DSEi 13: British Future Integrated Soldier Technology (FIST) Shield CQS Red Dot

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The British Army’s future solider program, FIST (Future Integrated Soldier Technology), has fitted every day and night scope in the program with the Shield CQB red dot sight to use as a close quarters or backup sight. So far the UK Ministry of Defense has purchased 35,000 sights from Shield. The Shield CQS is lightweight, weighing in at just 2.3 oz / 66 grams including battery. It can run for one to three years depending on usage off a single CR 2032 cell.

British SA80 with Elcan DR scope and Shield CQS mounted on top.

British SA80 with Elcan DR scope and Shield CQS mounted on top.

It is also available in pink …

IMAG0083

… and works equally well on AKs …

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IMAG0088

Thanks to Lionel and our other contributors for the photos and information.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Kyle Sarver

    Another pic of the CQB.

    • Juice

      Damn, besides from the weapons and patches it’s nearly impossible to tell country’s operators apart. Multicam everywhere. Even Russia’s special forces are using it.

      • Michael

        But Who else uses the ultimate battle rifle, The SA80 A3

      • Steve (TFB Editor)

        Russian special forces use whatever they feel like (which I guess is whatever they think is best … they don’t care much about licensing … yes, I have this on very good authority)

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

        They are also using the military version of the Grip Pod just like us. He has one on his SA80

  • weerd

    That sight would look fantastic mounted on an M&p handgun!

    • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

      Funny you should say that – we were testing it slide-mounted on an M&P 9mm last week!

      • Steve D

        If you can get that into UK military and LE you will be doing well. It would sort their most difficult area of firearm classifications.

        • Steve D

          .except it will have to fit a Glock 17…….

          • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

            No problem working with Glocks – we have dovetail mounts or the Mini Sight can be cut into the slide. There are holsters on the market now that accommodate that.

          • Steve D

            The cost of retro fitting would most likely be prohibitive, even though it would improve capability. Does your fit retain existing iron sights or replace them?

          • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

            The mount fits into the dovetail, replacing the rear iron sights. As it’s higher than the slide cut option, I don’t think you can see the front sight any more, but I will double check that. You could fit a higher front sight and line it up with the notch on the rear of the Mini Sight, but we don’t recommend it due to the front sight then partially obscuring the target.

  • noob

    I like that it has a multi-year lifespan from a commonly available battery. Also the option of a dot and ring reticle is a good idea as a crude rangefinder.

    • iksnilol

      How is CR123 a common battery? And the fact that theyr are much more expensive, further makes it undesirable. I would rather use a common battery like AA or AAA even if it meant a bit more weight and less battery life.

      • allannon

        It’s a CR2032, not CR123. And yes, CR2032 are common batteries; they power most watches, and are used in a great many other small devices (a quick check shows one is the power source for my micro-flashlight). You can buy them pretty much anywhere that sells batteries. I’ve seen them at gas stations.

        And anyway, CR123 is a common cell. When you can buy them at Wal-Mart, they’re common.

        • Shabitz

          CR2032s are also on most motherboard bios batteries

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

            And have been for a very long time.

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

        The CR123 is fairly common and not terribly expensive. Of course a sight I recently reviewed made by Lucid is not in the same size class but does use one AAA battery. A bout $200 street price.

        • iksnilol

          Here in Norway I have only found them in supermarkets and Photo stores, costing much more than AAs, thats why I dislike them. But they are compact and powerfull I will give them that.

  • Michael

    Now we are waiting for it to run several years late a come in several times over budget. Probably be cheaper just to buy Aimpoint, or Eotec.
    Does look nice, is it available here?

    • Kyle Sarver

      The CQS is listed on Suffolk Rifle Co website for £399 ($639.88) http://www.suffolkrifle.co.uk/shop/shield-cqs-battle-sight/

      • Michael

        Ouch, I could get an AR for that

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

        Pretty pricey for my budget.

    • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

      Pleased to say the CQB went into production in 2010, entered active service in Afghanistan last year and we’ve delivered over 35,000 so far.

      • Michael

        Good news, not being rude, just British sense of humour.
        Where is it made?
        An improvement over the old SUIT sights on SLRs (FAL)

        • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

          The record of the MOD’s suppliers, especially the big companies, is pretty poor so I don’t blame you! We have 27 people working in Dorset and as far as possible we use British suppliers. It’s cost-effective, reliable and faster than out-sourcing overseas.

          • Michael

            Good for you, Is it exported to the States? Over here its either Expensive Eotech and Aimpoints, or cheap Chinese stuff. Plenty of AR15s that wear optics.

          • MikeD

            Mike, in the US the sight its based on is called the JPoint from JP Enterprises

          • Mike

            To clarify, Shield make the JPoint, thats just what its marketed as in the States

          • Michael

            The Jpoint looks different to the CQB, is it the same? The Jpoint is around $290
            Any companies carry it? Gander Mountain, Bass Pro? I would like to see one. Looking for a sight for a 12 gauge pump

          • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

            The JPoint is the Shield Mini Sight, which originally came onto the market in 1997 as the Firepoint. Shield inherited all the designs and tooling from Firepoint and we continue to manufacture what is still the smallest, lightest reflex sight. The CQB (and CQS) operates on the same principles, but is a completely new design to meet UK MOD specifications. The main difference is that the CQB has a rear window and is sealed so that no water/mist gets onto the back of the front lens, which when you’re operating in bad weather can be a problem with the single lens-type sights.
            First question then, would you be using your shotgun in bad weather, or would you be happier with a lower weight, single lens sight?

          • Michael

            This would be primarily a range toy, unless the Zombies invade, so maybe light rain,

          • Michael

            Being an Ex Pat I would like to get British Issue equipment, I have several Enfields, Webleys a SLR, and several ARs. The shotgun this would be going on is a Mossberg 500, for general purpose, maybe deer hunting, or for when the Zombies come, so it may go out in bad weather. But I am getting older, so I try not go out in bad weather

          • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

            Are you in the US? If so, then I would recommend speaking to Cave Cammack at JP Rifles as he is very knowledgeable. A dot & ring or an 8 MOA dot reticle in the Mini Sight would be ideal I would think. JP have 8 MOA dots in stock and the dot & ring version will be there in about 6 weeks.

          • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

            We’re currently shipping the Shield CQS to US customers directly as we don’t have a US distributor at present. [The CQS is the same as the UK MOD's CQB but with a different mounting system that makes it easier to fit to your preferred weapon]

    • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

      Both the Aimpoint and EOTech are too large and heavy so we made something to meet UK MOD’s precise specification

      • me ohmy

        “Aimpoint and EOTech are too large and heavy”

        funny..our service members use them all the time and they are not even a pound each. with an 7 pound rifle, you wont notice 10 ounces on the top

        • Leonardo Padrino

          Every.Ounce.Counts.

        • bigangrybear

          You have never been in real combat from this post that is clear

        • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

          CQB – 2.3 oz
          Aimpoint T1 – 3 oz or 3.7 oz with ‘integrated mount’
          EOTech XPS3 – 8 oz
          Nobody wants to carry excess weight, do they?
          Other factors: CQB has automatic brightness adjustment (including night vision levels), there’s no red ‘here I am’ flare from the front lens coating in bright sunshine and you get 300 MOA of elevation adjustment (which is important when piggybacking on top of big thermal sights).

        • Mahler

          Well I think the big disconnect is that also an AImpoint and EOtech are much larger than these. In the USMC we are using Trijicon’s version of this on top of ACOGs on 240s, IAR, SAWs, etc.

          • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

            In the UK the Shield Mini Sight is fitted to the ACOG. In fact it was the first reflex sight (then known as the Firepoint) to be fitted to the ACOG by Knight’s Armament in 1998 for SOCOM.

          • Mahler

            Yeah, when I worked with the Royal Marines I noticed that. I guess the US went with Trijicon for their version to be on one contract probably.

  • Pete Sheppard

    It’s good to see those sight shrink down to almost the size of an iron sight. Hopefully the price isn’t too large…

  • http://www.scoutbasecamp.com/ TV-PressPass

    That is a beefy little red-dot! Part of my concern with the delta-point and razor reflex sights is that they are somewhat fragile. A good warranty from Vortex or Leupold means you can get it fixed, but does precious little for you if it breaks when you’re counting on it.

  • me ohmy

    the CIVILIAN version found here is unrestricted..
    http://shieldpsd.sharepoint.com/Pages/Minisight.aspx
    but for the military version, which I am sure is ruggedized/soldier proofed, it is,
    Still, a 300.00 MINI point sight….really really spendy, for what you get.
    1-2 yr run time on a 2032 coin battery
    non adjustable light level/ambient adjusted
    VAT Taxed, and not seen in the states..
    nice unit…but not a GREAT unit.

    • Steve D

      Isn’t the military version more on a par with the Trijicon RMR, which, with a mount is pretty much the same cost -wise, although 35,000 + units might attract a little discount?

      • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

        The Trijicon RMR, like the Shield Mini Sight, is a single lens type of reflex sight, which some users find difficult in rain / mist / fog due to water collecting on the back of the lens and scattering the red dot reflection. The CQB/CQS has a rear window and is completely sealed so that you don’t get that problem.

        • Steve D

          True I had to make a long shroud for my carbine mounted Docter which works a treat. Windows/screens are no good, as rain obscures them the same as a lens, the sight just doesn’t get wet. There has to be an overhang involved to be effective

          • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

            The issue of water on the back of the lens is more severe as it scatters the red dot, or puts the dot in the wrong place with respect to the target. On the rear window, as long as the water doesn’t completely obscure the view, it’s useable. We sell a transparent rain cover for the Mini Sight which works well, but some people don’t like it being a separate part and easier to lose. Trying to please everyone, that’s the challenge!

    • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

      To be clear, the CQS is the same as the CQB apart from the mount, which was designed specifically for UK MOD and is therefore export controlled. The CQS comes with Picatinny mount, or we have other options depending on your preferred weapon/sight. The CQS meets all the military spec’s, like driving rain, immersion, drop onto concrete when rifle-mounted, but it isn’t (generally) export controlled.

  • Lance

    So another Doctor sight option for a ACOG.

  • Mahler

    Are these available for private sale? I like the EOTech style reticle over the simple reddot.

  • A.g.

    Hi,
    This is just the solution for my zastava ak who don’t accept many of curent mount.
    Did someone, perhaps Shield PSD, could explain this point, I don’t see anything on the website.
    Thanks and sorry for the bad grammary.
    French reader’s.

    • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

      Hi, we have a design for an AK mount and 3D-printed it for the DSEI show, to see if there was any interest. We are not in production yet, sorry, but I hope we will be able to make it available later this year.

      • A.g.

        Thanks for your response. I will take a look.

  • LCON

    …. Pink Again! I Swear Kim Possible is everywhere

    • http://www.shieldpsd.com/ Shield PSD

      More colours on the way!