Shedding Light on Trijicon HD Night Sights

Shedding Light on Trijicon HD Night Sights

For the current issue of Handguns Magazine, on sale now, I wrote up the new(ish) Trijicon HD Night Sights. I wanted to cover them in this blog because, well, they deserve it.

The more I shoot, the pickier I get about trigger pulls and sights on pistols. I shoot a lot of competition, specifically in UPSPA's Production Division, which requires the use of everyday carry-type pistols. I carry what I shoot in competition, and the other way around. That means that most of the time my carry gun is a lightly customized (trigger job, lighter recoil spring, and sights, not much more is allowed in Production) Glock 34. When I'm not carry/shooting the G34, I'm using a SIG P226. A few years ago I got in the two versions of the (now discontinued) USPSA-Edition SIG P226, and I liked them so much I bought them. Other than USPSA markings and different sights, they are identical to standard SIG Elite models. One has a stainless steel frame, the other aluminum.

When I switched to the shooting the SIG with its Dawson front sight with a red fiber optic insert I realized what I was missing. I was losing the plain black front sight of my Glock during the recoil cycle and didn't realize it. Fiber optic inserts collect light and even on overcast days look like they are battery powered.

The problem is, that even though current fiber optic pistol sights are a lot more durable than the first generation models, they are not as durable as solid metal sights. I see FO inserts fly out of sights during competition at least once a year (never had it happen to me….yet). Something that disassembles itself during recoil is not exactly what I want on a carry gun, and since I carry what I shoot in competition….


(RELATED: 5 Guns That Could Replace The Beretta M9)


Most big name pistol-sight manufacturers haven't learned the lessons competition shooters have about sights. Most professional pistol shooters (and those of us who aspire to be) have found that sight sets which provide a lot of daylight around the front sight are not only faster but allow more precision at speed.


Trijicon's designers were apparently paying attention, because they have designed what I consider to be the next evolution of combat sights with their HD Night Sights. Slightly taller than standard sights, the rear notch is both wider and U-shaped to provide an increased amount of daylight around the front sight. The rear sight is also designed so that it can be hooked on something to rack the slide with one hand if necessary. The side toward the shooter is serrated to reduce glare.

The rear sight is the window frame for the front sight, and so it should be looked through, not at. While the HD rear sight has tritium inserts on either side of the notch, there are no color outlines around them to draw your eye away from the front sight.

The front sight is not a narrow competition sight but standard duty width, with a tritium insert in the center. Trying to balance the visibility of a fiber-optic insert with the needs of serious end-users, Trijicon surrounds the front sight with a round, very large circle of paint, either bright orange or yellow. The front dot, as wide as the whole sight blade, is nearly fluorescent to begin with, but in addition to that it is made with photo-luminescent paint, which glows for a brief time when exposed to light. This can be very useful if you're a police officer having to search a dark room.


While this big dot front sight may sound similar to the XS sight system, the front sight of the XS is much bigger, rounded, and sets on top of a shallow notch. While this is great for "Oh S$%^!" point blank range shooting, it doesn't provide any precision. The top of the Trijicon HD front sight is flat and allows precise shooting at distance, while still having a big bright circle on the front sight for rapid sight acquisition and target engagement.

I've been carrying the aluminum-framed USPSA SIG P226 again and have replaced the competition sights with Trijicon HD sights. As someone who not only is an avid competitive shooter but carries a gun every day I love everything about these sights, and suggest you check them out. Trijicon makes them for most models of pistols.

Recommended for You

SIG SAUER has introduced the American Made P210 Standard pistol to the U.S. Commercial Market. Semi-Auto

SIG P210 Standard Pistol: Legendary and American Made

Handguns Online Staff - April 23, 2019

SIG SAUER has introduced the American Made P210 Standard pistol to the U.S. Commercial Market.

Learn the keys to a successful one-handed draw. Training

Perfecting the One-Handed Draw

Richard Nance - July 02, 2019

Learn the keys to a successful one-handed draw.

One of the newest in the Micro 9 series, the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol designed for personal defense. Compact

Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall Review

Jeff Chudwin - January 29, 2019

One of the newest in the Micro 9 series, the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Handgun Basics

Handgun Basics

SIG Academy's Hana Bilodeau joins Rich and Jim to discuss the essential skills all handgunners should master.

All About Handgun Ammo

All About Handgun Ammo

Rich and Jim get into the nitty gritty of the FBI ammo protocol, firing into various barriers to illustrate what can happen to a bullet.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo with these 10 low-priced pistols. Compact

10 Cheap Guns Under $250

Evan Brune - September 24, 2015

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo...

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat Training

Pro Tips For Controlling Recoil

Richard Nance - April 11, 2017

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase. Accessories

SIG P320 Accessories and Upgrades

James Tarr - December 14, 2017

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase.

See More Stories

More Sights

For the current issue of Handguns Magazine, on sale now, I wrote up the new(ish) Trijicon HD Night Sights

Shedding Light on Trijicon HD Night Sights

James Tarr - March 07, 2012

For the current issue of Handguns Magazine, on sale now, I wrote up the new(ish) Trijicon HD...

 Photos by Mike Anschuetz
Choosing whether or not to equip a carry gun with a laser is a choice Sights

Viridian Reactor 5 Green Laser Sight Review - S&W Shield

Dusty Gibson - April 09, 2014

Photos by Mike Anschuetz Choosing whether or not to equip a carry gun with a laser is a...

As defensive handgunning techniques have been refined and improved, so have handgun sights, and currently the type of sights occupying the top rung of the defensive/tactical ladder are what I'll call day/night sights that are functional in any lighting condition. Sights

Sights That Do Double Duty Are The Way To Go

James Tarr - November 16, 2017

As defensive handgunning techniques have been refined and improved, so have handgun sights,...

See More Sights

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.