By Dave Workman
I have always been an advocate of tritium night sights, since they make sense in my often gray-sky Pacific Northwest environs where available light is typically less than ideal for most of the year.
XS Sights, the Dallas-based outfit producing the famous “Big Dot” sight system for many years, has something new and worthy of close examination by any armed citizen or peace officer looking for an edge. After all, anybody who expects to be in a “fair” gunfight is thinking somewhere between wishful and delusional.
New to the XS family is the F8 night sight. This version features a large front sight with high contrast for quick acquisition and there is a tritium lamp in the rear wide notch sight to help make this happen.
The sight alignment, with one dot on the rear and the large “Big Dot” sight up front appearing above the rear is easy to get used to and one can pick up the two sights in a visual “8” vertical layout rather fast.
Tritium is a gas captured in what sight makers call a “lamp,” and it really does light up in the dark or twilight. I’ve used tritium sights on several carry guns over the years and found them to be not only reliable, but reassuring in the event I had to walk down a proverbial dark street or alley, or find my vehicle in a not-so-well-lit parking garage.
Here’s how the F8 sights align with the large orange-ringed green dot up front appearing above the rear dot.
The famous XS “Big Dot” front sight is a well-known commodity in the shooting world, and has legions of faithful fans.
I’ve shot with them in daylight and dark. Night sights are on each of my 1911-platform pistols with the exception of an older Detonics model I’ve got tucked away. Nowadays, I would not be without them.
According to XS, the high-visibility orange ring on the front sight is designed for maximum visibility in bright to low light levels. When it’s bright, this thing looks like any other white dot sight, only a bit larger.
They install easily by hand or with a sight pusher tool. I happen to have one of those from Brownells, and it has saved my day more than once. Anybody who carries a fixed sight pistol with dovetailed front and rear sights ought to have one of these tools because it truly speeds up the sight alignment process.
There’s another advantage with the F8 sight: The rear sight ledge comes in handy when one is forced to cycle the slide with one hand.
The best thing about the F8 sights from XS is that they are produced right here in the United States. They are also covered by a 10-year warranty, which tells you the “shelf life” of these sights is a considerable length of time.
You can find out all about XS sights by visiting www.gunsmagazine.com/company/xs-xights-systems-inc