VERY CONVENIENT AND VERY TRUE: The Smith & Wesson M&P is gaining popularity among law enforcement across America. In addition, at my local USPSA matches, M&P’s are as visible as Glocks. Many do not know that though the rear sight of both the center fire M&P and M&P .22 are the same, the front sights are not. They are a little different and that is why we make a specific sight kit for the M&P .22. One thing is certain: If your M&P .22 sported an ATS, you would for sure shoot tighter groups at greater distances than would be able to do with the factory sights. M&P’s are on the move in America and picking up one in .22 just seems like a good thing to do.
You hear that question from all ages and circumstances, especially when a good part of your professional career has been counseling and listening. Well, this is how Annie Oakley did it: Practice with that firearm, until you can shoot the socks off, so to speak, all males in the vicinity. Given that sometimes eccentric variables that cause men to be smitten, out shooting them will guarantee an entourage of suitors. Read a little about Annie; it’s a nice, inspiring, and real American story........
Butler and Oakley
Annie's opponent in the match was Frank Butler, a sharp-shooter in the circus. He made the 80-mile trek from Cincinnati to rural Greenville, Ohio in the hopes of winning the $100 prize. Frank had been told only that he would be up against a local crack shot. Assuming that his competitor would be a farm boy, Frank was shocked to see the petite, attractive 20-year old Annie Moses. He was even more surprised that she beat him in the match.
Frank, ten years older than Annie, was captivated by the quiet young woman. He returned to his tour and the two corresponded by mail for several months. They were married sometime in 1882, but the exact date has never been verified.
Once married, Annie traveled with Frank on tour. One evening, Frank's partner became ill and Annie took over for him at an indoor theater shoot. The audience loved watching the five-foot-tall woman who easily and expertly handled a heavy rifle. Annie and Frank became partners on the touring circuit, billed as "Butler and Oakley." It is not known why Annie picked the name Oakley; possibly it came from the name of a neighborhood in Cincinnati.
If you would like to read more about Annie Oakley click on the following link…
You may have a well-chosen firearm, be well practiced with it, and even have a operational plan, if you are ever so unfortunate to be home invaded. However, how about your hearing? Will the vanquishing of invaders leave you hearing impaired?
Home invasions may unfold rather quickly. Will you have time to retrieve hearing protection? This is my solution: It’s an S&W M&P 9mm, with a Silencerco Osprey suppressor, M3 Tac light, and our ATS with a green Firefly front and yellow insert on the rear. I charge the Firefly before bed and it’s still glowing in the morning.
The height of our Advantage Tactical Sight sights are somewhere between factory sights and dedicated suppressor sights. It was serendipitous for us that are sights were just all enough to see over most of the newer crop of cans, yet low enough to fit in most holsters, when the can is removed. The ATS seems to be rather popular on suppressor forums. Also, please consider that a top of the line suppressor is well under a thousand bucks, while a first rate pair of hearing aids is anywhere from $5,000 to $6,000.
THREE THINGS YOU HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT GUN ACQUISITION: The three most important things about choosing a firearm are: 1) be sure it works all the time; 2) make sure it suits your needs 3) make sure the sight really works for you. Whatever firearm you choose, regardless of price point, make sure it works all the time. By “all the time” I mean even when you are shooting it somewhat dirty, strong hand, weak hand, and even when you limp wrist it a little. All of these situations are possible scenarios. Confidence in your equipment is directly related to peace of mind, and peace of mind is an important factor in gun ownership and usage.
We all need to think through why we are acquiring a particular firearm. Whether your choice involves multiple tasks for that firearm -- protection, recreation, concealed carry, for example, or one specific purpose, forethought is a good thing and makes for better investments. Recreating with your firearm choices, especially with a defense gun, is really important. Practice may not make perfect, but it does contribute towards proficiency.
“A sight is to a handgun what a rudder is to a yacht.” (I just made that up) You can have the finest yacht on the sea, but if your rudder is not working well for you, you won’t enjoy your investment as much. The same goes with the sight on your handgun: Don’t choose a sight because it simply glows in the dark, or everyone else’s sight has three dots. Choose a sight that you shoot well, under the normal circumstances that you shoot and practice, whether it’s our sight or another company’s. The more you shoot with the sight that you shoot best, the more you’ll want to shoot, the more proficient you’ll become, and the more you’ll commit successful shooting skills to motor memory. This is what will help in tactical situations, unlikely as they may be.
PRICE REDUCTION: We are passing along revised long gun manufacturing costs to our customers. Our shotgun and Guardian sight price is now $118.49, a $21.46 savings from previous prices. The Advantage Tactical Shotgun Sight is the fastest tactical shotgun sight in the industry and allows the greatest peripheral awareness, regardless of how fancy others may appear; and, at the same time, you give up nothing in accuracy for the added speed. Shotgun defense is an up-close affair and speed and peripheral awareness is everything. If you defend yourself with a shotgun, you want to be first; you don’t want to be second. If you try it and don’t think it is everything we say it is, you may return your long gun sight for a full refund.
Again, I am presenting the “five legs” of a gun fight”, so to speak, as recounted to me by those with impressive tactical resumes. Those five legs are: 1) unplanned situations unfold in the blink of an eye; 2) they happen at very close range; 3) they involve very few rounds; 4) they happen in less than optimal lighting (not darkness); 5) all participants are likely to be moving.
For your entertainment, I will present a real life 19th century shoot-out that happened in the infamous Long Branch Saloon, Dodge City, Kansas. This story emphasizes point number 2 (close, really close) of the above five legs. You kind of wonder how it would have all turned out, if each had an ATS on his six-shooter.
LIGHT’EM UP NOW OR WHENEVER NEEDED: We are happy announce that we have found, and will make available on our web store, a really great compact Firefly insert charge source. It’s the “Inova” ulta-violet microlight. It is a very handy and hardy quick charge light that attaches to a key chain. The light itself is very robust, as is the key chain attachment. The unit is almost indestructible and the key chain portion will not pull off. The whole thing is small enough to just about disappear on your key chain.
How to use: When you’ve got a partially charged Firefly, just a pass the UV light (1 second), across a Firefly, as if you were making a brush stroke. The Inova’s ultraviolet light will make the Firefly pop again for a good duration of time. Though a larger light source is preferred for a complete charge, a one minute plus charge of the Inova should bring back Firefly glow for a prolonged time, when no other charge source is available. The Inova UV Microlight will retail for $9.99 on our website and will accompany periodic promotions.
THE LURE OF LITTLE GUNS: Sometimes a little gun just seems more apropos, given one’s attire, climate, or simply a need to travel lighter. Pictured is the Advantage Tactical Sight on our “little guns”: The Sig Sauer 938 (pictured) and 238; the Springfield XDs, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield; the Taurus 709/740 slim, and Glock 42 (with Firefly).
The interesting thing about the ATS on these little guns is how relatively accurate at distance they are, compared to the factory sights that were attached to them. Of course, one can always argue that shooting a decent group is not the main intent with these little pistols. To that I respond that you just never know when an accurate shot may be required. From the inception of firearms, hitting the target has always been the goal. So, why not be able to do it with your sub-compacts, too. Because the ATS is adjustable, you can zero your load to whatever distance seems appropriate. Sight acquisition with the ATS on these pocket-heaters remains quick; and, of course, the Firefly night sight upgrade works on all.
Wow! IT’S A FIT: Our regular Glock sights DO FIT the Glock 42, as you can see. The slide of the 42 is wider than our Glock rear sight, and the radiused portion of the dovetail is obscured by ATS rear sight. So, it doesn’t seem to have the aesthetic issues I though it would have. We are going to mention on the Glock product page, that our Glock sight is also good for the 42.
By the way, I found my Glock 42 to have a rather crisp trigger and a short reset. What a pleasant surprise. Now, if Glock will just someday make it in a 9mm.
GLOCK 42 CAL. 380: This pistol will not stay on the shelves of gun shops in Santa Fe. We’ve been beseeched with emails about whether we will make a sight for this narrow slide Glock. The answer is yes we will, if I ever get my hands on one to take measurements. We will do this because the Glock 42 is an enormously popular pistol in 380, and you just know Glock will eventually have one in 9mm, too. Even though the 42 is a close quarter affair, it’s always good to be able to make a precise shot when needed. The ATS has been great for precise shooting on a variety of small guns: Sig Sauer 938 and 238, the M&P Shield, the Taurus 709/740, and the Springfield XDs. One can actually shoot a decent group with the ATS on these pistols at 25 yards, believe it or not. So, we want to add the Glock 42 to our little gun category.
The technical part: Our Glock rear sight is actually less wide than the Glock 42 slide. The problem is that the rear sight dovetail of the 42 slide has a radiused edge. We believe that we’ll need to narrow our Glock rear sight, to accommodate the narrower dovetail. Without doing that our rear sight may stick out over the radiused edges of the rear sight dovetail, though not beyond the slide itself. It’s really an aesthetic issue.
If we do this, we’ll probably need to trim the rear sight to the degree that will prevent rear sight color changes. Therefore, we are only going to offer the Glock 42 in two color combos: red rear sight insert (permanently affixed) with yellow front Firefly, and white rear sight insert (permanently affixed) with green Firefly. You’ll need to choose the desired color combo when ordering. The price will be somewhere between a pistol sight set without firefly and pistol price sight set with firefly. Actually, it will probably be just $10 more than the standard pistol sight set, though we won’t know for sure until the alterations have been completed.
What has your shooting experience been, when comparing the standard nylon insert to the Firefly? Let us and our viewers know your findings. These are mine:
Just last weekend I shot my third USPSA match with the Firefly. I can now safely say that, for me, the Firefly seems to be faster than our standard nylon front sight inserts which are already pretty fast. At my age, I have no delusions about action pistol fame, so I just shoot matches for fun with an untuned gun, the way it came right out of the box. For last Saturday’s match, I was shooting in the “limited 10” division with a Sig Sauer 2022 in 40 cal. I bought it last month for $450. I put the ATS on it, with a yellow Firefly front. Though it came with 12-shot mags, I already had enough 10-shot mags to run a match with it.
I thought it was really going to be a bad shooting day for me, as I was coming back from a 3-month lay off, back surgery, the craziness of the shot show, and the flu. However, I placed somewhere in the middle of the pack. I felt good about the way I shot that day, especially since my fellow competitors were younger and had more competition appropriate equipment. The Firefly really helped. While the Firefly is dimensionally the same size as our standard nylon inserts, the large, bright, all yellow Firefly appeared bigger at the end of the pistol, when compared to our standard nylon inserts. It made acquisition really fast for the closer shots and, after some transition time from the nylon inserts and acquisition to the Firefly, I felt I was just as fast on the longer shots, too. There was one stage where we had to shoot from inside a barrel. I don’t know about the other competitors, but my front sight was glowing and clear on the target in the darkened tunnel.
Currently, I am in the process outfitting all my personal guns with the Firefly though, strangely enough, not just for the Firefly’s glow capability. I’m opting for the Firefly for one reason -- it’s an even faster set-up that happens to glow and will last forever. I am wondering what others’ experiences have been with the Firefly, vs the standard nylon front sight inserts. Let us know, if you would.
As an aside, the Sig Sauer 2022 is really a sleeper of a pistol and the best bargain on the market. When I have occasion to call Sig Sauer for something, and subsequently praise the 2022, the attendant on the other end invariably praises that pistol and admits that it is a personal favorite. I am now on Sig’s waiting list to get a .357 sig barrel for the 40 cal 2022.
One question that occasionally popped up at Show Show 2104 was whether or not the Firefly was a stealth night sight. Of course, to be polite, I did not ask how the concept of stealth would fit into the life style of the questioner. However, there were questions about the stealth aspects of the Firefly from those who might have legitimate concerns about that topic. Those questions were from law enforcement and security contractors.
As all may know, the Firefly can be seen glowing from the front and sides. For me, this has never been a problem, as I would not be lying in wait or tailing a “bad guy” for any reason. My need for a night sight would be quick and immediate and stealth would not be an issue. Anyway, with that question, I grabbed a black Sharpie from the exhibitors in the next booth and proceeded to darken the front and sides of the Firefly with the Sharpie. I then charged it and placed in our display dark box for Firefly viewing, with with the muzzle (the slide only not the whole firearm) towards me, and guess what? You couldn’t see the Firefly from the front or sides. That was just a quick fix type of thing. The Sharpie ink is a little porous and a modeling paint of some sort would definitely be more fetching look. The point is, if you really think you need to have the fireflies not be seen from the front or sides, just grab a Sharpie and give it a few passes. Of course from less than a 90° angle, it could clearly be seen, no matter how stealth the intention. This would be so, with any night sight. In addition, in a truly darkened situation, all bright night sights can be seen from almost any angle. This story ends end when I got home from shot show, retrieved some gun solvent, and expunged the Sharpie evidence. I just didn’t want that stuff on my nice Firefly.
Those who have been following us over the years, may had heard of this future product debut, “The Advantage Tactical Stealth Light”. It is a tiny light, no larger than a Bluetooth device that would attach to a hat, clip to glasses or go behind the ear, right in line with the eye and how the eye would align with sights. It would allow ultra violet waves to light up our standard nylon florescent inserts, as one presented the firearm. This would be quite a project, because not only will the light itself be small, all light waves, other than the invisible UV waves, would be suppressed. The ATS Stealth Light would allow users to illuminate their sights as needed and maintain them in a darkened state for stealth situations. We actually already have the technology to do it; we just need to get started by adding it to our “to do” projects. When I first spoke about this, most were positive, but there were detractors, and I think the points of those detractors were well founded. Some thought that the addition of the ATS Stealth light would just be another piece of equipment that one would need to have, in an ever increasing world of adornments for firearms. I found that argument to be relevant and understandable.; However, the purpose of this particular night sight innovation would be to equip the professional -- SWAT, our own border patrol, entry teams, special forces, etc. -- with a way to illuminate the ATS when needed and, most importantly, to maintain stealth when illumination is not needed. Press a button to illuminate, press it again to turn it off.
Now for the fun part: You can have a uv florescent nylon insert experience right now, for just a few bucks. The internet is replete with those selling uv cap lights -- uv lights that attach to the brim of a hat. Mainly, these lights are used by night fishermen, as well as pest exterminators. Those that night fish need to observe florescent nylon fishing line movement in the dark. Bug exterminators, especially scorpion exterminators, use the uv-black light to find expose insects with phosphorescent body fluids. If you decide to pop for one of these devices, you’ll really have lot of fun. Amazingly, it will light up our inserts in the dark, as if there were a lamp under them. It has definite entertainment value. I have to admit that before we had the firefly (and sometimes even now), I’d keep a baseball cap with a uv cap light attached next to the bed, along with hearing protection and the firearm. Of course, that inexpensive cap light does not suppress visible light waves as the Stealth Light would; however, for home defensive purposes, it works great, especially the smaller units. Right now we are looking for an appropriate -- price and size -- uv cap light that we could offer on our store, until our Stealth Light is ready to ship. When we’ve found one, we’ll announce it and you’ll see it on the store.
SUPPORTIVE SELLING: Advantage Tactical is about to embark on a new and supportive sales venture. We are going to offer, right on our store, products supportive to our sighting system. We will offer holsters that have been vetted by either us or our customers (not that others wouldn’t also be good), small key chain black lights for a very quick firefly charge; barrels and minor trigger adaptations to improve the shooting experience, to name just a few of the possibilities. These collateral products will be accompanied by commentaries that outline the rationale for their introductions on our store.
One of the things we can do with our new website is to easily configure specials. We’d like to offer, for retail sales only, FROM JAN. 20, NOT BEFORE, “ our New Year’s Long Gun Sale: $30.00 discount on all of our long guns -- shotgun and guardian sights -- when purchased with any pistol sight + Firefly. That would mean, for example, that a Remington shotgun sight set would be 109.95, instead of $139.95, when purchased with any pistol sight set + Firefly. The reason why we are doing this is so that our customers can have a home defense system that is the same on both a handgun and long gun. As many are now aware, each pistol sight set + Firefly comes with two Fireflies -- one in yellow spectrum and one in green spectrum. You can put one Firefly on the pistol and one on the shotgun, since all front sight inserts swap out with each front sight in the ATS system.
Which shotgun is best? Get the most no-frills, plain-barreled (you need to have a plain barrel) shotgun you can find, without any extras and with just a bead for the front sight. For example, get a Remington 870 with an 18” barrel, or a Mossberg 500 with a shorter barrel. If you’d like an auto, get a no-frills Remington 1100 with a short plain barrel, for example. Of course, there are also other shotguns of similar configurations from which to choose.
Once you have the shotgun ATS on your scattergun, you will have the fastest tactical shotgun sight in the business, including optical sights. At the moment you shoulder your shotgun, instantaneously, the pyramid will be there. There is no need to spend extra time finding a dot in a window, looking through a hole, or moving the gun around to align a traditional iron sight. In addition, your peripheral awareness will not be compromised, because you are staring through a hole or window. The smaller, more sleek, and less adorned your shotgun, the faster it is to acquire and the easier it is to move through the hallways of your home, getting out of a car, or maneuvering around at a campsite.
The ATS shotgun gives up nothing in accuracy to any iron sight for a shotgun, even a little. Because the rear and front sights are far from the eye, both sights are in focus and crisp. They are so fast that even some wing shooters are using them; however, different from a quick bead at end of a shotgun barrel, the shotgun ATS can be zeroed for slugs. You’ll have no problem hitting targets at 100 yards with slugs; however, you’ll be faster than anybody else’s shotgun at closer ranges. It is also important to note that no factory part of a no-frills shotgun will need to be removed to install a shotgun ATS.
The code for $30 off of a shotgun sight, when purchased with any pistol sight + firefly is: (SPRING2014LG). From Jan. 20, 2014 and not before.
The Firefly is, first and foremost, a facilitator in up close situations in daylight or darkness. As firefly experience accumulates, it’s clear how best to use them. The basis of this opinion is centered in the “five legs”, so to speak, of the great majority of law enforcement or civilian experiences. These five legs, though reported by others, are based on much personal research, mostly through consultation with those in the position to qualify as experts. Those individuals have been SWAT personnel and SWAT leaders, in addition to one of the original founders of SWAT in America. All have impressive real world resumes and, interestingly, have all come to similar deductions. Rather than just personal opinions and experiences, I was so much more interested in similarity of conclusions.
The Firefly is, first and foremost, a facilitator of up close point shooting in daylight or darkness. As firefly experience accumulates, it’s clear how best to use them. The basis of this opinion is centered in the “five legs”, so to speak, of the great majority of law enforcement or civilian tactical experiences. These five legs, though reported by others, are based on much personal research, mostly through consultation with those in the position to qualify as experts. Those individuals have been SWAT personnel and SWAT leaders, one of the original founders of SWAT in America, and some special forces field experiences, etc., etc. All have impressive real world tactical resumes and, interestingly, have all come to similar deductions. Rather than just personal opinions and experiences, I was so much more interested in similarity of conclusions.
Those five legs are: 1) tactical situations unfold in the blink of an eye; 2) they happen at very close range; 3) they involve very few shots; 4) they happen in less than optimal lighting (not darkness); 5) all participants are likely to be moving.
Shooting for most is recreational and few equip or practice for those above five legs of the great majority of tactical realities. Most tactical situations do not occur in darkness, but rather in limited ambient lighting where the standard ATS florescent color combinations or the rear insert with firefly front are often relevant. When it gets to the truly darkened tactical situations, very rare as they may be, and where the assaulter is no more than a hardly, if at all, recognizable shadow, that shadow will be at arm’s length or not much beyond. Therein lies the true purpose of the firefly. The firefly, more than anything, is a great facilitator in point shooting, because it has the biggest glowing front sight in the industry and, therefore, the easiest to orient toward the threat under stress. The body chemistries that produce stress shape every experience, from vision, peripheral vision, balance, movement, and reaction time. The firefly makes it easier to moderate stress reactions in those up-close situations, by providing a visually large and straightforward method of engagement -- cover target with big glow and go. Of course, in dim light, the florescent white, yellow, and green rear sight inserts will provide a visible pyramid with a glowing top, for precise shooting at distance.
Allen, an occasional Facebook commenter, came up with the idea of a white rear insert with a green firefly. I had never thought of that one before. You can really see the whole pyramid with that white/green firefly combo in very low light -- a white mountain with a blue-green top. Much thanks and kudos to Paul, for providing the well-photographed fireflies in darkness. One can still notice the dimly lit florescent rear sight insert, even at that level of darkness.
Both florescent nylon and firefly front sight inserts have their place. Which is the best and for what applications? It depends on who you ask. For me, this is what I do:
Competition: I am torn between the two choices. I believe the firefly insert is very fast at close range, though it takes me a smidgen longer to make the pyramid for longer shots. I don't know if it's the same for everyone, though that's the way it is for me.
Defense: Obviously, in darkened environments, my pieces are sporting fireflies. A case in point was tonight: I walked the trash can up the hill about 60 yards from the house on a dark night with only a sliver of a moon to help. Of late, we've had cougar, bear and bobcat sightings in our neighborhood. So, I gave my Sig Sauer P225 9mm (I know it's little light for the bigger beasts, but that's what I had with me) a dash of florescent light from a mini-uv flashlight I had just purchased. Just two seconds of mini uv key chain light and it stayed bright through the walk and for sometime later. I have to admit that the former night sight hater me felt a little more secure at the notion that I could throw a big bright glow on any shadow, in just an instant.
Hiking and hunting when camping is not involved: In these situations, I don't plan to be out overnight and I often have a pistol topped with a standard florescent nylon insert. I do so because the day colors are brilliant and the after sunset view, in case I'm out later than I wanted to be, is very bright. The uv filled sky lights up the florescent nylon inserts, as if they had a lamp under them, after the sun has happened and as long as the shadows remain in the grey zone. Of course this is a boon for hunters, as most states limit hunting to 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset. In that lighting, the florescent nylon inserts stand out well on dark animal hide.
About that mini uv key chain flashlight: I really like it. It's small, bright enough to do the job and inconspicuous on my key chain. Don't be surprised if you find it on our website store at a price that can't be ignored and/or accompanying certain promotions.
As many by now may know, our green and yellow fireflies appear similar
in color, just out of the package. Once exposed to sunlight the yellow perks up and
becomes a bright yellow. The green perks up a little and both, in the presence of
sunlight, become more distinctive from each other. The glow colors, in darkness, are
very similar, though the green appears slightly more blue/green, while the yellow takes
on a green hue.
As an aside, glow color in a tactical situation is irrelevant, because the only pressing
issue is to clearly see a big glow. Perhaps it’s just me, but I perceive the blue/green
of the green firefly to glow a little brighter than the yellow, though the glow duration's of
both are the same. So how do I use each? Well, here’s what I do:
For a good all-around firefly color, I choose yellow. I put the yellow firefly on my longer
barreled pistols and I now shoot action competitions with the yellow firefly exclusively.
The picture of my XD 45 tactical is one I enjoy shooting in competitions. I find it very
fast at close range and, once you get used to the completely colored firefly, compared
to the standard nylon front sight inserts with their darkened portions, I find it just as
precise for the longer shots. It certainly is a good all-around day and night sight.
When it comes to a smaller carry pistol, like the pictured magnificent TMT Tactical
Glock 26 that was, by the way, featured on the cover of the Jan/Feb edition of American
Handgunner, I prefer the green. The green firefly seems very prominent in both the
non-glow and glow state on a shorter barreled pistol. What appears to me as being a
slightly brighter glow serves me well at the end of a glow duration where a little extra
brightness is appreciated.
An interesting side note is that, at first, I had a little trouble in the transition from our
standard nylon inserts to our firefly insert. It seemed that the completely colored firefly
was a little more awkward to align for a precise shot, when compared to our nylon
inserts where only the sighting (pentagon) portion was colored. However, this was all
temporary. Now, I align the fireflies for all shots just as fast and maybe even faster. In
fact, now that I’ve been exclusively using the firefly, I find that I miss the big color when
I'm using our standard front sight inserts.
All the above are just my own perceptions. As the firefly usage propagates, we should
get more feedback from users, concerning color and usage preferences. Soon, I’ll write
about the advantages of our standard pentagon nylon inserts vs the firefly. Both seem
to have their places.
Everyone that has or wants to have a night sight system must come to terms with the limitations of that system. Shooting in darkness, or less than convenient lighting, could involve a thermal imaging system, tritiums, or our Firefly upgrade. Whatever your darkened condition sighting choice, one must maintain a plan for its use, or at least think through when and how you would deploy it, given the limitations of a particular system.
Thermal imaging devices can be cumbersome, take up more space, and require some prep, before use. Tritiums are limited to a useable half-life and, therefore, come with their own set of considerations: There is a point in the continuously dimming life of 3-dot tritium sights where one becomes sidetracked from the realities of the target or threat and is compelled to stare at the dots that are now too dim to see and align quickly. There is also the “never-never” land in the life of tritiums where they become dim enough to be annoying but not so much to induce a need to buy new ones. That interim may be rather short for some or may last for many months for others, before the decision to pony up for a new pair. The Fireflies will maintain the same set of limitations from day one and forever in the future. You need to charge them about every eight hours or so. Given the limitations of each system, one needs to formulate a plan. Until the Firefly was conceptualized, I was never a fan of a sight that glowed in the dark. I've always thought, and still so think, that they are more of a psychological comfort than a true advantage -- a comforting beacon of light, a candle in the darkness or, one even might say, a security blanket. I think there is a lot of evidence to support this. However, all that being said, I now hypocritically sport Fireflies on the majority of my guns.
My reasons for doing so make sense to me and may also to others: 1) First of all, the Firefly front sight insert, though the exact same dimensions as our nylon inserts, are all one color and appear very large. For me, this makes sight acquisition even quicker. I've found that with the large appearing Firefly front sight insert, I was faster and could score good hits more quickly at USPSA matches, where the run-gun portions of a stage were closer. 2) The large glowing ember of the Firefly allows me to locate it quickly in a dark bedroom. 3) I could never imagine shooting at a target I couldn't identify -- it's not my dog, my wife or my child. In a dimly lit situation where the target is identifiable, I do have an ambient light sensitive florescent rear sight insert and a large glowing Firefly front sight -- an orange mountain with a glowing green top, if you will. And, in the event of a truly pitch black situation where a known adversary is at arm's length or not far beyond, I'd just need to cover that shadowy target with a large glowing Firefly ember.
The Firefly then becomes the unpracticed point shooting helper. Point-shooting is certainly a good skill to acquire and maintain. However, point-shooting ability is kind of like shooting hoops from the free-throw line on a basketball court. If you practice a lot, you can get pretty good at it; take a couple of months off and your skill level declines. The Firefly, then, becomes a way to cheat at point shooting. Just cover the target with a big glow and do what needs to be done. In the end, unlike other systems, the limitations of the Fireflies are unvarying. They will always be the same and if you learn to operate within their limitations and utilize well their glow duration and quick charge time characteristics, you will have a reliable day and night sight that lasts forever.