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XS Sights DXT2 Big Dot for the Smith & Wesson CSX: Full Review

See Your (Night) Sights

XS Sights DXT2 Big Dot for the Smith & Wesson CSX: Full Review

XS Sights provides the wrench necessary to loosen and tighten the small set screw on the factory and replacement rear sights. The standard S&W CSX sight system uses three white dots and a notch (far left). XS Sights offers its DXT2 Big Dot night sights with either orange or yellow Glow Dots for the front to nest within the rear V-notch. MSRP $144 (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

XS Sights has expanded its line of DXT2 night sights, the company’s flagship line, by making them compatible for the popular Smith & Wesson CSX 12-­plus-­one-capacity 9mm micro-­compact. XS Sights aimed to offer these platforms a large sight picture, quick target acquisition and low-­light functionality of an electronic dot-­style sight while keeping things analog.

The wide “V” notch of the rear sight keeps sightlines open and your focus ahead of it towards the front sight and the target area. The pronounced front sight — the largest on the market — gives an easy point to place on target. In low light conditions, a small amount of tritium glows in the center of both the front Glow Dot and the rear notch sights. These allows users to intuitively line up the front and rear sights in low-­light environments. It’s like “dotting the i,” as they say. Two colors are available for the front sight: Yellow, which appears to glow brighter in low light, and orange, which gives better contrast against backgrounds illuminated by natural light.

These attributes make XS Sights’ DXT2 a fantastic pairing with a compact pistol such as the CSX, or even larger pistols such as Smith & Wesson’s M&P series. When fired under stressful conditions, lining up a traditional pair of iron sights on a concealed carry pistol could result in inaccuracy or taking too much time when split-­seconds matter.

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(Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

Installation

Once the Allen-­head set screw has been loosened from the top of the rear sight, use either a sight-­adjustment tool or a gunsmith’s hammer and brass or nylon punch to remove the factory sight. The front sight can also be removed with a universal sight tool or a small hammer and punch, but work slowly because the CSX’s front dovetail is short and thin. Then, with the Allen-­head set screw loosened in the V-­notch rear sight, insert the DXT2 sights in the same direction that the factory sights were removed.

A universal sight-­adjustment tool may not be necessary (or available to you) to install a set of DXT2 sights to the CSX. The rear sight should dovetail easily enough to complete installation with a small hammer and punch. However, the front sight may require removing material from the bottom of the sight to fit the slide’s front dovetail. XS Sights offers an instruction video describing this process on its YouTube channel.

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Of the two color options available, Optic Yellow absorbes the most light, thus glowing brighter in low-light conditions. MSRP $144 (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

At The Range

As I first laid eyes on the DXT2 sights installed on the CSX, I did not expect that it would perform much differently when compared to a more traditional three-­dot or dot-­and-­notch setup. I often refrain from products of change for the sake of change. The large dot at the front, combined with the wide “V” notch at the rear appears unwieldy and imprecise to some unfamiliar with XS Sights. However, when it was time to put some rounds downrange, such predictions were proven wrong.

My first assumptions were made with the mindset of precision shooting at longer distances, i.e., target shooting at the range. What I did not consider until testing the DXT2 sights was how much traditional point-­and-­notch sights sacrifice speed for precision. Many will tell you that lining up traditional sights doesn’t take that long until someone takes out a shot timer and demands that you hit a target quickly from a draw. During testing, I simply needed to place the Big Dot on the target and fire. Attempting to perfectly line up the dot in the middle of the rear “V” made my groups worse because of the emphasis on my sight alignment that occurred as I was pressing the trigger. Once I put my focus on the front dot and placed it over the target, my shots at 12 yards began landing where they needed to be. In short, I was overthinking how to use the Big Dot/V-­notch system.

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The R3D night sight is also available for the CSX. It features a 3-dot, U-notch format with an oversized front sight. MSRP $116 (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

Low-light testing gave me great results, as well. The large dot offers a clean and clear glow. The dot-­the-­”i” method with the DXT2 Big Dot and V-­notch rear sight helped to keep them aligned instinctively. For targets at close range, just overlay the dot on the target and work the trigger.

At 25 yards, shots landed just above the Big Dot. The wide rear sight showed a fantastic field of view and clear sight picture, an improvement over stock sights. You can be sure of what your field of fire looks like in any threatening environment. Even with the popularity of mounting electronic sights to pistols, XS Sights continue to demonstrate that there is room for innovation in the realm of irons. Plus, XS Sights are always self-­illuminating, so they don’t have to be turned on.


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