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Why buy tritium night sights for an EDC pistol or home defense gun?

Why buy tritium night sights for an EDC pistol or home defense gun?

Posted by XS Sights on Apr 23rd 2021

Defensive situations are not predictable and can happen during the day (bright light) or later into the day (low light). Most defensive altercations will not occur in pitch-black darkness; there is almost always some ambient light present. Self-illuminated tritium night sights are always glowing but are only visible to the human eye in lower light levels. Tritium lamp sources serve as glowing indicators in mid-light levels, when some ambient light is still visible, and in dark light settings.

Tritium in bright and low light


As responsible gun owners, WE are accountable for every bullet that leaves the chamber of our gun. We want and need the bullet to go where intended. The ability to see your sights is key to shot accuracy. Unfortunately, this task becomes much more difficult when you're under stress. The adrenaline effects of fight or flight sets in, and tunnel vision focuses you on your aggressor. Keep in mind, it’s likely both parties are moving. You need to make some crucial decisions on what to do next and do it in under 3 seconds. (FBI Rules of 3).


Keeping the effects of fight or flight in-mind, it is critical to have a good, visible set of iron sights installed on your defensive pistol. Self-illuminated tritium night sights provide glowing index points in low light to enable proper sight alignment. When it comes to tritium night sights, brightness counts, especially in the front sight. XS Sights R3D, DXT2, and F8 Tritium Night Sights all use brighter tritium lamps in the front than the rear.


They are designed that way for three reasons:

  1. The rear sight is closer to your eyes and will appear brighter because of depth perception unless the front sight is noticeably brighter.
  2. The front sight is the indexing point of the weapon's muzzle and is the most critical alignment point for the sight system.
  3. 3-Dot tritium night sights use two tritium lamps in the rear sight, inherently making the rear sight bright. Our R3D night sights counter this effect by using a blacked-out rear sight with a wide notch and a front sight lamp that is almost twice as bright as the individual rear lamps.

There are many night sights on the market today from numerous manufacturers. As you research various options, we at XS recommend that you look for sights with smaller tritium lamps in the rear sight than the front sight. Most military and law enforcement night sight manufacturers will use a 0.015" (0.4mm) smaller tritium lamp in the rear sight. Though that is a small unit of measure, it is very noticeable when comparing both parts side by side.

The ability to quickly see your sights in a defensive situation is paramount and can mean the difference between life and death. Get the right sights for the job by comparing lamp size and brightness in the front and rear sights. The proper selection for you should be easy to see and align and give you the confidence you need to be able to defend yourself and your loved ones from harm.


About the Author:

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.