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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Long time reader, but my first post. I recently snagged a used SW1911PD(scandium frame, rail, blah blah) to be my dedicated night stand/home defense gun. It's pretty much bare bones stock, which I prefer so I can add parts/features I want. The first thing that just has to go is the sights. They're just boring ol 3-dot Novak style sights, which I don't need to explain why these aren't ideal for a low light defensive situation. I plan on getting an x300 or TLR-1 for the rail so that solves my field of view issue, but this obviously needs to be paired with some good sights to make the package work.

I'm torn between night sights and fiber optic. I know fiber optic will do me next to no good in the dark, but I've seen pictures where fiber optics light up like an LED with a weaponlight in front. This is where it could spin off in 1,000 different directions. With this being a 1911, I wouldn't mind have a combo that would do well as defense and something that would aid in accurate target shooting as well.

I'm open to any and all suggestions. The only thing I'm sure of is that I do not want to have to mill my slide to accommodate whatever I put in there.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Well, now with that TLR-1 in a home, you're going to see everything you're going to need to see without needing the night sights. Of course that's my opinion based on my own experience. If you're determined to have extra sights and a light, just stick to fiber optic. If you think you ever may carry it, you'll find night sights are going to do you much more good than a tactical light unless you are frequently in places with no kind of ambient light. Again though, it's just one opinion.
 

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I'm not entirely sold on the value of night sights, even though at least 3 guns here have them. To me their best value is in being able to quickly locate the gun on the night stand. There is virtually no place in my house that is so dark that a night sight stands out enough to give me any more advantage than what a naturally-pointing handgun can do. A good light, on the other hand, is a huge asset in identifying the threat. With the target illuminated, at least at indoor distances I can find the front sight well enough to get shots on target. I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss those "boring" Novaks.

As for fiber optics, I have a FO front on the 1911 I use for my club's weekly steel match. Half the year I'm shooting after dark, and although the range is well lit, sometimes a stage is arranged such that there is no available light coming from behind or overhead. In that case, I've got a completely black front sight - even if the target itself is visible. The FO tube needs a reasonable light source in order to present the shooter with a useful colored dot.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses so far. I agree that with the WML visibility obviously improves greatly, however I did some testing around my house in complete dark with a handheld light(about 100 lumens), and I was ABLE to see the sights, but to say they didn't jump out at me is an understatement. On top of that, I'm just not a fan of standard 3 dots, especially when the dots are all the same size as I have a hard time focusing on the front in well lit, range scenarios, let alone a high stress, bump in the night situation. I'd been looking at the Trijicon HD's, but if they're anything like the NS in my Shield, I'd be worried they would wash out with a light in front anyways. Which ties into gasmitty's point, are NS even viable with a WML turned on? My thought behind a FO front was that maybe the light coming from out front would be enough to illuminate at least the FS. Lots seem to suggest the TFO family, but where the actual FO material seems to rely on light coming from above, I don't see how I'd get any benefit from them.
 

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How about TLR4 instead of TLR1.
I imagine that while you're fumbling to grab your gun in an emergency at night the laser-light combo may be just the thing.
Ready to fire from unusual positions or from cover as well.
I'm scheduled to do my first low light class in a few weeks. I have trijicon HDs on my long slide PPQ as well as a TLR4, and looking forward to seeing how it will work together.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Funny you say that, as I'm slightly torn on whether to buy a TLR-1 (not HL), x-300 or the TLR-2. The inclusion of a laser into the mix would make this thread seem worthless, but I still want to take the same considerations for my sights.
 

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I think a good nightstand gun is going to have a WML. I don't think that you need any specific sights to "make it work". If you want to add night sights for whatever peace of mind it brings, I'd say just pick whichever float your boat. Anything will probably perform adequately for in home defense purposes and I've don't plenty of low light shooting without, as well as with, night sights. The one thing I would advise is don't spend any money of fiber optic if your purpose is to improve low light sight acquisition. They're made to react with a light source and a WML isn't going to do much of anything to illuminate the fiber.
 

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OP, last night to confirm my belief before I posted, I went into a completely dark garage with a hand-held Surefire 6P held below my 1911 with the FO front sight. Not a glimmer of red from the FO tube, even when the light was trained on a partially-reflective white surface.
 

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if it is for home only,. put a light on it. and get a pair of cheap electronic headphones so that if you have to shoot you will be able to hear after shooting.
 

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OP, last night to confirm my belief before I posted, I went into a completely dark garage with a hand-held Surefire 6P held below my 1911 with the FO front sight. Not a glimmer of red from the FO tube, even when the light was trained on a partially-reflective white surface.
Yeah, FO is pretty much useless on a defensive gun, IMO. They're great for competition but I'd take the big white, non-illuminated dot off the stock Glock sights over a FO, for general defensive purposes any day. Even it is easy enough to pick out in low light but a FO might as well be a solid black sight in those conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All this has been way more helpful than you guys know. I think it's safe to say I've written off FO at this point. I think want Ledge Straight 8's, but like I said I don't want to mill my slide. I shot them an email to see if the sights designed for the 'Ruger 1911' are Novak cut(they look that way in the pictures). If not I'll have to look elsewhere. The front runners if the Heinie's don't work out will likely be the Trijicon HD's(may wait til the new xr's are avail for 1911), or a 2 dot variant Sveigny's from Warren.
 

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I'm not entirely sold on the value of night sights, even though at least 3 guns here have them. To me their best value is in being able to quickly locate the gun on the night stand. There is virtually no place in my house that is so dark that a night sight stands out enough to give me any more advantage than what a naturally-pointing handgun can do. A good light, on the other hand, is a huge asset in identifying the threat. With the target illuminated, at least at indoor distances I can find the front sight well enough to get shots on target. I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss those "boring" Novaks.

As for fiber optics, I have a FO front on the 1911 I use for my club's weekly steel match. Half the year I'm shooting after dark, and although the range is well lit, sometimes a stage is arranged such that there is no available light coming from behind or overhead. In that case, I've got a completely black front sight - even if the target itself is visible. The FO tube needs a reasonable light source in order to present the shooter with a useful colored dot.
Over all I like the ("boring" Novaks) the best. Don't like to change.:image035:
 

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How about TLR4 instead of TLR1.
I imagine that while you're fumbling to grab your gun in an emergency at night the laser-light combo may be just the thing.
Ready to fire from unusual positions or from cover as well.
I'm scheduled to do my first low light class in a few weeks. I have trijicon HDs on my long slide PPQ as well as a TLR4, and looking forward to seeing how it will work together.
When I took my low light class, I used regular Trijicons. I didn't have a light, but I did rather well at hitting the intended targets with my P99 40 Short and Weak. A light may be and advantage, but I just didn't have the money for a full set up, special holster, light, gun.

Now that my eyes are aging, I find the HD's a better choice. My P99 has a orange ring, and my Sig P226 has the yellow ring. To me, it helps immensely in day light, up to dusk. At night, the tritium lamps take over. If you're lucky, the ring on the HD's are luminescent, and if one can shine a light on the front sight, it really makes a difference. The down side is the luminescence doesn't last long enough, but the tritium still works.
 

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My Kimber came with Trijicons - I like them very much. So much so that I had them installed on my Shield.
 
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