January 08, 2020
By Brad Fitzpatrick
The new Steiner DRS 1X reflex red dot sight is designed to be the most versatile CQB (Close Quarters Battle) optic on the market. It features a sealed magnesium body that measures just 3.88 inches long and weighs 10.4 ounces, yet the relatively compact DRS 1X offers a wide 0.96 x 1.26-inch viewing window for fast target acquisition and improved awareness. Easy-to-use controls and outstanding battery life make this an excellent optic for close-quarter shooting and home defense firearms.
Every Steiner DRS 1X red dot offers three interchangeable C2 reticle options: a single 2 MOA red dot, a single dot and two stadia lines that are calibrated for an 18-inch target at 25 and 50 yards, or a dot with stadia lines and a second 13.64 MOA dot for close-quarters shooting. While the unit is on, pressing the power button allows the shooter to toggle through the three reticles. The unit is powered by two AA batteries that offer around 3,000 hours of operating life, though the DRS 1X will operate on just a single AA battery with reduced run time, if needed. Changing the batteries is fast and doesn’t require removing the sight from the gun: simply unscrew the tethered caps at the front of the sight housing and swap batteries as needed. When battery life is below two hours, the reticle blinks five times every ten minutes until fresh batteries are installed or power is fully depleted.
The DRS 1X’s robust base mounts securely on the Picatinny or MIL-STD-1913 rail of a rifle and can be quickly removed. Once mounted, the optic is quite simple to operate. Pressing the power button activates the unit and triangular Up and Down buttons allow you to adjust the brightness of the dot as needed. There are seven brightness levels, three for daytime and four for night. When the unit is powered on, it automatically returns to the most recent brightness setting, eliminating the need to toggle through the intensity settings. A large focal window also allows for co-witnessing with iron sights or use with a focal multiplier.
Steiner products have a reputation for being rugged, and the DRS 1X is no exception. Its durable magnesium housing is fully sealed and is submersible to five meters. The unit is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof, so regardless of the conditions, you’ll be able to clearly see your target. What’s more, the DRS 1X is covered by Steiner’s Heritage Warranty. MSRP for the DRS1X is $749.99.
Steiner DRS 1X Red Dot at the Range
I mounted a DRS 1X red dot on my AR carbine and zeroed the optic at 50 yards. The windage adjustment screw is located on the left rear side of the housing, and the elevation screw is located behind the rear lens. Both windage and elevation offer +/- 25 MOA of adjustment, and each adjustment click has a value of ½ MOA (about ¼ inch) at 50 yards. Adjustment screws offer audible and tactile indicators, so it’s easy to keep track of adjustments.
Having the ability to select from three different reticle options makes the DRS 1X a very versatile optic. The 2 MOA dot was ideal for precision shooting at longer distances, and the dot with stadia lines offered a versatile all-purpose reticle option that also provided feedback on range to the target. For close-range shots, the 13.64 MOA dot provides a rapid sighting system that allows you to get on target quickly and deliver accurate shots at short distances. What’s more, the DRS 1X is an easy sight to operate. With just three primary control buttons—power, up, and down—almost any shooter will master basic functions of the DRS 1X in a matter of minutes.
At 50 yards, I was capable of shooting MOA groups with the DRS 1X and my 5.56 carbine, and elevation and windage adjustments did track accurately. I used an empty cartridge case to adjust windage and elevation, so no special tools are needed to make POI adjustments on the range. Additionally, all POI adjustments effect all three reticles so there’s no need to zero each reticle individually. With two clicks of the power button, I was able to activate the 13.64 MOA dot and begin engaging targets under ten yards, and the large dot is easy to see when you’re target-focused. The large dot also makes it simple to engage multiple targets.
The DRS 1X sight lives up to Steiner’s high standards. Its closed design, multi-coated lenses and sealed housing ensure that it will survive the worst conditions you may encounter, and the layout was clearly designed with shooters in mind. Having the ability to toggle among three different reticles allows the DRS 1X to act like three separate optics, and it’s simple to adjust the brightness settings to perfectly match shooting conditions. With a battery life of around 3,000 hours, there’s little need to worry about the unit losing power, and even if the battery does get low, the DRS 1X provides the shooter with plenty of warning before the unit loses power.
There are a lot of red dot optics on the market, but the Steiner DRS 1X stands out. Steiner set out to build the ultimate CQB optic, and it looks like they’ve accomplished just that.
Steiner DRS 1X Red Dot Sight Specs:
- Length: 3.88 in
- Weight: 10.4 oz
- Window Size: .96 in x 1.26 in
- Housing Construction: Magnesium
- Reticle: 2 MOA Dot, 2 MOA Dot and Stadia Lines, and 2 MOA Dot with Stadia Lines and Close (13.64 MOA) Dot
- Illumination Level: 7 (3 Day, 4 Night)
- Windage and Elevation Click Value: ½ MOA
- Power Source: 2 AA Batteries
- MSRP: $749.99, http://www.steiner-optics.com/
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