In my previous articles, I’ve talked about why it’s important to have some sort of light when concealed carrying whether it’s a weapon-mounted light or some sort of handheld light. When concealed carrying, it’s important to have some sort of light source if you’re going out with a handgun at night. A common question I often get is whether to have night sights or fiber optic with a light. There can different ways to look at what kind of sights work best at night time.
When thinking about concealed carry, many start to think about carrying tritium night sights on their gun. Night sights are much easier to see than traditional painted sights when in pitch-black areas. In a perfect world, the best combination would be night sights paired with either a weapon light or handheld light. The biggest problem with running this combination is how your eyes react to the momentary light. When the light is activated, your eyes will naturally adjust to the light but when turning it off your eyes will be adjusted to the light and it’s not easy to pick up the night sights quickly especially under stress.
One viable reason to use a night sight and light combo would be for home defense. Typically, a homeowner will know the layout of their home better than anyone else so you won’t always necessarily need a white light to move around the house if there’s a bump in the night. Most people can move throughout their home without needing constant light so the night sights will give you reference without giving your position away.
If you run across someone in your house and need to identify them, that’s when the flashlight will become useful. It’s interesting how traditional iron sights look with a weapon light turned on. The sights turn into blacked out outlines with the light projecting white light onto the target. Your night sights won’t be as visible at this moment but you’ll still be able to clearly see your iron sights. Night sights may not be a perfect solution for self-defense but it definitely has its advantages.
Fiber Optic Sights
Fiber optic sights are a great option for use with a weapon light. Now fiber optic sights may not give you the reference point like the tritium night sights will, but they are a great option for general overall use. The great thing about a fiber front sight is the shooter sees a clear sight picture when the weapon light is activated. During the day, a fiber optic sight can be extremely fast to track with your dominate eye, and with a light at night it also works the same way.
Typically the bright front sight will be illuminated by the flashlight making it very similar to shooting during the day. With the weapon light illuminating everything in front of the gun, it’s extremely easy to line up your sights and make accurate shots quickly. A good amount of trainers will say to keep it simple and use blacked out rear sights with a fiber front to get rid of any distractions. It also keeps your sight picture consistent whether its day or night time. Consistency is extremely important when trying to develop skills in different environments.
My Overall Thoughts
Overall, I think there will always be debates on what’s best for self-defense at night. I personally prefer using a weapon-mounted light on a handgun. It’s much easier to track your sights and have both hands on the handgun. The debate between fiber optic front sights or night sights both have their advantages. Personally, I prefer to go with night sights with a weapon mounted light because it gives me options. If I ever need to walk through my home without the weapon light on, I still can use the tritium night sights as a reference point without having the light on. If you plan on shooting outside at night with the weapon light turned on all the time, It may not be a bad option to run a fiber optic front so sight acquisition is immediate.
There are plenty of people who have some sort of light on their home defense gun. The bigger issue is most don’t try out their set up before needing it at night. I would say if you plan on using a light for your self-defense gun, you should try it out. Whether it’s a night of larping or just checking your gun and light combo, make sure everything works well together. It’s important to know what works best for you and learn what doesn’t before needing to use it. Let me know what you guys use for home defense guns during the night. If you have questions about weapon lights or anything in general feel free to message me on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!