Glock 17 gen4 Endurance Test: Week 34

10-Nov-11 – 18:43 by ToddG
46,474 rounds 8 stoppages
(+1 w/non-LCI extractor)
0 malfunctions 1 parts breakages

OK, everyone wants to hear about the sights.

Dave Spaulding (2010 Law Officer Trainer of the Year) is the mastermind behind the new Combative Applications Pistol (CAP) sight from Ameriglo. It combines a high-visibility day/night front sight with a rear that has a horizontal mark for fast but precise alignment under stress. The set is offered in two colors: chartreuse (it’s ok if you have to google it) and orange. The chartreuse — which I’m just going to call “green” — gets a superluminova treatment that causes it to glow brightly in sunlight or after even a brief charge from any light source. The orange lacks the glowing paint, but both the green & orange front sights have a tritium dot, as well.

Dave put a tremendous amount of time and effort into designing these sights and they represent his 28 year career as a law enforcement officer and firearms instructor. For example, the front edge of the rear sight is beveled so that when performing one-handed malfunction clearances or reloads the pistol will naturally move away from the shooter for enhanced safety. The prototypes were put in the hands (and on the guns) of numerous shooters so the design could be tweaked and improved based on actual shooter feedback… which is sadly a very novel concept in this industry.

Dave and Ameriglo generously sent me both a green and orange set of the CAP sights for evaluation. After working with them both in a complicated dynamic low-light environment (my basement) and on the range, these are my personal observations and conclusions:

  • The sights are short. Very short. And very short is supposed to be bad because it’s slower and provides less feedback and less field of view downrange. Nonetheless, despite my initial misgivings, the short sights actually work pretty darn well. To quote Dave in an email to me: “We also wanted to keep the sight as close to the bore line as possible, a feature most all of our testers liked… After many interviews of folks who had been in shooting situations, we found that many remember the rear of their gun but not their sights. By keeping the sights as close to the focus plane/bore line as possible, and keeping the view ‘simple’, we feel they are more likely to be used (maybe ‘referenced’ is a better word) in the stress and duress of armed conflict.” I’m finding that to prove true (well… without the armed conflict part, obviously). Because the sight plane is so close to the top edge of the pistol, I’m getting more peripheral visual feedback of proper elevation. Translation: I don’t miss high and low so much.
  • The green (“chartreuse”) stands out very well in low light, making the tritium dot almost unnecessary under all but the darkest conditions. However, it also washes out against light-colored targets and makes getting a very precise sight picture difficult. The sights clearly aren’t intended for bullseye shooting, but the green hindered my marksmanship practice.
  • The orange front works great for me… though admittedly I may be biased since I’ve been using some kind of orange high-visibility sight for years thanks to John Stewart (not the Comedy Central guy). I would be interested to see a version with the superluminova treatment, however, as I think it would improve the visibility of the sight in dim light as well as times when the front sight is in shadow on a very sunny day. (late minute edit: Dave Spaulding informs me that Ameriglo is, in fact, working to develop a superluminova version of the orange front at some point in the future)
  • The rear sight works exactly as advertised. Lining up the colored square of the front sight above the horizontal line on the rear sight gives you a very fast but fairly precise sight picture. However, as I’ve written elsewhere, I’m a diehard believer in having a tritium dot in the rear sight. Even during my brief basement crawling adventure, I was often able to find conditions in which the rear sight was completely invisible unless the superluminova was glowing. I can’t shoot well with only a front sight in the daytime, and I can’t shoot well with only a front sight in the dark, either. The superluminova rear may be viable for police officers and others who carry their guns exposed to light, but my pistol is hidden in the dark recesses underneath my cover garment all day, every day. Of course, quite a few people do actually prefer to have tritium on only their front sight and the CAP sight might be a perfect option for them, too.

Luckily, the front sight height is compatible with many of Ameriglo’s other rear sights. I’ve mated the orange CAP front to a Pro Operator rear sight. The Pro Operator has a wider notch and two subdued yellow tritium dots without any distracting white outlines. I’m very happy with this setup. However, I have to admit the horizontal line concept of the standard CAP rear sight intrigues me and I’d love to see Ameriglo come out with one that has a single tritium dot in the middle of the colored line. That might require them to make the sights taller, though.

Also, let me just give a second shout out to John Stewart (“JohnO”) whose High Visibility Front Sight idea, first published on SIGforum many years ago, has played a huge part in the “new” explosion of orange and green front sights coming from Ameriglo, Trijicon, etc. Something tells me John isn’t earning any royalties for those sights, but he’s certainly earned the thanks of many shooters, myself included.

What else happened this week? Just shy of a thousand rounds over the course of two practice sessions, the test gun experienced no stoppages or problems. Of particular note, I haven’t had a single premature lockback with the OEM extended slide stop. I can only attribute that lucky bit of news to the Grip Force Adapter, because with a stock Glock grip and the extended part I have that problem once or twice a range session.

The combination of the Lone Wolf 3.5 Connector and the Ameriglo CAP/Pro hybrid sights is working very nicely. I turned in another 48 on Dot Torture at ten yards and turned in some of the best F.A.S.T. scores of my Glock year, including these two:

  • Monday best of three, 4.17 (clean): 1.41, .40 / 1.78 / .21, .19, .18
  • Wednesday best of three: 4.18 (clean): 1.52, .38 / 1.69 / .21, .19, .19

Of course, unable to leave well enough alone, I decided to put the NY1 trigger spring in the gun again with every intention of giving it a good week or two’s time to get acclimated. The experiment lasted all of 50 rounds. While I’ve always liked the -/NY1 combo on gen3 guns, on the gen4 test gun it is just abominable. Something tells me the level of refinement I want in a trigger nowadays might be a bit different than it was back when I was shooting Glocks in the 90’s. Or perhaps my trigger finger has simply become frail and weak. Either way… blech!* Ken Hackathorn, if you’re reading this: you were right, I was wrong, and I will never do it again I promise.

(Ken Hackathorn firing the first shot ever with the Gadget, then commenting on the “-” connector and NY1 trigger spring combination in the gun at the time)

Tomorrow, I’ll be taking the the G17 to the F2S Consulting/pistol-training.com free Veterans Day Clinic in Culpeper which is why this week’s update is on Thursday. A big thanks goes out to SKD Tactical for sponsoring the event and providing a special prize for each of the participants! You’ll probably see AARs of the event before the weekend is over. Then it’s two solid days on the range with a great group of shooters so if I’m not suffering from arthritis of the trigger finger by then, next week’s update should have lots to talk about.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

* “blech” in the Urban Dictionary sense, not the Yiddish sense

(Ameriglo CAP Sight image courtesy of Ameriglo)

Previous Glock 17 gen4 Endurance Test posts at pistol-training.com:

  1. 16 Responses to “Glock 17 gen4 Endurance Test: Week 34”

  2. Yay! another really nice sight design that’ll never be made for H&K’s.

    By JodyH on Nov 10, 2011

  3. How does it compare to the trijicon HD sights ?

    By charles grumbling on Nov 10, 2011

  4. Very interesting sight set. Instead of a bar/dot tritium combination we have a bar/square Luminova combination. The last I had heard Mr. Spaulding was working on something called the Competition/Combat or “Com Sight” with a 0.115” width Luminova front sight and a more standard width rear sight (vs. the wide notch found on most Ameriglo sight sets). But it seems that did not pan out or maybe morphed into this project as the 0.115” width sight could not accommodate tritium. This new sight set (CAP) appears to utilize the original iteration of the ProGlo front sight with the “square” application of Luminova (vs. the current version that utilizes a circle around the tritium dot, i.e. the “Hack” front sight) along with the 0.180” rear sight. I seem to recall Ameriglo having manufacturing “issues” when applying the square Luminova (flow around the tritium vial, etc.), which prompted the switch to the “Hack” version. Maybe they have worked it out now or they are able to do it with certain pigments (chartreus) but have not worked it out yet for others (orange being a work in progress). I as well would like to hear your opinion on how these compare to the Trijicon HD sights.

    By Tim on Nov 11, 2011

  5. I do not believe the CAP rear is 0.180; it is noticeably narrower than the Pro Operators (which I believe are 0.180).

    As far as comparing them to the Trij HD sights, speaking specifically about the setup I’m using (CAP orange front, Pro Operator rear) I’d say they’re different in form but very similar in function. I’ve switched the Trijicon HD sights over to my backup G17 so I should be able to do some side by side comparisons soon.

    By ToddG on Nov 11, 2011

  6. Thank you for the clarification. I could not get a really good sense of the dimensions from the stock photograph and made incorrect assumptions based on the products Ameriglo currently offers. If you could get dimensional information (sight heights, front sight width and rear notch width) from Ameriglo and/or Mr. Spaulding for the CAP sights it would be greatly appreciated. A side by side comparison would be GREAT as well! I really appreciate the time and effort you put into this blog.

    By Tim on Nov 11, 2011

  7. Todd,

    The front post looks super wide. Does it cause you any issues @ 25yds?

    By Nick Drakulich on Nov 11, 2011

  8. Lower front sight, but look similar to my fav the Heinie Ledge Qwik that I have on all my pistols. With my older eyes (presbyopia) the .156 rear gives me excellent front sight picture.

    By TimD on Nov 11, 2011

  9. I’ve been shooting PPC, USPSA, and IDPA using AmeriGlo’s excellent blacked out .180 rear sight with the std height tritium FS. I’ve been “most accurate” at two major IDPA events and have managed to shoot a 476 average (out of 480) in PPC with a stock GLOCK and those sights.

    AmeriGlo makes some great stuff!

    I got switched onto ’em due to my (sometimes) bosses John Krupa and Pete Milionis of Spartan Tactical Training Group.

    Really love the “low to the slide” fit vs Warren Sights. Just seems to work well!

    By Les on Nov 11, 2011

  10. Todd,

    What are the dimensions of the front and rear sight, also does the rear extend to the rear of the slide?

    Thanks for the info

    By steve m on Nov 12, 2011

  11. The front sight is .140″ wide and the rear notch is .155″

    By Rick on Nov 12, 2011

  12. I think I’m gonna try a set on my Gen4 G17 duty pistol and move the Triji HD sights to the new Gen4 G19 I will be buying as soon as I can find one with the new ejector installed in it.

    By Nick Drakulich on Nov 12, 2011

  13. Todd, when I get a set of these, will you find something new to go to, or move back to the Trij-HD’s?

    By Mitchell, Esq. on Nov 13, 2011

  14. Mitchell — That’s not how it works.

    If you get a set, I’m taking your gun.

    By ToddG on Nov 13, 2011

  15. I have confirmed with Rick @ Ameriglo the front width is .140 (same as HACK) and the rear notch is .150. The heights are the same as their other “standard” stuff (like the HACK) so they are interchangeable.

    By VolGrad on Nov 14, 2011

  16. The big orange square front combined with the Pro Operator rear is what I have on my G19. I bought a set to try out when I was looking for something to replace my XS 42/7 sights. Just as I decided to order several sets of that style of front sight they quit making them. I settled on the orange ring front sight instead, which I have also had good luck with.

    My only complaint with the orange square style front sight is that the orange paint is very glossy and in certain backlighting situations it get a sort of glare effect from it.

    I’m glad to see that style front sight being made again, I’ll need to buy a couple of sets.

    By Chuck on Nov 14, 2011

  17. I just called AmeriGlo….I was told that their CAPS sights wont be available until Feb/2012….You suck Todd.

    By Nick Drakulich on Nov 15, 2011

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