At a Glance: Best 1911 Sights
- OUR TOP PICK: Truglo Tritium Glow-in-the-dark Novak Night Sights
- RUNNER UP: Truglo Fiber-optic Front And Rear Sights
- BEST BUDGET OPTION: Trijicon 3-dot Front And Rear Night Sight Set
Comparison of The 3 Best 1911 Sights
Our Top Pick
|Truglo Tritium Glow-in-the-dark Novak Night Sights
|View Latest Price
Our Top Pick
|Truglo Fiber-optic Front And Rear Sights
|View Latest Price
Our Top Pick
|Trijicon 3-dot Front And Rear Night Sight Set
|View Latest Price
Getting the most from your 1911 pistol means getting the correct sight on the gun. The right sight for the job will make a tremendous difference to your shooting, and therefore, is the most important upgrade you can make for your 1911. A high-quality sight suited to your shooting style will allow you to easily predict where the bullet is going to go. However, with so many different types of sights on the market, it can be confusing to know which are the best 1911 sights for you.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the different sight styles and which shooting purposes they are best suited to. We’ll then break down the differences between competition and self-defense sights, as well as fixed and adjustable styles too.
Our Guide To The 8 Best Sights For 1911 The Market
To reduce potential overwhelm, we’ve picked the 8 best 1911 sights to test and review for you. Along with a thorough review, we’ve included the pros and cons of each product for a quick and simple comparison.
Truglo Tritium Glow-in-the-dark Novak Night Sights
The TRUGLO Tritium 1911 pistol sights glow bright both day and night, giving the clearest sight picture and unmatched visibility in low light shooting conditions and complete darkness.
The Truglo rear sights use high-quality Swiss tritium for maximum brightness without the need for batteries or charging. It transitions from standard white dot sights during the day light, to glowing green dots in the dark.
They are Novak Lomount cut for 1911 models and are made from tough, CNC-machined steel with a protective fortress finish. This results in an impressively durable construction with the ability to handle just about anything. The square notch rear sights have a compact snag-free design with a longer sight radius.
I found these sights to be extremely bright and very easy to see in all lighting conditions. I experienced no snagging and the build quality is supreme. It’s important to note though, these sights do require some fitting and tweaking. This might be challenging for first-timers and those unfamiliar with this style of sight.
Overall, these are bright sights that give fantastic value for money. While they’re not adjustable, If you want fixed tritium sights on your 1911, you can’t go wrong with these.
- Super bright
- Glows without batteries or charging
- For day and night shooting
- Top choice for durability
- Compact, snag-free design
- Can be difficult to install
- No adjustability
Truglo Fiber-optic Front And Rear Sights
The Truglo fiber-optic sights for Kimber 1911 pistols use traditional fiber optic technology for a contrasting red front sight and green fixed rear sight. The high contrast sights feature a 3 dot pattern with a single red front dot and 2 green rear dots.
The fiber-optic technology works by collecting ambient light and directing it toward the shooter’s eyes. This results in bright glowing sights for all types of daylight shooting, without the need for batteries.
The contrasting colors of the front and rear dots make sight alignment much easier. Moreover, the red front sight pops out and grabs your visual attention for fast sighting and easy target acquisition, without the concealed fiber being spotted by your target. They have an amazing way of absorbing even the smallest amount of light available but they won’t perform well in the dark. There must be a little ambient light for these to work.
These Truglo sights feature a tough CNC machined steel construction and a snag-resistant design. This keeps the sights secure without shifting or losing accuracy. They are a great option for older shooters or those whose vision is not so great..
As these are fixed sights with no adjustment ability, it’s a great product to use at the shooting range or for self-defense purposes, but not the best 1911 sights for competitive shooting.
When it comes to installation, a complete screwdriver tool set with sight pusher tools will be needed. While fitting the front sight is not too difficult, the rear sight can be a real challenge.
- Fiber optic technology for easy sight alignment
- Gives fast sighting and easy target acquisition
- Tough, sturdy construction to prevent shifting or accuracy loss
- A great option for shooters with vision impairments
- No adjustability
- The rear sight is hard to fit
- Does not work in the dark
- Need a complete screwdriver toolset for installation
Trijicon Night Sights For 1911
Trijicon night sights are the brightest, strongest and safest. Their USP is that they increase night-fire shooting accuracy by up to five times over standard sights. They’re also renowned for maintaining this same speed with instinctive shooting, without the need for batteries.
- Colt 1911 Elite Commander
- Colt Delta Elite
- Colt 1911 Government
The self-luminous tritium dots glow bright green at night and then dim once you lose your night vision. They feature a unique shock-resistant design. What’s more, each lamp is uniquely capped with a sapphire jewel to evenly distribute the light, protecting the lamp from solvents and puncture at the same time.
These tritium sights are designed for ultimate stability by placing the pressurized tritium in glass lamps. The lamps are cushioned by silicone rubber cushions to withstand shock and heavy recoil and then contained with aluminum cylinders and a metal body for extra protection.
While these sights are far from being the cheapest option, they certainly give the best performance. If you use your 1911 pistol for self-protection or law enforcement duties at night, the bright visibility and quality construction of this sight set make it one of the best 1911 sights for you. The .125 tang width blade can be modified by a local gun smith to .085 to fit a Springfield 1911, but other .45 brands don’t fit these blades.
- They give intense brightness in night shooting
- Significantly better nighttime shooting accuracy
- Protective cushioning for shock and recoil resistance
- A brilliant option for self-defense and service pistols
- You may need a gunsmith to install them
Truglo Tritium Glow-in-the-dark Night Sights For Kimber Pistols With A Fixed Rear Sight
This Truglo Tritium glow-in-the-dark night sight set is almost the same as the first product on the list. The difference is these sights are specially designed for Kimber 1911 pistols with a fixed rear sight, whereas the previous set was cut for Novak Lomount models.
They feature the same quality Swiss tritium giving maximum brightness and a clear sight picture when used for both day and night shooting. This set is a great upgrade if you’re looking to improve your accuracy. Like the Novak model, it transitions from standard white dot sights during the day light, to glowing green dots in the dark, and features a battery-free operation.
The construction is also the same. They are machined with tough steel and given a protective fortress finish for high quality and high durability. These compact, fixed sights are awesome value for money and give a perfect fit to your Kimber 1911.
- Gives a super bright, battery-free glow
- Works great for both day and night shooting
- Rates high in quality and durability
- Compact, snag-free design
- Gives remarkable improvement in your accuracy
- No adjustability
- Might be difficult to install on your own
Truglo TFX Tritium and Fiber-Optic Xtreme Sights For 1911 – Style 260 Front / 450 Rear
The TFX Xtreme 1911 sights by Truglo integrates state-of-the-art tritium and fiber-optic technology that is encapsulated in a virtually indestructible configuration. The innovative design fully protects the bulbs and is impervious to oils, chemicals, and all cleaning solvents. The fiber-optic lights shine a green bean from the front and rear. The TFX sights are always ready to shine consistently bright and accurate light and give great visibility in all shooting conditions.
Like with all Truglo handgun sights, this square notch rear sight has a compact snag-free design, longer sight radius, and high durability. It has a Novak Lomount cut, suitable for Novak 1911 models.
1911 fiber optic sight are typically popular with competition shooting as they are the fastest sights to acquire. However, Tritium night sights are extremely useful in the low-light and no-light conditions that are typical of self-defense situations. Therefore, this clever combination produces a sight that’s suitable for all Novak 1911 pistols no matter what you use the gun for. Designed for 1911-style handguns with existing fixed Novak LoMount dovetail cut slides
Overall, these are well-built sights that are fast to acquire in sunlight, shade, and darkness, making them easily one of the best 1911 sights.
- Tritium based fiber-optic technology gives the best visibility in all lighting conditions including no light
- Gives bright, accurate light 24/7
- Green front and rear optics
- Durable, snag-free design
- Suitable for all shooting purposes
- An expensive set
- Required gun smith installation
Truglo TFX Pro Tritium And Fiber Optic Xtreme Sights – Style 270 Front, 500 Rear
The TFX Pro tritium and fiber-optic Xtreme 1911 sight set from Truglo features a high contract, orange ring focus lock, and a U-Notch rear sight to provide great visibility in all shooting and lighting conditions, at all times.
Like the previous Truglo sight, this one has a Novak LoMount cut. It has many of the same features of the previous Truglo TFX sight including the consistently bright and accurate Tritium and fiber-optic combination, compact snag-free design, longer sight radius, and super-durable construction.
The illuminating elements are encased inside a virtually indestructible chemical and shock-resistant capsule. The body of the sights is built with CNC-machined steel and then protected with a rust-resistant Fortress Finish.
The TFX Pro gives the same performance of the TFX, plus even better reliability, accuracy, and brightness. Both front and rear beams are green, however, the front beam has an orange ring lock for improved focusing.
I was hugely impressed with this product. Even in moderate lighting that isn’t strong enough to “glow” the fiber optics, the green rear sights and orange ring are clearly visible and make for a good contrast. It’s a high-end product, but if you’re looking for the best set of day/night sights for your 1911, this set won’t disappoint.
- Tritium based fiber-optic technology gives the best visibility in all light conditions including no light
- Gives bright, accurate light 24/7
- Durable, snag-free design
- Unbeatable reliability, accuracy, and brightness
- Orange ring on the front sight for improved focus
- Will not fit the Kimber Micro
Meprolight Colt Tru-Dot Night Sight for 1911 Government & commander
The Meprolight Tru-Dot ML10776 model is a fixed set of night sights with a stake-on front sight that is favored by the military and law enforcement. The set is designed for use on all ’80 & ’90 series Colt 1911 pistols (the government and Commander models but not the Springfield model).
Meprolight utilizes the fail-safe, maintenance-free tritium light source that provides up to 15 years of usable light under all weather conditions. The tritium powered sight shines white during daylight and gives a green beam in darkness, giving an unequaled low light performance.
I found the sights work perfectly in bright sunlight and are clearly visible in sunset/dusk conditions too. These sights are one of the best options for low-light conditions, as they shine brightly and are simple to align.
The overall difference and confidence in aiming and seeing and acquiring my target were greatly enhanced using these sights. One thing to note though, this sight set is not as easy to install as the instructions lead you to believe, and I would recommend hiring a gunsmith to do the job for you.
- One of the brightest night sights available
- Bright, accurate, and easy to align
- Greatly enhances your aiming and target acquisition.
- A durable and long-lasting product
- Lacks adjustment ability for customization
- A gunsmith is required to install them
Trijicon, Fiber Sight Set, Glock Models: 1911 Novak Low Mount Dovetail Cut Models
The Trijicon fiber sight set consists of a highly visible front sight and a subdued rear sight to promote a better acquisition of the front sight and target. It uses top of the range fiber-optic technology and is built with a rugged metal construction to maximize retention and durability.
The fiber-optic sight set gives a refined sight picture in many shooting environments and distances but gives a better field of view for longer range engagements. I found it to be one of the most durable 1911 sights on the market. It’s able to withstand rigorous shooting, rough handling, and aggressive holster use.
These sights are made to fit all 1911 Novak low mount, dovetail cut models. Moreover, they are purposely engineered to give the absolute brightest aiming point while retaining strength and maintaining a refined sight picture.
While they won’t assist well in shooting at night, this is an excellent choice for competitive shooting or just practicing at the range as the bright, thin sights create the perfect aiming point for fast, accurate rounds on target.
- One of the most rugged, durable 1911 sights
- Gives you the perfect aim for the fastest, most accurate target shooting
- Great for longer range engagements
- Provides a very refined sight picture
- Cannot be used at night or in dark shooting conditions
How To Choose Your 1911 Sight
There are some vital factors to consider before choosing a sight for your 1911. When choosing a sight for your 1911 gun you should look for quality, accuracy, non-snag construction, and durability.
The most important considerations are your shooting needs and vision requirements.
- A shooter who uses a 1911 gun for recreational or competitive shooting will require a different type of sight to someone who uses it as a self-defense or service pistol.
Consider the ease of installation. If you don’t have much experience with gun upgrades and customizations you should check user reviews to learn how easy it is to install the sight. Many sights will require a gunsmith to install them onto your 1911.
Read on to discover the different types and styles of sights available, and the features they offer, as well as the shooting purposes they are best suited to.
Front Sight Profiles
The most common and modern front sights have a semi-ramp profile. With this profile, the blade face is angled slightly upwards, away from the shooter to give a good, clear sight picture.
There are also other types of front sight profiles but these are less common. These include undercut target, full ramp, and straight post.
- Undercut target sights are shaped almost like a hook.
- Straight post sights have a flat vertical sighting surface.
Another difference between front sight profiles is how smooth they are. Some are smooth while others have ridged serrations. The purpose of ridges is to reduce light glare off the front sight which is why sights with ridged serrations are often recommended for outdoor shooting, especially in bright sunlight.
Types Of 1911 Front Sights
Here are the three most common types of front sights you’ll likely come across.
- This is a very basic sight that provides a good, clear sight picture.
- They are very useful in competitive and target shooting on known backgrounds.
- They are not recommended for self-defense purposes. This is because they’re not the easiest to focus when shooting under stressful conditions or against unknown target backgrounds.
Tritium or Night Sights
- These sights are used to brighten the dots on both front and rear sights.
- Tritium gives off a soft, radiant glow, and is the best sight type for low light and night shooting.
- Tritium sights do lose their glow over time, with an average service life of ten years.
- Fiber optic sights give the highest daytime visibility. This makes them the preferred choice by shooters with vision difficulties.
- Fiber optic sights work by gathering available light, so the brighter the sun, the better these sights work.
- Unlike tritium sights, these won’t lose their glow over time. However, even though they are great in daylight, in low light conditions they do fade to black.
- Tritium and fiber-optic hybrid sights offer the most benefits and give great visibility in both daylight and low light conditions.
Rear Sight Profiles
If you’re looking for rear sight there are different profiles available.
- Two-dot sights are the most common type of rear sight due to their ease of use and consistent accuracy.
- They work by lining up the front dot between the two rear dots and then placing it on the downrange target.
- They are not the best option for speed shooting because they can require a bit of time to focus.
Bars and Boxes
- These sights offer a cool and tactical look however they do not give the most precision compared to other rear sight profiles.
- They also prove to be difficult to line up when shooting quickly or under stress.
- If you need to shoot quickly, the plain black rear sight design is a good choice.
- Their simple design reduces distraction, helping you to focus on the front sight for faster shooting.
- These sights may not give the most accuracy though.
Competition Or Self-defense Sights?
1911 sights are usually designed for either competition or self-defense shooting.
- Competition sights are generally very easy to use. They’re known for their comfortable design and secure handling.
- They are adjustable and can be refined much more than self-defense sights.
- Because you typically have time to make your shot in a bulls-eye shooting competition, these sights are much more angular with smaller rear blades and finer tolerances.
- Self-defense sights are usually fixed, subtle, and low profile.
- One of the best qualities of self-defense sights is their low maintenance.
- Sights for self-defense provide great visibility in all lighting conditions as they are easy to pick up no matter what kind of light you’re in.
- The bad thing about these is that they aren’t as accurate as competition sights.
Self-defense style sights can be used in most competitions, but competition-grade sights should not be used for self-defense guns. Not only are they slower, but they’re also much less durable.
Do I Need Adjustable Sights?
If you’re unsure if you should purchase an adjustable or fixed sight, check out our list of pros and cons for them both.
1911 Fixed sights
- Once they are installed you don’t need to worry about them.
- Fixed sights are low profile and snag-free so are preferable for carrying.
- A fixed sight will allow you to zero to specific loads only. You can then no longer make any changes.
- Most fixed rear sights are set up for a center hold sighting method. This covers your intended impact area with your front sight.
1911 Adjustable sights
- You can change different variables allowing you to tailor your sight picture.
- An adjustable sight will allow you to zero for one load, and then re-zero for another later on.
- They usually have large, sharp edges that make them less convenient for carrying.
In summary, upgrading to an adjustable sight for your 1911 is worth it regardless of what you use your gun for. An adjustable sight will improve your shooting performance in hunting, target shooting, self-defense, and also even for law enforcement.
Summary – What Is The Best 1911 Sight?
As previously mentioned, the best 1911 sights for you will depend on your shooting purpose as well as the model of your pistol. However, I was most drawn to the tritium and fiber-optic hybrid sights as they offer impressive visibility in both daylight and low light conditions.
In particular, I loved the Truglo TFX Pro tritium and fiber-optic Xtreme 1911 sight set.
Nonetheless, all the sights included on this list are high-quality, high-performance upgrades for your gun. With that being said, whichever sight you go for, you will be satisfied with the result.