With most defensive gun uses taking place at night, it’s important to train appropriately and have the necessary gear to help you survive. Flashlights are likely the most common tool in this instance, either separate from your firearm or affixed to it. Another option is aftermarket night sights, which commonly use tritium-filled vials to “glow-in-the-dark” and allow for proper sight-alignment. A few months ago I did a bunch of research on the most popular night sights for handguns. These include such names as . . .
Trijicon, Meprolight, AmeriGlo, XS Sight, TruGlo, and others as well. After looking at specific reviews including plusses and minuses, I decided on the TruGlo TFX Pro Tritium/Fiber-Optic Day/Night Sights for my M&P Shield 9mm.
I chose this particular model because I wanted night-time capability with the added bonus of daytime fiber-optics. A few of my other firearms have factory-installed fiber-optics and I find them quite helpful. TruGlo has a long line of available sights (for firearms and bows alike); The TFO line is their basic Tritium/Fiber-Optic sight, however I ran across reports of the fiber-optic tube falling out.
The TFX line solves this issue by encasing the sights in CNC Steel, and the ‘PRO’ models add an orange ring around the front sight.
This allows you to quickly line up that front sight and distinguish it from the rear. All three dots have tritium for that sweet, sweet glow, however in low- and no-light the orange ring on the front is not visible since it’s not tritium. I’ve noticed in some low-light situations it is still barely visible. Also since the sights are ‘encased’ in a steel ‘fortress’ (to borrow their marketing terms), it is hopefully better sealed against the use of cleaning solvents and the weather.
TruGlo recommends a professional gunsmith installation, and for a carry-gun who am I to argue? (Mainly I don’t have the tools and experience to do so.) The difference was, as they say, like night and day.
TruGlo TFX Pro:
It’s difficult to see in that picture, but the front sight is slightly less than one inch long, about the same as the rear sight. At first I had concerns about it possibly catching on a holster draw, or snapping off during drills, but the steel construction seems quite solid. Here is a link to the product literature which gives a better idea of what I’m talking about.
The day after I picked up the handgun I attended an IDPA-like event at my local range. I barely had time to shoot a few rounds to check point-of-impact and make sure nothing was going to fall out, but I immediately loved how the sights stood out. I’m relatively new to the shooting world, so I’m still reminding myself to focus on the front sight. The orange ring helps immensely. The event was held indoors in medium-level light, and while my shooting itself needs some work, the sights performed well.
While shooting and reloading I came across a potential negative that I wanted to include here. The rear sight is angled and not totally smooth to allow one-handed racking on a belt, shoe or other surface. While racking after a reload, the sight actually bit me.
I had quickly cleaned/lubed the Shield before attending the event, and apparently the slide was slicker than I through. I quicked racked, slipped, and my hand caught on the sharp front edge of the rear sight. The above picture was taken the day after and was already healing, though I did bleed a little at the time. (My first, and hopefully only, range injury to date.)
When I got home I checked the rear sight, and it does seem very sharp at the front corners of the rear sight. Are they too sharp? Thoughts of racking and ripped shirts come to mind.
I did some more research looking for references to ‘sharp edges’ and found a few other people with similar concerns. I decided to contact TruGlo and see what they recommend; maybe I received an anomaly, maybe it’s normal.
I sent them the two above images and they said I can bring it to the gunsmith who installed them and they might be able to do something, or replace the sight if they can’t. If neither of those options is possible I can contact TruGlo again and look into other options.
I mainly wanted to know if my sample is indicative of the ‘sharpness’ of the model, or if I received a sharper-than-usual lot. I haven’t contacted the gunsmith as I don’t think that is his responsibility; I’m definitely not going to make him replace it (the TFX Pro is a new model and I had to special-order online, wasn’t available locally at the time). I have not contacted TruGlo back but I think I’ll wait and see for now.
Specifications: TruGlo TFX Pro for M&P Shield 9mm
• CNC Steel Construction
• Tritium front and rear vials
• Fiber-optic tubes on front and rear
• Bright orange ring on front sight
• Available for many popular models
• 12-year warranty
• MSRP is $186, however you can find for less than $140 online
Ratings (out of five stars):
Build Quality * * * * *
Steel construction, tritium is Swiss-sourced, sights are assembled in the U.S.A.
Function * * * *
Fiber-optics work great in even medium-level light, tritium glows reliably and brightly. Sharp edges on the rear sight are a possible concern, hence only four stars.
Reliability * * * * *
With professional installation and a 12-year warranty, I don’t foresee any major issues.
Overall Rating * * * *
For those not content with the standard factory sights, this is an excellent choice