Glo paint or other instead of Trijicon sights?

This is a discussion on Glo paint or other instead of Trijicon sights? within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by barstoolguru You must have the battery operated ones Battery operated Tritium, say what now?...

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Thread: Glo paint or other instead of Trijicon sights?

  1. #16
    Member Array RTTR84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    You must have the battery operated ones
    Battery operated Tritium, say what now?

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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array RemMod597's Avatar
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    @barstoolguru - tritium night sights need neither a light pre-charge nor batteries.

    Keeping them in the dark does not make them go dark. Radioactive decay will eventually make them dim, but over years.
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  4. #18
    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    tis was from the firing line when I was looking for info and I though it was worth passing on: (you gotta love the internet):

    Night Sights & Low Light--An Experiment

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I had some questions about the utility of night sights after acquiring and installing a couple of sets at a very good price.

    My initial take was that they were useless in any situation if there was enough light to see the sights (you could simply use normal sights and get the same effect) and useless in any situation when there was not enough light to see the target (aligning your sights carefully is useless if you can't see the target). It seemed that an experiment was in order to verify the hypothesis given the support that night sights have from the shooting community.

    Most ranges are not amenable to having people shoot when there is inadequate light but fortunately Double Naught Spy made Horn Hill Range available for an experiment.

    At the appointed time 4 shooters convened at Horn Hill Range. I provided two very similar guns (both Glock 17s) one with night sights and one without. All the shooters used the same ammunition, WWB, to eliminate that variable.

    The course of fire involved shooting at IPSC style targets (roughly life-sized targets shaped like an armless human torso with a head) made of steel and placed 15 yards from the shooters. Hits & misses were scored as were the times for each shot string. Shot strings began from low ready, the shooter raised the gun at the buzzer (set on a random interval) and engaged a target with a 5 shot string.

    The first series was shot in normal light to provide control numbers to compare to the later low light numbers. The average shot string time was 2.96 seconds with a miss rate of about 9%.

    The second series was shot at dusk (sunset was at 6:41PM and the series was shot between 7:05PM and 7:17PM) and was broken into two different tests. The time selected for the dusk/low-light series was chosen such that the targets and the night sights were clearly visible but the iron sights were not. One test was shot each type of sights and a second test using a flashlight with each type of sights. All shooters used a variant of the Harries technique and were allowed to select from a variety of flashlights available in order to find one that provided the best fit for them.

    Shooting at dusk without a flashlight resulted in times that were 40% slower than the control strings shot in daylight. There was no appreciable difference in the times shot with the night sight gun vs the plain sight gun. BUT, the miss rate was much different. With night sights, the shooters actually improved their accuracy over the shot strings shot in daylight by a small amount--perhaps because the glowing sights forced the shooter to focus on the sights. But with plain sights the misses TRIPLED. Night sights really shine (sorry) when there is sufficient light to see the target but insufficient light to see the sights.

    Shooting with the flashlight incurred a time penalty of approximately 65%. This is probably due to the fact that using one hand to hold onto the flashlight means that hand isn't available to hold on to the gun--slowing down recoil recovery.

    Using the flashlight at dusk resulted in a degradation in accuracy compared to the control strings shot in daylight. Misses increased by about 100%. There didn't appear to be any significant difference in the type of sights used in low-light/dusk when the flashlight was employed. If anything the plain sights may have had an advantage.

    So what about total darkness? It was pointless (even dangerous) to shoot either gun without a flashlight since the targets were completely invisible. Initial testing showed no difference between the two sight types in total darkness. In both cases there was the same time penalty for using the flashlight (about 65%) and misses increased over the daylight shot strings by about 100%. Pretty much the same results as shooting at dusk with a flashlight and not any significant difference between the sight types. When using a decently bright flashlight there was enough light reflected off the target to provide good backlighting to allow effective use of either plain or night sights.

    However, the shooting didn't stop there. Given that we still had some ammunition and the batteries were still working in the flashlights we did a bit more experimentation on a less formal level.

    All the shooters noticed during the formal testing that the smoke from the discharge was very distracting when a flashlight was being employed. Although the smoke was invisible during the daylight shooting, trying to shine a light through it made it not only visible but annoying and a hindrance to accuracy. The effect was something like shining headlights through fog and got worse the brighter the flashlight was. Some experimentation revealed that the most effective technique to combat this effect was to shine the light, not on the target, but rather onto the ground in front of the target where the light scatter would illuminate the target. That didn't leave much illumination to backlight the sights so the night sights were required for that technique.

    This technique effectively transformed the situation back into the dusk scenario. The scattered light was sufficient to see the target but not sufficient to see the sights. With some practice this technique was quite accurate but there was still the typical time/accuracy penalty associated with the flashlight use.

    Moving to a weapon mounted light would help with the time penalty associated with holding a flashlight in the weak hand (per the Harries technique) but wouldn't allow the shooter to aim the light to minimize backscatter from the discharge smoke.

    Conclusions
    If you use a weapon mounted light then night sights aren't going to provide a significant benefit except as a backup.

    If you don't have a light (either weapon mounted or separate) your weapon will be useless when it gets really dark even if you have night sights.

    Night sights provide a tremendous accuracy benefit in low light (when normal sights are not visible but the target is visible) but no detectable benefit in normal light. They can provide a benefit in darkness if used with a flashlight to indirectly illuminate the target. Without a flashlight or when the flashlight is used to directly illuminate the target night sights provide no benefit in darkness.

    If you have a weapon mounted light or try to directly illuminate the target with a handheld light held close to your firearm, expect to have some difficulty with light reflecting back from discharge smoke after your first shot. This effect is worse with a brighter light.

    If you use a separate light, shine it directly on the target for the first shot to provide a distraction to your opponent and to provide maximum illumination for backlighting your sights. You can make hits this way regardless of whether your sights are night sights or not. After the first shot, if you have night sights, you'll improve your accuracy if you shine the light down and use the scattered light to illuminate the target without reflecting back in your eyes from the discharge smoke. If you don't have night sights you'll have to keep illuminating your target directly to keep your sights backlit--and you'll just have to deal with the distraction of the reflected light from the discharge smoke.

    Finally, if you've never had a chance to shoot in low light you should make every effort to do so. Simple little things like keeping the switch on the flashlight depressed can get lost in the mix of things that need to be done. I found myself in darkness a couple of times for a brief instant wondering why I had no light until I realized that I had released pressure on the flashlight switch.

    Many thanks to Double Naught Spy for providing range facilities and to Ken W. and Mark R. for providing willing assistance in this testing & experimentation.
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  5. #19
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    I'll just say that my TruGlo TFO's don't exhibit ANY brightness loss due to not seeing the light of day. They go from my nightstand drawer to completely concealed on my body. They still glow the same as the day I took them out of the package from taking a week to arrive.

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    OP : there are sight removal tools... some for specific guns and some made for "general " purposes. But, they typically are about $150. Shops don't want to buy all those gun specific tools that won't be used that often. Some shops will not do them because if they scratch or bugger up the gun any at all , which is easy to do, they don't want to be responsible for it.

    Some guns are worse than others to do. XD's are not changeable friendly. I do not know on M&P's ... so listen to the people here who know the gun.

    If there is a local forum, you might ask the question and if someone has a sight removal tool. ON a local forum here, there is usually someone that has one and is more than willing to loan it out or help someone.

    The other option ; send them in to the Mfg, typically they will change them out for you for a charge ... one's I've seen .. about $20 + Cost of the sight + the shipping .... which is painful.
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  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    something you want to keep in mind is that any night sights need to be exposed to light in order to work so if you have your EDC in a IWB holster and it is not exposed to light you are not going to see them anyway.
    I didn't realize this...
    I guess I'm sending my Trijicons and Meps all back...they just keep glowing in the safe for years...must be defective.

    I guess I'm going to throw my Luminox watch in the same box too, that sucker is really defective.
    Last edited by RETSUPT99; January 10th, 2012 at 08:30 PM.
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  8. #22
    Distinguished Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    The tritium in a gaseous tritium light source undergoes beta decay, releasing electrons which cause the phosphor layer to fluoresce.

    Fluorescence is the emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation

    EDIT: who is to say how much light is needed but keep in the dark will go dead

    and P.S. this is very intresting
    The only thing interesting is your position on this subject and how wrong you are. That's o.k. some body has to be "that guy".

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eaglebeak View Post
    9MMare, you might want to go back and research a thread that Tangle posted awhile back entitled "Are Luminescent Sights A Best Kept Secret?" because there was a very interesting and informative discussion with some very excellent pictures he posted to show the low-light effectiveness of "lumi-dots" (whether they're pre-exposed to light or not) in quickly identifying the sight alignment in low or even bright light conditions.

    Here's the link to check out some that work really good:

    Nitesiters Handgun Night Sights

    I've put them on every handgun I own with fantastic success at an extremely affordable price. They offer two options: (1) those that glow in the dark for a number of hours (if exposed to light first) but instantly provide extremely good contrast immediatly upon being exposed to even dim light as would happen if drawing from dark concealed carry, and (2) the highly flourescent type which don't glow in the dark but still provide excellent sight alighment in very low light.

    At only about $12 for a pack of 8 little dots or a different pack with 4 little dots and 4 narrow strips, I bought a pack of each one so I could use a dot on a flat-backed front sight and the narrow strip on a ramped-blade front sight. Put 'em on even the tiny little front and rear sights of a .380 Colt Mustang with no problem and great results. They work great whether your budget is an issue or not.

    Whether you decide to try them or not, don't waste your money on any kind of paint - been there, seen it, done that - very difficult to neatly apply and isn't worth a hoot after you've also wasted much time and effort.
    Thanks! I thought there was something else besides paint but I wasnt sure. For that price it sounds worth trying. I will check out the thread and info.

    Which of the 2 types do you prefer?

    Also, I'm interested in an LC9 and I think I read that they dont make night sights for that (yet)? So that would be an option for that gun too.
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  10. #24
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    OP : there are sight removal tools... some for specific guns and some made for "general " purposes. But, they typically are about $150. Shops don't want to buy all those gun specific tools that won't be used that often. Some shops will not do them because if they scratch or bugger up the gun any at all , which is easy to do, they don't want to be responsible for it.

    Some guns are worse than others to do. XD's are not changeable friendly. I do not know on M&P's ... so listen to the people here who know the gun.

    If there is a local forum, you might ask the question and if someone has a sight removal tool. ON a local forum here, there is usually someone that has one and is more than willing to loan it out or help someone.

    The other option ; send them in to the Mfg, typically they will change them out for you for a charge ... one's I've seen .. about $20 + Cost of the sight + the shipping .... which is painful.
    In the past I've asked on the S&W forum, M&P specific section. They said they are hard to install, look for someone local (professional) to do it, or send gun to Trijicon.
    Fortune favors the bold.

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  11. #25
    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    some of the Y-tube videos show you how to do it. one shows how you need to file the sights a little to get them to fit with out beating them to death

  12. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    some of the Y-tube videos show you how to do it. one shows how you need to file the sights a little to get them to fit with out beating them to death
    I can't say I recommend this, only would I say it might be acceptable is if the rear sight had a set screw to secure it in place, which my tfo's did but most are just press fit, the problem being if you start taking off too much they may be looser in the groove than they were intended to be.

  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    The tritium in a gaseous tritium light source undergoes beta decay, releasing electrons which cause the phosphor layer to fluoresce.

    Fluorescence is the emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation

    EDIT: who is to say how much light is needed but keep in the dark will go dead

    and P.S. this is very intresting
    Those electrons from the beta decay ARE the "other electromagnetic radiation". No other light source needed.

  14. #28
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    I personally just got some of the glow in the dark lure paint from the local bait and tackle shop and it works just fine. Anything that glows as bright as these guys say that it does, will also light up your face and make you a nice target. If you have a Dot type sights or just a flat type, I'd just put some paint on the front one only. I don't even use a rear sight on my .45 unless I'm target shooting (took it off as it snags and really bugs me when single cocking the installed combat rounded hammer). Last few times had to qualify with the thing, the rear sight missing didn't make any difference. If you can get that front sight on target, you will probably be naturally be aligned with the target at distance out to 7yards or 21ft. When on duty, also carried a mini-mag light that I would cup in my hand and turn on so no light visible...roll that into a room to left, the BG eyes will focus to the light and while he is distracted and lit up....you step in to the right and tap him. Personally when working I don't want anything lit up on me that can be used as a target, including ink pen clips, belt buckles, cell phones that ring at the worst possible times and such.

  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    something you want to keep in mind is that any night sights need to be exposed to light in order to work so if you have your EDC in a IWB holster and it is not exposed to light you are not going to see them anyway.
    Incorrect...
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  16. #30
    VIP Member Array slugger6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    I got the glo paint and it is a waste of money

    I second that!
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