Monday, August 3, 2015

TRUGLO TRU-POINT - A Quality Weapon Light and Laser for Well Under $100

TRUGLO TRU-POINT

The TRU-POINT combination laser and light from TRUGLO is a value priced weapon light that can be mounted on a variety of firearms with accessory rails.  The TRU-POINT features a 200 lumen LED light and integral red, or green, laser.  Unlike similar products that house the laser aperture below the LED light, the TRU-POINT laser aperture is integrated into the LED light head.  This unique design reduces the overall size of the weapon light and offers addition protection for the laser aperture.

TRUGLO TRU-POINT Red Laser/Light Combo
- 200 peak lumen flashlight
- 650nm Red Laser
- Next generation, high-efficiency semiconductor laser diode
- Three modes: laser only, flashlight only, and laser/light combination
- Laser located in flashlight housing for a more compact design
- Laser adjustable for windage and elevation
- Interchangeable back plates for right or left-hand use
- Mounts to standard Picatinny, Weaver-style, and additional rails with
  included rail keys
- Quick-detach lever for fast, easy removal
- Remote pressure on / off switch also included
- Lightweight aluminum construction with a 5.4 ounce total weight
- Two-Year limited warranty

With a little web searching you can currently find the TRU-POINT red laser/light for $86.  The green laser equipped TRU-POINT can be found for $146.  At these prices, the TRU-POINT offers the buyer one of the best value weapon lights available.  I appreciate the practical utility of weapon mounted lights so I was really looking forward to finding out if the budget-friendly TRU-POINT would prove to be a robust and reliable weapon light. 


How Laser Sights Work

When I first read about the TRU-POINT, what caught my attention was the concept of integrating the laser aperture into the light head.  Many of the other available weapon lights position the laser below the light head.  It may not seem like a big change, but I thought it was a brilliant idea because it would help minimize one of the disadvantages of combination weapon lights and lasers.

The iron sights, that sit on top of the slide of a handgun, do a good job approximating the bullet point of impact at distances between 3 and 25 yards.  This is because they are positioned directly over the barrel of the handgun and offer a line of sight that is parallel with the barrel.

In the photo above, I've illustrated how laser sights work.  With combination weapon lights and lasers, the laser aperture sits much further away from the barrel and must project the laser beam at an angle to approximate where the bullet will impact the target.  The farther away from the barrel, the steeper the angle will be.  Getting a laser sighted in at a known distance isn't a problem.  The problem comes when using the laser sight on targets that are closer, or farther away, than the initial sight-in distance.  If you are too close and use the laser, you may shoot too high.  Using the laser at longer distances may cause you to shoot too low.

Any design change that moves the laser aperture closer to the barrel will reduce the angle of the laser projection.  Reducing the angle will allow the laser to accurately approximate bullet point of impact at a greater range of distances.  That's a big selling point for me.                
What's In The Box


The TRU-POINT kit is impressive.  The hard case, with fitted foam insert, includes everything you need to mount the TRU-POINT on any firearm with an accessory rail.  The unit is powered by two CR123 batteries which are included.  

The TRU-POINT unit is nicely finished in a low-shine matte black coating.  The light head appears to be a sealed unit with a deep reflector that has an orange peel surface.  The light is bright, but I lack the measuring tools required to verify the 200 lumen brightness.  The light throws a large center hot-spot with plenty of edge spill to illuminate a wide area.

The TRU-POINT operates in three modes.  Light only, laser only, or both light and laser.  TRUGLO includes 3 back plates with the TRU-POINT.  All three plates have a vertical 3-way toggle switch to select the mode of operation.  The toggle switch is covered with rubber bootie, which I'm assuming is for water resistance.

A remote pressure switch back plate is included with the TRU-POINT.  That's a nice touch because it's usually an extra accessory you need to purchase with other weapon lights.  Left-hand and right-hand back plates are also included.  Unlike the remote pressure switch back plate, these plates have a lever switch.  Push the lever up for momentary on.  Push the lever down for constant on.
      
TRUGLO includes 3 different rail keys to accommodate a variety of rail systems.  My only complaint with the TRU-POINT is that the rail keys are not labeled or marked in any way.  The only way to know which key will work with your rail is by finding it through trial and error.  Also, a 2mm hex key is provided to remove the screw holding the rail key in place.  My TRU-POINT had a phillips head screw holding the rail key in place.

With the proper back plate and rail key installed, the TRU-POINT can be mounted on the firearm.  The TRU-POINT has a quick detach lever and spring loaded rail clamp that makes mounting and removing the TRU-POINT a tool-less process.  After trying the TRU-POINT on a variety of rails, I found it easiest to position the fixed rail clamp first and roll or squeeze the spring loaded clamp over the opposite side of the rail.  (demonstration video below)  Closing the quick detach lever locks the TRU-POINT to the firearm.

I tried all three back plates and they all worked perfectly.  My personal preference is the left-hand activation back plate which allows me to activate the TRU-POINT with my off-hand thumb.  




TRU-POINT On The Range


For range testing, I mounted the TRU-POINT on a 40 S&W Glock 22.  My test ammunition was 175 grain Hornady Critical Duty.  Testing in full sun, I put a small piece of 3M reflective tape on my IDPA cardboard target to increase the visibility of the laser down range.  Prior to leaving the house, I had adjusted the windage and elevation of the laser to match the Glock sights.  After my first group, it was necessary to make small adjustments to elevation and windage.  Using the included hex keys and adjustment screws on the underside of the TRU-POINT, my next group was dead on target.

After 100 rounds of full power ammunition, removing and reinstalling the TRU-POINT between strings, and activating the TRU-POINT in all six modes of operation I was satisfied that this handgun and weapon light worked very well together.  I didn't experience any laser point of impact drift and the quick detach lever held the TRU-POINT securely in place under the stress of recoil.  The light and laser continue to operate exactly as they did before being subjected to shooting stress.  The TRU-POINT proved to be a quality weapon light that's currently available at a very modest price.

If you are considering a weapon light, you might want to add a TRUGLO TRU-POINT to your shopping list.  When you consider the unique design, everything included in the kit, and also the two year warranty it certainly appears to be a great buy. 

I didn't have the chance to range test the TRU-POINT in this configuration for the review, but I will be getting another for shotgun duty.  Maybe green this time.

15 comments:

  1. Great review Bruce. I didn't even know that Truglo was making a light/laser combination unit. The price is certainly good.

    Streamlight moved the laser inside the reflector on the TLR-2 G. However, it is my understanding some people were having problems with the light diffracting on the lens. So, on the TLR-2 G HL, they moved the laser back to the underside of the light. I take it that Truglo didn't have this problem?

    Thanks again for another good article!

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    1. Hi Richard. If you are the Richard I think you are, I just watched your YouTube review of the TLR-2 G. Cameras do a horrible job capturing lasers in low light, so I'm not sure if I saw the diffracting condition demonstrated in your video. I love when the camera makes the laser dot appear to expand and contract like a supernova. I noticed some of that in the YouTube review I watched. I did notice a large halo around the central laser dot. Is that the diffraction you mentioned?

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    2. I is the guy you suspect. ;)

      The camera does do a fairly awful job of capturing lasers, and certainly I have a significant opportunity to improve in my use of the tool. I did not notice much of a diffraction when I was using the TLR-2 G, but I had others tell me they had a significant problem with it. Maybe it has to do with the grinding of the lens? It is my guess that Streamlight also heard from some people on the subject as they moved the unit back to the bottom of the light unit. It is possible that Truglo engineered a better solution and avoided the problem entirely. If so, good on them!

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    3. I had the same camera problem when I was recording the laser/light portion of the Taurus Curve review. It's not us, it's our equipment.

      I'm sure there could be many things that could cause diffraction. Possibly even the physical relationship of the laser aperture in relation to light head lens. Per your original question, I didn't have an issue with the red laser TRU-POINT. I have a second coming, in green this time, so I'll see if it makes a difference.

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  2. You might also mention legality - I have the idea that this is illegal in California.

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  3. If the legality of ownership is a concern, it's up to the buyer to confirm that status before purchasing. It's nearly impossible for me to keep up with law/rule changes in my own state. I rely on sources like Arkansas Carry dot com.

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  4. Why would anyone think a laser or flashlight would be illegal in California? Must not live here obviously

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  5. You can buy laser grips or laser sights at every gunshop in California. Same for flashlights. Rumors

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  6. California Fish & Game Code section 2005.
    With few exceptions, in California it is unlawful to use a flashlight or spotlight while fishing or hunting, and while possessing a firearm in areas where game and nongame animals are present. This prohibition includes the use of vehicle headlights to assist in hunting (but not for ordinary driving). Handheld (i.e. not attached to firearm) two-cell, three volt flashlights are exempt.

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  7. California Fish & Game Code

    "...while fishing or hunting,..."


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  8. It's been a while since this review, but I just found it. I have on mounted on my PPQ M2 .40. I loved it so much I added one to my SBR AR. Tough frikkin units. After 8 months of use and a LOT of ammo down range, they still hold zero. The only problem I've had is dropping my AR (rough terrain + general clumsiness) and I broke the activation switch. I grabbed the other one out of it's box for a replacement. Other than that, they work great in whatever weather from rain to heat to cold. Hella nice for the low price.

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    1. Contact TRUGLO on the broken part. I bet they hook you up with a replacement for a reasonable cost. I over-tightened a Microtac and stripped the threads from the unit. I called and admitted my stupidity. They replaced it for a nominal charge with a brand new unit.

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  9. Most lasers come with an export restriction, this item and probably many others was made in china, I don't get how that works. Anyway, I got the unit for my home defense tactical 20 gauge, I just installed it and have not zeroed it yet. The install was fairly simple, partly because during my research I read a lot of reviews. There is a flat head screw on the other side from the lever, I had to loosen it to close the lever and retighten it to fine tune the fit. From what I read you need to be very careful not to over tighten this screw, as you turn it you can hear a faint metallic spring sound, you'll know it when you hear it. Apparently if you're to aggressive with this you'll break some internal pins and you are screwed.

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    1. I over tightened the attachment screw on one of my microtacs and stripped out the housing. Truglo was really cool about replacing it for a nominal cost. Always best to take it easy with the tightening. Thanks for the caution.

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  10. Hey you're the guy that posted this review, good job, it made up my mind. I've gleaned a lot of useful ammo info from this sight, the people here are serious, not Yahoo!'s, I'm sure you know what I mean. Thank you.

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