07 Mar

>Night Sights and Fiber Optics

Steven K. Ledin,

>We sell a lot of Trijicon night sights. These replace the iron sights on your firearm, mostly pistols. Night sights have small spheres of radioactive material in them that glow with absolutely no ambient light whatsoever. The actual Tritium aiming points are sealed with aluminum and a clear sapphire lens that lets the radioactive phosphor lamp be seen in any conditions. On guns like the Beretta 92 with a front sight that can not be replaced, the slide must be sent to Tooltech (Trijicon’s custom shop) for drilling and installation. You will see when purchasing such a sight that you don’t get the actual sight, but just a coupon for installation, since the EPA strictly controlls the radioactive tritium, and it may be sent only to a compliant company. You must send your slide for installation. No other way.
Fiber optics are not night sights. They do not glow without ambient light. They are certainly brighter in the day time than night sights because they channel available light to the end of the fiber where it is installed in the appropriate section of a sight for the most effectiveness. But they are not night sights. They need light. That being said, most situations have some external light, and make the fiber optics glow quite brightly, often much more brightly than night sights.
Be careful with many solvents on both these kinds of sights, and installation by a professional is recommended to prevent breakage. Night sights also have a life span of ten to twelve years, while fiber optics will last forever unless you break them or melt them with chemicals. Some of the newer replacement sights offer fiber optics as well as Tritium inserts, offering the best of both.

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