PDA

View Full Version : RMR / DeltaPoint Review



goteron
13 May 2011, 20:58
First things first. I am not an operator, face shooter, or a CagGruCia team member. I am not affiliated with either company, any publication, and have not been compensated in any way. I am not an engineer, but have a little electro-mechanical knowledge. Most of my projects begin with a dremel and end in ordering replacement parts.

This review is structured around design and practical usage. All views expressed are my opinions. Take it for what it’s worth. Specs are available on the respective web sites. I do not claim this review to be complete. It is an unbiased as it can be although I am heavily biased toward one of the optics. It is based on my experience and skills of observation.

Trijicon RMR:

Design:

The RMR is machined out of a single block of aluminum. It has some well thought out design features. The most important of these is the hood. It has “ears” on each side of the hood. These ears are raised above the concave center portion. If the optic takes a hard impact from the top, all of the energy is transferred down the side walls of the hood to the base. Very little energy will be transferred to the glass. The hood is very stout. The optic has linear side walls and rounded edges and is generally snag free. The area between the emitter and glass is stepped to reduce glare.

The optic is secured to the mount or host weapon by two 6-32 screws and has two reliefs cut in the bottom to accept recoil lugs. The screws are hex drive. Generally I am not a fan of hex drive screws that require any amount of torque. I would prefer torx drive in most applications, but actually prefer hex drive in this application as you must remove the optic to change the battery and allen keys are easier to find in most cases.

The glass is very thick and set well in the frame. The thickness of the glass contributes to some distortion. Actually the distortion is quite noticeable when viewed close up, when held at arms length (as if mounted on a pistol) I personally do not notice it at all. The glass is also well protected by the hood, it is recessed both front and back which protects the it from damage. The lens is coated which causes some color distortion.

The battery is put in from the bottom of the optic. The battery is held in place between the optic and mount. The electronics are solid state and set in heavy epoxy. There is an o-ring to keep moisture, dust, dirt, etc… out of the battery area. I have 4 RMR’s, 3 of them mounted on pistols, none of them have failed.

The windage and elevation screws are mounted on the top and side respectively. They are well marked and have a slot for adjustment by a small screwdriver. The best part is that they have audible detents. More on this later.

Practical Usage:

The adjustments make initial and followup zeroing very easy. With fixed MOA adjustment and a large dial face, you can witness mark your zero. If you need to shoot cheaper ammo for a class, you can change your zero for the class, and easily switch back when done. Make a quick note of the change and adjustments are easily done at the range.

There is some distortion of the lens, when shooting I do not notice it at all, shooting both eyes open the distortion doesn’t really matter to me. This is one of those personal things, you will have to shoot it to see if it works for you.

The auto brightness adjustment works REALLY well; it changes on the fly and measures the light in front of the optic, not from the top. This is important if you are in a dark area shooting into a bright area. For instance, standing in the doorway of a dark room shooting into daylight. It also works very well in complete darkness using a weapon light. The dot is harder to pick up in the spot of a weapon light, just like with any other red dot.

The 8MOA dot is sharp and crisp (I have 20/20 with no astigmatism, your mileage may vary). It’s a perfect size for a pistol optic. It is quick and easy to pick up and the right size for “Combat” accuracy. Whatever that is.

There is no on-off switch which is great. According to Trijicon and my own experience the battery life is approximately 1 year. In most (all) applications you will have to remove the optic to change the battery. A zero confirmation will be required, but the recoil lugs and flat head mounting screws do a good job of getting it very close.
General Option:

I really like this optic as mounted on a pistol. It’s the perfect size, very robust and has great features (Adjustments, dot size, battery life, etc). You can adjust it while mounted to a pistol with a screwdriver, coin, probably a stick if you needed to. I believe it will take far more abuse than the deltapoint. I have racked the slide with the optic on tables, barricades, belts, boots, and the ground. Doing this did not affect zero or damage the optic. The auto brightness adjustment works very well and is extremely responsive. I carried a RMR equipped G19 for over a year. Other than the accumulated lint in the lens it performed very well. Now that I have quit glock and moved to M&Ps, I have three outfitted with RMRs. All have functioned very well. For pistol use I would only suggest the 8.0MOA non-adjustable LED for pistol use. There are a lot of other mini red dots available these days. I personally believe the RMR is the best of the breed.

Leupold DeltaPoint:

Design:

The DeltaPoint is made out of a single block of magnesium. Magnesium is inherently stronger than aluminum. That means it can be less bulky. It has a very streamlined look. The hood is thin but adequately size. It extends horizontally beyond the base. The top of the hood is convex. This increases the viewable size of the window but will transfer energy to the glass in the event of a top impact. I have no idea if a strong top impact would crack the glass. The edges are rounded and generally snag free. The area just in front of the emitter is stepped.

The optic is secured to the mount or host weapon by two 6-32 screws and has several reliefs cut in the bottom to accept recoil lugs. The screws are torx drive which I prefer in most applications. I am glad to see that Leupold is actually using these. The mount cross bolt is also torx which is a nice touch. However they did take it too far. More on that later.
The glass is thinner than the RMR, but set equally as well in the hood. The best feature of the DeltaPoint is the lack of distortion in the glass. It is VERY clear and distortion free. The glass is also well protected by the hood, it is not recessed quite as far from the front of the optic as the RMR. I don’t understand the reasoning for this. I would rather it be farther back and more protected. The lens is coated but does not appear to cause any color distortion. Again, it is very clear glass.

The battery is put in from the bottom of the optic. The battery is held in place between the optic and mount. The electronics are solid state. The optic is waterproof. I have 1 Deltapoint mounted on a .22 Pistol. It has not failed or had any problems.

The windage and elevation screws are mounted on the top and side respectively. Two adjustment locks are located on the back to ensure the zero does not change. They are well marked and are adjusted by a very small Torx drive. This is possibly the worst part of the design. The locks are mounted midway on the rear of the base. However they are not parallel to the base, you must insert the adjustment wrench at a slight upward angle. They are secured by the same torx wrench. This is a huge problem for my application. The windage and elevation adjustments do not have detents and turn easily. However it is difficult to get the wrench to interface with the screws, the screw drives do not seem to be deep enough. The adjustment screws are also set fairly deep in the base. More on this in the next section.

Practical Usage:

The adjustments are downright terrible. The included wrench works well, but it’s a non-standard tool. Outside of my specialty “Miniature” screw-driver set, the included wrench is the only one I have. These screws to not require any torque, there is no reason to make them Torx. They are set so far in the base if you get dirt or debris in the recess, it will take a blast from compressed air to clear it out. They also do not have detents with a standard MOA adjustment. This is extremely frustrating. Because they have no detents, they must have locks to prevent them from moving. However the locks are located on the rear of the base set at an upward angle. If I were to set this optic in a milled pistol slide I could not tighten the locks while the optic was securely mounted. You would also have to re-zero for different ammo types as there are no detents and no way to witness mark. Better have your ultra-small non-standard wrench handy.

The lens is very very clear. It is the best of the breed when it comes to mini-red dots. No two ways about it.

The auto brightness adjustment works marginally; it changes slowly and is almost always too bright. I suppose this is better than always too dim. Sitting in my living room with the overhead light on, the triangle blooms quite a bit. This is much less noticeable outside in natural sunlight. Again, this is one of those things you need to decide for yourself. It does not appear to handle quick and drastic lighting changes very well. Because it’s constantly too bright it works well when used with a weapon light. The DeltaPoint also has an auto-shutoff feature. Leupold claims twice the battery life of “Other red dot sights” This is probably true, it just seems unnecessary to me. I would prefer an always on solution and less complexity. I doubt this feature would ever fail however. There is no on-off switch.

The 7.5 MOA triangle is extremely sharp and crisp (I have 20/20 with no astigmatism, your mileage may vary). It’s a perfect size for a pistol optic. It is quick and easy to pick up and the right size for “Combat” accuracy. I however do not like the triangle. While it is 7.5 MOA, it appears to cover a larger surface area. I personally prefer a dot.

Comparison (OPINION!)
RMR:

Pros: Durable and robust design, great adjustments, excellent auto-brightness functionality, tool less adjustments (If needed)

Cons: More Expensive, glass distortion, slim mount selection, smaller viewing window

DeltaPoint:

Pros: Light, inexpensive, includes a variety of mounts, long battery life, distortion free glass, large viewing area

Cons: Does not appear to be as robust, thinner glass that is not recessed as well, VERY POOR adjustments, very poor auto-brightness functionality

General Opinion:

For my uses the RMR fits my needs perfectly. I do not notice the distortion and really appreciate the subtle design features. For now, I believe it’s the perfect (8.0MOA Non-adjustable LED) pistol mounted red dot when set into the slide. I purchased the DeltaPoint with the intent of mounting it on a pistol to try it out. After using it for a while it was relegated to my .22 pistol. You will notice that same .22 also has a TLR instead of an X series. There is a reason for that as well. I believe both of these red dots are adequately constructed and will handle abuse. That being said, I believe the RMR is better designed and built all around. And more mini red-dots on the market… is a good thing.

The DeltaPoint is cheaper and has many mounts available. But for mounting on a pistol, the proper way is to mill the slide and get it as low as possible. Doing this with the DeltaPoint interferes with the adjustment locks. The adjustments on the DeltaPoint are just poorly conceived all around. There is no reason to not have detents and require a small torx wrench.

My clear winner is the RMR. Please remember this is my opinion. I have not had enough time with the MRDS or other offerings besides a FastFire 2. The FastFire is not adequate for duty use in my opinion.

I would never suggest using a mini red-dot on a carbine. There is just no advantage in weight over a T-1 or similar to justify the cons.

I am not sure what the intended market for the DeltaPoint was. It is priced lower, so it’s probably a better entry level optic. However if you make the investment to have your slide milled… it won’t be universal.

Using a pistol mounted red dot presents some interesting issues. I believe once you put the time into shooting with one you will see some good benefits. I am not a great shooter, but I believe the single greatest improvement is shoot confidence. A dot is just more precise than irons. When you first start shooting with one, you must re-learn the presentation and how the dot settles shot to shot. If you lose the dot in the window it is, you are unsure which way you need to adjust to pick it back up. I shot 2-3k rounds before I felt comfortable carrying with one. My times have decreased slightly, but my accuracy and precision has increase greatly.

The biggest downside is that you learn to rely on the dot. If you get dirt on the front of the window it works just like an aimpoint with a front cap on, no problem. However if you get dirt on the rear of the lens then you lose the dot and the ability to use BUIS. You must aim down the slide.

The worst part is if you draw the weapon and the dot is off (Battery dead, optic failed). You will spend precious time figuring out that the dot is dead and transitioning to irons. The argument is that you draw and aim irons first and then transition to the dot. I believe this defeats the purpose of the dot. You will have to use it and decide for yourself.

I am not endorsing either product, all views are my opinion. I just wanted to share some thoughts that may help someone out when evaluating their options. I would suggest that you take a look at some of the points when testing. I would love to hear other opinions and ideas regarding this. I am quite invested in the RMR at this point (3 M&P’s milled for them) and quite happy with them.

Pictures:

Bear with me, these are all iPhone pictures, I just don’t have the energy to set up the lightbox. Stickman I aint.

http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/ss192/goteron/IMG_0423.jpg
My Host Weapons. M&P 9 Pro with RMR 8MOA LED and Ruger Mark 3 22/45 with DeltaPoint. The mount that comes with the deltapoint is poorly designed. It is much larger than it needs to be.
I just got my 22 Sparrow back today from getting re-cored… Its awesome!
http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/ss192/goteron/IMG_0424.jpg
RMR Hood. Notice the structural ears and how stout the hood is.
http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/ss192/goteron/IMG_0425.jpg
RMR adjustments. Excellent design!
http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/ss192/goteron/IMG_0426.jpg
RMR Glass, while it does have distortion it is very thick and recessed far back to protect it.
http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/ss192/goteron/IMG_0430.jpg
DeltaPoint Hood. Notice the convex top and how thin the hood is. Keep in mind it is made out of a stronger magnesium. Notice the large viewing area.
http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/ss192/goteron/IMG_0428.jpg
Deltapoint adjustments. Poor all around. The locks would not be accessible if mounted on my M&P
http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/ss192/goteron/IMG_0431.jpg
DeltaPoint Glass. Thinner and not well recessed.
http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/ss192/goteron/IMG_0432.jpg
Adjustment Tools. Take your pick!

BravoHotel
21 May 2011, 06:45
Great review! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I decided to go with the Insight MRDS but now I'm debating on who I should have mill my slide. Can I ask who you did yours and what you thought of their work? I'm also concerned about turn around time so insight on that would be appreciated too.

Paulo_Santos
21 May 2011, 08:05
Good review. I've tried a lot of these MRDS and the only kne that I would try would be the Insight MRDS because it has all of the features that I like, such as the auto/on/off switch, audible clicks, and the battery is on top. There are also several companies that make some taller iron sights for your M&P so you can actually Use the irons if your MRDS goes down.

Ryo
22 May 2011, 23:54
Good review. I've tried a lot of these MRDS and the only kne that I would try would be the Insight MRDS because it has all of the features that I like, such as the auto/on/off switch, audible clicks, and the battery is on top. There are also several companies that make some taller iron sights for your M&P so you can actually Use the irons if your MRDS goes down.

I liked the Insight MRDS, but noticed that there might be a quality difference between production.. I bought 2 to demo.. One didn't have a crisp red dot while the other did. Sold them before I got to try them out. Definitely would look at that or the RMRs. Plan to buy one for a handgun in the future.

goteron
23 May 2011, 07:25
I had a local smith do the milling of the slides, he did my three M&P's and My Three Glocks before that. Excellent work. His turn around time is 1-2 Weeks and his price absolutely cannot be beat. I can give you his contact info if you would like. I havent tried the MRDS at all, but I hear good things about it. I prefer no switch at all and the battery life on it seems low.