I don’t believe the evidence convincingly supports the real world tactical superiority of sights that can be seen in the dark.  Magazine advertisements and fantasized night sight friendly scenarios aside, the evidence is not there.  When one considers the parameters of most tactical situations which 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.

          It seems that given the above five conditions of typical tactical encounters (not military, but civilian and law enforcement), point shooting and shooting from retention on the move, in close situations, would be a more practical approach.  It doesn’t seem that any of these situations allow the time needed to align three dimly glowing dots, as comforting as those glowing dots may make one feel in various non-tactical scenarios.

          In fact, given the above, I would venture that relying on “night sights”, to the avoidance of more prudent close quarter tactics, may actually be dangerous in a couple of different ways:  1) the night sight itself may not be quick enough to employ in response to a quickly unfolding threat where all participants are on the move; 2) the reliance on the night sight may hinder the usage and practice of more practical close quarter shooting techniques.

          The following are selections from “Officer-Involved Shootings: What we don’t know Has Hurt Us”.  This report was written by Thomas J. Aveni, M.S., a member of the Police Policy Studies.  He was a training coordinator at the Smith & Wesson Academy, has served as a police officer in three different states, and has a master’s degree in forensic psychology.  He reports:

          Police hit ratios in tactical encounters:  From 0-2 yards is 38%; from 3-7 yards is 17%; from 8-15 yards is 9%; from 16-25 yards is 4%; and unknown is 2%.

          He further states:  “As poor as gunfight probability is inside of three yards, it gets progressively worse form there.  The transition from revolver to pistol has had an indiscernible influence in this area since...................”

          He further states:  “Good sight alignment is fundamental to target shooting, yet 70% of cases reviewed indicated that no sight alignment was employed.....”

            “The tendency to use sighted shooting increased as the threat distance increased. “Aiming” was described as diversely as merely using the barrel as a pointing reference, to using the front sight as a reference, to full utilization of the front and rear sights” 

          As for Night Sights, he states:  Though serious attempts have been made to pursue data pertinent to whether low light hit ratios have improved since the widespread adoption of “night sights”, such data specificity has been elusive.  However, based on what aggregate historical data is available, on might proffer that night sights have offered more promise than they’ve delivered.  However, given the infrequency in which officers recount using their sights in shootings, this may not be a revelation”.

          It seems that in the majority of, if not almost all tactical situations, there is too much happening, so fast, and with a lot of adrenaline, that no one has the time for proper sight alignment.  This goes double for low light situations which means even closer and faster unfolding scenarios.

          As for the Firefly, the intent was to have the quickest and easiest to see front sight in the industry, as well as a largest glowing front night sight in the industry.  The goal of the Firefly was, and is, to create a front sight scenario most advantageous in point shooting, under the circumstance in which most tactical situations occur.  Also, please remember the Firefly gives up nothing in accuracy, in aimed fire.

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