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Old 12-18-2016, 10:46 PM
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Default Do you need night sights?

In the past, I have been a proponent of night sights. The idea is that you can pick up your sights quickly when the light is low. However, I've been putting some thought into this. If there is enough light to be sure of your target, there should be enough to see the sights well enough.

I can see the white dots on my sights easily enough, even in low light. That is not to say night sights don't have value. If they make it easier to see, that's good. I'm just not sure they're necessary.

What do you think?
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:50 PM
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I've trained with them over the years so I'll keep them. I guess it's all what you get used to.

Inside a certain distance we should be able to draw, fire and hit a human sized target without sights at all, through training and muscle memory. Beyond that distance, where more precise accuracy is required, is where sights come into play and in some scenerios night sights can be an advantage.
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
In the past, I have been a proponent of night sights. The idea is that you can pick up your sights quickly when the light is low. However, I've been putting some thought into this. If there is enough light to be sure of your target, there should be enough to see the sights well enough.
True and there is even a school of thought that you don't actually need to use you're sights, in the traditional sense, in a defensive situation. You just point the front sight and shoot. You will hit where you're pointing. However, they certainly don't hurt and they are such a minute thing that I personally don't see a reason not to have it. There isn't always enough light

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Old 12-18-2016, 10:56 PM
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Doug--I put the Trijicon ones on my Sig 220. 1. They were expensive, and 2. the old ones were so hard to get off I had to take to a gunsmith with one of those sight pulling/adjusting machines. (We are friends so he would not charge me which was good).

I agree with your concerns above 100%. However, they are nice in low-light situations. But I am with you, I am not going to shoot at anything I can't see clearly, and if lit up, I can see my sights too.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:01 PM
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You absolutely do not need night sights. I jumped on the train like everybody else when they were introduced 25 years ago or so, but the subsequent years included many hours spent on the range in the dark and moving through dimmed shoot houses. Never did I rely on those night sights, which immediately became superfluous after the quick use of a light or the bright flash of gunfire. Somebody made a ton of money over the years, but never again from me . . .
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:11 PM
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I'm sure I'm in the minority but twenty plus years in law enforcement...including 5 years on our SRT team and I've never installed them on any of my issued or personally owned firearms.

I've been tempted but never jumped.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:17 PM
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I run them on most of my defensive pistols. I've grown use to them over the decades, and I think they can add value.

I guess I'm in the camp that believes that just because something might not always be useful every situation, that doesn't mean it is without value in all situations, and therefore is worth keeping if I have the option.

Having said all that, I don't personally consider them required equipment on every defensive gun I own. They are a "nice to have" for sure. If you feel you don't need them on some of your guns, or all of them, more power to you.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:41 PM
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The only sight mods I did were to the miserable stock CZ75 sights. Three dots of nail polish were enough.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:49 PM
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My question is if you're in a close combat situation where a bad guy is shooting at you the chances are you're not taking the time to use much of the sights anyway. Also, at the usual gunfight range of 7-10 yds or less you just don't need a sight period to hit a man in the torso. If you're at distance and shooting at someone you'd better have a good lawyer cause in court a 30- 50 yd gunfight just might grab you by the @$$. It's hard enough clearing yourself with the law in a close range gunfight, but in a fight far enough away to be needing fancy sights?? Good luck.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:56 AM
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I figure I'll be shooting all kinds of targets at various distances, a lot more times than ending up in a combat situation. Therefor, since I find night sights quicker for my eye to get on target..................I'll still prefer them. However, I still have quite a few semi's that will never get them.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:13 AM
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Not yet carrying nor training to carry so this doesnt come from any real experience, but as it sits now i dont own any night sights and wont bother adding them (actually bought a PC Shield with FO sights instead of the night sights version). The way i see it, if its that dark that i cant see my sights, i'm not going to see a clear target either. And yes that's where training can/will come into play as well, to work thru those potential situations.

It probably isnt the same, but yet i cant help but think its somewhat similar to when i bowhunted and dusk hit in the woods. Sure my pins could be lit or glowing, but that didnt help in determining the shot placement i needed when i saw a large silhouette step out into the lane i had cleared.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
You absolutely do not need night sights. I jumped on the train like everybody else when they were introduced 25 years ago or so, but the subsequent years included many hours spent on the range in the dark and moving through dimmed shoot houses. Never did I rely on those night sights, which immediately became superfluous after the quick use of a light or the bright flash of gunfire. Somebody made a ton of money over the years, but never again from me . . .

LOL DITTO..... my first set was in the late 80s (?) over the years I used them (on several guns) and they gradually grew dim...... dimmer and then poof..... gone. I really didn't notice much change in how I handled a situation or my shooting/hits.

So I never relamped......

I will say they are sometimes "nice to have".... but IMHO not "needed"!

now a EDC flashlight ...... even a single cell AAA ....... is another story.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:16 AM
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I want to be able if needed to make a precision aimed shot in the dead of night with whichever handgun I happen to be carrying. For me the problem always has been getting the right 'elevation' and not windage. I can do windage just fine. I can't always do elevation in sighting at night to my satisfaction. Trijicon night sights have solved that problem for me. The point was made and I want to second it that the problems that might come up in actual SD shooting situations are multiple and varied. Having night sights doesn't mean that one has to use them if the problem doesn't require their use. BUT, it gives me at least one more option. For the same reasoning, I change all my handguns possible to hammers with thumb pieces. The problem just might require a precision aimed shot with a single action trigger action.

I don't like the insistence of the night sight makers for us to have the front sight and the rear sight dots (or bars) of the same color. To me, that is just wrong. I use a small Gunsmithing firm in Michigan that does most of Trijicon's relamping for my night sights. I can get a selection of colors for the rear sight. For some reason the front sight color is fixed.

This might be an appropriate time to bring up the subject of "How Much Sighting Effort Does One Need?" The thinking 'gunnie' will have resolved that actual self defense is not and never will be a shooting range exercise. The problem might be one or multiple bad guys. The range to the BG might be from contact to way out there. Given that the requirement for the shooter in using sights, positions, grips, stance becomes very fluid to the point in an actual fire fight no two shots will be made with any of the above being the same...... Now, back to sight requirements. It can be; none, probably you can't even see your gun. This is usually called Point Shooting. Or it can be just the silhouette of the gun and your familiarity of the ergonomics while the gun is below your line of sight. Or it can be the the silhouette with the gun up at eye level. Or it can be quick acquisition of just the front sight and shoot. Or it can be the traditional, acquire the full sight picture and a controlled trigger press. ...... There are slight variations to all of these generalities......My point is that standing in a shooting lane at your favorite indoor shooting range is not going to give you the muscle memory and training to be proficient with all those possible sighting requirements.

I like all the positive options that I can give myself if forced to face the fact that I'm in a fire fight that I can't avoid. Good night sights are just one of them. I will grant you that some of you are going to have all the physical assets, training and muscle memory to make the 'need' for night sights to be on the lower end of the scale. I know I'm not in that category. I need all the help I can get and I will gladly accept the possible help those night sights are going to provide when necessary. ...........
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:20 AM
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I was trained to ignore my sights at close defensive ranges, although I do think they can be useful beyond 10 yards in dim, low light situations. Personally, I think a good tactical flashlight is a better investment for personal defense and home defense. To each his own.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:57 AM
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Night sights? Really! I once lost a rapidly moving target behind the brilliant green glow of my humongous Meprolight front sight. If I had fired at that exact moment then I would have shot where the target had just been instead of where it actually was. (A heck of a lot closer to me!)

Since that night I haven't been overly keen about what are actually way too bright, 'low light sights'. I'm not saying that so-called, 'night sights' aren't useful; under the right circumstances they can be. Only that these sights are NOT the panacea for all of the target acquisition problems that occur after dark.

Personally, I doubt that, 'night sights' are going to change very much during the remainder of my lifetime; but, someday, I expect the: design, use, and collective perception of, 'night sights' will become significantly modified from what presently exists; and I've read a few Israeli articles on weapon sights and human vision to bolster this opinion.

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Old 12-19-2016, 12:04 PM
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The Gen3 Glop19 I purchased about 20 years came with factory night sights. I think manufactured by Meprolight. It was something like $40 more than a Glop with standard sights.

At the time I figured why not. Pretty much the same way I look at it today. And... to my surprise they are still glowing 24/7. Now they're supposed to dim by half after 12 years and half again the following 12 years. So based on that assumption I'm probably glowing at 1/3 capacity and maybe need to do something about it... eh... maybe not. I'll have to do some deep thinking about the economics-- $40 over 20 years... Anyone got a calculator?

Anyway... In certain low light conditions I can more easily pick up the night sights than regular sights-- low light conditions that still allow me to identify the target. So in that regard I disagree with the notion that night sights are necesarily of no help unless lighting is so minimal that you can't identify the target anyway.

Shooting at an indoor range with the lights off years ago... (it helps to know the owner)... after the first shot the muzzle blast makes the target more difficult to see but I could still well see the night sights.

All in all... I haven't found the amortized cost much of a downside nor the potential practical advantage something to be a great advocate for. But in a particular situation under certain light conditions they may be useful in a self defense situation.

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Old 12-19-2016, 12:06 PM
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I like them on home defense guns, where range might be up to 25'.

I believe that if I ever have to shoot someone in public, it is going to be at very close range - probably from retention position - so sights cannot be used, regardless of type.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:34 PM
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I've got a few just because that's the way they came, but I've never spent money to add them. I'm also in the camp that if I ever have to use a handgun in self defense, it will be so close and so fast I won't be using sights anyway.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:39 PM
Lee's Landing Billy Lee's Landing Billy is offline
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To answer the title to your post....NO. I took the "you" in your post to mean "me". So, naturally I was only answering for me. As others pointed out, it is a personal choice. I would never presume to decide for someone else. I do not need them. Thanks LLB

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Old 12-19-2016, 03:56 PM
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If I have color on my sights, I only want it on the front sight. I too bought into the night sight business, for a time. I did not find them to be really helpful back when I could still see well. These days, I generally use a dab of green paint on my front sight which allows me to know for certain that my front sight is positioned "on" the target. If I am able to hold my gun in my normal way, I am going to be looking down the top of the frame or slide at that front sight. And these days, for the kind of shooting I mostly do, I don't have to have a crisp focus on that front sight. I do, however, wish to have that front sight in my field of view while looking down that frame or slide as a point of reference. We all know that we don't always have the opportunity to take our normal "hold" and stance. In those cases, we do the best we can. That's when, for me, I take comfort in having the option of my CT laser dot available.

There is a lot more I could say about what works for me, but with respect to the question here, I want my rear sight to be black, with any color present to be only on the front sight. And the dab of florescent green paint on my front sight works as well for me as anything, day or night. That makes a good point of reference and keeps me as focused on where my front sight is as anything I've tried. I've spent a lot of time over the years learning to use my body to keep my windage close to right. But it all depends on how much distance is involved and how alert I am to the need for pointing (aiming) my gun.

FWIW, I also found in my case that if a serious threat presents itself, even with some experience dealing with those, it is VERY hard not to be focused on the threat (the gun, the knife, what ever it is that will hurt me bad!) instead of firmly and clearly on my front sight. That's just human nature, at least for me! But if I can recognize where my front sight is within that picture, I can at least have a pretty good idea where my round will land. This is about the best I can do at this time in my life with the abilities and skills I possess (in diminishing capacities!).
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Old 12-19-2016, 04:11 PM
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Altho I have fiber optic sights on most of my handguns, the ones I regularly carry I added a white 1/4 inch white stripe down the top of the barrel. You can easily see where the gun is pointed.
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Old 12-19-2016, 04:24 PM
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I just pulled and sold my night sights that were on my P2000. I see no need for them, especially since they were all the same green in glow. I could see it making more sense if the front dot was different than the rears. Honestly, should you ever need to pull your gun in defense, it is my opinion that you will be belly shooting or point and pull. Not much sight glancing at all since you will be staring down your assailant.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:53 PM
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I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

I'd rather have a small, powerful flashlight at the ready over a set of night sights if I cannot have both.

I also feel that if it's too dark to identify my target, any benefit from having those three glowing dots to align my sights is lost.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:33 PM
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Yes. Mine are made by Crimson Trace.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:52 PM
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No, but they look cool.

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Old 12-19-2016, 10:08 PM
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Personal preference. There is no yes or no answer.

People forget that even if you don't or can't take the time to line up the sights, you must still find the front sight with your peripheral vision. Night sights can help in that regard.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:19 PM
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I have only found them useful in low or no light situations, and then they really shine. Sorry... I really respect many of the posters here who don't particularly care for them, or think they are useful, but my take is that I'd rather have them and not need them, than need them and not have them. I also have had quire a bit of training and exposure with them over the years, and I only have them on a few of my guns, my 640-1 Pro Series being one that I am more likely to have with me than say, my Glock 23.

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Old 12-19-2016, 10:29 PM
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If you've properly practiced your presentation ( thousands of repetitions drawing and dry firing from the holster) your sights are on target when the gun come up, even in the dark.

You don't need night sights: things are on target virtually automatically regardless of lighting.

Unfortunately, few folks are willing to put in the practice needed to develop much skill, so folks look to buy a technological solution instead of doing work to develop skill.

Night sights are unnecessary and distracting.

Plain black sights work best.

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Old 12-19-2016, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rpg View Post
If you've properly practiced your presentation ( thousands of repetitions drawing and dry firing from the holster) your sights are on target when the gun come up, even in the dark.

You don't need night sights: things are on target virtually automatically regardless of lighting.

Unfortunate, few folks are willing to put in the practice needed to develop much skill, so folks look to buy a technological solution instead of doing work to develop skill.

Night sights are unnecessary and distracting.

Plain black sights work best.
So how do you know what works best for me with such a blanket statement? Do you have the same vision as I do? Can you see in the dark better than me?

It's really funny how some so called experts here and elsewhere say you need nights sights and others don't.

Again, it's personal preference.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:20 PM
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So how do you know what works best for me with such a blanket statement? Do you have the same vision as I do? Can you see in the dark better than me?

It's really funny how some so called experts here and elsewhere say you need nights sights and others don't.

Again, it's personal preference.
No offence ment.

The thing is practice presenting the gun.

If you won't do the work, you won't develop the skill.

This isn't about eye sight.

It's about practice.

Takes a lot of repetition.

Many aren't willling to do it.

Ross Siefried practiced his presentation over 100,000 times before winning the international IPSC title in 1979.

10% of that will develop the skill, and then some.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:33 PM
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I am with the guys who say they may not "need" them but they like having them anyway. In spite of that, most of my guns don't have them and it doesn't really concern me. I have come to like weapon-mounted lights but I don't bother to practice using them often enough to be proficient with them. Unfortunately, handy gizmos without the necessary practice probably aren't all that helpful.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:38 PM
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If you've properly practiced your presentation ( thousands of repetitions drawing and dry firing from the holster) your sights are on target when the gun come up, even in the dark.

You don't need night sights: things are on target virtually automatically regardless of lighting.

Unfortunate, few folks are willing to put in the practice needed to develop much skill, so folks look to buy a technological solution instead of doing work to develop skill.

Night sights are unnecessary and distracting.

Plain black sights work best.
What have I learned from this forum today? First, I'm apparently a wanna-be basement dweller, because I bought a AR-15 with a dust cover & forward assist.

And now, I find out that I just had to buy a technological advancement because of my apparent laziness in developing a skill.

Quite frankly, I'm getting a bit fed up with repeated postings using psychology to make points. I feel like I'm on a political forum.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:44 PM
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Quite frankly, I'm getting a bit fed up with repeated postings using psychology to make points. I feel like I'm on a political forum.


It's the internet. Just pay attention to the folks you deem worth listening to and blow off the rest.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:10 PM
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Now that we're fussing with each other over night sights... really?

Just for the heck of it I called Glop down in Smyrna today and told em I think my sights are running low on tactical glow juice (though I'm not sure I can really tell since maybe my eyes aren't as good as they were 20 years ago ). Nice fella said they warranty them for he thinks 15 years but to send them my slide and they'll put new ones on. If they can't do warranty it'll be $57. Sounds reasonable to me.

If you guys happen to be looking skyward toward Chattanooga in the near future and see a glow... that be me!
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:19 PM
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:27 PM
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I'm about to put in a couple of Glock Blue Label orders and wrote to my FFL that I don't want them to install the night sights. Oh, the shame...

(I guess I could always change my mind though...)
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:38 PM
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I like 'em.

I carried a personally owned Sig 220 for 25 years with the FBI. I bought it on my Dad's FFL when I was still in Quantico - 533 precious 1991 dollars. I had a wife and a six month old son and had just taken a large pay cut from Air Force Captain to Bureau New Guy. The gun was a tough sell (Wife: Don't they GIVE you a gun?) so I didn't get night sights.

The deal at the time was the Bureau wouldn't buy night sights for personally owned weapons (POWs), but would install them and replace them on the taxpayer's dime as needed. So, once we were in our first duty station, I squeezed 90 bucks out of the budget (Wife: It didn't COME with sights?) and had some Trijicons installed.

I'm glad I did. Though I endeavored mightily to only arrest felons in the daytime, often their schedules conflicted and I found myself in a smelly darkened stairwell or at a dimly lit back door with only my German roscoe and the friendly glow of those night sights to cheer me up.

On a more pragmatic note, they certainly help with low light qualifications. Despite many years of law enforcement and quite a few rounds downrange as a firearms instructor I never reached ninja status where I could know with certainty where exactly my sights were without seeing them.

And finally, if your work (or lifestyle - who am I to judge?) requires you to conk out in strange and sometimes seedy hotel rooms, those 3 glowing orbs on the nightstand serve as wonderful "orienters" should things go bump in the night.

To answer the OP's question, Do you need night sights?: No. Until you do, then: Yes
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:00 PM
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"Need" is a very subjective thing.

I'll never go so far as to say night sights are unnecessary or useless, despite not personally believing that they're "indispensable." There's no denying they're a useful tool under the right circumstances.

Is all lost if we don't have them at our disposal in low light conditions? I highly doubt it.

Choose the tools that best serve your needs, and don't condemn others for theirs.
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:35 PM
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In 1974 I engaged three armed robbers in a dark parking lot armed w/my duty weapon, a Colt Detective Spl. I could have used night sights (not available then) and although I "won" (w/the aid of other cops, one who was shot) I learned to appreciate night sights when they came on my duty Glock 23 years later. I'm all for them under any circumstances.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
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No offence ment.

The thing is practice presenting the gun.

If you won't do the work, you won't develop the skill.

This isn't about eye sight.

It's about practice.

Takes a lot of repetition.

Many aren't willling to do it.

Ross Siefried practiced his presentation over 100,000 times before winning the international IPSC title in 1979.

10% of that will develop the skill, and then some.
No offense taken.

Most of us here aren't high speed low drag people that have the time to practice thousands upon thousands of holster draws. Life gets in the way.

Many of us do what we feel may give us an edge. It's no different than gun mounted lights versus hand held. Or lasers, different grips and so on.

I researched the net regarding night sights. For every person that advocated their use there was an equal number of those that did not. So that leads me to believe that personal preference has more to do with it than anything else.

That being said, I appreciate your experience and insight.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:00 AM
V0OBWxZS16 V0OBWxZS16 is offline
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Night sights are fine but unnecessary IMO. I am moving to fiber optic front sights. I have two pistols with dead tritium and one that I recently replaced the sights on because they don't last forever. On that one the front sight died first.
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No student has used nor felt the need for a flashlight in any of our shootings. This is another topic in which there is a lot of misunderstanding among the shooting population.

There is an often quoted statistic that says 80% of pistol fights occur in the dark. This is nonsense. A more accurate statement would be that 80% of pistol fights occur during the hours of darkness. For statistical purposes the hours of darkness are from 6 PM until 6 AM. Obviously, in much of the country it is not dark during that entire period. Secondly, criminal encounters do not occur in a vacuum. There is no more reason for a Bad Guy to be in the dark than there is for you to be in the dark. Just because it's 3 AM on the Stop 'n Rob parking lot does not mean it's dark. In fact, with modern commercial lighting I have actually seen my sights more clearly late at night on one of these parking lots than in the afternoon on an overcast day. Law enforcement officers often have to go into very dark places to search out hiding suspects. Again, it is matter of context. That is completely different than a thug approaching you on a lighted parking lot at night.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:08 PM
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That is certainly a fascinating discovery of times of day versus actual sunset.

Take for example the July 2015 Lafayette, LA shooting at 7:30pm where 2 died and 9 injured. According to the analysis above this would be considered "during hours of darkness" since it is after 6pm. But sunset isn't until around 8:30pm. Obviously, this shooting occurred while there was still plenty of daylight to see your sights clearly. Oh... the shooting occurred in a dark movie theatre.

Sometimes overthinking this stuff is of little benefit.

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Old 12-21-2016, 12:10 PM
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Interesting that I just read a post on another site involving night sights. There were a couple of pic's showing sight pictures in a dark hallway with the shooter using a flashlight on the target. At no time were the night sights visible - they looked like black on black sights.
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Old 12-25-2016, 03:15 AM
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I guess I used my M&P 340's bright front sight as a crutch for a short while. Then I moved on to the 640-1 Pro. Those two taught me to align the sights to the exact point my right eye was focused on. It became second nature to look at my target, raise my arm, and the front sight was right where my eye was looking. Now I can do that with everything from my baby chief to my 500 4" and on out to my K-22 6". It has become a natural, and consistent, event. I don't need the tritium anymore, but I have to give it credit for helping me form the habit I feel confident could save my life if the need arose (as long as I could "see" the target).

As an aside, I have to agree with Rpg on one point. My ability to put the sight on the target didn't just happen; it took lots of practice, sometimes daily, sometimes several times a day. And I don't just assume that because I had it "I've still got it." I give a wide range of my revolvers a go, often. The old adage, "If you don't use it, you lose it," applies.
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Old 12-25-2016, 06:56 AM
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Oh why not... I like them.
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Old 12-25-2016, 08:21 AM
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We shot regularly in the dark at Ft. Benning for several years and I found night sights the fastest and most accurate way to put rounds where they needed to go. They still work even after the undergun light craps out in the middle of a shoot.

Found them particularly useful in moonless nights when you could just make out targets.

Also good when you didn't want to use the light.

Absolute necessity? Nah. But they can be a significant edge.
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Old 12-25-2016, 12:10 PM
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It's pretty simple. Close your eyes bring the gun up to firing position and open your eyes and check your sight alignment after awhile you will know exactly that your sights are properly aligned. First making sure weapon is NOT loaded you can through your house, then go to the range and go live. Great training technique. No night sights needed.
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Old 12-25-2016, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanewpadle View Post
Most of us here aren't high speed low drag people that have the time to practice thousands upon thousands of holster draws. Life gets in the way.
Life does get in the way, which is why we need to make time. But how much time do you really need?

A good exercise would be to do 10 presentations every evening. This takes about 2-3 minutes and costs no money. Surely we have 3 minutes to do a little practice. 10 presentations a day means over 3K in a year. So, you do have time to do thousands of presentations.
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Old 12-25-2016, 03:58 PM
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Night sights are absolutely essential! After you buy the night sights, you must also buy a JMT sight pusher to properly install and adjust them .
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Old 12-25-2016, 05:00 PM
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Life does get in the way, which is why we need to make time. But how much time do you really need?

A good exercise would be to do 10 presentations every evening. This takes about 2-3 minutes and costs no money. Surely we have 3 minutes to do a little practice. 10 presentations a day means over 3K in a year. So, you do have time to do thousands of presentations.
Nice suggestion, but my wife already thinks I'm nuts.
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