Firearm accessories are very popular. It’s not often that you take a new gun out of the box and it is exactly what you wanted. The one most important accessory you can add to your firearm that will not add weight and give you a great advantage are night sights. Most law enforcement agencies require their officers to carry a firearm with night sights.
Just like any firearm accessory, night sights come from different manufacturers and are made from different materials, some better than others. Night sights can be purpose built just for defensive or fighting applications and some can be made to offer a compromise of fighting and target shooting.
Among the most popular are tritium night sights. A popular manufacturer of tritium sights is Trijicon. Tritium sights use a glass tube coated with a phosphorescent material and filled with a tiny amount of tritium. Tritium is a radioactive material (don’t worry it’s not going to hurt you) that actually decays and causes it glow. The coating on the tube is what dictates the color. Some popular colors are green, orange and red. Green is the color the eye can pick up the fastest. The great advantage to tritium sights is that they glow all the time, no need for a light to energize them. You can have it in a safe for a month and take it out and they will be just as bright as when you put them in. Most tritium sights have a twelve year half life, simply meaning that in twelve years the sights will be 50% as bright as when they were new.
Another form of night sights are fiber optic. TruGlo is a popular manufacturer of fiber optic sights. Fiber optics use a translucent plastic pipe to gather and channel light to the rear of the sight. These are great in low to moderate light but offer no advantage in complete darkness. To offer the best of both worlds, TruGlo offers a TFO sight. Tritium Fiber Optic, now you have a great daytime sight and a great night sight. The TFO sights use the tritium to light up the fiber optics giving you very bright sights even in the darkest conditions.
If you have a firearm for concealed carry or home defense it is very important to have night sights. Chances are that if you have to use your weapon in self-defense it will be at night. This is not the time to find out your regular sights are nearly useless in the dark.
Night sights for a Glock 19 (the most popular selling handgun) range from $49 to $129 for quality sights. These can be installed by yourself or most gun shops or gunsmiths can do it for you. Trijicon will install them for you if you send the slide to them for a small fee. You can also buy a Glock with factory Glock night sights or Trijicon sights installed. Glock will also install them on the Glock you already own.
Do some research and find out what night sight is best for you. Some will offer really fast target acquisition at night but will not be very accurate for daytime target shooting. Some gun shops will have guns with sights already installed and may let you try them in a dark room to see what works best for you. Or you may have a friend with night sights installed that you can try. Find out what color your eyes pick out the quickest. Some people will install different color rear sights than the front. Usually green in the front is the best color. Orange may become drowned out from the muzzle flash. After your sights are installed make sure to check the accuracy. You may need to adjust them to get them zeroed in. If possible, practice with your sights in low light conditions so you will be ready to use them if necessary.