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Old October 4, 2001, 05:24 PM   #1
Warm Bore
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Life-span of Tritium night-sights?

Looking to get some night-sights for my Kimber Custom Classic. Would like to get Tritiums of some sort. Don't want the Mepro's since I've heard they burn out quickly. Can anyone tell what useful life-span I can expect of Tritium and where I should go to get them (Wilson, Novak, other, etc.)?


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Old October 4, 2001, 05:36 PM   #2
Bad Al
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Kimber/Meprolight sights are great and they are guarantied for 12 years. The white ring around the tritium bulb is excellent for daytime shooting also. My favorite is the green front and orange rear combination.
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Old October 4, 2001, 05:39 PM   #3
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I've heard 10-12 years is the average. DAROGUE1
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Old October 4, 2001, 05:44 PM   #4
Inspector Callahan
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Trijicon is generally considered to be the "best" trit sights. They have a 12 year lifespan according to their literature.
If you don't understand weapons you don't understand fighting. If you don't understand fighting you don't understand war. If you don't understand war you don't understand history. And if you don't understand history you might as well live with your head in a sack. - Colonel Jeff Cooper
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Old October 4, 2001, 06:02 PM   #5
Keith J
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All sights use Tritium, the decay of which cannot be controlled by any manufacturing process. Its half-life is 12 years, 3 months and illumination is reduced proportionally with the half life. Notice, the sight will never "go out" in anyone's lifespan but after 12 years, illumination will be about 1/2 compared to new.

All are sealed glass bulbs and the T is a gas inside. There could be a leak but most capsules are pressure tested and checked via mass spec. If it leaks, they will find it before using.

The decay products are Helium 3 (stable isotope), a beta particle and a neutrino.
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Old October 4, 2001, 07:56 PM   #6
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As a sort of verification of this, I recently bought a Beretta 92 that was surplused by a local agency. The Trijicon sights on it were dated 1992, and while they are definitely dimmer than some dated 1999 and 2000 they are still very usable 9-10 years out.
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Old October 4, 2001, 07:56 PM   #7
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I have had a Glock with Trijicon tritium sites for about 11 years now and they are still as bright as new from what my eyes see. I had a Colt Series 80 Government that came with Meprolites (bought used) and the sites were noticibly dimmer, even though they were most likely newer.
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Old October 4, 2001, 08:24 PM   #8
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I have a Luminox watch that has tritium gas in the hands and around the edge to denote the time. Luminox state 12 year half life for the tritium gas. I have Entreprise ghost ring night sights on my USP. Entrepise uses Trijicon tritium ampules. Again a 12 year half life for the night sights. I just the the gun sights but I've had the watch for 2-3 years and they are both BRIGHT. If you get a true tritium gas night sight I believe they will all have the same life span. The only question now is which type sight you like best.
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