Every home-defense plan should include a handgun for each family member. Handguns are the defensive weapon you carry at all times, serving as backups, solving problems that happen quickly and, in a prolonged fight, helping you fight your way to a rifle. Similarly, every home-defense handgun should have night sights.

I am a big fan of night sights and have had great luck with TruGlo, XS and Meprolight sights. Personally, I would avoid night sights with three dots that are all the same color, size, shape and intensity, as they can get confusing when stuff is happening fast. Try to find something that unmistakably defines the rear and front sights.

As I am with rifles (perhaps even more so), I am a huge fan of laser sights on any defensive handgun. In addition to all their benefits to rifles, they can help keep you out of court. With a laser you can cover and keep your eyes on your opponent with no need to focus on a front sight. Just look right at the subject. This leads to fewer mistakes in fast-breaking situations. On a J-Frame revolver or subcompact pistol, lasers are a game-changer, making it much easier to hit your target. The key with most handgun-mounted laser sights is that they must turn on instinctively and handle the rigors of daily carry. I am not a fan of stick-on pressure pads or wires running up and down the gun.


Trijicon, trijicon sights, trijicon sight

Trijicon sights are probably the best known in the industry. They’re excellent. I have the Bright & Tough night sights on a couple of my carry guns, and the sights have worked well in all conditions. I recently installed a set of Trijicon HD Night Sights on my Glock 23. This sighting system features a large colored ring that is charged with light so that it glows in the dark. In the center is a tritium capsule that glows all the time, while the wide U-shaped rear notch has tritium dots on each side. This sight is excellent for defensive handguns. (; 800-338-0563)

Crimson Trace

Crimson Trace LTG-660
Crimson Trace LTG-660

Crimson Trace Lasergrips are a great choice for most handguns, like 1911s or S&W M&Ps. These grips activate instinctively when you grip the gun, are adjustable and rugged, and will fit in any holster. The downside is that many models aren’t left-hand friendly. Lasergrips work. I have them on many of my carry guns, but you need to be aware that, with a conventional grip, the support hand will sometimes block the laser. Subcompact handguns like the Kel-Tec or the Diamondback .380s use a CT laser that mounts in front of the triggerguard, so, right or left, it doesn’t matter. On the Glocks, the CT-style changes the shape and feel of the grips, which some shooters do not like.
The Crimson Trace Lightguard fits on the rail and over the triggerguard of the pistol, and the activation button is positioned under the ring finger. I currently have these lights on an S&W M&P and on a Glock 23. This slim light is very holster friendly, and Galco has holsters to fit most handguns, even for a lefty like me. (; 800-442-2406)


LaserMax Guide Rod Laser for Glock 23, 19, 32, 38
LaserMax Guide Rod Laser for Glock 23, 19, 32, 38

I recently installed an internal guide-rod laser sight from LaserMax in my Glock 23 (the same one with the Trijicon sights). The LaserMax was very easy to install and was completely enclosed in the gun, so there were no holster issues. And for guys like me with short fingers, the grip remains unchanged. The only thing I noticed was that the lens in the front of the gun got dirty after multiple shots, distorting the laser. But a quick wipe with a handkerchief or with a T-shirt can fix that problem. (; 800-527-3703)


Best New Rifle Optics and Sights For Fall 2014

8 Reflex Sights That Will Have You Shooting Straighter

23 Tactical and Traditional New Optics for 2014

Night Defenders: Laser Sights and Gun Lights

29 Must-Have Optics for 2014

Defeat the Darkness: 17 Lights & Lasers For 2014

10 Reflex Sight Systems For Lightning-Fast Target Acquisition

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