Tritium sights 10 years later - Kimber Forum

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Old 01-03-2015, 09:31 PM   #1
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Tritium sights 10 years later

I bought a Micro CDP today with tritium sights. I also have a 10 year old Stainless TLE II with tritium sights. Here they are side by side. The front sights are close to each other.



Here are the new sights


And the old


Now, these were taken with a cell phone camera. It had a hard time focusing. So, the images are a little worse than real life. However, you can see a real difference after 10 years. The half life of tritium is 12.3 years, which means in that amount of time, the sights should be half as bright. I've been thinking for a couple of years now that I need to replace these sights.

Both guns were NIB when I bought them. These TLE II sights have degraded more than I expected. I can see them, but it is hard to pick out the front sight. Having said that, I just checked and replacement sights are only $129. Meprolight covers these for 12 years.

Are these still usable? Yes, they are.

Are they satisfactory? Not anymore. They look they have lost more than half of their brightness.

Do I care? Not really, I got good use from them. I'd rather have bright sights than split hairs over what is useable.

I was curious when I bought this gun as to how long they would last. I think what I'll do now is put my sights on a 8 year replacement cycle. That's when I first started to really notice they were getting dim. As I've said, they are still useable, but they are no longer satisfactory. I'll keep the old sights and watch them as they fade over the years. It will be interesting to see what they look like in 2 more years, which will be the warranty expiration.
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Last edited by LinckG; 01-03-2015 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:34 PM   #2
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Good info. Thanks for the pics.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LinckG View Post
I bought a Micro CDP today with tritium sights. I also have a 10 year old Stainless TLE II with tritium sights. Here they are side by side. The front sights are close to each other.



Here are the new sights


And the old


Now, these were taken with a cell phone camera. It had a hard time focusing. So, the images are a little worse than real life. However, you can see a real difference after 10 years. The half life of tritium is 12.3 years, which means in that amount of time, the sights should be half as bright. I've been thinking for a couple of years now that I need to replace these sights.

Both guns were NIB when I bought them. These TLE II sights have degraded more than I expected. I can see them, but it is hard to pick out the front sight. Having said that, I just checked and replacement sights are only $129. Meprolight covers these for 12 years.

Are these still usable? Yes, they are.

Are they satisfactory? Not anymore. They look they have lost more than half of their brightness.

Do I care? Not really, I got good use from them. I'd rather have bright sights than split hairs over what is useable.

I was curious when I bought this gun as to how long they would last. I think what I'll do now is put my sights on a 8 year replacement cycle. That's when I first started to really notice they were getting dim. As I've said, they are still useable, but they are no longer satisfactory. I'll keep the old sights and watch them as they fade over the years. It will be interesting to see what they look like in 2 more years, which will be the warranty expiration.
Have you thought about getting TruGlo TFO night sights? They have tritium for night shooting, and fiber optics for day shooting. I just put a set on my Pro CDP II and I really like them. You can have the best of both worlds.



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Old 01-03-2015, 10:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Have you thought about getting TruGlo TFO night sights? They have tritium for night shooting, and fiber optics for day shooting. I just put a set on my Pro CDP II and I really like them. You can have the best of both worlds.
I'll take a look at that. In the daytime, they are basically white dot sights like my non-tritium pistols. I do have a fiber optic sight on my shotgun and love it. I might try those on my Glock 10mm first to see if I like them.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:13 PM   #5
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Seems pretty normal to me. I've never had a set of Meps last 10 years. I've gotten pretty good at swapping them out.
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:42 PM   #6
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Wink My 2 Cents Worth!!

The night sights on Kimber pistols are made by Meprolight. I am not sure what they will do about replacing worn out tritium vials on their sights. However, I do know that Trijicon will replace worn out tritium vials on their sights. The cost is about half the cost of replacing the sights all together. Of course you have to send the slide to Trijicon to have the work done. I just sent them a question asking if they just sell the vials and provide instructions for replacing them. Will update when they answer back.

I have Trijicon sights on three different pistols. They were all installed last year. So, in about 8 or 9 years, I will be having a replacement party!! Whether I'm doing it or they are remains to be seen!!!


UPDATE: Here is the response I got from Trijicon---

"Thank you for your interest in Trijicon products. The tritium lamps are federally regulated and not available outside of finished sights. You are welcome to send the sights to us for service at $57 for a 3 dot set. Use the following link to obtain return authorization, and contact us if we can assist in another capacity."
https://www.trijicon.com/na_en/suppo...horization.php

Much cheaper than replacing the sights.
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