Browning 1911-22 fiber optic sights are way off

Discussion in 'Browning 1911-22 Handgun' started by ShooterGranny, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. I was going to order the Black Label Medallion with the 3 dot sights, but "the guys" at the gun store talked me into ordering the gray slide model with the fiber optic sights, at a high price.

    The sights are OFF, big time. At first the gun was shooting around 3" high and 3" to the right at 7 yards. My husband was able, with great difficulty, to move the rear sight so it now shoots center, but still 3" high at 7 yards. I've tried 7 different kinds of ammo and no difference in that height problem. Some brands of ammo do produce much tighter groups, of course. I've shot it front a bench rest and standing in my normal shooting position with the exact same results. At 25 yards it shoots at least 12" high.

    FIVE phone calls to Browning. One to customer service got a guy who knows nothing about the gun but told me to call their parts/service department which I had tried twice already with only a busy signal. He said they were in a quarterly meeting so wait an hour. No difference at all.

    Wound up going to the store where I bought the gun. The guy there was totally stumped as to what can be done, and he also tried to phone Browning 3 times while I was there. Either you get a "sorry, we are having problems with our phones" or a busy signal.

    I also sent an email to Browning customer service through their web site and did not even receive an automated "we received your email" response. It is like nobody lives there!!!!

    I do not feel I should spend $50 to FedEx overnight an almost brand new over $600 gun back to Browning with other manufacturers happily send you a prepaid return label for guns which cost way less.

    I would replace the sights at my own expense if there were any made for this gun but there do not seem to be any AND the front sight is pinned and not replaceable by the owner. I am not going to pay a gunsmith $250 to remove the factory sights and drill into the slide to install a new set.

    Can anyone - anyone at all - give me any help or advice on what to do to get hold of Browning....or what I can do myself to make this gun usable?
  2. Over a week since I sent the email to Browning Customer Service and I had given up hope. However, I was pleasantly surprised today when I received an email from Browning with a return label and the form to fill out. It took me a while to do the writeup and get the target pictures printed that I wanted to include, and the box wasn't ready until after the UPS truck had already been for the day's pickup at our local "on its way" UPS place.

    Tomorrow is Thursday. Since it is 2nd day air I'm waiting until Monday to take it and drop it off at the shipping store so it doesn't get stuck in transit over the weekend. I have HOPES that Browning will fix either the front or rear sight for me! I might take a few weeks but I wanted to update my above negative comment. The email reply was very slow but it did come!

    I will update in however long it takes to find out if they are actually going to fix it or just charge me $30 for inspecting the gun and returning it.....which they specify they will do on their form that you fill out when you return a gun.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  3. cavelamb

    cavelamb .22LR

    Have you tried a 6 o'clock hold on the target?
  4. Of course I tried a 6:00 hold. Shooting both from a bench rest and from standing, two handed. I was mostly shooting from 7 yards but other distances from 4 yards out to 25 yards. At 7 yards, even a 6:00 hold (unnatural for me!) the groups of 5 or groups of 10 shots were centered at 1 to 2" ABOVE the 1 1/2" black bullseye. At 25 yards it shot 12" high. This is not a bullseye target pistol. It is a 1911. I expect it to perform like a regular 1911, like my other guns, with the hole being where I line up the top of the sights.

    Comparing this Browning to my Ruger Mark IV Lite, the Lite shoots to point of aim OR as I get tired, my groups wander downward which is shooter induced, not gun induced. I have the same target groups with my SIG P238's and slightly smaller (more accurate) groups but same centered to POA with my Glock 42. And yes, some brands of ammo produce tighter groups, but all are too high with this Browning.

    With the Browning, NO WAY are any of my groups lower - all higher and higher!

    I looked up sight adjustment formulas on line and if the rear sight was 1.5m lower this gun would shoot to POA.
  5. 10-7 leo

    10-7 leo Copper BB

    I had the same issue with mine. The only solution was to lower the rear sight height. I used a stone, but a fine metal file will work also.

    Work carefully so the top of the sight stays flat and level. You can check these placing something that is sturdy and flat across the ears. Looking through the rear sight at a light colored, bright background, align your front sight just below the flat object you set on top of the ears. You will be able to see if the sight is off and you can adjust your filing process.

    If you have a place to shoot where you can also work on the sight, it is much easier. You will want to remove some metal then shoot a few rounds to see where you are. With the amount of metal that needs to be removed, it will take some time.

    I tried three different brands of ammo with mine. The center of my groups were 3", 5.5" and 6.5" high at 25 yards. I decided to adjust my sight so the ammo that was shooting 3" high would be POA/ POI at 25 yards.
  6. Just read your reply. The gun has fiber optic sights with VERY thin layer of plastic above the fiber tube. no way possible to file down those sights. I did send the gun back to Browning and they "recalibrated the barrel" whatever that means and it now shoots to point of aim (when I aim properly!).
  7. 10-7 leo

    10-7 leo Copper BB

    My error, I thought only the front sight was fiber optic. My sights are three dot, solid sights.

    I'm glad yours was repaired, they basically said they couldn't help me.
  8. I couldn't get through to them on the phone so I sent a rather firmly worded email to them through their web site and that is what got me the return label. ALSO when I sent the gun in I sent a detailed write up with several target pictures of different ammo and where the POA was compared to where the holes wound up.

    The issue I specified was the shooting 3" high. My husband had already moved the rear sight way to the left to get the shots centered. The gun came back with a target with 6 holes in it, grouped around center. Their test shooter in't any more accurate than I am! They did not move the rear sight back to center or do anything about that issue, mostly because I had "fixed it" at home. Looks dorky but it shoots OK with the rear sight so far to the left.

    I what you did with filing down the rear sight did not actually fix the problem, I suggest you try contacting them again.

    A gun should NOT shoot high like these are doing! But occasionally some do. I had a SIG P250 in .380 (briefly) and it also shot high and to the right. SIG was totally unhelpful and I got rid of that one as soon as I found something else to trade for. Even if the gun could have been fixed to shoot POA, the trigger pull was so long and horrendous that I wouldn't have kept the gun in any case.

    When you have no access to renting guns you "think" you want -- This buying and trading stuff gets expensive.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  9. 10-7 leo

    10-7 leo Copper BB

    Thanks for the info! I'll have to give them another call.
  10. My .380 shoots exactly 3" high also. Pretty much centered but 3" high. Doesn't matter if I shot it offhand or off a rest. Same result with other shooters trying it.

    There is NO aftermarket support for these pistols in terms of Springs, Sights or Magazines. So no taller front sight for me to install and I'm not sending it back to Browning.

    Attached Files:

  11. milquetoast599

    milquetoast599 Copper BB

    Mine also shoots high.
    I had a Smith & Wesson/Walther .22, and it came with 3 different height sights, easily interchangeable, so it was easy to get the gun to shoot to point of aim. You would think that for 3 or 4 times the price, Browning could offer that feature.
    That gun also was threaded for a suppressor, and did not spray trash in my face when I shot it, like the Browning does.
    (Before you ask -- why did I replace that gun? Because I wanted my grandson to learn the manual of arms of the 1911. His hands are still too small to operate the thumb safety on a full-size 1911 frame. I got that feature, but at a high cost in dollars and shootability.)
  12. I just came home from our outdoor range where I was practicing shooting strong hand from the hip, because that is stage one of the monthly PPC shoot in our Wed. shooters group. Up close and personal (3 to 4 feet), the paper target was covered with minuscule dings. Not marks: Actual dings! And at all of the distances I shot, and both of the target heights, I kept getting little HOT pings on my throat! I checked in a mirror afterwards and saw tiny red dots on my throat.

    I was wearing a boy's tee shirt to shoot (smaller neck opening and higher around the base of the neck). In cooler weather I wear a turtle neck. I suppose it would be "better" to have little tiny burn specks on the fabric of my turtle neck tops. Maybe.

    I will NOT shoot this Browning 1911-22 "from the hip" - they can penalize me points if they wish for the PPC shoots, but I can only shoot it safely with arm extended - either one handed or two handed.

    I have not taken my other brands of .22 pistols out to practice one handed, from the hip, shooting, so not sure if they would all do that or not. I was using Aguila Super Extra ammo because I have a full case of it to use up and my Ruger Mark IV will NOT shoot the Aguila, so I have to use it all up in my Browning and my S&W M&P .22 compact.

    It is a total shame that this gun had had so many problems, with the barrel being so far off and having to move the rear sight all the way to one side to get centered shots. Now this splatter (most probably un-burned or partially burned powder) problem! Combine this with the total lack of after market parts and the idea I BRIEFLY had of buying a Browning 1911-380 got squelched flat!

Share This Page