One of the complaints I hear voiced most about the Glock pistols is . . . “Man!! I hate their sights!!!!!!” Honestly, I’ve always like the white “basket” on the rear sight combined with the white “ball” on the front blade. Put the “ball in the basket” and all is good in the world. Yes – I know they’re plastic. But . . . I like ‘em.
That said, there are a few things that moved me in the direction of changing them. First, my eyes “ain’t what they used to be”. I have great distance vision. But, move my point of focus to fully extended arms holding my Glock 17 – let’s just say things get a bit fuzzy. So, I was looking for a front sight that was a bit more “dramatic”. Second, the stock plastic rear sight is simply not capable of any type of weapon manipulation against a holster, belt, shoe heal, sharp edge or anything else for that matter. The forward edge is gently sloped and offers no point of purchase. Why would this even be important? Using a rear sight that can be hooked on some edge to manipulate the slide has become one option should you end up with a single arm to use during an encounter.
While there are a number of options available I settled on the AmeriGlo GL-444 rear claw set with a Trijicon H3-11 front blade. The rear sight is milled steel and has a slight curve on its forward face. This allows it to grip belts, holster edges, heels or other firm edges to allow its use to rack the slide using a single hand.
It also has an enlarged, square opening providing quicker front blade acquisition.
The Trijicon H3-11 front blade is a large square that settles nicely in the enlarged rear sight notch. It also has a Tritium-Phosphor gas filled lamp providing better front blade acquisition whether in daylight, low light or no light conditions. Just the thing I was looking for to help my eyes find the front blade quicker and easier.
A word about changing sights on your semi-automatic pistols . . . This is not a rear sight changing and adjustment tool!
The thought of taking a mallet and punch to my slide simply makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. My Uncle Ted was the one who always talked about the “proper tool for the job”. And in removing and replacing a rear sight on my Glock 17 there is, indeed a proper tool. Made by the Maryland Gun Works it’s purpose is to push the rear sight out of its notch and to push the new one into its proper place.
Here you can see my Glock 17 slide properly mounted in the pusher tool. There is a plate that fits into the slide’s rail insuring the slide is firmly clamped into place and that it is not squeezed together while the old rear sight is removed and the new on is then pushed into place.
You can also see the newly installed front blade as well as the much larger notch in the rear sight.
Removal and replacement of the rear sight went very smooth and took mere moments to accomplish.
Here you can see the old sight combination as well as the front sight wrench and the Loctite “Blue” 242.
You can see the very small bolt on the bottom of the old front blade. The small wrench on the left is used to remove it and then the front blade pops out. It is then replaced with the new front blade and a small amount of BLUE Loctite 242 is dabbed on the threads to hold it in place. This is a medium strength adhesive and will hold the bolt in place while the slide cycles but is not so strong that the bolt would be damaged should you decide to change it out again later. Looking at the inside of the slide you can see the small bolt that is holding the front blade in place.
This process also went very easily.
The result so far is quite good. I can pick up the front blade much easier and at standard defensive distances out to 10 yards the accuracy is definitely there.
Bottom line – don’t change your sights because everyone tells you to. But, if you have a specific reason to change, if you are looking to resolve an issue that has come up for you . . . take your time, do some shopping, read the reviews and find something that works for you.
I’ll be posting some range trips with these sights in the coming months and will let you know how well they have worked for me.