I’m a strong advocate for tossing the iron sights of yesteryear and using reflex optics. 20 years ago the optic was often as large as the pistol itself. Today’s optics are smaller, last longer, and are often as strong as the iron sights they are replacing.
It’s amazingly counter-intuitive to tell someone to focus on the front sight at the end of their finger tips, rather than the target they want to hit. It’s earth shattering to look at and focus on the target – then lift the pistol in front of you… looking through a small window with a dot where the bullet will hit. It just works – and works well.
What are the downsides to reflex optics? First of all, it’s battery operated (most of the time) and batteries die. But the latest round of optics have three or four year battery life! If you change the batteries every year, there’s virtually no chance the battery will die.
The second downside is relying on an electronic device. How many of us have been frustrated with a computer that won’t boot, or a mobile phone that simply won’t work? This is a real concern – and a reason why the optics market has stratified over time. There are some really cheap optics out there. There are also some excellent optics that now have years of proven reliability with the military and law enforcement. Enter Trijicon.
The first Trijicon red-dot sight was released in 2007. It was improved dramatically the next year. The now-famous Trijicon RMR (ruggedized miniature reflex) sight was released in 2009. It came in two versions – Tritium/Fiber Optic and LED illuminated. The housing was oddly shaped, diverting impacts away from the optic lens. I personally have used this optic as a make-shift hammer in the past. In 2011, Trijicon added the Adjustable LED version, which I bought and mounted on both my GLOCK 19 and GLOCK 26. This was long before the MOS variant of the GLOCK was available. In 2015, they released the itsy-bitsy, teeny-weenie, 1 MOA reticle dot on the RMR. Amazing, unheard of, accuracy from a pistol. In 2017, version 2 of the wildly successful RMR was released, with better battery life and a host of dot reticle sizes.
Earlier this year, Trijicon released the Specialized Reflex Optic (SRO). It has a much larger window; top-loading battery; has the same footprint as the RMR and is made of the same aircraft-grade aluminum of the RMR sight. It’s not as rugged, but it’s rugged enough for EDC (every day carry) and competition.
I. Love. It. The RMR sights that I was using was the RMR07, which has a 6.5 MOA dot. I’m using the SRO with a 2.5 MOA dot and it’s extraordinary. I cannot express how much better this optic is than virtually any other on the market today.
I have the SIG Sauer Romeo1 reflex sight on several of my SIGs. The SRO has a larger window, but not so large that it’s difficult to carry. If you’re in the market for a reflex sight – and why wouldn’t you be?? – you can’t go wrong with the Trijicon SRO.
Next up for review… the SIG Sauer ROMEOZero reflex sight. It’s very tiny, designed to be put on the new SIG Sauer P365 XL.
See you at the range!