10 Steps: Installing Night Sights in your Pistol

Sights are the only part worth replacing in a standard Glock pistol. Fumbling with other parts isn’t just unnecessary, it often leads to malfunctions. You know what they say about fixing that which is not broken. Also, sights are the weak point in the Glock due to being made of plastic and relatively fragile. During torture tests where Glocks are put through hell, the part that often breaks and does so before all others are the sights. Throw a Glock form a plane or car driving at 80 mph? No problem, but the front sight is likely to pop off.

To make it indeed perfect you need steel sights, and the tritium inserts are a nice addition too. Don’t go for sloped snag-free rear sights, go for square ones. It’s quite important for the rear sight to snag on your belt or clothing during single handed reloading and failure resolution drills.

This is a short video explaining how to install night sights, in this case Meprolights. This is one of those things people often ask someone else to do but if you can get around to do it yourself that’s much better. It often happens that dovetails get chipped or bent, tritium tubes break during installation. This has little to do with the quality of reputable products and everything to do with sights getting forced, sometimes hammered into place by gunshop employees with little patience and even less experience. Better to take the time and do it yourself:

1) Buy the night sights. Since you’re changing them get good ones, with tritium inserts. Which one to buy? Some people like XS Big Dots, but I honestly didn’t like them much. I get it that the “golf ball” front sight is very visible, but to me it just gave up too much accuracy.  Good for an express rifle, not so good for a handgun. They are highly visible though, so if your eyes aren’t 100% they might be the right ones for you. I know some people are accurate with them too, not my case. I ended up with  Meprolights TruDot, and after testing them myself as well as several other shooters I can highly recommend them:

Meprolight Glock Tru-Dot Night Sight for 9mm, .357 Sig, .45 S and W . 45 GAP Orange Rear Sight with Green Front Sight - Fixed Set

Meprolight Glock Tru-Dot Night Sight for 9mm, .357 Sig, .45 S and W . 45 GAP Orange Rear Sight with Green Front Sight – Fixed Set

2) Put together the tools needed. Hammer, needle pliers, front sight Glock tool, alcohol, paper, vice or c-clamp, fine sandpaper, Loctite, mechanic pencil, ruler, plastic punch and a table to work.

3) If your sights are on target, then mark with the pencil their exact center in the pistol frame. This will be used as reference later so as to make centering the new sights easier. Use a fine mechanic pencil for greater precision.

4) Make another mark in the sights you are about to install in their exact center. This mark will be aligned with the one in the frame.

5) Remove the existing sights. In 3rd gen Glocks and older you just pull the front sight out easily with pliers. In the Gen4 they have a small hexagonal screw that requires the front sight Glock tool or fine needle point pliers. Use a vise or C-clamp with some paper so as to not scratch the frame and using a punch and light hammer taps remove the rear sight. I found that it came off easier in the older models.  The gen4 requires some intense hammering that destroyed the plastic rear sight.

6)Use alcohol and tissue paper to clean the surface where the new sights will be installed, make sure there’s no oil left. Carfeful not to remove the pencil marks.

7) Apply a drop of Loctite in the contact surface and install the front sight. Make sure the pencil marks are aligned before tightening the screw.

8)Test the rear sight, if it doesn’t slide in with a bit of hand pressure, place the sandpaper on a flat surface. Firmly holding the rear sight with its bottom against the sand paper slide it back and forth, then left and right five times. Try sliding it again into place. Repeat this process until it slides snuggly into place with hand pressure alone.  Dont rush it, and don’t overdo the sandpaper or it will fit too loose.

9) Once it slides into place, remove it, clean the area again with alcohol, let it dry, then add a drop of Loctite and slide until the two marks align.

10) Let the Loctite dry according to the product’s instructions before using. Usually 24 hs will do. Wipe clean any product that may have been smeared in the slide and you’re done.

Here’s the video:






10 Steps: Installing Night Sights in your Pistol — 6 Comments

  1. If you get a Glock Rear Sight Tool you don’t need to sand the rear sight. You simply press out the rear sight as you press the new one it. The sights are designed to compress slightly to fit tight into the slot on the slide. This is why you should never switch the sights to a different slide. (I am a Glock trained armorer).

    • The night sights I have installed are Trijicon not Meprolight I just double checked the instruction sheet for them and they do not require sanding. Let me qualify my earlier response that “Trijicon” night sights do not require sanding and compress when installed. I can provide a copy of the instructions if you desire.

      • Hi Bill, understood. If thats what it says, then that’s the right way to install them. I suppose the metal in the sights is amde so that it will asapt and not ruin the frame under such pressure. The Mepros and XS Big Dots, both say to use sand paper in their manual. The last Mepros I installed required a lot of material to be removed, I ended up using a dimond file. I woulndt have wanted to force that sucker into place!

  2. Leave it to the Internet to have random people arguing for no reason. Way to go Bill. You are a true inspiration to all of us. *rolleyes* Yes, it’s 4 years since your post but stupidity has no expiration.

    • ^^^ says the guy replying to a 4 year old post just to argue Lol.. bill was just stating a fact about trijicon sights not arguing. This thread is for informational purposes an your comment is pointless. Thanks bill for clarifying about the trijicon sights I will def choose them for my purchase of night sights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.