Trijicon, Inc. is a company not normally associated with holographic weapon sights. While Trijicon is more famous for its ingenious and pioneering use of tritium in the development for night sights for use on handguns and its scopes for rifles, the company may have unintentionally played a role in the development of the holographic weapon sight without knowing.
The Bindon Aiming Concept
The founder of Trijicon, Glyn Bindon, was the developer of what is known as the Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC). The Bindon Aiming Concept dictates that the shooter keeps both of their eyes open while engaging the target.
One eye sees the target, the other sees a red dot and the brain merges these together in an ideal sight picture. The thought process behind this technique is to give the shooter faster target acquisition, improved peripheral vision and better depth perception.
Bindon and Armson OEG
Bindon developed this concept while working with the Armson OEG (Occluded Eye Gunsight), an optical sighting tool that superimposed a red dot by means of an optical illusion while aiming at a target with both eyes open.
The Armson OEG was an ambient lit collimator sight that was based on an earlier design used by US Special Forces on the Son Tay raid in Vietnam in an attempt to recover American prisoners of war as part of Operation Ivory Coast in 1970.
Trijicon was originally founded as Armson USA and was the sole importer of this sight in the 1980s. Eventually Bindon, a former NASA engineer, experimented with using tritium lamps in pistol sights to create the first viable night time sights for pistols. He then went to work on a series of scopes using tritium as a lighting source, including their flagship model: the ACOG (Advanced Combat Optic Gunsight).
The Evolution of the Holographic Sight
The later development of the holographic weapon sight was loosely based on the principles behind the Armson OEG in theory. The holographic weapon sight essentially replaced the superimposing of the dot by means of an optical illusion with a visible red laser.
The benefits relating to the Bindon Aiming Concept–namely keeping both eyes open while shooting–made it a natural fit for Trijicon, who began manufacturing their own version known as the Reflex. The Reflex sight was like the Trijicon ACOG, in the sense that it used tritium for the reticle instead of a laser powered by batteries.
When the demand went out for smaller holographic weapon sights for use on pistols, Trijicon answered the call with a scaled down version of the Reflex known as the Ruggedized Miniature Reflex (RMR). The RMR is so small and effective that it is used as a close range back up sight on Trijicon’s ACOG scope in the event of primary scope failure or if the shooter needs to accurately engage a close range target. The piggyback version of the RMR mounted on an ACOG can be purchased as a complete unit or an RME can be added to most ACOG models as an aftermarket accessory.