I’m in the process of upgrading the sights on a few of my pistols so I figured I should get a variety of sights and do a quick once over on them all… In this round I have access to a set of Ameriglo (GL-115) sights, a set of Meprolight (ML-10224) sights and a set of TruGlo TFO (TG131GTIY) fiber optic sights; all are for standard Glock pistols (9mm, .40, etc) and are Tritium powered night sights.
It is worth noting, the Ameriglo sights are marked as Trijicon sights; from what I’ve read the metal portions of the sights are made by Ameriglo, but the Tritium inserts are designed and made by Trijicon.
Tritium is a radioactive isotope of Hydrogen that emits electrons that can cause phosphors to glow and be used as self-powered lighting devices called betalights. This is used in many things, like watches and night sights. Tritium is very expensive costing around $30,000 USD per gram.
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Lets see how they stack up…
All three of these sights have a metal foundation with tritium for night time illumination. The Ameriglo and Meprolight sights have a small white ring around the tritium for use during the day where the TFO sights are fiber optic and do not have a white ring on them.
The overall construction of each of these sights is good, as you would expect. They are well made, and the housings are quite robust and should be very durable.
The Ameriglo and Meprolight sight styles are the same as the gun they are going on, in this case Glock pistols. So they have the standard front sight post with a dovetail rear 2 post sight with 30° angles on the sides. The TFO sight, front and rear, are elongated because of the space needed for the fiber optic components. All three of the sights have slightly different lengths, but the TFO is a whooping 0.965 inches (25.51mm) long, opposed to 0.497 inches (12.62mm) for the Meprolight (the next longest). So the TFOs are definitely a different look in that respect…
I’ve heard that the TFO sights have had issues in the past with the fiber optics coming loose, or falling out, etc. But the ones I have seem to be pretty durable. I smacked them around a bit and nothing seemed to move or come lose. I’ll be using them on one of my training guns, so it will get beat up and I will report back if I have any issues. There have also been reports of various Trijicon sights having issues with the white paint on the sights coming off if you get any solvent or other cleaner on them. I haven’t seen this issue directly, but again, I will report back if I run into any issues with the Ameriglo or Meprolight sights.
|Ameriglo||Meprolight||TruGlo TFO||Glock Factory Sights|
|Front Sight Length||0.451in (11.47mm)||0.497in (12.62mm)||0.965in (25.51mm)||0.301in (7.66mm)|
|Front Sight Height||0.164in (4.18mm)||0.172in (4.39mm)||0.194in (4.94mm)||0.153in (3.90mm)|
|Front Sight Width||0.139in (3.53mm)||0.160in (4.06mm)||0.141in (3.59mm)||0.159in (4.04mm)|
|Rear Sight Length||0.311in (7.91mm)||0.276in (7.01mm)||0.966in (24.55mm)||0.256in (6.51mm)|
|Rear Sight Height||0.167in (4.24mm)||0.187in (4.76mm)||0.218in (5.55mm)||0.206in (5.23mm)|
|Rear Sight Width||0.740in (18.81mm)||0.692in (17.59mm)||0.717in (18.21mm)||0.903in (22.95mm)|
|Rear Sight Aperture Width||0.151in (3.85mm)||0.140in (3.57mm)||0.147in (3.74mm)||0.140in (3.57mm)|
For daytime use, the Ameriglo and Meprolight sights act, more or less, as normal white 3-dot sights. You can’t see any of the illumination under normal lighting conditions. Actually, even in lower light conditions, you can barely see any of the illumination. However, the TFO sights, because of the fiber optics, are pretty bright in direct sunlight. The color of the fiber optics shows through without much issue there, as one might expect with fiber optic sights.
Here is a picture of what the sights look like under normal light. They are all lined up, reading left to right, Ameriglo, Meprolight, TruGlo TFO.
The Ameriglo and Meprolight sights are pretty similar; The Meprolights seem to have a larger tritium insert with a little less white. But other than that, they are very similar. The TruGlo TFO sights are quite a bit different since they have the fiber optic dots. The green and yellow of them is visible in daylight and they work well with a good light source. In moderate light, they are a little hard to see, and with no white dots it’s harder to see. But that being said, they should still work, they are just much better in direct light or at night, in between, like in a dimly lit room, the dots do not light up much and are more like standard non-night post style sights.
For night time use I prefer a sight set with a front sight that is a different color than the rear sights. The reason for this is that in a pitch black environment, or an environment with very minimal light, it’s tough to keep track of the sights if they are all the same color. Your depth perception gets a little messed up and things can go a bit crazy. It’s best to take the guess work out of it… That’s my opinion, you may have a different one… In reality, you’ll have to try something out and see what works best for you.
The Ameriglo and TFO sights have a green front and yellow rear sight and the Meprolight sights are green and orange. Each manufacturer usually offers one or two variations of sight color, so you have some basic options.
In the picture below you can see what the sights look like in the dark. They are lined up, reading left to right, Ameriglo, Meprolight, TruGlo TFO.
I prefer the orange and green sights vs the yellow and green sights. I find the orange is a better contrast to the green. In the picture it’s a little hard to see the yellow, it looks more green. In reality it’s more yellow, but it is a little closer to the green than the orange.
The installation of the sights is pretty straight forward if you have all of the right tools. You will need a 3/16″ nut driver (or Glock Front Sight Installation Tool). I use a standard 3/16″ nut driver, and it works great, and is much cheaper. You can pick up here). You will also need a sight pusher tool, you can check out my review of the tool I use, the MGW Sight Pro Tool for the rear sight removal and installation.
The installation is pretty simple, for Glocks, basically you knock the stock front sight out (using a small punch) then push out the factory rear sight. Often times the factory plastic sights get damaged in removal. Then you simply press in the front sight and attach it with the screw (and put a little thread locker on the screw) then push in the new rear sights. Make sure everything is aligned and do some test firing to see if any adjustments are needed.
The Ameriglo and Meprolight sights fit perfectly, I didn’t have to do anything and they all fit together very well. The TFO sights on the other hand, I had to do some sanding on the front sight post to get it to fit into the notch in the Glock slide. It was a little too oversized. Once I sanded that down a bit, everything went together OK. I was not that happy that I had to do some modifications to get them in. I don’t know if every TFO sight will have that issue, but be prepared to do a little work if you are installing them yourself.
I’ve been a long time user of Meprolight sights, I don’t think there is a heck of a lot special about them, they just seem to work. I think the same could be said about many brands (in my opinion). The variance of these kinds of sights really comes in with the brightness of the sights, the sight gap (the distance on each side of the front post when looking through the rear sight), and the overall height of the sight posts. The brightness and the sight gap are mostly personal preference, but the sight height can change point of aim and impact.
As far as brightness, you don’t want something super bright, you want something you can see… It’s not a flashlight, it’s to aid in sight acquisition and aiming.
There are also many different types of sights, like the XS Sight Systems; and I’m sure there are many more variations out there. Other than that, you just have to figure out what you like and what works for you. I personally prefer standard 3-dot sights over other types of hybrid sights or red dots. That’s just my preference, and as I’ve been saying, you should test things out and see what works for you.
Also, remember, any time you make a change to a firearm, especially a defense weapon, make sure you go to the range and make sure everything is working how you want and is still reliable, accurate, and most importantly safe.