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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

TRUGLO TFX Sights for Glock Handguns Review


TRUGLO TFX Tritium Fiber-Optic Sights
TFX Available Gun Model Chart

I'm a longtime fan of night sights for handguns that may be called into service at night.  I find it comforting to be able to catch a quick visual reference of sight alignment even in total darkness.  I purchased my first set of night sights back in the 1990's and had them installed on my first concealed carry handgun.  Since then I've added, or purchased with factory installed, night sights to most of my night stand and concealed carry handguns. 

In comparison, fiber optic sights are still relatively new to me.  I never intentionally purchased fiber optic replacement sights.  They just started showing up as factory installed front sights on new handgun models.  Specifically the Springfield XDs and Ruger Mark III Hunter in my case.  For those that subscribe to front sight focused shooting, a fiber optic front sight will really draw your attention as it lights up in bright conditions.  Unfortunately in low/no light conditions, a fiber optic sight offers no visibility advantage over a traditional white dot sight. 

TRUGLO TFX handgun sights are new for 2015.  The unique sights utilize tritium gas vials and fiber optic rods to enhance sight visibility in daylight and also at night.

The replacement front and rear sights are CNC machined from steel.  The steel sight bodies hold three chemical resistant capsules.  Each capsule contains a tritium gas vial and fiber optic rod.  The combination of glowing tritium gas and fiber optic rod allows the sight to function as a night sight in low/no light and deliver the enhanced visibility of a fiber optic sight in brighter conditions.

My perfect candidate for a TRUGLO TFX sight upgrade was a 4th Generation Glock 29 that I plan to start carrying as a belt gun next Winter.  TRUGLO cautions that TFX handgun sights must be installed by a trained gunsmith using a sight press, and that all other methods of installation with void the 12 year limited warranty.  As the owner of a previously reviewed MGW sight tool for Glock handguns, I felt up to the task of installing the sights myself.  I STRONGLY caution anyone considering these sights to follow the installation instructions provided by TRUGLO unless they have a similar sight press and some prior experience installing replacement sights.

Installing the sights was very simple with the MGW Sight Tool and a front sight tool.  You simply remove the old sights and install the new ones.  I didn't realize that the Gen 4 Glocks needed a shorter front sight screw than previous generation Glock handguns.  TRUGLO includes front sight screws for Gen 4 and all previous generation Glocks.  While it appears that the rear sight is free floating in the dovetail and held in place by the hex head set screw, on my G29 the rear sight was a very tight fit and I was very glad to have the sight tool to press the sight into the dovetail.

Installing new sights can be a tricky affair.  Ideally, you want the rear sight positioned exactly in the center of the rear dovetail and the sides of the front sight perfectly parallel with the sides of the slide.  Small errors in sight positioning on the slide can have a dramatic impact on where the bullet strikes the target 15 to 20 yards down range.  After replacing sights you should always check the positioning of the new sights with a trip to the range before putting your firearm back in service.

Additionally, new sights can also change the point of impact of your firearm if the new sights are taller or shorter than the original sights.  A taller front sight can cause you to shoot low.  A shorter front sight will cause you to shoot high.  This is one more good reason to check your new sights on the range before putting your handgun back in your carry rotation.

In my case, I got extremely lucky with sight positioning in the rear dovetail.  Shooting off-hand at 10 yards my shots were well centered and just a hair above point of aim.  In this group, 3 of the 5 shots went into one hole and the high flier was certainly operator error.   

As a night sight, the TFX sights are slightly less bright than a standard set of night sights.  In high ambient light, the fiber optic elements light up brightly and offer enhanced visibility unmatched by any night sight I've ever seen.  I really like the glow in the dark, and glow in the sun, visibility of these sights and will certainly consider them for any future night sight purchases.

TRUGLO TFX sights can be purchased directly from TRUGLO through their webstore, or various online retailers.  Prices vary widely, so you should shop around to find the best deal.  Amazon retailers fall in the middle of the price spectrum with average prices of $125.           

Windows in the sight bodies allow the fiber optic elements to gather light
Don't attempt to install the new rear sight without a press


















The factory standard Glock sights and the old sight picture.
This is the new sight picture.  The capsules containing the tritium vials
and fiber optic rods are held in place with rings.  Rear rings are black
and the front ring is white.


















Simulated look of the new sights when placed over a target.