For most of our readers, this would be inches.  Mixing units, such as inches and yards, will not work.  The “amount of error” refers to the distance between the point of impact and point of aim.  The “sight radius” is the distance from the rear sight to the front sight.  The “distance to target” is the distance to the target.

Using this simple formula, you can easily adjust your sights.  You can bring your target home and make fine adjustments at a later time.  

Remember- move the rear sight in the same direction you want the point of impact to move, and the front sight in the opposite direction.

A good set of dial calipers and a brass or nylon punch will help on most jobs.

To make things easy, Brownells offers an online sight calculator which can be found here.