I shot my first IDPA BUG Nationals in November of 2014 and it was a great experience. The only problems were with low-light stages. I’ve shot a fair amount of these at local IDPA matches and using a flashlight has always worked fine but in this case the light levels were such that I could see the targets OK but the gun was essentially invisible in my hands. I resolved to find a better solution.
After doing the usual online reading several night sights emerged as favorites. The one that seemed most popular was the Trijicon HD. Trijicon has been around a very long time and they have a well-deserved reputation for excellence in sights and optics. My TRP has Trijicons from the factory and while those have worked well in low-light applications, they weren’t that great in certain daylight situations. The HD sights are a new design however and I was anxious to see how they worked. Luckily Optics Planet had a great sale for Christmas 2014 so I picked up a set for my M&P9c. I went with orange rather than green for the front ring as that seems more visible in bright light to my eye.
What impressed me most when I read about these sights was their versatility. Yes, they had tritium vials in the classic three-dot arrangement but they also had a very bright photo-luminescent ring painted around the vial in the front sight. This sounded good to me since my real problem with night sights was always how they worked in bright light. Having been used to red fiber rods in the front sights of my competition guns, this seemed like it would create a familiar, highly visible sight picture. The rear sight is black serrated with an undercut to further reduce potential glare off the sight.
Using the excellent sight pusher from Fischer Solutions, I was able to install the new sights quickly and easily and was immediately impressed with them. The large U-notch in the rear sight is perfect for quick acquisition of the sight picture and it’s surprisingly accurate. Even though the front ring and U-notch are big, they fit together such that it’s not hard to get a precise alignment. The process reminds me of using an Eotech holographic sight with the large 65moa ring being the first thing you see, allowing for gross adjustments before the 1moa dot even becomes visible. Similarly the big ring is hard to miss, then as the sights settle in I can adjust such that the ring is fully visible in the U-notch center.
Another great feature of these sights is that the front of the rear sight has a sharp step to it so that in an emergency you can perform a holster/belt/whatever one-handed slide rack. It doesn’t look as sleek as classic Novak-style sights but it is very functional.
I used the M&P9c with these sights at the 2015 Smith and Wesson IDPA Indoor Nationals and while my overall performance wasn’t the greatest, these sights did an excellent job. Low-light or bright light, they worked great. I like them so much I put a set on my TRP!