7 Best 1911 Sights for Handgun in 2020
There are many factors that one can credit with the ever-increasing popularity of the 1911 handgun. However, the many aesthetic and functional refinements that the manufacturers are always making are probably the key ones. And you can also make your own refinements with the best 1911 sights.
With a good 1911 sight on your handgun, it is easy to get top-notch performance out of it as you can aim and shoot more accurately. And regardless of the model that you own, there are many sight options available for you.
In our detailed guide below we review some of the top-rated 1911 sights in the market and highlight some important points you need to know when shopping for one.
7 Best 1911 Sights – Review
1. Meprolight ML19810 (Best Overall)
2. Truglo TG231K (Best Budget)
3. Trijicon CA128Y (Sufficiently-Lighted for Tactical Use)
4. Kensight Defense Adjustable 1911 Sight (Conveniently Adjustable Low-Profile Sight)
5. Trijicon CA02 (Unbeatable Nighttime Shooting Accuracy)
6. Dawson Precision GSG 1911 Sight (Easy to Install Light with Great Visibility)
7. Truglo TFO Tritium And Fiber Optic 1911 Sight (Reliable with Tritium & Fiber Optics)
1. Meprolight ML19810
2. Truglo TG231K
3. Trijicon CA128Y
(Sufficiently-Lighted for Tactical Use)
4. Kensight Defense Adjustable 1911 Sight
(Conveniently Adjustable Low-Profile Sight)
5. Trijicon CA02
(Unbeatable Nighttime Shooting Accuracy)
6. Dawson Precision GSG 1911 Sight
(Easy to Install Light with Great Visibility)
7. Truglo TFO Tritium And Fiber Optic 1911 Sight
(Reliable with Tritium and Fiber Optics)
1. Meprolight ML19810 – Best Overall
- Material: Steel
- Weight: 0.16 ounce
- Dimensions: 4.4 x 8.6 x 0.7 inches
For those that think they will do most of their shooting in low light conditions, this Meprolight 1911 sight will be a great buy.
However, it also offers consistently illuminated aiming points that help to make both day and night targeting easy. And you can be confident that the illumination will last for a long time as it comes with a 12-year warranty for this.
The tough steel housing is both shot and impact-resistant to ensure the sight remains in peak performance and also for durability.
This rugged 1911 sight will install fast and easily and will not require any gunsmithing or maintenance further making it even more convenient.
The fact that this sight is not adjustable can be a major drawback in some instances but most users will not find any need for adjustment provided they set it correctly.
2. Truglo TG231K – Best Budget 1911 Sight
- Material: CNC-machined steel
- Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Dimensions: 5.8 x 3.8 x 1 inches
If you are on the hunt for the best 1911 night sight something that uses tritium like this Truglo sight is always the best options.
It is the cheapest item on our 1911 sight reviews, and so it is also a good choice for those that are shopping on a tight budget.
The sight is made from CNC-machined steel to make it rugged enough to handle regular use and to ensure you do not have to replace the sight for many years.
Besides the unmatched visibility at night and in low light conditions, this sight can also be useful for daylight shooting but it is still not as good for this as the fiber optic types.
Also, the sight has a fortress finish coating for maximum protection, a snag-resistant design that will fit all standard holsters, and it uses Swiss tritium to ensure maximum brightness.
This top rated 1911 sight comes with a 12-year limited warranty which is a good indication that it will last for a long time.
For daylight shooting, this sight might not be very good but it makes up for this with its superior low light performance.
3. Trijicon CA128Y – Sufficiently-Lighted Sight for Tactical Use
- Material: Steel
- Weight: 0.8 ounce
Trijicon makes their CA128Y 1911 tactical sight for those that use the Novak low mount dovetail gun models. And it is a sufficiently-illuminated sight that will work well for different lighting conditions.
This 1911 sight is designed to address the needs of the tactical shooters, and it will feature a photoluminescent paint ring for the front sight aim point and a black outlined rear sight.
The rear sight also has a U-notch that helps to increase visibility even when shooting in transitional lighting and also speeds up front sight acquisition.
In addition to all this, the front surface of the rear sight comes in a steeply hooked design that helps in emergency one-handed slide operation. And it is also subdued to minimize glare.
When compared to other lights on our list, this one seems a little expensive but this is only because of its superior build quality and performance.
4. Kensight Defense Adjustable 1911 Sight – Conveniently Adjustable Low-Profile Sight
- Material: 4140 Chrome-moly steel
- Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 3 inches
Adjustable sights offer more versatility and also make it is easier to set up a more accurate shot. This Kiensight 1911 sight comes with a fully adjustable rear sight that allows you to adjust both the windage and elevation.
And the sight also comes in a low-profile design with a thoroughly dehorned exterior with no sharp edges that can catch on clothing or cut hands when drawing. This makes it a great option for your concealed carry pistol
The partially serrated slanted blade on the rear sight helps to reduce glare. And there are also highly visible white dots on either side of the notch to help focus the shooter's attention towards the front sight.
This Kensight sight will fit most 1911 handgun models and it is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
For some dovetail slots you will need to do a lot of milling but this should not be a big deal as it is quite easy and fast.
5. Trijicon CA02 – Unbeatable Nighttime Shooting Accuracy
- Material: Aluminum
- Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 6.5 inches
Accuracy when shooting at night is always a big problem for many people but this 3-dot 1911 sight by Trijicon can help to change this.
It is designed to help increase night shooting accuracy by up to five times of what you would get when using the regular handgun sights. But, this gun sight will still work well for daytime shooting.
This top rated 1911 sight comes with lamps capped in sapphire jewel to ensure even distribution of light and to protect them from solvents or puncturing. And everything is contained in tough and durable aluminum housing.
Also, the lamps are mounted on silicon rubber cushions that help to withstand the shock and heavy recoil that comes with firing your firearm. This high-quality sight will fit most 1911 handgun models, colt government, and many others.
The higher price tag might be a turn off for some 1911 handgun owners but like with other sight types the price is often a reflection of the quality.
6. Dawson Precision GSG 1911 Sight – Easy to Install Light with Great Visibility
- Material: CNC-machined steel
- Weight: 0.8 ounce
Dawson Precision has been making gun sights for long enough to understand that most gun owners will always prioritize convenience and ease of installation.
And with their GSG 1911 sight, they help to ensure both by providing all the necessary tools that you need to install the sight, and some detailed and easy-to-follow instructions.
It ranks highly among the best fiber optic sights in the market, and it comes with contrasting colors for the rear and front sights to ensure great visibility.
The front sight has a red illumination while the rear sight is green. This contrast can be very useful as it will help you focus on the front sight.
This 1911 sight is CNC machined to offer great structural rigidity which is a crucial factor that most gun owners look for in a gun sight.
An adjustable sight always offers more versatility but with the superior performance that you get from this one you will hardly notice that it is fixed.
7. Truglo TFO Tritium And Fiber Optic 1911 Sight – Reliable Sight with Tritium and Fiber Optics
- Material: CNC-machined steel
- Weight: 2.4 ounces
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
Truglo is always a brand that you can trust to have the best fiber optic 1911 sight but they also have some like the TFO that combine both tritium and fiber optics.
The tritium and fiber optic combination means that this 1911 handgun sight will be ideal for use both during the day and at night or in any lighting conditions.
It is also made from CNC-machined steel to make it highly durable and with the fortress finish coating to offer maximum protection.
The fiber optic on this handgun sight is concealed to make sure that the target cannot see it, and is also snag-resistant for comfortable drawing. And it will fit most standard holsters.
You will also get a 12-year limited warranty from Truglo for this 1911 sight, and it is relatively easy to install when you compare it with others out there.
The rear sight seems a little taller for some 1911 models but for a majority of models it is still good enough.
How to Buy the Best 1911 Sights
Besides going for a sight from one of those highly reputable manufacturer, you also need to keep the following vital points in mind.
1. Competition vs. Self-Defense Sights
1911 sights will come in different types and they will in most instances be categorized according to the intended purpose of the gun.
And based on this classification, the two most common types are the 1911 competition sights and the 1911 self-defense sights.
Competition sights are what you need to have on your handgun if you intend to use it for target shooting competitions. These sights are designed to be easy to use and most are also highly adjustable.
And just like the handgun, the design of the competition sights has also been advancing over the years. With the best 1911 sights for target shooting, you can now be confident of more convenience and easier handling thanks to their more refined design.
Competition sights will also be more angular and with finer tolerance, and this features help to make them more suitable for shooting competitions.
Self-defense sights are designed for use in 1911 handguns that are meant for general self-defense purposes. And they are generally rigid and low key in most instances.
These 1911 sights also offer greater visibility regardless of the lighting conditions, and this is because users cannot be certain what time of day they will need to draw and use their handgun.
One of the greatest benefits of these 1911 sights is that they are easy to maintain. But, these sights are only meant for self-defense and so do not expect them to perform well for bullseye shooting or competitions.
It is always important to decide how you intend to use your sights (or your gun) before you go out to buy one as this will affect your buying decision.
First, you need to determine whether the purpose of your 1911 handgun sight is for use in shooting competitions or you want something for your self-defense 1911 handgun. And this is because there are different types of sights for these different purposes.
Also, you need to decide whether you want a sight for use during the day, night or both. While some sights like Truglo TG231K are designed for use in any light conditions, the illumination on some only makes them useful either at night or during the day.
3. Front Sight
The front sight profile is another key element to consider when shopping for a high-quality 1911 sight. Most will comes with a semi-ramp profile which represents a clear sight picture. But there are also other less common options such as full ramp and undercut target sights.
Also, some sights will have a smooth front face while others will have ridged serrations that help to reduce glare off the front sight which makes these types great for outdoor shooting.
For the front sight, you will also need to choose between plain black, tritium and fiber optics. Go for plain black sights for target shooting, tritium if you want something for night shooting and fiber optics is the best for daylight shooting
4. Rear Sight
The rear sight also has a crucial role to play and your 1911 sight would not be complete without it. When it comes to the rear sight, the options are two-dot sights, bars and boxes, and plain black.
- Two-dot rear sights are the most common and also the most popular option because they are easy to use and they will produce consistent accuracy. However, they can still cause visual distractions for speed shooting.
- Bars and boxes are known to increase visual distractions which makes them hard to line up for speed shooting or when under stress. But, they have a cool tactical look.
- Plain black rear sights are designed to offer a simple solution where speed is the main concern. Because they do not offer any visual distractions, the shooter can focus on the front sight for fast shooting. However, accuracy can be a major issue when using them.
5. Ease of Use
Even if you buy the most expensive 1911 sight, it will not serve you well if it comes in a complex design that makes it hard to use.
The best sights are often the easiest to use or those that make target acquisition a simple and fast process like the Trijicon CA128Y.
Competition sights are in many instances the easiest to use but there are also many self-defense ones that do not take a lot of effort to install and use.
Getting the best 1911 sights should be easy with our detailed reviews above for recommendations. And you can be sure you will have a high-quality sight regardless of the option you choose.
However, the Truglo TG231K is our recommendations for 1911 handgun shooters that are shopping for something more budget friendly.
But, the Meprolight ML19810 is our top recommendation as it offers superior low light performance, tough steel housing and is also straightforward to install.
- 7 Best 1911 Sights – Review
- 1. Meprolight ML19810 – Best Overall
- 2. Truglo TG231K – Best Budget 1911 Sight
- 3. Trijicon CA128Y – Sufficiently-Lighted Sight for Tactical Use
- 4. Kensight Defense Adjustable 1911 Sight – Conveniently Adjustable Low-Profile Sight
- 5. Trijicon CA02 – Unbeatable Nighttime Shooting Accuracy
- 6. Dawson Precision GSG 1911 Sight – Easy to Install Light with Great Visibility
- 7. Truglo TFO Tritium And Fiber Optic 1911 Sight – Reliable Sight with Tritium and Fiber Optics
- How to Buy the Best 1911 Sights