The Flipsight – An IndieGoGo You Should NOT Fund

We here at TFB have covered a variety of crowd-funded products over the years. Nathan S and other writers have shown that various technologies lend themselves well to crowdfunding and we are pleased to see a few of those projects have indeed succeeded, making it through development and out to the market.

However, there is one idea I have seen hit IndieGoGo that I cannot recommend one buy – the FlipSight. In short, the Flip Sight is a single piece of glass bedded into a large rear sight, Designed to be stowed, it can be folded up to get a red-dot-esque sight picture. However, in its current form, there are major problems.

  1. The single lens will likely not work. While the IndieGoGo campaign does not state the technology used to create the sight picture, the glass will likely just be etched with the reticle. While a good idea on its surface, this will have massive parallax issues.
  2. Location of the reticle is almost 3/4″ above the bore. Those who shoot with red-dots know the higher it is above the bore, the harder it is to find – especially without the reference point of the iron sights to help guide one (which are not in the same plane)
  3. The iron sights themselves are massively high, either requiring suppressor height front sights or requiring complete replacement of the sights.
  4. My hat is off to the inventory for admitting that he does not have the CNC machines or much of the equipment to make this a reality – its a rare moment of honesty on the always-positive crowd-funding scene, but this is in and of itself a huge risk. The inventory does not go into any detail on how to mitigate this, his knowledge of managing cash flows, or production management. The only thing shown are crude prototypes, which does not inspire confidence.

As such, I cannot in good confidence, recommend anyone fund this sight in its current form.

However, I will encourage the inventor to refine it. He may be onto something with the single lens and no emitter, especially if using a prism of similar optical tool to remove the parallax issue.



Frank.K

TFB’s FNG. Completely irreverent of all things marketing but a passionate lover of new ideas and old ones well executed. Enjoys musing on all things firearms, shooting 3-gun, and attempting to be both tacticool AND tactical.


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  • AZgunner

    I think this is one of those things where if it were really a workable idea, one of the major optics makers (aimpoint, trijicon) would already be making and selling it.

    • Jason Culligan

      In fairness, that argument has been made about every major invention.

      Apple were ridiculed for trying to bring a smartphone to the market by tech experts because other major manufacturers had tried and failed and look where they are now. As the author said, this guy may be on to something if he can get some of the issues worked out.

      • int19h

        The problem is that the guy doesn’t give any clues as to how they’re planning to solve this little problem. Worse yet, they aren’t even acknowledging that it even is a problem! This is a question that anyone familiar with guns and red dot sights is going to ask first thing, so the fact that it’s not even acknowledged, much less answered, is a huge red flag.

    • YS

      I agree with your insight. I checked out the indiegogo and was excited when there was a section titled “How FlipSight works!”. I was hoping the inventor would explain the theory behind his patent pending technology. Unfortunately, instead of explaining the theory of operation, he was explaining the manual of arms, which should be title “How to use FlipSight”. Clearly, we are in late night infomercial territory with this listing.

      If his invention truly does what he claims it does (no battery, single glass, no tube), I would not bother with raising funds for equipment or materials. Instead, I would patent my idea and walk into my choice of optics company or gun company and demand a job. I’m sure the company would be more than happy to pay for any equipment to make this a reality, and provide the necessary staff to do so as well.

      • JimB

        Unfortunately this is not how patents work. What would happen in your scenario is the company would say “no thank you”, you’d walk out the door and then they make it anyway. Unless you are already very wealthy, you’d have absolutely no chance of pursueing legal proceedings past the first day in court.

        A patent gives you the right to bring about court action, nothing more.

        • YS

          I think I was not clear. If the inventor can really do what he seems to be proposing, his technical skill is almost a miracle. With the backing of his patent, any company would hire him for his R&D ability to develop more miracle optics.

    • MadMonkey

      IIRC one of the lower-end manufacturers (UTG maybe?) is just now starting to produce an MRD with a flip-up lens so it can be carried in a regular holster. But it’s a reflex so even it isn’t as retarded as this thing.

  • Raptor Fred
    • valorius

      Whatever that gun is, it looks cool as hell.

    • John

      Um…I would like to purchase one of these…I don’t care of it shoots kittens out the barrel or is just some kind of gun shaped Jello mold…it’s…Battlestar Gallacticaesque.

  • Zapped 02

    Guess spell check and edit review before posting is out of the question ??

    • Phillip Cooper

      Right! It’s right there in every word processor now. It’s just NOT hard.

    • st381183

      The inventory was too busy increasing his retail inventor amount to ensure he had enough units on hand.

      I guess my English professor was right – proof READ, don’t spell check.

      • ozzallos .

        There’s just something about a blog complaining about a crowdfund, but can’t even get get its own editing right…

    • Phil Hsueh

      This has been an ongoing issue with this site for a long time. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen use it’s instead of its, along with other spelling/grammar errors.

  • C-More was experimenting with flip-up variations of its RDS back in the mid-1990s. One was its standard “Railway” sight modified with a flip-up lens. One of these can be seen on a custom Beretta in the film “Eraser.” Another variant, the “Electric Slide,” attempted to integrate the sight’s components into a pistol’s slide. (This is not to be confused with their “Slide Ride” series, which was a “Railway” sight minus its Weaver base. I remember some Glock shooters mounting these directly to their slides, similar to the current MRDS trend. However, this resulted in a large proportion of the sight’s body protruding from the rear of the slide.)

  • EdgyTrumpet

    That Kryptek-dipped XDM should enough of a warning.

    • plumber576

      We don’t need advice from people that need to be told which zone of their pistol is for gripping.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Main Feature: “Unlimited Parallax”

    • SGT Fish

      the page answers all the questions I had except one. how does it work? how does it line the barrel up with the target?
      I think I know the answer though, it doesn’t…

  • Phillip Cooper

    “Inventor”.. not “inventory”… and don’t start on the grammar.

    FFS, hire an editor, TFB.

    • Christopher Wallace

      we are the editors son

      • Cory C

        Haha.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    Been burned by crowdfunding enough times already. And the things I paid for were far more down to earth than pie in the sky unproven ideas.

    One was an electronics kit. They basically use the buying power of everyone that contributed to get Chinese components cheaper. First campaign was good, got a nice stash of parts for 10 bucks. Second campaign with the same group upped the offer, lot more stuff for 40 bucks. They got a quarter million dollars from people and disappeared.

    No freaking way would I trust money to someone with no experience bringing a product to market with an unproven product that can’t even get financed traditionally.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Could just get a See-All Open Sight. They exist, contain tritium for night usage, sit much lower to the bore, and actually work.

  • valorius

    I flip up legit holosight would be pretty friggin cool.

  • valorius
    • Anomanom

      Who did the work on that slide?

      • valorius

        A master of his craft.

        • Blake

          What an absolutely douchey way to answer that question.

          • valorius

            That is the most honest answer i can give you, becuase i have literally no idea who the owner, or gunsmith are. That is a picture that was posted on HK forums years ago. Despite out best efforts we were never able to find out anything about the gun’s history.

    • Dan

      That gun makes me moist.

  • Anomanom

    Needs work, but i like the idea of a flip up sight.

  • Cory C

    Can someone explain this to me like I’m five? If I understand correctly, this won’t work because you could always look at the etched-in dot a little off-kilter and it looks like the dot is on target but the barrel is really pointed off target. I get that. But how is a normal halo sight different in that respect?

    Thanks / sorry I suck.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    I had previous experience with the group and they came through. The second time was a straight up scam after their funding got pumped up to a quarter million dollars.

    Personally until some sort of laws are passed giving funders some sort of protection I’m just going to look at these as people asking for free money.

    • Blake

      Yeah one has to be really careful when selecting which campaigns/companies to back, and even then one can still get screwed. I personally don’t back unless there’s a working prototype (I pretty much only back hardware), company has experience with manufacturing or employees that are, and the company has shown that they routinely interact with their backers.

      Using these criteria I’ve been very lucky. Some of my favorite possessions were acquired through Kickstarter. Including a 3D printing filament and machine that will smooth prints to a glossy finish, a stick-on wireless MIDI controller for acoustic guitars, and a battery brick that holds and can wirelessly stream 128GB of movies/music to up to 6 devices simultaneously.

  • plumber576

    Great pull from the archives!