U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Since my introduction to red dots on pistols several years ago with the Roland Special, I haven't strayed much from the Trijicon RMR. There have been other mini red dots on the market that have caught my attention, specifically the Shield RMS, Holosun HS507C, and the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro.
Since the DeltaPoint Pro has been arguably the strongest competitor to the Trijicon RMR, I wanted to get some quality time with one. Before we get into my experience with the DeltaPoint Pro, we should probably talk about who the red dot has become popular with.
Where the Trijicon RMR rules supreme in most areas, the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro has carved out a healthy section of the MRDS market with military and competitors. With the new SIG Sauer M17 offering the capability to mount a DeltaPoint Pro from the factory, it seems to be a natural choice should the DoD choose to outfit M17s with red dots.
Competitors also have embraced the DeltaPoint Pro in a big way suggesting that the optic is worth the time to try. In a survey of USPSA Carry Optics National competitors by survey published by Frontsight Magazine, 21% of surveyed competitors were running the DeltaPoint Pro.
While a pistol with the DeltaPoint Pro mounted probably should have been added to my stable by now, I hadn't had an application where the DeltaPoint Pro really made sense until the FN 509 Tactical.
The XM17 submission that gave birth to the FN 509 Tactical was designed to use the DeltaPoint Pro, it only made sense to pick one up while at one of Palmetto State Armory's retail stores.
Once I got back home from the PSA tour, I had a two-day class with Modern Samurai Project covering MRDS on pistols. The DeltaPoint Pro was going to be thrown right into several days of heavy shooting right out of the gate.
Mounting & Zeroing The DeltaPoint Pro
Unfortunately, there aren't a ton of options for mounting the DeltaPoint Pro to a pistol slide. The aftermarket has really embraced the Trijicon RMR footprint limiting your options to having a slide milled for the DeltaPoint Pro, buying a pistol that has a multi-optic system like Glock's MOS or the new FN mount system, or using a rear sight dovetail adaptor.
Since I was going to be using the red dot on the FN 509 Tactical, all I needed to do was remove the cover plate, install the plastic spacer in the slot for the optional iron sight, and screw it to the slide with the screws FN provides. If you are using another multi-optic mount system, the install should be just as simple.
Once the dot was installed, the battery install is straightforward and easy thanks to the top mounted battery door that I will talk about more later.
While zeroing the Trijicon RMR isn't hard, the click adjustments can be hard to hear with hearing protection on and aren't as tactile as one might like. That is not the case with the DeltaPoint Pro thankfully. I found the adjustments to be very positive unlike other MRDS in my stable. The shape of the adjustment knobs allows the use of either a screwdriver or my preferred adjustment tool, the rim of a fired 9mm case.
Leupold uses 1 MOA adjustments like the RMR making it easy to zero if you start at 10-yards and confirm the zero at 25-yards. While the first time I zeroed the DeltaPoint Pro I ran into some unrelated issues with the compensator I had installed on the pistol, once those were resolved the zero process only took a few minutes. I have to say that I really appreciate those tactile clicks when wearing ear plugs and muffs inside an indoor range. With my RMRs it always seems like I am guessing in those conditions, not the case with the DeltaPoint Pro.
The DeltaPoint Pro On The Range
At the time this review is being written, I have roughly 1,500 rounds with the DeltaPoint Pro mounted. I have to admit, I do feel the DeltaPoint Pro is slightly faster to use than the Trijicon RMR thanks to the larger window. The previously mentioned adjustments are also a huge improvement that I couldn't have anticipated being as large of an asset as they are.
A complaint that I hear often in regards to some of the other mini-red dot sights on the market is the glass seems to have a distortion or magnification. In the case of my personal DeltaPoint Pro, the optic also has very low distortion allowing the dot to seemingly appear to float in front of you surrounded by a thin outline of the frame that holds the window in place.
Additionally, another complaint I have heard from some in the past is they really dislike the bluish tint to the glass. While the lens still needs some coatings to enhance the reflectivity of the LED dot and enhance battery life, I never noticed an appreciable difference in light color when shooting the DeltaPoint Pro. It should be said, I have never been bothered by the blue tint in the RMR so the clear lens on the DeltaPoint Pro wasn't as big of an asset as the internet commandos might think.
What I Like About The DeltaPoint Pro
There are a ton of things I love about the DeltaPoint Pro, at the top of that list is that giant distortion-free window. Like I mentioned earlier, the optic does feel just a touch faster to use than my go-to RMR. Some of that comes from the ability to more reliably keep the dot inside the larger window under recoil as well as it being slightly easier to find the dot with a larger projection surface.
Another thing about the DeltaPoint Pro that I love is the top loading battery door. I habitually change batteries on my RMR once a year and loathe breaking free small screws with thread locker on them or being forced to rezero the dot.
Also in the plusses column, the use of an industry standard CR2032 battery was hugely appreciated. I loathe when I am forced to stock odd sizes of batteries in my range bag.
The one feature that I didn't test but love the idea of is the optional rear sight that can be added to the DeltaPoint Pro body. This could come in handy when you are mounting the DeltaPoint to a pistol that has its rear sight mounted to a cover plate like the Walther Q5 Match or the Sig M17. Sorry, I don't have a photo of it installed on the DeltaPoint Pro, it would have set me back $79.99 MSRP to have one for a picture.
Yet another feature that I really appreciate is the motion sensor built into the optic. This sensor turns the dot off after being inactive for 5 minutes and reactivates it when the pistol is moved. I didn't even notice that it was a feature on my optic even when I tried like hell to outrun the electronics.
I also really love the locking adjustment feature that effectively locks down the adjustment screws. While I rezero my range guns when I change ammo, the FN 509 Tactical that I mounted the DeltaPoint Pro will be zeroed to my defensive ammo since it gets carried once in a while. With the locking adjustments, I don't need to apply paint marks to ensure that nothing had rotated.
What I Don't Like About The DeltaPoint Pro
Even being as critical of the optic as I can be, there just aren't that many downsides to the DeltaPoint Pro. While the single button operation is a bit annoying, it isn't too bad. I would have preferred to see them use a dual button adjustment so I don't have to scroll through every brightness setting to get the one I want.
My other gripe is the battery door latch. I shouldn't be able to push it past the ball detent and get it to come off by pushing it past its intended stop point. The DeltaPoint Pro was supposed to be a soldier proof optic, why would Leupold design the latch to come free without tools?
Would I Buy The DeltaPoint Pro Again?
Yes, I will buy another DeltaPoint Pro at some point but I am unsure what pistol it will find a home on. Since I bought the 2.5 MOA dot version this go, the next one will be the 7.5 MOA triangle reticle.
Like any good tool, there is a right time and place to use it. The DeltaPoint Pro is no different. I really find the optic is at home on openly carried pistols for duty or competition use, but not so great for concealed carry. The size of the optic combined with the single button that makes brightness adjustments hard just isn't ideal for EDC use in my opinion. Now if you are setting your equipment up prior to a shift or a match, the DeltaPoint Pro is probably going to be the right MRDS for you.
About Patrick R.
Patrick is a firearms enthusiast that values the quest for not only the best possible gear setup but also pragmatic ways to improve his shooting skills across a wide range of disciplines. He values truthful, honest information above all else and had committed to cutting through marketing fluff to deliver the truth. You can find the rest of his work on FirearmRack.com as well as on the YouTube channel Firearm Rack or Instagram at @thepatrickroberts.