There are many varieties out there made of different materials including polymer, aluminum, steel, some with matching front sites that include dots, brass, luminescent (glow in the dark). All have their pros and cons and the right sights for the right weapon boil down to intended purpose, type of carry method and shooters style. In looking for a good EDC set of sights I came across the I.C.E. Claw EMS rear sight from I.C.E. Training.
Developed by Rob Pincus from I.C.E. Training and Combat Focus Shooting, this sight is an optimal replacement for factory rear sights on your Glock, M&P or XD pistols (recent addition.) It is made of all metal construction with appeal aesthetically and functionally. I tested the M&P model which differs a little in style due to the positioning of the dovetail placement on the Smith & Wesson versus the Glock or Springfield, but in no way seems to alter its ability to help me put rounds on target fast, or bite into material.
Biting into material… I never thought those words would be in the same article as a pistol sight review, but there it is. This sight was specifically designed to do two things.
Get the front sight into a good firing position as soon as possible and repeat as fast as possible.
In case of injury, restraint or any other reason you can think of, assist in one handed manipulations of the firearm.
The EMS sight has a widened rear notch allowing you to find and line up your first shot much quicker than most aftermarket sights I have tried and especially factory sights. This widened notch also helps you get faster follow up shot accuracy the same way you got the first one. Wider means, more space to find that front sight and line it up. Inside of 18’ I am literally a quarter second (shot timer) faster accurately. at 20 meters I can get an 80% hit accuracy at about the same speed as factory sights. Outside that distance though, fundamentals and proficiency of the shooter need to be far better than mine as there is just too much gap for me to be effective. To be fair, this is not uncommon for most pistol sights for the common shooter, and where attentiveness to the fundamentals and the execution of them matter most regardless.
Take a pistol course or two where you are asked to do anything with one hand, or even worse, your support hand only. Normally simple tasks like racking the slide, locking the slide back or clearing a jam or double feed turn into a nightmare of “what do I do now?!” Simple Tap, Rack, Bang will suddenly make you feel like you are playing musical chairs, the music stopped and you realize you’re seatless. And there’s gunfire.
This sight really stood out to me. I have shot under high stress, and I have tried my hand at being a pistol marksman, and I know what I am proficient with carrying. The reason the Claw stood out to me is for my needs.
Brief side note: I am usually out and about in daylight, therefore negating an undying need for night sights. If I ever found myself in the unfortunate situation where I would have to pull my gun, statistically it will be close, if not VERY close range. Lastly, if I am pulling out my gun, chances are someone already has theirs out which already puts me at a disadvantage making my chances of injury or death even higher. I will side with an extra tenth of a second every day at close range in daylight. I use night sights too, just on different setups. Can you use a Bullseye pistol to defend yourself? Absolutely. If given multiple choices of pistols for different attire, conditions, carry method and reason for shooting, wouldn’t you take it?
My EDC (EveryDay Carry) pistol optimally has a high contrast front site to a flat black rear and the EMS fits the bill. It helps me acquire the target faster at close range and has the added bonus of two little ninja climbing claws built in to aid in a “worst case” scenario. Right tool for the right job. I don’t see this sight as being a “gimmick” or a waste of money. It is well built, a well thought out design and has it’s purpose and usefulness when it’s needed. Even if there was no claw, this is the type of sight I would be looking for.
Now I need to pick another set up for the Shield.