By Kip Staton
Aftermarket sights and Glock handguns go together like peanut butter and jelly. In fact, I would say that the most common Glock modification made by end users is replacing the factory plastic sights with a good metallic pair from any number of manufacturers.
Ameriglo is a good example of just such a sight maker. They produce sights for handguns of all makes and models, including Glocks. A few years ago, they partnered with Kyle Defoor to design and bring to market a set of simple, inexpensive replacement sights for Glock handguns. Defoor has a history of putting his name on some pretty clever products, like the Raven Concealment Eidolon holster, and he has the background to do it with authority.
In fact, speaking of Glock upgrades, Defoor regularly posts about his handguns… and the vast majority of the time, they are box-stock guns, with the only additional parts being a set of his sights and maybe a small stippled section of the frame. In this age of heavily-customized Glocks, it’s refreshing when somebody with a serious background shows what sort of performance can be achieved with a standard gun and a simple set of iron sights.
Are the Ameriglo Defoor Tactical Glock sights worth the upgrade? Let’s take a look.
My Experience With Ameriglo Defoor Sights
In 2017 alone, I have fired 5,000 rounds of Speer Lawman through my Glock 19 with the Defoor iron sights, in addition to around 2,000 handloads. I’ve fired at least a 10 shot group at 25 yards nearly every weekday of the year, with a few exceptions.
They have been on my carry gun for several years now, with countless dry fire repetitions. They replaced my factory sights, and are the only other set that has been on the gun.
Why Change Your Glock Sights?
The factory sights on Glock pistols are functional, but they leave a lot to be desired. They’re made of relatively soft plastic, and have a very tight front-to-rear width ratio. This translates to very little space and light around the front sight during use, which makes it hard to keep track of everything when you’re trying to go fast.
It’s true that the familiar Glock “notch and dot” factory markings aren’t as confusing as they could be (looking at you, three-dot-sights in general), but the dot in the front sight has to be covered up halfway by the notch in order for the sight edges to be flush and level. It’s not a very intuitive sight picture for many people, myself included. I find myself defaulting to balancing the bottom edge of the dot in the notch, which causes me to shoot high.
Splitting the dot is difficult. And if I’m looking at the dot, I’m not looking at the top edge of the sight. That’s a problem.
When I made the switch to Defoor sights a few years ago, I was carrying my Glock 19 with a Raven Concealment Vanguard II clip-on holster. It’s a great design for certain applications, but it leaves the front sight exposed to the daily grind. Because of this exposure, the plastic front sight that came on my gun had become… lumpy. The top edge was no longer flat.
I decided it was time to get a new set of more durable sights that offered more light around the front sight, while getting rid of the funky dot-and-notch at the same time.
Ameriglo Defoor sights, on paper at least, fit the bill. And were very cost-effective, as well: They can often be found for less than $30. That’s priced well enough that you can actually afford to put them on practically every Glock you own, if that’s what suits you.
It should be noted right away that inexpensive does not equal cheaply made. Ameriglo has been in the business for a while, and is one of the more respected sight manufacturers. And again, Kyle Defoor designed them.
Design: Ameriglo Defoor Glock Sights
A great deal of practical knowledge went into designing these sights. As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest complaints associated with factory Glock sights is the width ratio between the front post and the rear notch. Defoor’s sights remedy this issue by using dimensions popularized by competitive shooter Dave Sevigny (.150” rear notch and .115” front post), albeit in a shorter relative profile that’s optimized for carry.
This blend of performance and function works really well, as my G19 serves as both my carry pistol and occasionally an IDPA gun. They’ve proven to be fantastic for fast shooting and great for precision work. No real surprises there, given the track record this ratio has.
The front sight is fully serrated along the rear face, and the muzzle-end is rounded over with a slight radius. The rear sight is a smooth, flat-faced design. If you prefer dots or fiber optics, these are not the sights for you.
While I have mine riding on a Generation 4 Glock 19, Ameriglo makes the Defoor Tactical Sight Sets Glocks in all calibers, including the 42 and 43 models.
Ameriglo also offers these sights in the “Proformance” version, named after Kyle Defoor’s training company. This edition includes a glow-in-the-dark tritium vial in the lower half of the front sight post, for low-light shooting.
Ameriglo Defoor Tactical Sights Installation
Ameriglo Defoor Glock sights slide in like any other standard iron sight set for Glocks. The instructions do indicate that gunsmith installation is preferable, but that’s pretty normal for any sort of product that involves gun modifications. The front post installed quickly with a regular Glock hex head sight tool and a dab of thread locker, and the rear notch drifted in with a hammer and punch. Pretty simple stuff.
The front sight might be only .115” wide, but the serrated blade is plenty long enough to maintain enough strength for some hard use. It’s been banging around on my daily carry G19 for nearly three years now, and hasn’t come close to budging, breaking or coming off.
As I mentioned earlier, the plastic factory front sight had started to get beaten up and deformed. After a couple of years, bumps, nicks and scratches had taken their toll on the relatively soft material, and the top edge was definitely less than uniform. The Defoor Tactical sights fixed that problem immediately, and provided a crisp reference with a serrated shooter side.
Carrying the pistol every day has put some miles on the steel rear sight. I carry in the appendix position with a Raven Eidolon, and over time my shirt has rubbed the top edge of the rear sight enough to remove the melonite surface treatment. I shoot my best groups at 25 yards with a light coating of sight black applied, to remove the glare from the rear sight.
About a year ago, I dropped the pistol with the sights installed and sent it skittering across the floor. When I picked it up, the rear sight had been shoved halfway off the rear of the slide, so I assume that it took a direct hit.
This is the only complaint that I really have about the product: I think that a set screw in the rear sight would have prevented the sight from shifting after a drop, but there’s no way to know for sure. The sight isn’t too loose, because it takes some significant tapping to adjust it. The same thing would probably have happened with the factory sights, or any other choice that isn’t somehow locked in with an extra measure like a set screw.
Where Do They Shoot?
Of course, with any non-adjustable iron sighting system (like most pistol sights), where they place bullets is going to be an important consideration. Windage-wise, my Ameriglo Defoors aren’t exactly centered in the rear slide notch. They’re close, but it’s not perfect. This may be a function of the sights, gun, or ammo but it’s more likely due to where I place my finger on the trigger.
I don’t fully understand it, but putting the tip of my index finger on the trigger blade pushes the group to the left by several inches at 25 yards. Burying my finger as far as possible in the trigger guard while maintaining a reasonable grip will get them close to the middle, but the sights still have to be nudged over a bit to get the group the rest of the way there.
Elevation-wise, at 7 yards, these sights put the bullet right at the tip of the front sight post. At 15 yards with the Defoor Tactical sights, my hold point on a horizontal 3”x5” index card is at a true 6 o’clock, to land them in the middle of the card. Here’s a typical example at 15 yards, with the hold point being the bottom of the 10-ring:
At 25 yards with 124 grain Speer Lawman, a 6 o’clock hold will land them all in the black, provided I do everything right. They shoot a few inches higher than that with 147 grain Speer Lawman, at the same distance. To be honest, I haven’t really tried any other ammunition to any meaningful extent. Once I find something that works, I tend to stick with it.
Naturally, your gun and your ammunition are likely going to shoot a little differently. Verify with your own gear!
Ameriglo Kyle Defoor Tactical Sights: A Solid Option
Kyle Defoor did a great job designing these sights, and Ameriglo should be applauded for bringing them to market in an affordable way. These things just work, without costing an arm and a leg. However, if you like dots or inserts that glow in the dark, or want the extra security that a set screw can provide, you would better be served with a different product.
But for a very simple set of extremely functional sights designed by a guy who’s been there and done that, and produced by a company with a pedigree of proven performance, you can’t go wrong with the Defoor Tactical Glock sights from Ameriglo.