One of the great failings of the Glock pistols is the sighting system. While nothing is perfect, many people would agree that the sights are the weakest part of the company’s pistol line up.
To help everyone looking for Glock 42 night sights, I’ve put together this list of all of the options that are currently on the market. I’ve divided them up by manufacturer, and you can jump to specific companies by clicking the table of contents on the right.
The Glock 42 is the company’s first very thin pistol. As such, the sight sets for existing pistols will not necessarily work for you.
The front sight on the G42 is identical to those on other Glock handguns. So, if you only want to swap out the front sight, anything should work. However, the rear sight is narrower than the existing Glock sights. The dovetail is the same, but the width is smaller. Unless you want the rear sight hanging off the edges of the pistol, you will need to get sights specially made for the G42.
Self-defense is the primary purpose of the G42, so it is no wonder that many people are looking to upgrade the pistol with night sights. But what are night sights anyway?
In general terms, night sights use some type of illumination so the shooter can see and align them for more accurate fire. While there continues to be a great deal of debate about using pistol sights in combat, many people would agree that adding night sights to your pistol is a good idea.
The What and Why of Tritium
Most night sights use tritium vials for illumination. These are tiny glass vials filled with a radioactive material called tritium. Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that emits electrons. These electrons excite phosphors which give off the glow you can use for sighting a firearm.
Tritium can also be used in nuclear weapons to initiate and boost the detonation. So, the substance is subject to a variety of strict regulations. Pricing on tritium is not cheap; it typically costs tens of thousands of dollars per gram. The use of tritium makes sense in weapon sights since it is self-powered. But it does drive up the cost.
Dangers from tritium exposure are nearly non-existent when it comes to its use in firearms sights. You can read this research article on tritium for additional information.
If you are looking for more of my thoughts on what makes a good combat sight for handguns, please read The Best Combat Handgun Sights. It is based on my training, research and real world experience in multiple armed encounters.
Here are the night sights currently available for the Glock 42. If I have missed any, please leave feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this article.
Advantage Tactical Sight
The Advantage Tactical Sight (ATS) is probably one of the most unusual sighting systems currently made for handguns. That doesn’t mean they are not good – they are just different.
These sights use a pyramid system with the front sight topping the structure to let you know you are on target. This short video demonstrates how this works:
The sight sets come with a variety of colors for both the front and rear sights. This allows you to set up the sights in any pattern you wish.
You can upgrade the sights with a glowing front sight called the FireFly. This front sight insert absorbs light and glows for hours afterward.
AmeriGlo night sights are generally regarded as being very good. I’ve used their sights in the past and have found them to be capable performers. At this time, I have one of their front night sights on my Glock 19 that is my primary carry weapon.
As with many other companies, AmeriGlo offers several options for your Glock 42. Here’s a rundown of what is currently available.
Classic Night Sights – The Classic night sights are what most people think about when they consider buying aftermarket sights. There are three tritium vials – one up front and two on the rear sight. In low light, the shooter aligns the three glowing dots and bullets will fly true. The vials have a white outline around them for better visibility in brighter conditions.
Spartan Tactical – With this sight set, AmeriGlo emphasizes the front sight by replacing the white outline around the front sight with a wide orange ring. This makes the front sight much more visible in daylight conditions without affecting the nighttime capabilities. AmeriGlo deletes the white outlines on the rear sight to again draw the eye to the front sight.
Operator – Similar to the Spartan Tactical sights, the Operator night sights emphasizes the front sight by getting rid of the white outlines around the rear tritium vials. However, the front sight uses a white outline instead of the orange ring. While I think this makes the front sight less visible, some people prefer this style. It’s up to you to find what works best for your needs.
CAP Night Sights – With the CAP sights, AmerigGlo takes the front sight focus concept to the max. The front sight uses the standard tritium vial, but then surrounds it with a large box of bright, photoluminescent paint. As the sight is exposed to light – either ambient or directed with a flashlight – the paint absorbs and then gives off the light by glowing. Potentially, the front sight can be the brightest of all of the AmeriGlo lights in a low light encounter. The rear site dispenses of the tritium completely. It instead uses a quick reference line made of the same photoluminescent paint.
Dawson Precision offers only one set of night sights for the Glock 42. The sights are a three-dot variety with white outlines around the tritium vials. The dots seem small, and the side of the sights are marked Trijicon, suggesting Trijicon actually manufactures the sights. Make sure you check out the other offerings from Trijicon below.
HiViz does not offer a complete sight set for the G42. However, since the front sight on the Glock is identical to those found on all other Glock models, the HiViz LiteWave front sight will work. The LiteWave is a green fiber optic sight for the Glock 42. It has a skeletonized exterior to protect the pipe. Since it does not use tritium, it is much less expensive than many of the other alternatives.
Israeli company Meprolight knows how to design night sights for combat purposes. The Tru-Dot night sights clam to be the brightest on the market, though I have no way of proving that one way or another. The down side is I don’t know if these are available in the US market yet. I cannot seem to find them for sale anywhere.
Possibly the biggest name in night sights is Trijicon. This company makes two different night sight sets for the Glock 42: the Bright & Tough and the HD. Let me explain what each one is.
The Bright & Tough sights are a standard three-dot configuration. White rings outline tritium vials. I’ve had many a handgun equipped with these sights, and they’ve always been tough as nails. While I’ve found these are adequately bright, I like the HD sights much more.
In an effort to make the front sight stand out more in the stress of a self-defense situation, Trijicon reworked the night sight concept with the HD line. These sights have a large front sight that has a tritium vial in the center for low light conditions. Surrounding the vial is a large circle of bright orange or bright yellow. In daylight or twilight conditions, these large, bright swaths of color will be easier to pick up.
For the rear sight, Trijicon widened the notch to make it a large U. This is also designed to help people get rounds quickly and accurately on target. The outlines around the rear tritium vials have been removed to help keep the focus on the front sight.
TruGlo has an interesting variety of sights that are really worth considering. The first is the basic Brite-Site line of night sights. These are basic tritium sights similar to the Trijicon Bright & Tough line above. Nothing fancy, but they work.
With the TFO line, things really start to get interesting. TFO stands for “tritium and fiber optic,” which describes how these are built. TruGlo starts with a tritium vial and then stacks a fiber optic rod on top of it. The fiber optic rod gathers the light from the tritium vial and adds ambient light to create a very bright aiming point.
I’ve tried these on a Glock 19, and let me tell you, they are bright! Compared to standard night sights, these are much easier to see in both daylight and night time conditions.
The final sight set from TruGlo for the G42 is the TFX handgun sights. The TFX uses the same idea behind the TFO sights, but improves the ruggedness of the package. The TFX sights are a much better choice for police officers, security guards and anyone who does a lot of training. They cost a little more, but add a lot of additional strength to the design.
Vickers Elite/Wilson Combat
Larry Vickers and Wilson Combat teamed up to produce a number of sight options for the Glock 42. Front and rear sights are sold independent of each other, not in sets. For a rear sight, Wilson Combat offers a plain black sight and another sight with tritium inserts.
Front sight options are a bit more varied. The company sells a plain black front sight, plus models with:
- a gold bead
- tritium insert
- green fiber optic rod
- red fiber optic rod
Pricing varies quite a bit depending on what models you want to pick up.
XS Sight Systems uses a concept called express sights for their Glock 42 pistol sights. The company offers two different models that use the same basic design. The front sight is a fairly typical post with a tritium vial and a bright white outline. The rear sight is a shallow notch. The idea is the front sight can be quickly acquired in a self-defense situation.
The standard model uses a front sight that has a white outline that I find to be more pronounced than that on other standard night sight sets from competing companies. The Big Dot model uses a significantly larger sight and white outline for maximum visibility. People with vision that is deteriorating will definitely appreciate the visibility of the Big Dot sight.
Some people express concerns that these sights are not accurate at long distances. I’ve found that most of the people making this claim have never shot a gun with these sights before. The alignment concept is slightly different from that of a notch rear sight, but they are just as accurate as anything else on the market.