TRUGLO® TFX™ Sights
by Rich Grassi
I often get asked to take a look at new products for the self-defense/law enforcement market. Sometimes the results are good and sometimes they’re not so good. As a police Physical Skills Trainer, Developer of the Premier Handgun/Long Gun Retention and Disarming System and Founder of the National Law Enforcement Training Center, Jim Lindell is often known to say, “Just because something’s possible doesn’t make it a good idea.”
Now, Jim is old school. And with my gray hair, one can tell I’m rapidly obsolescing – and that includes my vision. I’ve been searching for highly visible sights for defense handguns and that search has taken me in many directions over the years. Colleague Dave Spaulding pulled me in the direction of contrasting colors while Ashley Emerson pushed me toward dangerous game sights.
Currently the typical set-up is the high, fixed sight with a white dot up front and a pair of white dots on the rear – one on either side of the rear sight notch. That’s not always a good idea, but it certainly beats what we used to have. I witnessed, during coverage of the Shooting Industry Masters side matches this year, military-standard 1911A1 sights on currently made copies of those guns…and people are shocked that anyone could have used the miserable – old – tiny sights from the WWII (and earlier) era.
TRUGLO®, innovative maker of sights for firearms, air guns, crossbows and archery, as well as optics, has been making use of fiber-optic technology for more than twenty years now. Fiber-optic sights are great, if you have light to use them. Some folks have told me that night sights are useless…
“If you can’t see the sights, you can’t identify your target.”
That’s nonsense! One of the latest of my escapades to prove said ‘nonsense’ was the inaugural Smith and Wesson IDPA Backup Gun National matches. On several stages, the targets were brightly lit, but the shooter operated in the shadows. People with night sights cleaned up on those stages. I had a loaner S&W M&P Shield with stock sights so I was shooting like I was reading Braille – couldn’t see a thing. And, you can’t see the glowing tritium of night sights in broad daylight.
TRUGLO® decided to combine the best of both worlds – tritium and fiber-optic technology. While they were doing so, they sought to make the sights duty-gear rugged in design and finish. They elected to use tritium and fiber-optic rods in both the front and rear sight. The outcome are the patented Tritium-Fiber Optic (TFO™) enabled TFX™ sights.
I was of the camp that the glowing sight should be upfront. Why complicate things? Well, have you ever reached for a gun in conditions of darkness? I’ve looked, just to ensure a gun was in its hiding place when I’m sleeping so I can have quick firearms access. The glowing dots on rear sight give me a visual confirmation of the gun’s location and orientation.
Still, how do we avoid losing the front sight dot between a pair of dots glowing closer to your eyes? TRUGLO® solved that little problem with a pair of answers. The front TFX™ sight has the TFO™ element surrounded by a white ring – a “Focus Lock” ring. This draws the eye up front where the visual focus belongs and black “Rear Retention” rings surround the rear sight elements. This means that now you can transition from light to dark conditions or vice-versa and still see your sighs at all times because of the use of fiber-optic in light and tritium in decreased light.
The hermetically sealed TFX™ capsules encase the tritium and fiber-optic elements from cleaning products including ultra-sonic cleaning processes and environmental variables, keeping your firearm easy to clean and care for. These sights are not purely ‘sporting use’ sights but are truly ‘depend on [for] your life’ sights. Their “Fortress Finish” and 12-year limited warranty seal the deal – there is no reason to look for another sight.
A number of law enforcement agencies have approved the TRUGLO® TFX™ sights. I have a set on my second-hand GLOCK 21 SF. It had night sights that were dimming and the gun needed a set of ‘eyes.’ When the armorer did the installation, he said it appeared that someone had removed material from the slide dovetail instead of the bottom of the night sight – making the TFX™ a loose fit. He did a “factory adjustment” to ensure stability. He then gave the TFX™ sights his greatest accolade. “Even I could see them!”
For TFX™ model availability for your self-defense handgun, check the TRUGLO® website.
Rich Grassi, founder and editor of The Tactical Wire and Ready for Anything Wire —both free-subscription email news wires, has been an outdoors writer for over 21 years. Retired from a career in local law enforcement, his experience includes law enforcement firearms instruction and as a university adjunct instructor in criminal justice.