It isn’t often that we take a second look at a gun, and basically never happens if that gun has a $200 price tag. But business as usual is right out the door with the SCCY DVG-1 we recently reviewed. Look, custom shop $3000 subcompacts are cool, we get that. But we also understand that many, many people today can’t budget that. Especially in a crumbling economy and an uncertain future, and with the gun market turned absolutely upside down to boot.
It is also extremely uncommon that we start looking into accessories for a gun at this price level. However, we once again see a big time need. Just because you are carrying a gun that doesn’t cost as much as a used Honda Civic doesn’t mean you don’t have upgrade options. And while the sights that come standard on the DVG-1 are fine, you may want a little something extra.
We mentioned in our initial review that the DVG-1 has a cut that accepts Glock 43 style sights. Another huge built in benefit, as G43 sights are prolific. Which also gives us a great opportunity to test out some options from our friends over at XS Sights. XS is a leader in the Night Sights world, with far-ranging options for everything from suppressor height tritium’s to shotguns. XS has two new options for this year which we wanted to test anyway. The DVG-1 presented the perfect storm to do a two for one.
First up is the Minimalist Orange set. So new, in fact, that the only place I could find them was the XS store on Amazon. (Call XS to order them, don’t give Bezos his cut.) The minimalist is something I have wanted to see for a very long time in Tritiums, not to mention it is the lowest priced set of real Tritium sights I have seen to date. At a retail price of $54.00, these won’t break the bank if you are already short on funds.
How do they do it? Simple. Only the front is tritium, the set has a plain black rear. Which in my opinion is absolutely fine. I have shot at night more than most people have, like training people to do just that was part of my job in the Army. The Army throws artillery shells on its bigger Forts near nightly, there is no shut down for noise ordinances after sleepy time. And in a lot of experimentation, I learned this. There is not much difference, if any, in having just a tritium front vs having rear sight glowing dots as well. When you are at realistic self-defense ranges, say under 7 meters, that difference is close to zero. A glowing rear might give you an edge at 25 meters in the pitch black, but that would be an extremely uncommon pistol shot for a soldier, much less a street-fighting citizen.
The real advantage of the minimalist sight isn’t even that the front glows. I do like that feature, but let’s be honest. The most important reason for a glowing front is finding your gun in the dark, and the second most important is to have a sight you can see in low light. But fights happen in the day, as does almost ALL training. And the minimalist incorporates the new school approach of an extremely bright “day glow” orange ring around the tritium center. The front sight is the same width as the factory SCCY, but the notch in the rear is slightly wider. Which gives you more light gap around the front sight, which I find faster to acquire for snapshots. This means that not only does the minimalist give you a fully functional night sight, it gives you a superior daytime set of irons. For $54.
How did they manage that? $54 is the same price or cheaper than many fiber optics or just steel sight sets. The only thing I can think is volume. XS Sights makes an insane number of sight sets every year, as one of the well-established industry leaders for decades. With that kind of production capability, you can turn out sights at a very low margin. And the margin on these sights has to be razor thin. This is the best deal going in sights, and I will be picking up a set for several of my other guns. Price, I will admit, has kept many of my handguns from getting a proper set of night sights. At $54, that changes drastically.
Next up is the DXT2, the latest version of the sights that made XS famous. That would be the legendary Big Dot sights in…pink? Yes. In fact, you can get any of XS photoluminescent sights in pink if you call and special order them. What started as an awareness bit for Breast Cancer has taken on a life of its own. The pink option is cool, but even more cool in Big Dot configuration.
The Big Dot sights look a bit odd compared to most handgun iron sights, and they are. With an aptly named VERY large round front an incredibly shallow rear V, many shooters may be wondering if and how they work. The heritage may be lost on most American shooters, but would be obvious to anyone that has hunted in Africa. Most African hunting rifles use a similar setup, often known and an Express sight. It is widely held as the fastest of all iron sights, which matters a lot when an Elephant is charging from 10 yards. XS has scaled this principle down to handgun sized, where it still holds true.
All one has to do is snap the big dot into the center of the rear shallow V, or on the “stick” part of the rear, making a lollipop type sight picture. Then pull the trigger. While it might not be the most accurate method, one cannot deny it is fast. It has the added benefit of also being very fast in the dark, as the huge glowing front sight is hard to miss. With practice, you can still hit at a distance. But out of the box, the Big Dot sights are very hard to beat for defensive ranges. If you have never tried a set of Big Dots, I recommend it highly. I had my first set on a Glock 19 almost two decades ago, and I am a fan.
Both of these options are great for the SCCY DVG-1, or really anything else you need to sight up. XS carries sights for nearly every handgun on the market, and at a price that won’t break the bank. The new minimalists are a huge leap forward for bargain sights, and the Big Dots offer something you probably haven’t seen. Either is available directly from XS, or at your favorite retailer.
is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com