Best Night Sights For M&P Shield 9mm [Reviewed 2021]

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The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9mm is an excellent all-around handgun choice for concealed / everyday carry and home defense alike, but if there's one thing I always recommend upgrading on any pistol you might use outside of the shooting range, it's a new pair of night sights.

Under high-stress, low light conditions where every second is precious, you need a weapon that is capable of doing the job and protecting you and your family. Just having a flashlight or laser isn't enough – if that light gives out, or if you have trouble lining up the shot because your eyes are adjusting and can't pick out your sight posts, you're in trouble.

Night sights sidestep this problem by providing illumination—usually in the form of glow-in-the-dark tritium rods that don't require batteries—that allows you to quickly and accurately acquire targets whether it's the middle of the day or the middle of the night. 

And in most cases, they are both faster and more precise than the factory-standard iron sights. Let's take a closer look at what makes a good set of night sights:

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST FOR ACCURACY

Trijicon HD Night Sight for Smith & Wesson M&P

Trijicon HD Night Sight for Smith & Wesson M&P 

  • Material: Metal
  • Color: White
  • Blade Height: 0.215 in
BEST FOR BRIGHTNESS

TRUGLO TFO TRITIUM

TRUGLO TFO TRITIUM

  • Material: Tritium
  • Color: Green
  • Design: Snag-resistant
BEST IMPROVE SIGHT

XS Sight Systems DXW Big Dot Sight

XS Sight Systems DXW Big Dot Sight

  • Material: Steel & tritium
  • Color: Green
  • Design: Snag-free
BEST FOR DURABILITY

AmeriGlo S&W M&P Bowie Tactical Front & Rear Sights

AmeriGlo S&W M&P Bowie Tactical Front & Rear Sights

  • Material: US Made Bar Steel
  • Color: Green
  • Design: Bowie Tactical
BEST FOR BRIGHTNESS

Meprolight Smith & Wesson Tru-Dot Night Sight

Meprolight Smith & Wesson Tru-Dot Night Sight

  • Material: Tritium
  • Color: Green
  • Design: Snag-free
BEST FOR VISIBILITY

Night Fision Glow Dome Night Sights

Night Fision Glow Dome Night Sights

  • Material: Steel
  • Color: Green
  • Design: Snag-free

Considerations

Why You Need Night Sights

Simply put, if you're buying a handgun for self-defense purposes, the factory irons aren't gonna cut it. They're good enough for shooting paper or plinking, but in a high-pressure situation where the adrenaline is pumping, your heart is racing, and your whole body is fighting against you, “good enough,” isn't. This is compounded even more if you're in the dark and can barely make out your sights.

shield 9mm night sights

Even the most skilled shooters would struggle under these conditions, but night sights not only let you safely and accurately aim your pistol in low light conditions, they also allow for dramatically faster target acquisition and faster follow-up shots. In other words, there's no reason not to make this your very first upgrade. To put it into perspective, I put night sights on my pistol before I even upgraded the trigger, and I hate most factory trigger jobs.

Materials

Night sights are available in several different materials, but if you're looking for a home defense or EDC option, we recommend avoiding anything that is made of plastic or other non-metal substances.

It may mean spending a little extra money, but a set of steel sights will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your sight won't accidentally snap off if you're a little too rough when drawing it from your holster or if you knock your pistol into something on accident. This is especially important if you plan on practicing single-hand slide manipulation techniques, and if you're preparing for defensive situations, you probably should.

Size

While it's less of an issue for home defense weapons, the size of your night sights can be a deal-breaker when it comes to concealed carry. Some holsters are built extremely tight with factory specs in mind, and may not take well to replacement sights. 

night sights for m&p shield

You definitely don't want to have sights that could potentially snag on your holster in a life-or-death moment, and you don't want to deal with the discomfort of sights digging into your sides if it's a bad fit, either. Test the compatibility of your new sights with your holster first thing after installing them to make sure it's not an issue—it's a rare problem, but not unheard of.

Tritium vs Fiber Optic

You will occasionally see fiber-optic sights being marketed as night sights, and the lower price tag may be attractive, but we must unfortunately recommend against them. Fiber-optic sights are wonderful in the daytime, and a great choice for competition shooters, but they depend on pulling in light from your surroundings for illumination, and preferably that light should be coming in from overhead.

That means that while they might work fine in low-light conditions (or even indoors, if you have a light on), they will be virtually invisible in a pitch dark room, which makes them simply unsuitable for home defense sights. The exception is hybrid sights, which use both tritium and fiber-optics, but as you'll see below, that isn't a common feature.

Without any more ado, let's take a look at our top picks for the best night sights for the M&P Shield 9mm:

6 Best Night Sights For M&P Shield 9mm

1. Trijicon HD Night Sight for Smith & Wesson M&P Pistols

best night sights for m&p shield 9mm

Trijicon is a manufacturer that needs no introduction, and it's no surprise that their M&P night sights are built to the same standard of performance and extreme durability as the optics they've developed for military and law enforcement.

The Trijicon night sight set uses green tritium-phosphor lamps that remain highly visible even in blackout conditions, unlike some other styles of tritium sights that rely partially on pulling in ambient light. 

The front sight dot is ringed with high-contrast orange photoluminescent paint, and unlike some other night sight brands, Trijicon has opted not to use this paint around the rear sight dots—the argument is that enhances focus on the front sight and makes for faster target acquisition, and after seeing it in person, I'm inclined to agree.

I'm also a fan of the rear sight design in general, which uses a U-shaped notch that I found much quicker to line up than the factory irons. It also has a matte, slightly serrated finish to block glare, which is especially important if you're running these with a mounted flashlight that could bounce light back onto your sights in close quarters. 

These little details really show how much thought and hands-on feedback goes into Trijicon's design process, and I have no hesitations at all about recommending these replacement sights to anyone who is looking to upgrade their new Shield.

Trijicon HD Night Sight

The price of Trijicon HD Night Sight  varies, so check the latest price at

2. TRUGLO TFO TRITIUM

sights for glock

I've reviewed another style of TRUGO night sights that you can read about here, and so it's no surprise that they'd find a spot on this list, too. TRUGLO goes a step further than most other night sight manufacturers by using a tritium/fiber-optic combo that greatly enhances both daytime and nighttime shooting performance. 

This is reflected in the price, which is a bit higher than most of its competitors, but along with the firearm itself, sights are one thing I personally think you should never cheap out on if you can help it.

The TFO Tritium sights come with a green front sight and a choice of green or yellow rear sight; while they're both perfectly usable, I found the contrast of the yellow rear sights to make finding and focusing on the front sight slightly faster.

In terms of durability, it may not be quite as tank-like as the Trijicon set, but they certainly aren't fragile, either. The sights are constructed of CNC-machined steel and coated with what TRUGLO calls their “Fortress Finish,” which as far as I can tell is a fancy way of saying it has a hard anodized coating that should hold up very well against average wear and tear.

The other nice thing about the TFO sights is that they have a slim profile and lots of beveled edges, meaning they aren't likely to get snagged on your holster or clothing in a high-stress situation.

TruGlo Brite-Site Tritium Fiber Optic TFO Night Sights

TRUGLO TFO TRITIUM

The price of TRUGLO TFO TRITIUM varies, so check the latest price at

3. XS Sight Systems DXW Big Dot Sight

m&p shield night sights

If you're looking for something a little bit different in terms of sight design, the XS Sights Big Dot certainly fits the bill. Instead of using the traditional cutout U-shape sight shape, the Big Dot uses a low-profile rear sight with no cutout, paired with an oversized, tritium-illuminated front sight.

The theory is that the large front sight allows for the fastest possible target acquisition, and since you don't need to spend time aligning the front and rear sight posts, you can get shots on target faster when those split seconds matter. I wouldn't expect to be making accurate shots out past 25 yards with these sights, but in CQB situations they make a compelling case.

While I didn't run into this issue, it's worth noting that the over-sized front sight might present some problems for certain kinds of holsters, so make sure to test them for compatibility before using them for EDC / concealed carry. The good news is that for most holsters, the design makes it very unlikely to ever encounter a snag when you're drawing.

XS Sight Systems DXW Big Dot Sight

The price of XS Sight Systems DXW Big Dot Sight varies, so check the latest price at

4. AmeriGlo S&W M&P Bowie Tactical Front & Rear Sights

m&p shield sights

If you're looking for a quality set of tritium night sights on a budget, the AmeriGlo Bowie sights are hard to beat. Though they're fairly bare-bones in terms of features and design, they are a rugged set of sights that are still more than capable of getting the job done.

These sights use the common combination of tritium lamps and high-contrast white paint for fast target acquisition in all lighting conditions, and the front sight is also slightly brighter so that you can more quickly focus on it under pressure.

The sights feel sturdy—they're tough enough that you can use the rear sights to rack the slide with one hand if necessary without worrying about anything snapping. I will warn you though—like the factory sights, these are an extremely tight fit, so I'd recommend having a gunsmith install them if you don't happen to have a sight pusher laying around.

AmeriGlo S&W M&P Front & Rear Sights

The price of AmeriGlo S&W M&P Front & Rear Sights varies, so check the latest price at

5. Meprolight Smith & Wesson Tru-Dot Night Sight

m&p shield sights

Designed specifically for the S&W M&P Shield, the Meprolight Tru-Dot night sight is another budget-friendly option that can still run with the big dogs. Instead of using machined steel, this sight opts for anodized aluminum, which is still more than sturdy enough for practical use while also making them the most lightweight non-plastic night sights available.

Meprolight backs up their sights with a 12-year illumination warranty, so if the tritium starts to fade or somehow stops glowing altogether, you won't have any problem getting a replacement. They aren't the brightest sights you can buy, but they are still no slouch, and the darker it is, the better they glow.

The rear sight also has a small “shelf” that can be used to rack the slide against your belt, which is a nice feature considering the very real possibility of only having one hand free in an emergency situation. 

The only nitpick I had with these sights is that it can be a bit difficult to distinguish the rear green dots from the front in extremely dim lighting—this isn't much of a concern for extreme close quarters shooting, but it does mean that it takes just a little bit longer to get your bearings if you're trying to take carefully aimed shots in the dark.

Meprolight Tru-Dot Tritium Sights for Smith & Wesson Guns

Meprolight Smith & Wesson Tru-Dot

The price of Meprolight Smith & Wesson Tru-Dot  varies, so check the latest price at

6. Night Fision Glow Dome Night Sights

shield night sights

Night Fision is an American manufacturer whose entire focus is night sights, and their M&P Shield 9mm sights are definitely worth considering. These sights are some of the brightest on this list, which is no surprise, as the company uses larger tritium capsules than most of the competition.

Another nice touch is that the high-contrast ring around the front sight dot is not paint, but instead, a polymer ring injected with fluorescent pigment, which means you don't have to worry about chipping or fading but still get the same excellent daytime visibility.

Another benefit of the Night Fision sights is that you can opt to get them in a suppressor-height set, giving you enough clearance to avoid having your can block your sight picture. It's also handy if you want to co-witness your handgun's iron sights with a red dot. 

These sights are built from CNC-machined steel and coated with a black nitride finish, so you won't have to worry about corrosion or scratches.

Night Fision Glow Dome Night Sights

The price of Night Fision Glow Dome Night Sights varies, so check the latest price at

Conclusion

So which of these night sights should you buy? The truth is that it's going to depend on your needs. If you want excellent day and night performance, the TRUGLO sights were very impressive. Looking for maximum durability? Trijicon has you covered.

If you want the fastest possible target acquisition when it counts, the XS Big Dot edges out the competition, and if you're running a suppressor or red dot, the Night Fision sights are the way to go. 

And while the AmeriGlo sights weren't my top pick, they're still a rock-solid, highly functional set of sights, and definitely the best choice for anyone on a tight budget who still wants to upgrade their M&P Shield.

Parting Shots

A high-quality set of night sights is one of the most important upgrades you can make for a home defense or concealed carry handgun, and even casual target shooters will notice an appreciable difference in visibility, speed, and ease of use compared to factory iron sights. 

While there are plenty of other night sight manufacturers offering their products for sale, we settled on these because they represent the sort of quality and craftsmanship Hunting Mark expects when you're potentially trusting a tool with your safety.

Do you have a pair of these sights on your pistol? Did we leave a set of your favorites off the list? Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think. 

We strive to ensure that our reviews are as accurate and helpful as possible, and your feedback helps us accomplish that. And if a Glock is more your speed, don't worry, we've got that covered too. Head on over to check out our rundown of the best Glock 26 night sights!

Until next time, happy shooting!

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