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What is Tritium?

Category : Blog

What is Tritium?

Tritium, Tritium Tritium…What the heck is Tritium? Simply stated, tritium is a radioactive isotype of Hydrogen. There you go. You are now an expert, have a great day…

Ok seriously though, what does that mean?


 Tritium is a Hydrogen atom made up of three particles. Tritium is produced naturally in the atmosphere when cosmic rays collide with air molecules. Also, tritium is a byproduct of the production of electricity by nuclear power plants.

The chemical behavior of tritium is essentially the same as that of hydrogen. This means that tritium, just like stable hydrogen, can exist in a gaseous state or in the form of water.

Tritium in its gaseous form is able to diffuse through most materials except Borosilicate glass. When Tritium gas is encapsulated in these glass vials with phosphorescent pigments, a self-luminous (glow in the dark) device is created.

These vials can be found in a wide range of common consumer goods such as watches, compasses, key chains, tritium exit signs and GUN SIGHTS.


 The short answer is NO.

It is important to note that everyone is exposed to radiation every day and, on average, the vast majority of an individual’s radiation exposure in the United States results from medical procedures and naturally produced radiation.

Since tritium is a low energy beta emitter, it is not dangerous externally (its beta particles are unable to penetrate human skin) but it can be a radiation hazard in large doses when inhaled, or ingested from food or water. To avoid this, please do not eat our gun sights 😉

If a tritium vial breaks, to be safe, one should leave the area and allow the gas to diffuse into the air. In the event you directly inhale tritium gas in large volume, drink water, and your body will excrete this in 3-7 days.


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulates the use and distribution of self-illuminated tritium devices. Only companies with approved distribution licenses are legally allowed to build and distribute these tritium products.


The time that it takes a radioactive isotope to decay to half the original amount is called the half-life. Tritium has a half-life of 12.32 years.

The more tritium that is initially encapsulated in each vial, the brighter it is to begin with, and the longer its useful life.

Night Fision prides itself on adding 30% more tritium into every single gun sight. This is why we back our Perfect Dot night sights with the longest illumination guarantee in the industry.

If your sights stop glowing before 16 years, we will replace them.

Instructors Know Best

Here is my story…

Problem #1 Like most folks in their “early” fifties I started to have difficulty seeing things as they were  in the past as my eyes age.  I found that my eye was not picking up the front sight on presentation but rather grabbing the rear sights immediately then forcing me to transition to the threat and then back to the front sight.  This proved slow and it is not what we teach… i.e. “FRONT SIGHT FOCUS” and it is slow.

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Clean Your Piece

Firearms are tools. Very expensive tools which have exacting tolerances, and which are subjected to extreme environmental conditions. Every single actuation of these tools subjects certain parts of the tool to thousands of pounds per square inch of pressure, hot gas, and high impact. Not to mention dirt, dust, grime, and filth from the field. Unbelievably though, I still meet shooters who swear that they abuse their guns right out of the box to test “reliability”, or “durability”. Would they do the same with a $300 DeWalt miter saw or framing nailer? I doubt it. They want their tools to last!

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Can Competition Shooters Defend Themselves?

I have recently participated in a couple interviews and round table discussions which focused on the validity of using competition shooting to prepare for self-defense shooting. More specifically, if participating in the shooting sports hurts or helps someone who also carries a gun and trains for self-defense. This question seems to be a serious bone of contention between the “Tactical” and “Competition” crowds. DISCLAIMER: I’m not unbiased. As a nationally ranked competitive shooter AND someone who teaches the use of firearms for self-defense all over the world, I’ve given this topic much thought, and I have some opinions.
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Proper Sight Alignment and Sight Picture

The key to hitting your target is pretty simple, put your sights on target, and pull the trigger in a way that doesn’t disturb your sight picture. Well, it certainly sounds simple. If you’ve ever been shooting you know that in practice this doesn’t always work so simply. It’s certainly something you need to go out and train for. The problem occurs when you don’t know how to train properly.

Today we are going to arm you with the proper means to train and teach you about proper sight alignment and sight picture. We’ll also touch on how to train with these techniques at home.
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Having Trouble Selecting the Perfect Color?

Front Sight Focus! If you ever take a defensive pistol glass you’ll hear that phrase over and over. Front sight focus is an easy concept to understand. Is it easy in practice? It can be, with the right sights. Your front sight should be easy to see, and easy to focus on. We can help you there. A front sight with high visibility will make front sight focus more than a concept.
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