Help. Need to replace night sights - 1911Forum
1911Forum
Advertise Here
Forum   Reviews   Rules   Legal   Site Supporters & Donations   Advertise


Go Back   1911Forum > >

Notices


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-17-2017, 03:31 PM
nomikes nomikes is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 19
Help. Need to replace night sights

I have a Mark 3 (circa early 2000s) BHP with Tru Dot night sights (as it came from the factory)

The lights have gone out and I need to replace the night sights

I am not wedded to adjustable sights. I do want night sights or at least a front night sight that would be compatible with the adjustable rear (tall)

Can anyone help me? (I have used the search function and cannot find where it is said the adjustable dovetail is the same as the fixed)

Does anyone know the dimension of my dovetails?

Better, does anyone know what my night sight options are short of having my slide sent somewhere to be modified?

Thank you
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-17-2017, 03:35 PM
nomikes nomikes is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 19
It is a Belgium/Portugal/Utah gun if that matters
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-17-2017, 04:48 PM
Charles68 Charles68 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 583
A pic of your slide would be helpful to be sure. Is your gun currently equipped with fixed or adjustable night sights? If fixed only Meprolight makes Hi Power replacement NIGHT sights using the existing MKIII dovetails. I think there may be another out there that used the MKIII dovetail but Just about all other night sights require milling the slide. There are plenty of Aftermarket adjustable night sights that can be used on a Hi Power once the slide is milled.

Did FN ever supply a Hi Power from the factory equipped with adjustable night sights? Anyone....
__________________
Verbal judo expert.

Last edited by Charles68; 03-17-2017 at 04:51 PM.
Reply With Quote
 
  #4  
Old 03-17-2017, 05:03 PM
nomikes nomikes is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 19
I bought the gun originally and it came with Tru Dot adjustable night sights which are still on the gun

It is a Belgium/Portugal assemble/Utah black slide chrome bodied gun

I am trying to avoid sending the slide for milling (but where to send it might be the next question)

If the current Mepro fixed night sights would fit the dovetails, I would be happy with that if someone could answer that question



Thank you
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-17-2017, 05:14 PM
Rob S Rob S is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 535
If all you need are replacement tritium bulbs, try http://tooltechgunsight.com/ I've sent several pistol slides, or just the sights, to them over the years. I've always been very pleased with their service and work and prices.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-17-2017, 05:27 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 9,226
Nomikes,

I'm sure you know that Tru Dot adjustable sights weren't original to your pistol.
Not sure dovetails dimensions that would be. Can you post a photo?

The easiest solution would be to find the same sights to replace the dead ones.
Since we don't know yet what milling was made, if any, to accommodate the present sights that would be the cheapest way to go.

If no changes were made to the dovetails, then you have a choice of Meprolite or Trijicon BR02 sights which fit MK III dovetails.
Also, check out Dawson Precision, as they are always coming out with new BHP sights.

Your next options would be Novak sights, both fixed and adjustable. Novak makes a fully adjustable 1911 sight set for the 1911 that some have sent to Novak (slide only - saves money) for installation on a BHP.

If you want a front-only tritium sight, that leaves the door open for some old school fancy stuff, if you're so inclined.

Here's a MK III that's been done over by Don Williams with a tritium front and a Bomar rear. Also a blued HP that was worked by George Carell (AKA "Old George") with a tritium front and a S&W white outline K Frame adjustable rear sight. Both are in .40 S&W.

(Click on the photos and they get bigger)
Attached Thumbnails
photo (4)HPS&W.jpg   HP 40 Bomar right.jpg  
__________________
Cordially, ~Burgs


"I've been up early my whole life, and all that ever did was increase the amount of time during the day something could go wrong." ~ Inspector O

Last edited by Burgs; 03-18-2017 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Incorrect photo
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-17-2017, 05:32 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 9,226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob S View Post
If all you need are replacement tritium bulbs, try http://tooltechgunsight.com/ I've sent several pistol slides, or just the sights, to them over the years. I've always been very pleased with their service and work and prices.
+1 Good advice!
Tooltech will also adapt tritium vials into non tritium sights.
They have a very good warranty too, should a vial go prematurely dim.

This started life as a Blued .40S&W with factory LPA adjustable sights.
ToolTech converted it to tritium.
Attached Thumbnails
FNSFSHP40.JPG  
__________________
Cordially, ~Burgs


"I've been up early my whole life, and all that ever did was increase the amount of time during the day something could go wrong." ~ Inspector O
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-17-2017, 05:35 PM
nomikes nomikes is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob S View Post
If all you need are replacement tritium bulbs, try http://tooltechgunsight.com/ I've sent several pistol slides, or just the sights, to them over the years. I've always been very pleased with their service and work and prices.
Very creative. Thank you. Their turnaround time may be an issue, though
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-17-2017, 06:33 PM
nomikes nomikes is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 19
"I'm sure you know that Tru Dot adjustable sights weren't adjustable to your pistol."

I assume you mean original and, they came with the pistol when purchased. I have no idea whether Browning had sent them out to a vendor


"The easiest solution would be to find the same sights to replace the dead ones"

I have contacted Mepro (no response) and searched the internet

"If nochanges were made to the dovetails, then you have a choice of Meprolite or Trijicon BR02 sights which fit MK III dovetails.
Also, check out Dawson Precision, as they are always coming out with new BHP sights."

I do not know if any changes were made. I will contact Dawson

"If you want a front-only tritium sight, that leaves the door open for some old school fancy stuff, if you're so inclined."

I could live with just a tritrium front as long as it comported with the rear. I have old covered. What fancy stuff do you suggest?

Thank you all for your suggestions



"Not sure dovetails dimensions that would be. Can you post a photo?"

No. I do not know how to get them from my phone to the Forum. Could email them, though
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-17-2017, 06:53 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 9,226
Yes. I meant original. I fixed that, thanks.

The old school fancy stuff are the 2 photos I attached. I'm not sure if you can see them.
The forum is suddenly running very slow at my end.
__________________
Cordially, ~Burgs


"I've been up early my whole life, and all that ever did was increase the amount of time during the day something could go wrong." ~ Inspector O
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-17-2017, 08:28 PM
7.62Kolectr 7.62Kolectr is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: SoFla
Posts: 2,249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob S View Post
If all you need are replacement tritium bulbs, try http://tooltechgunsight.com/ I've sent several pistol slides, or just the sights, to them over the years. I've always been very pleased with their service and work and prices.
I don't think ToolTech relamps sights or works with tritium anymore. They did not renew their license to do so. The NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) recently made the costs too prohibitive for ToolTech to deal with it. They sell sights but don't relamp them. Trijicon however still does and may be able to help the Op.
__________________
http://constitution.org/lrev/rkba_wayment.htm
COTEP#782

Last edited by 7.62Kolectr; 03-17-2017 at 08:30 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-17-2017, 08:31 PM
nomikes nomikes is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7.62Kolectr View Post
I don't think ToolTech relamps sights or works with tritium anymore. They did not renew their license to do so. The NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) recently made the costs too prohibitive for ToolTech to deal with it. They sell sights but don't relamp them. Trijicon however still does and may be able to help the Op.
I guess I won't expect to hear back from ToolTech. Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-17-2017, 08:38 PM
7.62Kolectr 7.62Kolectr is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: SoFla
Posts: 2,249
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomikes View Post
I guess I won't expect to hear back from ToolTech. Thanks
You can call them to confirm. But I myself have had several Berettas redone over the years and yes they did well. As of about a year or so ago they stopped relamping sights and went to only selling sights made by Trijicon. This is a big topic on the Beretta forum. In fact Wilson themselves had a heck of a time convincing Trijicon to relamp my Beretta after they removed the rear sight and front vial so they could ArmorTuff it. It took more than one phone call from WC to convince Trijicon to do it. Since WC remove the sights Trijicon didn't want to touch it. In the end it was only the name and reputation of the company calling them that convinced them to redo them. Had I or anybody else not as well known done it I don't think I would have been able to get them redone.

If the front sight is dovetailed they probably have a replacement. If it is fixed they can't relamp it.

http://berettaforum.net/vb/showthrea...light=ToolTech
__________________
http://constitution.org/lrev/rkba_wayment.htm
COTEP#782

Last edited by 7.62Kolectr; 03-17-2017 at 08:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-17-2017, 08:43 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 9,226
7.62Kloectr,

Thank you for the updated information on ToolTech.
ToolTech used to have a photo of a Hi Power MK II on their website showing a tritium lamp inserted into the original front sight.
From time to time I kept reminding myself to have that done.
I guess I waited too long.

Thanks again for chiming in with the straight dope.
__________________
Cordially, ~Burgs


"I've been up early my whole life, and all that ever did was increase the amount of time during the day something could go wrong." ~ Inspector O

Last edited by Burgs; 03-18-2017 at 12:22 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-17-2017, 08:51 PM
7.62Kolectr 7.62Kolectr is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: SoFla
Posts: 2,249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
7.62Kloectr,

Thank you for the updated information on ToolTech.
ToolTech used to have a photo of a Hi Power MK III on their website showing a tritium lamp inserted into the original front sight.
From time to time I kept reminding myself to have that done.
I guess I waited too long.

Thanks again for chiming in with the straight dope.
You're welcome. Like I said if they are dovetailed ToolTech can probably help.
But they are only buying the sights from Trijicon adding a bit of profit for themselves and selling the sights you can likely get direct from Trijicon. The problem with the Berettas that had night sights and are non Brigadier models is that the front sight blade is integral to the slide. It needs to be drilled out and a new vial inserted. This translates into 'manufacturing' a sight instead of just selling or installing them. The license to 'manufacture' a tritium sight I guess just became too cost prohibitive for them to keep doing so. That is why you cannot find any information on their sight regarding relamping. All you see are sights for sale that clearly say Trijicon on them. Their cost on those may actually be less than direct from Trijicon. That I don't know.
__________________
http://constitution.org/lrev/rkba_wayment.htm
COTEP#782
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-18-2017, 11:46 AM
Rob S Rob S is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 535
Wow. I didn't know that Tooltech Gunsight had quit replacing tritium bulbs. As I stated in my earlier post, I have used them several times and was always pleased with everything. Also, the process took just a week or two, not the 10-12 week turn around that they now have listed on their website.

Like Burgs, I have a Mark III slide that I wanted to send to them and have a tritium bulb put into the original front sight. Guess that won't happen now.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-18-2017, 11:53 AM
Rob S Rob S is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 535
I found this in the Q&A on Trijicon's website:

I have a pistol slide, revolver, or other firearm with fixed iron sights, can you install
Trijicon tritium sources into my sight(s)?

No.

Tritium is a radioactive isotope that is regulated by the U.S. NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission). In accordance with Trijicon’s radiation safety program and ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) contamination / exposure principles, we will not perform tritium source installation into firearms or pistol slides with integral fixed sights. This is intended to protect our customers from the potential situation in which a source could become broken and not be repairable / returnable. We are actively looking into alternative solutions for this need.

If you have a firearm with a non-removable sight that requires repair, or have other questions, please contact Trijicon’s Technical Support with any questions by calling toll free at 1-800-338-0563, or 1-248-960-7700.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-18-2017, 12:31 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 9,226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob S View Post
Like Burgs, I have a Mark III slide that I wanted to send to them and have a tritium bulb put into the original front sight. Guess that won't happen now.
Howdy Rob,

I typo-ed that. My bad. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
It was actually a MK II front sight that I had been looking at. I just changed my original post to MK II.

Times have certainly changed, when it comes to tritium sights. Back in the 1980s my first set of night sights, for my S&W M 686 work gun, came in a kit.
The kit consisted of one tritium vial and one new rear sight leaf.
A gunsmith would take this "kit" and drill the front sight for the tube, and install the new rear sight leaf, which had a horizontal tritium bar under the sight notch.

It worked well, as far as it went, but my particular 686 is ported. For anybody who really, really likes carbon black sights, I can heartily recommend ported barrels.

I have an interest in watches. A lot of my watches have tritium hands and markers for easy night usage.
Evidently, from what I've read, the European Union has all sorts of rules about tritium watches. Evidently they're considered to be miniature Chernobyls or some such.

This is a Ball Trieste. It has something like 65 pieces of tritium in it. The bezel is passively lumed.
Take that, Angela Merkel!
Attached Thumbnails
Ball Trieste.jpg   Impractical.BallWatch.jpg  
__________________
Cordially, ~Burgs


"I've been up early my whole life, and all that ever did was increase the amount of time during the day something could go wrong." ~ Inspector O

Last edited by Burgs; 03-18-2017 at 12:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-18-2017, 01:11 PM
Rob S Rob S is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 535
Burgs, as Jeff Foxworthy says, "I'm not stupid, just ignorant." Or, maybe I am stupid. So, I missed your typo.

I have an FN/SFS 9mm that I don't want to put Meprolight or Trijicon tritium sights on. The aim is perfect on this pistol. I just wanted a tritium bulb put in the original front sight--I don't like tritium in rear sights. I guess I'm out of luck.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-18-2017, 01:41 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 9,226
Rob S,

The mistake/Typo was entirely mine. No way you could've known. I typed MK III instead of MK II.

There may still be a couple of ways to get a just a tritium front sight.

You might be able to buy just a Trijicon or Mepro front sight made for MK III dovetails.
I've seen them sold separately. BUT, I'm not sure if the tritium front sights are the same height a FN OEM. They look close but I haven't measured any difference.
You'd need to call Trijicon or Mepro. The last time I called Mepro, they were managed or associated with Kimber in NY.

Another way would be to call Novak. Tell Novak that you want a tritium front sight to fit the FN OEM specs for height and dovetail. No need to tell them the OEM specs, they probably have a Conex box of HP take-offs.
I've done this several times in the past for various pistols - 1911s, HPs and CZs mostly - and Novak has always been most helpful. On a couple of pistols, Novak has helped me chase through multiple front sights until I got a perfect height solution. In the past at least, Novak could order just about any spec from Trijicon and Trijicon would build it for them.

Where there's a will, there's a way. You just need to be patient and think out of the box.

Please keep us posted!
__________________
Cordially, ~Burgs


"I've been up early my whole life, and all that ever did was increase the amount of time during the day something could go wrong." ~ Inspector O
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-18-2017, 03:22 PM
Jäger Jäger is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SE BC/NW Montana
Posts: 1,291
Curious about how actually, really useful others find tritium sights (when you aren't wearing NVGs and they look like flaming pumpkins) shooting at night. I haven't used a lot of the civilian market offerings at night, just the sights on my CBOB which have been out there for a while i.e. not fresh. But the tritium sights on military weapons, yup. Generally speaking, they're not something you're going to pick up really fast - and yes, that is a big generalization. And after the first shot... doesn't get better.

I've run and done a LOT of military (and some police before that) ranges in the dark. Just haven't seemed to offer much more with what we had. Especially if not in full dark i.e. side lighting, DDs, other environmental lighting, and so on.

I dragged my fiber optic bowsight to work a few times and compared the fiber optic to some tritium sights, side by side. Short of full dark, I think the nod would have gone to the fiber optic. Of course, there is a LOT of fiber optic in the bowsight before it terminates at the glowing end - wouldn't get that in a gunsight. Maybe those TruGlo tritium fueled fiber optics are the cat's pajamas?

Now, lasers on the other hand.... oooooohhhhhh. Ugly, but wow! On rifles or on handguns.

Perhaps I will look for a refresh on the CBOB's tritium. Based on my limited experiences to date, my current thought is looking at something like TruGlo's idea would be more useful.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-18-2017, 04:29 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 9,226
Jager,

Funny you mention them, but TruGlo's Tritium Fiber Optic (TFO) sights are my absolute favorite. I have them on 3 pistols and for me they are absolutely fantastic - they glow like crazy day and night.

Unfortunately, they are not offered for the Hi Power at all. They are available for 1911s with Novak dovetails, but I'm not sure if they would give a correct windage solution on a Hi Power.

Thinking out loud, if a TFO front sight could be made to fit one of my adjustable sighted Hi Powers, that would be the cat's pajamas fer sure!
__________________
Cordially, ~Burgs


"I've been up early my whole life, and all that ever did was increase the amount of time during the day something could go wrong." ~ Inspector O
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-18-2017, 06:05 PM
Rob S Rob S is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 535
Burgs, thank you for the suggestions. Jager, you have vastly more training in low light, night shooting than I do. My NVG experience was brief back in the 1979 time-frame. And in this era of very bright flashlights for identifying friend or foe (a mistake is a real legal and ethical problem), the tritium benefit gets washed out. So, maybe I'll save me some money and not do anything to my FN Hi Power.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-18-2017, 07:35 PM
Jäger Jäger is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SE BC/NW Montana
Posts: 1,291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob S View Post
Burgs, thank you for the suggestions. Jager, you have vastly more training in low light, night shooting than I do. My NVG experience was brief back in the 1979 time-frame. And in this era of very bright flashlights for identifying friend or foe (a mistake is a real legal and ethical problem), the tritium benefit gets washed out.
I am NOT an expert or even well experienced with the night sights found on handguns today. The military stuff is different, and used in a different arena as well.

It gets even more complicated than that i.e. most of our laser designators are outside of the visible band, both the illumination and the laser. Even the early AN/PEQ-2As are like this...





So despite the tac-tard movies where everybody bursts through the door and red beams are shining everywhere in the dramatic footage, if you don't have NVGs set to see the IR band being used by the laser designators, you don't see anything if you're on the wrong side in the battle. Just muzzle flashes.

That's overly complicated for self defense shooting with the handgun lasers available today. But even that level of sophistication has issues with environmental light, unexpected flashes of light even with built in filtering in NVGs, etc. You learn to deal with it by doing lots of night shooting before deployments on ops. And bringing a brick of friends to the gunfight...

And tritium in sights is just more of the same, different arena. At least, the tritium in our standard issue sighting devices. The beards these days may have really cool stuff nobody else gets to know about.

Burgs comments on his tritium/FO sights is something worth exploring, however. Sight dots that will glow like crazy even with environmental light, getting illuminated in the eyes because THE OTHER GUY has a flashlight as well, etc... that could be a definite advantage.

The good news (as if there is good news to being in a gun fight) is that if you look at the footage of gunfights you see all over the web these days, is that most gunfights are so close that it's questionable if sights are actually that necessary at those spitting distances. At least, whether they're more important than having good body mechanics and muscle memory in pistol handling.

There's a shooting in a bank making the rounds right now, where a security guard draws and shoots an armed robber that comes in shooting. Complete with correcting a malfunction in mid gunfight. Shoots one handed through most of it, and if you step through it frame by frame you will see the handgun does not come up to eye level throughout. He engages, eyes on target, arm extended, and it looks like he hits the dirtbag with most rounds he fired, including while reaching around the corner of the counter. Bad guy went down dead going out the door he came in five seconds later. No idea what training the guard had, but his shooting was completely effective.

Would three dot sights have improved his shooting? Would he have shot any worse if the light had been very dim? I doubt it, in that shooting at least his hands and grip were well indexed to where his eyes were looking, but who knows. There's a lot to be said to practicing point and shoot engagement as well a la Lucky McDaniel.

We HAD to do that 40 years ago in the policing biz when S&W Model 10's didn't come with night sights... Practiced at night with only the illumination of the light bar, or light bar and alley lights, or the wig wags. Funky stuff shooting with hands and flashlight, etc. One study done in law enforcement a few decades ago said something like 80% of police in an OIS said they couldn't remember seeing or using the sights, nor how many shots they fired. If you want exact percentages, you'll need to go find the study.

Anyways, food for thought. If I was looking for a replacement night sight right now, I'd talk to Burgs about those night sights he's talking about. Glowing like flaming pumpkins does catch the eye... And Burgs has obviously tested a lot more of the night sights available for handguns today than I ever have.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-18-2017, 10:59 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 9,226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
So despite the tac-tard movies where everybody bursts through the door and red beams are shining everywhere in the dramatic footage, if you don't have NVGs set to see the IR band being...
The last time I wore NVGs I walked off a precipice...



RE the he bank robbery video Jager mentions (you can see it in the 2A section):

The perp had already robbed a string of businesses prior to the bank. He had opiates and THC in his system. There aren't very many bank guards anymore, but the perp managed to find one nonetheless.

The guard in question was a retired Winnebago Sheriff's Deputy. The perp got shot in the chest and the pooper and expired half in and half out of the main door.

According to an NYPD police forum, the bank president rewarded the guard with 6 months free checking and a toaster.
__________________
Cordially, ~Burgs


"I've been up early my whole life, and all that ever did was increase the amount of time during the day something could go wrong." ~ Inspector O

Last edited by Burgs; 03-18-2017 at 11:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:10 AM.


NOTICE TO USERS OF THIS SITE: By continuing to use this site, you certify that you have read and agree to abide by the Legal Terms of Use. All information, data, text or other materials ("Content") posted to this site by any users are the sole responsibility of those users. 1911Forum does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of such Content.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2015 1911Forum.com, LLC. All Rights Reserved