When dealing with a large organization of shooters the question of “what height sights do I need?” comes up often. The question also comes up with individual purchasers such as, “did they give me the right sight?”. Either way, there needs to be an understanding of what sight you have without just “eyeballing it” or looking it up in the purchase records.
Why do we care?
To put this in a practical perspective, imagine you are a Firearms Instructor within a Federal entity that employs professionals who carry guns. Glocks that use Ameriglo sights to be specific. Both the G19 and G26 will often have different holdovers when shooters are finding their proper Point of Impact (POI). This is both shooter preference and difference in barrel length. This means that sights may need to be changed to account for those differences.
The situation that was personally found most often when working for a large organization that carried Glock 19M’s with Ameriglo trooper sights was that frankly the issue sight wasn’t working for a lot of guys. The 19M is sold/issued with a W20 front sight (wide .200 in height). Often, the agents would return with their 19M to the gunsmith and ask for a W18 (wide .180) front sight instead. Shooters just found that it lined up POI better.
Also, those who were having trouble zeroing/shooting their Glocks found that the N18 (narrow .180) sight helped with alignment. These are all things that can be immediately remedied by simply knowing how to read the sight that is physically on the gun.
The numbers on the side of the front and rear iron sights aren’t just there for show or to glance over. They often will tell you the specific height, width, and model of that individual sight.
For ease of understanding, let’s focus on the Ameriglo Trooper Night Sight (agent sight) lineup due to the fact that many large government organizations run these types of sights on their GI Glocks.
Helpful Hint: The Agent sights are the rear sights with the “U” notch, the Bold sights have the squared off notches
AmeriGlo H3: The H3 after AmeriGlo signifies that the sight is Tritium.
W80: Let’s break this down into two. “W” signifies wide and “80” signifies .180 in height. These can come in W80, W00 (.200) and W20 (.220)
Note: .180 standard height when it comes to the Glock 19M’s or Gen 5 Glocks.
T80: This is another option you may see. The “T” means thin. Same sight just thin instead of “W” for wide.
H3 GK: Again, the “H3” is for Tritium and the “GK” is a non-decoded date.
H3 18: The “18” means it was manufactured in 2018.
The date codes are seeming to have a weird timeline. With new agent sights coming in they all have decoded dates. Meaning, the sights show the number for the year of manufacture, i.e. AmeriGloH3 18. However, some other Glock purchasers are still receiving both guns and new sights with non-decoded lettering such as AmeriGloH3 DK.
Trijicon bought Ameriglo around 2018. After that acquisition, it was said that AmeriGlo was going to start decoding their dates. Honestly, your sight date may just depend on what batch of sight the factory has out to pull from.