How Reflex Sights Will Help Your Shooting
June 01, 2016
Red dot or reflex sights have been popular AR-15 accessories for years because they simplify the aiming process.
Unlike iron sights that require shooters to shift their focus from rear sight to front sight to target, reflex sights allows shooters to place the red dot directly over the target.
This is a tremendous advantage in high-stress situations, when shooters will almost certainly experience "threat focus," where their eyes are drawn to whatever is perceived to pose a deadly threat. Under such conditions, looking at your sights is easier said than done.
The Shooter's Edge
Of course it's also faster to overlay a dot on the target than ensure there is equal height and equal light between the front and rear sights.
The increased shooting speed reflex sights provide gives a welcomed edge in close quarter battle, which explains why so many military and police rifles sport reflex sights. But rifles aren't the only firearms that rely on red-dot technology.
Shotgunners have also adopted reflex sights, but for some reason, when it comes to handgun shooting, many adhere to a more traditional view (no pun intended) on sights. I've heard countless handgunners proclaim that iron sights are "good enough."
When drawing your gun in response to a deadly threat, are you willing to settle for "good enough?" Wouldn't you rather have the best sight money could buy? If you answered in the affirmative, you should consider reflex sights.
Until recently, adding reflex sights to a pistol involved sending the slide out to a gunsmith to be milled. This was a deal-breaker for many shooters, who were not willing to permanently alter their pistol or incur the expense and inconvenience of having it modified. Now there's a much more convenient option.
Easy To Mount
New Leupold DeltaPoint Pro reflex sights can be mounted to a milled or standard semiautomatic pistol slide. With the DeltaPoint Pro All Mounts Kit (sold separately), the sight is compatible with many of today's most popular pistols including those from Glock, the Smith & Wesson M&P/Classic, Sig Sauer P226, Springfield XD, Beretta 92/96, 90/Two, Taurus PT99, CZ 75, HK P2000, Kimber (fixed/adjustable) as well as standard 1911 models.
Prefer a revolver? No problem. The DeltaPoint Pro can be mounted to Smith & Wesson Classic pre-drilled and tapped K, L, N and X frame revolvers.
Because back-up sights are a must on any defensive firearm with reflex sights, adding the DeltaPoint Pro Rear Iron Sight (sold separately) is a no-brainer. This enables you to co-witness the iron sights with the DeltaPoint Pro, provided your front sight is tall enough.
I found even a suppressor-length front sight was too short, so I opted for the RBU (Red Dot Backup) mount by Dueck Defense. The RBU comes with a built-in front sight that sits just in front of the DeltaPoint Pro, eliminating the need for a freakishly tall front sight that could make finding a suitable holster problematic.
How It Performed
Satisfied with the way the DeltaPoint Pro mounted to the slide of my Gen 4 Glock 17, I was excited to see how it performed. The DeltaPoint Pro comes with one of two aiming points, a 2.5 MOA dot or a 7.5 MOA inscribed Delta. I chose the latter because on a defensive pistol, I am less concerned with pinpoint accuracy than I am with fast target acquisition.
The aiming point proved to be plenty accurate at 15 yards, the distance at which I zeroed the sight. For zeroing, I dialed down the brightness by pressing on the power button to scroll through the eight illumination intensities. (The dimmer the aiming point, the more refined it appears and vice versa).
Next, I turned off the DeltaPoint Pro and shot several rounds from 15 yards using the iron sights. This simulated a worst-case scenario where reflex sights go down in a gunfight. Despite the fact that the sight radius was much shorter with the front sight being in front of the DeltaPoint Pro than at the front of the slide, there was no perceived loss of accuracy.
I put 100 rounds of 115-grain Black Hills FMJ through my Glock at distances ranging from seven yards to 25 yards. Despite the added weight of the mount and reflex sight, the pistol cycled well. Only twice did the slide fail to completely go back into battery (just barely) and that probably had more to do with the pistol being dirty and dry than the 1.9 oz. DeltaPoint Pro bogging the slide down.
The DeltaPoint Pro served as a convenient handle for racking the slide of my pistol. The action was reminiscent of pulling the charging handle on an AR-15. The right angle created by the DeltaPoint Pro and the slide would come in handy during one-handed manipulation of the pistol, when you're forced to hook the slide on a holster, belt, boot heel or similar object to cycle the slide.
I've shot pistols with other reflex sights, but they didn't seem to offer as wide a view as the DeltaPoint Pro. I also appreciated the DeltaPoint Pro's ease of use. Adjusting for elevation and windage was accomplished with a few turns of the screws, with each click of the dial equaling one MOA. Another huge benefit to the DeltaPoint Pro is that you don't have to remove the unit to replace the 3V CR 2032 lithium battery.
I've long held the opinion that reflex sights on pistols are the wave of the future. Now, you can mount one directly to your pistol without permanently modifying the slide. There are back-up sight options that you can trust in the event the illuminated aiming point fails.
Thanks to forward-thinking companies like Leupold, there's no need to settle for "good enough" when it comes to aiming your pistol. And with the right hardware, the DeltaPoint Pro can be mounted to your rifle or shotgun. The future is now.