Sight Fiber

What is the difference between a fiber optic sight and a tritium sight?

Truglo sells both a tritium handgun sight and a fiber optic one. The fiber optic sight is significantly cheaper but is there really that much of a difference? What is the difference in the two?

As the other answerers have said, a fiber optic sights are designed for daytime use, and tritium sights enhance nightime sight visibility.

Fiber optics use a translucent plastic pipe to gather and channel light to the rear of the sight, making it bright and easy to see in moderate and bright lighting.

Tritium sights use a radioactive compound which produces a dim glow. This glow can be seen in very low light conditions, but is undetectable in anything brighter than twilight. The compound, being radioactive, is unstable, and will eventually degrade, causing the sights to lose their ability to glow. Most tritium sights come with a 10-year warranty, and I am told that the real-world useful lifespan is around 15 years.

Even with price as no object, my choice would be fiber optic sights. Fiber optic sights glow brightly in daylight, and look like regular sights in darkness. Tritium glows dimly in darkness and look like regular sights in daylight--but cost 4x as much and have a shelf life. Also, logic tells us that if we can't see our sights clearly in darkness, we can't see our target clearly either, and in any case, you aren't going to be using sights much in CQB anyway. A laser would be a much more useful accessory, and some lasers can be used effectively in daylight as well.

At the end of the day, a $5 flashlight will give you more functionality at night than will $80 tritium sights. Fiber optic sights do affect sight acquisition time during the day, but not as much as repetition training and weapon familiarity do. They fall into the "nice to have, but not strictly necessary" category. The tritium sights, in my opinion, are snake oil. They're "tacti-cool" toys whose primary market are guys that want to be like the guy from Splinter Cell. I say again: If it's too dark to see your sights, it's probably too dark to see your target. Tritium sights may look cool, but they add zero real-world effectiveness to the weapon.

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