I can’t understand why any handgun suitable for the everyday carry (EDC) market wouldn’t have night sights. For one thing, criminals are largely nocturnal. Night sights are a ballistic blessing when you’re out and about in low-light or nighttime conditions. For another, many, if not most concealed carriers use their EDC for nightstand duty. While I recommend turning on the lights if something goes bump in the night, night sights afford stealthy self-defense options. So, do you have night sights? If so, which ones, how did you choose them or were they standard equipment? If not, why not?

Recommended For You

97 Responses to Question of the Day: Got Night Sights?

    • I don’t even really care about the night sights darkness capabilities; I have a weapon light/laser combo for that. In daylight, I just seem to be able to get better groupings out of the trijicon night sights that I install on my handguns. That’s worth more to me than their glow-in-the-dark capabilities.

  1. Damn right I have night sights on my EDC, Tritium of some type that came on my Sig. My battle rifle has a T1 and a X300 Ultra, so it’s ready for the night also.
    Many or most gun uses happen in dark or low light.

  2. EDC Glock 26, Speed sights (my eyes are not what they used to be)
    Nightstand USP 45, light already mounted, but Ameriglo sights ready to be mounted (spotted them on clearance at GTs)

  3. Trijicon HD. Big orange dot on the front sight that’s extremely easy to acquire during the day, in addition to the tritium for the night/low light. The orange dot is also glow in the dark, so if you happen to have a strong light source you can shine on it before going into the dark, it will continue to luminesce, making the front sight even easier to see.

    • I also use the Trijicon HD’s — I preferred the Yellow dot though – but yeah, they POP in the daytime. Probably the single best upgrade you can do to a carry gun.

      • I liked the brightness of the sight, and had one on G19. But ultimately I got rid of it because it was too big for me to shoot precisely with.

    • Trijicon HD with orange front sights on all four of my Glocks. X300 also on one and XC1 on another. The other two Glocks don’t have accessory rails 🙁

  4. I’ve got a flashlight. Night sights don’t glow bright enough to be clearly visible when your target is illuminated by a bright light.

    I don’t ever plan on shooting at anything in the dark without first identifying the target with a light.

      • Exactly. Flashlight only. Ask George Zimmerman if he needed night sights. Point and shoot. Some folks get way too fancy with their training and gear.

        P.S. Not trying to bring up any Zimmerman issues/drama.

        • Wow, I’m not the only one who thinks that way.
          Nope…no night sights on pistols, because I’d leave my pistol behind before my flash light. No night sights on rifles, because they stay locked up. No night sights on my shotgun, because it has a weapon light.

        • WADR I think Zimmerman’s shot was practically at zero distance…St. Trayvon was sitting on Zimmerman’s gut, trying to continue smashing Z’s head into the ground.

    • This. Thought I needed night sights until I took a low-light class. Then I realized if you can’t see the target well enough to ID it, it’s a no-shoot situation. And a good flashlight will ruin your night vision to the point that it’s really hard to see night sights anyway.

    • This. I’ve experimented several times to get the “right” night sight setup, and the best setups I have (that allow me to quickly get an accurare sight picture) are:
      1. Green tritium front (Ameriglo ProGlo) and 2-dot tritium Yellow rear (Ameriglo Operator (no outline), U-notch)
      2. Ameriglo i-Dot setup (or Heine Straight Eight, etc.)

      Both work worlds better than drawing and seeing 3 green dots…I can never tell which is the front sight fast enough to be comfortable.

  5. Yup. Every handgun I remotely consider for defensive use has night sights with only one exception. Unfortunately, nobody makes a tritium sight set for the PPKS that does not require major gunsmithing work.

    I do like combination tritium/fiber sights, but I only have them on my competition G17L. They tend to be huge, which makes mounting them on compact pistols a major pain.

    Optics on rifles are a no-brainer. The only tactical rifles I own without illuminated optics are my long range .308 AR, bolt guns, and my AKs whithout side rails.

  6. Yep, even if you run a weapon mounted light what a lot of people don’t take into account is that the light will light up the bad guy but your sights are still going to be dark. Unless you practice shooting by silhouetting the front sight, you put yourself at a disadvantage. Good night sights like the Trijicon HDs are generally way better in the daytime than the factory three dot (or the Glock dot in a box) sights on most pistols too.

  7. Crimson Trace laser grip on a model 642 (snub nose 38). Initially a laser skeptic, I’m now a believer as I’ve been able to use the laser to improve not only low-light target performance but as a training tool to improve my trigger pull by practicing dry firing while keeping the laser from bouncing around. The 642’s sights aren’t very useful and the laser gives me the option of firing from positions where I couldn’t use the fixed sight. BTW my improved trigger pull has transferred over to my semi-autos, so I’m happy. I’ll be adding night sights and a laser to my shotgun to make it ready for low light conditions. A weapon is pretty useless if you can’t target a threat.

  8. I put a front night sight on my full size CZ-75, just dipping my toe in the water, so to speak. It’s *harder* to see that in the semi-dim lighting at the range. It’s not dark enough for the glow to be visible, and the former white dot is gone.

    A night sight is good in truly dark conditions, worthless otherwise. I’d love to see a regular pistol sight that combines a fiber optic and tritium (sort of like the ACOG does, but of course it would have to be MUCH smaller and not include optics) to cover both worlds.

  9. The paint in my sights actually popped out after a year (it was too dark anyway), so I repainted with a luminescent paint. Not as effective as real night sights but the paint doesn’t cost upwards of $70. If you can afford I recommend upgrading to something like Trijicon. The factory 3-dots in my Ruger were pretty terrible.

  10. Trijicon tritium sights on my Glock 19 Gen 3, and Truglow TFO on my Glock 19 Gen 4. I think the Truglos are a little brighter and I was having some difficulty picking up the Trijicons. I’m over 40 so this might not apply to younger shooters.

  11. On my pistols, yes. They came so equipped. On revolvers with fixed sights, no, because they didn’t come equipped with them. But I’ve been known to add a dab of fluorescent sight paint to revolver sights. It works better than you might expect.

    At home, I prefer to just flip on a light switch. I’ve been told that the effect on a BG is the same as the sound of racking a pump-action shotgun. On the street, flipping a switch is not a viable option.

  12. A current flashlight technique is to hold out 12″ to 18″ (depends on your own dimensions) from head, body of light in line with top of head. It is away from you and illuminates your sights your target but not you.

    • I wouldn’t call that current. It’s best to have the light mounted if possible. If not, second best is a hand held technique that still allows two hands on the weapon. One handed weapon control/shooting is least preferred.

      Here is something else to think about: most individuals shooting a firearm under stress shoot low due to poor trigger discipline. Do you really want your source of light emanating 12 inches above your head on the off chance the BG aims there and then shoots low? Not I.

  13. I can’t imagine why any defensive handgun would ever have night sights.

    If its too dark to see the sights, its too dark to identify your target. If the target is close enough to identify in the dark, then you can point shoot it. You don’t need sights.

    Shooting is not gun fighting. Take enough gun fighting training and you will see that night sights are completely unnecessary.

    Don

      • Night sights work like any other sights in the daytime so what’s to lose? There may be situations where you can identify a threat in a dark environment so why not cover all bases?
        I guess you could just yell at the bad guy “Hey stop shooting at me because I can’t identify you so I can’t return fire!”

        • They add $100 cost to the gun. That’s halfway there towards taking a 1 day class on reflexive or point shooting, which will eliminate the need for any sights at true defensive distances.

        • Someone shooting at you is generally positive ID.
          I also agree with Don in CT. It became very clear in my low-light training that night sights are not needed. Michael in GA, have you taken a low-light class? If you came away with that experience still wanting night sights, I’d be interested to hear more about it.

  14. No, no night sights. I used to have them, got rid of them.

    The amount of ambient light in any modern household, after dark, is phenomenal. For instance, the green light on a smoke detector puts out enough light to cast a shadow.

    Every single appliance with an LED readout casts light, as do LED clocks, along with aforementioned smoke detectors.

    Houses, at night, have a lot more light than most people realize.

    • And then the power goes out. On a moonless night. With clouds.

      Bad things tend to happen in groups, and unexpectedly.

      I like to be prepared for what might happen, not just what usually happens.

  15. Nightstand gun is CZ SP-01 Tactical, which came with tritium night sights (plus a flashlight/laser). HD shotgun (Rem 870) has an XS big dot replacement front sight, which is awesome.

    Have a fiber optic front sight – add on – on my carry gun, which is a CZ 75 D PCR.

  16. Yes. After my plastic Glock 19 front sight broke, I installed the Ameriglo Trijicon two dot sights. line the dot on top of the other and that’s it.
    Also. I can see my gun on the night stand with the green dot glowing for years to come.

  17. When you think about it, it’s amazing how much energy that tiny bit of tritium has in it, keeping the sights glowing for twelve years before losing half the intensity. Sure, they’re dim… but twelve years, 24/7/365. That adds up. And even after all that time, they’re still glowing, albeit only half as brightly.

    • Just ran some numbers. If I didn’t make a bonehead mistake, a milligram of tritium could run a hundred watt lightbulb for an hour and hirtty minutes, thirty seconds, IF you could get it to decay that quickly AND you could convert it to electricity perfectly efficiently.

      I am sure there’s a lot less than a milligram in night sights.

  18. I have night sights installed on those handguns I use for carry or nightstand duty, usually coupled with a laser. My two SIGs came equipped with night sights, which I liked. I also usually carry (or have available) a flashlight. So I guess I’ve got my bases covered. Wish I could get night sights installed on my snubbie revolver, but too much gunsmithing involved. However, I am thinking about installing a tritium front bead on my riot gun.

  19. Didnt bother with night sights for years. “Not worth it; wont make a difference.”

    When I bought a new G26 recently, I had them install Meprolight TRUDOTs there at the shop.

    Now when I turn off the lights at night, it looks light the TV button is glowing green — nope, just the rear dots on my G26, sitting by the TV.

    The TRUDOTs are bright af, and cost a lot less than the Trijicons.

    • But you should be concentrating on the bad guy in a defensive situation. And if you reference any sights, it should be the front sight.

  20. XS normal dot on my Shield, Ameriglo “i-dot” on my full size S&W, which is my “home gun”. Right now, I also have a light & laser combo on my full size, but I haven’t shot it yet in that configuration, taking it this weekend hopefully. As others have noted in the thread, turning on the lights or using a flash light to illuminate your target is more important, so you can see what your target is.

    In my case, I was looking more to get a sight configuration I like better than the standard 3 dot thing. I shoot these “dotting the i” style sights much more accurately. The night glow part was more a throw-in than the main reason to buy.

    • I’ve thought about the i-dot style sights. One of the reasons I don’t bother with night sights is that the three dot picture plays hell woth my depth perception. Hard to explain. My first CCW had Meprolites, and I found the sight picture…confusing in low light. Even in daylight, three dot is my least favorite setup. So far, I like the Glock ball-in-a-cup sight picture the best in daylight, and I’ve found it adequate when used with a flashlight in my admittedly very limited low light training.

  21. I did some research awhile back when I way wondering who made the brightest night sights On various forums there were daggers being thrown back and forth about which was the “greatest”. It turns out that Trijicon actually makes all the night sight vials and the other makes simply put them into their mounts. And all mounts are not equal as some are made of plastic. And some do not hold up and the vials come out. Guess which maker makes those?

    I believe Trijicon is the only company that will replace your sights for free when they start to go dim.

    I personally wish someone make night sights that are tritium but would glow as bright as HK’s luminous painted sights. They will blow your eye balls out but alas phosphorus sights soon start to dim after you shine a light on them. I wish my HK would have come with tritium sights on it.

    • “I believe Trijicon is the only company that will replace your sights for free when they start to go dim.” Really? Where do I sign up for that? Please share your information source, I’ve got 2 Sigs and a Glock eligible for that Trijicon dim sight free replacement offer.

  22. Any LEO old enough to remember what low light firearms training was like before tritium sights can attest that the arrival of night sights providing an amazing new ability to quickly pick up your sights and accurately deliver rounds on target in low light without using a flashlight was a game changer. Still is.

    Tritium sights are one of those monumental leaps forward in LE Technology during the 20th century of such significance that it’s hard to imagine how we got by without them. Anyone serious about proficiency in the defensive use of a firearm should have tritium sights on their primary carry handgun, and since they’re now so affordable, there’s really no reason to do without.

    • And any new LEO will tell you that it is all about point shooting and using a flashlight these days.

      Take an instinctive shooting class. You will see that you really don’t need sights for most defensive situations, you will also learn to shoot much much faster, with acceptable accuracy.

  23. EDC Springfield XDs – stock fiber optics and CT Laserguard
    optional EDC – Para Ordnance PDA – XS Sight Systems tritium Big Dots
    optional EDC – Springfield XD compact – Trijicon night sights
    optional EDC – Para Tac-Four – XS Sight Systems tritium Big Dots

    Field carry – S&W 329PD – Leupold Delta Point and OEM front fiber optics
    Nightstand – Springfield XD Tactical – Leupold Delta Point, Trijicon night sights, Surefire X200 flashlight

  24. Heine Straight 8s. I did a pretty exhaustive trial of many different sights and this is the one that I could pick up the fastest in low light.

  25. XS Big Dot front sight, Warren Tactical plain black back sight on XDm 3.8 9mm every day carry gun. Practice at night in the house using a Laserlyte training cartridge.

  26. They let you LOCATE the pistol in the dark….on a nightstand, etc. After that, flash light should be handy.
    All of my EDC and home defense one have them, unless they can not be mounted (e.g. not available on a Ruger LCP or a SW 36 snubby).

  27. Glock 22 with Truglo TFX Pro Tritium/Fiber Optics …green rear/orange front. These compliment and back up the Crimson Trace Laser Grip (Red) and Crimson Trace Lightguard mounted ahead of trigger guard. Great combo for old eyes.

    • What do you mean, “not particularly paranoid?”

      Paranoid enough to have a defensive firearm but not paranoid enough to think you’ll need to aim it in the dark?

      I don’t know from night sights. Never used ’em, so this discussion is interesting. But your comment leaves me confused.

    • So only paranoid folks have a need to accurately engage a target in low light, say a situation when there’s no time to use a flashlight, or perhaps a scenario where the flashlight becomes a target the second you activate the switch? Interesting. Yea you’re probably right WaterWalker. Night Sights? You don’t need no stinking Night Sights!

      • Lighten up boyz-I had NO guns 5 years age. And been in some of the worst hoods in Chiraq. How oh how did I survive for 58 years without a gun?!? Not even ninja’ed up like you in Rockford Curtis…or Ted. Read some of the other comment boyz. My mainline defense is a SHOTGUN in the home…

      • How do yo positively identify the threat?

        If there is no time to use a light, then it is close enough to point shoot.

  28. I like the combination of sights I have: Green fiber optic front sight works really well in broad daylight outside, the brighter the ambient light, the brighter the sight. I found the tritium sights aren’t as visible during the day. Then CT laser grips work great at night outdoors and anytime indoors. I also still use a flashlight in the dark to ID the target.

  29. No single sight is “best” for all circumstances and certainly not all shooters.

    Personally, I find a bright red front sight helps me focus on the front sight in any type of action shooting. I tried the night sights and removed them, they were simply not good for me on the move.

    My home is lit up to reasonable degree at night (i.e. I am controlling the environment). My nightstand gun is full sized (not my EDC) and has a mounted light. It sits next to a handheld light. I train with some point shooting if all else fails.

  30. Ameriglo pro i-dots on my Glock 19. I haven’t done any night shooting with them, but my accuracy and speed of acquisition have improved tremendously with that big bright front sight. My only complaint is that the luminescent paint around the tritium vial on the front sight does not stay charged for long, though it only takes about a second with a flashlight to fire it up.

  31. I did forget to mention one thing. Night Sights can be misused. A Policeman shot and killed his own son who came home early from college. He thought he was a burglar. The problem with night sights is that you should not use them if the room is so dark you cannot see the target to identify it. In that case a flashlight is better and contrary to many of the morons on TV showing a light mounted on the gun it should not be mounted there at all but held away from the body so if the intruder is a burglar and does shoot at the light he will not be shooting at your torso. Night sights are fine when you know that the target is hostile beyond all doubts but can lead to tragedy when you do not.

  32. Xdm 3.8C with TRU-GLO TFO’s…more to suit my middle aged eyes than anything else…MUCH easier to see under all conditions…(can’t have the kids outshooting the old man…lol)

  33. NAA Guardian .380 with Novak/Trijicon white dot with tritium (3 dot).

    Smith and Wesson Model 10-5- Nope

    Ruger Mini 14 -Nope

  34. I have a set of trijicon HDs in my beretta px4 compact. Although they aren’t for every scenario, and they don’t negate the need for a light, I wouldn’t call them useless. I find they work well in transient periods, when it’s dark enough that lining up little white dots isn’t practical, but bright enough to where your flashlight is redundant. another potential use is if you’re occupying a portion of your house with the lights off, but you’re lined up on a lit entry way

    While it’s true the use of white light negates the glow of the sights, it’s not as if they fade from vision, you can still see them. Certain handheld light techniques, such as the neck index, and fbi technique also tend to do a better job of not washing out the sights, due to their placement behind them.

  35. My cash flow at the moment is very, very limited, and I’ve got a lot of odds and ends competing for dwindling dollars. My EDC is a Smith M&P40 compact, bone stock for the time being. Trigger’s all right. I’m hoping to get some Ameriglo i-dot night sights installed on it. I’ve always shot the old Sig ‘dot-the-I’ sights best, so it stands to reason that this should be the way to go.

    As for the house, I have a Streamlight TRS-1 on my AR. Bright as hell. Brighter for the stupid bastard that came into my place to begin with.

    Tom

  36. Night sights are the worst sights to put on an EDC gun. Why you ask?
    We need to understand some physiology about our visual system (both the eye and the brain’s interpretation of what is recorded through the eye), especially under stress.
    First, the eyes are naturally drawn to focus on the brightest object in our visual fields. This becomes more acute in lower light levels (dusk to dark). So, what happens when you point your pistol with night sights at a dimly lit target? All you see is the bright colored dot or dots and not much else. If your eyes are focused on the bright dot, they are NOT focused on the target. Is that my neighbor with a cell phone in his hand checking on me after seeing my front door open or a home invader? If you can’t clearly see your target, why are you pointing your gun at it?
    Second, under the stress of an attack or other sudden unforeseen situations, the body dumps adrenalin and other corticosteroids into the blood stream to assist with the fight or flight response. The result is the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) takes over and several things happen visually:
    – Pupils dilate
    – Distant vision is preserved to focus on an attacker or other target
    – Loss of accommodation – the ability to rapidly change focus from distance (the target) to near (front sight)
    So, now we have a blurry blob of bright color that is obscuring the target (possible attacker, possible friendly) while our eyes are trying to focus on that target and our brain is trying to make the decision to shoot or not to shoot. And all of this is happening while we are shaking like a leaf from the adrenalin.

  37. Just stock sights. I kind of want to do flat blackish target sights on the back and a glowy dot on the front. We’ll see what shakes out when I actually have funds, though. Not in a position to carry right now anyway, so current sights are fine for practice and study.

  38. If it is so dark you can’t see normal sights then it is too dark to see your target. Night sights fix being able to see your sights but you still won’t be able to see your target properly so you shouldn’t be shooting in that scenario anyway.

    Put a light on your gun and use whatever sights work best in good light. For me that is a fiber optic front and blacked out rear.

  39. Does anybody have a CZ 75D Compact PCR with the new Truglo night sights? Do they fit and do you like the sights?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *