Are Night Sights Really Necessary?

This is a discussion on Are Night Sights Really Necessary? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This may be something that has an obvious answer to some of you, but I am honestly curious as to the line of thinking on ...

View Poll Results: Are Night Sights Necessary on a Carry Gun?

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  • Yes, you should do whatever you can to get night sights.

    127 49.42%
  • No, it's not necessary to have night sights on a carry gun.

    130 50.58%
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Thread: Are Night Sights Really Necessary?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    Are Night Sights Really Necessary?

    This may be something that has an obvious answer to some of you, but I am honestly curious as to the line of thinking on these... it seems like most of the guns I have owned/shopped for did not offer night sights as a factory option. I have owned guns with night sights and thought that it certainly made it easier for me to make a reasoned movement to bring the sights to my eye.

    That being said, if we are involved in a defensive scenario, people say that most of these things go down at 10 feet or less in the dark where you basically just point & shoot. How much use is a glow-in-the-dark set of night sights in that scenario?

    All things being equal, I can see where the night sights would be better than non-night sights. However, as anything does, night sights cost money (say around $100-150) and I am just trying to think through the expense.

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  3. #2
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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    I'm gonna vote no. In fact, I don't have a single handgun with night sights installed. For out to about 10 yards or so, I don't really use sights on pistols anyways, and beyond that in the civilian world, I'd want a long gun first of all, and you could have a hard time convincing a jury that you saw the threat from more than that in the dark (this of course depends on the threat). But most SD shootings are going to occur at bad breath distances, and sights can't really be used (of course, YMMV, and my thinking could be wrong).

    For long guns, I prefer to have a white light source mounted on the weapon, although for those really long night time shots NVG's and an IR laser sight are preferred, but rather useless in the civilian sense I think IMHO.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

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  4. #3
    Member Array louie19's Avatar
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    I'd say they aren't necessary but they can be helpful. After all, we've used defensive handguns for a long time before night sights were available, right?

    I'd get a good flashlight before night sights. And motion detecting lights for all your doors. And maybe a dog. But after all that, I'd probably say get night sights.

  5. #4
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McPatrickClan View Post
    This may be something that has an obvious answer to some of you, but I am honestly curious as to the line of thinking on these... it seems like most of the guns I have owned/shopped for did not offer night sights as a factory option. I have owned guns with night sights and thought that it certainly made it easier for me to make a reasoned movement to bring the sights to my eye.

    That being said, if we are involved in a defensive scenario, people say that most of these things go down at 10 feet or less in the dark where you basically just point & shoot. How much use is a glow-in-the-dark set of night sights in that scenario?

    All things being equal, I can see where the night sights would be better than non-night sights. However, as anything does, night sights cost money (say around $100-150) and I am just trying to think through the expense.
    I voted "Yes", but not all my handguns have Night Sights on them for various reasons, chiefly economical.

    My three autoloaders that I carry routinely do have them installed, and one has a set of Crimson Trace Laser Grips to go with the Night Sights. None of my revolvers have them, although the sights have been modified/changed to enhance fast low light sight acquisition.

    Night Sights do not replace a proper sight picture, and don't work any different than plain old iron sights in bright light. What I have found though, is that in dim light situations they aide in getting the gun on target. That's the same thing that the Crimson Trace Laser Grips do. Since every bullet I may fire has a lawyer attatched to it, I can see no downside to having them on a gun, and can certainly see some pitfalls to not having them.

    Ask yourself this question, if you are considering them, and the resulting cost. How much would it cost me if I missed my intended target and wounded an innocent bystander? I'll bet Night Sights and a Laser Grip would seem pretty cheap in comparision.

    Now that is not a guarantee that you will hit your intended target if you have them. It's just that the odds have been reduced that you may hit an innocent bystander. By how much, I have no idea. My revolvers have mostly custom Hi Viz flourescent tube "type" sights on them that are dialed in to my carry load. I'll probably break down and add laser grips to them as well in the future.

    Biker

  6. #5
    Member Array aric's Avatar
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    They aren't necessary.

    They are nice to have though.

  7. #6
    Member Array gglockster's Avatar
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    Having done live fire training at night, yes. After that first time I could not find my front sight to align it on a target, I never considered NOT having night sights.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    I chose no.
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  9. #8
    Member Array SteveinNEPA's Avatar
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    I vote no. Yes, night sights are NICE to have, but a GOOD BRIGHT preferably LED/XENON flashlight (or gun-mounted tactical light) is better for 2 reasons. 1) illumination of the threat and surrounding area. 2) ADDITIONAL DEFENSE, IE: blinding the threat and using that to your advantage - Darkness causes the pupils to react in a way as to gather as much ambient light as possible, hit someones eyes that have tuned to the dark with 120 lumens from a surefire and they cant see squat, even in a semi - lit room that light will blind them for a second or two.
    Just my .02
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  10. #9
    Ex Member Array hamlet's Avatar
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    Experience from Those in Shootings:

    From an article I read of many interviews with those actually involved in shootings, cops mostly I think but also civilians, the common experience was that it happened so fast that those having night sights were only able to use the front one, no time at all to line up the rear. I don't have any now, partly because two out of three of my carrys are snub Colt revolvers from the 60s, great guns but no way to put a night sight on the old ramp front sight. So, I'd get the front for some situations for the other, a Glock 36, where it wasn't split-second point shooting, but I don't feel it's necessary. Some time I'd like to try it when I have the extra money. I think that would be helpful when it's quite dark. I live in a city, and when on foot at night, the street lights provide enough light usually to somewhat illuminate other people.

    Wish I could find that article again, it was very helpful but I've looked and I can't. Sorry.

  11. #10
    Member Array 1boredguy's Avatar
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    no, not absolutely essential. I have some arms with and some arms without night sights.

    they enhance the ability to aim in low light. if you want that enhancement, then that's up to you (it's your tool to protect your life).

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aric View Post
    They aren't necessary.

    They are nice to have though.
    Agreed.

    - Janq
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  13. #12
    Member Array remington79's Avatar
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    They are very important. I conducted live night fire with and with out night sights and I have to say they make a work of difference. Now some folks might say you don't need them if you can't see your target. Well from my experience I have to say they are essential.
    When I fired at night with out the night sights I could not get a sight picture. It ranged from not being able to see the sights to at best hardly being able to see them. This was with using a good 80 lumen flashlight.
    With the night sights and flashlight I was able to ID the target and able to get a good quick sight picture.
    A flashlight doesn't take the place of night sights and night sights don't take the place of a flashlight. They compliment each other. Use them both together.

  14. #13
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    Necessary? No. Desirable? Oh yeah!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  15. #14
    Member Array Samwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aric View Post
    They aren't necessary.

    They are nice to have though.
    Voted no and agree with aric.
    Samwolf

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  16. #15
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    Since the only choices were yes and no, I voted yes. In a defensive situation you want every advantage you can get to make sure of your target. At night or low light situation night sights will help with this. As you get older vision, especially night vision degrades, night sights helps give you a visible reference.

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