Letter Re: Tritium Sights and Night Vision Devices

Monday, Oct 10, 2005

Jim,
What are your thoughts regarding tritium nights sights giving away your position to someone using Gen III or better night vision? - Gung-Ho

JWR Replies: Thanks, Gungie, you raised an important point! Even first generation starlight (electronic light amplification) devices can detect the illumination of tritium sights. For someone looking at you through a starlight scope or NVGs, if you are holding a pistol in your hands that is equipped with fresh tritium sights, then it will give the same visual impression as if you had a penlight shining in your face. If holstered, this usually isn't an issue, depending on the holster design. (This is one reason I like the versatile Bianchi UM-84 holster.When I carry a handgun as a backup to a long gun, I use the Bianchi with the full flap installed. This completely covers the rear sight. When out berry picking in bear country, I remove the flap and use just the "thumb break" retention strap.) For rifles, a tritium front sight post can be quickly shrouded to almost "zero out" its light signature--typically with a short length of black plastic house wiring insulation. I prefer this method because the front sight is still usable--albeit degraded--in a pinch.


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