While walking the maze of aisles at the 2013 NSSF Shot Show in Las Vegas, I was fortunate to have a chance opportunity to meet two fine gentlemen; Terry Adcock and Jim McAuley, founders of Gemini Defense LLC. While crossing by their humble vendor booth in a hurry to finish up the day, Terry grabbed my attention with a simple “call out” to come over and check out their product. Little did I know but I was about to be exposed to a very new, innovative combat sight system called the, “Z-Flex Combat Sight”. Terry and Jim began to explain the concept behind their invention and the lineage of its development. Being the end of the day, admittedly, most of what they said was washed out by the long, tiring “vendor marathon” I had endured. But then Terry dropped two words that seriously sparked my attention, “instinctive shooting.” As a long-time point shooter and instructor, I became very interested in what Terry and Jim had to say. Terry went on to explain that their sight design helps to provide a “bracketing effect” that works extremely well in close distance engagements, ranges 25 feet and in. I raised an eyebrow. “Give it a try”, Jim stated as he handed me a training Glock outfitted with a laser and Z-Flex Low Profile Combat Sight. He directed me to a paper silhouette target they had set up in their booth. I began to rapidly index the training gun at the target, pulling the trigger and activating the red laser as the sights disrupted my line of vision. I began to quickly realize that my laser strikes were consistently landing directly center-line on target. Leaving their booth intrigued, I grabbed their business cards wondering how they would hold-up during live-fire.
A few weeks later, I had the opportunity to satisfy this curiosity. Gemini Defense sent to me a set of Z-Flex Low Profile Combat Sights for my Glock 17. Out of the packaging, the sight appeared high quality. Constructed out of aircraft high-grade aluminum, the sights are lightweight and extremely durable. Installation was found to be simple with a set screw, an Allen wrench (both provided) and a drop of Locktite®.
With Glock in hand; complimented by a Grip Force Adapter; a fantastic after-market product for Glock handguns, I set out to put the new combat sight through its paces. On the range, I began with several speed indexing drills that we customarily utilize in our firearms courses. This repetition gave me an opportunity to view the sight profile the Z-Flex offers at the real speeds demanded of a close quarter lethal engagement. I found that the Z-Flex’s larger rear aperture did in fact provide a “bracketing effect” each time my Glock broke my sight line. I also noticed that my vision was easily drawn through the rear sight onward to the target providing a rapid sight picture. At twenty-one feet, I was able to effortlessly hold an effective disbursal pattern, center mass, while firing multiple three-round, sub-second deliveries on a full-sized humanoid target. These sights performed strongly for me during all rapid handgun deployment exercises and certainly assisted as advertised.
Designed and sold as a “reflex sight” I had some concerns on how the sight would perform during precise shooting applications. From a solid, thumbs-forward two handed shooting platform, I aligned the front dot in the center of the bisected seam reference in the rear sight. Now standing at thirty feet, with my best trigger control, I was capable of repeating three inch shot groups, which is about on par for my personal shooting ability. The rear sight’s prominent profile also easily facilitated one-hand reloading procedures. Another check mark on my list of must-have combat handgun sight characteristics.
One of the truly unique features that all Gemini Defense Z-Flex sights possess is their luminescent capability while operating in adverse light conditions. Super-Luminova pigments are applied to the sight that responds to white or black (UV) light. The manufacturer claims that when exposed to a light source for 30-60 seconds from any modern hand-held flashlight, an after-glow is produced that can last up to six hours. I am told that the next generation of pigments will be capable of holding a charge for up to a full twenty-four hours. I demonstrated the Z-Flex luminescent capability to over a dozen police officers. Each and every one of the officers was impressed by this feature. When the sights dim, you can simply “recharge” them with your flashlight.
So, my summary opinion of the Z-Flex Low Profile Combat Sight is that it has all the features required of a reliable fixed handgun combat sight. If you have the time to acquire the sight system on your handgun in a close-to-intermediate distance lethal engagement, these are the sights you might want to consider. International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) competitors may really like them as they definitely assist target engagement speed. I was so impressed during my evaluation of this sight; I decided to keep them equipped!
Gemini Defense sights are manufactured right here in the U.S and retail around $100.
For more information you can visit Gemini Defense at www.geminidefense.com
About the Author
Brian Bastianelli has nineteen years of law enforcement experience working several specialty positions in patrol, narcotics and administrative assignments. He is currently a sergeant for his employing agency, a western suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Brian has dedicated himself over the past decade to promoting and advancing innovative, use-of-force training methods throughout the State of Michigan. Since 2003, Brian has provided over a thousand hours of instruction in basic and advanced concealed pistol training for the private sector. He is a co-owner of Fortis Group, LLC (fortisgroupllc.us), a multi-faceted company specializing in training, consulting and public safety equipment. You can best reach him by e-mailing: email@example.com.
By: Brian Bastianelli