View Full Version : Novak, Heinie, or Ashley?

03-23-2004, 03:32 PM
Folks- I'm going to replace the 10 year old Trijicons on my Glock 23 soon, and I have decided (after shooting a friend's stock Kahr) to go with a bar/dot or double dot setup. They're a LOT easier for me to hit with quickly than three dots. I've narrowed it down to Heinie "Straight Eights", Ashley Big Dot 24/7, and Novak Bar-Dot. I'll be adding a Kahr for summer carry soon, and doing the same setup on it for consistency. Has anyone used any/all of the above? Speed of sight picture/durability are my two concerns.

I'm especially curious for feedback on the Novak's- I haven't met a single person using them.

Thanks much.

03-23-2004, 04:26 PM
I can't comment on the Novak sights, as I've never used them, but between the Heinie straight eight and the Ashley big dot sights, I would go with Ashley for speed of sight acquisition in both daylight and low-light conditions. I am in fact thinking of painting the black portion of my Heinie's front sight bright red or orange to bring it up to par with the Ashley. Its very difficult to miss that big white dot on the Ashley's front sight. YMMV.

I can't comment on durability either as I've only had both sets of sights for about a year.

03-23-2004, 04:54 PM
I use the Novak Bar-dot on my 1911. I love them. They work great in low light and don't show during the day. I blacked out the white area around the front so it is only visable at night. I prefer black sights in the light. The white dots distract my eye.
In low light I like the dot over the bar better than 3 dots but that would just be a person preference. I have the adjustable rear low mount and it works great.

Dave T
03-24-2004, 08:12 AM
I blame my prejudice for EX Sight Systems (formerly Ashley Outdoors) on my middle aged eyesight. None the less, if speed of acquisition and durability are your concerns I would highly recommend the 24/7 express sights. I have them on most of my serious (self-defense) handguns.

03-24-2004, 08:25 AM
I really have a preference for the Heinie sights. I have had Novaks on various S&W guns, and currently on my S&W 1911. I vastly prefer the Heinie's, and will eventually put them on all my 1911's.

That being said, I have no experiance with the 'Big Dots'.
Those of you who THINK you know everything are very annoying to those who DO.

03-27-2004, 08:24 AM
Havent' tried the Novak.

I've had the Ashley Outdoors Big Dot Express Tritium (front only, the 24/7 came out a few months after) on my G30 for three years. Daily carry piece. I like them, they're fast as hell, accurate enough for the intended purpose (close range defense) and for 20+ yard shooting, you acquire a normal sight picture and use the top of the dot as the aiming point, so with a little practice 25 or 30 yard shots aren't too hard.

I put a magazine full through a 1911 (STI Infinity) that had Straight Eights with the rear slot slightly opened up, and they're fast, though I prefer the Big Dot. Easier to see in a hurry, and the wide vee rear I prefer for getting the proper sight alignment quickly. Try both if you can.

Paul Gomez
03-29-2004, 08:46 AM
I've used all three over the years. Nowadays, I run XS sights on everything. The reason you don't see as many guys running Novaks as you used to [in my opinion], is they suck when it comes to doing one-hand gun manipulations. Both the Heinies and the XS sights give you a nice straight rear face to catch on belts, holsters, tables, etc to allow you to run the slide one-handed if need be. The Novak is so streamlined, it is suboptimal for that use. For a long time, Novaks were the hot ticket. They looked cool. But once people actually began training with them, they lost a lot of appeal. If you have to have a conventional notch & post sight set-up, go with Hienies. If you're open to something a little different, express sights kick butt.

04-02-2004, 05:59 AM
I had experience with both the Ashleys Big Dot tritium and Heinie's Straight Eights. My choice between the two would be the Big Dots, hands down. Hard to miss that front sight even during dynamic movements. A lot of its detractors claim loss of accuracy beyond x number of yards, but that wasn't the case for me. Once the correct sight alignment is understood, it's no trick to hit poppers 25 yards away.

04-20-2004, 04:49 PM
What Paul Gomez said!! As soon as I read your post the very first thing I thought of was one handed immediate action drills. With the Novaks you are basically screwed. That right there eliminates them for use on an open carried duty weapon for me. Now for a small concealed weapon like the Kahr maybe for the streamlined no-snag concealed carry aspect I'd consider them but if you have XS Big Dot sights on your primary pistol it just makes good sense to have themm on your backup/off-duty pistol also.

04-20-2004, 05:39 PM
I blame my prejudice for EX Sight Systems (formerly Ashley Outdoors) on my middle aged eyesight. None the less, if speed of acquisition and durability are your concerns I would highly recommend the 24/7 express sights. I have them on most of my serious (self-defense) handguns.


Like you I went to ashley big dots because of middle aged eyes. Don't really know if they would be my choice if I had good sight focus, but as others have mentioned even for young eyes there are advantages.

04-21-2004, 07:43 AM
I would definitely have to recommend against the Novak sight for the already-mentioned reason that you simply cannot use them to rack the slide.

I did get to try the XS sights while at Gabe's class and was really impressed with how that front sight seemed to jump out at me. I mean, daggum, it was right there before I knew it! I would definitely like to work with these sights more.

Personally, I'm trying to find someone that can build me a sight to fit the Novak adjustable cut in my Colt's slide. If I can, it will be modeled after the Heinie (good lines, very attractive) or the XS rear.

04-21-2004, 12:24 PM
David DiFabio,

Do you feel you give up much with the Ashley's in terms of long range shooting ability or the ability to make a precise shot or shoot a tight group for comparing different loads of ammo?