Like the old song goes, the freaks come out at night. I won’t say you won’t ever run into trouble in the daylight, but it seems like most issues pop up when the sun goes down. Just ask any cop who works the evening or night shift. If you carry a gun for self-defense, you should have it equipped to operate in those low-light conditions. And that means having a good set of pistol night sights.
7 Pistol Night Sights for Prompt Low Light Target Acquisition
A flashlight or weapon light is important for target identification, but once you confirm a threat you need to be able to hit it. That’s where night sights come into play. Fiber optics are great, but they still need a fair bit of ambient light to work.
Tritium is a radioactive element that glows on its own and doesn’t need any external light source to function. It’s safely encapsulated in a vial, and generally has a lifespan of at least 10 years. Most companies offer a Tritium front sight with either a standard rear sight or some sort of Tritium rear as well.
As long as you have a semi-common defense pistol with replaceable sights, odds are good that someone makes Tritium sights for your pistol. Some companies offer front sights for revolvers as well. Let’s take a look at some of the main players in the night sight world and see their current offerings.
AMERIGLO® CAP Night Sights
AMERIGLO offers a number of different style pistol night sights for common defense pistols. I have a set of their Protector sights on my old work SIG and my optics mounted Glock 43X slide. But the CAP (Combative Action Pistol) sights are the company’s most recent offering. They have a green tritium dot, surrounded by either an orange or Lumigreen ring up front and a steel rear with a non-Tritium orange or Lumigreen line on the rear.
The sights are rugged and offer a good, uncomplicated sight picture. They are currently available for select Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, Sig Sauer, and Glock pistols. In addition, they are warrantied to glow for twelve years from the date of manufacture.
For more information, please visit Ameriglo.com.
Hi Viz LITEWAVE H3
Hi Viz’s LiteWave H3® Express sight uses both Tritium and HIVIZ Litepipe technology. As a result, you get bright, easy-to-see sights in any lighting condition. They’re all steel sights that use fiber optic rods to gather light during the day or in dim light. They are also combined with a Tritium capsule for use in low light.
They use an Express-style rear sight with a shallow V notch for fast sight alignment. The H3 sights are standard height so they don’t require special holsters.
The H3 is available for a wide range of pistols from Glock, HK, CZ, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, various 1911s, and some Ruger and Smith & Wesson Revolvers. Hi Viz warranties their Tritium sights for 12 years from the date of manufacture.
MSRP: $135 for a set of pistol sights and $55 for a revolver front sight
For more information, please visit HiVizSights.com.
Meprolight Hyper-Bright™ sights
MEPROLIGHT® is an Israeli company with a broad-based international clientele of military and law enforcement agencies, as well as civilian users. Its Hyper-Bright™ sights are available for a wide variety of handguns. They are also a good bet if you have something other than a SIG or Glock. For example, something like a Canik, FN, or Taurus.
They use a three-dot sight system with a bright-colored ring front sight, in your choice of green, yellow, or orange along with a basic black rear, fitted with two Tritium dots. The sight’s bodies are of rugged steel and Meprolight also offers a 12-year warranty on their sights.
For more information, please visit Meprolight.com.
Night Fision Optics Ready Stealth Sights
Night Fision is a newer player in the sight market, but it isn’t new to the world of Tritium. Straight out the Detroit Metro area, Night Fision has a history of work in the automotive industry. Likewise, its sister company is Cammenga, who has made Tritium compasses for the U.S. Army for 30 years.
Night Fision uses all-steel sights with a Perfect Dot domed lens for a crisper image, surrounded by a colored pigment rather than just a painted ring so that it can’t chip or crack. The company makes a variety of sights in standard and suppressor height and sights designed by Chris Costa and Paul Markel.
The newest style though is its Optics Ready Stealth Sights. These sights are set up for a 1/3 co-witness that doesn’t clutter the sight reticle. So, they still provide a very usable backup set or irons.
The Optics Ready Sights are offered with three color ring offerings: Yellow, Orange, and Black rings, with rear sights that are either black ringed tritium, or blank. There is 30% more Tritium in the sights too, which makes them brighter than many competitors. Installation is easy, thanks to the addition of a set screw that lets you lock the sight down without having to hammer it in place.
Night Fision pistol sights are built in the USA with Swiss Tritium and steel bodies. They have contoured edges that are easy on skin and clothes when you’re carrying your gun close to the body. They’re available for all of the regular players, plus some that the other companies don’t list like Ruger, Walther, and SAR.
MSRP: $101.00 – $119.00
For more information, please visit NightFision.com.
Trijicon DI™ Night Sights
Trijicon is one of the older players in the pistol night sights game, going back to the Gen X era of 1985. The company has fielded a variety of night sights that have seen wide military and law enforcement applications the world over. Its latest entry into the night sight field is the DI, which uses an industry-first, interchangeable fiber optic front sight.
Not only can you change the color of the fiber optic tube, but you can also change the color of the front sight rings as well. This allows you to customize the sight with the color combo that works best for you.
The fiberoptic is coupled with a Tritium front dot and a double Tritium dot rear. This gives you a sight that will stand out during the day as well as at night. It’s an ingenious system, which shouldn’t be surprising coming from a company like Trijicon which has been doing this for decades.
The DI is available for Glock, Smith & Wesson, and Springfield Armory pistols right now. But since its other sights are available for a wide variety of pistols, don’t be surprised if you see more options later.
Truglo TFX Pro
I actually have a lot of experience with Truglo’s TFX and TFX Pro sights. They’re what I used on my duty and off duty guns at work for at least 15 years. They use a combination of fiber optics and Tritium to provide a sight that works well in any lighting condition, from bright sunlight to the dark of night. The fiber optic tube is concealed from the front so that it doesn’t give away your position in the dark as well.
The TFX Pro’s body is made from CNC machined steel and is low profile and anti-snag. They’ll work with most conventional holsters too, without issue. The Tritium element is encapsulated in what Truglo says is a virtually indestructible capsule that’s impervious to oils, chemicals, cleaning solvents, and ultra-sonic cleaning processes. I’ve never had any issue with mine and solvents over more than a decade of use.
Truglo sights are assembled in the USA with Swiss tritium and are warrantied for 12 years from the date of original manufacturing.
XS Sights R3D and Minimalist Tritium Night Sights
XS Sights has two newer offerings, the R3D and Minimalist Tritium Night Sights. The R3D Night Sights have a 3-dot tritium, notch and post, sight picture. In addition to the Tritium in the front sight, the R3D also has a proprietary photoluminescent orange or green Glow Dot.
The dot absorbs ambient light and glows in low light, along with the Tritium. This makes it brighter than the rear Tritium dots and increases focus on the front sight. If you want an even simpler sight picture you can go with the Minimalist. The Minimalist only has a Tritium front dot and a serrated black steel rear sight with a wide U notch.
XS sights are rugged, easy to install, and offer a good, uncluttered sight picture—especially the Minimalist model. The R3D and Minimalist sights are CNC machined from solid steel bar stock by XS Sight’s Fort Worth, Texas machine shop. XS offers a 10-year no questions asked warranty that even covers breakage during work or training use.
MSRP: $111 – $143
For more information, please visit XSSights.com.