Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 357smallbore, Jun 13, 2020.
Were you able to see your sights?
We were training and video taping the exercises. Everyone who added night sights to their revolver was amazed at how much light was thrown onto their faces and hands.
I have no doubt I could have placed accurate shots on those LEOs.
As I was!
I installed a set of Trijicons (green front, orange rear) on my S&W 3913 around 2004, and they are still bright enough to shoot in the dark with.
The half-life of tritium is 12.3 years, so they should be at about 40% of their original brightness now after 16 years.
I’m planning to put an identical set on my other pistol when I get around to it. They are good sights.
I have put fiber optic front sights on several of my guns. They have been a great improvement for my aging eyes.
I did put night sights on my EDC, but if I were to do it over again, I would go with fiber optics or leave the stock sights on it.
The night sights do help at night, but I am not convinced that it is enough to make them worthwhile..
Spent a few days, dicking around, with Truglo, on a set of sights, with no luck. Then ordered from Trijicon, and had the sights in two days.
Any of my carry handguns have tritium sights. I plan for that as a critical feature for comparison when buying different models. I prefer Meprolight products over trijicon, as they offer a better dot appearance, consistent across all light levels, and they’re brighter.
I strongly favor orange dots in my rear sight with green up front. Green is the brightest tritium color, and the most obvious to the human eye, with orange less brilliant and less received - they’re still apparent, but the lesser rear brightness aids in keeping depth of field in the sights and in ensuring the front sight focus is maintained, and not distracted by over-bright rear dots.
I shoot my guns, so $150-200 on aftermarket sights, if not included in the standard options for the pistol, is a moot point.
One of the features I require when buying a handgun in the first place is an excellent sight picture.
I see no need to change what is already good.
If it's dark enough for night sights, it's too dark for positive identification, and I won't take the shot.
I spend the money I would have spent on nightsights on flashlights and batteries.
Nightsights may help in a combat zone, but I don't shoot at things I can't see and positively identify. It's a good way to shoot your wife or your dog. Nightsights are a hardware "solution" to a training problem. I'll stick with the training answer.
Interesting! I agree, learn how to handle your sidearm and it should point like an extension of your hand.
Night sights are a great invention. Personally, I would only purchase them for your majority EDC. However, it's your money. There is a benefit to having the exact same set of sights on multiple handguns. The sight picture is the same and it does not take your brain the extra transition time to recall that this one has the green front and yellow rear, while your other CCW has the orange front and green rear (for example).
For most CCW holders, night sights are something we hope to never have to actually use. Just like we hope to never actually have to use a CCW. However, there is a point in low light settings where you can see something (a threat for instance), but not be able to discern "blackout" target sights. Sure, everyone should learn point shooting, but NS are a great help in low light situations. If you don't believe me, take your CCW to your dark basement or walk into a dark room with the only light source down the hall. Sure, everyone should have a flashlight, but things happen you may not have it on you sometime.
Which sights? Three dot are the most popular. However, they are not as fast on target as 2 dot sights. This has been known since the 1960's as it takes your brain more time to line up the three horizontally than to center the two vertically. Sure, we are talking about milliseconds, but think about the M9 or old school Sigs that although they are not illuminated, are two dot sights. Or Glock's standard dot in a U, which is kind of three and two at the same time.
In my opinion, the rear illumination is beneficial, but not required. Having an illuminated front sight with luminescent material around it makes it very easy to get on target both day and night. For target style shooting, you are still lining up and centering the top of the night sights. For draw/action shooting, you're looking for that large, fluorescent ring around the tritium vial. For low light, that tritium vial provides a point of reference that non-illuminated sights cannot.
Additionally, some aftermarket rear sights are designed to have the ability to be able to rack the slide on something - a belt, pocket, table edge - something if for whatever reason your support hand cannot. That may be beneficial also.
Last, but most importantly, really - purchase a sight pusher. The ability to adjust sights for specific ammo - and the ability to make minor adjustments when you change to different ammo is incredible. The confidence you can have with a CCW and ammo combo, and knowing that you're adjusted to hold straight on - with no mental adjustments for holding left or right - creates great confidence in placing shots exactly where you want them.
I have fiber-optic front & blind rear sights on several of my guns, this choice is dictated by my middle aged myopic eyesight and the ambient lighting at the range where I usually shoot.
In 1992 I was in police training academy; I had night sights on my personal Glock. Some people without night sights were catching lightning bugs and applying the bugs glowing body part to their front sight. It is possible to see a target but not the front sight, unless the pistol has night sights.
I prefer Trijicon HD and/or Truglo TFO with green front / yellow rear. XS Big Dot 3rd choice.
I've gotten nearsighted with age, my glasses tend to blur the front sight; the Trijicon HD's and TFO are least affected, I can still acquire the front sight with glasses.
Both of these comments are accurate in my experience. Such conditions occur outdoors in rural areas for just a few minutes at late dusk and early morning. They can also occur in urban environments at any time, depending on ambient lighting, shadows, weather, etc. Night sights don't always help, but sometimes they really do.
My carry gun and my principal practice gun both have TFX sights. They are easier to pick up in many conditions where post-and-notch sights are tough to see. The light pipes have been very durable.
I also second the suggestion to buy a sight pusher and to install your own sights. Besides the cost savings, you can make sure that they are installed correctly and securely. I had a rear TFX sight (installed by an LGS employee) come loose on my training gun during a class. That prompted me to buy a good pusher and do this work myself going forward. I've never had a problem with any sights that I installed myself.
Lastly, the best factory sights I have ever seen are on an XDm competition 5.25" in 9mm. This gun has front fiber-optics with a fully-adjustable rear. The front just jumps out at my eye and the rear is sharp and correctly sized. Perfect for a fun, run-n-shoot toy.
I have truglo TFO’s on my g17 and really like them. Anything I may carry would have them if I could. Love the fiber optic during the day and the tritium at dark.
Living on a small farm here in KY, we've done a lot of night shooting on barn pests over the years. Usually possums or raccoons in the horse feed, or chicken enclosures it's a recurring problem each year. My son, on the place adjacent to ours, used a Ruger Single Six with plain sights, the first time but soon switched to his Sig P226 with Sig Tritium sights.
The reason was simple, even with the barn lights on, it was virtually impossible to see black sights or even those with plain white dots in the gloom & shadowed recesses of the stalls. For close up, defensive type work, say in a mugging downtown, you probably don't need the tritium, but if any sort of precision is needed, as in a quick scurrying possum or raccoon, you've gotta see the sights and tritiums are the answer.
A flashlight is fine, I guess if you're doing house clearing as an LEO, but in out situation, and with a lot of practice, we've not had any success with flashlights in the 'crossed wrists' maneuver. Our targets are just too small, & moving too fast! Too, we've had no difficulty identifying the "threat" even in moon light, so that's not really a valid criticism of night sights in all instances. Not all encounters that require shooting, are two-legged threats in our world...YMMv Rod
LGS had several different options in sights for my Gen 3 Glock 19 so it was nice to be able to look at all of my options first. Settled on a set of Trijicons and they seem to work well in low light. As long as it's not too low where I can't see the target well. Under low light I think they are a great improvement. Got a pic of them here but I had trouble getting both the front & rear sight in focus simultaneously. Here's the crummy better than nothing shot of the Glock 19 with Trijicons .......................
I put these sights on my 3 Glocks using the following tools:
Dovetail rear sight pusher
Dawson - Glock front sight tool:
I used some Blue locktite on the front sights as well.
1 of the 3:
I do plan to add a set to my S&W SD9VE:
Generally don't believe in night sights for reasons stated above. Paranoid about shooting a 'friendly' in low light conditions. However made an exception for my SP101 which shoots very low. As said here before, I should've sent it back. Instead I ground the front sight down to where I couldn't see it reliably in good light.
Ended up putting an XS Big Dot in front. The sight picture is goofy, but at least I can find the muzzle. The Big Dot has a Tritium center that, for the most part, gets ignored. Did put a CT laser on that gun, mostly to see how it worked. That doesn't see much use either.
I hate fiber optic sights too.. The the competition shooters or people who put fiber optic sights on their pistols are just wasting money. If it's bright enough outside to identify and see your target, then it's bright enough to see your sights.
My boss tried to change the sites on his Shield. He could not get the old rear site out for the life of him. He finally gave up, brought the slide into work and asked me to take a look at it. I had to very slowly and carefully cut the rear site in half with a hack saw making sure not to mar the slide. I have heard others comment that the rear sites on Shields are extremely tight.
I used a sight pusher to replace the sights on 3 Shields and one M&P 2.0.... I installed the Apex trigger on one of my Shields and the M&P 2.0, so the sights on those two where changed twice. I never had a problem. Were you both using the punch and mallet method. Stupid question, but did he looses the set screw as well?
This isn't quite true...
Those of us who shoot competitions where transition speed makes a difference have different desires than others might. A bright front sight can be a huge benefit. All we have to do in USPSA is get "good enough" A zone hits, and doing that faster because we pick up our front sights faster is a boon. In Steel Challenge we only need to just barely hit the plate! Good enough is good enough, and anytime we can make the "good enough" shots faster we win more.
And you could shoot the neighbor's 12 year old kid, or shoot a cop.
It's a safety rule. It always amazes me how people set aside safety rules as soon as they become inconvenient.
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