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Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:08 pm
by dino9832
More specifically, on a Beretta Nano. I'm not sure if the smaller sized sights put out as much illumination as larger ones?

How dark does it need to be before they work? I know they don't shine out like LED lamps!
What's your experience been with tritium sights?


I've been rushing home to get some target shooting in before dark. Bad time of year for that.
Last night, the sun was on the horizon and it showed in my accuracy. I'm old! Failing eyesight, wearing glasses, might even have early cataracts for all I know. What I do know is it ain't easy shooting in low light.

I've searched the forum and read many reviews. But cameras/pictures don't really represent real life images well. Especially at low light levels.
I thought about laser, but I'm pretty anal about battery life. It's always a toss up between playing with the dang laser, and when I should replace the batteries.
Thanks.

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:28 pm
by george
For my tritium sights to be visible, it has to be dark enough that I can't tell what I am shooting at.

They are brighter when they are new, and need to be replaced every 10 years or so.

Just my 2 cents.

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:32 pm
by WTR
My XS Big Dot sights are extremely bright.

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:39 pm
by gduncan52
I have a Crimson Trace laser on my Nano and it works great for old eyes. I usually carry a Ruger 1911 CMD and have a Crimson Trace on it, also. I am a big fan of lasers on a carry gun. They are easy to use and extremely accurate out to any distance you would need them. I have even taken a few wild hogs with the 1911 and works well on them, also.

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:28 pm
by JustSomeOldGuy
Had a Gen2 Glock 22 with Meprolights (bought new; tritiums were the Glock factory-installed ones). Worked great 1st four years - could verify sight alignment in a dark room or outside at night. By year seven, they weren't really usable unless it was so dark, that you couldn't see the target....so there is a definitive useful lifespan........

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:46 pm
by Middle Age Russ
The Tru-Glo TFO sights my wife and I have had for seven years are still plenty bright to help with sight picture verification when regular irons couldn't easily be seen -- and in good light the fiber optics pop. They'll likely be replaced by their TFX Pro sights in a few years when the tritium no longer lights them up very well.

I understand the argument that if you cannot verify your target you have no business preparing to shoot it. That said, I see a place for tritium sights since there might be times when you can clearly see the threat/target but because of lighting you might not be able to clearly see regular sights. YMMV.

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:47 pm
by Middle Age Russ
The Tru-Glo TFO sights my wife and I have had for seven years are still plenty bright to help with sight picture verification when regular irons couldn't easily be seen -- and in good light the fiber optics pop. They'll likely be replaced by their TFX Pro sights in a few years when the tritium no longer lights them up very well.

I understand the argument that if you cannot verify your target you have no business preparing to shoot it. That said, I see a place for tritium sights since there might be times when you can clearly see the threat/target but because of lighting you might not be able to clearly see regular sights. YMMV.

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:59 pm
by longtooth
I like mine. :thumbs2: :thumbs2: :thumbs2:

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:36 am
by dino9832
I'd love to get Tru-Glo sights for my Nano. Better day visibility and night as well!
Unfortunately, they don't them. I wish they did. My only options are Trijicon and Ameriglo.

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:12 am
by puma guy
Mine show up in very dim lighting, but I've never tried shooting at a target in those conditions. I have an LED flashlight next to my pistol on the night stand should I need to shoot in the dark. They do help me locate my pistol in the dark.

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:56 pm
by dino9832
I've never had much luck with flashlights and sights.
Living out in the country, I've had some experience with this. Like having to put down a sick coyote before daylight with my dogs trying to get at it. It was hard to get the flashlight to illuminate my .45 auto sights AND the coyote. Meanwhile keeping eyes on where the dogs are.
Even a 12 Gauage had me twisting and contorting to find a rattler in the brush. It was a compromise of holding the shotgun with one hand while illuminating where I thought the snake was.

A flashlight is essential! No doubt. And you'd still have to hold it somehow. But to illuminate sights AND target all at once is tough. There's a good argument for tactical pistols and shotguns!

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:06 pm
by mrvmax
The tritium does fade over time but it is nice and bright when they are new. I used to work with a guy that actually had to use his handgun in self defense (two rounds Center of mass with 40 S&W to the bad guy and he lived). He used to do armory work for an east Texas sheriffs department and was on their shooting team. Anyway, he said night sights are only good for the first shot, after that your night vision is gone and you cannot see your sights. There is better Ammo now designed to have less muzzle blast (with less flame from the muzzle) so it might not be as big of an issue now. I’ve never fired my self defense handguns in the dark so I wouldn’t know.

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:08 pm
by ammoboy2
Tritium are very effective in dim lighting especially against a dark background. Otherwise you have a difficult time lining up your sights. I did a low light match and it really made a difference. The dark unlit sights compared to tritium inserts is substantial. At minimum have tritium in the front sight. It can keep the cost down if you have several to keep up to date. The front sight is critical. I also tend to dislike the 3 dot systems, too many dots to keep track of and going in the wrong direction. I prefer sights with vertical orientation and just two dots, then mis-alignments are just vertical (off up or down) and against a aggressor vertical precision is not required just being on centerline is important.

I have gotten new inserts for sights by sending them to Trijicon, it is just a couple of weeks turn around and then you have another 10 years.

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:36 pm
by The Annoyed Man
ammoboy2 wrote:I have gotten new inserts for sights by sending them to Trijicon, it is just a couple of weeks turn around and then you have another 10 years.
What did they charge you for that service? I like my Trijicon sights (and my ACOG), but they haven’t gone dim on my yet.

Re: Tritium Sights - How Effective?

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:45 pm
by mrvmax
ammoboy2 wrote:I also tend to dislike the 3 dot systems, too many dots to keep track of and going in the wrong direction. I prefer sights with vertical orientation and just two dots, then mis-alignments are just vertical (off up or down) and against a aggressor vertical precision is not required just being on centerline is important.
That is why I went with Cap sights on my Glock.
https://ameriglo.com/products/glock-cap-sets