To night sight, or not to sight sight?

To night sight, or not to sight sight?

This is a discussion on To night sight, or not to sight sight? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Bought a Kimber UCII in 9mm a few weeks ago and am considering buying night sights to replace the solid black sights. However, I also ...

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Thread: To night sight, or not to sight sight?

  1. #1
    Member Array semostickbow's Avatar
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    To night sight, or not to sight sight?

    Bought a Kimber UCII in 9mm a few weeks ago and am considering buying night sights to replace the solid black sights. However, I also saw where Truglo makes a fiber optic sight.

    Are night sights worth the $?



  2. #2
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
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    The night sights are def. worth it. Just one of those things you don't appreciate on a SD gun....until you have them
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  3. #3
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by semostickbow View Post
    Are night sights worth the $?


    Well, I'd refer you with links to previous posts on this subject, but I see another opportunity here. Some of my pistols have come with night sights already installed. But every one of my Glocks have come with the stock plastic sights, and I've swapped them out rather quickly for the Trijicons or Meprolights as soon as possible. My most recent acquisition G19 went about nine months before I got the Meprolights put on last month. To me they are worth it...and the Meps can be had for less than the Trijicons and I actually like them better. As an added bonus, I shoot better with the night sights than with the factory sights....especially on the Glocks. FWIW

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  5. #4
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    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    I like em.
    Since its dark at least half the time,why not?
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  6. #5
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    Array Rock and Glock's Avatar
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    I have gone with TruGlo TFO's on all three of my Glocks - I get the high visibility of the fiber optics plus the tritium for complete darkness. The fiber optics make the sights really "pop" in low or dim light (dawn or dusk), the tritium performs great in low or no light, and the FO makes front site acquisition fast in full light.

    Well worth the money!

    As soon as my new TFO's arrive for my G17, I'll be replacing my factory installed Trijicon night sites with the TFO's.
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  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    IMHO, for a carry weapon and home defense, yes they are worth it. My Kimber has the factory installed Meprolight Tritium sights. I can see my gun at night on the nightstand.
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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array T Bone's Avatar
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    I've installed either Trijicons or Meprolights on all three of my Glocks. Did this years ago when there was a credible threat on my life. Felt it was the prudent thing to do.

    My 1911's (current most frequent carry), have night sights on 4 of 5. The fifth will get them before it goes into serious carry rotation. My Kahr PM 9 also has them. And I've got an XS Big Dot on the front bead of my Remington 870 HD..... guess I'm a believer!

    As to the fiber optics out there, personally I'd steer clear of them just from the failures I've read about on the net. Don't want sights prone to breakage on my combat worthy weapons. Maybe someday they'll get them tough enough, but for now, I won't be buying any. YMMV.
    Regards, T Bone.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety". Benjamin Franklin

  9. #8
    Member Array concealed's Avatar
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    If weapon is for Self Defense, then night sights are a must. Odds are that the attack will be at night, in which case you will ge glad to have night sights. Remember, shot placement is crucial. Not to mention you need to know where your shot is going so no unintended targets or objects are struck.

  10. #9
    Member Array clipper1's Avatar
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    I just bought a springfield 1911 w/night sights and am wondering why I didnt use them sooner. Sights that work as well in the dark as they do in the light...hard to go wrong

  11. #10
    Member Array smotta's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    +1 on the TFO's they're awesome. Well worth it.
    "In God we trust, as for the rest of you... keep your hands where I can see them" - Unknown

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    another +1... one advantage often overlooked: The night sights make it easy to find out gun at night if you have it sitting on the night stand. Even if you know where it is, it is nice to see the glow of the dots as you are still a bit dizzy.
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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    TFO's for me as well, I think they are the best sight on the market today!! Best of both worlds for all light conditions.

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    Carry On!

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array eagle5's Avatar
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    I'd definitely go for tritium sights over fiber optics.

  15. #14
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    Distinguished Member Array jfl's Avatar
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    True that it is night half of the time; however, AFAIK over 80% of the SD situation happen at night !

    I wouldn't even think of not having tritium sights (Meprolight - Trijicon, etc.) on my Glocks.

    Don't go withe fiberoptics or "light tubes"; my wife S7W .357 came with those, they are about useless.

    Once you'll get them, you'll wonder why you even asked

    And like another member said, makes it easy to find the gun in the dark.
    The first rule of a gunfight: "Don't be there !"
    The second rule: "Bring enough gun"

    (NRA Life Member/Instructor - GOA - IDPA - GSSF - ex-IHMSA)

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    See this article and it's testing results...

    Handgun Night Sights

    Personally I have had just one handgun, ever, with night sights.

    I'm going to go against the grain as folk have posted here as well as popular assumptive convention and agree with the findings as the author in the above article discovered...night sights (tritium) are not a necessity.

    I have taken three advanced level handgun specific defense courses that were oriented toward officer survival and justifiable use of force (toward both LEO and civilian orientation, which BTW are different). And I have also hired a lead instructor from the S&W Academy toward a 3 hr. 1:1 session with specificity toward low light and no light defense as relevant to my own particular personal situation and home environment. These included using the 'CAPS' system, as well as force on force using Simunitions which included low light and no light engagement, as well as no light and blinded (eyes completely shut!) firing while using live ammunition against non-live targets.

    From all that I've come to learn one thing; You cannot hit what you cannot see.
    No matter the sights. And I run target sights with a black oxide front, Novak white dot combat sights, XS 'Big Dot' sights, and in the past on my Colt WWII style 1911 low profile combat sights. In addition to using white and red dotted sights on a revolver setup for Simunitions application. And a fair amount of low light stages while shooting IDPA too using all of the above type sights.

    I'd not pass on night sights simply for not having them.
    And I would not say they are a waste of coin either.
    But for the added cost of night sights over standard version of same I would encourage folk to _invest_ in a good and durable and BRIGHT tactical illuminator first and foremost before night sights. I feel same toward use of laser sights too (i.e. Crimson Trace and Lasermax).

    Again you cannot hit what you cannot see.

    The article I referenced speaks to this and numerous other issues one would come to find true as well including the effects of muzzle flash on your night vision in specific and visual acuity overall as related to seeing your front sight.
    There is more but read the article.

    One last note, in one specific course that was Simunitions intensive we ran FoF scenarios against each other for 3 days straight. On day one I happened to have normally packed in my range kit two illuminators. My primary, Blackhawk 'Gladius', and inexpensive 2xAA cell Maglight running an LED conversion head.
    As this course was LEO oriented, and I was the single non-LEO amongst the whole, the focus wason doing LEO normative activities such as clearing a building, felony warrant apprehension, and other abnormal for civilians LEO type activities. We almost always were stacked up with un even to overwhelming numbers BGs against GGs. Myself and my calss partner drew the short stick and went first as the GGs. The BGs were allowed to walk the shoot house under full lighting and place themselves wherever they wanted to be and were fully aware we would be coming. We on the other hand had no idea where they were, what the lay out of the shoot house might be, and our task was to locate and terminate the opposing force. Our ammunition was limited as well to what we had in our pistols (I was running an 8 shot revolver).
    This was difficult. But! I had thought to snag both my illuminators and stuff them in my cargo pockets earlier in the day just in case I might need to 'see'. Well we get sent in and first thing I did was bring up my Gladius and loan my partner the Maglight. Guess what kind of a MAJOR difference that made both for us as well as the BGs. We won. Survived.
    Few others in class thought to bring an illuminator to the course at all, on day one. Day two and three though...everybody had one. Regardless of what sights they had. And they could be used to locate as well as temporarily startle/blind an attacker.
    And as a final note out of that class I was the only person to survive all three days. I was hit only once and that was a grazing shot to the lower forward area of my pant leg. My leg itself was not hit, just the pant grazed. Others did not do so well being tattooed with 'hit' marks all over including at the head.

    Bottom line; You can not hit what you cannot see...regardless of your sidearms targeting system illumination to your own eyes.
    I'd rather have a gun with no sights at all and a good illuminator with fresh batteries, than to have nothing but super awesome night sights amongst pitch black darkness. If, I could only afford to have one choice or the other as opposed to the best of both.
    With an illuminator in hand I can find my gun, and then the BG(s), and a means to escape too.

    - Janq

    P.S. - One other thing I forgot to mention which is learn how to 'Point Shoot' (or as some old school folk call it, 'Quick Kill')!

    This is a critical skill set to have in your toolbox as related to combat be it duty, or civilians on the street or defending their home.
    Seeing your sights, or dots glowing in the dark, is completely meaningless if even within the realm of possibility if an when your attacker is standing 15' or less away from you...which is how things very much tend to go down for victims as attackers/predators generally are not stupid and do try to stack the deck to their functional favor.

    So in order of money spent against value in real world use I personally from my own experiences would rank the above in the following order:

    #1 - A durable, BRIGHT, simple, easy to use and grasp/hold illumination device of some sort
    #2 - A durable, functional, well built, reliable firearm with which you have good defensive ammunition
    #3 - Training toward use of your firearm to a level of proficiency that you can 100% of the time, at a range, score hits with it within a ~21' radius under fast fire conditions
    #4 - Force on Force experience, preferably spend the coin to do so under qualified instruction and IMHO buck up to using Simunition or ManMarker enabled real world firearms. Nut even if it's simply paintball markers or Airsoft and full contact/bunkering allowed experience, anything is far better in my book than nothing at all. Not optimal but far better than nothing or video games.
    #5 - Illuminated sighting/targeting system that in general costs for a full front & rear setup $100 on the low side and goes up from there with pistols.
    Last edited by Janq; December 30th, 2008 at 05:45 PM.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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