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Tritium Sights….Necessary on your EDC or not?

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Jeff White, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    I think it's a better demonstration of your lack of understanding the use of a WML. You do not use the WML to search, that's what handheld lights are for. There are techniques that involve using the spill of the light but that's a specific technique and not really germane to the topic. But please don't use a WML until you're properly trained if that's how you would use one!

    So indeed, if you are using a WML against an opponent, blinding that opponent is absolutely a fair game use of your light. My dad always used to tell me that if you're in a fair fight your tactics suck.:rofl:
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  2. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Yeah, uh, I kinda get that... to clarify, I'd like to think I've got a fair understanding of the use of WMLs (you may have missed the part where I mentioned that I'm a law enforcement firearms trainer), as I was a tactical team member and leader for eleven years.

    You continue to make the case that there are probably more cons than pros with regard to WMLs for the private citizen. However, getting back to what I've stated repeatedly in this thread and others, if it works for you, fine, have at it. I don't have a dog in this fight. What I do object to is statements such as the one another member made in a thread here about WMLs where he stated "In my book a weapon mounted light is mandatory for ANY defensive firearm... handgun, rifle, or shotgun..." Right, mandatory. Let's all appoint ourselves "experts" and decree what everyone should own/use/carry on their personal arms.

    You do you, and I'll do me.
     
  3. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    <nodding> Fingernail polish! No worries about degrading the job while cleaning your firearm unless that cleaning involves acetone.

    BTW, I have long used fingernail polish on handgun sights (especially vintage revolvers) but I always start with a base-coat of white so that the color-coat really pops. :)

    ... and several years ago I discovered some flat fingernail polishes, just perfect for sights IMO. ;)
     
  4. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    I do this as well on some of my old revolvers that have only black front sights. It's good to have a wife and daughters who still use fingernail polish; it's great stuff.
     
    RetiredUSNChief and Phaedrus/69 like this.
  5. Roknstevo

    Roknstevo Member

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    No
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  6. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    I can't speak for everyone but I think "mandatory" is being used colloquially, and no one seriously means you're required to have one. While I think they're very useful my EDC pistol doesn't have a WML and the reason highlights the most serious "drawback"- a dearth of holsters designed for them. I have no doubt that Tom Givens is right, in most situations in urban areas there's often enough light. The times I really like to have a WML are on home defense guns (where the bulk/holster issues are irrelevant) and for woods carry. When hiking and camping I have a kydex chest holster that holds my HK VP9 w/Inforce APL. Having a WML is hugely useful in the woods, and some of the supposed disadvantages are negated (eg a bear may attack you but it will never shoot at your light!:D). And FWIW, every long gun I own is set up with a WML and I see virtually no downsides to having one on a carbine or shotgun.

    Different strokes and all! I think that as lights get smaller and more efficient (and thus able to use smaller batteries) we'll see more and more of them for EDC. I especially see WMLs and RDSs kind of being a package deal for CCW for folks under 40 years of age that are growing up under different doctrines. Most of the folks I know that are opposed to the idea of WMLs tend to be older and especially Vietnam-era veterans.
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  7. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    I would like to clarify a few points about my original comment.

    I got my first gun (4" 686 Plus) when I was living in California, in a high-crime neighborhood replete with mentally ill homeless, and a house where although I had security doors over all the exterior doors, the only way I could have hardened the windows would have been to install bars over them, which I did not want to do. (It was an older house with the kind of windows with wooden dividers between the panes of glass, so hardening the glass wouldn't have accomplished anything because BG could just break the wood.) IOW, a crazy could have decided to dive in through my bedroom window, at which point within a few seconds he would have been only a couple of feet away from me. I slept with the gun in the bed holster and my flashlight lanyarded around my support-hand wrist, and practiced dry-firing from in bed. To keep the flashlight on while asleep I had to loop the lanyard several times, so I could not have dropped it as I mentioned upthread, but depending whether someone entered through a bedroom window or elsewhere in the house and came in the bedroom door I could have used the cross-the-support-hand-underneath technique, or could rest my forearm on my knee, and IAC I am thankfully quite accurate one-handed.

    I now thankfully live in Arizona in a low-crime small city and in addition to security doors over all the exterior doors I had 3M security film installed on all the windows, and being that here I have an attached garage, also installed bolts on the inside of the garage door to prevent defeating the opener. So the odds of a typical simple criminal looking for an easy house to rob actually breaking in here are very low. While the likelihood of Portland coming here is also very low, such a situation is probably the only case in which I would need to defend myself in my home, so here my home defense weapon is an AR with an Aimpoint red dot and I have the lighting set up so any wannabe breakers-in will be brightly illuminated while I am in a more dimly lit location from which I can see all the likely points of entry and IAC will be mostly concealed. I have time to get there because the film makes it take a really long time to break in through the glass.

    I do have a carry permit but I never go anywhere at night so don't see any need for a WML on my carry gun.

    All that said, the point made by a couple of people above about the danger of a WML on a home defense weapon (because you are pointing the gun at the suspected breaker-in before you know who it is, it might be your teenager trying to sneak in late at night or an inebriated neighbor mistaking your house for his own) is pretty compelling IMO.
     
  8. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    I would say that tritium, in the sights of a defensive carry gun, are unnecessary. Not useless, of course, but, unnecessary. My five reasons:

    1. A personal hand-held light is fundamental, to me; more fundamental than the firearm. I also tend to carry a secondary/back-up light. (Neither of these are my iPhones, which, of course, could serve as lighting, for some tasks, though not defensive purposes.)

    2. The best sight picture, in low light, is with one’s pistol’s sights silhouetted against an illuminated target.

    3. Some of the time, my defensive firearm is equipped with a weapon-mounted light, a WML. (A WML is not a substitute for a hand-held light, of course.)

    4. Target identification is vital, for most defensive situations. Tritium sights do not help, at all, in this regard. If I have a firearm with me, I probably have one or more of the lights mentioned in 1 and 3, above. I may leave the house without a handgun, from time to time, for whatever reason, but it is very, very unusual for me to leave the house without at least one sturdy hand-hand light.

    5. Tom Givens has gathered a sizable body of data, regarding his numerous students’ defensive encounters. The data does not support the need for night sights, nor, for that matter, the need for WMLs. Criminals need to be able to see, in order to attack their victims, and if the criminal can see, so can the defender. (I do not believe that Tom Givens’ data shows that I should stop carrying a hand-held light, or that I should toss my WMLs into a garbage bin.)

    Having said the above, I will add that, yes, tritium sights can be useful, in some foreseeable scenarios. The first, big one, that comes to mind, is that front and rear tritium can certainly help in aligning the weapon, in some lighting conditions. This could be especially important if one is using a weapon which may not be a “natural pointer,” in the user’s hands. Notably, at one stage in the life of my declining eyesight, I especially appreciated how the Trijicon dots assisted my scoring ability, when firing my police duty quals, a aligning the dots made it unnecessary for me to have sharp focus on the iron parts of the sights. (This was with a Gen4 Glock 17, in the lighting conditions on that particular qual range, during night-time quals.)

    Some like tritium to only be visible, in the front sight. This is certainly valid, and I especially like this idea, with long guns being used at close range, in a point-shoulder-firing technique.

    So, tritium can be useful, but I do not regard tritium sights as “necessary.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
  9. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    I will add that tritium can be a liability, if one’s opponents are out there, unseen, in the darkness, while one’s weapon is in the open, and therefore visible. I have searched large buildings, and large open areas, in darkness, with police colleagues, and have noticed how far away I can see their tritium sights’ dots, in some conditions. This does not mean that I am opposed to tritium, but, one certainly has to consider the visibility of the tritium, at times when exercising “light discipline” is important.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
  10. MrChicken

    MrChicken Member

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    I'll throw my hat into the ring. I ran a weekly indoor action pistol match for several years.

    We did low light stages nearly every month. You can't do them every match because they eat up so much time.

    In low light, night sights are better than irons or one handed with flashlight by quite a bit. It's really not even close until you get to skill levels that are very high. IOW, it matters less the better your skill level, for beginners be the difference is huge.

    There was/maybe still is a disconnect in the training world. Trainers tell beginners that night sights are a waste of money because to them they are not needed.

    The catch is that a beginner needs to survive a fight they may have before they gain that high level skill. There's more to this besides night sights, but that is drifting too far off topic.
     
    Old Dog likes this.
  11. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    Nov 7, 2020
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    Of course they're not necessary.
    But I have them on all my SD handguns....
    An option to split the difference is to get only a Trtium Front sight. I like that setup a lot on my G19
     
    MrChicken likes this.
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