Tritium vs Fiber Optic Sights – Which Are Better? (ANSWERED)

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Photo by Predator Tactical / CC BY

So why upgrade to tritium or fiber optic sights? Well, when it comes to firearm sights, visibility is key. If you can’t see your sights, you can’t aim your gun, and sometimes, stock sights suck.

However, different people have different methods for achieving the same thing. Some people prefer the sights to literally glow in low to no light situations. Others prefer the high visibility of fiber optics. Is either wrong? Well, both tritium and fiber optics accomplish their mission but does one perform better than the other? Let’s explore it a bit today (we’ll start with two representative handgun sights then move onto rifles then, finally, shotguns).

Tritium vs Fiber Optic Sights Round 1: Fiber Optics for Handguns

Fiber Optic sights like these Tru Glo handgun sights are exceptionally well made and perfect for both hunting and competition use. The use of conflicting colors makes the sights exceptionally easy and fast to use. Tru Glo uses a red front sight that is contrasted by the two rear green sights. What this does is ensure the front sight is never confused for the rear sight and makes aligning the sights more instinctual.

These sights give you a clear sight picture and are perfect for any shooting done during the day. Be it low light, or right in the middle of a blazing hot afternoon. Their colors ensure they are contrasted to the target and are always easy to use. The Tru Glo sights are some of the more affordable options out there and are made for most popular pistol designs including Smith & Wesson and Glock.


Tritium vs Fiber Optic Sights Round 2: Tritium for Handguns

Trijicon is basically the master of tritium-based handgun sights. They make sights used by professional gunslingers the world over. This includes soldiers, police officers, and security professionals. This particular set of HD XR night sights are outstanding for personal defense, including home defense and concealed carry. The rear sight features two high visible tritium vial set in an all metal rear sight.

The rear sight is also ribbed to lower glare and make seeing the sights easier. The front sight has a tritium vial surrounded by a bright orange ring. The tritium vial is for shooting at night and the orange ring is for shooting during the day. This system gives you a reliable and accurate sighting system day or not, and is designed for combat.

Trijicon One Shots - HD XR Night Sights

Tritium vs Fiber Optic Sights Round 3: Fiber Optics for Rifles (Rimfire)

The Fire Sights for the Ruger 10/22 represent everything that is important about this rifle. It’s simple, effective, and easy to use. They utilize contrasting front and rear sights with green rear sight and orange front sights. Fiber optic sights on rifles are best used for hunting and maybe plinking. The brightly colored sights make them easy to pick up in the dark, or low light. These sights are perfect for small game hunting, which the 10/22 is well known for.

They are easy to install and quite affordable. Fiber optic sights are also great if you have poor sight and are trying to see the front sight just a little more clearly. They are excellent on rifles built for hunting during the day.

Williams Fire Site set Review

Tritium vs Fiber Optic Sights Round 4: Tritium Optics for Rifles (Centerfire)

I chose a tritium sight for the AR15 for this category. The reason being is tritium sights are center-rifle sights make more sense, especially for a rifle as prolific as the AR 15. The Meprolight is designed to replace the front of any standard A2 front sight. It gives you a rock solid rock sight, with a night sight built into it. This small glowing dot allows you to remain precise regardless of the weapon’s application.

It’s a good all around choice for hunting, combat, or competition. The Meprolight front sight is simple to install and can be done at home in about 5 minutes with an A2 front sight tool (see one here). It glows nice and bright, and a solid fit for your modern sporting rifle.

Tritium vs Fiber Optic Sights Round 5: Fiber Optics for Shotguns

Tru Glo without a doubt is one of the most prolific fiber-optic-sight makers. Their dual-color fiber -optic front shotgun sight proves they keep up with what modern users want. This sight is designed for hitting moving targets rapidly. They are perfect for sports that involve hitting clay pigeons like trap and skeet, and when mounted correctly make a world of difference. You’ll never lose sight of them as you transition through the sky, attempting to find your target.

This is a great upgrade for bird hunters for the same reason. Hunting the early morning can make a traditional bead difficult to find. This orange on green fiber optic sight is simple to see and simple to find by eye, it’s perfect for busting ducks and quail. This sight will fit any shotgun with a ribbed barrel and is incredibly simple to attach. It’s easy to use and a very affordable upgrade to make.

TRUGLO Glo•Dot Universal Pro•Series

Tritium vs Fiber Optic Sights Round 6: Tritium for Shotguns

Hunting birds and busting clays is great, but not the only use for a shotgun. The shotgun is still a mighty home defense weapon and is still used by the police and military forces. In this role, the shotgun still needs to be fast and accurate, but you don’t need to track it across the sky. Instead, you need to put it on the chest of the attacker before they draw a bead on you. Let’s face it, when something goes bump in the night we want to bump back, right?

To do so we need to see our sights, and that’s where the XS big dot comes into play. The XS big dot is a mixture of tritium and day sight to form a winning combination. It’s easy to see regardless of the time of day. It’s larger so you lose precision, but with a man-sized target this isn’t a major issue. The tritium vial glows brightly and lasts for over a decade.

XS Big Dot 870 & 500/590 Shotgun Bead Tritium Sight Review (HD)

Tritium vs Fiber Optic Sights – What Do I Suggest?

I lean more towards tritium-based night sights, but fiber optics are on a few of my guns. Both offer the shooter a high viz option for shooting at both day and night. I recommend trying both, but a knife to my neck, I like tritium. Good luck!

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