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Old 09-11-2020, 06:59 PM
Troutscout Troutscout is offline
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Default Tritium night sight...I don't get it

Thought I'd try to figure out the night sight on my M60 pro. The front sight has a small tritium (or iridium) inlay. I took the gun in my dry fire closet, shut off the lights and saw the faint green glow. But I couldn't see my target, rear sight, or the rest of the gun. Are these night sights usable or should I just paint it over with day glo orange?
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:10 PM
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But I couldn't see my target, rear sight, or the rest of the gun. Are these night sights usable...?
Yes, absolutely. Night sights are supposed to help in low-light conditions, not in no-light conditions. You wouldn't fire a shot w/o identifying your target anyway, right?!

We learned "front sight, press, front sight, press" and your sight will work perfectly fine.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:14 PM
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I guess what I failed to say was the tritium is so small and dim, I couldn't see it until it was completely dark. That's why I'm wondering if I'm missing something...
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:24 PM
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It did what it's supposed to do, allow you to see the front sight in scenarios when you wouldn't otherwise.
Obviously in a pitch dark situation you wouldn't be able to see what you are aiming at so no sight, short of night vision, will help you then. Tritium sights are more geared toward helping you acquire a sight picture in low light. If you know your gun you can get a pretty good idea where the rear sight is based on where your hands are, the front site may not be as easy to find in a stressful situation, so illuminate the front sight to make it easier to find.
All of my defensive handguns have tritium sights but about half only have illuminated front sights, because I know that in a defensive situation I'm probably not going to be looking for a perfect sight picture, I'm going to be looking right down the slide or spine on the gun, past the front sight and at the target, the rear sight isn't even going to factor into the first couple of shots.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:36 PM
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I guess what I failed to say was the tritium is so small and dim, I couldn't see it until it was completely dark. That's why I'm wondering if I'm missing something...
Tritium has about a 10 year life before it starts to degrade, other than that Tritium is pretty much Tritium, but some sight manufacturers will have bigger lamps of Tritium than others. Maybe you sight is dirty, try cleaning it with a bit of soap and water to get rid of any accumulated oils or carbon.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Troutscout View Post
Thought I'd try to figure out the night sight on my M60 pro. The front sight has a small tritium (or iridium) inlay. I took the gun in my dry fire closet, shut off the lights and saw the faint green glow. But I couldn't see my target, rear sight, or the rest of the gun. Are these night sights usable or should I just paint it over with day glo orange?
How old is the sight? Could just be dying and in need of replacement. As was mentioned, tritium sights have about a 10-year lifespan.

If cleaning it doesn't work, you could try contacting S&W and see if they'll tell you how you can go about replacing it. I doubt it'd be covered under warranty, but it might not hurt to ask. Some night sight manufacturers will relamp a sight for less than it would cost to replace the entire sight with a new one.

Or, if you don't think it'd be worth the cost/effort, you could just paint over it. While night sights can be beneficial under some circumstances, I don't consider them essential on a defensive gun. I'm probably in the minority with that opinion, though.

FWIW, for night sights, I prefer tritium in the front sight only, with plain black rear sights. I like to keep it simple: Dot on target, pull trigger. Practice will train your "muscle memory" to align the gun properly.

Just my opinion.

Last edited by ContinentalOp; 09-11-2020 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:56 PM
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Even though I buy them, I think night sights are one of the most overrated gadgets for handguns. I even heard a well respected former SF firearms trainer, that trains firearm instructors, comment on how worthless night sights are.

I truly think most situations we would do better with fiber optic sights.
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:00 PM
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If youíve have developed good skills at presenting the pistol from the leather in your firing stroke, your sights should come up aligned and on target.

In low light situations, nothing changes: if you have practiced enough, the sights are on target even in very low light situations.

Iíve found that glowing front sights are slower and less accurate than plain black sights in very low light.

I wonít have a glowing front sight: for me, itís a gadget that does nothing to improve my shooting under any conditions.
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:05 PM
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I wonít have a glowing front sight: for me, itís a gadget that does nothing to improve my shooting under any conditions.
FWIW, I have one gun with a tritium dot front sight, my Beretta PX4 Compact, and I'm on the fence about whether or not to keep it as is or paint over it.
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:07 PM
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Even though I buy them, I think night sights are one of the most overrated gadgets for handguns. I even heard a well respected former SF firearms trainer, that trains firearm instructors, comment on how worthless night sights are.

I truly think most situations we would do better with fiber optic sights.
I kind of agree. I have Tritium front sights on all of my defensive handguns but I know if I need to use them I'm probably not going to pay much attention to the sights. Most of my handguns have TruGlo fiberoptic and Tritium because the fiberoptic is much easier to pick up in lighted situations
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:19 PM
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Put me in the camp with black sights. Glowing gadgets help give away your position.

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Old 09-11-2020, 08:33 PM
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Well, I'm glad, and maybe a little surprised, that I'm not the only one who thinks tritium sights aren't the be-all/end-all of defensive equipment.
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:41 PM
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Night sights are a "nice to have" but not essential item. They do not substitute for a flashlight, which to my mind is a far more important purchase. You have got to be able to identify your target/threat. Flashlights let us see the sights just fine, whether they are night sights, or back lighted or directly illuminated black irons.

What I do find consistently useful about night sights is that they let me see exactly where I put my gun down on the night stand in a dark room.

I happened to need to make a shot in the dark last night. Night sights alone would not have worked. A porcupine has been attacking my two oak trees over the past few evenings. I finally found it with a very bright hand-held light. It was a black shape against a black sky (it was 0230) and the critter was 30 feet up. I used the weapon mounted light on my AR, and sighted with the RDS, which under the circumstances worked like a night sight. The red dot sight showed up just fine, even set toward the dim side, but all I could really clearly see of the critter, even with the weapon mounted light, was its eyes.

Incidentally, the AR had a dedicated .22LR upper mounted that is otherwise identical in every way to my 5.56 upper. The shot was at a very high angle and directed toward an area of unpopulated and roadless tract of woods and swamp that extends for several miles, and the mushroomed slug wasn't going to travel anywhere near that far, even if it exited. Rule 4.

The rig worked as it would have in a defensive encounter. The shot would have been impossible with night sights alone.

Last edited by Murdock; 09-11-2020 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:42 AM
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If they are dim, they may be old or have dirt or something on them.

Check the age, date.

Manufacturers load in enough tritium to last at least 7 yrs. Some to last to 10 yrs.

I like tritium night sights especially for low ambient at evening or dusk.

Everyone has their own opinions.

Personally I formed my opinion as a teenager about black target sights use in the field.
Based upon experience hunting.
Black dights are useless in most background and lighting, especialy shaded and dark.

That is why all my hunting guns had brass or fiber optic sights.

In defensive use tritium vials with orange painted ring in front and green in back are my preference.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:41 AM
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Sir:

Not being funny, but how's your night vision? Do you need/wear glasses?
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:10 AM
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Most tritium sights will need you to drill the tongue to replace.
You dont have to be precise down to the thousandths as the roll pin will keep things in place but just to let you know.
You can replace the rear sights much more easily.
Or paint em white and bring a good flashlight.
Agree that Prior to the first shot you may not have the time or mindset to acquire sights.
God bless.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:24 AM
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Night sights are for low light, not no light. The particular gun you are talking about has a very tiny tritium sight on it, a long standing complaint on that model, just like the 586 L-Comp front sight. It can't be compared to a quality set of Trijicon HDs or the like. Fiber optic is junk IMO, yes it's great in bright light, but so what? Any sight is fine in bright light. Once ambient light dims they are next to worthless. And as far as black sights being as good or better in low light? Come on. Everyone should use what they prefer, but trying to sell fairytales to those who haven't tried them all first hand is doing no one any favors. Night sights are for improved low light settings, period. To say they aren't needed is debatable, to say they are a negative is just ridiculous...
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:25 AM
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XS Big Dot front sight and beam light in the off hand the best combo for my piss poor night vision.
The XRay3 sights on the Sig 365 are a highly functional sight picture daytime into dim light.
Here in the woods thankful for our noisy yipper that alerts when a mouse farts a hundred yards away.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:42 AM
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I like night sights that I can see. I like rail lights also.They illuminate your target and you can shoot with both hands. I recently bought an Olight and put it on my P-30. It also fits my HK45. Not sure why I waited so long. Get both.
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:08 PM
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There's obviously a range of opinions expressed above - some informed some not so much.

Here's my $.02 on the subject:

1) Tritium sights do allow you to use the sights effectively enough for combat accuracy in low light conditions. Obviously you need enough light to still see the target against the background. As long as you have enough light for that you can put the the tritium front sight on target. *IF* you've learned to shoot properly and *mastered* the basics of sight alignment, grip and trigger control to the point that you can bring the pistol up to eye level with the front sight on target and have the rear sights be aligned (due to repetition and muscle memory), then putting the front sight on target is sufficient as your grip will naturally take care of the rear sight alignment. This means that once you are proficient you can also use a tritium lamp in the front sight on a fixed sight revolver that won't accomodate a tritium rear sight.

2) In regard to all of #1, I've probably met a dozen law enforcement officers over the years who both learned properly and shoot enough for that to happen. Most LEOs are not gun people and don't shoot much more than required to qualify. That lack of mastery is a huge part of the abysmally low hit rates for officer involved shoots, even in good lighting conditions. They get even worse in low light.

3) Fiber optic sights are totally useless at night. At best they extend the time the front, and when applicable the rear, sight can be seen around dawn or dusk. Great for hunters, useless to everyone else.

4) All black front and rear sights give a superior sight picture in good light where you get high contrast between the light buff or white background and the black bullseye and sight elements.

The good news is that you can use a black sharpie to put a thin layer of black ink over the tritium lamp and get the black front and rear sight picture during the day and still see the tritium dots in low light.

5) Tritium sights also work well with a properly used tactical light. It will allow you to point the pistol and keep the sights aligned and on target, until you use a momentary switch on the light to quickly flash the target to confirm it's an intruder who needs shot, rather than, for example, your teenage kid sneaking home late at night.

It's worth noting here that how armed citizens use a light is different than how LEOs will use a light. LEOs go in dark places looking for bad guys because they have to. They also don't have the home court advantages of knowing the layout and where everything is at.

They also don't have any night adaptation given they've been driving, been around streetlights and have been using those way too over the top stupidly bright flashing lights on the lightbars. Over the years they've gone way to far and they are so bright that they are a hazard to both other drivers and to officers when those officers have to then go into a dimly lit space.

That means officers really need flash lights that are continuously on, while armed citizens should be preserving the advantage of their night adapted eyes until they need to shoot.

6) Someone commented that an SF person who trains law enforcement regards tritium sites as useless. Well...you need to consider the source. Night vision, and in particular Gen III or better is the norm in US military service, so in that context there isn't much need for tritium.

It also begs the question of the overall utility and wisdom of using an SF operator to train law enforcement. 90% of the problems people are protesting today trace back to the "warrior cop" ethos and training officers to use military tactics.

Time, distance, cover and use of common sense and officer discretion when appropriate go a lot farther in achieving both greater public service and greater officer safety and in the long run than training police officers to be "operators".
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:26 PM
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Those night sights that seem "dim" when you first check 'em will be a lot brighter after you've been in complete darkness for an hour or so.
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:34 PM
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The M60 Pro night site is a big joke.
I purchased one that was two years old and it could barely be seen.
Sold that gun to a friend and then purchased a brand new one.
The front sight on that one was just as lame.

I have owned various trijicon night sights over the years on other guns and none of them were anywhere near as dim as the ones on the M60 Pro

Last edited by BillBond; 09-14-2020 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murdock View Post
Night sights are a "nice to have" but not essential item. They do not substitute for a flashlight, which to my mind is a far more important purchase. You have got to be able to identify your target/threat. Flashlights let us see the sights just fine, whether they are night sights, or back lighted or directly illuminated black irons.

What I do find consistently useful about night sights is that they let me see exactly where I put my gun down on the night stand in a dark room.

I happened to need to make a shot in the dark last night. Night sights alone would not have worked. A porcupine has been attacking my two oak trees over the past few evenings. I finally found it with a very bright hand-held light. It was a black shape against a black sky (it was 0230) and the critter was 30 feet up. I used the weapon mounted light on my AR, and sighted with the RDS, which under the circumstances worked like a night sight. The red dot sight showed up just fine, even set toward the dim side, but all I could really clearly see of the critter, even with the weapon mounted light, was its eyes.

Incidentally, the AR had a dedicated .22LR upper mounted that is otherwise identical in every way to my 5.56 upper. The shot was at a very high angle and directed toward an area of unpopulated and roadless tract of woods and swamp that extends for several miles, and the mushroomed slug wasn't going to travel anywhere near that far, even if it exited. Rule 4.

The rig worked as it would have in a defensive encounter. The shot would have been impossible with night sights alone.
I have lots of experience in night time shooting (back in my wayward yout before I became a respected Officer of the Court) and I can tell you that there is no substitute for a good old Q Beam
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:22 PM
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Ecample use as a private citizen.

Low light conditions out and about for me is likely at gas station at night.

Lighting is poor for use of a black sight. Usally good enough to see the criminal and surroundings but cannot pick up the sights.

If needed to use a handgun in this scenario likely one hand presentation, night sights make it much easier to see the sight.

If the ambient light is poor, have a small LED hand held light with you. Should have it woth you anyway.
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Old 09-14-2020, 02:31 PM
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One of the best reasons for night sights I've ever heard was from a woman who said whenever she was awoken by a noise at night it was comforting to look over and see those 3 little green lights. Confidence being much better than fear.
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Old 09-14-2020, 02:47 PM
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Any sight paint that is actually Super Luminova ( which is used in professional tool watch divers ) Will last 8 hrs and allow you to see the sights very bright in zero light conditions with only a 5 minute charge from natural or artificial light.It also has no shelf life so it will last forever once applied.
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Old 09-14-2020, 03:15 PM
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I have a 2013 version of the 640 Pro. The Tritium Lights are also dim. I contacted Trijicon who made them and got nowhere, so they are just iron sights as far as I'm concerned. Very nice revolver otherwise.
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Old 09-14-2020, 03:33 PM
Krogen Krogen is offline
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Tritium night sight...I don't get it Tritium night sight...I don't get it Tritium night sight...I don't get it Tritium night sight...I don't get it Tritium night sight...I don't get it  
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Any sight paint that is actually Super Luminova ( which is used in professional tool watch divers ) Will last 8 hrs and allow you to see the sights very bright in zero light conditions with only a 5 minute charge from natural or artificial light.It also has no shelf life so it will last forever once applied.
Intriguing idea! Never heard of this before. A quick Google search turned up some good info. Seems like a good alternative.
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:53 PM
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Tritium night sight...I don't get it Tritium night sight...I don't get it Tritium night sight...I don't get it Tritium night sight...I don't get it Tritium night sight...I don't get it  
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Intriguing idea! Never heard of this before. A quick Google search turned up some good info. Seems like a good alternative.
I've used it to fill in the recessed dots on three dot sights. It does work ok, as long as you charge. For example if you were about to go on an 8 hour shift, charging it for 5 minutes under a bright lamp or flash light works fine.

Where it falls down is in all day from the time you get up to the time yo go to bed concealed carry. If you have to draw your handgun in the evening, you'll probably have two illuminated dots from the rear sights, but the front sight will be black, since it's been covered in the holster all day. And unfortunately, while you can live without the rear sights being visible, you need to be able to put the front sight on target.

I replaced the three dot sights with tritium sights as soon as I found a set. If you have a pistol for which no one makes tritium sights, then Super Luminova paint is the next best thing. But you'll need to cater to its limitations.
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