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Thread: Night Sights

  1. #1
    cbrgator's Avatar
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    Night Sights

    I am looking for a set of night sights for my Glock 19. Anybody have some recommendations? What's an average set cost? Are they easy to install yourself or is it best done by a smith?

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    JeffWard's Avatar
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    I put Trijicons on my XD45, and I'm getting a second set for my XD9SC. Excellent. They are the industry standard 3-dot config. Flat front on rear sight for single hand slide racking if required.

    About $80-90 at Midwayusa.com

    If you have a bench vice and a brass punch, you can install yourself, but you will destroy the plastic factory Glock sights. If you want to keep the old sights, a Smith will put them on for around $20-30. You'll need a "sight pusher".

    JW

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    Dredd is offline Member
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    Trijicon, Heinie, Novak all make quality sights.

    Trijicon offers a standard 3 dot with the option for a lighter color in the rear sight such as orange or yellow so that you can more quickly pick out the front sight.

    Heinie offers a unique sight system called the straight eight. What is different is that there are only 2 dots on the sight. You simply line them up straight up and down and you have a perfect sight picture lined up, and it creates a sort of picture of an 8. The different is that it's slower sight aquisition when you're trying to line it up horizontal. 3 dots would give a better horizontal picture IMO. What I mean is if you were scaning a room it seems to be easier for me to line up the sights when doing this procedure with a 3dot system. Just drawing and aiming the straight eight system works better. YMMV

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    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I prefer Meprolights, and have them on two of my three Glocks. I prefer the higher, blockier sight picture versus the Trijicons. They are also less expensive. I just had a set put on my 23 at Glockmeister (here in Arizona) for $67 including installation.
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    falshman70's Avatar
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    If cost is an issue, a good stop-gap is the Nightsiter. I bought 10 small dots for $10 + shipping and find that they work as advertised.

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    Get some tritium ghost rings.

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    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Ghost ring sights are counterproductive on pistols for people with normal eyesight.

    Work great on long guns, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Ghost ring sights are counterproductive on pistols for people with normal eyesight.

    Work great on long guns, though.
    I was kidding, lol.

    But tell me about those people with abnormal eyesight. Which eye condition would make ghost rings a good choice on a handgun?

  9. #9
    submoa is offline Member
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    Father-in-law has a set of Truglo TFOs on his 19. Fiber optic worked great in day and tritiums at night (but not as bright as Mepros).

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    Quote Originally Posted by submoa View Post
    Father-in-law has a set of Truglo TFOs on his 19. Fiber optic worked great in day and tritiums at night (but not as bright as Mepros).
    The TFOs are what I had planned on getting put on my XD had I kept it. The problem with full tritium is you can't see the dots to save your life in broad daylight. A fairly easy fix is to carefully put a small ring of fluorescent paint around them without covering up the tritium. I'm not about to try it, but it's an idea.

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    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I've talked to some presbyopes who liked the ghost rings on pistols. They weren't fast, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    I've talked to some presbyopes who liked the ghost rings on pistols. They weren't fast, though.
    What's a presbyope?

  13. #13
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Guys with short-arm disease. In other words, guys who are old enough to need reading glasses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivehourfrenzy View Post
    The TFOs are what I had planned on getting put on my XD had I kept it. The problem with full tritium is you can't see the dots to save your life in broad daylight. A fairly easy fix is to carefully put a small ring of fluorescent paint around them without covering up the tritium. I'm not about to try it, but it's an idea.
    Do the trijicons have this problem?

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    Every time I pass by this thread on my way elsewhere, I think to jump in with my opinion...and then I rethink it and don't.
    For some reason, tonight I'm driven to express my thoughts on the matter of night sights. Maybe it's because I'm old and right now my arthritis is acting up. Whatever...

    In my experience, night sights on a pistol are a waste of both money and the effort to install them. (And night sights on a rifle are as useless as [nipples] on a hog.)
    How do we use our pistol sights? We are supposed to focus on the front sight, and line up the blurry rear sight and blurry target with that front sight. Right? OK, in the dark and focusing on the illuminated front sight, how does one see the target? The light of the front sight swamps it, and it functionally disappears. (And, if there is enough light to see both target and sights clearly, you don't need illuminated sights. See?)
    Better in the dark to have un-illuminated sights and, instead, to focus your eyes on the target. The target is what you need to hit, so you absolutely must be able to see it. Your eyes need to gather all of its reflected light, without any interference or distraction from illuminated objects in between.
    So, if your eyes are focused on the target, how do you line up your sights?
    Easy: You don't!
    Successful night pistol shooting depends upon practice, practice, and more practice. Successful night pistol shooting requires sufficient practice from you, such that your pistol's sights "automatically" come up to meet your line-of-vision every time you present your gun. Thus, if you focus on seeing the target and then raise your pistol, your sights will be automatically aligned because of well-practiced "muscle memory." It's better not to see your sights, to shoot a pistol well at night.

    I have insufficient night-time experience with shooting a rifle, so I'm not qualified to instruct on that matter. The little night rifle shooting I have done has taught me that any scope I've used was counter-productive at night, and that anything more than maybe 60 yards away could also have been on the moon, as far as my ability to hit it was concerned.

    My friend and mentor, Mike Harries, used to say that, "There are no gadgets or miracle cures that save you from having to practice. Good shooting depends upon lots of practice at using the simplest equipment."

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    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    With all due respect to my friend Steve M1911A1, I must differ. While I am very much a software-over-hardware guy, and despise almost all manner of gadgetry, I think night sights are useful enough to warrant at least serious consideration on a fighting pistol.

    Illuminated sights help in several ways. Dark sights in even dusky light can easily wash out against a dark shirt. A backlit target - as in someone silhouetted in a doorway in your home - presents sight alignment difficulties that night sights solve. Night sights allow you to find your nightstand pistol quickly in the dark. Are these a limited set of circumstances? Sure, but none of them are rare in the spectrum of defensive pistol uses.

    I fully understand and appreciate the fact that a well-trained shooter can indeed shoot in the dark without night sights by using "muscle memory" (or whatever the cool-guy jargon is this week). Mas Ayoob showed me how to do it. But the vast majority of gun carriers don't have mentors like the great Mike Harries, and haven't attended upper-level training at Gunsite or wherever. Nor do most people shoot enough to retain the "muscle memory" needed to get good hits in low light on moving targets in a dynamic fight.

    Most people derive a benefit from night sights. Is it gigantic and overwhelming? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the situation. But since there are no real-world downsides to tritium sights (unless you fancy yourself a ninja), and they cost less than a few boxes of ammo, I think not having them is a mistake - though perhaps a minor one.
    Last edited by Mike Barham; 05-03-2008 at 03:53 PM.
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    I give all due respect to you, too, Mike, especially since you are one of the few on this forum who has actually been in fire-fights, and therefore know more about the subject of defensive (and offensive) shooting than most of us (including me).
    I have to say that it worries me considerably that you could be correct, that people who own defensive weaponry don't practice with their...er...tools enough to develop the necessary "muscle memory" to do their defensive jobs as well and as safely as possible.
    It has absolutely nothing to do with having been mentored by Mike, or attending Gunsite (which I never did), and absolutely everything to do with mind-set, motivation, and (dare I say it) craftsmanship. If you own a tool, and especially as inherently dangerous a tool as a pistol, it behooves you to do your best to become proficient (or even highly skilled) with it.
    With experienced hindsight, I'd say that one needn't attend Gunsite or Front Sight, to develop speed-, power-, and accuracy-proficiency. ("DVC"óremember them?) All one needs to do is to commit a small amount of time, each and every day, to consistent practice. (You might practice the wrong thing, but you'll become very good at it; and that would probably suffice to save your life in a fight.)
    To attain useful muscle memory, one must dry-fire (including presentations) for no more than 10 minutes every day. More than that is counter-productive, because fatigue cancels learning. Then, one must shoot actual bullets at actual targets for at least an hour, once a week, including (as one develops proficiency) movement and both short- and long-range attempts. That's all it takes.
    I ran my own leathersmithing business, a two-man shop with walk-in customers. I'm sure that you, Mike, know how fatiguing that was. But at the end of every day, after walking a mile home and before eating dinner, I put in my 10 minutes of practice. (My at-home coach was my daughter, from ages three through 12. I showed her what I had to do, and she critiqued whether or not I was living up to my own criteria.)
    I never became a Grand Master in IPSC, but what I learned is still good enough to have stayed with me until today, 30 years later. And I still practice.

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    Somewhere in the middle, like usual... lies the truth.

    In an instictive shooting situation, at close range, in an out-draw to survive scenario... You're not going to see the sights, illuminated or not, and your survival will depend on your training, and practice, and a lot of old fashion... luck.

    In the instance where a more precise shot may be required, ie home defense in the dark from the top of the stairs... against a dark target, like a guy in a black sweatshirt, black pants, and a black hat... I'll take the night sights every time... If I have the element of suprise, ie time, I want sight alignment. Black (or white dot) sights on a black background, in low light... I WANT to avoid being silouetted, and avoid having a tactical light in my gun creating a target...

    The thought of my tritium sights "washing out" a target to me doesn't wash... Where "correct" technique requires focus on a front sight... tritiums work exceptionally well in FORCING the eye to focus on the glowing dot... the center one... They aren't nearly bright enough to "swamp" a target... They DO help me find the gun on the nightstand in the pitch black though!!!!

    My 2 cents.

    JW

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    Steve, as always, your experience and wisdom are top notch. However, I think there is a happy medium between your argument that night sights are counterproductive, and the rest that say they make a difference. A big part of it depends on how bright they really are. Yes, if they're way too bright, you lose focus of your target. However, most modern tritium sights emit a very dim glow that is enough to easily acquire and line up in dim or no light, but aren't bright enough to "blind" you, or cause you to lose focus of your target. Whenever light starts to dim, they start glowing. In pitch black, I wouldn't consider them bright, but in pitch black, you can't see a target anyway. I seriously doubt using the tritium glow (at least on my handgun) would in any way inhibit my ability to shoot defensively. I don't like the idea of not being able to see them in dim light, which means the gun might be pointing in any direction with no way to confirm sight alignment. And if it's too dark to see your target, you're not gonna hit it unless you get lucky, whether or not you can see your sights. The sights on my Nite Hawg are perfect...they glow just enough to be visible and stand out, but not to cause me to lose focus of a target, or even worse, cause my pupils to constrict, inhibiting my ability to see my target in dim light or darkness.

  20. #20
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    (You might practice the wrong thing, but you'll become very good at it; and that would probably suffice to save your life in a fight.)
    Now that is an interesting statement, and one I think deserves its own thread. Can being skilled at the "wrong" things be beneficial?
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