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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have posted about my Speed Sights in response to a few other threads. I took a gamble when I purchased these because I did my best to research them, but was not able to find many reviews. I will hopefully take a small step in remedying that by compiling all the information here and posting some pictures as well for the benefit of my fellow XD enthusiasts.

I installed Speed Sights approximately 1.5 years ago on my EDC which is an XDM .40 Compact 3.8". So, the sights have been under daily wear and I have also sent about 4000+ rounds downrange through this pistol during that time.

To begin I chose these sights because I wanted a sight option that satisfied the following requirements:

1. Green front night sight
2. White standard rear sights with no night sight (Personal preference but tactically I prefer to only have a front night sight)
3. Metal construction for ruggedness since this is my EDC
4. High profile and sturdy enough to allow for one-handed slide racking against a table or the like using the front sight as a pressure point
5. Ease of quickly and consistently acquiring a satisfactory sight picture for personal defense. In this case I wanted the sights to perform well from 0 out to about 25 yards.
6. Low light performance - I wanted sights that would stand out in low light and transitioning environments. I also wanted sights that would not get lost on target in dimly lit ranges or against off white or grayish backgrounds.

There are many options on the market that satisfy one or more of the above requirements, but very few that satisfy them all. After many hours of research I took the leap and purchased my Speed Sights.

The Installation:
My Speed Sights were installed by a local gunsmith and he reported good ease of installation with no problems. Because of that, I will say that these are a direct factory replacement as no modifications were necessary. I agree with the manufacturer and I do recommend having a gunsmith install the sights. The reason I say this is that my gunsmith reported both the factory sights and my Speed Sight upgrade being extremely tight. He had to use every trick in the book to get the factory sights off and to install the Speed Sights without marring them. I am a firm believer in having experts complete work on firearms, but even so, due to the tight fit I wouldnt recommend a home installation for this product.

The Product:
The sights themselves demonstrate professional workmanship. The fit and finish is excellent and the sights are mil-spec black anodized and fully enclosed in precision machined aircraft aluminum (7075 T6 Certified Aerospace Alloy). I have seen no wear to the finish after 1.5 years of daily use. As you will see in the photos that follow, the sights are slightly higher profile than factory sights, but not overly bulky. The front sight provides a sufficient lip to be racked one-handed against a table or other ledge.

Speed Sights can literally be ordered in any color sight pigment the customer chooses (as a special order) or you can pick from the standard colors offered on the website. My set is a Hi-Viz Green front sight with a green Tirjicon lamp insert and a Bright White rear standard sight with no lamps. The sighting elements are much larger than the factory 3-dot sights but are still low profile. They do not get in the way of normal operation and the profile is similar enough to the factory sights that they fit inside my Raven Phantom Kydex holster with no rubbing or contact with the holster.

The Trijicon lamp on the front sight still glows as vibrantly as the day I unboxed them and lights up brightly even with minimal charging. I have woken up a few times at 3-4 a.m. and, for giggles, checked the sights. The front dot was still glowing brightly both times. After 4000+ rounds I see no issues with the front insert slipping. I am satisfied that the Trijicon insert is installed well and of good quality to perform well for years to come. I believe that the quality of this Trijicon installation is due to the fact that the manufacturer sends the sights to Trijicon and has them complete the lamp installation. Experts doing the install equates to expert results in the field.

The rear sights are Bright White and they (along with the front) stand out brightly even in low light conditions. On the website the manufacturer (Advanced Design) states that the sight paint is a proprietary pigment that is highly reflective. I agree that the paint is very bright and that is no-doubt why the manufacturer claims that it is highly reflective (as in highly reflective of light in general). It is not, however, photoluminescent or reflective at night like reflective tape would be. The paint itself also does not glow. Overall I am satisfied with the brightness of the paint and the reflective performance in low light conditions and transitioning environments.

I have not seen any fading of the sight paint or yellowing of the white. The manufacturer states that the sight pigment is sealed with an armor coat that is highly resistant to water, oil and solvents. I agree with this as well. After numerous cleanings I see no issues with the pigment holding up. In the interest of full disclosure I have not "torture tested" the sealant and I do my best to keep harsh solvents off the sights. Still, they are holding up in like-new condition after a prolonged period of daily wear (OWB EDC) and numerous gun cleanings. I am not 100% sure what type of clearcoat sealant is used. I believe it is some type of an acrylic sealant coat. The front sight is also recessed to protect the pigment and the Trijicon lamp.

The Sight Picture:
In theory, Speed Sights are designed using what the manufacturer calls "the science of VizioNomics". What that is, I am guessing, is a cross between vision and ergonomics. Catch phrases aside, the sights are designed to "lock in" faster. If you shoot front sight focus as I do this style of sights works incredibly well. For quick target acquisition you push the front sight on target and allow your peripheral vision to lock in the rear. Then the sights work as a "unit" and can easily be pushed from one target to another. The larger sighting elements give more positive visual feedback and allow the shooter to easily maintain this "locked in" sight picture. The rear sight is a nice deep square "U notch" so locking in is fast and quite intuitive. For slower more deliberate accuracy you can take a bit more time and fine tune your sight picture by locking in even more precisely. The concept is pretty simple. Once the diamonds are locked in and the corners are lined up horizontally, the shot will be on target.

In actual use on my XDM there is one difference I have noted compared to my factory sights. I usually train at a range for accuracy at a standard 25 yards. I train closer as well for defensive training purposes. I also train drills and shoot houses/range courses. For standard accuracy I feel that if I can perform well from 0 out to 25 yards, I am capable and well trained for almost any self-defense situation I would find myself in. This is my EDC pistol so it isnt meant to be a competition piece or a sniper. So, it is set up for a close range gun fight and I want it to be accurate and dependable as such.

With my original factory sights at 25 yards I would shoot the bullseye by lining up my sights and having the front sight dot directly beneath the bullseye. After upgrading to the Speed Sights, I have found they shoot a bit differently. Instead of placing the dot, or in this case the tip of the front diamond, directly below the bullseye I now put the front diamond directly OVER the bullseye. So, for example, if I am shooting a standard white and black target at 25 yards I would bury the black bullseye behind the front diamond. This sight picture changes slightly at closer range revealing a bit more of the bullseye as the target is nearer. At 10 and 5 yards, resepctively, roughly 1/4 to 1/2 of the bullseye is visible.

This is the only substantial difference I have noticed compared to the factory sights. To me this was not a big adjustment to make although it did take some retraining to get used to it. Some may not like this since the front Speed Sight diamond is a bit chunkier than the factory front sight or a standard fiber optic vile. However, as I mentioned, for me this is a self-defense weapon. Speed Sights are designed to enable the shooter to get a fast positive visual across the sights and to lock them on the target quickly. They do accomplish this and while the aim point may not be as fine as a small fiber optic vile or small white dot, they are every bit as accurate (for me). Trying to stay as objective as possible, I bought my Speed Sights for EDC use to lock in quickly and accurately. I wanted them to perform well in personal defense situations and they do so. My set is not designed for long range fine tuned accuracy. Advanced Designs does offer Speed Sights with different rear sight heights to create a custom zero. One height in particular is for long range shooting. I have not evaluated them for this use.

That being said, after the initial bit of adjustment during my first range session following installation I was shooting groups of about 3 inches at 25 yards. I am shooting an XDM Compact 3.8" .40, so that group is acceptable to me and is actually a bit tighter than the groups I was shooting with the factory sights (4"). I attribute this to the fact that it is easier to lock in the sights by lining up the corners of the diamonds. When it comes to drills, shoot houses and range courses I am also shooting with similar to better accuracy however I am shooting FASTER as I can much more easily pick up my front sight.

Guarantee:
A manufacturer that is confident in its product backs it up with a solid guarantee. Case in point, Advanced Design gives you a 2-month no questions asked trial period! Buy their sights and install them on your gun. Shoot them for 2 months and if you dont like them you can return them and they will issue you a full refund. To my knowledge that is one of the best guarantees that is out there relating to upgraded sights/night sights. It definitely made me "pull the trigger" and try a sight that looked excellent but one that unfortunately doesnt have a lot of reviews.

Ordering and More Information:
Speed Sights can be ordered through the manufacturers website at:
Speed Sights

I encourage anyone who is considering them to go to this website and fully read through the information that is provided there. Go to the home page and click through all the tabs at the left and top of the page. Dont rely just on my opinion - really do the research for yourself. My review is written exclusively from my personal experience and I admit my photos are not the best bc I am not a photographer and they were taken using my iPhone 5s. To supplement what I have written here, to read more reviews, to learn who in the LE community is using them, to see additional visual comparisons and more the site is a great resource.

My Final Word:
Hopefully my review has shed some light on what I feel is an excellent yet underrated product. My guess is that the manufacturer does not spend millions on promotions or give them away to every website, blogger or firearms reviewer. I think they would benefit from a bit more community review and I have no doubt that they would find more happy customers and increase their sales if they did so. I, for one, do recommend these sights based on my experience. They perform as the manufacturer claims and they have been durable under EDC use. My set cost me about $150 installed which is on par with other similar higher end night sight upgrades. I am happy with the fit, finish, quality and most of all the downrange results.

There is one last thing I wanted to restate and offer some guidance on. There are different rear sight heights available. Read the FAQ on the manufacturers website and make sure you order the correct one for your pistol. I believe that most factory unmodified XD series will require the "G" sights. The "G" rear sight is what I ordered for mine and that is what will give you the sight picture I described. I have not tested any other combinations.

Now for the porn...

SIDE 2.jpg IMG_2479.JPG SP2.jpg SP5.jpg FS3.jpg FSS3.jpg IMG_2480.JPG

If this review helped you please "like" it and "follow" me on this forum. Upcoming reviews will include the Fort Knox Pistol Box, Explorer Range Bag, Seibertron Tactical Modular Assault Bag, Schrade Tactical Pen and more!
 

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Very nice review and well written. I will consider these sights when I can afford to upgrade my sights.
 

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Indeed, a very nice review!

I would have considered these sights if I had a gunsmith I knew and trusted nearby. As I don't (yet), I went with XDMAN for my first sight upgrades.

I'm curious what other sights you've tried on that same gun and what your impression are comparing and contrasting for the same use.

Thanks!
 

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NIce review. I've been looking at them, among others, for a while as I look to change my sights, but to me they detract from the looks of the XDm.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Indeed, a very nice review!

I would have considered these sights if I had a gunsmith I knew and trusted nearby. As I don't (yet), I went with XDMAN for my first sight upgrades.

I'm curious what other sights you've tried on that same gun and what your impression are comparing and contrasting for the same use.

Thanks!
I havent had any other sights on my XDM aside from the factory sights.

I have owned/do own other XD series pistols and I have also tried the Dawson, XS Big Dot, TruGlo TFO and ATS sights.

The Dawson sights are great and I have them installed on my wifes XD9. We both shoot it frequently and like the Dawson sights a lot. I also really liked the Big Dots that I installed on an XD that I recently sold. Both sights are well made accurate shooters and easy to pick up with the eye.

My experience with the TruGlo TFO sights was not good. They were bulky and they were sensitive to wear and solvents etc due to their open vial design. I had the TruGlo sights installed on the XD 9 that my wife carries (that now has the Dawson sights on it) and one of the vials actually came loose and started sliding out after about 1000 rounds and roughly 3 months of EDC use. I think they were junk and that you are mostly paying for the tech (cool factor) of the hybrid lamp and getting a substandard sight otherwise. I have talked others who loved them, but they left a lot to be desired for me and they didnt hold up well under EDC.

The ATS sights were horrid. It looked like a cool idea which is why I tried them out. In fact they were hard to shoot. The lock in is not intuitive. The pyramid shape does leave a lot of target visible but that isnt really much of a benefit as they are just weird to shoot otherwise.

Again - its personal preference but I would say stay away from the TruGlo and ATS (advantage Tactical Sights).

If you want more options definitely check out the Dawson and Big Dot (XS Big Dot).
 

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Good review.

Personally, I've found that generous U-notch rear with a larger dot front (eg, Trijicon HD) work best for me (at this time).

Still, if I had a chance to try 'em, I'd keep an open mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think I might throw a set on one of my Glocks. Maybe the 41. I think it shares the same slide cut as the 20 so I can switch them if I do so feel.

But I'm kinda with Cuda. The HDs are sooo easy to pull up quick.

Another one I wanna try out is the ATS. The goofy looking pyramid sight...

They're fairly cheap too... http://www.amazon.com/Glock-All-Models-ATS-Sight/dp/B00H131GSY
Go for it man - you can always send the Speed Sights back if you test them within the 2 month guarantee period and dont like them. They will give you a full refund.

As far as the ATS no reason not to give them a whirl too - I didnt like them but maybe you will!
 

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excellent review
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Two things I realized after I posted my review:

1. I discussed the available options for Trijicon lamps on the front sight and I mentioned that you could also order rear sights with the Trijicon lamps. I forgot to mention that you can also get Speed Sights with no lamps in them if you just want standard day/low light sights.

2. I also forgot to talk about an improvement I would like to see in the machining of the rear sight. I wrote about the recessed front sight. On the front sight the lamp is countersunk and the area that the diamond pigment sits in is also recessed. The "diamond areas" on the rear sight are not recessed. If you get the rear sight with the Trijicon option, the lamps will be contersunk the same as the front sight. However I feel that they should also recess the area where the diamond pigment goes on the rear sight. This would be better than simply putting the pigment on the flat surface as it is now. It would look better and I am guessing that, over many years or use, it would wear better too. I have not had issues with any of the rear pigment coming off my sights after 1.5 years but I plan to keep this as my EDC for many years to come so I will keep watching this over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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maybe it is time to try something different on my XDsc .40
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes it really does - tbh the pics dont really do the sights justice. They were taken with an iPhone 5s camera and the red background isnt great either lol. In person they look better and the green is even brighter than it looks here.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just a quick FYI and a congratulatory note for one of my friends...

A buddy of mine that put these on his XDM a few months ago. He has been practicing with the pistol and today he ran a few shoot houses/tactical courses as part of a local private gun club competition. It was a suppressed pistol group and he runs a suppressed XDM 4.5" .45ACP with the same Speed Sights I described above. He won the competition. He called me this afternoon and was raving about how much these sights helped him shoot better/faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
How difficult is it to install?

Sorry please disregard I missed that in original post.
No problem - it was a long post because I was trying to be thorough. It looks like you found the info. A bit more elaboration...

The XDM sights are incredibly tight from factory and the Speed Sights go in just as tightly. My smith told me how hard it was and cautioned against anyone trying the install on their own unless they are experienced and not prone to being heavy handed. The two biggest risks are marring the sights during the install or, even worse, torquing the slide.

He alluded to letting the slide sit in front of a space heater to get the tiniest bit of expansion. This in his opinion is slower but less likely to heat warp the slide (like heating with a torch may do). He also said he lubed the sights. There are so many jokes I could make (and did make to him) about that but I am trying not to get myself banned from the forum. :)
 

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This is an older thread, and I always hate to awaken them and bring back the "necro-thread".... but after several years, OP, wondered if you still have the sights on your gun and still happy with them. They are the top of my list, just ahead of Trijicon or Truglo.

Thanks (in advance) for the follow up!
 
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