When it comes to buying that first handgun or the tenth, choosing sights to accompany the handgun can be a daunting and confusing decision. Whether the purpose is for personal/home defense, duty, competition, or range/plinking, there are many sights out there today to choose from. In this article we will discuss how to determine which sights will best suite your purpose along with the difference between each style.
This is probably our most traditional sight technology. Fiber-optic material allows any available light from a natural or artificial source to illuminate the fiber making it more visible and easier to see. The brighter the ambient lighting is, the more visible the sights. As long as there is a light source (whether it is the sun at an outdoor range or indoor range with overhead lighting) fiber-optic sights provide the brightest aiming points even in low-light conditions. An advantage of this sight set (other than the fiber-optics) is the TRIDOT aiming system which utilizes a red fiber-optic front and green fiber-optic rear to create contrast between the front and rear sights. This allows recognition between the front and rear sight making target acquisition easier, faster, and more accurate.
Upgrading from standard iron sight to bright fiber-optic sights is a cost-effective way to improve accuracy and performance. Whether it is knocking down steel at an outdoor range, hitting the bullseye at the local indoor range, or improving sight visibility on your EDC (every-day-carry). Fiber-optic sights are guaranteed to help increase sight visibility to help the bullet hit its mark and are a great all-around sight for any application.
FIBER-OPTIC PRO SIGHTS
Building on the advantages of fiber-optic sights, the Fiber-Optic Pro sight series was introduced in 2019, delivering a sight picture that is fast and accurate for competitive and recreational shooters. What makes this sight unique is in the front sight. A patented light reflector which redirects available light to the fiber, giving it a brighter glow than traditional fiber-optic sights. This technology also allows the front sight to be brighter without making it longer (which would effectively reduce the sight radius). Combined with a blacked-out rear sight it allows increased contrast and focus to remain on the front sight.
Competitive shooters could not ask for a better sight. Any fiber-optic sight works well on a sunny day at the range, but the Fiber-Optic Pro outperforms traditional fiber-optic sights and not only provides exceptional results outdoors but also indoors. Any competitive shooter knows that indoor matches present a challenge with a fiber-optic insert performing less than optimal due to lighting not being the best past the individual shooting bays. Thanks to the light reflector it redirects any available light making the result better sight visibility and faster target acquisitions. Compatible with a wide range of brands (Glock, Springfield, Smith & Wesson, CZ) along with competition specific models such as the Sig Sauer X5/X5 Legion, Walther Q5 Match/SF, and the CZ Shadow, this sight is a must for any competition gun.
What happens when the lights go out? Even though you’re able to identify friend from foe, there is likely not enough light to accurately see your sights. Your sidearm doesn’t need to be left in the dark. The TRUGLO TRITIUM night sights transition from standard white dot sights during the day, to glowing green dots in the dark. Tritium does not need batteries and does not need to be charged with light – it simply glows! Tritium sights are very strong once they are installed on a gun but it is best to leave the installation to a gunsmith with a sight press tool to ensure that they are installed properly without damaging the tritium vials.
The next step in our tritium sight series is the Tritium Pro sight set. Take what you know from our TRITIUM sight set and add a few more features. This series includes a FOCUSLOCK ring for increased front sight contrast, a U-notched rear sight design for faster target acquisitions, and an angled rear sight edge for emergency one-handed operation.
An added feature with the rear sight is the tritium inserts. With no white ring around the tritium inserts the rear sight offers a “blacked-out” appearance when using under sunlight or ambient lighting. This gives the same effect as our Fiber-Optic Pro sight set but uses tritium instead of fiber-optic material.
The TRUGLO TRITIUM and Tritium Pro sight sets are a perfect fit for any handgun whether you have an EDC/duty handgun in mind or personal/home defense handgun.
TRITIUM + FIBER-OPTIC (TFO®)
What do you get when you combine the visibility of fiber-optic material with the brightness of tritium inserts? The best of both worlds. The TFO sight set pairs our fiber-optic sights with our tritium night sights to create a consistently bright sight picture – day or night!
This combination goes together better than peanut butter and jelly. The fiber-optic material gives you unmatched visibility when ambient light is available, and the tritium inserts are stored behind the fiber-optic material for those situations when the sun is down, and lights are off. The tritium acts as a light source shining through the fiber illuminating it making it visible 24/7. This technology not only improved handgun sight technology it revolutionized it. After their initial release in 2001, they quickly became the most sought-after sights for personal/home defense, duty, EDC, and range handguns.
Also available in the TFO series is the yellow fiber rear sight models. This increases contrast and aid in quickly focusing on the brighter green front sight. This sight set was the best-selling sight for many years due to its many features and purposes it can serve along with its affordability for the average day person.
TRITIUM + FIBER-OPTIC XTREME (TFX®)
You’ve read the title and that’s right, we improved on the original TFO sight. In 2014, we took this TFO technology even further with the Tritium + Fiber-Optic Xtreme (TFX) sight set. The tritium and fiber-optic components are encased inside a virtually indestructible chemical and shock-resistant capsule but we didn’t stop there. We also added a colored FOCUSLOCK ring to provide visible contrast between the front and rear sight. The result is a duty proven sight that is impervious to oils, chemicals, cleaning solvents, and ultra-sonic cleaning processes while also being visible 24/7 no matter the conditions. TFX takes all the advantages of the original TFO and makes everything tougher.
Last but certainly not least is our TFX Pro sight set. At its heart it is the same technology as the TFX sights we just discussed with three 3 differences unique with our PRO level sights. First is the U-notch rear sight for increased speed and accuracy. Second is the angled rear sight edge for emergency one-hand operation. Third is the orange FOCUSLOCK ring which provides between the front and rear sights similar to the TFX sight set except the orange is a deeper and richer color that our eyes pick up easier.
Simply put the TFX Pro sight set is the best we have to offer being a perfect fit for duty, personal/home defense, EDC, range/plinking, and many more.
DETERMINING THE CORRECT SIGHTS FOR YOU
Now that we have covered our different sight models, their features, and their applications, let’s discuss how to determine which sight series is correct for your handgun.
The question to ask yourself is What is the main purpose of my handgun? Is it a fun range/plinking gun to take out on beautiful days and family outings? Is it going to be a personal/home defense gun to keep in your bedside drawer? Is it a competition gun? Is it going to be the gun you carry everyday or does your job require you to have a duty gun such as a Law Enforcement Officer, Security Guard etc.? Or is it all the above?
The fun range/plinking guns have the most freedom when making a sight selection. If you’re at an outdoor range, it’s most likely always a sunny day. Any TRUGLO sight that utilizes fiber-optic material will work great for this application. However, indoor ranges can present challenges depending on the lighting available. Sometimes light is at an unfortunate location and is not conducive to the fiber-optic material capturing the light efficiently. If this is the case our TFO, TFX, and TFX Pro sights are the way to go. If the light source is in an unfortunate location the fiber-optic material will still pick up any ambient lighting available but the tritium will shine through the fiber to help make it more visible if you’re in a low-light situation.
For the personal/home defense guns, you want the sight that will help you make an accurate sight picture for those things that go bump in the night. In this situation our TFO, TFX, TFX Pro, Tritium Pro, or TRITIUM sight sets will work best for this application. What these sights have in common is the tritium component. Unfortunately, most home/personal defense situations happen in total darkness or low-light situation, for this reason tritium will be most helpful making a clear, accurate sight picture. However, it never hurts to have the benefits of fiber-optic material should you ever need it.
Competition guns are an easy decision, Fiber-Optic Pros all the way. It provides the best results for fiber-optic material whether you’re shooting an outdoor or indoor match. The blacked-out rear sight ensures you stay focused on the font sight making fast and accurate target acquisitions.
Lastly, and possibly the most important is choosing sights for your everyday carry as well as your duty gun. It is best to choose something that works no matter the condition and can handle heavy abusive use, i.e. something you can trust with your life. For this, both the TFX and TFX Pro sight sets are what you should consider. They can handle anything you throw at them and still be visible 24/7.