Reliability problems with XS Sight Systems 24/7 Express Sights


November 1, 2006, 10:07 AM
Howdy, shooters,

Sorry for the vanity, but I wanted to relate to you RKIs the continual troubles that I’ve experienced with the 24/7 “large dot” Express Sights that I installed on my Sig P229 earlier this year, get your opinions, and also ask what other tritium night-sights you might have to recommend.

Here’s a link to the product in case you’re wondering what exactly I’m describing:

To make a long story short, I have now had three of the rear sights go dead on me; that is, the tritium capsule leaks until it no longer glows. The front sight has been fine the whole while, but three dead rear sights in ten months’ time seems a bit out of control, especially seeing as how these are for a combat pistol. If they can’t stand up being in the safe, I’d hate to see how they perform in the field.

The first set was installed by a pistolsmith, and the rear sight went dark within a month of installation. When I called XS Sight Systems, they were very helpful and immediately sent a replacement, which I myself meticulously installed. This second rear sight went dark after about six months, in which time I probably ran about 500 rounds through the pistol on three separate occasions. So I got another replacement, which I again installed. Now, two months’ later, this one has gone dark too, making it three-for-three. Has anyone else experienced continued problems like this? Are there similar reliability issues with their other offerings, which may indicate a pattern?

It is worthy to mention that when I called for the third set, the guy I spoke to went on and on about how “the Sig P229 has a strange dovetail” and how that made installations difficult, and a couple other caveats, to which I asked “Then why do you sell the things?”, which he didn’t really want to answer. So at this point, confidence is low. A shame, really, because I really like the product itself -- the configuration of these sights works better for me than anything else I’ve tried.

Which leads me to my final question: Can anyone recommend any other night-sights that have a similar configuration? Lacking that, how about any others? Any particular brands you’d recommend? I’d appreciate the input.


Joe B.

P.S.: As an aside, when I got my first set for the Sig I also got a set for my Glock 23. That also had the rear sight go dark on that gun after about eight months, and has since been replaced. Again, not very impressive.

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November 1, 2006, 10:16 AM
Hmmm.... Not to hijack the thread, but your experience makes me wonder where if XS is making their own tritium capsules or getting them elsewhere.

Reason for this speculation is that I have had two Trijicon front sight (1911 & SP101) problems in the last 6 months. My first 1911 sight was DOA and the SP101 sight was extremly dim as received.

While Trijicon replaced both without comment, I'm wondering if there was a bad run.

November 1, 2006, 10:42 AM
I have had the standard dot XS sights on 6 Smith & Wesson .45's and 1 Beretta 8045D, for the past several years. No problems whatsoever. The date markings on them appear to be Trijicon, so I assume they provide the inserts.

November 1, 2006, 11:10 AM
Good people,

I just had this bit of info posted to me where I put this question on another forum, and an interesting issue cropped up that I thought I’d share with y’all. What do you make of the idea that the tritium leaking from my pistol sights is causing a health hazard?

Here’s the posts:

Post #1

companies that use tritium are licensed to do so by the DOE. Leaky vials might be a big issue.

Post #2

Ventilate the area.

The post above about DOE is right. This is a major problem.

XS should be profusely apologizing. Hammer them hard.

Call your State's Health Department (Radiological regulation is usually done through them but it may be your State's EPA) and complain if XS does not give you satisfaction. If the sights were mail order, call DOE. Make sure XS knows this is an option.

November 1, 2006, 11:33 AM
To answer your first question, I've had a set of XS 24-7 sights on a 12ga shotgun for the last 3 or 4 years. They've seen hundreds of rounds of buckshot and full-power slugs (along with thousands of rounds of birdshot), and have not failed. The gun's been abused in several tac shotgun classes, dropped, dinged, ect. I've found the sights very robust - but, of course, that's just my experience with a single example of the product.

I wonder if the vials are not being damaged when you install them in the "strange" P229 dovetail.
November 2, 2006, 01:21 AM
I have Trijicons in my Sig P220 that were factory originals and they work fine. They aren't bright enough to light your way home but I can see them perfectly at night. Sorry to hear you're having so many problems.

November 2, 2006, 11:11 AM
I just got off the phone with Blake at XS Sight Systems, explained my troubles, and he told me that if I send them the slide off my P229, they will have their own gunsmith install a new rear sight. All I have to do is send it to them, and they will take care of the rest. Pretty darned good of them, if I'm any judge!

So off she goes, if not tomorrow, then Monday. I told him if it doesn't work out after this, I won't bug them again, but rather I will just reinstall the factory rear, which I tested this morning with the big tritium dot left on the front, and this "front only illum" arrangement does work well.

Thanks again to everyone for their input.

November 2, 2006, 01:53 PM
Glad to hear that XS is taking care of you. All I can say is that I've run a couple of thousand rounds through my Para C7.45 since I put them on it, and they're still going strong.

I know what you mean when you say you'd like to keep 'em. I've never found anything else to match them for getting a good usable sight picture fast.

kart racer
November 2, 2006, 08:46 PM
My xs sights say trijicon on them and I've had no problems.

November 4, 2006, 03:41 AM
i had an issue, well my dad did with his glock 19 that he sold me and that i own for the time being, with the xs night sites. the post in the rear didn't stay lit, and after a little investigation, it was determined that the gunsmith, tightened down the screws to tight and it busted the tritium or something to that affect. easy fix, my dad called the company and they sent us a new rear sight and he himself instaled them and they have been g2g ever since. i like them, but i prefer the trijicon three dot night sights but that is do to the simple fact that, i prefer 3 dot sights.

November 27, 2006, 06:17 PM
Yo’, Shooters,

I wanted to let you know the final disposition of my troubles with the XS Sights on my Sig P229. To make a long story short, I sent my slide off on 11/7 and got it back on 11/20, all ready to go with a nice writeup letter from the gunsmith, a fellow named Bo Wallace. All in all, it looks much nicer than the job I did $;-), and we'll see how well it holds up after a few hundred rounds at the range; evidently, the G-forces of the slide while firing have something to do with these failures.

By the way, it appears that XS Sight Systems offers this gunsmithing service for about $75 or so. If I had known that, I would have done that from the get-go!

Stay well,

Sir Aardvark
November 28, 2006, 11:18 PM
I myself have the XS 24/7 Big Dot sights on both my SIG 229 and Glock 30 carry pistols.

I have not had any issues with either set of sights - they work great!

I also have a XS Big Dot sight on the front of my Rem 870 - it's still good, too!.

It sounds like XS took care of the problem in a way that was satisfactory for you.

November 28, 2006, 11:24 PM
The vials are made by Trijicon. I've never had any problems with my Big Dots and 24/7's.

November 28, 2006, 11:26 PM
never any problems here with Trijicon...proud, satisfied customer for 20 years...
SiG P220 .45ACP, P226 9MM, P226 357SiG, P228 9MM, P229 357SiG, GLOCK #21, Remington #870/Wilson Tactical Ghost Ring to me P225 will be getting SiG Lite Night Sights...whoever makes those along with a check up and new springs from SiG's service...

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