I was wondering what the general consensus is regarding using tritium front with non-tritium rear with the idea that the eye can pick up the front sight faster when shooting in the dark. My thinking is in a nighttime emergency, would it be easier for my old eyes to pick up a tritium front sight only, without my brain having to line up three tritium dots instead of not lining up anything and putting the front tritium on the target. My theory is will the brain 1) find, and 2) line up a single front tritium on the taget faster than pickup up three and putting the gun on the target. The scenario again is nighttime emergency at close SD range.
I know this has been discussed in the great Sigforum but I don't recall any specific nuggets conventional wisdom or consensus along thse lines. As I get older I think about these things.
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|Just because you can, |
doesn't mean you should
I really like the visibility of a bright contrasting front sight but the idea of shooting in light so bad you can't see doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
Almost any situation I can invision includes me being able to identify exactly what/who I'm shooting at. The idea that I would need to line up both sights to be able to precisely make a long distance shot in the dark seems unrealistic.
Since that is likely to be at home during a break-in, I would want to be sure somebody I don't want to shoot isn't at risk too and that means enough light to see any sights.
|Still finding my way|
I use Ameriglo Hackathorns on my G19 and have shot a couple of low light matches with it. For shooting at IDPA style (man size) targets at speed I think it's the best sight combo. Having the rear sight illuminated certainly won't hurt anything and will help with more precise sight alignment but if you can see well enough to identify your target then the front sight illuminated should be enough.
|Fighting the good fight|
Most of my personal Glocks have front night sights only. I really like the Ameriglo UC sights, which have a HD-style front night sight and a simple serrated black rear.
I don't find them to be any slower than traditional 3 dot night sights when shooting low light drills. The front night sight still allows you to focus on the front sight, and the outline of the rear sight, combined with muscle memory in your grip/stance, still allows you to line up the front and rear sights without the rear needing any internal illumination.
But the flip side is that they're not appreciably faster than three dot sights, in my experience. The idea of only have one dot being easier for your brain to process doesn't seem be accurate, at least for me.
I think that the front only vs. three dot mainly comes down to personal preference.
And as noted, the idea of shooting in pitch blackness is not realistic. You have to be able to identify your target anyway.
My advice is to get at least a front night sight if not both a front and rear, AND either mount a light on your gun or train with a handheld light.
|Go ahead punk, make my day|
I have Ameriglo Agents on most of my Glocks now - 3 dot tritium with an orange front but blacked out rears.
My G43 came with the Hackthorn version with no tritium rears. I really didn’t take to them for some reason and have standardized on the Agent sights, except for a couple of spares which have the Pro IDot which I liked until I tried Agents the first time.
Honestly, if you are worried about your night / low light performance, I really think training and practice are far more important than the mental gymnastics of 1 dot vs 3 dot. Pick one, try it out and train.
So in a low light/no light situation, if you can't see the front sight, what makes you think you can see the rear?
Get some tritium! Want to differentiate between front and rear? Get 2 different colors. Those Hi-vis work really well (especially for older eyes)!
I toss a little monkey wrench into this: If you can't identify your sights in the dark, how can you identify your target?
Want something a little better? Toss a light on your pistola.
"When its time to shoot, shoot. Dont talk!"
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Here's the thing. Much can be debated about this or that.
One fact remains-
If you can hold a pistol in such a fashion that somehow the front night sight gets lost outside of the two rear vials, you need training, not a quick fix by way of a front sight only.
Having a front only isn't going to be any "faster" in low light/no light inside of a residence. Yeah, I get the fact that there are situations to where you won't need a light to ID the target, but can you really give me a common scenario to where you need to speed shoot someone with no light to the point to where you're debating one set up versus another? Be prepared for anything, right? I get that too. But, I think you are to the point where you are trying to pull fly shit out of pepper. Both systems will be about the same if you were to put it on a timer. The human eye try to center things such as sights, and that is why it doesn't like to accept gross misalignments. Whether it tries to center a front in rear blackness, or front dot trying to center the rear. It just tries to center.
I can't see that front sight only would be any faster, and the greater issue is alignment confusion of front to rear. That is most definitely a training issue that needs to be addressed.
Aside from that, I think that its six in one, half dozen in another. The important part is some type of night sight. After that, you're 50/50.
"Make it a shooting, and not a gunfight" LSP552 02/19/2011
I like a low contrast rear sight due to aging eyes. Three dots don't work well for me anymore.
Seconded. With my old eyes, the three dot system is not three dots...they become SIX dots in low light. Old eyes, glaucoma and cataracts. Don't ask which of the three causes the problem...I don't know.
How well a certain sight design works is highly variable among different shooters. There are no universal truths. Even if you find the perfect sights at age 25, they will likely not be the perfect sights when you're 65.
An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing. --Nicholas Murray Butler
I have Trijicon HD in all my Glocks and the things I carry. I like the pronounced front sight, with a more subdued rear, but it's still a 3-dot sight alignment. When transitioning to low light, I'd like the same arrangement that I had in daylight; three dot.
I like tritium on front sight only. Three dots is just too bright for my eyes if they are adjusted for darkness. This is just personal preference.
I don't like 3 equally bright green dots.
My solution is to just take a Sharpie to the rear Tritium vials (and I do it to non-Tritium white dots as well). In the day, it is a black rear, and whatever your front dot looks like.
At night, the Tritium still glows through the Sharpie, it is just fainter.
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I use dot over dot night sights. These just happen to be made in Texas.
“The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”
|The cake is a lie!|
Although my main carry gun is tritium front only, I still prefer the tritium 2 dot sights like Ameriglo i-dot.
Just put the dot on the dot and you are aligned.
3 tritium dots look cluttered to me in the dark especially when I don't have prescription glasses on, then they look like a big cluster of green blobs.
I speak jive.
I greatly prefer a plain black rear sight, with tritium up front.
I can't say I've every tried the one front sight with tritium but I do have 4 Sigs with all night sights (3) and they do seem to be better in low light.
|A day late, and |
a dollar short
I had a 229SAS that had only the front sight with tritium, it worked only so so for me. I prefer three dot night sights.
NRA Life Member, GOA, MGO Annual Member, Annual member MRPA
One option to have front and rear night sights but make aligning them a little more natural is to have different color front and rear tritium sights, with the front brighter (e.g., green front sight and orange rear sights).
I have this setup on my Dan Wesson CBOB and it's really nice.
|The cake is a lie!|
One thing I wish manufacturers did was use a larger diameter tritium vial for the front and smaller ones for the rears.
Having the same size vials for the front and rears will cause the rears to always appear bigger and brighter due to them being closer to your eyes.
This is true if all the vials are identical, but not if they are different colors.
Green tritium vials put out more light than other colors, and even given equal intensity, human eyes are most sensitive to green light.
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