Are luminescent sights a best kept secret... - Page 3

Are luminescent sights a best kept secret...

This is a discussion on Are luminescent sights a best kept secret... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by zonker1986 I made the mistake of buying night sight paint from the same company that makes Duracoat. The glow lasted all of ...

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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonker1986 View Post
    I made the mistake of buying night sight paint from the same company that makes Duracoat. The glow lasted all of about 15 minutes and then total black. Complete waste of time and money unless you have time to charge the sights with a bright LED flashlight before you have to point your gun at anything.

    Meprolights or Trijicons.....everything else goes very dim, very quick. Waste.
    Totally agree!
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philly Boy View Post
    Good stuff, but..... how do I apply this to my Glocks?
    Just add plastic...
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  3. #33
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    I like the Tru-Glo TFO sights I put on my G26. Tritium for night, fiber optic for day. No need to charge it. When the factory night sights on my G19 go dim, I will likely add TFOs to it as well.

    I especially like the contrasting green/yellow colors.

    The only downside I see is that the front sight is long, due to the fiber optic - this shortens your sight radius about an inch. Wouldn't work too well on a really small pistol, like a PM9.

    Tangle - If you've never tried them, give them a look.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    Do you let your car run really low on gas before you 'recharge' it? Why would we wait until our sights were too dim to use to recharge them?

    Like Prince Charles says, "You pee when you can, not when you have to."


    I guess understanding the gear and planning ahead is required???
    So, from a carry standpoint going out and about in the public eye carrying a concealed and holstered handguns, where/how are you going to take the time (granted it doesn't take much) to charge the sights? Going to hit them with a light while dropping a deuce?

    I can see times where it would be possible to give the sights a quick hit, but I also know that after a long day when I take the gun out at night the sights have no glow to them. Now pending on activities, tasks, schedule and routine etc. I can see hitting the sights up before heading out, leaving work etc. but that leads to more unnecessary gun handling than is really needed in my opinion and I can't see that many people taking the time to charge sights during the day.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    So, from a carry standpoint going out and about in the public eye carrying a concealed and holstered handguns, where/how are you going to take the time (granted it doesn't take much) to charge the sights? Going to hit them with a light while dropping a deuce?

    I can see times where it would be possible to give the sights a quick hit, but I also know that after a long day when I take the gun out at night the sights have no glow to them. Now pending on activities, tasks, schedule and routine etc. I can see hitting the sights up before heading out, leaving work etc. but that leads to more unnecessary gun handling than is really needed in my opinion and I can't see that many people taking the time to charge sights during the day.
    I think we're falling into the common temptation and trap of situation isolation. We select a specific situation that favors one thing and makes another look less attractive. But then we can turn around and isolate on another situation and get just the opposite effect.

    There are only a few hours and a few lighting conditions that give night sights any advantage at all. When we isolate on these specific situations, we get a distorted view of night sights.

    Glockman10mm alluded to this very thing in one of his posts in this thread. To paraphrase, and I mostly agree, if it's too dark to see our sights, why are we not using artificial light? If we use artificial light to not only identify a threat, but to see if what is in his hand is a weapon or a cell phone, we have more than enough light to see our sights.

    And we can isolate on specific cases, e.g. there's just enough light to see the threat, but not enough to see the sights, and it's dark enough so the night sights help. That's a lot of specifics. And under those conditions, can we really see what's in his hand? Then what about all the other situations where that isn't true? We're gonna have to use artificial light and then we can see our plain sights.

    In almost all other lighting conditions, lumies really work well. When I go to the indoor range, the light is such that night sights don't show up but my uncharged lumies do, and what's more, they charge from ambient light to a small degree. Remember in my OP, the first pic is of the sights in the shade, and haven't been charged in over 8 hours, yet there they are working in broad daylight.

    And let's not forget Eaglebeak's impression of lumies after trying a lot of different sights:
    "One of the biggest reasons I became practiced at point-shooting many years ago was because, more often than not, the amount of ambient light and/or position of the sun made it almost impossible to see or distinguish standard iron pistol sights well enough for any kind of fast and dependable sight picture. However, the luminescent dots will quickly spoil you after you take a little time to get used to quickly bringing them up to your line of sight because eye/hand alignment of the 3-dot array soon becomes almost automatic - and much faster than trying to get a sight picture through an open notch (or hunting for a lazer spot on your target) in unfavorable light conditions."

    I think we're over isolating and making way too much issue about charging. There are some situations that charging would be more significanc than others, but then there are a lot of situations that night sights won't help where uncharged lumies show up.
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  6. #36
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    All the discussion certainly aroused my curosity. Since it's early and I had daylight but not bright light and since my lumies have been in a dark drawer ALL night, I decided to see what they looked like outside, uncharged. So I removed the P30L carefully from the drawer, put it under my cover garment so it could not be charged by any light as I go through the house. I went outside to this lighting condition and bear in mind the light level is distorted by the camera because the camera adjusts to the light and makes it look a brighter than it actually is to the human eye:



    After the reference pic, I brought out the lumies, uncharged, in a dark drawer all night, here's what they looked like:



    See how clean, sharp, and bright the dots are? This after setting for about 10 hours in a closed drawer. But, let's avoid misperceptions. If I took them out of the drawer in a dark room, they would not show up like this. The point of this pic is to illustrate how quickly and easily they charge up even in indirect, subdued light. I pulled the gun out from under my vest and there they were ready to go - there was no charge delay.

    Here's a pic in less light after now specific charging. In both this and the previous pic the front sight appears much smaller in the pic than it does to the eye, but that's differences in the eye and camera lens, focal attributes and a brain. You can clearly see green glow - after 10 hours in complete darkness. I suspect what's happening, they are picking up charge from ambient light, even though it is indirect subdued lighting.

    But again, I want this to be very clear, this is the result of ambient charging with just exposure to indirect light. If it were dark, they might not get an ambient charge and you might not be able to see them. But other than that isolated situation, they're gonna charge and show up immediately.



    And the brightness and glow you see in the pics is pretty much what my eye sees. In fact, I saw the green glow and decided to take a pic of it and hoped the green would show up as I saw it. It did.
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  7. #37
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    As a point of interest, my duty weapon came with the GNS's from the factory. Not sure who makes them for Glock, but this weapon was issued to me in 2001, and the sights still glow very well. I usually leave it at work, since I have little need for it at home.
    I keep a g19 to travel back and forth to work with, and it also sees duty as my CC weapon, and nightstand gun. Also on the nightstand are an M64, g26, and Colt 1911. None have nightsites at this time.

    My nightstand is rather crowded.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    ... Not sure who makes them for Glock, but this weapon was issued to me in 2001, and the sights still glow very well...
    That seems to be an exception. I have about 4 sets that are about that old and I can barely see them at all. The darker it is and the more accustom my eyes are to the dark, the better I can see them, but still they're not even close to as bright as they were when I first got them.

    In fact, I just checked three of my 1911s that have Trijicon, Novak, and Wilson night sights. I built two of them around 1999-2001 and bought one about the same time. I got in a dark closet and could barely see them at all. On one, the front sight was just not visible at all. Then I put my new Sig Lites up to one and there was all the difference in the world.

    But, they don't just suddenly go out, they dim quickly in the first five years and continue to dim until they're useless. I've been aware of the dimming over the years.

    I've been told, and I can't verify this, that Trijicon makes all night sights, well the radioactive tube part, and installs the tubes in the sights because radiation certification or something is required and it's cheaper to have Trijicon deal with the tritium tubes than to get the certification. Again, I can't verify this, anyone have any info about it?
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    I think we're falling into the common temptation and trap of situation isolation. We select a specific situation that favors one thing and makes another look less attractive. But then we can turn around and isolate on another situation and get just the opposite effect.

    No, I'm honestly asking what your plan is regarding your previous post:


    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    Do you let your car run really low on gas before you 'recharge' it? Why would we wait until our sights were too dim to use to recharge them?

    Like Prince Charles says, "You pee when you can, not when you have to."


    I guess understanding the gear and planning ahead is required???
    Do you plan on charging throughout the day? If something goes bump in the night do you plan on hitting up the sights before checking things out?

    I'm just curious what you plan on doing. I'm happy with the research that you've put into this, and yes as three dot sights they are great sights, as night sights....don't really know. It would be interesting to talk with someone that has used these style sights in a low light setting (note I said low, not no light. A lot of people confuse the two) and see what their thoughts on the matter are. Maybe a call to the Surefire Institute is in order.

    In May when we return to TDI for Partner Tactics I'll try and get a better feel for how well the sights work in the shoot house and maybe see if they'll let us play around after dusk.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    I like the Tru-Glo TFO sights I put on my G26. Tritium for night, fiber optic for day. No need to charge it. When the factory night sights on my G19 go dim, I will likely add TFOs to it as well.

    I especially like the contrasting green/yellow colors.

    The only downside I see is that the front sight is long, due to the fiber optic - this shortens your sight radius about an inch. Wouldn't work too well on a really small pistol, like a PM9.

    Tangle - If you've never tried them, give them a look.
    The TFOs are good. I tried my set outside as a comparison with the lumies. The tritium didn't show up, but even in the subdued lighting, the FO part was pretty bright. Here's the only problem I have with TruGlo TFOs, well, this and they shoot low:

    Front sight:


    Rear sight not a good focus on the sight, but I think the issue is clear:
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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    The TFOs are good. I tried my set outside as a comparison with the lumies. The tritium didn't show up, but even in the subdued lighting, the FO part was pretty bright. Here's the only problem I have with TruGlo TFOs, well, this ...

    Now that's just unsat. Was that from the factory like that? Seems like they could be filed on for a better fit...

  12. #42
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    I had considered TFOs and saw this issue sometime back. It changed my mind. Can't imagine why they would do this.
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    The sooner you realize you can get along fine without them. The better off you are. This is what I have found;

    If I can't see the my sights without artificial illumination, I can't see the target either.

    If, it's so dark that I have to use artificial illumination to see the target, ( flashlight), then I can use the flashlight to see the sights also, or, if I am using a WML, which I dont, I can see the silhouette of the sights against the light anyway.

    Don't get me wrong, they are nice to have, and can be useful, but are not really necassary.
    ^That^
    What good are sights that glow in complete darkeness when the BG doesn't? I put a dab of DayGlo-Orange paint on my sights and find them more than adequate in any light bright enough (or dim enough) to see a target. Plus, there's very little background that blends in with DayGlo-Orange. White sights simply disappear with my eyes. And at @$3-4 a bottle, the occasional touch-up is no problem.
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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    No, I'm honestly asking what your plan is regarding your previous post:
    I understand; but remember as I've previously posted, these things are new to me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Do you plan on charging throughout the day?
    Actually I haven't found that they need charging throughout the day. Recall from my pics, I took these from total, 10 hour darkness, to 'outside' and they were there instantly. What has yet to be determined, by me anyway, is what happens in ambient light when they've been concealed for hours and I have to do a draw and fire?

    What I've seen is that in daylight or normal levels of room lighting the material either shows up very white and clear (basically no light output from the sights) or they take on a dim pale yellow (light being emitted). Either way they are very distinct to see, at least as good or better in those conditions as my new Sig Lites.

    One issue that we don't seem to want to deal with is how are the night sights and our aging eyes gonna do with night sights when they're down to 71% in five years, even worse only 66% in the next year - that's closer to 50% by far than new sight brightness. What that means is the light range they are useful in has also decreased by 29% in 5 years and by a full 1/3 in 6 years.

    And, I'm not saying that's a deal breaker, but I'm to a point where I have about 5 sets of night sights that are just too dim. Am I going to fork out nearly $600 to replace them? I think that's another thing we don't want to think about. At some point they will have to be replaced. As they go down in brightness, they become harder to pick up.

    If I have to replace 5 sets of sights every 10 years, and at my age I may not be able to go that long, I'm spending $60 a year on sights!

    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    ...If something goes bump in the night do you plan on hitting up the sights before checking things out?
    Again, as I reply to this remember, I'm finding my way here as we speak based on limited experience, but...

    What time in the night does the bump occur? If it's within 3 hours or so of charging it looks to me like they're gonna be good in the dark.

    Here's another issue about bright night sights we don't like to admit. Once our eyes have adjusted to the dark, they see those green dots a lot brighter, so bright it could cause some problems of flooding the eyes. OTOH, what's happening with lumies? The longer they go, the dimmer they get; the longer our eyes go (in the dark) the better we see the dimmer dots. It's almost like having sights adjust to conditions.

    Let me say real quick, I haven't fully tested that, but I have observed it.

    But, what's really gonna happen regardless of the time the bump occurs, is I first confirm my wife is with me,if she is, then my Viridian C5L or X5L is going on. The tact light and laser both come on with one easy press of a switch. If they come into my bedroom, they're gonna have to come through a blinding wall of light with a green laser on their chest.

    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    ...I'm just curious what you plan on doing. I'm happy with the research that you've put into this, and yes as three dot sights they are great sights, as night sights....don't really know.
    Well, that's about where I am too. I think I posted that I don't think we've seen the final 'word' on lumies.

    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    ... It would be interesting to talk with someone that has used these style sights in a low light setting (note I said low, not no light. A lot of people confuse the two) and see what their thoughts on the matter are....
    Absolutely! And I agree completely that a lot of people confuse low light and no light.

    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    ...In May when we return to TDI for Partner Tactics I'll try and get a better feel for how well the sights work in the shoot house and maybe see if they'll let us play around after dusk.
    Now there ya go. Please let me know what you discover.

    There would be times that a quick charge would not be an option. In that case, depending on the brightness, the lumies might be a disadvantage. But, since you mentioned the shoot house, in every shoot house I've been in, there's a staging phase where all equipment is checked - even tactical lights. That would be the time to charge the sights, a max charge on the front and a half charge on the rears, so the front sight will be more prominent.

    Would we ever have an opportunity to do this? Maybe, maybe not. If I arrive home and find my door pried open and I know my wife is supposed to be home, I'd immediately call 911, press check my gun, check the mag, check my handheld tactical light, charge my lumies, switch on my C5L or X5L laser/light, and I'd go in. My wife's life may be in immient danger, I have no way to know if the police will be 5 minutes or 5 hours arriving.
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  15. #45
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    I donít know if youíve noticed this or not, but night sights have a problem. The all green Tritium front and rear sights emit the same amount of light. Since the rear sight is significantly closer to the eyes than the front sight, they appear brighter to the eye. I notice that and find that makes it difficult to pick up the front sight sometimes. What about luminescent sights, donít they do the same thing?
    That's why so many sight options have plain rear sights, or sights with smaller green or yellow vials in the rear. Failing that, you can use a sharpie to subdue the rear vials to levels that are still visible, but less bright than the front.

    In addition many front sights have fluorescent green or orange paint to enhance visibility on the daytime. If the front sight doesn't have this, a quick trip to hobby lobby and a few bucks will solve the problem. I find this to be a much better solution for me than the luminescent sights found on the P30 and CZ75Bs I have owned.
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