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View Full Version : Night sights on home defense gun: Useful or waste of money?


Teletiger7
10-16-2007, 12:32 PM
Just read this article:
http://www.handgunsmag.com/tactics_training/nsights_080906/index3.html

And from what the author says he states that he finds them "necesarry". But if you look at the results he recorded shooting speed was not increased. Only a slight increase in accuracy was the real advantage.

I want to hear some opinions from people who have them and if they feel that they are really necessary.

ohsmily
10-16-2007, 12:38 PM
It is nice to have them, but honestly, with the distances you would be shooting in your house, you should be able to raise your gun and point shoot well enough to hit a person without the use of your sights...PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

Even from behind a flashlight in a dark room, you should be able to point shoot at a bad guy in your house.

Certainly night sights can't hurt and may help a little at times (they helped me in my IDPA 'night' stages shooting at multiple targets in quick succession).

But don't feel like you can't use a gun for HD if it doesn't have night sights.

bear308
10-16-2007, 12:42 PM
if it is too dark too see your sights, isn't it too dark too see your target. The only gun I have with night sights came with them. It just sounds to me like waiting in the dark, for unsuspecting prey. Save the money, spend it on a class or more ammo / practice.

aplinker
10-16-2007, 12:52 PM
I can see my gun in the dark to pick it up better, too!

They help some, but they don't make a bad shooter good. It's like anything else. Every little bit helps.

rkt88edmo
10-16-2007, 12:54 PM
if it is too dark too see your sights, isn't it too dark too see your target. The only gun I have with night sights came with them. It just sounds to me like waiting in the dark, for unsuspecting prey. Save the money, spend it on a class or more ammo / practice.

But it is good to know where your sights are before you light them up and positively identify.

I don't think I would call them a must for everyone, but I have them on my pistols and primary rifle, not on my HD shotty.

savasyn
10-16-2007, 1:02 PM
I definitely like them, but I do NOT consider them necessary for defense use. Given a choice, I'll take them over normal sites as I am so used to the three dot system.

CSACANNONEER
10-16-2007, 1:59 PM
You could ask the same question about any form of insurance. It's up to you to decide if it's worth it to you. I have found piece of mind by paying for many things that I hope I'll never need and night sights included on the list along with health insurance, car insurance, etc. But, not all my go to guns have night sights.

5968
10-16-2007, 2:09 PM
I find them necessary. All my defensive pistols have night sights on them. They just give me that little feeling of added security, but they are by no means a substitute for practice.

maxicon
10-16-2007, 2:22 PM
I find them very useful. Even if you ID a target with a hand-held light, that doesn't mean it will illuminate your sights (in fact, it definitely shouldn't) or that your sights will stand out against whatever you've illuminated.

The real question to me is "Does it help to be able to see your sights better in low light situations?" The answer is Yes!

oghl888
10-16-2007, 2:51 PM
All my defensive handguns either have night sights, or have lights/lasers that help me aim. These are tools that will help me put the bullet in the right place when I need to`(Hopefully I will never need to)

aplinker
10-16-2007, 3:27 PM
If you don't think there necessary just go into a completely dark room and try to sight your gun,



OK. :rofl2: Now, go into a completely dark room and find your target.

RECCE556
10-17-2007, 3:20 PM
It's better to have it and not need then to need it and not have it. If you ever get a chance to shoot in the dark, you'll see the benefit of night sights. It's the difference between a hit and a miss.

I would also have a white light of some sort ON THE WEAPON. This will allow you to both cover and light your target and have a free hand to call 911 or whatever.

A laser also doesn't hurt (something like a Crimson Trace one). Every and any advantage you can get is the way I look at it.

Shane916
10-17-2007, 3:59 PM
OK. :rofl2: Now, go into a completely dark room and find your target.

Not fair I can't find my sights or target!! :(

rivviepop
10-17-2007, 5:20 PM
I'm surprised nobody's brought up phosphorus vs. tritium night sights yet. I have one CZ with phosphorus and one with Tritium (both stock), there's a world of differences between those two sets of sights.

chunger
10-17-2007, 5:23 PM
If it's a choice between night light and glowing sights, I'll take the night light :)

Glowing sights go 2 ways. If they're too bright, they can give away your position in a very dark environment. Flashlight lets you see sights and target.

CSACANNONEER
10-17-2007, 7:22 PM
If you don't think there necessary just go into a completely dark room and try to sight your gun,

OK, I'm in a completely dark room with the night sights on my Kimber glowing. Now, although I cant find my target, the second BG behind me can find me and my glowing .45!

Again, I do have night sights on several handguns. But, I hope they will never be a necessary item. As a matter of fact, I hope that I'm wasting both time and money on a dedicated home defense firearm.

Citadelgrad87
10-18-2007, 9:41 AM
It's never totally dark, at least not in my house.

But it's OFTEN dark enough that I cannot see or distinguish a .1" bar, three feet from my face, from two other .2" bars, 2 feet 8 inches from my face.

I don't need to see the color of buttons on the shirt of someone to realize it isn't my wife or 5 year old, and their failure to follow my command to drop to the floor will confirm that.

but hitting a man sized target is something I have been trained and practice to do with my sights, since I'm not drawing, I won't point shoot. I need to see my sights.

Night sights help in low light, not no light, but it's never no light at my house.

Slowshooter
10-18-2007, 10:11 AM
It's never totally dark, at least not in my house.

But it's OFTEN dark enough that I cannot see or distinguish a .1" bar, three feet from my face, from two other .2" bars, 2 feet 8 inches from my face.

I don't need to see the color of buttons on the shirt of someone to realize it isn't my wife or 5 year old, and their failure to follow my command to drop to the floor will confirm that.

but hitting a man sized target is something I have been trained and practice to do with my sights, since I'm not drawing, I won't point shoot. I need to see my sights.

Night sights help in low light, not no light, but it's never no light at my house.
Amen to that. I had chance to practice shooting at low light condition, and gotta admit that having no nightsight was a big disadvantage. I now place night sights(Tritium) on every defense gun I use.

In low light/no light situation, having the night sight is crucial in lining up your target. If you think you can shoot without nightsights in very low light situation, you can practice by closing your eyes and shooting at the target. You will see a big difference when you use one.

However, just to make sure some people don't get wrong ideas, practicing is a lot more than having the equipment. So once you reach a competent level, having a night sight is a huge plus.

The bag guys don't come and ask if you want him to break in to your house during day or night.

RECCE556
10-18-2007, 10:21 AM
Amen to that. I had chance to practice shooting at low light condition, and gotta admit that having no nightsight was a big disadvantage. I now place night sights(Tritium) on every defense gun I use.
Generally I find that people don't realize the importances of night sights until they actually have to try to shoot in low light conditions. I remember one training course I did, there were four or five guys who had "target" sights on their "home defense" guns. During the day, they could chew out the centers of the target (albeit slowly and not really at "combat speeds") but at night, they couldn't hit the broadside of Rosie O'Donnell.

E. Fudd
10-18-2007, 5:39 PM
And if Mr. Murphy is around as he tends to always be, I'll either be caught without my white light, or my white light goes tango uniform AND the BG will know how to use hard cover and will provide only a minimal sized target... In those cases night sights are nice to have...

True, without, one can still be effective, especially in 'minute of man' scenarios and a white light and/or enough background light. Just nice to have the option for more precision, if required...

Fwiw, for those concerned about night sights giving away one's pos to potential BG's behind you, I've played with a technique that can be used from a retention position, quasi-SUL, low-ready, etc. Simply roll your support hand fingers over the top and cover the front and rear sights with your fingers, e.g. pinkie or middle for front, thumb for rear. Fairly quick to present to full shooting position, just get them fingers out of the way first! :o

CSACANNONEER
10-19-2007, 5:46 AM
at night, they couldn't hit the broadside of Rosie O'Donnell.

That settles it. NO night sights for me! I never want anyone to think that I "hit" Rosie in the dark (or any other time). That's one dy.... that I never want to "hit."

gunsnrovers
10-19-2007, 6:54 AM
Night sights are a big help in low light conditions. Light enough to see the target, but dark enough that the the sights can be hard to pick up. The night sights really speed things up.

I don't like three dot though, I use Heinie Straight 8's.

BHPFan
10-19-2007, 9:50 AM
Nite sites are a big help in low light conditions. However, if it were up to me, I'll only buy the front and put it in my pistol. This way helps me better with point-shooting in low-light conditions.

Since most companies (Meps, Trijicon) sell them by the set (3 dot, bar-dot or straight 8), I have no choice but to put the entire set.

Black Majik
10-19-2007, 9:55 AM
I find nightsights useful, and somewhat necessary for a defensive firearm. They do help in lowlight to pitch black, though I hate 3 dot sights. I find them pretty hard to lineup, taking time to figure out which dot is the front sight. Of course, the time it takes to figure out which is the front sight is minimal, but I find Heinie's straight 8's easier to pick up. Heinie straight 8s fixes that problem, lining the top and botton dots together instead of lining 3 dots horizontally.

Heinie straight 8's w/ X200 as well as an E2L is my preferred HD setup

DrjonesUSA
10-19-2007, 3:03 PM
How could it be a waste of money to be able to see your sights??

As far as accuracy vs. speed - speed is no good if you aren't accurate.

M. Sage
10-19-2007, 9:36 PM
but hitting a man sized target is something I have been trained and practice to do with my sights, since I'm not drawing, I won't point shoot. I need to see my sights.


If practice from the holster much, here's a fun experiment:

Next time you do, put some electrical tape over your sights, holster your pistol, then draw and fire three shots COM on your target. Bet you'll hit it, a lot better than you think.

IMO, night sights are nice to have, but not a necessity.

RECCE556
10-20-2007, 3:53 AM
IMO, night sights are nice to have, but not a necessity.
But what happens if you do need it? It's better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it. Not everyone is an effective snap shooter (no sights)....and what happens if you just get a peripherial hit and BG is hopped up on something? I'd rather get a good "stopping" shot with the help of night sights then a couple peripherial hits that may not stop the BG.

Here's a interesting tangent and a real life story where a BG got hit TWICE with a .45ACP (from a Glock 30). Once in the arm and once in the chest (lung area). Didn't kill him...as a matter of fact, he ran for a short distance. Would night sights have helped in this situation, no, not at all...I'm just posting this so people understand the potential continued threat of a BG even if you "hit" him with some rounds...sure, most BG's will cease to be a threat once their hit (drop their weapon/s, run, fall down, etc...) but not always.

http://californiaccw.org/posts/list/689.page

Mad props to this guy, he handled the situation amazing well and did the right thing. The BS that happens at the end (with the BG suing) just bugs the cr*p out of me. Our "liberal" legal system here needs a serious tune-up.

icormba
10-20-2007, 4:18 AM
If anything... the night sights help me find my gun while I'm in the dark. ;)

code33
10-20-2007, 10:11 AM
Since NS will not hinder, I would get them.

FWIW, this guy, Chris, is a member of CalGuns and goes by QuarterBoreGunner. It was posted here before on the "old" website.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=466291&postcount=13

There were 4 shots total; 2 hits. 1st round was a clean COM direct hit on the bad guys left nipple. Round failed to expand; mushroomed only slightly and exited the body through the left shoulder blade. Round was recovered from the parking lot where this all went down.

2nd round impacted inside the badguy's right wrist causing him to drop the Colt Sporter he had, the round traveled up the inside of the arm flaying open the muscle tissue exposing bone and then exited vie the back of the upper arm just past the elbow.

Still creeps me out. Man that was messy.

Here's a interesting tangent and a real life story where a BG got hit TWICE with a .45ACP (from a Glock 30). Once in the arm and once in the chest (lung area). Didn't kill him...as a matter of fact, he ran for a short distance. Would night sights have helped in this situation, no, not at all...I'm just posting this so people understand the potential continued threat of a BG even if you "hit" him with some rounds...sure, most BG's will cease to be a threat once their hit (drop their weapon/s, run, fall down, etc...) but not always.

http://californiaccw.org/posts/list/689.page

Mad props to this guy, he handled the situation amazing well and did the right thing. The BS that happens at the end (with the BG suing) just bugs the cr*p out of me. Our "liberal" legal system here needs a serious tune-up.

M. Sage
10-20-2007, 10:38 PM
It's better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.

I agree 100%. But for some, it's a choice between more money for training or night sights. IMO, the money would be better spent on range time if it's an either/or choice.

Black Majik
10-21-2007, 12:07 AM
I agree 100%. But for some, it's a choice between more money for training or night sights. IMO, the money would be better spent on range time if it's an either/or choice.

I definitely agree, but I also feel that the price of night sights won't make that big of a difference towards training or substituted for anything else. It's only $100 +/-, now adays it'll buy only a few boxes of ammo or half a day of training if that. Night sights are a cheap insurance to have.