Trijicon SRO Handgun Red Dot Sight: Review and Range Test
The Specialized Reflex Optic comes along just as handgunners are embracing red dots in large numbers, and it’s large, round sight window is a winner.
• The SRO offers a large, round, unobstructed sight window
• Faster target acquisition than possible with many competing red dots
• 3 sizes of red dot to choose from, 8 brightness levels
• Equally solid for precision shooting and close-range self defense drills
• Handguns will still fit in many holsters with SRO mounted and no modifications
• No color fading in sight window
Michigan-based Trijicon Optics recently unveiled their latest red dot sight, the Specialized Reflex Optic (SRO), and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Shooters nationwide are catching on to the benefits of red dot sights, and the demand for optics-ready handguns has prompted firearm manufacturers like Smith & Wesson, SIG, CZ, Glock and others to add production guns that are equipped for red dot sights right out of the box.
Trijicon is hardly new to the red dot optics game, though. In fact, the brand has been a leader in the category with popular options like the RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex). The SRO is the product of decades of red dot manufacturing experience, a sight that’s more evolutionary than revolutionary.
The SRO At a Glance
One of the primary complaints levied against red dot sights is that the narrow sight windows on these optics makes it difficult to find the dot and get on target with a handgun when there’s no shoulder stock or cheek weld to keep your head and eyes in the same place all the time.
Trijicon remedied this by offering a larger, rounded sight window with a trim housing. The increase in size isn’t great (the SRO’s window measures .98-inches across compared to the RMR’s .87-inch maximum width) but the effects of that added window space are immediately noticeable. There’s no searching for the dot with the SRO—you simply raise the gun and the dot is immediately visible, just as it should be with a reflex sight.
The SRO’s increased window size doesn’t add significantly to the optic’s overall size or weight either. Its base measures 1.8-inches long just like the RMR (and, as a result, the SRO has the same footprint as the popular RMR and can use the same adapter plates—a real bonus). Overall length is 2.2 inches, and the SRO weighs 1.6 oz. compared to the RMR’s 1.3 oz. Additionally, SRO-equipped pistols often fit in standard holsters with no modification—a big deal for concealed carriers and on-duty carriers who prefer red dots.
Choices and Operation
Trijicon offers a long list of features and options on the SRO and, perhaps most importantly, all that technology is easy to use. There are three dot size choices—1 MOA, 2.5 MOA, or 5 MOA—and each of these models serves a specific purpose. The precise 1 MOA dot is ideal for target shooting or handgun hunting, the 5 MOA dot is perfectly-suited for fast target acquisition close-quarters shooting, and the mid-sized 2.5 MOA dot offers a versatile balance between the 1 and 5 MOA models.
Adjusting point of impact on the SRO, or zeroing, is very simple and straightforward: using a coin or similar object, simply rotate the windage (top) and elevation (right side) dials as needed to zero the sight.
Each dial click moves point of impact 1 MOA, and the dials indicate POI direction of movement. There are eight different brightness setting for any lighting conditions (including two night vision-compatible modes) and adjustments are made using the up and down buttons located on the left side of the optic. Holding both buttons down simultaneously powers the optic down.
The SRO features a “Lock-Out” mode that automatically adjusts the dot brightness to ambient light conditions, but there’s a “Lock-In” setting that allows you to manually set the brightness mode.
If you happen to forget to turn the SRO off don’t worry—battery life with a single CR2032 battery is three years on power setting 4 of 8. When you do have to change the battery, you won’t have to remove the optic from your firearm to do so—the SRO comes with a top-loading battery compartment—which means you won’t lose your zero.
The SRO’s large, unobstructed sight window allows for faster target acquisition than is possible with many competing red dot brands. With the unit mounted on a CZ P-10 F Optics Ready 9mm, I fired from a fixed rest at 25 yards and also ran through a number of pistol drills that required shooting at close-range targets after drawing from a holster. The 2.5 MOA dot in the test optic was well-suited to both tasks.
The dot offers a higher level of precision than is possible with iron sights, so accuracy is excellent. I never had any issues finding the dot when drawing and firing at defensive distances, which isn’t always the case with red dots. The sight window is very crisp and clear without the color fading that occurs with some red dots.
MSRP for the SRO is $739, which isn’t cheap, but having a red dot optic offers many advantages. First, aiming a red dot is far simpler than learning to align iron sights, so it’s ideal for new shooters. Red dot sights are also very popular for shooters whose eyesight precludes them from using iron sights. The SRO is extremely forgiving, and that’s just what you want in a defensive shooting situation. And unlike iron sights the SRO is accurate in any lighting conditions.
Whether you’re a Grand Master shooter or new to handguns, the SRO is an optic that will appeal to you. It’s simple to operate, fast to shoot, and built to usual Trijicon standards—which is to say it’ll last through just about anything. If you’re considering joining the red dot revolution the SRO is an ideal place to start.
Trijicon Specialized Reflex Optic Red Dot Sight Specs
|Length x Width x Height (inches)||2.2 x 1.3 x 1.4|
|Sight Window (inches)||.98 x .89|
|Dot Size||1 MOA, 2.5 MOA, or 5 MOA|
|Adjustment Range||150 MOA|
|Illumination Source||LED/CR2032 Battery|
|Battery Life||3 Years Continuous (Setting 4 of 8)|