June 7th, 2017

Five Red Dot Reflex Sights for Handguns

Vortex Sig Sauer Burris Bushnell Trijicon red dot reflex site heads up display Venom

Red Dot (aka “Reflex”) sights help pistol shooters hit their targets quickly. With these sights you simply place the dot on the target. Head alignment is not critical. These sights offer an open field of view, virtually no parallax, and eye relief is basically unlimited. You don’t have to worry about aligning front and rear sights — as long as you can see the red dot you’re good to go. The only real negative is that the red dot can be hard to see in very bright sunlight, and users with strong astigmatism may see a blurry or fuzzy image instead of a sharp dot.

As quoted in Outdoor Life, pistol champion Doug Koenig explains: “Red-dot sights are fast, superior in low light, and allow the shooter to simply focus on the target.” For those reasons competitive action pistol shooters can shoot faster with red dot sights. They definitely offer a “competitive advantage”, and that’s why iron sights guns run in a different class in most pistol matches.

The NRA Blog recently reviewed five (5) red dot sight systems for handguns. Red dots give let shooters focus on the target rather worry about sight alignment. In addition, red dots aid older shooters who often have trouble with close focusing. TIP: If you need reading glasses — a red dot can help.

READ FULL RED DOT Sight Review in NRABlog.com »

Sig Sauer Romeo 1 First Strike red dot reflex site heads up display Vortex Burris Fastfire III

SIG SAUER Romeo 1
SIG SAUER’s Romeo 1 open reflex sight is built with SIG’s twin adjustment springs that provide a “lock-less” zeroing system while maintaining zero. The sight body is CNC-machined from solid billet magnesium to be lightweight and strong, and its molded aspherical lens is bright and distortion-free. The Motion Activated Illumination (MOTAC) system recalls the last brightness setting used, so you don’t have to remember those adjustments on your own.

Vortex red dot reflex site heads up display Venom

Vortex Venom
Vortex’s Venom reflex sight can be mounted on pistols with Picatinny rails, as well as tactical rifles and shotguns. The 3 MOA dot is easy to see in nearly any lighting conditions and allows users to shooting accurately at long ranges. Ultra-clear multi-coated lenses provide a wide field of view with sharp image quality, and brightness controls are easy to find and use, located on the left side of the unit. The Venom features 14-hour auto-shutdown to extend battery life, and the unit is built shockproof and waterproof to withstand harsh operational demands.

Vortex red dot reflex site heads up display Burris Fastfire III

Burris Fastfire III
Burris’ Fastfire III is one of the most versatile red dots on the market. In addition to the unlimited eye relief awarded by red dots, the Fastfire III features windage and elevation adjustments that don’t require the use of a proprietary or special tool – just a small flathead screwdriver is needed to make adjustments, and comes bundled. Battery access on the top of the sight makes it easier to change batteries, and the Fastfire III includes a battery warning indicator and eight-hour auto-shutoff to prolong battery service life.

Bushnell First Strike red dot reflex site heads up display Vortex Burris Fastfire III

Bushnell First Strike
Known for quality sights at great prices, Bushnell delivers again with the First Strike, one of the most affordable red dot sights available. Despite its affordability, the First Strike is well made, and an ideal candidate for use with smaller-caliber firearms, such as rimfire pistols. Like many other reflex sights, the First Strike mounts using the Picatinny rail system, so you’ll need to ensure your pistol either has a rail included or can facilitate a small mounting rail section. The First Strike is waterproof, shock-proof and fog-proof, and coated lenses ensure excellent light transmission, allowing easy target acquisition up to 100 yards — well beyond normal pistol range.

Trijicon First Strike red dot reflex site heads up display Vortex Burris Fastfire III

Trijicon RMR
Trijicon’s RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex) sight is one of the most durable mini red dots available today. Produced from 7075-T6 aluminum to military specifications, the RMR is lightweight but strong, using a patented shape that absorbs impact and diverts stress away from the lens. The RMR is available in dual-illuminated, LED, and adjustable LED models with dot sizes from 1 to 13 MOA. The RMR is waterproof to 20 meters (66 feet), and boasts easy adjustment for windage and elevation.

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September 23rd, 2016

New Meprolight FT Bullseye Sight Uses Fiber Optics and Tritium

FT Bullseye T.A.S. TAS fiber optic Glock Rear pistol handgun sight Tritium

What if you could have a normal-height rear sight that could dispense with the need to align front sight and rear sight? In fact, what if that rear sight could eliminate the need for a front sight altogether?

That’s exactly what the new Meprolight FT Bullseye does. Employing fiber optics and tritium, the FT Bullseye provides a bright aiming dot inside a circle — no front sight is needed. When the dot is centered in the circle, you’re on target. It’s as simple as that! This really is innovative technology, albeit expensive — the FT Bullseye’s MSRP is $199.00 — not cheap.

Traditionally, a shooter aims 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 altogether. This sight is fast on target and works in all light conditions.

FT Bullseye T.A.S. TAS fiber optic Glock Rear pistol handgun sight Tritium

Red dot and reflex systems also work without iron sights, but red dots are tall and bulky, and they don’t work well at all for shooters with astigmatism.

Meprolight’s engineers created a sleek, low profile rear sight by combining fiber optics with tritium. For concealed carry, this is better than a bulky red-dot. The low-profile design allows the shooter to draw from holster without worrying about snagging a bulky red dot or reflex sight assembly. To see how the FT Bullseye sight works, watch this video.

The fiber optic technology used in the FT Bullseye was pioneered by Tactical Aiming Systems (T.A.S.) an Israeli company. Meprolight dramatically improved the TAS system, adding tritium and an enhanced dot/circle reticle. The FT Bullseye is also smaller and sleeker than the original T.A.S. rear sight. The FT Bullseye is currently available in red or green dot/circle for all Glock models. Meprolight guarantees the tritium to last 12 years. MSRP is $199.00.

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November 7th, 2015

Trijicon Miniature Rifle Optic Wins G&A “Optic of Year” Award

Trijicon MRO miniature Rifle Optic of Year Award Red Dot Reflex

The Trijicon Miniature Rifle Optic (MRO), a one-power “red dot” reflex sight, has been named the 2015 “Optic of the Year” by Guns & Ammo Magazine. The “Optic of the Year” is an annual award presented by the Guns & Ammo editorial staff based on performance, versatility, durability, and product value.

Trijicon MRO miniature Rifle Optic of Year Award Red Dot Reflex“We designed the new MRO to be as rugged and versatile as our renowned ACOG, while offering the features and benefits reflex optic owners desire,” said Chuck Wahr, Marketing VP for Trijicon. “We have been overwhelmed with the positive response from the industry. Being awarded “Optic of the Year” by Guns & Ammo is a great honor for Trijicon.” Users have praised the MRO. One purchaser wrote: “Great FOV, clear dot and glass. Light weight…love it.”

MRO Sells for under $450.00
The American-made MRO features a 2 MOA dot and 25mm objective lens for quick target acquisition. There are handy adjusters with half-MOA click values and 70 MOA total adjustment. Dot intensity is adjusted with a top-located brightness control. Street price for the Miniature Rifle Optic is $449.00 for the basic version, $515.00 with a low mount, and $535.00 for the elevated “co-witness” version.

With the co-witness elevated mount, the MRO allows “see-through” aiming with back-up iron sights.

Trijicon MRO miniature Rifle Optic of Year Award Red Dot Reflex

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January 14th, 2015

Sig Sauer Offers P220 Pistols in 10mm

Handgun owners have debated the comparative merits of the 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP cartridges for decades, ad nauseum. If one focuses on downrange energy, there IS an answer to the age-old 9mm/40SW/45ACP debate, namely “none of the above”. Bottom line, if you really want the most powerful, widely available semi-auto handgun cartridge, the 10mm Auto beats the other three contenders. Don’t just take our word for it — check out the ballistics comparisons on GunData.org:

9mm vs. .40 S&W Summary and Ballistics | .40 S&W vs. 10mm Auto Summary and Ballistics

The .40 S&W has more energy than the older 9mm Parabellum cartridge, but the .40 S&W is trumped by the larger 10mm Auto. In fact, the .40 S&W is actually just a “detuned”, shortened 10mm. The .40 S&W was developed when the original 10mm Auto proved a bit too snappy for FBI agents.

Sig Sauer 10mm ammunition ammo Elite P220

Fans of the original hard-hitting 10mm Auto, have reason to celebrate. Now one of the great semi-auto handguns, the Sig P220, is available in 10mm Auto. “A 10mm version of the legendary P220 is at the top of the list of ‘most requested products’ from fans of our products,” said Jeff Creamer, Executive Director and General Merchandise Manager for SIG SAUER, Inc. “We heard the demand, and created a P220 that will make full use of the cartridge’s potential.”

Four different 10mm P220 models will be offered, all with 5˝ barrels. There will be one DA/SA model and three single-action-only (SAO) models. The Match Elite Reverse Two-Tone P220 is the one DA/SA model. It features match sights, G-10 grips, an Elite Beavertail, and a stainless finish with front cocking serrations

The Stainless Elite P220 and Stainless Elite Nitron® P220 are single-action only pistols featuring the Elite Beavertail, Siglite night sights, and front cocking serrations. Last but not least, the SAO “Hunt Ready” P220 comes with Sig Sauer Romeo1 mini red-dot sight installed, black G-10 Piranha grips and a Kryptek® Highlander camo pattern finish.

Sig Sauer Introduces 10mm Auto Pistol Ammo
To feed its new 10mm P220s, Sig Sauer will offer two new types of 10mm pistol ammo: 1) 180gr Elite Performance Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) target load; and 2) 180gr Elite Performance V-Crown™ Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) and for self-defense and hunting. “We are pleased to add this accurate, powerful round to our Elite Performance Ammunition line,” said Bud Fini, Sig Sauer Marketing VP.

Sig Sauer 10mm ammunition ammo Elite P220

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January 15th, 2013

Smith & Wesson M&P C.O.R.E. Pistol Set-up for Optics

At Media Day, we had a chance to try out a new Smith & Wesson Pro Series C.O.R.E. pistol in 9mm. Despite the wicked cold weather, we enjoyed shooting this pistol. It is accurate, comfortable, and has a decent trigger.

This M&P variant features a slide that has been milled to fit modern, compact red-dot optics. Six optic types will fit: Trijicon RMR, Leupold Delta Point, Jpoint, Doctor, C-More STS, Insight MRDS The slide cut positions the red dot optic (a Trijicon on our test gun) so that the conventional iron sites are still usable below the red-dot. That’s smart, because the front blade sight can still be used to steer the gun towards the target, and then, as you bring the muzzle down on target, the red dot appears. This is a very fast, efficient system.

smith wesson core pistol

This C.O.R.E. model, like other M&P series pistols, has a comfortable, ergonomic grip-shape that is far superior to the grip on Glock handguns in this reporter’s opinion. I also like the grip better than the blocky grip on my older H&K polymer .45 ACP. Grip angle feels “just right” (unlike the Glock), and the corners are rounded (an improvement on the blocky HK). Plus the M&P has three (3) optional backstraps, so the user can “fine-tune” the grip to his or her hand. For 2013 the stipling on the backstraps has been modified for better grip and comfort.

smith wesson core pistol

This is a nice, intelligent upgrade on a gun which was already very good. And even with the special “optics ready” slide, the gun remains affordable with a $729.00 MSRP (not counting optics).

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January 26th, 2012

SHOT Show: New 1-8x28mm & Hunting Scopes from U.S. Optics

Background: Last year, when Leupold introduced its 1.1-8x24mm FFP Mark 8 CQBSS scope at a whopping $3,999.00 price, jaws dropped in the shooting world. Folks rightly wondered whether anyone (other than Uncle Sam) would pay four grand for a small, compact scope, even if it did offer a broad magnification range and other innovative features.

U.S. Optics SN-8 Is Thousands Cheaper than Mark 8
Well U.S. Optics has just undercut Leupold by a couple thousand dollars, providing a much more affordable 1-8X option for tactical shooters and 3-gunners. If you were thinking about the Mark 8, you better take a close look at the new 1-8x28mm SN-8 from U.S. Optics. From what we can see, the SN-8 performs on a par with the Mark 8, plus it features a true 1X magnification on the low end — which is best for fast, both-eyes-open target engagement. The new SN-8 is offered in two models. The 1-8x28mm SN-8 Standard version retails for $1945.00, while the higher-end version with Red Dot-equipped eyepiece runs $2445.00, still substantially under the cost of Leupold’s Mark 8. These new SN-8s should start shipping in June, 2012.

U.S. Optics sn-8 1-8x28 scope

New “Slim-Line” Hunting Scopes from U.S. Optics
For 2012, U.S. Optics is bringing out a series of compact, light-weight “Slim-Line” hunting optics: 1.5-6X, 1-4X, and 3.2-17X. Though they offer a significant weight-savings over typical hunting scopes, these new Slim-Line hunting scopes are built for hard use, and U.S. Optics backs them with an impressive, transferrable, “full lifetime” warranty. Prices start at $1100.00 and the Slim-Line Hunting scopes should hit the market in late March or April, 2012. We like what U.S. Optics is doing with this “Slim-Line” scope series. For daylight deer and varmint hunting, many hunters are better served with a compact 1.5-6X variable, than with a large, bulky high-power scope with a relatively small field of view.

U.S. Optics Scopes

At SHOT Show, in addition to its all-new SN-8, U.S. Optics also showcased its innovative dual-focal-plane tactical scopes. Offered in 1-4X and 1.5-6X, these offer the best of both worlds. The FFP reticle allows consistent ranging at all magnifications, while the Second Focal Plane functionality allows more precise aiming, since reticle line thickness does not increase as the magnification goes up.

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August 9th, 2009

Tiny Trijicon Red Dot Wins Optic of the Year Award

Trijicon RMR Spec SheetA red dot sight can speed up target acquisition dramatically when shooting carbines, shotguns, or pistols at short ranges (where ballistic drop compensation is not an issue). Just put the dot on the target and pull the trigger. For older shooters who may have trouble focusing on both front and rear sights, a red dot makes the aiming process much easier. And for novices, who may have trouble aligning front and rear sights, the red dot gets them on target quicker and more reliably.

Where red dot sights are allowed in action pistol competition, they are almost universally used. If a red dot is compact enough, it can also work on a defensive handgun. However, a red dot is normally worthless when the batteries run down. Trijicon has solved that battery issue with its new Ruggedized Miniature Reflex™ (RMR), the world’s first battery-free mini reflex sight. The RMR uses light-gathering fiber optics and tritium for the display, so no battery is requried. The Tritium phosphor display works even in low-light situations, and is guaranteed to illuminate up to 15 years. The new RMR is extremely compact, measuring a mere 1.78″ L X 1.24″ W X1.03″ H and weighing in at only 1.22 ounces. This makes it small and light enough to mount on most handguns

Trijicon RMR Spec SheetTrijicon, Inc.®, has been honored by the Firearms Marketing Group (FMG) for its innovative new Trijicon RMR™ Sight. The patent-pending Trijicon Ruggedized Miniature Reflex™ won the prestigious “Optic of the Year” award, chosen by 500 top industry executives, gun dealers and outdoor writers.

In addition to the fiber optic + Tritium RMR (no battery required), Trijicon markets a more conventional battery-powered version with LED display. Using a single CR2032 battery (with an auto-shut-off circuit), this can provide up to 17,000 hour of battery life. The LED display also adjusts automatically for ambient light levels. Both RMR versions feature a tough, 7075-T6 aluminum alloy housing. Rugged and reliable, the Trijicon RMRs (both versions) come with a lifetime warranty from Trijicon.

Trijicon RMR Spec Sheet

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