There are many valid reasons to own a firearm. Defending your house and your family is a big one — you want to know you are safe from late-night intruders. Unfortunately, not every handgun has a sight that allows you to take a clear shot in the dark. Night sights for M&P Shield 9mm allow you to maintain accuracy in low-light scenarios and to quickly acquire your target. In stressful and dark situations, you want every shot to count.
Ideally, you will never need to use these types of sights. However, if push comes to shove, you will want to be prepared with the best night sights for your M&P Shield 9mm.
Review of Best Night Sights for M&P Shield 9mm
These sights use three tritium lamps inserted in high-visibility white dots, which make them ideal for both night and day-time trips to the shooting range. Even though tritium is not very visible during the day, the reflective white dots take care of day-time visibility. But, once the sun sets, the tritium lamps do the job — even in complete darkness.
The main problem is that these sights might not get as bright as you’d wish them to in total darkness. Don’t get me wrong, they are still visible, but you can’t help but to wish for some extra brightness.
These sights are robust and made of metal. Tritium lamps usually have a 10-year lifespan, so these sights should be good for a long time, even if you don’t take particularly great care of them.
The rear sights have a U-shaped notch for easier target acquisition and have a serrated surface that helps reduce the glare — again, these sights are ideal for both low-light and bright situations.
This night sight set is available in four different colors: a classic white outline, two types of orange front outlines and one yellow front outline.
How many tritium lamps does this sight set have?
This set has three tritium lamps inserted in white dots. Two at the rear and one at the front.
Why are these sights restricted in California?
These sights are not restricted in California. However, the State of California mandates that companies must add a disclaimer to their products if they have known carcinogens. For that reason, these sights have a disclaimer regarding the State of California.
These sights might expose users to lead and other chemicals. When used properly, these sights are not dangerous — still, California makes the disclaimer mandatory. You don’t need to worry about cancer when using these sights.
This model is also available in an HD version. What are the differences?
The HD model has a thinner front sight. Thin front sights are good for long range accuracy but are harder to use at close range.
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AmeriGlo does things differently from Trijicon. While the Trijicon sights has three tritium lamps, the AmeriGlo I-Dot only has two — one at the front and one at the rear. Is this better than the classic 2-1 design? Well, it depends on your personal preference.
Despite what your preference might be, the fact is that these night sights seem to work wonders for your accuracy. When I got into the range with them, I shot tighter groups than usual. Acquiring targets with the I-Dot is very easy because of its U-shaped design.
Night visibility is great. These tritium lamps are very bright and easy to see. The orange dot is excellent when there is light available as well. Again, this is not to say that the orange color is better than the white one (it depends), but it works great.
One great, and often overlooked, aspect of the I-Dot is how great it looks on the gun itself. Besides being one of the best night sights for the M&P Shield 9mm, it also looks really good. The design is simple, but the large orange dot gives it some extra oomph.
If you are looking for a night sight that also works great during the daytime, then you should seriously consider the AmeriGlo I-Dot.
Are these sights fragile? Can you break them while installing them?
The sights are not fragile, however, if you are not careful, you can ding the metal if using punches. The dovetail on M&P Shields is very tight and a metal punch will probably ding them.
If you are unsure about your ability to install the sights on your own, you can have them professionally installed.
Do these sights have a lip big enough for one-handed use?
Yes. Although the lip is not exactly large, it is still big enough to be used for racking the slide.
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When there is light available, fiber optichttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_fiber sights tend to shine brighter than tritium sights. However, fiber optic sights are basically worthless when there’s no light available. TruGlo’s solution? Mix them both to offer a truly high-visibility night sight for the M&Phttps://www.smith-wesson.com/ 9mm.
The use of both fiber optic and tritium sights makes this night sights to offer unparalleled visibility. Picking up targets is very easy and aligning your shots is a breeze, thanks to the wonderful sight picture.
However, you should definitely get these sights professionally installed. Or, if you intend on installing them on your own, you should use a sight pusher. These sights are easily damaged — installing them with a hammer and a punch will break the tritium lamps.
You also might have to compensate for the height difference of these and the stock M&P sights. While the stock M&P rear sights are .238 inches tall, these TruGlo sights are only .225. If it weren’t for that, these sights would be close to perfect.
The price might also be a deterrent to some people. These sights are expensive, but I believe the quality is worth the price. These are some of the best night sights for the M&P Shield 9mm.
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The sight radius and the size of these TruGlo tritium sights are the same as the standard sight. Nighttime visibility is of course guaranteed by the three tritium lamps, with the classic three-dotted design.
The steel rear sights have a firm lip that is great for one-handed use. These sights are generally good in every situation, but there seems to be an issue with TruGlo’s quality control — some sights come with damaged tritium lamps. In TruGlo’s defense, they are quick to fix the sights (free of charge, of course), but still, buyer beware.
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The XS Sight Systems Big Dot stays true to its name. These sights have an extra-large white dot in the front sight, which is very easy to see and helps in target acquisition.
This sight only has one single tritium lamp at the front, inside the large white dot. The rear sights have a reflective vertical white line and an “express rear” design, which facilitates target acquisition while moving, preventing the front sight from becoming obstructed.
This design choice is something you either love or hate. While it works great and as intended, it is not for everyone. Some users will definitely miss an illuminated rear sight.
If you are ever in a stressful situation where target acquisition is essential, you will be thankful for its design. If you only intend to use your M&P to shoot stationary carboard targets, then the large white dot might be a bit overkill.
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Best Night Sights for M&P Shield 9mm Buyer’s Guide
How do night sights work?
Night sights are essentially illuminated sights that can be used in the dark. There are two types of night sights: fiber optic sights and tritium sights.
Fiber optic night sights amplify the available light and are brighter in optimal conditions. This also means that they aren’t ideal in low-light conditions — if there is no light to amplify, they don’t work.
However, these types of night sights are cheaper and come in more available colors. They also have a lower profile compared to the other type of night sights, tritium sights.
Tritium sights use a small piece of radioactive material (tritium) that creates its own light as it decays. The tritium is inserted in a high-visibility white dot and is visible in every light condition.
Good tritium night sights keep their light for over 10 years — although it gets dimmer as time goes on. Since tritium is expensive and tritium sights need to meet high safety requirements, these types of sights are usually more expensive than fiber optic sights.
How do you install night sights?
There are two main different ways of installing night sights. You can do it as professionals do it, or you can do it in a cheaper (and harder) way.
The Professional Way
For the professional method you will need a front sight tool, a rear sight tool and Locktite Threadlocker. Some sights come with a sight tool included, but they are usually cheap and easy to break.
To install a night sight, first you need to disassemble the pistol and choose whether you want to install the front or the rear sights first.
For the front sight you will need a front sight tool. With this tool you will be able to remove the hex nut from the pistol slide. In some cases, the hex nut appears to be stuck — if this is the case, simply use a pair of pliers to help, but be careful not to damage the nut or the slide.
Once the nut is removed, you can easily replace the old sight with the new one. Then you just need to tighten the nut while being careful not to put too much pressure on the sight. You can use Locktite Threadlocker to guarantee that the sight will stay in place when shooting the pistol.
For the rear sights, the procedure is similar. Place the sight tool in the rear sight and push the sight out of its groove. It can take quite a bit of force before the sight pops out.
After removing the old sight, put the new one into its place and push it in as far as you can with your fingers. You will need to keep the sight level.
After replacing both sights, you can reassemble the pistol and take it to the firing range to see if the sights are correctly adjusted.
The Cheap Way
You can also replace the night sights of your pistol without having to use sight tools. For the cheap way, you will need a nut driver, a nylon punch, a vice with soft jaws and a hammer.
For the front sight, disassemble the pistol and use the nut driver as you would use the front sight tool. Be careful not to overtighten the nut as you can break the front sight.
Installing the rear sights is a bit more complicated. Lock the pistol into place with the vice and place the nylon drift as close as possible to the base of the rear sight. With the hammer, give it a solid blow — but don’t over do it. It’s preferrable to start with a weak blow and work your way up than it is to give it a strong blow and damage the pistol.
Once the rear sights are removed, put the new ones into place and gently tap them with the hammer. Make sure the sights are aligned and perfectly vertical.
You are done. Reassemble the gun and go try your new sights out.
How to drift the front sights on the M&P Shield?
Although unusual, the front sights on the M&P Shield can be misaligned by fractions of an inch. This might not be noticeable when shooting close-range targets, but it can lead to bullet drift at longer distances.
You can use place the slide in a padded jaw and use a steel punch to move the front sights, but it is easier to drift the rear sights — for the rear sights you only need to loosen a nut.
Home defense is no joke, and a good night sight is essential to guarantee your accuracy in the dark. All of these sights are a great addition to your M&P Shield 9mm — you won’t be disappointed with any of them.
If you like the classic three-dotted design, then the Trijicon Night Sight Set is a great choice. The tritium is not the brightest, but it gets the job done — on the plus side this is a very durable set, with a rugged design. Its U-shaped design allows for fast and accurate target acquisition.
If you prefer a more alternative design and are really worried about the possibility of being in a nighttime fight, then the XS Sight Systems Big Dot is probably the best recommendation. Its design is strange and not for everyone, however it is very useful during stressful situations.
A good general allrounder is the TruGlo TFX. It is great in every situation thanks to its tritium lamps and fiber optics sights. You will have no problem acquiring your target during the day or during the night.
Which sight do you think is the best night sight for the M&P Shield 9mm? Let us know below.