John Lovell On Pistol Sights

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

As always, John is a nice guy and knowledgeable to boot.  I do have two comments about the video though.

First of all, I’ve run pistols with fiber optic sights for a long time, and I’ve never once seen them crack, fall out or break.  I give them much more credit than he seems to.  Plus, I really do like the way the optics jump out at you when you present.  And I couldn’t really care less what police in America use.

Second, I’ve also presented in the dark with use of a weapon-mounted light before, and the argument that “if you have enough light to properly identify the target, you can see you pistol sights,” doesn’t hold water with me.  The pistol sights are behind the light.  You can always point-and-shoot, but that’s an inferior option to aiming.

I have no experience with red dot pistol sights.  If some company wanted to send me one (Trijicon?), I would be more than happy to give it a review.


Comments

  1. On October 19, 2017 at 1:49 am, DAN III said:

    Mr.Smith,

    About 5 years ago I bought an S&W M&P9, VTAC model with fancy fiber optic sights. Never fired, it went to the range with me one day. Three (3) rounds later the front, fiber optic pipe was GONE ! Missing. No longer there. Called S&W and they replied “Send it in.”
    Yeah, right….box it, take it to FEDEX, pay shipping on my dime….the hell with that. I removed the slide and sent it instead to XS Sight Systems in Fort Worth, Texas. Had them install a “Big Dot” sight system. Best pistol combat sights, for my eyes, than any other pistol sight out there, then or now.

    Moral of my story….yep, fiber optics can and do disappear, fall out.

    However, I have recently acquired a CZ SP-01 9mm. It came with crappy, fiber optics sights. Decided to give fiber optics another chance though and installed HI-VIZ Light Pipe fiber optic front sight. Pretty nice. They are designed with a locking, fiber optic pipe that requires a tool to allow removal. One can easily replace the color of their pipe and the pipe is locked in ! Unlike the piece of garbage S&W was putting on their 9mm VTACs 5 years ago.

    Time has improved the fiber optic sight options in some sight companies. HI-VIZ seems to have seen the light (pun intended) ! However, for my eyes I do prefer the Big Dots….nothing allows target aquisition like a Big Dot. Shooting 9 mil or .45 ACP I can put rounds on target at 50 meters with them.

    BTW….have not bought a S&W since the debacle with their fiber optic sights.

  2. On October 19, 2017 at 3:10 am, Pat Hines said:

    My EDC SIG P229 has tritium tube night sights, front and rear. I don’t like rail equipped side arms for carry, I’m unlikely to ever have need of a rail mounted accessory, so for me, they’re needless weight.

    My back up pocket revolver, a S&W 360PD, has a fiber optic front sight, a Tru-Glo if memory serves. It does jump out when being presented, and appears to be well attached to the barrel (shroud in the case of this revolver).

  3. On October 19, 2017 at 8:13 am, Fred said:

    I can’t see fiber. I haven’t even even tried to shoot with them, it’s that bad.

    I had a weapon with Trijicon’s and loved the sights, hated the weapon. Fast and easy to acquire the target.

    Never shot Red Dot. As he points out it takes training and, I’ve heard that some can’t get the hang of them so there is a potential cost loss for those on a budget, plus all the ammo to get trained up.

    Right now I’m running conventional 3 dot. I should look at getting some more glowers since those seem to work best for my eyes.

  4. On October 19, 2017 at 9:42 am, Backwoods Engineer said:

    I am a C-Class USPSA competitor and Marksman-class IDPA competitor. (I’m not likely to get much better– too old and don’t spent enough time practicing.) I and many of my fellow competitors use fiber-optic sights. I specifically use Ameriglo sights, and have them on both my pistols. I have shot them in full daylight and at low light.

    Wouldn’t mind trying an LED red dot, but don’t want tritium– it fades with time.

    The LED red dot on my rifle works every single time. I just replace the batteries once a year, on my birthday.

  5. On October 19, 2017 at 4:07 pm, Pat Hines said:

    It’s true that tritium illuminated sights do grow dim over time. At 10-12 years they decline to about half the level of brightness when new. They then become white dot sights.

    I’ll probably see about tritium tube replacement at the ten year mark. I have a couple of Trijicon ACOGs that use tritium tubes as well, same replacement time frame for them as well.

    http://smith-wessonforum.com/lounge/93294-how-long-do-tritium-sights-last.html

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/night-sights-life-span.22927/

    http://www.xdtalk.com/threads/truglo-tfo-realistic-life-span.33147/

  6. On October 19, 2017 at 4:23 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Pat,

    Right. They don’t go away, they just gradually look a little different. It’s my intention, sooner or later, when I have some time, to perform a calculation of Tritium hazard to gun owners in the case of optic breakage. I’ve seen some stuff online before, but I’m not happy with any of it.

  7. On October 19, 2017 at 5:09 pm, Pat Hines said:

    Herschel,

    As a health care professional, I’d like to see the results of what you find.

    A couple of things.
    1. Radiation levels from tritium compared to normal cosmic radiation levels.
    2. Differential between radium and tritium dials on wrist watches.
    3. Distance from the radiation source to that experienced by human tissue. For example, I routinely wore a Xray apron under my scrub gown when we used a C-arm or other Xray machine during surgical procedures that required Xray devices, six feet from the Xray source, the half strength level was achieved, 12 feet reduced the level to 1/4th and so one via distance.

    As you know, radiation issues can be much more complex than common knowledge.

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