Choosing Sight Colors

This is a discussion on Choosing Sight Colors within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm curious to everyone's thoughts on this. When you are selecting sights other than basic white 3 dot or similar, such a night sights, fiber ...

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Thread: Choosing Sight Colors

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    Ex Member Array MJB_17's Avatar
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    Choosing Sight Colors

    I'm curious to everyone's thoughts on this. When you are selecting sights other than basic white 3 dot or similar, such a night sights, fiber optics, etc., what are your preferences as to colors and combinations? Personally, I have tritium Trijicons on my full size M&P, basic 3 dots on my 9c (for now, that is going to change soon), and aftermarket fiber optics from a small firm on my PF9 with a green front and red rear. To me, I have found from trial and error that my eye seems to pick up green better than any other color in a quick glance. I went with the green front/ red rear on the PF9 and my eye is definitely drawn to the front sight the most.

    What are your preferences on this and why?

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    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    I think there's something physiological behind your reasoning. Green appears brighter to me too.

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    Senior Member Array Bob O's Avatar
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    For a self defense gun I believe that sight colors, especially the front sight color should be a color that contrasts the most with your target(s).
    I find that that a red, in particular light red (pinkish) sight stands out best against most shirt/jacket colors.
    This the way I colored my XS Big Dot Tritiums on my Springfield XDm 3.8 .45 Compact.




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    Distinguished Member Array Tundra5.7's Avatar
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    I like green night sights or fiber optics for a cc weapon. I also use green fiber optic sights on my archery equipment and have found it works well for me at low light when using a peep sight.
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    VIP Member Array multistage's Avatar
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    All of my Glocks have Trijicon HDs. Rear sights have no circles, just tritium inserts. Front sight has a VERY bright photophosphorescent circle surrounding a tritium insert. With no rear sight circles to distract and the bright front sight jumping out at you, they are very fast indeed.
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    Member Array X4ND32's Avatar
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    I prefer fiber optic night sights; they're just fancy cool to me. I've seen some trijicons on the Nighthawk GRP Recon that are just to die for...

    Red is better to see in the day, and green in the night. Green reflects more energy than the red does; hence the reason Navy ships use red lights at Darken Ship.
    Here's a good read, in case you're interested in how your eyes work with the different colors. Should definitely be something to consider.
    Re: Can you see red light from farthest away? If so, how can I prove it?

    "a 100 watt green light bulb can be seen
    about 3 times farther than a red or violet bulb of the same light power.

    In darkness the eyes maximum sensitivity shifts toward yellow-green
    wavelengths with the other colors staying at about the same sensitivity as
    stated above.

    In daylight the sun brightly lights the world
    that we see which often is filled with trees, grass and green things. Thus
    the contrast of seeing a green light and perhaps a yellow light against a
    bright yellow green background is difficult. In nature there are very few
    red colors except for flowers and so red stands out against the natural
    daylight background.

    In the nighttime this is not true and the background is less of a problem.
    In the city where I live we now use yellow fire engines because they can be
    seen much better in dim light. We still have a few old red fire engines and
    they are almost black in dim light."

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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    I prefer a fluorescent orange front sight on my weapons. fluorescent orange is not a color you really see anywhere, and never in nature, therefore it stands out on almost any background. To my eyes, even a fluorescent green can disappear on a bright green IE a bad guys shirt. Also, my eyes get confused with same color sights,I have painted my sights since I was little. This is the sight picture on my SR40C, in bright light the front sight really glows, even though it is paint.
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    Member Array X4ND32's Avatar
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    I'm interested in marking up my sights like yours, Taurahe. It only makes sense that the forward sight stands out. Have you speed-drawn and if so, have you noticed a notable difference in accuracy?

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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X4ND32 View Post
    I'm interested in marking up my sights like yours, Taurahe. It only makes sense that the forward sight stands out. Have you speed-drawn and if so, have you noticed a notable difference in accuracy?
    Yes and yes. At defense distances I prefer to point shoot, using the front sight as a reference of the muzzle. The bright orange makes this much much easier and faster for me, as my eye finds it very quickly as I present my weapon and I am on target by the time I am fully extended. I am more than capable of emptying a magazine into a pie plate at 5-7 yrds very quickly. I focus on combat accuracy over precision, as I am not a target shooter, I carry for SD and that is my main priority. With that said, precision shooting is much easier for as well. The front sight does not disappear into my backgrounds, and I find it is easier to focus on the front sight when it is a different color than the rear. My eyes do not single things out well when they are the same color. Had the same issue in the military, always painted my weapon sights on my M16 and M9. The paint I use is an enamel model paint used on RC gas powered race cars. Acrylic paint does not hold up well to solvents let alone water. Its about 5 bucks a jar but I have had the same jars for years. Give it a shot, the worse that can happen is you don't like it. you can always paint them back to white.
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    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    I have orange tritium rear sights and green front sights. In low light my eye picks up the green front sight easily and automatically aligns it with the orange rears.

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    Distinguished Member Array CDW4ME's Avatar
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    I like either the XS Big Dot or green front / yellow rear Meprolight.
    Those choices seem quicker for my eye.
    No internal lock or magazine disconnect on my pistols!

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    Senior Member Array palmcoaster's Avatar
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    All green Trijicons on my G27 and is clear as a bell

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    Quote Originally Posted by MJB_17 View Post
    I'm curious to everyone's thoughts on this. When you are selecting sights other than basic white 3 dot or similar, such a night sights, fiber optics, etc., what are your preferences as to colors and combinations? Personally, I have tritium Trijicons on my full size M&P, basic 3 dots on my 9c (for now, that is going to change soon), and aftermarket fiber optics from a small firm on my PF9 with a green front and red rear. To me, I have found from trial and error that my eye seems to pick up green better than any other color in a quick glance. I went with the green front/ red rear on the PF9 and my eye is definitely drawn to the front sight the most.

    What are your preferences on this and why?
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    I'll second the Trijicon HDs. I have the orange front sight. I like that the rear sight is pretty much blacked out, unless it is dark, then you can see the tritium inserts. Having blacked out, canted and serrated (prevents glare) rear sights really makes that front sight jump out at ya! It also has a wider rear notch allowing more light on each side of the front sight. This all aids in a quicker sight picture.

    Now these sights are NOT cheap! So they are SLOWLY making there way onto all of my carry guns. They are well worth the price IMO.

    Side note: Even though all tritium inserts are visible at night, if you hit the front sight with a flashlight for several seconds, you can get 5-10 minutes of either the orange or yellow (depending on which front sight you chose) glowing around the front insert.
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