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View Full Version : Got to use my night sights for real this time


Bug Splat
04-30-2012, 2:37 PM
Thats right, no more gawking at them while in the bathroom with the lights off. Few months back I put a set of Trijicon night sights on my G17 nightstand gun. Last week I got to use them in an early morning scare.

Was about 3 in the morning when my wife and I both woke to a loud thump and the sound of breaking glass. First thought, it was the cat, but I look at the foot of the bed and he is there as usual also looking toward the door way with a WTF look on his face. I grab the Glock and surefire light and start inspecting, first checking that the kids were in bed. I was quite amazed and delighted at how well the sights showed up in the dim house with street lights shining through the windows. I could see everything in the house but the glow of the sights were an amazing reference point making sure I was lined up. In the past with iron sights it was hard to distinguish between a dark object and the sights. There was no guessing here. I cleared the house without finding anyone. Alarm showed everything was locked up tight. I turn on all the house lights and start looking around and can't find any broken windows. I'm just perplexed and after 15min of looking I decide to head back to bed. On the way past my 10yo daughters room I hear her say "sorry daddy". I walk in to see what she was talking about. Turns out she fell out of bed rolled in her blanket landing on her ceramic piggy bank shattering it. She was fine and climbed back into bed leaving the blanket covering the remains of Ms. piggy. When I started clearing she followed our rules and stayed in bed and remained quite until I was done checking the house.

It turned out to be nothing but this was the first time I had used night sights with the real feel of danger. I'm so glad I added them. They are not for shooting intruders in the dark, they are for having a solid reference point in low light situations and they work very well. If you don't have a set for your nightstand firearm its well worth the $100 to get a set.

Sturnovik
04-30-2012, 2:40 PM
Amen. Ive always recommend night sights and a good surefire/streamlight or handheld light.

tacticalcity
04-30-2012, 2:42 PM
I agree that they are a great addition. People often take the nickname too literally and misunderstand their purpose. Like you say, not for pitch black but for when the light is lower than ideal.

Casual_Shooter
04-30-2012, 2:44 PM
Noob question:

Did you have to shine your light on your sights to "energize" them?

I have them on my P220, and it's kept in a quick-access (dark) safe. I don't think they would be glowing at all if I took it out right now.

tacticalcity
04-30-2012, 2:47 PM
No, the night sights are made of tritium, like the dial on a dive watch. It is a slightly radioactive material that causes them to glow. The radiation is low enough not to be a health risk...but you wouldn't want to crack open the inserts and swallow the tritium.

There is a famous case of female workers for a watch company back in WWII that made watches for the GIs that were instructed to periodically lick the brushes they used to paint on the radioactive material to the watch face in order to keep the brushes tip sharp. Digesting this stuff is just about the only way it can hurt you, and those women digested a ton of it before any of them got sick, and only a handful did.

Stoopy
04-30-2012, 2:49 PM
Noob question:

Did you have to shine your light on your sights to "energize" them?

I have them on my P220, and it's kept in a quick-access (dark) safe. I don't think they would be glowing at all if I took it out right now.

Yes they still glow without being charged by a light.

Lead Waster
04-30-2012, 2:50 PM
^^ I believe the trijicons have tritium in vials that either glow OR they energize whatever it is that glows. But I know what you are talking about, my CZ-75 SA has "night" sights that are actually just glow in the dark paint. But I guess if you are going to paint the dots on your sights, you might as well use glow in the dark paint.

OP, I thought you said the first thing you did was check the kids were in bed? Did your daughter sneakily get back in bed and pretend to sleep when you checked first?

Glad things turned out normal!

jimster716
04-30-2012, 2:51 PM
Noob question:

Did you have to shine your light on your sights to "energize" them?

I have them on my P220, and it's kept in a quick-access (dark) safe. I don't think they would be glowing at all if I took it out right now.

Tritium has a half-life of 12-15 years where by then they stop glowing. The nightsights on my 16yr old Sig P229 are dead needing replacement.

quiet-wyatt
04-30-2012, 2:58 PM
And congrats to your daughter who followed your previous instructions! I was impressed at how she handled the situation!

Bug Splat
04-30-2012, 3:17 PM
OP, I thought you said the first thing you did was check the kids were in bed? Did your daughter sneakily get back in bed and pretend to sleep when you checked first?

Glad things turned out normal!

Yes, she crawled back into bed after falling off. When I checked on her I didn't look at her face, I just check that she was in bed and that her room was empty. Her floor was a mess with toys and she kicks off her blankets every night so seeing it on the floor was nothing new. My kids know that when I'm walking the house with a gun not say a word or move until I'm done looking. Our family takes clearing the house as serious as a fire drill. We have a plan for each and know our roles.

Hearing a thud in the night is not that uncommon as my daughter falls out a lot but the sound of braking glass was what troubled me. I usually check things out when she falls but hearing a shatter really got me worried someone was in the house. There is one windows in our house that does not open and is not armed with the alarm. I always worry about someone smashing that window and trying to get in bypassing that .

Lead Waster
04-30-2012, 3:29 PM
Tritium has a half-life of 12-15 years where by then they stop glowing. The nightsights on my 16yr old Sig P229 are dead needing replacement.

I wasn't sure, but I thought some companies will replace the tritium vials in their sights when they "run out" for .. free? I'm not sure about this.

Casual_Shooter
04-30-2012, 3:30 PM
No, the night sights are made of tritium, like the dial on a dive watch. It is a slightly radioactive material that causes them to glow. The radiation is low enough not to be a health risk...but you wouldn't want to crack open the inserts and swallow the tritium.

There is a famous case of female workers for a watch company back in WWII that made watches for the GIs that were instructed to periodically lick the brushes they used to paint on the radioactive material to the watch face in order to keep the brushes tip sharp. Digesting this stuff is just about the only way it can hurt you, and those women digested a ton of it before any of them got sick, and only a handful did.

Thanks for the info. :thumbsup:

cwin
04-30-2012, 3:43 PM
Happy it was nothing. Amen for night sights. Be safe.

Sturnovik
04-30-2012, 3:49 PM
I wasn't sure, but I thought some companies will replace the tritium vials in their sights when they "run out" for .. free? I'm not sure about this.

They will replace it for a small fee if you fill out the warranty card. I had trijicons on a beretta 96 from 1998 and they still glowed until last year. And that was a police trade in with tons of abuse and wear. I think it was like 30-40 bucks. If you send the slide they can do it.

HighLander51
04-30-2012, 3:56 PM
Tritium has a half-life of 12-15 years where by then they stop glowing. The nightsights on my 16yr old Sig P229 are dead needing replacement.

Trijicon replaces night sights for free, regardless of age.

testosteroneOD
04-30-2012, 6:44 PM
I put them on my G26 (Trijicon) when I bought it back in 01. I picked up a G19 last Wed and bought a set to put on her also. They are well worth the money.

nocomply25
04-30-2012, 8:02 PM
Good to hear it was nothing serious. Thanks for giving me future ideas when I have kids. I never would have thought to go through a clearing drill.

Socal858
04-30-2012, 9:45 PM
i really recommend everyone to buy a weapon light. spend 100 bucks and get a TLR1; youll be amazed at the confidence and flexibility a light gives you.

between me, my roommate, and a ton of guns, the only usable low light/ night gun during last year's san diego blackout was my G21SF with TLR1. sure taught us a quick lesson

blakdawg
04-30-2012, 10:01 PM
I like my TLR1; but when things get a little weird in the dark, the night sights are helpful, especially if you're in "sit quietly and listen" mode versus "hunt down the bad guys right now".

I like being able to look over and see them on the nightstand and know that my pistol is where I expect it to be, pointed in the direction I expect it to be, if it's needed in the night.

On the other hand, pretty much every other flashlight in the house will end up, sooner or later, in my wife's desk with dead batteries. If the TLR-1 is attached to a gun, she'll leave it alone. But now she wants one, too.

Arkangel
04-30-2012, 11:02 PM
Good to hear that everything turned out ok. Also good to hear that not only do you have a clearing procedure in place, but that it is well rehearsed .

jcaoloveshine
04-30-2012, 11:19 PM
NS + flashlight is mandatory for a HD gun I'd say.

NS give you just enough visibility to accidentally shoot a relative.

NS + flashlight gives you visibility + target identification, plus light can serve as a temporary blinding.

I have pretty new NS on my Baer TRS (2012 on the front, 2008 on the back) and they really glow, Trijicon is top notch stuff.