Sunday, July 19, 2015

Some Needed Sighting Improvements Made

I just swapped the factory sights on my M&P 40c for a set of TRUGLO TG13MP1A Brite-Site TFX Handgun Sight for S&W M&P Set, Black.

The difference is simply amazing.

And when there's a light source, they're much, much brighter than the standard sights. Incredibly easy to pickup.

Of course in the dark, it's no comparison. The stock sights disappear as they're have no tritium inserts while the TFXs glow nicely. Not as bright as a pure tritium night sight but bright enough that you can pick them up without any issues. Thwe daytime rapid acquisition more than makes up for it.

The front sight is markedly longer than the factory, but it fits all my holsters just the same with no issues. The rear sight matches the overall length of the factory rear sight.

The sights are much faster to pickup and get on target in daylight especially during rapid strings or after drawing from a holster. At night, now the tritium lets me see the sights very well indeed, unlike the non-tritium standard factory sights.

To put them on, I used the Ameriglo Smith & Wesson M&P Rear Sight Installer Tool. Model # SW Tool 12.

This is simply an excellent tool. This was the latest model with the larger cut for the sight pusher so installing TRUGLO TFX sights was pretty much a snap. Both front and rear sights both came off and went on so much easier than using a punch that it is not even funny, and with much more precision to boot. Save yourself time and aggravation with one of these sight pushers, as well as not marking up the sights while installing them. The instructions are a bit scant on details and the alignment instructions are a bit vague, but you can puzzle them out reasonably well and it didn't take long before I had the slide in and secured in the pusher and the factory sights off and new TRUGLO TFX sights on.

A great product and if you own more than one M&P and want to change the sights, it pays for itself very quickly.

As to the TRUGLOs, without question, they're a huge improvement over the factory sights and highly recommended.


Glenn B said...

This is my experience with night sights; I hope yours wind up being better:

I have used night sights, in the past, on my Glock 26 and other weapons. As for the Glock, I bought the gun directly from Glock with the more expensive ones, of two types of night sights, they offered. They were Trijicon brand sights. I thought they were great and allowed for quicker acquisition of a target in low light. Then a knowledgeable firearms instructor, in my agency, clued me in to the reality of night sights for most shooters. He told me that with night sights, most shooters take a bit longer to sight in low light situations. I thought that preposterous but he proved himself right to my satisfaction by a demonstration at the range over a couple or few quarters of quarterly qualifications. I do not believe it was mere coincidence that about 80% of the shooters using night sights at our range (and there was a good number of them) fired their first shots after those without night sights and also finished the rounds in their mags after those without night sights while using the sights to aim. He told me that the reason for that was because those with night sights actually waited to get an excellent sight alignment and sight picture in low light while the others did it the old fashioned way and sighted over the top of their guns out from 7 to 10 yards, some even to 15 yards, and used their sights from 15 to beyond that as quick or quicker and well enough. He in essence said sure, you pick up the sights quicker, with night sights than without, but then you take longer to get a good sight alignment and sight picture on target. The marksmanship of those with regular sights was just as good on average as the guys with night sights too. He also pointed out that if it was too dark to use regular sights, then it was also too dark to use night sights. Remember, night sights do not illuminate your target and if too dark to see your sights it is likely also too dark to see your target. I continued using the night sights because they were on the gun, hoping I was doing it fast enough (luckily I never was tasked with finding out in a gun fight).

I decided to no longer use night sights after a mishap while at an NRA LE instructors training course. We were shooting in subdued light, at 25 yards, from a barricade position. Suddenly, I could no longer focus on the front sight, heck it was as if it had vanished. It wasn't that my eyes could not focus or that I had lost the ability to see in low light, it was that the front sight instantly had gotten very dim. What evidently had happened was that somehow, the glass tube in the front sight, containing the tritium, had broken and that dimmed the sight markedly. It was almost invisible when looking through the now much brighter rear sight and it was impossible to focus on the front sight under those conditions because the greater amount of light from the rear sight brought your focus to that one.

No one could figure it out for sure but I have a theory as to what happened. I believe that the muzzle, for at least one of my shots, was right next to the barricade instead of protruding in front of it and that the muzzle blast bounced off of the barricade and came right back at the muzzle and thus at the front sight and that is what cracked the glass. That should not have happened, the glass should have been able to withstand that, but the glass did break and other than it being a manufacturer's defect that is the only plausible reason of which I could think. I returned the pistol to Glock and ultimately had the sights replaced with regular iron sights. I will not use tritium illuminated sights again on a self defense weapon.

As I said, I hope your experience with them is better than mine. Just be aware, they can fail.

All the best,
Glenn B

Aaron said...

Interesting story and advice indeed, thanks. I always figure that anything can fail. Heck, my older night sights needed replacing after dimming themselves to a day-only sight.