Back in October of 2020, the good folks over at XS Sights came across my first impressions review of a Heckler & Koch VP9 with a Trijicon RMR and reached out to me asking if I would be interested in reviewing a set of their minimalist RMR height sights. The context was that at the time I was unable to find any aftermarket suppressor height sights for the optic ready VP9 variant. There were some suppressor height options for the VP9. However, the optics ready variant had a different dovetail footprint for the factory sights. Either way, I accepted their offer and they sent me a set which sat in a workbench drawer for close to a year.
I have plenty of excuses to rationalize why it took me so long. The main reason was that at the time I had developed an opinion that anything other completely blacked out suppressor height sights were not a good idea in combination with a pistol mounted red dot sights (RDS). Let me explain. One of the benefits of pistol mounted RDS is that the shooter can remain target focused which makes it easier for a shooter to shoot targets accurately faster or at longer distances. This benefit led me to believe that a high visibility front sight could potentially pull the shooter’s focus away from the target to the front sight and therefore slow the shooter down. Additionally, two of three types of RDS failures render backup traditional sights unusable. As a result, I kept putting off installing these sights which include a high visibility front sight until about three months ago.
I feel bad about that procrastination since XS Sights sent me a set of sights in good faith with the expectation of a review that has taken me an unreasonable long time to get to regardless of my reasons. For that, I apologize.
So what changed? Why did I install the sights? Especially, when I had a firm opinion that a high visibility front sight combined with a RDS was a bad idea. Besides the growing guilt of the overdue review, I had several discussions with instructors over the past year regarding my opinions. Some could understand my point of view, but they pretty much all disagreed with my opinion and they all suggested I give them a try. And thus, here we are.
Enough background and context, let’s talk about the sights.
For $111 MSRP, the Minimalist Tritium Night Sights includes a suppressor height front sight, a suppressor height rear sight, red thread locking compound, and a set of installation instructions.
The front sight is a post with a tritium insert that is placed in the center of a large orange dot. The rear sight is a blacked out serrated notch style sight. The high visibility front post with a serrated blacked out rear notch is my preferred combination for pistol sights as it allows the shooter to quickly pick up the front sight for shooting quickly at larger or nearer targets while still allowing a shooter to easily achieve great sight alignment and spacing for precise shooting at smaller or longer distance targets.
Installation is relatively easy assuming one has the right tools and can follow the 10 step included instructions. The tools required include a non-marring punch, q-tips, a fine file or emery paper, a vise, and alcohol (or other degreaser). Using a sight pusher is not recommended. I didn’t have all the right tools and rather than using the sight pusher I had in hand, I decided to take the VP9 and the sights to my local gunsmith who knocked out the installation in a few minutes.
Using the sights to shoot the VP9 turned out to be a sublime experience. Every expectation was met with ease. The front sight was easy to pick up and I was able to easily acquire the necessary sight alignment and spacing for precision shooting. I have absolutely zero to complain about there.
What I found surprising was how quickly these sights changed my opinion about high visibility front sight interference with RDS. I did not experience any noticeable visual focus changes and the timed drills I’ve run using the RDS with these sights installed have been comparably identical to the time drills I ran prior to installing the sights. In fact, I actually noticed one additional benefit (which I suspect would also be present with blacked out suppressor height sights) that has now helped me form the opinion that all pistols with RDS should also have suppressor height sights installed. That benefit is that it can help one find the dot faster when a fast draw results in a less than perfect presentation because one can use the sights to adjust the angle of presentation.
As of writing this review, these are the only suppressor height sights in the market that I am aware of for the optic ready VP9 variants. The optics ready VP9L and the optics ready VP9 Tactical do include suppressor height sights from the factory, but I have been unable to find them for sale by themselves (granted I haven’t called HK to see if they can be ordered directly from them). Either way, I found the XS Sights Minimalist Tritium Night Sights to be fantastic and can recommend them without hesitation. In fact, I liked them so much that I personally ordered a second set that I will be installing on a VP9 Match I got my hands on recently (more on that gun soon).