One of the popular models of handguns today is 1911. The weapon is used for self-defense and when competing. If you want to enhance the performance of your 1911 pistols, you need the best 1911 sights.
The best thing you can do for your 1911 is to find the perfect sights to make a tremendous difference in your shooting skills. It is the best upgrade you can give for your 1911. Predicting the bullet’s direction is not easy. The best quality sight suited to your shooting style will help you assess how the bullet will travel.
Just like handguns, there are lots of 1911 sights to choose from. We have listed 10 of the best sights for 1911 in the market that you can consider buying for your 1911 handgun. Also included in this review is a comprehensive buying guide, so you will know what to look for. The list consists of popular brands of sights like Meprolight, Trijicon, Truglo, and others.
Top 5 Best 1911 Sights Comparison in 2022
The 10 Best Sights for 1911 Handgun Reviews
TRUGLO TFO Tritium and Fiber-Optic Handgun Sights
Truglo is a brand known for its fiber optic sights for 1911 pistols.
But they also offer TFO, which is a combination of tritium and fiber optics.
It means that this handgun sight is recommended for any lighting conditions, night and day.
Made of CNC-Machined Steel
This Truglo TFO Tritium and Fiber-Optic sight is made from CNC-machined steel, making it quite durable and has fortress finish coating to provide the best protection. The fiber optic is concealed, so the target will not be able to notice it. It is also snag-resistant for comfortable drawing. And can fit most standard holsters.
Provides Consistent Bright Sight Image
The clearer the target, the better you can shoot. TFO combines fiber-optic sights with the tritium night sights to provide a consistent bright image night and day. It has a compact snag-free design, durable construction, and a longer sight radius to make sure TFO sights are designed to handle anything.
Longer Power Source
Tritium power source offers a lasting power. Because of this, it is used most of the time in handgun sights. The accurate sighting is established night and day with this technology. Focusing on the target is not easy even during the day because the light helps widens the viewing range, and it includes your aim. The optic fiber handgun sight set uses daylight and provides the best sighting.
Includes both fiber and tritium optics
Covered fiber optic
Recommended both for day and night shooting
Durable steel housing
The rear sight is a bit tall for 1911 models
Meprolight Colt Tru-Dot Night Sight for 1911
One of the leading brands in electro-optics is Meprolight.
The company’s main objective is to provide high-quality products and deliver optimum target alignment capabilities.
Meprolight is known for its night sight products and optical sights, and one of them is the Colt Tru-Dot Night Sight for 1911. Most handgun enthusiasts prefer this brand because of its durability and brightness.
As compared to other brands, the Tru-Dot Night Sight offers superior brightness. It provides 20% more brightness than the other brands available in the market. Government, military officials, and law enforcement officials choose Meprolight night sights because of their reliability, quality, and durability. If you have Colt ’80 and ’90 series, Meprolight is the best handgun sight for you as it comes with a stake made especially for these guns.
Fixed Night Sight
Meprolight Colt Tru-Dot night sight is fixed and rigid. It has a tritium power source that enhances illumination without requiring a battery source. The tritium power source provides the brightest lights regardless of the weather conditions. It is maintenance-free for many years. If you have the knowledge, you can install it by yourself or have it fixed by a gunsmith.
Better Aim Alignment
The front sight provides a dark green dot, while the rear sight lights are dimmer, thus giving you a better aim alignment. It is corrosion-free because of its anodized aluminum-based construction. This 1911 sight is lightweight and can last longer. The green dot effect in darker areas will provide an accurate aiming at night, while the white dot gives the same impact in daylight.
Superb low light as well as transitional light performance
Brightest night sights in the market
Since it is a fixed sight, it lacks adjustments for customization.
Kensight DAS 1911 Defense Adjustable Rear Sight
The Kensight brand is part of a company known for manufacturing high-end precision and target night sights.
Using the latest technology, they manufacture sights that are ideal for various types of applications.
At present, Kensight DAS sights are used by several military units, sportspeople, and law enforcement agencies worldwide.
Adjustable and Snag-Free Sight
The Kensight Defense Adjustable Rear Sight is a combat-style sight for 1911. It can replace the simple sight in your Ruger SR 1911 to provide an advanced set that you can adjust according to your shooting purposes. It is snag-free and easy to operate. You can change the sight for windage and elevation. It does not have sharp edges as its exterior is dehorned completely. Thus it will not cut your hand during drawing.
Durable and Corrosion Resistance Construction
This 1911 sight is made from Chrome Moly Steel, which can withstand high temperature, tensile strength, and corrosion resistance, making it very durable and can last long. The sight has a matte black finish to reduce glare from sunlight and overhead lights. Thus, making shooting easy and smooth during the day and reduced the lighting conditions. The front sight two white dots help in sight alignment while the fine serrations provide a better picture in varied conditions.
Rear Sight Fits Novak LoMount
Kensight rear sight model will fit the widely used Novak LoMount rear sight dovetail cut. It is also compatible with several models of Cold, Dan Wesson 1911s, Springfield Armory, Les Baer Custom, etc.
Easy to adjust elevation and windage
Made from premium quality and durable material
It fits various types of handguns from different manufacturers
It may require fine-tuning to fit the handgun perfectly
TRUGLO Tritium Handgun Glow-in-The-Dark Night Sights
One of the best brands when it comes to tritium night sights is the Truglo.
If you will be shooting with low light or very dark areas, the Truglo Tritium Handgun Glow-in-the-Dark Sight is recommended.
It has good features many handgun owners would surely love. This sight is quite reliable and durable.
Glow Vividly in the Dark
Truglo 1911 Tritium Glow-In-The-Dark sights do not require batteries and light exposure to function. In low light or complete darkness, these sights provide excellent visibility. At night or in dark conditions, they glow like green dots, while they become white dots during the day. The sights can be used for standard holsters and rely on snag-free design.
These sights are made with rugged CNC-machined steel and with a Fortress finish coating for better protection. It is recommended if you need sights for demanding tasks because of its Square-notch design. Truglo Tritium Sights are made in the USA using the best quality Swiss Tritium for better brightness. Its compact and sturdy are very helpful during longer sight radius.
Easy to Install
It fits perfectly on 1911 handguns and works well both in range and adverse conditions. Installing the sights are very easy with the use of a brass punch set. The manufacturer offers a 12-year limited warranty.
Functional in range and adverse situations
CNC-machined steel construction
It fits perfectly on the 1911 handgun
Compact and snag-free design
The front sight is not as tight compared to the rear sight
HIVIZ KBN321 Sight Systems
Hiviz is a US-based company that manufactures shotguns, tactical rifles, handguns, rifle sights, and other shooting optics-related items.
The company uses the latest technology in making their sights to provide reliable and durable products most firearms owners will love.
The Hiviz KBN321 Magni-Optic Technology helps target shooters to aim with two eyes open regardless of the dominant eye or whether the user is left-handed or right-handed.
This technology will provide fast target acquisition, helps determine distance accurately, and better hand-eye coordination. The brand uses premium quality materials tried and tested by actual shooters to ensure it can withstand the test of time.
Tritium and Litepipe Technology
Hiviz LiteWave H3 sigh is a combination of Tritium with Litepipe technology for 24-hour illumination. It means you can use it day and night. The brands’ steel construction sight sets are durable and rugged, made for the most challenging condition for personal use or law enforcement. The Litepipe fiber optic rods collect light from the sun to generate bright green dots.
All the Hiviz sights are designed to rigid standards utilizing only the best quality materials. It is also shooter tested to make sure they can survive the test of time. The sights fit any handgun and any condition. At night, the sights green self-illuminating Tritium inserts filled with added brightness.
Applies new technology to help the handguns perform at their best
Made of quality materials
Work best on any condition
Reliable for day and night shooting
You cannot adjust it for customization
Trijicon CA128O Novak HD Night Sight Set
One of the well-established American firearm sight manufacturers is Trijicon.
The company was launched in 1981 and is known to provide energy-efficient night sights products.
Trijicon products are made in the US and provide a 100% guarantee in build quality and performance.
Every tactical shooter should have this night sight with a yellow front outline. It is illuminated for both rear and front.
Precision Target Engagement
The two most essential controls that will enhance the performance of your handgun are the sights and trigger. If you have the Trijicon sights, your shooting performance will be spot on. This brand is accurate in target engagement, even during low light conditions. It has a yellow aiming point as well as a self-illuminating three-dot sight made of solid iron. The front and rear sights are made of solid steel, which provides solid rigidity.
Contoured and Textured Sights
The front and rear sights are contoured to get rid of glare and enhance focus on the target. The front sight has a yellow outline around the tritium green phosphor gas lamp to enhance the night visibility and targeting. The rear sight has two tritium vials, while the front sight has one tritium vial.
Impressive Front and Rear Features
For one-handed operation, the front sight is hooked steeply. The rear sight has a wide U-shaped notch. The product is designed to enhance the handgun precision even under dark or bright conditions. Green tritium dots are under a 12-year manufacturer warranty. The focus time is reduced significantly and improves speed and accuracy for tactical shooters.
Rigid machined steel construction
Made in the USA
Front sight hooked steeply to eliminate glare
With aluminum phosphor lamp housing for protection even under extreme recoiling
The rear sight is quite bulky
FUSION 1911 Compatible with Kimber Night Sight Set
Fusion 1911 Night Sight Set compatible with Kimber is known for its simplicity.
The design is simple but with premium quality back and front sights to help enhance your handgun’s performance.
It is recommended both for day or nighttime shooting.
Compared to other sights, the Fusion 1911 has a simple design that handgun owners will surely love. This night sight is the best option without low-light enhancements. If the gun owner wants to use a laser sight as their primary targeting system, this is the perfect sight.
Designed for Kimber Pistols
The Fusion 1911 is compatible with Kimber Pistols with a standard profile having smooth edges for a snag-free draw. It is constructed from machined steel. The white outline around the tritium green tubes is to help in day shooting. If you are looking for high-quality compatible with Kimber dovetail sight, this is the best brank of choice.
Fusion 1911 Compatible with Kimber Night Sight Set has durable construction and is made entirely in the USA. Both the competition target sight and the ramped front sights have Trijicon Tritium tubes. It is made of premium quality materials which makes it very durable. The set comes with a dovetail screw and wrench used in retaining.
Ideal for daytime and nighttime shooting
Snag-free smooth edges
Made of premium quality materials
May tend to shoot high
Meprolight ML19810-Armscor USA/Rock Island Gun Scopes
If your main focus is to enhance your handgun’s performance at night, the Meprolight ML19810 Armscor is the perfect solution.
It is one of the brightest night sights in the market and includes front and back sights.
The brand is commonly used by military and law enforcement. Many believed it is one of the best 1911 combat sights.
Rugged and Durable Design
Meprolight ML19810 is made of rugged and high-quality material, which makes it quite durable. It has three consistent and self-illuminating dots for ease of aiming at the target. The manufacturer offers a 12 years usable illumination warranty. You don’t need a gunsmith to install the sight.
Tritium Night Sight
Just like other night sights, Meprolight has glowing green dots at night. In the daytime, they are bright white dots. If you need long-lasting premium quality night sight, the Meprolight ML19818 is the best option. The night sight light is produced by tritium gas and phosphorous matter, and when struck by the electrons, fluorescent light is produced.
The engineers of Meprilight applied the latest technology to generate a rugged multi-purpose reflex sight with a red dot sight and laser with different power sources exceeding MIL-Standard requirements. The MOR is unique because it combines red dot reflex sight/visible/IR laser in one unit.
It has unique MOR features
Easy to install
Lack of adjustments
LPA 1911 Colt Adjustable Sight Set
LPA has manufactured SPR series to meet the increasing demand for high-quality sights.
The series is machined from solid steel utilizing advanced CNC milling.
Boost the performance of your 1911 handgun with the LPA 1911 Colt Adjustable Sight Set.
Adjustable Sight Set
The LPA 1911 Colt Sight is entirely adjustable. It has black serrated rear with a red fiber optic front. This is a low-profile sight and is designed to work with the front sight. LPA Sights are manufactured in Italy thus known for having premium quality sights. The rear sight is easy to adjust, for windage and elevation, so you can move it in any way you like to correct the pistol’s point of impact.
The sight set is made of steel construction which makes it very durable, and the original dovetails are used for its pistol slide. It is considered one of the best sights available in the market today. LPA Colt Adjustable Sights have a streamlined design and low compressed profile.
The good thing about the LPA 1911 Colt Adjustable Sight includes the Allen wrench and the screwdriver used in adjusting the sight.
Easy to install
Includes the tools used in installing
The front sight is not as tight as compared to the rear sight
Mako Smith & Wesson Tru-Dot Night Sight
Mako is a less popular brand, but many gun owners are starting to love it because of its design and features.
The rear sight has a unique curved design to reduce the snag or wear and tear on the holster.
The Mako Smith & Wesson Tru-Dot Night Sight has a 12-year usable illumination warranty, which is longer than the average lifespan of tritium sights.
Brightest Self-Illuminated Night Sights
These sights are commonly used in military and law enforcement firearms, which indicate better quality and reliability. Its verified self-illuminated night sights let you hit moving or stationary targets with low-light conditions, dramatically increasing hit probability. The efficiency of the shooter has risen to 85% upon using Mako Tru-Dot Night Sight.
Handgun Sighting System Feature
The Tru-Dot model helps the handgun sighting system perform well, and aiming does not require any modification from day to night use. The three solid dots are the shooter’s aiming reference wherein the target will appear the same regardless of lighting condition. The sight is designed as a replacement for the regular weapon sights. You can easily install Meprolight Self-illuminated night sights directly with some modifications.
Comply with NATO and US Military Specs
The Meprolight Smith & Wesson Tru Dot Sights undergo rigid quality control, making it the first choice among law enforcement agencies. The sights are certified to ISO-9001:2008 and comply with NATO, and US Military Specs are in place.
12- year self-illumination warranty
Made of premium quality materials and passed strict quality control
Easy to install
Rapid instinctive aiming
It takes time to line up the sights
What to look for when buying the best 1911 sight?
You don’t simply buy the first 1911 sights you see online or in the weapon store. Here are some factors you need to consider before buying:
You don’t buy sights without reason. It is a must that you determine the purpose of buying one. Is it for shooting competitions, or you need it to enhance the performance of your self-defense 1911 handgun? The sights are designed differently according to the purpose of use.
You need to determine if you will use your pistol during the day, night, or both. Most of the sights these days are designed for any light conditions. But there are still some that are useful only at night or during the day.
Ease of Use and Adjustability
Some 1911 sights are expensive while others are not. Choose the one not only because of the price but also because it is easy to use. The best sights have fast and easy target acquisition. If you are using your 1911 handgun for competition or target shooting, it requires more windage and elevation adjustments. Thus, pick the one with high adjustments sights. For self-defense, select the ones that are easy to install and use.
If you prefer red dot sights, you must determine if you need reflex reticle projections or holographic. For hunting and recreational purposes, you will need the reflex sights.
The holographic sights are used by law enforcement and the military. With this sight, the laser diode shines the front lens. It has a complex design to illuminate the reticle, which makes it perfect for strategic shooting.
Red Dot Reticle Sizes
The majority of the red dots have different crosshair sizes. But the dot depends on the user preference.
The size of the red dot is computed in a minute of angle or MOA. The commonly used value is ½, 1, and 2 inches at 50, 100, and 200. The one MOA is reliable and provides a bigger field of view. Many red dots have four MOA, which means they can cover approximately 200 yards at two, four, and eight inches.
The built and construction quality are vital when choosing a 1911 sight. Tritium sight is far more durable as compared to the fiber optics sight. It is also essential to take note of the waterproofness and the shock resistance of the sight.
When aiming at the target, you might get disturbed by the sight’s sharp corner. If you have a snag-free sight, you will not have any problem with your pistol getting snagged on a shirt or any garment which may hamper the draw. The latest models of 1911 sights are snag-free.
If budget is not an issue, you can buy the best sights after thorough research. You can get the top product experts would recommend. However, if you are on a budget, do not worry, for you can still get a good sight for as low as $50.
Different types of 1911 Sights
Here are the different types of 1911 sights you can choose from:
Tritium or Nigt Sights
The tritium or night sights help brighten the dots on rear and back sights. It is a radioactive isotope that glows and enables the user to shoot in dark conditions.
Fiber Optic Sights
This type of sight is recommended for daytime shooting only and is not helpful at night. It is referred to as old eyes sights for those who want daytime shooting.
The most famous sights for handguns because of their simple setup. You can see the dot on the front sight post. Also, the backsight has two posts that sit perpendicular to the barrel.
This type of sight is used as front and rear sights. The most popular dovetail sights are GI, Bomar, Novak, LPA, etc.
The white dot sights can brighten the plain black configuration to pick up the rear and front sights to produce more contrast with the target you aim for. This type of sight does not provide additional enhancement in minimal light conditions.
This one is an aperture sight usually found on rifles as back up iron sights. But it can also be used on handguns. It has a bigger diameter if compared to pin-hole style. Ghost Ring improves speed and fast target acquisition.
This is one of the reflex sights and comes with fixed magnification. It has a straightforward design and is much lower compared to the holographic sights.
What are competition and self-defense 1911 sights?
Depending on the purpose of using it, the 1911 sights are categorized as self-defense and competition sight.
This type of sight is used for shooting purposes. Adjustable 1911 sights are typically used for outdoor and home shooting. Competition sights are highly adjustable and easy to use. The sights are improving a lot over the years, and it has smaller back blades and finer tolerance when shooting. Law enforcement personnel prefer the competitive sights because of the mentioned features.
Self Defense Sights
As the name implies, it is designed for self-defense purposes. It is easy to maintain and provides better visibility day and night.
Some handgun owners use a competition sight for shooting and self-defense, but it is not recommended. The same thing with self-defense, never use it for competition.
Sight Profiles for 1911 Handgun
Below are facts about front sight and rear sight profiles you should know:
Front Sight Profiles
The front sights have a semi-ramp design and provide you a clearer picture. If the shooter is holding the handgun, the face of the blade is angled upward away from the user.
Some front sights have undercut or full-ramp target sights. You can also choose between a ridged serration front sights or smooth. If you need to reduce the glare, pick the ridged serration. It is also best used for outdoor shooting.
You also need to decide which type of front sight you need – plain, tritium, fiber optics, and black.
Rear Sight Profiles
The rear sights are installed on the backside. It could be plain dark, bars, box types, and two-spot sights.
This is usually seen on rear sights. It is recommended for speed shooting, but it does not assure accuracy.
Bars and Boxes
It is a tactical-looking sight best for speed shooting where the visual distractions are quite high. Lining up your target under stressful conditions is not a good idea.
It is the most basic type of sight that gives you clear, flawless sight. Carrying it for self-defense purposes is not a good idea. This type of sight is available as front sight or rear sight. Plain dark is recommended for target shooting.
People Also Ask (FAQs):
How do you use 1911 sights?
1911 sights are installed in your handgun so you will have a clear view of your target. The sights are illuminated to enhance your target. Some 1911 sights can be the peak on with your two eyes while others with one eye. It is essential to look for the correct sights convenient to you not to have a hard time using them.
Are 1911 sights easy to use for old eyes?
As the person age, the eyesight deteriorates. Some may experience far-sightedness, near-sightedness, poor night vision, cataract, and others. A 1911 sights red dot optic provides a solution to several eye problems for old eyes. You can easily see in low light or dark conditions and focus on your target right away. Some red dot models adjust the brightness automatically depending on the light conditions.
Do I Need Adjustable Sights For My 1911?
If you are unsure whether to choose the fixed or adjustable sights, below are the pros and cons of each type to help you decide.
- Once installed, you don’t have to worry about anything.
- If you carry your 1911 pistols a lot, the fixed sights are preferred because it is snag-free and has low-profile.
- Since it is fixed, you can only focus on particular loads only. You cannot make any changes.
- The majority of the fixed rear sights are designed for a center-to-hold sighting method. It covers your desired impact area with your front sight.
- You can modify several variables enabling you to customize your sight image.
- You can zero for one load and then do it again for another.
- They have large, pointed edges, which is not convenient for handling.
It means that upgrading to adjustable sights is worth it, regardless of your purpose of using your gun. If you want to improve your shooting performance in target shooting, hunting, and self-defense, the adjustable sights are a perfect choice.
Can you mount a red dot on 1911?
Yes, it is possible to mount a red dot on a 1911 handgun. The popularity of optic-ready pistols are increasing in the past few years, and people are digging into it. Installing the red dot on a 1911 pistol is easy.
Do you need to use non-traditional 1911 sights?
It is not a must to use non-traditional 1911 sights. You can also opt for the traditional and original models that also feature the front and rear sights. The upgraded version of the sights is more efficient than it was in the past and easy to use.
What typical characteristics make 1911 sights so special?
The 1911 sights have a minimalistic design. You can easily fit them into the pistols because it is low profile. Most of the sight manufacturers did not alter the fundamental design, so it will still look and feel like pistols. Some of the handgun owners still cannot accept the changes in appearance and prefer the basic look of the sights on their guns.
How long do 1911 night sights last?
The green tritium lamp can last up to 12 years from the time of purchase from the original manufacturer. The yellow tritium lamp also lasts for 12 years, and the orange lamp will only last for five years from the date of purchase.
Is a 1911 sight better than a Glock sight?
The Glock is the preferred sight when transitioning from double-action firearms. It is easier to use than 1911, and once you become familiar with Glock, it is accurate in combat. Glock can fire more rounds without damaging or malfunctioning and are corrosion-free than 1911.
Is it fundamental to know the purpose of using 1911 night sights?
For clear reasons, you need to know why sights are required for your 1911 pistols. Do you need it for competition or self-defense? The two categories require two sights with different features and limitations. You also need to determine if you will use it a day, night, or both. Some sights are made for all lighting conditions, but most sights function better in the day or night only.
Do I need and how to check both front and rear sight?
You must know how to check both front and rear sight in case the problem occurs. Most of the front sight features a semi-ramp profile, which means a better sight picture, while others have a full ramp or undercut target sights.
Some sights have a smooth front face, and some with ridged serrations to minimize glare. The ridged front sights provide an excellent option for outdoor shooting.
Plain black, Tritium and fiber optics are the primary options for front sights. If you are using your handgun for target shooting, you need basic black, while for night shooting, it is best to have a Tritium. Fiber optics are recommended for daylight shooting.
Tritium Rear vs. Non-Tritium Rear 1991 Sights, which one better?
Some 1911 handgun owners would prefer tritium rear, while others choose the non-tritium. But which is better? Below the pros and cons of each type so you can decide.
Tritium Rear Sights Sets:
The tritium rear sights provide glowing indexing points for sight alignment in low-light conditions and are the preferred sights of many law enforcement agencies.
- In case the sight body edges are not visible, the secondary alignment system is used. Usually seen when clearing buildings and if there are lots of shadows or at ranges with minimal lighting.
- The rear sight is efficient in low-light
- User’s confidence is increased when they see the complete set glowing at night. Once they become more confident in using their pistol, they can perform better.
- The overpowering glow in low light can distract the glowing front sight.
Tritium lenses can cast a glare, and it is hard to align in relatively bright light conditions. This is present when target shooting outdoor or for those with eyesight problems.
Non-Tritium Rear Sights:
The non-tritium rear sights provide the tactical benefit of optimum contrast between bright tritium front sights and the blacked-out back. Its alignment points are clear and crisp.
- Better contrast from the front sight
- Lower cost
- Impossible to get confused with the front and rear in low light
- It provides no glowing index point when in low light.
After reviewing 10 of the best sights for 1911, we find Truglo TFO Tritium and Optic Fiber as the perfect sights for your 1911 handgun that you can use both night and day. But it depends on where you will use your pistol. The sights for competition and self-defense have different features. Choose the correct sights to enhance your shooting skills.
Types, accuracy, and durability are essential factors you need to focus on when choosing the correct sights. Some brands manufacture rear sights only, while others have both back and front sights. Others may have additional features like a red dot or Tritium tube. Before deciding, you have to assess your weapon, your purpose, and your skills.
All the sights we reviewed are of high quality, perform better than others, and help improve your shooting capabilities. With that being said, you can choose whichever sight you choose. You will surely satisfied with the result.