David's Performance and Training Corner

With Gary Belanger
Primary Firearms Instructor Department Homeland Security/ CBP
Master Instructor Sabre Tactical
Master Instructor Immediate Personal Defense Systems
Chief Instructor Performance Tactical

Night Sights - Yes or No?

Here we go again with another hot topic. To get them or not to bother, that is the question. Let’s think about this for a few minutes. What are night sights designed to do? They are certainly not designed to light up your environment nor to help you see better at night. All they do is self luminate, to allow you to see the sight in the blackness. Since they perpetually self luminate they claim to assist during low light level shooting situations as well. However, I contend that if there is enough light to see your target there is enough light to see your sights.

Secondly, if is so dark that you cannot see or clearly identify your target, what are you doing shooting at it? Big deal your sights are glowing, can you justify a shoot gone bad or a hit on an innocent with a defense of “your honor it was so dark all I could see were my sights”. An argument might be made that night sights might be useful if I am hiding in the dark shadows where it is so black the bad guy cannot see me but I can see him. If at that point he cannot see you and has no idea where you are is he still an active threat?


For those of you who have never fired a shot at night from a handgun it is something you should do before you purchase your new set of night sights, what you will find is that the muzzle flash will affect your night vision to such a degree that it will be difficult at best to focus on anything, let alone your sights. The choice is clearly yours and I will not beleaguer the subject however, in all my research for both police and civilian training I have never come across an article saying “Thank God for my night sights or I wouldn’t be here today”.

My suggestion, take the money you might want to spend on night sights that might at best assist you and put it towards some form of specialized training that will absolutely have a positive effect on the way you shoot. There comes a time when it is time to stop buying all the bells and whistles, and learn how to use the basics.

Be safe and remember, Failing to Train is Training to Fail!
Email Gary at with comments, questions, or topics you would like him to cover in a future article.