Quantico Tactical

Gunfighter Moment – Larry Vickers

Night Sights

I’ve shot pistols long enough that I feel a tritium front sight is mandatory on a self defense pistol. Frankly, it fits in the low light range, that plain black and fiber optic front sights won’t work in, and using a white light at times can be very hazardous to your health. What I mean is that using a white light for long enough to align your sights could get you shot.

Tritium on the rear is optional in my book, and up to personal taste. At handgun night fighting distances a tritium front will get the job done in addition to being fast to employ. My buddy Hackathorn was the first to turn me into to this and I like it. Try it the next time you get the chance.

-Larry Vickers
Vickers Tactical Inc.
Host of TacTV


Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical is a retired US Army 1st SFOD-Delta combat veteran with years of experience in the firearms industry as a combat marksmanship instructor and industry consultant. In recent years he has hosted tactical firearms related TV shows on the Sportsman Channel with the latest being TacTV of which Bravo Company is a presenting sponsor. Larry Vickers special operations background is one of the most unique in the industry today; he has been directly or indirectly involved in the some of the most significant special operations missions of the last quarter century. During Operation Just Cause he participated in Operation Acid Gambit – the rescue of Kurt Muse from Modelo Prison in Panama City, Panama. As a tactics and marksmanship instructor on active duty he helped train special operations personnel that later captured Saddam Hussein and eliminated his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein. In addition he was directly involved in the design and development of the HK416 for Tier One SOF use which was used by Naval Special Warfare personnel to kill Osama Bin Laden. Larry Vickers has developed various small arms accessories with the most notable being his signature sling manufactured by Blue Force Gear and Glock accessories made by Tangodown. In addition he has maintained strong relationships with premium companies within the tactical firearms industry such as BCM, Aimpoint, Black Hills Ammunition, Wilson Combat and Schmidt & Bender.

Larry Vickers travels the country conducting combat marksmanship classes for law abiding civilians, law enforcement and military and has partnered with Alias Training to coordinate classes to best meet the needs of the students attending the class.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer us some words of wisdom.

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11 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Larry Vickers

  1. Mohican says:

    Tritium use to be so dim that I only can see it in darkness, but then I can’t see my target/threat and if I switch on my WML I perfectly see my target/threat but I can’t see the tritium. So I guess tritium is not for me.

    • SC says:

      Until your light or batteries die unexpectedly…

    • Trajan says:

      Same here. Plus I’m extremely sensitive to light, yet if I wasn’t in perfect darkness I couldn’t ever see the tritium. And then you’re stuck with some giant front sight. Even the .125 ones with the white outline seem dim in most conditions.

      I think gold beads are more effective from the little I played with one on a Hack 1911 and a S&W 986.

    • joe_momma says:

      The night site discussion has been hot for a minute now. Shooting in the dark where you can’t see your target but your sights are glowing vs identifying your target with a light source which makes the night sights rather useless at that point.

  2. defensor fortismo says:

    I just recently added a set of trijicon HD sights to my beretta px4 compact and so far it’s working out pretty well. I don’t really have the inclination to mount a wml right now, but I keep a inforce 6VT on me that works pretty well.

  3. Mandaloin says:

    For anyone with standard 3 dot tritiums here’s the $5 improvement I made to mine:
    I bought some flourescent orange spray paint at the hardware store and painted the rear of my front sight with it. I then removed the paint off my tritium dot with a toothpick. That left the sight blade blaze orange but the tritium like normal. I then burnt the back of the rear sight a bit with a lighter. This left the rear tritium dots visible in total darkness but dimmer than the front dot, allowing much more rapid sight acquisition.

  4. Joe Flowers says:

    My problem with tritium is that I REALLY like a .115″ front sight so that at 25Y to 50Y I can shoot more accurately. That said, I’m fine with .125 for quick shooting inside of 15Y (which is why I have the HDs on my G43–Though I REALLY wish Trijicon would come out with a single dot rear versus the HD’s two-dots).

    How does a lighter “dim” the rears? I’d worry about melting the glue or something causing the vials to rupture or fall out. Maybe a thin layer of glow-paint or something would work.

    • Mandaloin says:

      Using a lighter leaves behind a thin layer of residue (carbon?) that can be rubbed right off with your fingers if you wanted to. I suppose a sharpie could get the same effect, not sure why my first idea was to use fire. And it’s not harmful to your sights, I had mine over the lighter for at least a minute with no ill effects.

    • Larry says:

      “I REALLY wish Trijicon would come out with a single dot rear versus the HD’s two-dots).”

      Ameriglo I-DOT Pro.

      Basically the same from sight, but the rear has a single dot. I got rid of my HD’s on my G26 because I did not like the 3-dot. That and I don’t like U notch.


  5. Frank says:

    I disagree completely, tritium is not a nessecity on any weapon. How many people have tritium on their AR or other fighting rifle. Currently you have a large number of instructors like Defoor, Proctor or even Vogel that will tell you that some form of white light is more important than tritium on your gun. The only purpose for tritium is finding your gun in complete darkness. I’m an LEO and have been working nights for the past 6 years and non of my guns have tritium. Most shootings occur in low light not no light, and when it comes to fighting with a handgun the reality is that you will more than likely point shoot at contact distances. Just my two cents