June 01, 2023
In the 1980s Glock revolutionized semiauto handgun design, and today there are millions of these Austrian pistols in the hands of military and law enforcement professionals and civilians. But for all the many things Glock got right, one feature on Glock guns that needs to be upgraded are the basic sights. The white outline rear and white dot factory sights are serviceable, but not great, and in low light, they’re very tough to use.
It's not surprising, then, that most Glock owners end up replacing their factory sights with aftermarket options like XS’s popular R3D metal night sights which are substantial improvements over Glock’s included sights. Now XS Sights is making it even easier to replace your standard factory Glock sights with the introduction of two new Glock sight pusher tools.
New Sights in a Snap
The front sight of Glock pistols is held in place with a hex head screw and the rear sight is dovetailed into the steel slide, so the minimum tools required for changing them are a hexagonal wrench, a hammer, and punch. However, these are not the best tools for the job. Finding a wrench that perfectly fits the front sight screw and is durable enough to remove it without marring the head of the screw can be difficult, and driving the rear sight with a punch is imprecise at best. As often as not, at-home gunsmiths with no training end up marring the slide, the new sight, or both. Plus, properly centering the rear sight so the gun shoots accurately can be a time-consuming and arduous task.
The best solution is XS’s new Inline Glock Sight Pusher tool. The DIY version comes with an Inline Rear Sight pusher that’s made from machined aluminum with a brass bit, a front sight wrench and a 3/16ths Allen key. The upgraded Gunsmith Series comes with the same Inline Rear Sight pusher with two brass bits and an upgraded magnetic front sight tool that replaces both the standard front sight tool and Allen key that are included with the DIY model. The machined aluminum base makes these XS sight pushers much lighter and more compact than competing steel sight pushers, so it’s easy to carry them with you in a range bag and they take up less space in your gun room. A graphic on both the DIY and Gunsmith Series sight pushers features a centering scale with 1/16th-inch lines (equivalent to 1.5-turns of the bolt using the 3/16ths Allen key for the DIY Series pusher or the T-handle/front sight tool for the Gunsmith Series). This means you can easily center the sight while installing it and there shouldn’t be a need to return and recenter the rear sight. If you do need to make an adjustment, the Inline Pusher Tool makes those adjustments simple and precise, and the brass bit won’t mar the sights. Both the DIY and Gunsmith series XS Glock Inline Sight Pushers are easy to use even for new shooters and they will work with standard and suppressor-height sights as well as slides with reflex optics installed. MSRP for the DIY Series Inline Sight Pusher, which is rated for 50 to 100 sight changes, is $150, while the Gunsmith Series carries an MSRP of $200 and is rated for 200+ sight changes because it includes an extra brass pusher bit.
The Best Value—Inline Sight Pushers and R3D Sight Bundles
If you’re purchasing an XS Inline Sight Pusher it’s safe to say that you’re already planning to swap out the rudimentary factory sights on your Glock pistol, and in that case the Inline Pusher/R3D Sight bundle that is available from XS is your best value. R3D sights are precision CNC machined from solid steel which is why they are the first choice of so many law enforcement professionals and competitive shooters. In addition to their rugged machined housings (with a rear sight ledge for one-handed cycling) the R3D night sights contain tritium lamps in the front and rear sights that are visible day or night. Front sights come with a high-contrast glow dot ring (buyer’s choice of orange or green) surrounding the tritium lamp, and these glow dots absorb ambient light so that the front dot is highly visible and brighter than the rear dot. This increased brightness also drives the shooter’s focus toward the front sight, right where it should be. The rear sight housing has an anti-reflective surface that prevents glare from disturbing the sight picture. Additionally, R3D sights fit holsters designed to accommodate factory Glock sights.
I chose to replace the existing sights on my Glock G43X and G19 with XS R3D night sights and was pleased by how simple the process truly was. The first step was to remove the slide from the unloaded pistol and position it so the sight channel aligned with the brass bit, a task that’s simpler thanks to the included non-marring polymer wedges that are faster, simpler, and just as effective as the multi-point alignment controls on competing sight pushers. The brass bits are driven by 5/16 x 24 threaded bolts and the force required to remove both rear sights was minimal. With the rear sight dovetail cleared, I degreased the channel using an alcohol wipe, and then placed the new R3D rear sight in position. From there, I turned the Allen key to push the sight into place, using the centering guide to ensure proper alignment. After adding red locking compound, the process was complete.
Front sight removal was faster because all that is required is using the included wrench to remove the screw, replacing the Glock sight with the R3D tritium front sight, adding locking compound and tightening. After quickly checking to be certain that the front sight was oriented properly, I allowed the locking compound 24 hours to tighten. A day later, my G43X had a new pair of R3D suppressor-height sights in place that I could co-witness with a reflex optic and my G19 featured new standard-height R3D sights.
It's exceedingly simple to swap out your Glock sights at home using the XS Inline Pusher Tool, and it’s probably the best solution for all the Glock owners who want to replace their factory irons. It’s more expensive than the old hammer-and-punch method, but it’s also much more precise. The XS Inline Sight Pusher is lighter and less expensive than competing pushers, and it’s faster and simpler than taking your gun to a gunsmith. What’s more, XS offers a full line of tutorial videos that teach viewers to use their Inline Pusher Tool. There’s even a QR code on the tool itself that provides instant access to detailed installation instructions. These sights and tools work with OEM as well as aftermarket slides.
A pistol is only as effective as its sighting system, and that’s why XS R3D night sights are so popular with shooters and firearms instructors. These rugged, American-made sights provide a clear sight picture in any light, don’t require batteries, and are rugged enough to withstand years of hard use. Now that XS is offering their Inline Pusher Tool (made in their Texas facility alongside the sights themselves), you can install your R3D night sights with minimal cost and hassle.
XS Inline Pusher Tool Model: DIY Series
- Fit: Glock Universal
- Front Sight Tool: Steel
- Tool Life: 50-100 Sight Changes
- Bits: Brass (1)
- Weight: 1.4 lb.
- MSRP (Inline Pusher Only): $150
- MSRP (Inline Pusher Tool/R3D Bundle): $254.99
XS Inline Pusher Tool Model: Gunsmith Series
- Fit: Glock Universal
- Front Sight Tool: Steel w/Magnet
- Tool Life: 200+ Sight Changes
- Bits: Brass (2)
- Weight: 1.8 lb.
- MSRP (Inline Pusher Only): $200
- MSRP (Inline Pusher Tool/R3D Bundle): $304.99
For more information, visit: xssights.com
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