The new sight replaces both the rear and the front sight. To be clear, you remove the front sight from your handgun. It’s not needed.
The FT Bullseye is, as it is billed, quite innovative. It is self-illuminated by tritium and fiber optics housed in a tube that runs parallel to the barrel, mounted inside a metal and plastic housing.
Together, they produce a circle and dot, available in either green or red.
The shooter simply puts the dot in the center of the circle, lines it up to the target and fires. If the dot isn’t centered inside the circle, the shooter is off target.
It’s not a new concept. Meprolight teamed with engineers from Tactical Aiming Solutions, who created the original “straw based” sight, and added tritium to enhance the sight’s low-light capability.
It took gunsmith Alden Talcott of Sarasota’s Gunsmith Gallery all of about five minutes to mount the FT Bullseye onto my Springfield XD.
It’s an easy process. Anyone who can remove a pistol sight can easily install the FT Bullseye.
The base slides into the sight channel, and then the sight is mounted to the base using two screws. Meprolight even provides a screwdriver to make the process easier.
The FT Bullseye is very low-profile. As advertised, there was no need to modify my holster.
Once the sight was mounted, we headed to Take Aim Gun Range in Sarasota to put some rounds downrange.
I was accompanied by Phil Pifer, operations manager for SNN-TV and a great photojournalist, who filmed the video portion of this review.
Once he switched on the television light behind me, we encountered our first problem.
The TV light created a lot of glare on the rear of the sight, which made it difficult to see the green circle or the dot.
To be clear, Phil was using a light with a diffuser, which was aimed at the ceiling of the range, and not pointed at me. Still, this was enough to “wash out” the sight. The FT Bullseye does not perform well indoors if there is a strong light source behind the shooter.
Once he switched the TV light off, it was easier to see the sight, but two other issues became apparent, although they’re my fault.
After more than 30 years of shooting handguns with standard iron sights, I found myself constantly searching for the front sight before firing. I shot slower with the FT Bullseye than I would with iron sights. At least for me, transitioning to the FT Bullseye will take time and practice before I’ll be shooting at normal speed.
Indoors, the FT Bullseye sight picture seemed a bit too small and dim for me. I needed my 1.5X reading glasses to properly align the dot into the center of the circle. I don’t normally wear corrective lenses when shooting with traditional iron sights — at least not yet. Again, this isn’t a defect with the sight. It’s a defect with my old eyes.
Shooting the FT Bullseye outdoors is vastly different. The fiber optics are powerful, and harness the sun’s rays creating a sight that’s easy to see without prescription lenses. The brighter the sun, the brighter the sight. To be clear, it will not wash out in bright sunlight. It only performs better.
For me, I found that the FT Bullseye shot a bit low. At 25 yards, I needed a 12 o’clock hold on a 12-inch shoot “Shoot N C” target to put rounds into the center of the target. To be clear, the sight is a fixed unit. There is no way to adjust its elevation. Windage can be adjusted by sliding the sight back and forth in the sight channel.
I’m a tactical guy. I’ve never been a bullseye shooter — far from it. The FT Bullseye produced groups that tended to be a bit looser than I normally shoot, but this can be attributed the the newness of the product, and the aforementioned sighting issues.
The FT Bullseye, as advertised, is definitely innovative.
It appears rugged.
It fits in standard holsters without the need for any modifications.
It doesn’t require any permanent modifications to the firearm.
It performs much better outdoors than indoors.
The FT Bullseye retails for around $200. In my humble opinion, that’s a bit pricey. Several other shooters said they’d be interested for around $100. I agree.
I’d like to see a larger diameter tube used to house the optics. This would make acquiring a sight picture easier and quicker, even for those with younger eyes.
I’d like to see the rear glass embedded deeper inside the mount, which would create a sun shade of sorts, and prevent ambient light from reflecting off the rear glass, which can wash out the sight.
With traditional iron sights, a shooter needs to incorporate three focal planes into a sight picture: rear sight, front sight and the target. The FT Bullseye cuts this down to two: the sight and the target. That’s a distinct advantage.
Of course there will be comparisons between the FT Bullseye and an electronic red-dot sight, which only requires a shooter to focus on one focal plane — the dot on the target — but the two are vastly different optics.
Additionallly, red dots are bulkier and some require modifications to the handgun that the FT Bullseye does not, nor does it need batteries.
Shooters unfamiliar with a red-dot will often “hunt” for the dot, which slows their shooting considerably. I encountered the same problem with the FT Bullseye, at least indoors.
When shooting outdoors, the sight works as advertised. It’s quick, accurate and deserving of the buzz it’s creating.
Currently, the FT Bullseye is available for all Glock and Springfield XD and XDM models. Meprolight says there will be versions coming soon for the H&K VP9, Smith and Wesson M&P, Sig Sauer, Ruger and Remington R1.
For more information, go to: themakogroup.com