Self-Illuminating Gun Sights: Everything You Need to Know
For many weapons enthusiasts, nothing beats a great pair of iron sights. In fact, even if you utilize optics on your weaponry, most people recommend having a good Backup Iron Sight (BUIS) in your bag, just in case something goes wrong with the high tech sight.
The primary concern with iron sights, however, is that they don't work in the dark. That is unless they're self-illuminated! Self-illuminating night sights are an ideal solution for targeting in low-light conditions: they don't ruin your night vision, they aren't bright enough to give away your location, and they last for years without batteries.
Whether they're your primary sight or a backup sight, self-illuminated sights are an amazing invention. Here's how they work.
How It Works: The Self-Illuminated Night Sight
So, how do you create a softly-glowing light source which is small enough to fit onto standard iron sights, which can last for years, and requires no power?
You go radioactive.
Self-illuminated night sights are made from tiny capsules containing tritium gas, which is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Then the capsule is coated with a phosphorous material, which reacts with the radioactive electrons being given off by the tritium. This produces the soft glow associated with self-illuminated products. It's usually pale green but can potentially be other colors such as orange or blue depending on the phosphorous coating.
So, there's no need for any power source at all. The sights simply glow continuously for years, and that illumination is always there when you need it. The light is soft enough that it won't interfere with your night vision or be seen by the enemy. It's also a cold light, so there's no chance of it showing up on thermals either.
If you're concerned about putting a radioactive source close to your face, don't worry! While the tritium is in its capsule, the rads you take are absolutely minimal - flying overseas will expose you to far more radiation. Even if the capsule were to break, and you received direct exposure to the tritium, it doesn't penetrate the skin deeply and is expelled by the body within a couple of weeks. In short, tritium-based self-illuminated night sights really are a perfect solution for safe, easy, lightweight night shooting.
The Mako Group: Cutting-Edge Gear & Accessories
The Mako Group offers state-of-the-art tactical equipment and weapons accessories straight from Israel. We provide pioneering products for hunters, law enforcement and security, gun clubs and organizations, and enthusiasts that want the best the market has to offer. Browse our full catalog here.
To learn more, just browse our self illuminating sights or contact us with any questions you might have.