I have been looking at many red dot sights in the last couple of years both for handgun and carbine use. Honestly, there are several excellent ones that proved durable and well designed. I developed some personal preferences in terms of control methods, dot sizes, etc.
I will have another longer piece on that some time next month, but the two brands whose red dot sights really jive well with me are Docter and Shield. I have written about Doctersight III that I use rather extensively before, but I have not talked about Shield all that much. Since the brand was new to me, I wanted to make sure I spend enough time with their products before I start getting into details. Well, I have spent enough time and they are absolutely superb from what I have seen.
I have been beating up two of them: RMS on handguns and SIS on a carbine for the better part of the year. I did put the SIS on a handgun briefly as a durability test of sorts (sitting on a reciprocating slide of a 10mm handgun puts a fair amount of stress on a red dot sight):
The RMS is absolutely tiny. To give you an idea, here is a picture that shows RMS mounted on my Glock 43 (on the right) next to Insight MRDS mounted on my Glock 17:
Despite RMS’s low profile, the battery can be replaced without removing the sight. There are no external controls of any sort: illumination adjust automatically based on the ambient and is bright enough to be easily visible under any conditions I have tried to date. Because of how low profile it is, it can co-witness with standard sights. Front sight is from Heinie and rear is from Suarez. I did not have to put tall suppressor sights which is good for a compact gun like the G43 ( for the record, on my G17 on the left, those tall suppressor sights are still not tall enough to co-witness with the MRDS on an Atom slide).
I will get back to talking about SIS a little more later, but for the time being it is my single favourite carbine red dot sight.
RMS has been absolutely rock solid on my Glock and I had it in a dovetail mount on my 1911 before that. 8 MOA dot is quickly becoming my preferred size for handgun use.
Testing the RMS has been boringly uneventful. Once zeroed, it stayed zeroed. I have not had to change the battery yet. There is no dot flicker that I have seen. I have a slight astigmatism in my eye, so a large dot looks rounder than a small dot to me. With a largish dot of the RMS I can use the edge for a little more precision if I am so inclined, which is a nice option for slow fire.
I’ll keep beating it up and let you know how it goes (and stay tuned for a separate piece on the SIS).
Best I can tell, Shield Sights are distributed in the US by Brownells. I havn’t the foggiest idea if the arrangement Brownells has with Shield is exclusive, but here are the links for the RMS and SIS sights that I have been testing.