PARASEC, THE FUTURE OF GUN SIGHTS. In the past 10 years there has been a large increase of civilian handgun ownership in the USA. Despite the market demand for newer technology in firearms, there has been very little improvement in firearm technology in the past 25 years. Particularly factory sights are very commonly not very user friendly in acquiring accurately the target especially in non-trained individuals. Most of the aftermarket sights offer night visibility or better adjustment compared to the factory installed with minimal or no improvement of the acquisition of the target.
I have had the opportunity to try a new gun sight design that was created by a former US tier 1 operator. I used the sights with my Glock 17. Installing them was very simple and fast. Even before going to the range, I could immediately determine that the speed and ease of acquisition of targets was improved with the new sights. The human eye hand coordination works faster and more precisely when the eyes have to line up lines versus trying to line up a series of 3 dots or a dot in a notch. Barber in 1990 studied short range air defense weapon operators in simulated combat and measured the operator’s basic visual perception abilities. The results showed that the dorsal visual system helps to control detection and acquisition, and the ventral system helps to control detection and identification. This early research helps determining the complexity of the connection between visual pathways, cortical identification of targets as friendly or hostiles, and the final very important engagement of the pyramidal pathway which ultimately let the operator use body muscles to set up the correct stand and execute a precise shot. We need further research in the eye hand coordination field to better understand the best design for weapon sights both for day and night operation. Lining up lines is a much more natural taskfor our visual system and that translate in a more precise motor command to the hand for pulling the trigger. In conclusion, the new gun sights offer a distinct advantage to not only the factory but also most of the aftermarket gun sights.
Sabatino Bianco, MD, FAANS, FACS