Prepare for the Night
Paid promotional consideration made possible by HIVIZ
If you asked me whether I’d rather find myself in a self-defense encounter during the day or night, I’d 100% select day. Now, there are outlying factors, but I have more confidence during daylight hours, and confidence is king when it comes to nighttime self-defense encounters. However, if I do find myself defending my life at night, I better be damn sure I trust my gear.
If you wouldn’t choose a daylight encounter, you must have the outlying factors that I was thinking about. You are all set with your night vision gear or thermal optics ready for the attack. We’d be fools not to take that situation. I’m a planner and like to envision how an attack would happen. I’ve taken the Clint Smith approach and imagined everything going wrong. I then can think of how I would react and train based off that logic. It has helped immensely because I train what I suck at, which typically includes support-hand only drills and lots of malfunction drills.
A while back I was struck with a lightbulb moment as I lay in bed. If I was in a deep sleep and an attack came, would I be able to locate my pistol? I’ve thought about it before, but I never took it any further until I was jolted from my slumber as a storm passed through. It wasn’t an intruder, thankfully. Instead, it was a wake-up call. I immediately sprung up and looked at the bedside table where I lay my gun each night. I wouldn’t have been able to grasp the grip. It was pitch black.
The GLOCK G19 is a great bedside gun. It has a red dot and light to illuminate the whole block if needed. I have suppressor-height sights on it, but they are straight black. There is no tritium on the gun, which is a problem. One that I had just realized and needed to fix. This gave me a new excuse to buy more gear, which I’m sure my wife was thrilled about.
To be honest, I’ve never changed the sights on a handgun before. I’m not scared to dive headfirst into a project. Most of my guns that have night sights on them came pre-installed without need of a gunsmith. That is pretty darn easy, but I wanted the experience so I could fully customize my firearms.
The first step in building confidence to engage in a nighttime attack is equipping your gun with the right gear. My G19 is well equipped with the right tools, but if for some reason my red dot went down, I’d be in big trouble without night sights.
I reached out to HIVIZ to outfit my G43X with day/night sights. I distinctly remember years ago not having the option to go with sights that would burn as bright during the night as they would in the day. That’s why I landed on the Lightwave H3 sight, which combines fiber optic and tritium to produce 24 hours of visibility. Not to mention, it’s housed in an all steel housing. So, if I jam my sights on the edge of a table or something similar to clear a malfunction, I wouldn’t damage the internals.
I set out to install the sights in my garage with the Real Avid Master Sight Pusher. Don’t forget, this was the first time I’d attempted to change my defensive handgun sights. I couldn’t understand why I’d waited so long to make this change. It was a simple swap with the Sight Pusher.
The old sights slid out easily and the HIVIZ Lightwave H3 went in even easier. Now that I think of it, I didn’t encounter an issue. Typically, when I start a project I end up shuttling back and forth to the hardware store at least a half dozen times. That wasn’t the case here.
Before I began utilizing the gun as a nighttime option for self-defense, I had to shoot it a bunch. On the range, I was shocked how bright the fiber optic coursing through the Lightwave H3 was. When the gun springs up to eye level my eye catches the three illuminated dots immediately. I come to expect that with fiber optic cables from my archery sight. I came into one issue however. I forgot to apply Locktite on the front sight before shooting. This was a problem that was easily fixed. Other than that, the range day went perfectly.
The gun is now dialed in and ready for nighttime use. The proof came when I eagerly awaited lights out and I could see the glow of the Tritium dot guiding my hand in the dark of night. This was a long overdue change that I knew needed to be done. All it took was one night of storms to realize the importance of illuminated sights on my defensive handgun. ~ KJ
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.