Gold Bead front sight for handguns

breamfisherbreamfisher Senior MemberPosts: 13,115 Senior Member
Anyone have any experience with them? I know I wouldn't have to worry about the tritium going dim, and the 10-8 rear sight on my Springfield Loaded has a U-notch for use with a dot front sight. I was just wondering if there was any advantages to them over tritium? I can see the disadvantage of it not shining in pitch black, are there any other negatives I'm missing?
Overkill is underrated.

Replies

  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    I'm interested to see what you get for answers Bream
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,697 Senior Member
    Earl, I don't know why so many people point out the glowing tritium issue. The few times that I handled tritium sights, I was disappointed in that I could barely make out the sights in the dark. I could see them but they were nowhere near as bright as I had hoped. Maybe the ones that I handled were old and starting to weaken but I've handled brand new ones also. All the ones I've seen also had the tritium vials recessed slightly into the sight so that you could only see them from directly behind the weapon. Some folks make it sound like using them is akin to having a Coleman lantern shining down on the weapon. I hunt primarily with open sights on handguns and rifles and in low light conditions, I've found that contrasting sights are the most visible. A black rear blade and a bright red, hot pink, or bright orange front sight are the most visible to me. In low light, the brass dot is better than black but only slightly.
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    .
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,115 Senior Member
    Don't know if you handled my 1911, but I have the front sight painted orange. It's good for decent light, but when it begins to fade, I have a harder time seeing it. Rear sight is black. I wonder if a gleaming brass/gold bead is a little better in lower light? I remember that a lot of rifles used to come with a brass/gold front bead. I wonder if there was some actual functionality in that.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,968 Senior Member
    In my limited experience the brass one can be seen sooner in the morning or in the well shaded woods than a dark one and later in the evening. The white ones of what ever material they were can be seen sooner and later than the brass one.
    This is with rifles and shotguns, but, I expect it is the same with handguns in dim light.
    If I had a tritium handgun sight I would not worry about it shinning in the dark unless I was on an ambush set up because once you get in a situation you pull the gun your position already is most likely known, except if you are trying to clear a building without a light of some kind.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    Gold or brass beads were all the rage on bulleye shooters handguns from the 30s till whenever bullseye shooting declined to colored plastic inserts , optics and red dots. I have what's known as the "Call Gold" front sight on my pre-war S&W K-22. I like it.

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    "There are no victims , only volunteers!"
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,744 Senior Member
    Not as "classy" looking as a brass beads, but I really like fiberoptic front sights. They're really good at capturing even low light.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • gunrunner428gunrunner428 Senior Member Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    Don't know if you handled my 1911, but I have the front sight painted orange. It's good for decent light, but when it begins to fade, I have a harder time seeing it. Rear sight is black. I wonder if a gleaming brass/gold bead is a little better in lower light? I remember that a lot of rifles used to come with a brass/gold front bead. I wonder if there was some actual functionality in that.

    You might try some different colors on the front sight, and then getting a permanent plastic insert done on the existing sight once you find what works. Handled a S&W Model 15 once (gun shop's employee-accessible counter gun) that the 'smith had put an optical green insert in, using the same process as the time-honored red-insert handgun front sight.

    This was, reportedly, on the recommendation of an optometrist as the best, highest-visibility color for most lighting conditions. (Picture a chartreuse fishing lure, with a bit more green shading.) And that seemed to almost glow on its own, in anything down to near-complete dark.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,115 Senior Member
    I've considered a fiber optic, but I have to admit I'm a little hesitant to trust it on my 1911 because that's my carry gun, and I don't know how durable the fiber optics are. Otherwise I'd be all over them.

    So if anyone has any info about fiber optics, let me know.

    gunrunner: optical green, you say? Hmmm.. I have some paint that would come close, use it for painting popper bodies for flies...
    Overkill is underrated.
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    I put a Hi-Viz front on my CZ-82.

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    "There are no victims , only volunteers!"
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,115 Senior Member
    how durable does that sight seem? Also, if the fiber optic is broken, how hard would it be to change?
    Overkill is underrated.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,106 Senior Member
    I have gold beads on several old rifles and a couple of shotguns, but not on any pistols. The gold and brass bead front sights are usable in earlier and later evening light where a black sight is not. Since you're going to use it on a pistol, I'd either opt for tritium or a YELLOW fiber optic front. The tritium will be usable in most all conditions, and the fiber optic will pick up any ambient light and give a decent glow. Yellow fiber optic doesn't 'flare' nearly as much as red in bright light, but is very noticeable in very low light.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    how durable does that sight seem? Also, if the fiber optic is broken, how hard would it be to change?

    Don't know if the 'filament' is changable. On the CZ , the front sight is dovetailed in. I did install one on a shotgun for someone , and have a the extra filaments that came with it. I don't believe it is the same material as communications type fiber optic cable. Seems just like plastic to me.
    "There are no victims , only volunteers!"
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,869 Senior Member
    Earl, I don't know about the brass/gold front beads :uhm:

    Concerning the durability of a fiber optic front sight, I've had the tru-glo TFO's (Tritium + Fiber optic) on 2 Glocks for 6+ years and haven't managed to break them yet. The tritium isn't as bright as they were when new though.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,115 Senior Member
    Paul: If I could get a Tru-Glo TFO for a Novak cut, I'd go with those. But they only offer them for Kimbers, which is odd. There's probably more firearms with Novak cuts over Kimber cuts in the sight dovetail.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,869 Senior Member
    Who knows my friend :uhm:

    I've quit trying to figure businesses (and women) out.
    At times there doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason to either. :silly:
    Oh and I wasn't suggesting you get the TFO's, just relating my experience on the durability of their FO component
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,744 Senior Member
    how durable does that sight seem? Also, if the fiber optic is broken, how hard would it be to change?

    I've got the same hiviz front on my CZ-75 and it seems pretty durable. There are two types of fiber sights. There are ones with the exposed and replaceable filament which I would never use on a defensive firearm and there are "overmolded" sights which means there's a plastic/epoxy coating protecting the filament. I have the overmolded kind and would trust them 100% on a daily carry gun.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
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