Seasoned Contributor for Minuteman Review and teaches over 100 shooting classes a year.
When Truglo set out to combine the glow of a night sight with the brightness of a fiber optic they created the TFO pistol sight. The Tritium Fiber Optic sight was a unique new design combining these two elements, and can be installed on many pistols without any modification to the firearm itself. TFOs provide a clear and bright sight picture no matter the time of day or lighting condition.
The main feature of the TFO is the combination of tritium, from a night sight, and light gathering fiber optic tubes which gather daylight to increase brightness. The tubes are set inside of a CNC-machined steel body for strength. They are coated in Truglo’s “Fortress Finish” to help protect against wear and tear during use.
The TFO sights will fit holsters without modification, allowing you to use gear you’re already familiar with. While Truglo has released newer sights with TFO technology, the TFX and TFX Pro, the original TFO sights are still very a popular choice.
Scope Review and Breakdown
TFO sights offer some nice upgrades over regular pistol sights. The tritium inserts glow in low light conditions, which is useful to those needing a night sight.
They do not require additional light or batteries to function. The fiber optics transmit light from the top openings to the 3 dots, allowing the sight to glow bright green for fast aiming and ease of use during the day.
Unlike the TFX model there is no contrasting focus ring around the front sight, an option which many shooters may prefer. The TFOs are a 3-dot design with a green front sight and green rear sight.
They are also available with a green front sight and yellow rear sight depending on shooter preference. Models are available to fit many of today’s popular pistols.
The TFO inserts combine fiber optics and tritium, letting these sights to glow 24 hours a day without power or batteries. The constant bright sight picture provides quick targeting.
CNC-Machined Steel body and “Fortress Finish” protects the TFOs during use. This helps the sights to withstand countless range sessions as well as wear from dirt, oil, and the weather.
The sights have been designed to fit many different pistol models without any modifications to the gun itself.
The snag free design eliminates any chance of your firearm getting hung up while being drawn or during re-holstering.
The TFO has a large footprint when compared to standard pistols sights. Both the front and rear are longer than normal, reducing sight radius slightly.
Ease of Use and Reliability
You aim the TFO sights like any other 3-dot pistol sightw. When the front post is placed between the two rear posts, and aligned at the same height, you then place on the target. Shooters who are familiar with pistols will find these easy to use.
Unlike the newer design on the TFX sights, the TFOs are not as robust and do not have hermetically sealed chambers around the fiber optics. This means the TFO is not as durable as the TFX and you must take more care when cleaning your pistol to avoid oils from affecting the fiber optic inserts.
There is always the possibility of fiber optic inserts coming loose, and while the steel body of the TFO will help protect against this, it has been reported in some cases.
Since the TFO inserts glow automatically no batteries are required.
TFO sights can typically be found for under $100, about the price you would pay for a set of quality night sights. These are cheaper than the newer TFX and TFX pro sights, making them a good option if you want TFO Technology on a pistol than won’t see as much use or isn’t being carried every day.
Who is this Scope for?
Type of Shooter
The basic 3-dot design will be familiar to most, and therefore these sights are a good option for any level of shooter. Those who want upgraded sights for the range will love the fiber optic inserts as they are easy to see and quick to aim with. Those using the TFOs for home defense will benefit from having the brightness of the fiber optic during the day and the reliability of the tritium inserts at night.
Type of Gun
TFO sights are available for a wide range of pistols. Due to durability issues these sights would best be used on pistols for home defense, casual range use, or non-intensive competitions. If you are planning on carrying the pistol every day, using it on duty, or in high-intensity competitions the TFX may be a better choice.
If you are looking for a pistol sight with TFO technology without spending a ton of money, these are a good choice.
The TFO inserts are easy to see no matter the lighting condition.
They even work great outside during bright daylight hours.
The construction isn’t as strong as the TFX sights but for occasional use there shouldn’t be any issues.
The TFOs are fun to shoot with, easy to see, and will provide years of enjoyment on your favorite pistol.
Other Options Worth Looking At
If you need a robust sight to withstand heavier use, we would recommend either the TFX or TFX pro sights from Truglo. They have taken user feedback from the TFO and implemented several upgrades over the original sight. They are more expensive however.