Trijicon SRS

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Famous for their ACOG combat gunsights, Trijicon also makes a series of reflex sights for small arms. The first of those is the Trijicon Reflex with the dual-illumination and a 24mm objective lens. Next was the Trijicon TriPower with 30mm objective and the addition of battery power to the fiber optic and tritium illumination. Recently, a new larger 42mm objective lens model was added to the Trijicon Reflex line. While all three are robustly built, however, I am not enthusiastic about the dark green lens color or their illumination systems.

All that changed when Trijicon developed their own long-lasting battery-powered illumination system for the battery models of the Trijicon RMR mini reflex sights. Those have clear lens and bright red reticle illumination with a battery life of 2-3 years. Some are using the RMR on rifles and carbines, but I found the tiny RMR offers a field of view which is too small for use as a primary sight. The RMR series is really designed for mounting on pistols or to use as auxiliary optic. It took another 3 years for Trijicon to adapt their new illumination technology to the full size weapon sights.

 

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In mid-2012, Trijicon released the Trijicon SRS, which stands for Sealed Reflex Sight. I was expecting Trijicon would just incorporate their new battery illumination system into the existing 1x42mm Reflex sight. Instead, Trijicon developed a completely new design with a number of unique features.

Optical Performance:
Trijicon’s main optical design emphasis for the SRS is to have the largest field of view without tunnel effect while keeping the sight housing as short as possible. To accomplish that the SRS features a large 38mm objective lens, and together with the earlier dual-illumination 1x42mm Trijicon Reflex, the two Trijicon sights have the largest field of view among the reflex sights on the market. The SRS’s objective is actually mounted at an angle to help shortening the sight housing. The lens coating has a magenta color from the front and a slight green tint from the rear. When look through the SRS at the operator’s point of view, the lens is clear in all light conditions and there’s no tunnel effect no matter what’s viewing angle or eye relief. As with all Trijicon optics, the lens of the SRS are made from Schott glass, the best optical glass in the world.

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Illumination and Power:
The SRS has a red 1.75 MOA dot as its reticle. I found the dot is extremely precise focused and bright. Its brightness allows me to use the sight up close with great speed, yet the dot is small enough to fit into a torso target at 300 meters. I even used the SRS for subsonic 300 Blackout out to 400 meters with steel torso plates. Even at that distance, the sight’s huge field of view permitted me to observe the impact and make quick correction while keeping the target in view.

A single common AA size battery powers the SRS. There’s also a secondary power source from the molded small solar panel on top of the sight housing. The solar photovoltaic cells provide sufficient energy to power the SRS in ambient light. Battery power is still needed to turn on the sight and to powering it in lowlight or indoor. Trijicon claims that the combination of both power sources would give the SRS a 3-year battery life at combat condition.

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Sight housing and Mount:
Like all Trijicon sights, the SRS is built to a level of near indestructibility thanks to its forged 7075-T6 aluminum alloy housing. The sight is completely sealed and water submersible to 165 ft. (50m) depth. The SRS is relatively short at 3.75-inches but due to its large 38mm lens, it’s thick at 2.5-inch. The 14.2-ounce weight is not bad for its size which includes the integrated sight mount. The SRS is available with the plain dual thumbscrew mount or for $75 more, with the quick-release Brobo mount.

 

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What’s my take on the Trijicon SRS?
I think Trijicon has finally created a worthy challenger for the King of the Hill in reflex sights. (Aimpoint). While the Trijicon is more expensive and the illumination technology is not quite as long lasting as the Aimpoint CompM4, but the Trijicon SRS has a significantly larger field of view while being shorter. It also seems to be even more resistant to battle damage because there’s no exposed battery compartment or adjustment turrets.

Excluding the high price, I would like to point out two areas of the SRS that still needs improvement. The angled objective would occasionally catch low angled light and causes some internal reflection. This can be mitigated by use an anti-reflective device. The early production SRS has the problem with internal reflection from the LED illuminator’s square protective window. This issue is corrected on my late 2012 production sample. Trijicon seems to have changed the internal coating to address the problem. If you have one of the early SRS model with this problem, please take advantage of Trijicon’s lifetime warranty.
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Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry.


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  • Bill

    “The early production SRS has the problem with internal reflection from the LED illuminator’s square protective window. This issue is corrected on my late 2012 production sample.”

    Thanks for letting us know, I knew about that issue but did not know it was corrected yet. Your review is the first I’ve heard about the fix. This seemed to be the main concern about it, so you probably should have put that info higher up in the article since a lot of people don’t read the whole thing or just the first couple paragraphs.

    • Nicholas Westfield

      Even with the internal reflection, it is still a great sight. Mine has it but I haven’t had time to send it in.

  • Billick

    I don’t own a gun and what I don’t understand is how to hold it. I have seen many experts holding the rail/barrel guard as shown in the pictures above even though they have a vertical front grip attached on the rail, and i believe they are professionals. But I have never seen a soldier holding their rifles like that, they either hold on the front grip or the mag well. Please enlighten me how to hold a rifle.

    • John

      The thumb over grip is the ‘popular’ way to do things right now. Users purport it allows for greater control over the weapon. For me, it’s more tiring

      This video explains the thumb over grip stance vs magwell grip

    • Bill

      Depends on who you are and why you are shooting at the moment. Thumb-over method is for quick firing strings, over a short duration, for rapid transitions. Soldiers firing in combat hold a firearm just to be able to shoot, while not getting shot themselves. It’s not Call of Duty where they are running around out of cover and concealment while trying to fire as fast as possible. It’s all about volume of fire for suppression, to allow movement, which in turn allows the destruction of the enemy; all while not getting shot yourself. “Professionals” and competitors can hold the gun anyway they choose because NOBODY IS SHOOTING AT THEM.

      • Bill

        Oh, I forgot to add – The reason why the thumb-over method allows greater control is because the support hand is, wait for it, supporting more the weight at the end of the rifle. The magwell grip doesn’t control a lot of the weight, but it is generally considered to aid in rifle movement from the low ready or very close combat. You will see a lot of soldiers use the magwell grip or keep a vertical grip close to the magwell because it’s convenient. Others will have a vertical foregrip but not use it just because it at least gives them options to use it or not. Options are nice. I have one on mine, but I just use it as a hand stop for the rear of my hand. Gives me an index point, and it’s there if I want to use it.

    • Samuel Suggs

      Hello Billick welcome to the firearms blog. How one hold a weapon is determined bye an incredibly wide variety of factors including of course weapon type and configuration, the setting in which you are shooting the goal of the shots taken and the position from which you are shooting the “proper” way to hold the weapon can only be determined bye the user through research and espeareaence on and with that weapon while taking into account the above factors as well as their own physical strengths and limitations

    • Samuel Suggs

      I take it your a young man looking forward future comments. out of curiousity how did you find this blog? I understand that your first comment was on the disaster scenarion weapon choice post

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      A short and really oversimplified answer would be the grip you see above is used in three gun shooting matches. Three gun is where you use a handgun, AR15 and a shotgun. In other words gaming rather than combat.

      The military uses the Grip Pod which is an issued item for our troops.

      Here’s the one they use. Notice a button is pushed and under spring pressure the two legs come out giving you a support device.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      The grip on the top is the common grip most people use especially on sporting rifles

      The one on the bottom is the grip used on AR15’s in Three Gun competition

    • Billick

      Thank you everyone for the replies….. My understanding from the replies is that….this is the how you hold AR-15 in a shooting competition especially in the US where AR-15 is very popular. But i don’t think anyone would use a thumb-over grip on their bullpup rifles, AK or even ARX-160 even in a competition. I’m curious how the US marines or rangers are trained.

  • Military Arms Channel
    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I can understand that. Both front and rear lens are situated very close to the end of the unit making it pickup more sunlight. Not much chance there to block any sunlight.

  • james

    Maybe I missed it but how much is this? It seems like anything with Aimpoint or Trijicon is usually waaaay out of my price range. I know they’re some of the best out there but damn… My AR only cost 550 when I built it a few years ago. Are there any worth a damn optics for under 200? There’s quite a few traditional scopes especially used for cheap but almost no reflex/red dot scopes cheap that are worth buying. Might try and hunt down a used eotech unless you guys got a better idea? I’m always open for suggestions.

    • Max

      Meh, the EoTechs are great. I wouldn’t pass one up if you can find them cheap. Even if you had to buy one new I would still take them over the Aimpoints (even with the battery life disparity).

    • Derp

      Bushnell TRS-25s are considered pretty good. And they’re like $85.

      • Ryan

        +1 on the TRS-25. Another good affordable red dot is is the Primary Arms Micro Dot (Aimpoint copy).

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      It’s about $850–$895. This Lucid scope is in the $259 range and works well. I’m testing one now. Don’t waste your money on the magnifier though.

  • Freedoooom

    Don’t be ridiculous. Aimpoint isn’t king of the hill.

    Also, what color and finish is the barrel?

    • Samuel Suggs

      Who do you think is being ridiculous? They are the king of the hill form a financial standpoint and their bent toward easy to use innovative optics certainly bodes well for them in that regard! I certainly believe variable power 0x-6x optics are superior in every way to their flagship ACOG (with the notable exception of durability) but for a military or militia I can see the utility.

    • Timothy G. Yan

      Really? How many countries have adapted Aimpoint as their general issue infantry optic? How many red-dot or scope has a 8-10 year battery life?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      For close in use it’s king of the hill with our military and others. Yes the ACOG is used a lot but for longer distance shooting. The EoTech is used also but not in the numbers the Aimpoint is.

  • Samuel Suggs

    the AR-15 the woman in the pink shirt has with the blue barrel and accents is interesting I wish more people where willing to brach out from basic black like that. it also looks like a good light peice of work

    • Timothy G. Yan

      It’s setup for 3-Gun competition.

      • Samuel Suggs

        Ah I would not have guessed that most people opt for a bigger sillier looking magwell for three gun however that explains the barrel diameter. what coating is she using I like the whole matte powder blue thing and am wondering what it would look like in OD green :)

        • Timothy G. Yan

          It’s just duracoat. Professional 3-Gunners are often painted their guns to be standing out from others.

  • Samuel Suggs

    I like how everyone jumped at the chance to help Billik I mean a little techie ask’s a common question and people link the guy to videos and exsplain the thumbs over contrversy no one can accuse us of caring to little or regecting outsiders (:

  • Mahler

    Am I understanding this correctly in regards to battery life: Trijicon is claiming you can get battery life of 2-3 years from a single AA battery, since it combines consumption of the solar panels (under normal “combat conditions” whatever the heck that means)?

    If that is the case I may strongly consider picking up one of these optics. I already own an ACOG, an Eotech, and a Aimpoint. My personal preference is the EOtech but it’s battery life isn’t great by any stretch when compared to the Aimpoint Micro or this if the 2-3 years is true off a single battery.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Retail is a bit over $800 for the SRS. You’ll see more optics with that kind of battery life in the near future. I know of two in development now.

      • Mahler

        Well I’m guessing they mean “Combat conditions” as in you don’t always have the SRS on. I read on a customer review (for whatever that’s worth… I realize they can be full of bs) that if the battery is dead in the SRS that it will not work regardless of how much light the unit is getting.

        I was hoping this would be a better competitor to the T1 Micro that I can leave on for supposedly 5 years. What I wish they made, please tell me if this is in the pipeline, was an Eotech style with the 65MOA and the 1-2MOA dot that could run for years without turning off.

        I appreciate the response and I know I need to be patient and realistic in what I expect. However a man can certainly dream and I’m sure they’ll be pushing those out sooner rather than later.

        • Mahler

          Also Botach, the site which I purchased my ACOG, is selling the thumbscrew version for $692 and some change for anyone looking to pull the trigger on the SRS.

          • Timothy G. Yan

            I wouldn’t deal with Botach. They have a very bad rep.

          • Mahler

            I’ve bought a couple of items from them (to include my ACOG) and the only problem I had was it took a little longer than I would have liked to get it shipped. Maybe I’ve been lucky, I dunno.

  • firebert

    would like one but it’s too expensive for a regular joe like me. I’ll stick to my EOTech.

  • Lance

    Too darn BIG. Like the Metroplex Israel uses too BIG for a reflex sight. Prefer to stay with ACOG over this. If you have to go Red Dot go with a AIMPOINT COMPM4

    • Dshznt405

      Meprolight*

  • Daniel Hudson

    The Comp M4 has an 8 year battery life. What is the point of this expensive toy (Trijicon SRS)? If they could develop a solar gun sight with a built in battery that stored power from use during daylight hours for night ops, that would be better. Unfortunately this is probably a long way off for design practicality. It is my opinion that Aimpoint is still “King of the Hill” when it comes to battery operated systems by far.

  • bestar15scopes

    The issues with this sight seem to be corrected in the latest versions of this model, I haven’t experience any problems with mine and bought it this year. Found some pretty good info on the situation here