The next stage in the evolution of handgun sights is happening now. Reflex sights offer an illuminated aiming point designed to be used with both eyes open. What the HUD (heads-up display) did for jet fighters, reflex sights can do for handguns. They are fast into action and enable an operator to stay on target better. Unlike traditional iron sights with three sighting planes — rear sight, front sight and target — a reflex sight uses a tiny laser beam to project an aiming point in a sight window. Place the aim point on a target, press the trigger and it’s a done deal.
Lightweight and compact, reflex sights have a small footprint and, depending on the model, run on common batteries, fiber optics, tritium or a combination of these. Non-magnifying and parallax-free, they’re made for close-range work. They have also been proven reliable in combat and hunting situations.
Two design philosophies address mounting a reflex sight on a pistol. The first is to machine the rear section of the slide and attach the reflex sight directly to the slide. This method includes keeping the iron sights, but mounting a taller front and rear sight to clear the reflex sight, similar to the taller iron sights used with a suppressor. The second way to attach a reflex sight is to attach a mounting plate in the rear sight dovetail of the pistol slide. The reflex sight is then mounted to the plate. In either configuration, an operator will find that a reflex sight offers faster target acquisition. Here’s a look at some current reflex sights available.
Bushnell First Strike
Bushnell’s First Strike weighs less than 2.5 ounces. It offers a 50-MOA dot reticle that automatically adjusts brightness to lighting conditions. Powered by one CR2032, the battery is common and easy to obtain. An integrated photocell automatically turns the unit on when the protective lens cover is removed. There is no power switch. The First Strike is waterproof and fog proof, and it is also built with a lightweight alloy that is shockproof.
For more information, call 800-423-3537 or visit http://www.bushnell.com.
There’s no need to focus, and eye relief is unlimited on the Hi-Lux Tac-Dot. The 4-MOA red-dot aim point is fully adjustable and there is no need to center the dot in the sight window since the sight is parallax-free. The Tac-Dot, once zeroed, will hit where the dot is on the target. It weighs just a hair over 2 ounces and is 2.5 inches long. A light sensor controls the brightness of the dot automatically based on the light conditions.
For more information, call 888-445-8912 or visit http://hi-luxoptics.com.
JPoint Micro–Electronic Reflex Sight
Unique among reflex sights, the JPoint Enterprises Micro-Electronic Reflex Sight features a glass-reinforced nylon polymer housing. The sight is offered with two reticle choices: 4 MOA and 8 MOA. The 8 MOA is larger, brighter and easier to find than smaller reticle sights. It has an automatic illumination sensor. Many spec-ops units worldwide have used JPoint sights (made outside the United States under the brand name Shield) in conditions that range from desert heat to humid jungles. The sight is shockproof and waterproof, and powered by one CR2032 battery. It comes with a protective polymer cover.
For more information, call 651-426-9196 or visit http://www.jprifles.com.
The DeltaPoint 2 is Leupold’s next-generation reflex sight. It has motion-sensor technology that instantly detects motion and activates the sight while automatically adjusting the brightness to the environment. It also offers manual brightness adjustment. This battle-tested reflex sight sips powers from a CR2032 battery. Since the DeltaPoint 2 is always on, placing the rubber cover over the sight forces the unit to its lowest power setting. Battery life is over 9,000 hours. A 7.5-MOA delta or 3.5-MOA dot are available.
For more information, call 800-538-7653 or visit http://www.leupold.com.
Millett M-Pulse TRD2001
The waterproof and shockproof M-Pulse TRD2001 reflex sight from Millett offers speed and precision, all with a footprint that is less than two inches long. The brightness of the 5-MOA red-dot reticle is automatically adjusted to lighting conditions, so there is no fumbling with knobs or buttons. The all-aluminum housing sports a matte black finish. It is parallax-free and features precision click windage and elevation adjustments.
For more information, call 888-276-5945 or visit http://www.millettsights.com.
The Redfield Accelerator does exactly that — accelerates target acquisition. This low-profile sight has a wide field of view with a high-quality optical sight window and a red-dot reticle aiming point. It sits low and tight on a handgun. An easy-access battery compartment means down time is nil. The aluminum housing is rugged yet lightweight. It comes with a mounting plate, CR2032 battery, sight adjustment wrench and a protective cover.
For more information, call 877-798-9686 or visit http://www.redfield.com.
Trijicon’s RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex) sights come in three types: Adjustable LED, LED and Dual-Illuminated. The Adjustable LED and LED models are powered by batteries with a life of four and two years, respectively. The Dual-Illuminated sight is powered by tritium in low-light conditions, and fiber optics automatically adjusts the reticle brightness and contrast to available light conditions. All three are constructed of forged aluminum and are battle tested. Reticle choices range from 3.25 MOA to 13 MOA. The LED and Adjustable LED models use a red dot; the Dual-Illuminated models offer either an amber or green dot or a chevron aiming point. The Adjustable LED has eight operator-adjustable illumination settings, plus it can be set to automatically adjust to light conditions like the LED and Dual-Illuminations sights.
For more information, call 800-338-0563 or visit http://www.trijicon.com.
Vortex Razor Red Dot
The 1.4-ounce Razor Red Dot by Vortex operates with two buttons. The “up arrow” button powers up the sight, and the “down arrow” button, if pressed for five seconds, powers off the sight. The buttons are used to adjust the illumination of red-dot reticle. Models with 3-MOA and 6-MOA reticles are available. Battery life is up to one year on one CR2032 battery, and, if accidentally left on, the sight turns off after six hours.
For more information, call 800-426-0048 or visit http://www.vortexoptics.com.