THE FRAGILE FIBER OPTIC FRONT SIGHT….? – Silvercore Training BC
BY HILTON YAM | POSTED ON 05/27/2014 BY HILTON YAM | Silvercore Training BC
It comes up frequently that fiber optic front sights are inappropriate for practical/street use because they are fragile or that they are a liability because they become useless when the fiber rod falls out. These arguments have been taken as gospel in many circles, and simply regurgitated as needed. Having spent just a little bit of time using, designing, and studying sights, I would like to offer some thoughts on this.
If we were to simply argue that a problem with fiber optic sights is that they do not glow in the dark like tritium, then that is a 100% fair statement. They don’t. If you want sights that glow in the dark, get tritium sights. Keep in mind that target ID is critical, and to do that you need white light. White light backlights the iron sights, and makes them appear black. The presence of tritium inserts is rendered moot in this instance. If you consider the lighting conditions which would be bright enough to allow you to positively identify a target but also be dark enough to necessitate tritium inserts, it is a rather fleeting window of time.
If the fiber falls out of the front sight, keep in mind that the rest of the blade face is still present, and there is plenty of metal to line up in your rear sight. Different designs of sights will differ in how much they protect the fiber, and you should consider the manner in which the fiber is mounted as well as the length of the sight. Longer sights with more exposed fiber collect more light, but the longer blade is more prone to damage as compared to a shorter or more normal length sight.
Proper installation is a major factor in success, as a fiber rod which has fore/aft play will end up working itself loose during recoil. Use of nontoxic solvents during cleaning also prevents the fiber rod from weakening. Since I figured out the install and changed solvents, I have not broken a fiber rod in many years and tens of thousands of rounds.
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