Are luminescent sights a best kept secret... - Page 5

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; <Snicker> Now we can talk about Tangle while he's away... I got a similar virus. It directed you to a web site to buy anti-virus ...

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  1. #61
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    <Snicker> Now we can talk about Tangle while he's away...

    I got a similar virus. It directed you to a web site to buy anti-virus services to clean your computer! Kinda like a window installer giving all the kids in the neighborhood free sling shots...

    Back on topic - looks like these luminescent sights might be a nice, inexpensive alternative to night sights. They seem to actually work better under all but the darkest of conditions - I know I have difficulty seeing my standard night sights at my indoor range. The TFOs, however, are great in all lighting. Seems they need to work on their mounting for everything other than Glock pistols (?).

    The reality for me, however, is that my primary sighting system is the laser. The iron sights are just a back up, or for long range shots where the laser zero would not be true.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eaglebeak View Post
    So, my objective for using the lumies is NOT for shooting at night, but to greatly increase the speed of rapid sight alignment in any dim or brightly lighted area where the particular target, background, or any other factor makes it difficult to see and quickly line up the weapon's standard iron sights for possibly that first life-saving defensive shot.
    Lots of discussion in this thread, and lots of pointless conjecture too.

    The above quote sums up the advantage of these HK "lumie" sights. They are big, they are highly visible, and they greatly assist those with aging eyes (particularly those of us with advanced astigmatism) in getting a flash sight picture in... well, in a flash.

    I have been carrying daily and shooting weekly an HK45C for over a year now. When I get home, the pistol comes out of the holster, the TLR-1 goes on, and the weapon combo is placed on the night stand. Just before retiring, I hit the sights with whatever flashlight is handy. They "glow" enough to allow me to find the pistol in total darkness, up to eight hours. The discussion about target identification, etc., is applicable here... to wit, sights that are visible, with no auxillary illumination, are worthless unless you KNOW that any target you sense/see is indeed hostile and shootable. I suspect very few of us are in that particular boat.

    This is why the gun mounted light makes so much sense. Proponents of hand-held lights have all sorts of specious reasons why their way is better, but the bottom line is efficiency. I was a cop for 30 years, and for much of that I did the SWAT thing too. I have used both "systems", when the game was for real and not simply for my amusement/edification. Sure, one should have a hand-held; for a spare. The gun mounted light is simply superior; period.

    And these HK lumies allow me to actually see what I'm doing during daylight hours. In dim light, the side-spill from the gun light provides enough back lighting to make out the sights, luminous dots or not. But in daylight/artificial light, I simply cannot see "normal" sights well enough to get an accurate sight picture. I've tried them all. The Tru-Glos appeared to be the answer, but alas not. Man, those puppies are great in direct sun light. On an indoor range, they were no better than Meps, Trijicons, Heinies, et. al. The XS Big Dot works for me, and I have them on my USPc .40 pistols (with stock rear sights that have been opened up slightly. The V express rear sight is for African rifles, and a liability on a handgun, IMO). Just don't try any precise distance shots.

    So, the HK lumies are the answer to a real problem that _I_ had. YMMV.

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  3. #63
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    Express sights.jpgThe big dot XS on my CC
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  4. #64
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunthorp View Post
    Express sights.jpgThe big dot XS on my CC
    That is an interesting combo.

    I ran a Glock 19 with an XS Big Dot and an Ameriglo I-dot rear .330 height (Measured .220 off the slide) with a 1.80 wide notch for a while.

    Considering the XS is .205 high and .188 wide, and the AG Rear was .220 off the silde with .180 width...it seemed right...

    And let me tell you, it was.

    I was head shot accurate with it out to 15 yards, but ended up switching to Trijicon HD's because I wasn't enamoured with a jury-rigged combo that I wasn't sure if I did the math on properly.

    It SEEMED right. Impact point was at the top of the dot, but getting it centered for me required a bit more effort and I ended up wanting a squared sight.

    After about 400 rounds of testing I liked it...a lot...but I wanted a flat top, and couldn't figure out a way to get the top of the dot flat, so I went to HD's from Trijicon.

  5. #65
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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.
    I have found this to be true for my purposes as well. I own both Trij night sight guns and others with no night sights.
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  6. #66
    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    I have a slip on light that works great in the dark. It comes on and off with just a pull and costs 30.00. I looked at the night sights and the paints but everything I read says it has to be charged first and/or they have a shelf life. Maybe there is no real good solution, me for one the jury is still out

  7. #67
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    Well, I'm back!!! 10th what you described is exactly what happened to me! In addition, it would not allow me to get on the internet except to go to their site to purchase the 'solution'.

    But while my computer genius had my computer, he had a Quad-Core processor he couldn't use and offered it to me, installed for $50! I jumped on that like it was a Frosty!

    That's why I can type this so much faster! See how quickly I typed this! Oh, and the reason it looks so much smoother is I finally replaced my mouse with a track ball - don't know why anyone would prefer a mouse to a track ball.

    Some updates:
    I meant to do the wake-up-and-check-the-sights every so often, but my wife had a early morning and a full, busy day and I didn't want to chance disturbing her rest with an alarm. However, I did do some things.

    1- I charged the lumies at 9:00pm and laid the P30L on top of the Sig P226R SRT with Sig Lites. The lumies put the Sig Lites to shame, as they would any other night sight, for about 20 - 30 minutes. In about 30 minutes, they were down in brightness SIGnificantly (get it - I was comparing them to a Sig - SIGnificantly - you guys don't have a sense of humor at all do you!).

    Still they were as good or better than the Sig Lites for about the next hour. So now we're out to good for about an hour and a half. And as a side bar here, it is pertinent that I also had my Sig P226R DAK with Tru-Glo TFO's on it, and the TGs were SIGnificantly (get it SIGnificantly.........awwww, never mind) brighter than the Sig Lites even though the TGs were about a year older!

    By about the end of two hours or so the Sig Lites and Lumies were about the same. By the end of about three hours they were slightly dimmer than the Sig Lites. Now, I need insert the significance of a point I've been trying to make about Tritium decay. If my Sig Lites had been about four years old instead of new, they would have been about 25% dimmer. In comparison the lumies would have been the same or brighter than the Sig Lites for 25% longer. So if they were the same for 2 hours or brighter now, in four years they'd be the same or brighter for 2.5 hours.

    By about 4 hours the lumies were at about their useful limit - not out by any means and quite visible, but considerably dimmer than the Sig Lites. You could still use them, but they wouldn't be nearly as fast.

    2- If it were just that simple - well it isn't. I'm gonna say this as conditional but provable and demonstrable. So far I've found that lumies will out perform any night sight, including TG TFOs in any lighting condition. The condition I mentioned is the illumination level of the lumies and/or any light available to charge them. Here's what I mean by all that, and it's complicated.

    First if the lumies are within an hour or so of a charge, they will beat night sights in any lighting condition. They're just brighter and bigger. In bright conditions, the lumies will absorb ambient light and glow where Tritium will not. They would be comparable, not necessarily equal to, to FO sights. In certain lighting conditions, lumies will beat Tru Glo TFOs and it isn't even close. Gonna give an example of this.

    Today I was at the range, (brought my total for the year to 11,900 rounds) shooting my Sig P226R DAK - I just love to shoot this gun; more about that in another post I haven't invented yet. it has the Tru Glo TFO sights. The same ones that were significantly brighter than the new Sig Lites. Although the range was well lit and I had fluorescent lights just behind and in front of my booth, my sights were in the shade of the booth. Neither the Tritium or the FO showed up! Not a bit! I had to shoot from the black sight profile. There's little you can do about that. If I had been shooting with lumies: if they didn't pick up ambient light, and it doesn't have to be direct light, they show up white, if they do pick up light and charge a bit, they go pale yellow. If you charge them....

    Let's say we've had our lumies under cover for 8 hours and they're discharged. It's still daylight and we draw our gun. The lumies, and Eaglebeak can corroborate this, the lumies immediately pick up the ambient light and charge. They will be bright; not necessarily green, although they may be, I've seen that happen to.

    The only condition where a night sight would prevail over a lumie is at night after the lumie has lost it's charge and then it's still conditional. The condition this time is whether you have to use a white light for threat ID. Let me say here there is a common misconception that night sights have to be used in such low light levels that you can't see your threat. Not so at all; this was shot with dim ambient room light, the threat is easily ID'd and see the night sight dots. Imagine what black sights on this would look like - we probably couldn't see them at all.



    I said that to say this, this is about the only lighting condition that night sights can beat an uncharged lumie. If it's a little darker, we'd almost have to use white light to ID the threat, especially to see what's in his hands, and then any sight would show up. And if it's a little lighter than the above, the Tritium won't show up and the uncharged lumies might show up as white. In fact here is a shot of the lumies in the exact lighting conditions. The lumies have been in my completely dark safe for 8 hours. I removed them in the dark, put them under my vest and set the gun up in the same lighting conditions. Here's what the uncharged lumies look like - uncharged lumies.



    The white dots are clearly there; not quite as bright as the Tru Glo's but clearly more visible than all black sights.

    And lastly I'll add, what if the Tru Glo tritium was 4 years old? They'd be 25% dimmer. But, and I think this is big, we don't know how age affects lumies, well, at least I don't.

    Just what I've found so far. And note that not everyone will get the same results necessarily. Nor should any of this be used to draw hard conclusions from.
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  8. #68
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Wow Tangle! Great evaluation! Next question is do they sell these types of sights anywhere?
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Wow Tangle! Great evaluation! Next question is do they sell these types of sights anywhere?
    I wouldn't jump just yet; all my findings are quite preliminary. Remember, this is all new to me and I'm still learning. We/I need to eval them in a lot of situations.

    You hit one of the main issues squarely - when we start talking low light, we need white light to discern a cell phone from a gun in someone's hand. For cases like the hooded BG in my pics we know we have a BG, but generally it's more complicated than that and we need positive verification that the threat is or is not a threat and in what way he is a threat. That principle all but eliminates the low/very low light level issue for uncharged lumies. If we use white light, sights aren't an issue.

    And you'll have to think along with me on this, the two heads better than one thing: In the higher levels of illumination, we don't have a threat ID problem, we have a 'can I see my sights against his dark clothing' and how quickly can I pick up the front sight. That to me is where the lumies shine, pun intended.

    But I'm still in the eval mode. It would sure be good if you and others could get some and eval them.
    I'm too young to be this old!
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  10. #70
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    just ordered a bottle of glow-on to see how it works... for 14.00 it's not going to break me. heck if anything I will paint my dogs but so I can see him on our night walks

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    just ordered a bottle of glow-on to see how it works... for 14.00 it's not going to break me. heck if anything I will paint my dogs but so I can see him on our night walks
    Hmmm, isn't this the way it goes - after you order, I post this .

    But I think Eaglebeak posted the way to go:

    Nitesiters Handgun Night Sights

    I've seen this stuff before (not in person). This is luminescent material. The website has an installation video too.
    I'm too young to be this old!
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  12. #72
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    The Nitesiters installation video is a bit misleading since they're using a pistol that already came from the factory with indentations in front and rear sight that were probably originally just filled with either white paint or perhaps luminescent paint (that isn't too whoopee when fresh) with the intent to cover what was already there with the new adheasive lumie dots.

    They sell the actual lumie dots (glow in the dark) in either a pack of (8) 1/16" diameter dots or another pack that has (4) 1/8" diameter dots with (4) 1/16" wide x 1/4" long strips for front ramp sights. They also sell "daysiter" spots (in the same pack configurations) in different colors that don't absorb light to "glow" in darkness, but are highly florescent/reflective in any kind of light at all.

    I wanted to try them on the most difficult case of my little Colt Mustang with a very short/curved rear sight and an equally short ramped front sight; so I bought both size packs ($12 apiece) to use the small dots on the rear sight and strip on the front. Even though the rear sight is curved, the 1/16" dots made the transistion and are stuck on there tighter than the jaws of hell, and the narrow strip did the same on the ramped front sight.

    They work beautifully in any light just as Tangle's excellent pictures indicate, and I too am still in evaluation mode since I have so many spots in the two packs and so many pistols to try them out on. However, their performance will suck you into buying more (crafty bastids) because one of my shooting buddies has the "Daysiter" dots on his Glock. I've got the glow in the dark lumies, but he decided on the non-glowing florescents since he was only interested in high contrast visibility in any light except near darkness.

    Maybe it's because I'm a tiny bit red/green color blind in very low light conditions, but I think his combination of blue dots on the rear and a yellow front dot were a little more contrasting in daylight than my greenish lumies. Both are excellent in instant identification and target alignment, but I think I'm going to get some of the "Dayliters" to try out on some of my other pistols that won't need to glow in the dark. Decisions, decisions.......

    One thing for sure is I'm keeping these things as highly classified top secret with the wife because I'm afraid she would come up with an entirely different application to improve my nighttime aim at the porcelain convenience

  13. #73
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    Tangle, have you seen the new Trijicon HD sights?

    They are tritium night sights, however the front sight has a large ring of luminescent paint in either orange or yellow. So you have the regular night sight tritium gas filled sights, but you also get a large orange or yellow ring of luminescent paint on only the front sight.

    My local gun shop had both colors on two of the owners M&P's and wow, they really "pop" in daylight, and of course the tritium's come into play the darker it gets. However, you still have some good effect from the luminous paint on that front sight.

    I spent about an hour checking them out. I think I'll try them on my next pistol. Getting a set is likely the only way I'll get to really evaluate them.

    What are your thoughts?
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    Tangle, have you seen the new Trijicon HD sights?

    They are tritium night sights, however the front sight has a large ring of luminescent paint in either orange or yellow. So you have the regular night sight tritium gas filled sights, but you also get a large orange or yellow ring of luminescent paint on only the front sight.

    My local gun shop had both colors on two of the owners M&P's and wow, they really "pop" in daylight, and of course the tritium's come into play the darker it gets. However, you still have some good effect from the luminous paint on that front sight.

    I spent about an hour checking them out. I think I'll try them on my next pistol. Getting a set is likely the only way I'll get to really evaluate them.
    I haven't seen these, but they are interesting. One thing I find interesting is that Trijicon chose a luminescent ring to compliment their night sight.

    Could be as simple as new product marketing, but Trijicon has demonstrated over the years they are a top notch company, so it could be they evaluated all the options, and they decided luminescent was the best compliment to Tritium.

    It could be that the Tru Glo has a patent on FO plus Tritium so Trijicon needed a competitive product. I doubt we'll ever know for sure why they chose luminescent - unless of course, I call them and ask them - so I did.

    Well, well, well, etc. I'm not sure I learned anything from Trijicon. I asked why they chose luminescent 'paint'. CS said it was for practical shooting and LE likes it????

    I asked how long it glows after a charge. CS said a 10 minute charge lasts 10 minutes????? So hmmm....but two members have posted that they have tried the paint an it doesn't work well or long, so maybe 10/10 is right for paint. Soooooooooooo...........

    I just charged my front sight on my Hk P30L with a the turbo mode from my Fenix PD 31 for right at one minute; I charged the rear sights with the same light for 3 seconds. I put the gun in a gun box, in a dark closet and I'll take a look at it as often as I can and see if the charge time makes any difference in 'glow time'.

    BTW, the Fenix PD 31, at least my PD 31, will take the LC 18650 rechargeable battery stick. I was told, I believe by Fenix that the PD 32 was slightly larger in diameter to take the rechargeable stick. But I know my PD 31 will, because that's what I have in it right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    ...What are your thoughts?
    That's a good question - I'm not sure I know what to think right now!

    Gonna go work on an electric/electronic go kart for a disabled boy, actually 18 years old but looks like a child in size. I have a lot of it done, but I've had to make a number of changes. I'll post some pics at some point.
    I'm too young to be this old!
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  15. #75
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    After an hour, I checked my lumies. The front was slightly dimmer than the reasr. I even made sure the distance from the sight to the eye wasn't a factor. They were about half as bright as my Sig Lites. I am totally confused now.

    This is the first time I've charged them from a really bright light; can you over-charge these things? I was in total darkness, and the lumies were essentially unusable; the Sig Lites were great. I don't know, at least for the moment, how to explain this; this is different than what I've been seeing??????

    OK, I back off to the go kart - I can see and understand that!
    I'm too young to be this old!
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