View Full Version : Fiber optic front sights vs. night sights

August 27, 2009, 01:47 PM
I noticed that many handguns are coming out with both the night sights (like tritium) or fiber optic front sights. Pardon my ignorance, but does the fiber optic work well at night or low light, as well as night sights?

Nowhere Man
August 27, 2009, 01:52 PM
Night sights are great for a self defense gun. Fiber optic sights are great for competition.

A FO front site works well in low light situations but, not at all in the dark.


August 27, 2009, 02:12 PM
At night or low light, Fiber Optics do not work as well as Tritium sights. However, Fiber Optics sights, work quite well in daylight and provide for ease of target aquisition where Tritium sights are not much good in daylight. Wish I could have written this better!! :rolleyes:

Be Safe !!!

August 27, 2009, 03:01 PM
I ran into a situation where the FO front sight on my M&P would useless at my local indoor range. No matter what I did I could not get it to pick up the light. Every other place I've shot with it the FO front sight was fantastic but there was something about the lighting at my local range that just doesn't lend itself to FO sights.

That was a real lesson for me. I know have Warren Tactical 2-dot night sights on my home defense fun while I have a FO front sight on my IDPA gun.

Truglow's TFO sights seem like they might be the best of both worlds but I've heard mixed reviews about their durability.

August 27, 2009, 03:28 PM
Fiber Optic sights, capture ambient light and as most folks know, Tritium generates it's own light through a Radio active material, liquid. The fiber optics will perform or as stated, capture the light to varying degrees, depending on the ambient light source. You have incandescents, flourescence, mercury vapors, halogens and varieties of high pressure sodiums. They all have their own unique waveforms. Next time you are at that range, try to determine what that light source is. Then you will know that everytime you run into this, the fiber optics will not work well. Personally I think that the worst, is mercury vapor although many of these have been phased out. The best light for Fiber optics is good old outside light. ... JMHO .... :)

Be Safe !!!

August 27, 2009, 03:30 PM
from bright light to low light fiber optics work very good.
from low light to pitch black Tritium sights work very good.
It will depend just how much light and type you have in a low light situation as to which will allow a better sight picture.
as another poster suggested my SD/HD guns mostly wear Night sights.
got a couple competetion/woods carry guns with fiber optic fronts.
although to be honest I've used my guns with fiber optics for nightstand duty,heck for that matter I have used my SAA clone for HD and slept like a baby.

August 27, 2009, 04:22 PM
In my experience, night sights are useless until it is almost totally dark. When it's dark enough that you can't see standard sights, it's dark enough that you can't ID your target, either. I like fiber optic sights, as they glow brighter than ambient light as long as there is light (consistent with what's posted about about the light source), and if I can't see them, I probably shouldn't be shooting. Shooting in the dark, I expect to have to use a white light to ID the target anyway, so I don't value tritium night sights very highly.

August 27, 2009, 06:43 PM
If you want the best of both worlds a set of TruGlo TFO (Trintium Fiber Optic) sights is the way to go with a modification. I have TFOs on 3 of my Glocks and found that the fiber optic rear sight was a distraction under bright lighting conditions so I filled in the top slots so they will not pickup bright light. This leaves the rear sight dull in comparison to the bright front sight. When going from a bright setting to a dark setting the rear sight will glow the same as the front giving you a complete sighting picture.

August 27, 2009, 08:13 PM

I've heard that some of the early TFO's had issues with the FO rod falling out... Have you had any issues with any of yours?

August 27, 2009, 08:42 PM
I've talked to a number of people who have had the FO rods fall out. Had it happen myself with some mounted on a shotgun.

Personally, the FO type sights still seem to big and fragile to me. I still prefer the three dot night sights. I do like the idea of the TFO's, but I'm waiting for a better set up, if one eventually comes.

As far as level of light and night sight usefulness, it doesnt have to be dark or even night time to benefit from them. The tubes glow all the time, and will give you a sight picture against a dark background where you would not get one with traditional sights. They are also much easier to pick up quickly when you move from bright into shadows or darker rooms, etc.

Regardless what you use, a good light in your pocket (as well as on your gun, depending on your use) is also a desirable accessory. Like a map, compass and GPS, somethings that do work well alone, work better together as a package.

August 27, 2009, 10:03 PM
Truglo makes a Tritium Fiber optic sight. They are great in daylight and the darkest of night. I have a set and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

August 28, 2009, 08:00 AM

Yes I had a problem but it was easily solved. The fiber optic rod came loose but did not fall out so I had two options, one to try and weld the rod into place by heating it with a soldering iron or two by wedging it in place. I tried the wedge and it has worked well. The wedge is installed by first shaping the end of a flat tooth pick so it will fit between the fiber optic and the housing then coloring it black with a magic marker. Slide the wedge along side the fiber optic so it bends it and then cut the tooth pick and push the wedge down to lock it in place. This does not change the light transmission characteristics of the fiber optic in any way in contrast to the "welding" and super glue approach which can dull the end of the rod. You may have to make a couple of attempts to get the wedge in place but once it's in it's in.