As we make the transition from a concluding decade into a new one, handgunners are realizing a new normal—miniature red dot sights are quickly becoming the primary sighting system on virtually all pistols, whether for hunting, sport shooting, concealed carry, or service.
What the red dot sight (RDS) gives you, the shooter, is increased accuracy at virtually all ranges, especially when those distances extend beyond 10 yards. This tech also makes shooting on the move and shooting at moving targets significantly easier, as the user simply superimposes the dot on the target and squeezes the trigger. Sight alignment is taken completely out of the equation and sight radius is nullified. Those shooters with aging eyes should pay close attention, as the RDS will extend their enjoyment of shooting sports for many years to come. Pistols equipped with an RDS also make teaching new shooters so much easier.
Beyond target shooting, the RDS equipped pistol enhances situational awareness, allowing the user to observe a threat and what it’s doing, while also maintaining the ability to deliver surgical shots on demand. Gone are the days of bouncing your focus between three different plains before concentrating on the front sight prior to breaking the shot. Simply place the dot on your intended point of impact and press the trigger rearward. It’s so easy, it feels like cheating.
Leupold has recently introduced a new red dot sight that is a direct replacement for your pistol’s rear sight called the DeltaPoint Micro. It’s unique, clever and well-thought out, but has an appearance only a mother or a project manager could love. The DeltaPoint Micro features an enclosed emitter positioned within what can only be described as a short, oversized straw. Aside from its non-standard appearance, the enclosed emitter means no fogging, or dot deformation due to moisture, dirt or debris, making it ideal for use on exposed carry pistols.
Due to its long tubular shape, it’s very easy for your eye to naturally align with the unit. You’ll always have a crisp, visible dot each time you present your handgun, very unlike more traditional open emitter optics whose dot can quickly turn into a starburst when a water droplet rests up against the glass encasement of the LED emitter.
The DeltaPoint Micro weighs just 1.1 ounces and slides into the rear sight dovetail of any Glock or S&W M&P pistol (two model-specific DP Micro sights exist). Simply drift your rear iron sight out of the dovetail and slide the supplied attachment piece in its place. Place the DeltaPoint Micro on top of that dovetail and align the two screw holes and ensure the DeltaPoint Micro is as close to centered on top of the pistol’s slide as possible. Using the supplied M4x7x5 7mm Torx screws, affix the sight to the slide and secure the screws by applying 25-inch-pounds of torque. This creates a press-fit and mounts the DP Micro securely in place. Installation is simple and straightforward, and doesn’t require aftermarket alterations to your pistol, specialized mounting plates or other accessories.
Once the sight is mounted, you’ll notice the battery compartment/dot intensity adjustment are easily accessible on the bottom side of the rear of the housing. Install the included CR1632 lithium battery and you’re off the races. In our experience, if you’ve centered the sight on your pistol’s slide during installation, very minimal adjustment will be needed to attain point of aim/point of impact grouping at 25 yards. When done correctly, zeroing is painless, which is good because the windage and elevation adjustments are not all that precise and if the sight is off, zeroing could turn into a trial-and-error headache.
A 3 MOA dot size is the sweet spot for a pistol, hitting the right balance between speed and precision. Having the ability to choose from 8 different dot intensity settings on the fly allowed us to dial the proper brightness to achieve the tight groups at distance, while still being able to burn down targets up close. Due to the overhanging battery compartment, when it’s time to replace battery it isn’t necessary to rezero the sight, a feature we are grateful for.
Battery life is dependent on a number of factors. We have yet to replace ours, but expect to see between 500 and 10,000 hours on a single battery depending the level of dot intensity selected, and for how long. The DP Micro does have a power saving mode, meaning that if the optic remains dormant for several minutes, it will power down. Once it senses movement it lights right back up at the previous brightness setting.
While there are a lot of unique features the DP Micro brings to the table, one of the most useful is how low it sits in relation to the top of the slide. It sits so low that it replicates the same sight plane as traditional iron sights. This means the dot is more intuitive to pick up and transition to for those with years of practice with iron-sights. An additional benefit to this positioning is that suppressor height iron sights are unneeded — your factory front sight will do — effectively co-witnessing with the DP Micro. Yet another benefit to this placement is should you experience battery failure, the sight acts as a ghost ring. Simply align your front sight in the bottom 1/3 of the window and use the two milled holes on the back of the sight to align with the front sight and you’re back making solid hits.
The sleek, low-profile design has minimal effects on the original look of the pistol and we found it to have no impact on concealing a Glock 44 .22 LR trainer, on which it was mounted, and functioned flawlessly on. The sight window is indeed tiny, but the glass is very clear and we found the dot was just as quick (and easier) to locate in the window as its bigger brother, the DeltaPoint PRO. Albeit the dot was a little easier to track during rapid-fire strings on the latter.
Read Next: The Best Handguns for Big-Game Hunters
Even though our draws were surprisingly unimpeded by the battery compartment, some may find the aesthetics of the sight difficult to overcome. We get that too. What we’d like to see is a DeltaPoint Micro built into a Glock MOS plate, even if that came with the removal of the plate to change the battery. It would be a much cleaner, lower profile package that would appeal to the growing masses of red dot aficionados than this current model.
That said, those looking to transition to a red dot sight on a pistol they already own would be hard-pressed to choose a better sight than Leupold’s DeltaPoint Micro. Because of its ease of installation, how low the sight sits in relationship to the bore and the way it co-witnesses with your factory front sight — those accustomed to iron sights will enjoy a seamless transition to the red dot life.
- Power: 1X
- Objective: 9mm
- Elevation adjustment: 1 MOA per click
- Windage: 1 MOA per click
- Reticle: 3 MOA Dot
- Length: 2.25 in.
- Weight: 1.1 oz.
- Eye Relief: Unlimited
- MSRP: $400