Not Sure If Serious… The New Mako Meprolight “FT Bullseye Micro Optic”

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I love the concept behind The Mako Group’s Meprolight FT Bullseye Micro Optic. In short, its a single sight/optic for a handgun that completely removes the front sight from the handgun and instead replaces it with a an interesting bullseye apparatus that supposedly removes the need for the front sight.

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Per the Press Release:

Meprolight’s engineers solved the issue of bulkiness with normal pistol red dot sights by combining fiber optics with tritium. The innovative FT Bullseye is a sleek, low profile single rear sight, which helps shooters to get on target, faster, in all lighting conditions. With this inventive design, there’s no need for a front sight; it’s all in the red-dot. When the dot is centered in the circle, you’re on target. It’s as simple as that!

The low-profile design sets it apart from other micro sights and allows the shooter to pull the gun from the holster without having to worry about snagging a shirt or jacket on the sight. “It’s a real breakthrough in sight design”, ” I’ve never seen anything like it. You acquire the target quickly”, are comments frequently heard when experienced shooters use it for the first time. The combination of fiber optics and tritium make it effective under any shooting condition. Day or night, you’re good to go.

A shooter normally acquires the target by aligning the front and rear sights. Meprolight combined the dot and the circle on the rear sight, eliminating the need to use the front sight. Whether in competition or in defensive situations, the goal is to place rounds on target quickly and accurately. The FT Bullseye’s design is intuitive and allows the shooter to quickly and accurately get on target. When milliseconds count, give yourself the advantage.

Don’t get me wrong, its actually an exciting development relative to the deployment of sights on a handgun, but I contend (with my limited knowledge) that the concept will likely not translate through to normal shooters. I see a few issues:

1.) What happens with the handgun is completely off the target?

-In the exact same vane that I am a huge proponent of keeping irons with red dot sights, this sight would likely benefit from the same issue. Irons are an easy reference point to show the shooter visually how and where they are off target. Removing the front sight then presents an issue for alignment.

2.) How does one aim it?

-Is the dot placed in the center of the target? If so, how does one shoot longer ranges without seeing the target? Does it have parallax or can it be mis-aligned like iron sights? If so, what is the advantage?

The photo from Meprolight's website seems to imply it can be mis-aligned like any iron sight.

The photo from Meprolight’s website seems to imply it can be mis-aligned like any iron sight.

However, color me curious on the idea to review it (hint, hint Marketing people at Meprolight…). It does have a few things going for the concept:

-No option on front sights, which is usually what is snagged

-No batteries and hard to ding up.

-Price is $199, which if it works as promoted, is a bargain compared to most carry mico dots.

 

For those curious or ready to be first-adopters, the FT Bullseye is available now. Check it out on Meprolight’s website. It is available for most common handgun platforms (Glock, M&P, XD, etc.) in both red and green.

 



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Blake

    Interesting…

    So basically, if your eye is not exactly in line with the fiber-optic dot, you don’t see the dot? I guess it’s sort of a tritium multi-mode fiber optic illuminator pointed at your eye (multi-mode telecom fiber optics use LEDs instead of lasers).

    In the case of multi-mode telecom optics, the light travels basically straight through the fiber optic cable (due to reflection) but once it leaves the cable, the end of the cable acts diffuses the beam-width significantly (the photons were never traveling straight, & once they leave the fiber they don’t have anything to reflect off of…). This is why multimode fiber doesn’t tolerate air gaps very well.

    I’m curious as to how they concentrate the light from the tritium into a beam at the end of the fiber optic cable. Presumably it’s been drilled out to form a concave beam concentrator of some kind (or they glued a similar device on there). If not, the dot would be quite fuzzy…

    If there is some kind of beam concentration going on then presumably it’s focused at a certain point, which would determine the eye relief distance of this device.

    Now I’m curious to take a look at one of these. Thanks for posting.

  • Stephan Koopmans

    It looks like the SeeAll open sight concept adapted to handguns with a tritium upgrade?

    • Gregory

      SeeAll has a tritium model, same price as this sight.

    • Steve

      It is the same concept, and unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well without a cheek weld to reference yourself. I spoke to the inventor of the SeeAll at SHOT 2 years back; nicest guy in the world, but the product is a long-gun product, through and through.

      The amount of practice you will need to use this type of sight quickly is akin to the amount of food $20 will buy you at Taco Bell.

      If you want to try something that will let you demonstrate how it feels using a sight like this, put an adhesive flat mirror over your passenger side mirror in your car for a week. Without having your eye close to the sight, it will be the same effect – looking through a pinhole from arms length.

      It will sell, I’m sure… but just like having a ‘ghost ring’ right on your AK sight leaf, it will NOT work well. Anyone that reviews it otherwise is completely blowing smoke.

      • Steve

        I should note, the Mepro bulls-eye at least gives you the advantage of an iron trench for SOME reference… I still don’t see it being faster than irons, and certainly slower than a red-dot with a tube window.

      • int19h

        I think this is a bit different in the way the sight itself is arranged. Notice the two grooves along the line of sight – there doesn’t seem to be any purpose to them at a first glance, but I believe they’re there to help alignment. Basically, you look at the sight so that its top is flat, and the grooves converge in front (instead of on the sides) – and that should bring the highlighted point into your field of view, from where you can center it easily.

  • noob

    ah the old Singlepoint occluded eye scope comes to pistols. I guess leave your other eye open and let your brain do the rest

    • Ken

      Yep, that was my first thought as well.

    • Swarf

      I had no idea someone had developed a turret adjustable dog penis.

  • Charles Botts

    One thing, I notice in the Video, tho, the Glock still has it’s front sight on, so, just because you get it , doesn’t mean that you have to remove the front sight , so you could still have your “irons” reference point.

  • Evan

    Look up T.A.S. Glock sight. I’m almost 100% certain that’s where they (meprolight) got the idea.

    • Cymond

      Yup.
      I knew I had seen something like this before on Lonewolf or GlockStore’s website, but it’s gone now and I couldn’t remember the name.

    • QuadGMoto

      Sootch00’s review of the T.A.S. showed up in the list of related videos when I viewed the above video on YouTube. I does look like a variant of the same sight.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Seems a lot like trying to see through a straw. I’m very skeptical.

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    Guided by the P.T.Barnum business rule…

  • stephen

    “-No option on front sights, which is usually what is snagged”

    I’ve shooting since I was 12, spent a career in the Army and after that have been shooting for another 11+ years and I have never had any front sight, pistol, rifle or shotgun, get snagged on anything. Matter of fact all the friends I have had over the years, never heard of them say they ever snagged their front sight on anything either.

    So excuse me if I question this claim.

    • Joe Schmoe

      You’ve never snagged your front rifle sight…? Color me skeptical

      • stephen

        Nope never and I was in infantry, mech infantry and MP.

        I can only attest to my experiences – perhaps there are more DERPS these days who have these problems.

        • Squirreltakular

          I have never snagged the front sight of an M16/M4 on anything either. I think they actually designed it to prevent things like that.

      • Swarf

        Only once. I was about 7. Had to call my Mom in to help me with the zipper. Hurt like hell.

        • mazkact

          Frank and beans …………….

    • I once snagged the front sight on a rifle that didn’t even have one; I was hunting with a borrowed rifle where the owner had removed the irons after adding a low profile scope and hadn’t bothered to fill the screw hole with anything, and a one-in-a-million stub of yaupon got caught in it while I was following a blood trail and darn near pulled the whole rifle out of my hands.

    • Mark

      The reference to snagging was in regards to other red-dot pistol optics which ride high on the slide.

  • Bill

    Not once have I ever experienced, or witnessed, a pistol draw that was impeded by the front sight snagging something. I guess it could happen, with a really cruddy holster.

    It’s an interesting concept, and I try to keep an open mind, but I’d need a lot of de-training and re-training before I’d put this on a fighting gun. There’s also a commonality issue: I’m thinking that if a person goes this route, they should change out ALL their sights. All my handguns have essentially the same style sights now.

    • Nicks87

      I got to agree

    • whskee

      I think they meant snag free in comparison to a pistol RDS, since they mention it in the same sentence.

      • Bob Jones

        Yeah I reread it as well the first time and realized they meant compared to micro dots. Even with front sight it sort of made sense (very rare snags?) but with micro dots it’s much clearer.

    • Never had a Ruger MKII with the target sights, eh? Every holster is a retention holster!

      • Henry Servatt

        I currently own a Ruger Mk I with the target sights. It “USED” to be a snagger, until it got turned into a sort-of S&W ramp sight. Now it’s no snagger any more. However, it never was, nor is intended to be, a battle sidearm, needing to be fast drawn to out shoot the little black dots downrange, either.

        • I see it as a feature; in a nylon holster, that aggressive rearward hook is another level of retention in case I trip in the woods or fall off a horse or climb up a tree or whatever. Any squirrel or rabbit or snake that would hang around while I drew any other kind of pistol is probably still going to hang around that extra few seconds for me to carefully pinch and pull so the sight can clear.

          • Henry Servatt

            Golly, I never thought of it like that. 🙂
            I just grabbed the 10″ mill bastard, and turned that hook into the S&W rampy thing I referred to earlier. Oh, no, but here I go, destroying a true “safety feature” in what must be one of the trustiest hunting and battle sidearms to come down the pike since the early ’50’s, or so. Heh, heh.

  • Swarf

    Editor’s note: Vein not vane. Feel free to delete this comment.

    • noob

      I bet they think this comment’s about them.

  • Joe

    I’d put a red fiber indicator to the left and right of the circle/dot as an alignment aid.
    Seems interesting.

  • Sianmink

    It’s got potential. I’d have to handle one and see.
    IMO you wouldn’t use this like a traditional red dot, but more like traditional iron sights, since you can’t put the dot on the target without occluding it. I’m not completely sure what the advantage would be.

  • JASON B

    This is designed as a combat sight, not a precision sight. So I would not expect it to perform at long distances. I love my XS big dot sight on my Glock 19. Do I shoot it at 25 yards? No. It is a combat sight for short and quick work. It should be excellent in that role.

  • DIR911911 .

    no need for front sight . . . demos on gun with front sight : /

  • Glockwork337

    I’ve shot this sight. In defensive distances it works well. My biggest gripe is I find myself dancing around with the sight and taking my eyes off the target. It can be a bit difficult to determine which direction you are off-target in. where as with iron sights across a longer sight radius it is immediately obvious if i am just left, too high, low etc.

    I definitely recommend trying it and see if you like it. I put them on one of my range guns.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      It’s the same dancing/fishing issue with MRDS. And entirely the reason I think this generation of handgun optics is dumb. Interested in the next gen I suppose, but that’s definitely not here yet.

      This seems worse to me because it’s such a small “window” compared to the mrds which is larger and still very easy to lose the dot.

      • The Brigadier

        For heaven’s sake then put a laser on your handguns all of you. Sight it in and you have perfect target acquisition. You all apparently don’t want to retrain your brains which gives you 270 degrees of peripheral vision that just might save your life. The laser also works at night. I suggest all of you do that before someone comes to shoot you. Hint when keeping your eyes open, if you are right handed, the left ghost image is the one to move on your target. Its the right one if your left handed. The Apaches always focused on the target and didn’t focus on the arrow shaft and they rarely missed. Works the same for rifles and handguns.

    • John Swinkels

      Thanks thats what i wanted to know its not the ultimate fix.

  • Edeco

    As a fan of long hoses/slides for relatively precise alignment this seems to me like a flying leap in the wrong direction.

    Admittedly self defense scenarions aren’t my thing.

  • Vitsaus

    The best/saddest thing about Mako products is that they are dead serious.

  • stephen

    What else about this sight? People talk about them being used at “defensive distances” – I assume this means 20 feet or less. But do you really need them?

    FBI and LEO reports that officers involved in shootings, the majority are at close distances; if I’m not mistaken there were no officers that remember lining up their sights then shooting. It was all reaction = point and shoot, and their hit rates were dismally low (about 18-20%).

    In light of those dismal percentages, I think Point Shooting is something that needs to be taught to those looking to carry (CCW and open carry) for self and home defense. I think LEO and military would benefit from it too.

    So if this is being touted as a self defense sight for defensive distances, I think its not needed at all. Does this mean I don’t have sights on my rig? No, I have Speed Sights on almost all my pistols – I feel comfortable and the rest of my family really took to them as well (they felt they were the easiest to align and get a good sight picture).

    So while it might be a neat and different idea… no thanks.

  • So basically what this is, is a modern version of the Guttersnipe sight. Which isn’t a bad sighting system per say…
    Just…
    Not a good one.
    There are a couple sights like this out for the Archery market… designed for Bows.
    And they tend to be slow sellers there too. Also, most likely to have customers come back within a few months to buy a different sight because they found that they actually hated this.
    The concept isn’t bad… There’s just not been any very good executions of the concept.

    • The Brigadier

      Its a matter of training the eyes. If you learned to shoot with one eye closed you will have to retrain your brain to keep both eyes open. The military should be training recruits about keeping both eyes open, but they are happy if you can accurately put ordinance on target with only one.

      • No… I’ve owned 2 guns that had them. And they suck. They are not as fast to use as claimed, and they are not as accurate over standard sights. It’s just… “different” with no net advantages.

  • TM

    So, I actually got to see some of the pre-production units and try them out. Skeptical at first, I quickly began to respect the potential for this sight. Unless the gun is properly aligned, you dont see the center dot in the outer ring. You get used to proper alignment quickly. It has an extremely low height above bore axis, unlike many of the electro optics on the market. It will also fit in a standard holster.
    There were versions that had a different colored ‘front’ sight or center dot that might pick up quicker, also saw them in red. It is designed to be functional at normal pistol distance from eye, so 90% of the naysayers on this thread are incorrect. If you can line up a 3-dot night sight you can manage this as well. On a slide that is machined to fit one of these it will be extremely low-profile (I handled one on a 1911 machined like this) and I expect this to put a serious dent in the battery-operated pistol sight market.

  • Evan

    That article covers the old style “Glock sight”. I was specifically talking about the newer “J sight” that came out in 2013.

  • Just say’n

    Sights on a handgun are overrated. Who uses them anyway?

    • George Dean

      Folks who have the time for a sip of tea and a drag on a cigarette between shots.

  • Tom

    It’s interesting, it would be fun to try out for awhile. They make something similar for archery, but it’s more of an anchor/position verification than used for actually sighting the bow. Most people hated it on the bows, I personally loved it and still shoot it, but most people did not understand how to set it up correctly. It simply was a verification your anchor/position was good then you moved to using the sights to shoot. The real trick was having a proper bow fit and a relaxed repeatable position so once you verified anchor you didn’t have to “monitor” it during the shot.

    I’m not sure how I’d like it on a handgun, if it’s like the bow concept a tiny amount of movement means you won’t see the dot at all, so if this is similar it might be hard to initially pick up the right sight picture or have a reference which way to correct alignment. It also seems like it would encourage the shooter to be jumping focus from the target to the rear sight to the target etc. It would probably be a good training tool for ingraining your alignment during the draw cycle. Still seems like for combat purposes the traditional sights are the fastest/most versatile option, because it’s so easy to visually adjust quickly, they work in all light conditions, and if you’re within a few feet they just don’t matter.

  • Gary Kirk

    Idk, judging by the misaligned pic, seems like you can always see the central dot. And it’s the halo that “disappears”. Now if this is executed in such a manner as that you only see the part of the ring that’s in the direction you need to shift your poa until the ring fully appears.. And it’s a hold dot on target adjust till ring picture is full, pull trigger. Not sure if what I’m thinking is coming through in the text??

  • Broz

    This has been around for quite some time…Meprolight evidently bought the sight from the original Israeli manufacturer…forget the maker, but I know I have a link to it somewhere…just can’t remember where…liked this when I first saw it a few years ago…HOORAY for Meprolight!!!

  • So… basically all they’ve done is reduce the sight radius to about one inch. Seems to me you could just learn to point shoot and save yourself two hunnert bucks.

  • Treiz

    Looks like point of aim and impact would be ABOVE the bulls eye. In that case all they have done is reduce your sight radius, they haven’t really eliminated the front sight, just stretched it so that it extend all the way to the rear.

  • Mark

    A little background on the sight. Meprolight purchased the design from TAS sometime back and improved the concept by shortening the sight, adding a lens, and adding the tritium component to improve sight/target acquisition under all conditions. Meprolight and TAS are collaborating on other projects too. Like any change to your primary gun, you need to practice with it and you still need to practice if you don’t make any changes. You can keep your front sight on the gun if you want. The reference to snagging has nothing to do with the front sight, other micro optics mount on top and have a higher profile which adds to the potential for snagging. I ran a couple of mags with it a couple of weeks ago and hope to do the same again.

  • Bill

    Looks a bit like a shortened version of the Guttersnipe one piece sight, which used to be an option on the still cutting edge ASP (dating myself here). Man, we sure had some cool toys back in the day!

  • Core

    I would have to try it, but I probably won’t. I like open sights where I can lollipop below the target.

  • Dragonheart

    I have to say this is an interesting concept and for the average gun owner it may be a very good solution, but how does it perform in ht hands of an IDPA Master? I would like to see some comparison times running multiple targets between traditional sights and this sight.

  • Tom Currie

    By any chance was this “product” announced a few months ago? Perhaps on April 1st.

    • Mark

      Prototypes of the FT Bullseye were displayed at SHOT Show and there were scattered announcements at that time. Recently, Meprolight began shipping them to The Mako Group for distribution in the U.S. The response has been quite good.

  • Stephen Milata

    TAS invented it. Theirs sells for $89. Worth it then? Heck yeah!

  • dlh0

    Nope. Already have one that will work for me till I’m dead or blind. Yeah, I know. Sight alignment is off but the camera was not cooperating. Besides, at 10 yards I don’t think it would matter. It also does well out to 25 yards once you get used to it. Same sight on my 375h&h dangerous game rifle.

  • Brian G. Lowery

    How would this keep the shooter from having the muzzle slightly canted down or up?

    • Mark

      The dot inside the circle is your indicator. if you are off, you will see it

  • Mark

    Meprolight purchased the design from T.A.S. and then completely upgraded it. T.A.S. engineers collaborated in the upgrades. Appearance may be the same, functions in the same manner but it is totally upgraded.

  • Mark

    Meprolight, in fact did purchase the design from TAS and then went to work on major upgrades to make it a combat sight. TAS engineers participated in the project. The sight was shortened, they added trtiuium and enhanced the bullseye reticle. The improvements increased the capabilities of the sight. The engineers from both manufacturers are collaborating on other projects as well. It will be interesting to see what they cook up.

  • Phil Spomer

    I’m also curious. What about focusing? And, as you mentioned, when the sight is not aligned, how does one know how to adjust to align them?