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What do you think of using glow-paint to help you see your sights?

Q: I have a Beretta 77 that I use for general plinking and self-defense. As I've grown older, I have a harder time seeing my sights. Can you help me? What do you think of using glow-paint to help you see your sights?

A: You should certainly give it a try. It's not permanent, so you won't damage the gun. I'm 64, near-sighted with bi-focals and have been a life-long competitive hand gun shooter; so I think I have the "I can't see my sight" thing pretty well figured out. On most small concealable pistols built 20-30 years ago, they sights are just plain too small to see, even back when I had good eyesight. If they are big enough for your vision, then the notch is typically too narrow in width for the front sight width and you see very little daylight in your sight picture. Getting maximum daylight showing on each side of the front sight is key to being able to get your best focus on the front sight. Your rear sight needs to be about 15% wider than the front at a minimum. So if your front sight is .125" wide x 1.15 = .143" wide for the rear notch. At about 20% wider, your front sight is really visible, but starts to get a little lost in the notch, making it challenging to shoot to maximum accuracy. It will still be good for "minute of bad guy" accuracy.

Keeping the notch depth to the deepest you can physically cut it to without seeing the whole blade and some of the top of the slide is very useful in letting the daylight in as well. The notch can be machined to size (preferably), or if you are brave and skilled with a file and calipers, then you can file it to size. I would recommend removing the sight from the slide if possible for either method.
Once you can see the sight that you have, then you'll get full benefit from adding color to the front sight. My personal favorite for all around use is a tritium lamp with a white ring around it. I also really like a solid white dot that's diameter is about half the width of the front sight. Hope this is useful to you!
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Comments
10/28/2018 1:26 PM
I recently ordered and received your 208S Firing Pin Stop. It arrived promptly in just a couple days. As a first time fitter of this particular part, it only took about 10 minutes or so of light filing for a perfect, snug fit. The radius and top tappering is perfect! I am looking forward to shooting my Sig CCO 45 with this new part and experiencing the enhanced experience that everyone raves about with the Flat FPS. Thanks and I will be back ordering additional parts for my 45.
3/10/2020 11:15 PM
Excellent information!!  Thanks very much -- and
quite in line with my own experiences re: light visible on sides of the front sight in the rear notch.
The tritium lamp in white circle should be a great help!

John F.