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Tritium Rear vs. Non-Tritium Rear Sights

Tritium Rear vs. Non-Tritium Rear Sights

Posted by XS Sights on Feb 17th 2021

A common question we often receive is: "Which is better a tritium front and rear set, or a tritium front set and non-tritium rear set of sights?" The truth is, there is no correct answer to this generic question. The real questions are, what is the intended purpose of the pistol that the sights are being installed, and do you have eyesight issues? Our gear is built to be adaptable to your personal preferences and to meet specific needs.

Tritium Rear Sights Sets

Tritium rear sights offer glowing indexing points for sight alignment in low-light situations and are the standard option for most Law enforcement agencies.


  • Rear sight identification in low-light
  • Secondary alignment system when sight body edges are not visible. — Commonly seen when clearing buildings and encountering many shadows or at ranges with less than ideal lighting.
  • Confidence: We have found that some customers who see the full set glowing on the nightstand have more confidence in themselves. If they are more confident with their pistol, they will perform better with it.


  • Overpowering glow in low-light can distract from the glowing front sight (The most crucial part).
  • The tritium lenses can cast a glare and make sight alignment more difficult in very bright-light settings. — This is mainly present when target shooting outside or for people with eyesight issues. For EDC purposes, this isn't much of a problem as most defensive altercations happen at under 10-yards, and you will be looking for combat accuracy.

Non-Tritium Rear Sights

Non-tritium rear sights offer the tactical benefit of maximum contrast between our bright tritium/photoluminescent front sights and the blacked-out rear. The simplicity of the part ensures the alignment points are crisp and clear.


  • Higher contrast against the front sight.
  • Impossible to confuse the rear with the front in low light.
  • Lower cost (We commonly see customers upgrade a set to a tritium rear down the road).


  • It offers no glowing index point for the rear sight in low-light.

We offer our express sights and notch and post sights in tritium and non-tritium variants.

Defensive Express Tritium Sight Options

Front Sight Options:

  • Available in a Big Dot (0.188" wide) and a Standard Dot (0.140" wide).
  • Big Dots are our premier defensive solution; they are easy to see and glow very brightly in dark settings (Available in Optic Yellow or Orange).
  • Standard Dots are idea for more precise shooting, while still offering an open sight picture (Available in Green only).

Notch and Post Tritium Sight Options

Sight pictures are very preference based and should be chosen based on the intended purpose of your gun. There is no right answer that fits every person. We build sights for defensive shooting, and the only way to figure out what works best is to get out an practice! We love Force on Force training, but recognize it is not readily available compared to local 3Gun, Steel Matches, IDPA, and USPSA matches.

Our R3D and Minimalist sights are the same dimensions. The front sight is 0.145" wide, and the notch width is 0.170". We also have our F8 sights to offer a notch and post option that has an in-line sight picture similar to our express sights. This combination provides a tritium front and rear set with a system where the dots can't be confused when under stress and in low light.

Our 3Gun shooters like non-tritium rear sights for shooting outside in bright light. On their carry guns, they have the tritium counterpart. Our 3Gunners are a little different breed, as they don't run fiber optic sights. Having tritium and non-tritium counterparts allows them to tune their game gear and keep the same sight picture as their EDC guns. Our IDPA/USPSA shooters prefer a full tritium set. Shooting stages at in-door ranges can have less than stellar lighting at times, and the additional illumination aids in alignment.

Our knowledgeable, world-class customer service technicians are happy to work with you to exchange your sight for the setup that works best for your eyes and shooting conditions!

Contact us today, call (888)744-4880 or email!

About XS Sights:

XS Sights is known for making the fastest sights in any light. For more than 20 years, the XS team has created some of the most innovative sights on the market today for pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Whether used for personal defense or hunting, these sights are designed and built to be the absolute best for their specific purpose. American Made. Texas Proud. 2A Strong.