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How important do you consider nights sights for EDC?

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by c22m22c, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. c22m22c

    c22m22c Loaded Pockets

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    i've always considered nights sights essential for EDC handguns. Most of my friends do too, however a few do not.

    those friends who think night sights are unnecessary come up with answers like, "i live in populated areas which maintain area lighting, thus ambient lighting is sufficient." and, "in my home, ranges are close enough for reflexive firing." and my favorite excuse, "the daytime shooting i do, imposes muscle memory which will serve me in lowlight shooting."

    i argue that no one can completely dictate the terms of a lowlight fight, and any advantage is good...especially in sight acquisition. Ambient lighting isn't always enough to see your own sights. And daytime static range drills aren't enough to answer the "what will i do" question that a dynamic lowlight fight will ask.

    what does the EDC community say?
     
  2. Bubba

    Bubba Loaded Pockets

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    if you are going to carry a gun why not have every available advantage?

    In my experience people who don't like night sights have either never used them

    In addition to working better at night / dusk, they are metal (some standard sights are plastic) so they are much more durable too

    After shooting a few low light / night pistol classes and practicing in low light I now keep a light on my CCW gun most of the time too
     
  3. TKC

    TKC Loaded Pockets

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    I very much like and DO have night sights on my EDC guns, EXCEPT my Seecamp.
     
  4. VT-aroo

    VT-aroo Loaded Pockets

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    The city may maintain a lot of lighted spaces but the bad guys like to work in the shadows, and they wont give you fair warning.
     
  5. JonSidneyB
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    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    I absolutely think they are needed. I used to not think they were needed, in my shooting I was badly distracted not being able to see the sights.
     
  6. SheepDog556

    SheepDog556 Empty Pockets

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    I think it is a very good feature to have, but not absolutley necessary. I have them on my carry pistols.
     
  7. copierguy_mobile

    copierguy_mobile Loaded Pockets

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    I tried night sights on my G23. I found that the little bit of light from the tritium vials, while visible in no light situations, became very washed out and almost invisible when in low light or darkness with a good flashlight.

    I have since changed out my Ameriglo trit's for HiViz fiberoptic's. they are much brighter than trit's in low light, light up like a traffic light in the daytime. And in a situation where you have a good flashlight, they will redirect ambient and ceiling bounce from your own flashlight to the sights.

    JMHO, YMMV

    -Greg
     
  8. c22m22c

    c22m22c Loaded Pockets

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    nifty concept copierguy.

    anybody else experience this phenomenon?
     
  9. JonSidneyB
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    Yes, you can see it ourself if you have access to a gun with tritium sites.

    I still think they are worth having and wish I had them before. If I can make out the sights I don't feel the need to be able to see dots or a glow. As long as I can see the post I feel functional. It is when I can't see the post that I want to see the glow of tritium.

    I have been in one shooting incident (never ever want to do that again and I actually don't like to think about it too much but I do). When I could not see the sights at all it really disrupted my thoughts, I finally just pointed and fired without seeing the sights. In the early part of the incident seeing the sights was no problem. The last part I could not see the sights at all and that is when I became a believer in tritium.
     
  10. c22m22c

    c22m22c Loaded Pockets

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    thanks for sharing.

    i became a believer in night sights during army basic training. And that belief has been solidified a few times since.

    i've shot iron sights, night sights, and even no sights in the past. With varying degrees of difficulty. My experience with fiber optic-like sights is limited in daytime, and nonexistent in lowlight. I'll fix that when i can.

    anybody else have positive or negative experiences with night sights of any kind?
     
  11. Bubba

    Bubba Loaded Pockets

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    I figure if you notice a problem with some combination of sights / lights / ambient light then your best bet is to train until it is no longer an issue

    as the saying goes "An amateur practices until he can do it right, a professional practices until he can't do it wrong"

    Are you always going to have a light? Are you always going to have two hands? will your gun ever jam requiring you to clear it with your pants / belt / boots?
    In my experience (training) the metal (usually also night) sights hold up better than the various plastic sights and thats a big factor for me, the light is a plus
     
  12. grimm_kaosboy

    grimm_kaosboy Empty Pockets

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    IMHO night sights are not important......
    If you only plan on using/needing your firearm during the day. If, however you find yourself in the dark at night, very important. Even if you live in a city which has pleanty of "ambient" light, there is still 1) the fact that your eyes will be pulled into focus faster by the trits. 2) If your self defence load spits fire, you will not loose your sights due to glare or your sudden loss of night vision.
    So I think they are important, I have them on the three firearms I carry the most frequently, and when money allows will have them installed on two others that are candidates for carry.

    -Bill Liptak
     
  13. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

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    Whatever your preference, make sure you don't become overly reliant on them while shooting in the dark. In a fight you may end up with damaged sights, or even fighting with somebody else's weapon (without sights).

    I'm curious, was the latter a because of changing light conditions, or because of sensory exclusion due to the extreme stress of the incident?
     
  14. BigV

    BigV Loaded Pockets

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    Ever been outside at night during a power outage? It’s REALLY dark!
    During a :censored: situation you can’t depend on light during the night to assist you.
    My opinion is that tritium sites are a must in a EDC weapon.
    I also agree with the posters above with regard to training. Train enough and your training will take over in a stressful situation.
     
  15. c22m22c

    c22m22c Loaded Pockets

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    good point.

    i had night sights installed on an XD once where the front sight was extremely dim and actually stopped glowing quickly. Never shot the gun like that, but the incident made me ask a few questions that i was just reminded off.

    when you rely on night sights to help orient your muzzle toward the target, and you realize a sight is damaged/destroyed do you consider this an immediate action drill, find cover, retrieve your weapon light and proceed? Do you proceed with the firefight without your trusty sights? Does this constitute a change in tactics? Ie. Go forth boldly, take cover and defend, withdraw/retreat, etc.

    i know each fight is different, requiring responses to many variables some predictable and not. Law enforcement will probablyhave a different guideline than most civilians. And we could "what if" until...let's not.

    i think the fact that the sights COULD die shouldn't stop us from having them. The fact should force us to consider this scenario and how we might adjust our training.
     
  16. JonSidneyB
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    It was because it started in my friends out in a friends mom and pop convience store (circle k franchise) and ended out side on a dark January night. The store served the farm community and those that lived between the farms. Outside the light change rapidly. One outdoor light only, and what filtered out the front door. Lighting changed a huge amount from spot to spot. The location was in Hancock County Indiana. It was searching for information on lights after that that I found and got involved in forums. Actually if I think about it things went down hill for me from there on.
     
  17. clutchUSMC

    clutchUSMC Empty Pockets

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    I learned how to use a pistol in "social" situations in the USMC. Neither the m9 I learned with or the 1911 I used in combat had night sights. The both work fine and if you train yourself for low light shooting you will be effective if that situation arises.

    My primary carry gun does have night sights. But they aren't necessary. A visible light either weapon mounted or handheld is much more valuable IMO.

    However just putting "night" sights on your pistol doesn't replace good training.
     
  18. TXGarbageMan

    TXGarbageMan Empty Pockets

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    I think night sights are excellend for acquiring your sights at night but I think it's more important to have a weapon light or flashlight. Night sights will not illuminate your target, it will only tell you where you are going to shoot. It's far more important for you to know what you are going to shoot. Most of the time you are going to use your handgun is a defensive situation. Hopefully as a last resort because you fear for your life. In most of those situations you honestly are not even going to totally use your sights, it will be point/shoot. Most of the guns people EDC are not built for markmenship, they are defensive oriented weapons. So, while night sights are nice and if you have the money to get them I woulld encourage it but it's much more important to have a light source to identify what you are shooting. Besides there will be enough ambient light from your weapon light/flashlight to find your sights.
     
  19. Spydermonkey

    Spydermonkey Loaded Pockets

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    I prefer night sights and both of my main carry weapons have them. I have them on my duty weapon so for the sake of continuity I also have them for my off-duty one as well. Like someone else was saying, they only assist you in finding your sight picture and sight alignment during low light situations. A good flashlight or weapon mounted light is also needed so that you can identify your target.
     
  20. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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