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  #1  
Old 04-05-2009, 03:46 PM
pomyc pomyc is offline
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Night Sights or No Night Sights...

That is the question...?

I have read various opinions from the experts. I have a Kimber Pro Carry HD (pre series II) in with Chuck Rogers getting some custom work done and I got to thinking, what about the sights? The gun has only the factory sights, solid black fixed. My other two CCW 1911s came from the factory with nights but, quite honestly, I am having a hard time trying to figure out why I need to spend a couple hundred more bucks on night sights.

So, what do you all think?
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2009, 03:53 PM
hiloboy hiloboy is offline
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no night sight but gold bead front.
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2009, 04:19 PM
11,43mm 11,43mm is offline
 
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After 2 night sights sets, I'm with hiloboy (for civilians). But I'm no "expert", so expect a challenge to that: night sights are "in". If you have to have them, I think the tritium front sight only is the way to go.
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2009, 04:27 PM
cjw3cma cjw3cma is offline
 
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Thought about the same topic for my daily carry 1911. $$$ is extremely tight as we are trying to get the new house finished so instead of no night sights I "splurged" $10.00 for these neat little glow dots that adhere to the standard sights. To test them out I "charged" them up according to the instructions and went out the other night for a bit for in-the-dark target practice (we have are own range, so to speak - the back 40 of my friend's property). Worked very well / stayed bright enough to see / made target acquisition very easy (still have my problems getting smaller groups but.......).

It's an easy way to see if you would like to spend the $$$ for a real set that don't need to be charged (by light) and if you don't they make nice glow dots on the wall or ceiling.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2009, 04:27 PM
skipsan skipsan is offline
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The plain Novak rear sight, with a gold bead front is the best sighting system I have on any of my 1911s which includes several night sight combinations. The gold bead works great in daylight, or indoor range shooting. Any "night" shooting I do is gonna be with a Surefire in one hand and a G26 in the other, so having night sights for a self protection pistol for my purposes is not very practical. They look impressive though. For a professional user (leo, mil, etc) its another story and they can speak for themselves.

The Novak night sights are even a little hard to use in daylight, as the tiny white ring surrounding the tritium ampule is hard to see. The Trijicon night sights are a little easier because of the bigger white ring, but neither is as easy to use as the gold bead front with the black rear.
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2009, 04:50 PM
ClearClickSmack ClearClickSmack is offline
 
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I used to seek night sights on everything; however, nowadays, I prefer plain high-visibility black on black. Having said that, I also have some nights and I do still like them. Actually, the best I like so far, what is one of my setups right now, and what I would opt for ccw if I were building a new setup, is night on front only. Personally, I agree with Cooper and say that a gold bead would tend to fade given the right background (i.e. khaki shirt, etc.), and so I don't like them too much. All in all though, I certainly do not feel any! disadvantage because I do not have night sights.
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2009, 05:50 PM
DirtyRod DirtyRod is offline
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Strictly an owner preference but my preference is to have them on my carry pistols and to use adjustable or black on everything else. No sense spending the $ for a gun that will never be out in low light conditions.
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  #8  
Old 04-05-2009, 06:32 PM
Electraclyde Electraclyde is offline
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Gold dot Novak on the front, and an all black 10-8 "U" notch on the rear. Works better than night sights in all but total dark situations.
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  #9  
Old 04-05-2009, 06:47 PM
rglock35 rglock35 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyRod View Post
Strictly an owner preference but my preference is to have them on my carry pistols and to use adjustable or black on everything else. No sense spending the $ for a gun that will never be out in low light conditions.
I agree. There really isn't a good reason to put tritium sights on a gun that will not be used in low light conditions unless you just want them.

There are a lot of other options in low light conditions and you will get several answers on this issue. It just depends on what an individual believes will give him or her the best advantage.

I do use night sights on a carry weapon because not only do I carry it in the daylight but also at night and get a good sight picture in the dark with them.

Night sights aren't the only way to get a good sight picture in the dark but they are the way that I prefer to get a good sight picture in the dark.

It just depends on what works for you and what you like the best out of what works .
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  #10  
Old 04-05-2009, 07:31 PM
Tapper Tapper is offline
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+1 on the Au

+1 on the Gold bead front sight. That's gold as in the periodic symbol Au, not gold paint etc.

I do not remove nights to put one on, but when the nights get dim, and they will, the front will get a gold bead.
YMMV!!!
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  #11  
Old 04-05-2009, 09:42 PM
sevenplusone sevenplusone is offline
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I have night sights on my DW CBob. After trying out my dad's SP101 that he swapped just the front sight for a night sight I really like that set-up. Especially on a revolver with otherwise less-than-ideal sights. Makes it really easy to pick up the front sight. In absolute darkness I can't tell the difference quickly between my front sight and rear sights. This is frusterating when it's "front sight in a fight". I've been tempted to swap out for a nice wide-notch rear sight on my CBob and leave the front sight as a night sight.
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  #12  
Old 04-05-2009, 09:47 PM
11,43mm 11,43mm is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenplusone View Post
In absolute darkness I can't tell the difference quickly between my front sight and rear sights. This is frusterating when it's "front sight in a fight".
Same here. I bought the hype of the 3 dots at first, but to me, they don't work at speed. I don't expect to make a long, well aimed shot at night when I CCW. Front sight, press.
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  #13  
Old 04-05-2009, 10:11 PM
bbbean bbbean is offline
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It all depends on the intended use. If you're buying a 1911 for plinking, competition, or a paperweight, then there's no reason for night sights. I'd much rather have a black Bomar-type rear sight and a fiber optic front sight.

But if you are buying it for carry or home defense, I would absolutely put night sights on. Every self-defense gun I own has night sights if available. I have had occasion to check out things that go bump in the night, and those night sights are golden in the dark or low light. In bright light, they're just like any other white dot.
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  #14  
Old 04-05-2009, 10:39 PM
Abunai Abunai is offline
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Love night sights - especially in the dark. Seriously, it seems like bad things happen late at night, or in lousy lighting conditions. I guess bad guys are like vampires.

I'll take every edge I can get. I like the concept of a single front site, but currently have three dots on all my carry pistols.

BTW, a sight installation tool makes swapping out the sights very easy. Plus it really limits cursing when you miss with a hammer and punch and screw up the new finish job on your slide.
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  #15  
Old 04-05-2009, 10:55 PM
SHAFT SHAFT is offline
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I agree with some here. I'm a front sight only guy. I darken the back sights on all my pistols with "3 dots" with a piant pen or a sharpie. It is too overwhelming to have 3 dots for me.
I'm not too conserned with what is "in" or "out". I am very conserned about what makes it easier to accomplish what I need to. I like NS's and perfer them. I only want the single trit for a referance because I index the gun the almost the same way all the time.
I'll admit, after doing much night training, I'm not as much as a NS Nazi as I was. I'd still rather have them then not.
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  #16  
Old 04-05-2009, 11:05 PM
Flamz Flamz is offline
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Another vote for a front gold bead, I prefer Jim Garthwaite's.
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  #17  
Old 04-07-2009, 11:50 PM
pomyc pomyc is offline
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Thanks for all the input fellas.

I am going ahead with the installation of a front night sight only.
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  #18  
Old 04-08-2009, 02:09 AM
imightbewrong imightbewrong is offline
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Even for CCW, night sights are pretty much worthless. What good is a glowing set of sights if its dark to the point that you can't see your target?

My Glock has night sights because they came on it from the shop and the pistol had a good price. That's really it.
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  #19  
Old 04-08-2009, 02:38 AM
Bullitt196 Bullitt196 is offline
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I like regular rear sights with a tritium front sight.

I've tried pretty much all options, regular 3 dot and also a 3 dot setup where the front sight is one color and the rear sights are yellow or something.
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  #20  
Old 04-08-2009, 06:56 AM
.45calRotty .45calRotty is offline
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There was a thread( I can't find it now) that spoke about using the night sights on the front only.

My handguns are for HD & SD(while hunting) so low light is an concern along with old eyes. Black sight pointed at a Black Bear or Boar... I also have the XS ghost ring on my 870HD, over kill maybe but, it does raise the comfort level.

I had a Gold Bead on my Freedom Arms and on my Marlin, I like them for daylight.
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  #21  
Old 04-08-2009, 07:15 AM
bbbean bbbean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imightbewrong View Post
Even for CCW, night sights are pretty much worthless. What good is a glowing set of sights if its dark to the point that you can't see your target?
.
Its true that if you're in a cave fighting a bad guy, no sights will be very useful. But most of us don't encounter total darkness very often.
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  #22  
Old 04-08-2009, 07:30 AM
Ske1etor Ske1etor is offline
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For a range toy, it soesn't matter to me. Can be three dot, night sights, gold bead... whatever. For my carry gun, it must have night sights. Preferably Meprolights over Trijicon since the Mepro's are brighter... Even though the Trijicon's do the job on my DW CBOB, they will most likely get swapped out for Mepro's at some point.
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  #23  
Old 04-08-2009, 07:45 PM
Apprentice Apprentice is offline
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It has appeared to me of late that if there are any recent "fashions" it is to forego the expense of tritium NS with the argument that one needs white light to identify the threat plus the angle that the light conditions whereby one can identify a threat but not see non-Tritium sights only makes up about 15 minutes per day. I've heard this first hand from a noted defensive pistol instructor whose class was superb by the way.

They got it all wrong. If I am approached in a dark parking garage in the large city I work in (reknown for its violent crime) by a stranger demanding I get on my knees and fork over my wallet while waving his stainless steel pistol at me, I've got pretty much all the threat ID I need although it's too dark to make out his face clearly. Not to mention if he escalates further and I start taking fire!

It will now be a tight squeeze to fight my way out of this without also pulling a flashlight to fully illum the perp so I can "identify my threat" or soon thereafter see my all black sights against his black hoodie.

Indeed, maybe I can't see my sights in these lighting conditions without tritium fronts or the flashlight (which I'm too busy dodging incoming to fish out). Because the 15 or 20 minutes of lighting conditons per day concept is way wrong. Artificial lighting can produce that weird twilight anytime throughout the night in many places.

Anyway, I don't consider a pistol without NS useless at all but I have long debunked the argument that NS are mostly useless for the commonly stated reasons. And a few of my preferred carry guns are NS equipped. It's all very simple. More options.

Last edited by Apprentice; 04-08-2009 at 08:07 PM.
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  #24  
Old 04-08-2009, 09:09 PM
11,43mm 11,43mm is offline
 
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Mine either died after 5-6 years, not 10, or came already dead from the factory (common, I hear). They have been very bright when I didn't need them (on my bedside table, in a movie theater) and inexistent whenever I tested them. I work private security and prefer graveyard: many, many times, I've switched off my combat light to see what kind of sight picture I could get. Again, very unreliable IME.
Now for the very likely scenario that Apprentice brought up, the flashlight won't come out, that's for sure, but since people don't mug you from across the street and speed will be of the essence in that case...I'm pretty sure I would not even use the sights.

My take is that NS, lasers, and railed gun are for warriors, not defenders. LEOs can and do deploy their primary in an offensive role, civilians don't. A CCW is a last resort weapon and if I have time to aim at all, it will be because I'm prepared (like on the job). And in that case a light will already be in hand before the gun comes out.

Can I come up with situations where I might find NS useful? Of course, but if I expect them not to work then, I'll just make do without.

And my goal here is not to convince anybody (we're just talking about another tool in the box - if you like it, use it), or to invite flames from the tactics nazis (), but to articulate why some people don't find NS such a panacea.
I think they're here to stay - in the front, anyway. But I have a feeling that the 3 dots (or other front/rear set-ups) will eventually pass. As usual, I may be wrong...
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  #25  
Old 04-08-2009, 09:54 PM
ancient_serpent ancient_serpent is offline
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My 1911 carry gun has three dot NS, my Glock 19 carry gun will be getting a gold dot front and 10-8 rear. Might look a little weird, but I've had good experiences with gold dots, plus I carry a surefire. Anyways, I'd be hesitant to shoot in total darkness when I couldn't clearly identify the target (unless in close quarters/muzzle contact distance).
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