The first thing to consider upgrading on your handgun besides grips… are the sights. Because truth be told, very few gun owners want to deal with the lackluster quality of stock gun sights. And here is where aftermarket gun sights come in handy.

Aftermarket sights are easy to find, are affordable, and there is a ton of options for you to choose from. But before you make your choice, are there any factors you should consider? As with any other product, there are several things to consider.

So what are some of these things you need to consider before settling on an aftermarket sight? Let’s find out.


The problem with plastic stock sights is they end up breaking due to repetitive recoils. The best materials for making gun sights are aluminum and steel. They are tough, lightweight, and can take a beating.

It is for this reason that the best sights for Glock 43 are usually made of either aluminum or steel. Both metals are lightweight, with aluminum being the lighter of the two. As such, they do not add significant weight to your handgun.

Tritium vs. fiber optic sights

Tritium is perhaps the most common ingredient used in the making of aftermarket sights. It is a radioactive element that is radioluminescence. Without getting technical, this simply means that it can create fluorescent light without electricity.

Today, however, some manufacturers are turning to the use of fiber optic. This material glows brightly, even in average daylight. And since the glow is concentrated and doesn’t magnify, it makes target acquisition easy.

To understand the significant differences between the two, we must first understand how each work. Fiber optic technology relies on ambient light. Tritium, on the other hand, is luminescent in nature and does not require ambient light.

So, which between the two should you go for? Due to their reliance on ambient light fiber optic sights do well in daylight. However, it is worth noting that they can still be used at night.

Tritium sights, on the other hand, do well at night since they do not require any ambient light. Basically, in low light situations, tritium sights perform better.

Type of sight

Aftermarket sights come in four different types. These are three-dot sights, two-dot sights, 1-dot sight, and u-shaped rear sight.

Three dot sights are the most common and feature two small dots at the rear and one big one at the front. They feature either tritium or fiber-optic inserts. And in some models, you get a mixture of both.

Two dot sights feature a small dot at the rear and a bigger one at the front. Similar to three-dot sights, they can have tritium, fiber optic, or a mixture of both.

I-dot sights have a large dot at the front and feature a painted line on the gun’s notch.  When aiming, you have to alight the “I” with the center of the dot.

U-shaped sights are perfect for long-distance and competitive shooting. Thus if you want aftermarket sights for an upcoming competition, go for u-shaped sights.

Three-dot and two-dot sights are easy to use and are readily available. For general purpose use, they are ideal.


Aftermarket sights vary in price. Some are cheap while are others are expensive. Obviously, the expensive models have more to offer. The money you spend on a sight will depend on what you want to use it for.

If you are looking for sights for your nightstand gun or EDC handgun, there is no need to go all out. Most standard sights will offer what you need. However, for a bedside handgun, you will be looking to buy one that can be used at night.

For competitive shooting where accuracy and fast target acquisitions are necessary, you may have to spend a little bit more.

As a rule of thumb when it comes to buying aftermarket sights, avoid cheap plastic models. These are incapable of withstanding repetitive recoil. Also, some cheap models from China are a nightmare to install.

Size of the front sight

The front sight is made up of a large dot that you use to aim at the target. In any sight, it is arguably the most crucial part. The front sight needs to be large enough to be visible. However, too large a front sight is not recommended.

An overly wide front sight may obscure your aim and make it challenging to acquire targets at longer distances. As such, the front sight should be larger than the rear sight but not too big as to obscure your aim.

The rear sight

You can have either one or two rear sights depending on the type of sight you have. In the case of one sight, it needs to be smaller than the front. The same applies where you have two rear sights.

The rear sight has a softer glow compared to the front. The idea is to emphasize the glow of the front sight.

The brand

The brand name behind an aftermarket sight also matters. Some of the common brand names include Trijicon, Truglo, Ameriglow, and XS sights. Of the four, Trijicon is perhaps the most famous.

Trijicon products are known for their quality and price. However, when it comes to aftermarket sights, the price difference is not all that big.

All the same Truglo sights tend to be cheaper than Trijicon ones. Ameriglo sights are also quite affordable and are generally of good quality.

On the other side of the spectrum are XS sights, which do not come cheap. The company offers traditional-style sights. XS sights and Trijicon sights are more high-end than Truglo and Ameriglo.


There are plenty of aftermarket sights to choose from. Your decision will largely depend on your preferences as well as your needs. For daytime use, fiber optic sights are sufficient. But for night time use tritium sights are recommended.

Also, the type of sight you select matters. As mentioned, competitive shooters prefer u-shaped sights. 2-dot sights, on the other hand, tend to be easier to align, especially for shooters who use the flash sight shooting technique.

Ultimately no matter your preferences, it is always wise to shop around for the different options available in the market.


Factors to Consider When Shopping for Aftermarket Sights by Gen Artis

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