Known for their extreme reliability, Glock pistols are some of the best handguns on the market. Glocks fill the holsters of the majority of law enforcement officers in the U.S., hundreds of thousands of concealed carriers, and military personnel. There is no denying that Glock enjoys a well-deserved and hard-earned popularity.
Despite the tagline “Glock Perfection,” Glocks aren’t entirely perfect. There is a booming aftermarket making parts to enhance pistols that don’t quite live up to the user’s motto of perfection. One area in which Glock pistols really suffer is the factory plastic sights. Known as “dovetail protectors” by some cheekier gun writers and YouTubers, these fragile sights are prone to breakage, and don’t offer any low-light capability.
There are dozens of sight options on the market for Glock pistols. None offers the benefits and versatility of tritium night sights, though.
Glock Sights: Know Before you Buy
Self-defense situations often happen during less-than-ideal light conditions, think Home Depot parking lot at 6pm after daylight savings. In civilized society we are almost never in complete darkness – there are streetlights, headlights, light from stores, houses, and the general ambient light from cities and towns. While nighttime may not mean “no light,” it probably does mean “low light.”
Even if you are in a well-lighted parking lot – let’s say the local convenience store – you may not have nice, even, diffuse light. Odds are pretty good that you will have areas of very good light and areas of poor light. Under the awning of the gas pumps, you will probably have very good light. Around the corner where you parked or in the shadow of that semi-truck that just pulled in, the light may be significantly lower.
While we can count on some light, we may not be able to count on a well-lit scene. And our adversary may be in a different lighting condition than we are. We may be directly under a streetlight while he is obscured by shrubbery, a building, a vehicle, or any number of other objects in the urban terrain. Or the roles may be reversed.
Seeing your sights is incredibly important. You are accountable – morally, legally, and financially – for every round you fire. There is no such thing as a “miss” – each bullet you fire will eventually hit something. It is your responsibility to make sure your bullets hit their intended target(s). Being able to see your sights is a huge part of that.
What Are Night Sights?
The best sighting option for concealed carry handguns are tritium night sights. Night Sights are sights that self-illuminate. This means that they don’t need batteries, don’t need to be charged, and don’t need any other type of care or maintenance to continue illuminating. Embedded into the steel of the sight is a glass tube containing a radioactive substance called tritium. Tritium won’t hurt you, but it does glow. It is not only used in sights, but also in things like dive watches, and generally has a half-life of about 12 years.
While tritium sights are often known for being able to be seen in any lighting condition, we know that this isn’t always the case. For example, if you only have tritium and a black post there are some mid-light levels that will make it extremely difficult to see your sights. After all, tritium alone is difficult to utilize during the daylight. Thankfully, XS sights are equipped with Glow Dot Technology that gives you the high contrast color needed in bright light while also offering good visibility in the mid light settings before it is dark enough to actually see the tritium.
Installing Glock Night Sights
It is little wonder that tritium night sights are one of the most popular Glock upgrades. However, not all night sights are created equally. XS is proud to offer night sights that are not only durable, but also provide a better sight picture and allow you to see your sights under all conditions, not just perfect-world range conditions.
Installing Glock sights could become quite the chore if you are unsure where to start. Fortunately, we have plenty of resources to help you. Check out our XS Sights Install Guide page for video instructions before you begin.
Now let’s look at some of the sights that we at XS Sights offer for your favorite Glock pistol.
DXT2 Big Dot Night Sights
If you want the ultimate in speed, front sight visibility, and self-defense, check out the DXT2 “Big Dot” Night Sight. This is one of the fastest sights on the market for a couple of reasons. First, it truly lives up to its name with a huge front sight referred to as the “big dot.” Not only is it the largest on the market, but it is also very brightly colored, either orange or yellow, for fast acquisition when there is plenty of light. We’ve found that the orange front tends to be most visible in daylight settings and that the yellow glows brighter in low light. Our Glow Dot technology paired with tritium allows for dual illumination, making the DXT2 Big Dot sights outstanding for low light situations.
The shallow V rear provides a wide field of view thanks to its simple, low profile. The dot-the “i” sight picture, with a tritium dot in the front and a tritium bar in the rear is great for self-defense, as it prevents any confusion between the front and rear sight in high-stress situations.
In addition to being fast, having incredible front-sight visibility, and being great for self-defense, the DXT2’s are excellent for those with failing vision. Whether genetics, injury, or aging, if your eyesight is in decline, you want to ensure you’re being safe with high visibility sights like the DXT2 Big Dot Night Sights.
The DXT2 Night Sight set is available for dozens of Glock models including the 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 43X, 45, and 48. DTX2 Big Dots are available with an orange or yellow front sight, and a tritium or non-tritium rear, and in standard- or suppressor-height. They are also available for a number of pistols other than Glocks, as well.
R3D Night Sights
If you’re looking for a more traditional sight picture, you might consider the R3D Night Sights. These sights were built to provide excellent target acquisition, yet retain a traditional, U-notch rear sight.
The R3D front sight is square like traditional front sights, rather than the big circle of the DXT2 sights, yet like the DXT2’s offers a larger than standard front sight. It has a very bright, orange or green photoluminescent glow dot surrounding the tritium center. This naturally draws the eye to the front sight and makes it highly visible in all lighting conditions.
The rear sight is at traditional U-notch. Sight alignment will be familiar for those trained on “equal height, equal light.” The rear sight isn’t totally traditional, though; it boasts a wide rear notch which allows more light around the front post, aiding in faster alignment than traditional 3-dot sights. The rear sight is available with tritium as well, in the traditional three-dot arrangement. Breaking with tradition, the rear dots are much smaller than the front, drawing the eye to the front sight.
R3D Night Sights are an incredibly fast sight and far superior to traditional 3-dot night sights in defensive situations. These sights are available for the Glock 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 43X, 45, and 48. The rear sight is also available without tritium, and both are available in standard or suppressor-height.
Glock Night Sights from XS Sights
Glock pistols are some of the finest defensive pistols out there. If you have chosen to carry one you have certainly chosen wisely. Make sure you are making an equally wise decision in your choice of sights. Do your sights guarantee you visibility in all lighting conditions, as well as fast sight acquisition? If not, you may want to re-think your decision and check out the DXT2 Big Dot Sights or the R3D Night Sights.
If you simply don’t know where to begin in selecting a sight, check out the XS Sights Selector Guide to learn more about our sights and how they can help you achieve your shooting goals.