Trijicon Nabs $7M SOCOM Contract for Handgun Sights

Spec Ops is getting red dots for their handguns, showing the military is getting more accepting of reflex sights on pistols.

The Trijucon RMR sight.
The Trijucon RMR sight.Trijicon

Michigan-based optics manufacturer Trijicon was awarded a $7.62 million contract on Wednesday, August 15 by the U.S. Special Operations Command to provide Handgun Reflex Sights (HRS) that the military has termed Miniature Aiming Systems – Day Optics (MAS-D) over the next five years.

Variants of the Sig Sauer P320 were recently adopted by U.S. forces as the M17 and M18 pistols as part of the Army's Modular Handgun System (MHS). These models include a removable top plate for a Ruggedized Miniature Reflex-type (RMR) system, a nod to the Army's acceptance of this technology on handguns.

The Amy was intrigued by RMRs as early as 2016, when SOCOM looked into low-visibility sighting systems to be placed atop Glock 19s with the slide cut to accept them, in a project separate from the MHS.

According to guns.com, a need for at least 12,592 handgun RMR sights for use across Army, Marine, Navy and Air Force special operations units was also identified.

The contract specifies that the sight should be "a low profile, wide field of view, passive sight for rapid day and night pistol target engagements in confined spaces, while prisoner handling, or in extremis after the primary weapon malfunctions." To be considered, manufacturers had to submit 16 samples for evaluation, along with 10 front and rear suppressor-height sights that enable "absolute co-witness."

Trijicon was awarded a competitive contract for an "indefinite-quantity" of the sights, though the request for proposal estimated a maximum of 14,350 units would be needed. According to guns.com, military contracting authorities report they had two other offers received.