January 04, 2021
Even if you only have a passing interest in handguns, you’ve heard of reflex sights. Reflex, also referred to as “red dot,” sights have been popular with competition shooters since the early 1980s, and the U.S. military mandated that an optic-ready slide be incorporated into the design of the M17/M18 service pistol. (As a historical note, the M17/M18 was spec’d for the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro footprint.) Recreational shooters and concealed-carry permit holders are also mounting these sights on for defensive use, as well. If you’ve been reluctant to make the investment and join the ranks of reflex sight shooters, Leupold’s new DeltaPoint Micro might be what you’ve been waiting for.
Traditionally, reflex sights add an inch to an inch-and-a-half to the overall height of a pistol. Many red-dot-sighted configurations require a new holster, which can be limiting for what’s available. This is especially challenging for law enforcement officers that may be issued Level 3 holsters. Then there are the lifelong iron-sight shooters. For them, the added size and bulk of a reflex sight isn’t worth the hassle of retraining their experience.
Leupold attempts to address these concerns with its new DeltaPoint Micro. Unlike handgun optics that require special models such as the MOS series from Glock, the DeltaPoint Micro locks into the dovetail of a pistol’s rear sight. There are no mounting plates and unique screws to sort through! Leupold’s clever approach allows the DeltaPoint Micro to ride closer to the slide than competing optics, too. The DeltaPoint Micro’s dimensions — 2.25 inches long by 1.25 inches high — are deceptive to read because about half of the sight is positioned behind the rear of the slide. The sight rises about a half-inch above the top of the slide, which is similar to traditional sights. In fact, the DeltaPoint Micro’s cylindrical tube housing serves as a ghost ring rear sight that can be installed to co-witness with the existing, standard front sight.
“If the battery dies or you experience some sort of failure, the DeltaPoint Micro can be used like a ghost ring sight,” said Leupold’s Tactical Product Line Manager John Snodgrass. “By putting your front sight in the bottom-third of the window and using the two milled holes on the back to align with the front sight, you’ll still be able to get on target fast, without adjusting grip or presentation. When it comes to personal protection, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. And the DP-Micro doesn’t.”
Unlike other common open-emitter red dots such as the Burris FastFire III, SIG Sauer Romeo1 and Trijicon RMR, the Leupold DeltaPoint Micro is a closed emitter. It feature’s Leupold’s exclusive LED red-dot optical system within. The housing is made from lightweight and durable, aerospace-grade 6061 aluminum, so the diode is completely protected within this housing from dust and debris. The unit weighs just 1.1 ounces, which makes the DeltaPoint Micro one of the lightest red-dot optics available. This minimal weight helps to maintain a slide’s original mass and ensure the pistol’s reliability.
Like Leupold’s scopes, the DeltaPoint Micro reflex sight comes with DiamondCoat II, a scratch-resistant treatment that maintains a clear sight picture and a 3 MOA red dot. There are eight adjustable brightness settings, which helps the dot remain visible in any environment.
“As our team designed the DeltaPoint Micro, they knew it needed to be three things: low-profile, easy to use, and tough-as-nails,” said Leupold Vice President of Product Development Tim Lesser. “It delivers on all counts. No red dot on the market is more compact. Its low height to bore replicates the same sight plane that iron-sight shooters are used to, allowing for intuitive target acquisition, and it delivers the legendarily rugged performance that Leupold consumers expect.”
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the Delta Point Micro is $519.99, but you will likely see it marked on store shelves for about $400.
Mounting & Zeroing
At the start, the DeltaPoint Micro will be offered in models to fit non-MOS Glock pistols as well as the non-CORE models of the Smith & Wesson M&P. I mounted one on a G17 9mm, and the install was fast and simple. First, you have to remove the rear sight with either a punch or a sight-pusher tool. I cleaned the dovetail using an alcohol swab and then inserted the dovetail base that came with the DeltaPoint Micro. The included base simply slides into the dovetail. No punches or sight tools are used to insert the sight base! The sight can then be mounted on top of the base using the two provided screws. As you tighten the screws, they are squeezing the sight to the base against the dovetail. The design proved secure. Like all Leupold products, the DeltaPoint Micro was tested in the company’s brutal so-called “Punisher” machine that mimics the impact of thousands of rounds of recoil.
The flat front and enclosed design make it possible to rack the handgun against the sight with one hand, if the situation requires. This sight is IPX7 rated, too, which means that it can be submerged for 30 minutes up to a meter and still function. The DeltaPoint Micro is waterproof, fogproof, and backed by the company’s lifetime warranty.
The battery is mounted on the rear of the sight. This was done so there wouldn’t be a need to remove the sight to change the battery and then have to rezero it each time. The reason the sight is pistol specific is due to the dimensions of this battery housing that’s positioned behind the slide. The Glock pistols, for example, feature a more 90-degree square back, while Smith & Wesson’s backplate is angled. The battery is accessed within a rubberized cap that also serves as the control button. For fieldstripping the pistol for maintenance, you will have to unscrew the rubber battery cap and remove it, but you still don’t have to remove the optic from the slide. Therefore, there is still no need to rezero when inspecting or cleaning your firearm.
You won’t be changing batteries that often either. The DeltaPoint Micro runs for 3½ years when left on from the single CR1632 battery. There are eight different brightness settings to toggle through when finding which dot works best for you. The sight indicates when the battery is running low in multiple ways. First, the dot will drop approximately one level in intensity when the battery is drained. When powered on with a low battery, the reticle will flash 10 times, though when this initially happens the battery still has several days of life left.
Do you need to turn the sight off when it’s not in use? No! There’s no need to worry about leaving the optic on or draining the battery. Why? The DeltaPoint Micro was developed with Leupold’s Motion Sensor Technology. This automatically turns off power to the unit after 5 minutes of idle time. Any movement instantly turns the optic on. Therefore, you can leave the pistol in a bedside vault, and if you have to open the door, withdraw the pistol and engage a threat, the optic will already be on.
What if you neglected changing the battery in the DeltaPoint Micro after several years and had to use the pistol in defense? One of the best aspects of this arrangement is that the rear housing is intuitive to look through and use as a ghost-ring aperture in conjunction with the front sight. It’s fast. Traditional iron-sight users may appreciate this feature the most.
At the Range
The Leupold DeltaPoint Micro allowed me to get on target in a hurry, but the sight’s design also supported precision shooting. Adjusting the point of impact (POI) was as simple as inserting the provided hex wrench and rotating the windage and adjustment dials until rounds struck the bullseye.
The direction of travel is clearly marked on the sight. Turn the top windage screw counterclockwise to adjusts to the right. Turn the bottom elevation screw counterclockwise to move rounds up. The elevation screw moves POI 18 minutes of angle (MOA) per revolution, and the windage screw moves POI 36 MOA per revolution. That equates to about 1 inch and 2 inches of adjustment at 5 yards, respectively.
For sighting-in, Leupold recommends centering the dot in the rear aperture and aligning it with the front sight, or a “lollipop” sight picture as some of us would call it. From there you can fire your first shots at 5 yards, make adjustments and quickly get on sight for your desired distance.
Once the DeltaPoint Micro was sighted in, it proved accurate. From 7 yards, I could consistently deliver 10 or more shots into the center of a torso target. The various battery settings allow you to fine-tune your sight picture, and the sight is night-vision compatible (though not white-phosphor compatible).
The Leupold DeltaPoint Micro doesn’t just allow you to shoot accurately, but quickly also. When the gun is drawn, the red dot is instantly visible. It’s particularly important that it be on for a self-defense situation where you have little control over the environment. The majority of self-defense situations where a gun is used occurs in low-light or no-light conditions.
I also appreciate how easy the DeltaPoint Micro was to conceal. No special holsters were necessary to accommodate my G17 with the DeltaPoint Micro attached, and it was also concealable under light clothing. Both of these are part of the challenge with taller red-dot sight options for concealed carry. The DeltaPoint Micro won’t print against your clothing.
The rugged, compact Leupold DeltaPoint Micro is more than just a new red dot. It’s a game-changer. If you’ve ever wanted all the benefits of a reflex sight without the added size, this is the optic for you.
Leupold DeltaPoint Micro Specs:
- Type: LED emitter, enclosed housing
- Mounting Interface: Dovetail insert
- Material: 6061 aluminum
- Night Vision Compatible: Yes
- Reticle: 3 MOA red dot
- Brightness Settings: 8
- Battery: One (1) CR1632
- Weight: 1.1 oz.
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 2.25 in. x .9 in. x 1.25 in.
- Warranty: Lifetime
- MSRP: $519.99
- Manufacturer: Leupold & Stevens Co., 800-538-7653, leupold.com
Enjoy articles like this?
Subscribe to the magazine.
Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine