After being unvailed at the SHOT show three (almost four) years ago Trijicon is finally shipping the Tri-Power "Red Dot" scope to compete with the Aimpoint Comp Ms.
I've had a couple days to play with one of them however it was not mounted on a weapon. The reason it was unmounted was it was a lot easier to walk around with it this way and try it under different conditions.
For those unfamilure with the Tri-Power think of an Aimpoint Comp M with a fiber optic light gathering module (which looks like the command hull of the Star Ship Enterprise) mounted on the top.
Though it is called the Tri-Power it really has 4 powder sources used to illuminate the chevron retical.
Primary light source is ambiant light picked up by the fiber optic unit.
Secondary is Tritium
Thirdly is a compartment to house a mini (1" x 1/4" give or take) chemlight.
Finally is the ever popular battery source.
When I first saw the prototype Tri-Power at that SHOT Show my heart went all aa-pit-aa-patt with desire... a red dot that uses batteries as back-up. Now that it is shipping and I've played with it there are some things that it leave to be desired.
First off, and I don't know if it is a defect with the unit we have or the design, but there is a red haze "wash" over 1/3 of the viewing surface when looking through the scope. I first though it was "reflection" on the back glass from surrounding light so I used my hand as a shade. No use, it still appeared. This "haze" is fix in that the shape of it doesn't change nor does it get brighter nor darker going from bright outdoor sunlight to indoor tract lighting.
The second thing is that using only the fiber optic light source if you are in-doors or in a highly shaded area and view a light colored object through the sight that is outside in direct sun the chevron appears very faint even to the point of disappearing on a white object. If the target is darkened (such as in a shaded area or behind tinted glass the chevron shows up fine.
Thirdly the Tritium lighting source is not what was expected. It is not like Tritium inserts on sights. I believe they have used Tritium to illuminate the fiber optics which in turn illuminates the chevron. The reason for this is that in a dark room with no light what so ever the chevron appears however it is very faint and difficult to pick up and if you cover the fiber optic gathering module (or it is broke?? )the chevron disappears
I haven't tried it with the chemlight but this would probably illumiate the chevron much like the batteries.
As I said Trijicon is touting this as having the power sources as listed above (i.e. battery is a back-up). Having played with one this claim had to come out of the Marketing Department... "Hey, everyone distrusts batteries, let say that the battery illumination is a back-up and push the other light sources!".
Truth be told I will use this sight (when I get one if others come in with out the "wash out haze" feture noted above) with the battery illumination being the primary (chevorn always there), ambiant light for the fiber optic as secondary (chevron mostly there except for certain contrasting light scources), chemlight as third source (chevron always there but how many carry around a mini chemlight?) and finally the Tritium (chevron there but faint).
This is Schmit, kicking back and having cigarette after the anti-climatic experience with the Tri-Power,.... OUT
I also failed to mention that the housing is... aaaa... what is the current buzz word.... oh yeah, polymer. Now, I have a polymer thing or two in my safe, a holster and two long gun stocks (kind of on one) (nope no polymer hand guns thank you) but the things in there that are round and have lenses (flash lights and scopes) are all made of aluminium. Aluminium, this unknowledgable Jarhead would think, would seem to have a much higher structural strength.
Oh, but how much structural strengh do you need in a scope? Might this be the wave of the future??? Polymer scope tubes???
I think you'll find that the modern "polymers" have a higher tensile and yield strength than any aluminum alloy. I know it's sacrelege, but aluminum has sorta been aluminum for ages but polymer chemistry keeps advancing.
And since high tech is in the manufacturers are loving it. You see high tech costs more, but the molding machines spit tubes out like popcorn at a cost of pennies. There's no scrap but when they machine a tube out of bar stock 90% of the metal ends up on the floor. The up front cost for the molds is very high but they last a long time.
It's the American way: make it for less and sell it for more.
I understand. That would make a good article if someone had access to an Underwriters type lab where all sorts of tests could be performed on two tubes... one of aluminium and polymer... both of the exact same dimentions of course.
I won't be playing with the Tri-Power we have as it has to be sent back. As I was handling it the other day I noticed that the housing around the horizontal adjustment screw was cracked.
I showed it to our "Tactical" manager and we can't determin if the unit was received like this (defective) or if from the hard abuse of taking it out of the display case to show customers it became cracked (mayby it fell on the carpeted floor).
Could this be the cause of the red haze "wash" in the optics? Hmmm.
The jury in my mind is still out on the ""modern "polymers" have a higher tensile and yield strength than any aluminum alloy"" verdict. :roll: