Mini and micro red dots are pretty much taking over the firearms industry right now. It seems about every company out there makes its own red dot now. All of them claim to be the next best thing. But let’s be real, all of them are really the same exact thing overall. That is, except for the M1 from Grace Optics.
The Grace Optics M1 Separates Itself from the Crowd
Some have better components, nicer designs, and clearer glass. While some are more budget-friendly than others, it is really turning into a personal preference market for red dots because of how similar they really are.
It is a dot that projects onto glass. How the hell do you significantly redesign that? A small Michigan company called Grace Optics says, “Hold my beer and watch this.”
Grace Optics is a new optics company with a big goal. They set out to come up with a better design for an RDS system with their M1 red-dot sight. They nicknamed the M1 the Topless sight due to the fact it literally has no top. Yes, it lacks a top strap on the housing over the window.
The idea behind the design is that it provides a less obstructed field of view. As a result, you get faster target acquisition and a much bigger overall sight picture. Grace Optics claims that despite this open-top design, the M1 sight is still very robust because “the glass is very strong, and the sidebars make it just as strong as any other sight on the market.”
Details of the M1 Optic
The Grace Optics M1 is a non-magnified, open-emitter reflex sight available with 3-MOA or 6-MOA dots of both red and green color options. Correspondingly, the dots have ten illumination settings, including two night-vision modes. The brightness level is adjusted with two rubberized buttons located on either side of the housing.
Powered by a single CR1632 battery the sight boasts a battery life of up to 10,000 hours. The battery compartment is on the top of the housing to allow a quick battery change without removing the sight from the firearm and risking losing your zero.
Adjustments are made easily within a 50-MOA range with a simple small flathead screwdriver. The sight uses a Sig Sauer Romeo 1 mounting footprint and comes with a Picatinny rail adapter. Grace Optics team did tell me they are designing the optic to also be offered in a Trijicon RMR footprint model as well in the near future.
The Grace Optics M1 sight is waterproof with an IPX7 rating, which means it can be submerged in water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes and still work. It is extremely lightweight, weighing in at just 1 ounce.
Grace Optics M1 red-dot sight has a fantastic, budget-friendly MSRP of just $199.95.
If you are like me, a new optic company would be tough to put trust in until it is a proven company with good quality products. Luckily, Grace Optics is not really new. They have been a manufacturing company for more than 60 years known as Grace Engineering.
Grace Engineering has been manufacturing various parts for other firearms companies, along with Prime compound bows and G5 broadheads, pretty much since the company was established. They have been and still are a family-owned-and-operated company out of Memphis, Michigan.
The Grace family has always been extremely passionate about Americans hunting and being able to exercise our Second Amendment rights. Grace Optics told me the company was created with the focus on making a product that is not only superior to their competition but more affordable.
Through advanced engineering and more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Nate and Matt Grace have been spearheading complex problems within the firearm industry while providing viable solutions.
When I first got my hands on the M1, I immediately liked this unique design. The less obstructed field-of-view seemed like it would be a benefit for novice and experienced shooters alike. The one thing I noticed immediately was how thick the M1’s glass was. To my surprise, it didn’t distort the dot or my view at all, though.
I, unfortunately, did not have a pistol cut for a Romeo 1, so I decided to replace the red dot on my CZ Scorpion Micro with the Grace M1 red dot. Grace Optics ships the M1 with a low-profile Picatinny mounting plate that worked perfectly on top of the Scorpion.
The Scorpion has a unique look, and the M1’s topless design actually complimented it very well. I have to say, it functioned just as well. The design of the M1 truly gives you more field-of-view with much less obstruction.
I noticed the difference very quickly; however, it did take a few minutes to get the hang of acquiring the dot for me. I kept looking over the glass because my eyes were not used to not having that top bar to stop them. Once I figured it out, though, I loved it.
The 3-MOA dot was the perfect size for me, and I was noticing how much more of the target I could see through the glass that I was losing with other red dots. Aiming center mass on a standard silhouette target I was able to see everything above that center mass mark. I honestly never really noticed it was getting lost on other red dots until I used the Grace Optics M1.
No Boundaries with the Grace Optics M1
Although I didn’t really torture-test this thing, it does seem to be fairly durable. I was a bit worried about the glass being exposed, but it is very thick. However, I feel it should be able to take reasonable impacts at the range.
I don’t know if I would go racking slides off the front of the M1. However, if you are looking for your next small red dot for your range gun or a fun gun, the topless optic might be a fantastic choice for you. Enjoy the view and experience no Boundaries with the Grace Optics M1.
For more information, please visit Grace-Optics.com.
Grace Optics M1 Specs
Lens Diameter: 24mm
Overall Length: 1.6 inches
Overall Width: 1.3 inches
Height: .8 inches
Weight: 1 ounce
Illumination Settings: 10 w/ two night-vision settings
Run Time: 10,000 hours
Footprint: Sig Romeo1
This article was originally published in the Personal Defense World April/May 2022 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.