XS Sights is known for their fast acquisition Big Dot sights. XS has come out with a more conventional night sight called the F8. These F8 sights combine the fastness of the “big dot” with the sight picture of a standard sight. When they first came out about a year ago, I was on the list for a review sample.
First thing one notices on the F8’s is the big orange dot front sight. Inside this orange ring is a green tritium dot. The orange ring makes it extremely easy to pick up the front sight with the eye. Besides the glow from the tritium, the F8’s orange dot is photoluminescent and can be “charged” up with a flashlight, or other bright light. The white glow, from charging the front sight, lasts a few minutes. I even charged the dot up when just using my handheld flashlight, while dry firing with both the light and pistol. It just happened to get enough spill over to illuminate the dot. The tritium is also very bright, but more on that later.
The rear sight uses the standard square notch style. This pairs nicely with the front sight. XS uses what they call a “wide notch rear”. This wider notch allows for more light on each side of the post, aiding in quicker pick up of the front sight. I really like this style of system. I tend to like narrower front posts and a wider rear. The F8 rear does this, but with a wider front post. More light on each side of the front sight picture is faster for me also. The tritium is a single dot below the notch of the rear sight. This is to give a dot over dot sight picture, or figure eight, as some call it. This is where the “8” in F8 comes into play. The rear sight is also very square shaped, with a slight angled overhang on the back side. Angling the rear sight slightly helps to reduce glare in certain lighting conditions. The squared shape also gives plenty of real estate for one handed slide manipulation. Another thing that is nice about the rear sight, it is all black with only the one tritium insert.
I installed these on an aftermarket G17 slide. Installation was straight forward enough. XS provides a front sight tool and threadlocker in the box. The front sight was a little loose in the oval hole. I would have like it tighter. So what happens when you overtighten a screw, it breaks off in the first few rounds. XS has one of the best warranties in the business. I emailed them, and a few days later a new front sight showed up. Free of charge. So I followed the instructions perfectly for the new installation. A few months later, and hundreds of rounds, at a match, the front sight breaks off again. I emailed XS and even sent a video of when the sight fell off. I offered to buy a new one, NOPE. They sent me a shipping label to send the slide in for them to install the front sight! I have had no problems with the front sight since. They get a 10/10 for customer service. Now onto the rear. I coated the dovetail with XS’s threadlocker, slid the sight in, and tightened down the 2 set screws. I was done, and it hasn’t ever moved on me.
As a combined sight set, the F8’s really shine. They are slightly taller than most factory sights, which I like. But not so tall that they can be called suppressor sights. The front is 0.280” tall, and the rear is 0.300” tall. The tritium is super bright. I just love the sight picture I get. Everything needed for installation is in the package (threadlocker, sight tool, allen wrench). The height, along with the bright orange front, really does make them easy to get on target fast.
If you hadn’t guessed by now, I like these sights. XS Sights did a fantastic job with the F8’s. If you are in the market for some night sights, or just a really good sight, definitely go check out the F8’s. The warranty is also fantastic!
Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame:
Night sights with photoluminescent front sight
People wanting fast, easy to see sights
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
Orange color front ring around tritium
Glow dot front sight
0.160” front sight blade width
Wide, square notch rear sight
Rear sight ledge
10 year warranty
Figure eight sight picture
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?
Other handgun models
What others are saying?:
Imaposer on Amazon 5/5 stars
My favorite pistol sights of all time!
I absolutely LOVE these sights! I installed a set on my G19 last year. After using them a bit I decided that they were the best sights I'd even used on a defensive type handgun. Yes, they are larger than most. And for my eyes that along with the orange front sight ring makes them very fast to acquire. I've used XS Big Dots for years... since they were called Ashley Express Sights if that tells you anything. And while I always found them fast to acquire a flash sight picture with, I never felt that they offered much precision. Especially in terms of elevation. With the F8 on the other hand, I think they're just as fast. Maybe even faster since the more traditional sight picture gives me a very quick reference of elevation as well as equal light. While the Big Dot is quick to pick up, I often found myself losing time trying to get the front centered in the shallow rear trough and trying to get the front dot at just the right height above it... Just didn't work as well as the theory would suggest. For me at least.
A secondary thing that I like, other than the speed and visibility of these sights, is the rear sight. The height combined with the profile of the leading edge makes these the easiest sight I've ever used to do one handed manipulations with. I can easily run the slide on my belt, boot heel, table top, edge of a door jamb, and just about any solid surface I can press the rear sight against. And much more securely than any other I've used. Speed of acquisition and precision is obviously the primary focus of sights for me, but this is an added bonus, IMO.
This review is for the second set of these that I've purchased as since using them on the G19 I decided to put them on my new G43. And now I've considering replacing the Big Dots on a couple of other pistols, and an almost brand new set of Truglo TFX Pros on another, with these as well. Yes! I like these that much! And currently there's nothing else on the market I'd even consider buying.
Link to other reviews:
MSRP = $142.00
Retail = $127.80 on Amazon
I need it now! Availability:
Easy to pick up front sight
Good sight picture
Everything needed is in the package (Allen wrench, loctite, front sight tool)
Wide front blade
Tritium washes out (a fault of all tritium sights)
Loose fit on front sight
Score: 8.5 Great
9.5 for customer service
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