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Night sights - what practical application?

Discussion in 'Sights, Optics and Lasers' started by barefoot, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. barefoot

    barefoot

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    Oct 26, 2010
    San Antonio
    I can't help but wonder - under what circumstance would I need glowing sights? Here's my reasoning: If it's so dark that the white-on-black sights don't provide adequate contrast & visibility, then I probably can't see my target well enough for a positive ID - unless I'm shooting from the dark and the target is lit, in which case, I'd be able to use the black outline of the sights to aim. Am I overlooking anything? Please school me ...
     

  2. Midwest9mm

    Midwest9mm

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    Feb 2, 2011
    Nebraska
    you need to mount a light on your glock then you will know ;).

    That "outline" is not as fast to acquire as dots. Look at a gun with night sights in a dark but urban environment (with street lights etc.) and the benefits are hard to ignore.

    When you hold a flashlight while acquiring your target in a dark room, you see the target AND sights. Not just the target and silhouette of your sights metal (or plastic) frame. All the cops around here have them. I have owned several pistols without night sights and after having them I would never NOT have them.

    Plus I like being able to see my gun on the night stand in the middle of the night. :picard:
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  3. NMGlocker

    NMGlocker BOOM headshot

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    Jun 29, 2001
    New Mexico
    Here's a novel idea.
    Go to the range and actually try some low light shooting both with and without night sight equipped pistols.
    School yourself instead of relying on a bunch of people of unknown experience.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  4. mdehoogh

    mdehoogh

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    Jun 28, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    I'm sitting here in a darkened room with one small lamp in the corner. Comparing my XD with standard white on black sights and my Glock with factory night sights, I can pick up the Glock MUCH faster. The lamp provides plenty of light to identify a potential threat but the illuminated sights still help with sight acquisition.

    It doesn't need to be PITCH BLACK in order for night sights to work.
     
  5. GRT45

    GRT45 Transform & Win

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    Jun 20, 2010
    Texas
    What you wrote is very true. In fact, in total darkness faced by an attacker, when our adrenaline is flowing and tunnel vision is closing in, it's not unheard of to mistake the wrong dot of a three-dot night sight for the one on the front sight if all three dots are the same color. For that reason alone, I much prefer a two-dot system with green on the front sight and a contrasting, dimmer color (yellow or orange) at the rear sight.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  6. NMGlocker

    NMGlocker BOOM headshot

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    Jun 29, 2001
    New Mexico
    Urban myth.
    Pick up your pistol and deliberately mis-align the front sight to the point where it is outside the rear dots.
    You have to tweak your wrist to the point that's it's obvious something isn't right.
    If it doesn't feel totally foreign to you when you mis-align the sights to that extent, you need more trigger time not different colored lamps.
     
  7. GRT45

    GRT45 Transform & Win

    3,084
    152
    Jun 20, 2010
    Texas
    I read Mas Ayoob's comments on the subject and his assertion that police departments take it seriously.

    Night Sight front only?

    Since I can't realistically simulate the gut wrenching, heart-pounding anxiety part of the equation to prove or disprove the theory, I choose to play it safe with my choice of night sights (two dots of contrasting colors), train with them and hope for the best.
     
  8. Midwest9mm

    Midwest9mm

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    Feb 2, 2011
    Nebraska
    I draw in low light conditions regularly... not ONCE have I misaligned the sights. There is a lot to be said for muscle memory. :upeyes:
     
  9. barefoot

    barefoot

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    Oct 26, 2010
    San Antonio
    Well sure, if I could, but I'm not tight enough with any range owners to say "hey, can we flip the lights off for a half-hour?"

    Thanks for the discussion, everyone - perhaps I'm being won over, if there's a low-light encounter, the night sights could be the edge that that makes the difference. If I'm going to replace my Glock rear sights with 3-dot's (since I'm not crazy about the dot-in-cup sights), perhaps they might as well be night sights.
     
  10. NMGlocker

    NMGlocker BOOM headshot

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    Jun 29, 2001
    New Mexico
    You have a light switch on your wall at home don't you?
    You can easily see the difference between having night sights and not having them by experimenting at your own house "dry fire".
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  11. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

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    Dec 2, 2005
    Almost nobody knows exactly how they'll respond in an honest-to-God panic situation. Even a stone-cold warrior can be caught off guard, or when he's not at his best.

    I don't think anyone here can predict how well they'd perform with a bullet or two pumped into them... I suspect that if they were still alive and at all functioning, they'd want to return fire, and they'd take any help they could get with that!

    It should be obvious that in pitch blackness you wouldn't even be able to target a threat. No passive sights—except a night vision scope--are going to help you there.

    As was mentioned, tritium night sights would allow you to target a silhouetted threat in very low light conditions; they may even allow you to do this without giving away your position.

    While there's no substitute for first-hand experience for anything, there is a body of knowledge from which we can draw, academic though it may be to us...

    To my knowledge, the Israelis helped pioneer the use of tritium night sights in real-world applications of the worst order. They were also the first to make tritium-charged night sights readily available with their Meprolight brand. Maybe they know a thing or two about all this? :dunno:

    Just saying... :whistling:

    --Ray
     
  12. jtull7

    jtull7 Pistolero CLM

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    Jan 27, 2006
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    If there is someone in my house at night in the dark, and my wife is in bed beside me, the person, whoever they may be, is going to be shot, with my night sights, in the best general direction of the noise being made. Period. I don't need to ID the person. They have invaded my home. They will be shot.
     
  13. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

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    Dec 2, 2005

    Can't say I disagree! :thumbsup:

    In another home, with family members coming and going at various hours, a different strategy must be applied... :eyebrow:

    Right now, in Wiskonsin, with Scott Walker (C-R) as governor, we actually have a real shot at a CCW provision and Castle and Stand-Your-Ground Doctrines! :woohoo:

    Of course, for the above-mentioned to become laws, we need to get David Prosser elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, this Tuesday! :shocked:

    We've been under Libtard rule for too long here! :steamed:

    --Ray
     
  14. Angry Fist

    Angry Fist Dehumanizer® Lifetime Member

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    Dec 30, 2009
    Hellbilly Hill
    That's why.
     
  15. sciolist

    sciolist

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    Nov 11, 2009
    PNW
    Taking a good low-light pistol course will provide quite a bit of insight. Gun-mounted lights have their strengths, but also some significant liabilities.

    I prefer just the tritium front for carry guns, but guess it's down to personal taste. IMO, you need to be confident shooting torso-sized targets at defensive range just on physical index. Should be no problem to look at a target, close eyes, draw/present, open eyes and have post in notch close to A Zone. If not, work on that before trying to fix software problem with hardware.

    If light levels are low enough that you can't see black sights, identifying and illuminating all targets without illuminating yourself is going to be much more of an issue than illuminating your sights. When you illuminate the target, the gun will be indexed, and there will be ambient light for that short period of time... but the gun should come on target as a function of you seeing the target, not the sights.
     
  16. bobelk99

    bobelk99

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    Mar 1, 2005
    Central KY
    If you could complete just one evening of nighttime training, I believe your view would be more welcoming to night sights. Until you fire a few mags in natural night lighting (or lack thereof) and realistic attack situations, you cannot truly appreciate night sights.
     
  17. j-glock22

    j-glock22

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    Sep 20, 2001
    Central Ohio
    All of mine have NS. Daytime and well lit situations the dots suffice. In low light to very low light it is easy for me to sight in..... Im satisfied with them and i do use front green yellow rear although it doesnt seem to make that much difference as some have mentioned it is more muscle memory than anything.
     
  18. I just tried it and you really don't have to tweak your wrists all that much to mis-ailgn the sights, at least not my trijis on a G19/G23. I can easily see how it could happen in a stressful situation.
     
  19. bobelk99

    bobelk99

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    Mar 1, 2005
    Central KY
    I don't agree with the misalignment concept if the shooter is trained in nighttime conditions, but I totally agree with front sight being of a different color, regardless of competence of shooter.