Shield CQS Relex Sight

So you want to join the British 22nd S.A.S. Regiment. Then you had better become very familiar with┬áthe Shield CQS (Close Quarter Sight). This is one of the primary sights used by the S.A.S., and after examining the features of the CQS I can understand their affection. Shield advertises the CQS as the “smallest, lightest, and toughest” reflex sight in its class, offering a full field of view (FOV) for target acquisition and parallax free shooting.

The Shield CQS sitting on the (2) included spacers, is still very compact.

The Shield CQS sitting on the (2) included spacers, is still very compact.

The extremely small profile of the CQS is ideally suited for special forces or SWAT operations with a greatly reduced risk that the sight will snag on operator gear. Despite its small size, the CQS is remarkably fast on target, and the lighting and dot options are easily configured for operator preferences. The CQS was specifically designed for military applications (00-35 DEFSTAN in the U.K.), so there are no worries about its ruggedness and durability.


The newest addition to the CQS is the SIS Bullet Drop (BD) Reticule selection. This is a great addition that allows the shooter the ability to more confidently engage longer range targets. There are two (1) MOA bullet drop dots below the primary (2) MOA dot.

View of the Shield CQS red dot (kind of).

View of the Shield CQS red dot (kind of).

According to Shield representative, Trapr Swonson, the primary (2) MOA dot is designed to be zeroed at 200 yards, with the first BD dot set for 400 yards. A 200-yard zero should match up with a 50-yard zero, allowing for close quarters shots. Swonson claimed he was consistently hitting a 12″ x 16″ steel target at 400 yards using the top BD dot after zeroing the CQS as described.

The Shield CQS has several mounting options. Note the (2) additional CQS on the side rails.

The Shield CQS has several mounting options. Note the (2) additional CQS on the side rails.

Though specifically designed for 5.56mm/.223 caliber platforms, the CQS can be used on a variety of rifle, shotgun, or pistol options.

Shield CQS Features Include:

  • Length – 2.05 inches (52mm)
  • Width – 1.50 inches (38mm)
  • Height – 1.2 inches (30mm) without mount
  • Weight – 2.3 ounces (66 grams) including battery, without mount
  • Dual Optic with anti-reflection coating
  • Lens – Clear reflex with 1x magnification, parallax-freeHousing – Hard anodized aluminum, matte black finish, night vision compatible
  • Light Source – Red light emitting diode (LED)
  • Brightness Settings – (12) total, (3) for night vision (NV)
  • Brightness Adjustment – automatically adjusts to ambient lighting (on current setting)
  • Auto Shut-Off – After 5 minutes in complete darkness (not night conditions)
  • Dot Options – SIS CD (Center Dot) Option – (1) MOA, (1) MOA + 65 MOA ring; (8) MOA, and (8) MOA + 65 MOA ring
  • Dot Options – SIS BD (Bullet Drop) Option – (2) MOA dot; (2) MOA & Drop dots (2); (2) MOA + 65 MOA ring; (2) MOA & Drop dots (2) + 65 MOA ring
  • Battery – (1) 3V lithium battery, CR2032
  • Battery Life – (1) year average use, (3) years – night vision use (lower light settings)
  • Adjustments – 0.50 MOA adjustments per turn; (24) MOA adjustment with complete rotation
  • Waterproof –
  • MSRP – $450.00.

The Shield CQS has several mounting options, with (2) included spacers:

  • Picatinny Low
  • Co-witnessed Picatinny
  • Browe BCO
  • Zeiss ZO 4x30i & 6x36i
  • Trijicon ACOG
  • MP5.



Aaron is a life-long firearm enthusiast and hunter. He has been a police officer for nearly 19 years, and currently is a Sergeant in Special Operations. He has served on the department’s SWAT Team for 14 years, with 8 years as the Sniper Team Leader. When not fussing over fractions of inches, and gut-less wonders, he can usually be found sipping from a ridiculously large coffee mug. Aaron is also the editor and main writer at


  • Anonymoose

    Why would someone mount a micro reflex sight that’s that thick around the edges in a scout position? That looks extremely uncomfortable to use to me. Maybe if you stuck it on top of an ACOG like Trijicon does with their RMRs or a Zeiss ZO it might be okay.

    • Amsdorf

      Kind of goes along with the British trend to use clunky rifles anyway as their main issue small arms.

      • MNOR

        You mean that Colt Canada’s C8SFW(AR-15) are clunky?
        All non-conventional ubits in The UK(SF, LRRP) use C8’s under the designation L119A1

    • Ethan

      Yeah I was kind of curious about that… I mean you can get away with a small objective 1X optic as long as it doesn’t block the rest of your view. But at the point that it becomes a wall with a small hole in it, it becomes pretty useless for reflex shooting. I’m not saying the CQS is there, but its a few steps further in that direction than most.

      Undoubtedly a great quality sight, but I’m kind of a minimalism snob – not my cup of tea.

    • sianmink

      I didn’t get a very good sense of scale from the pics here so I went afield, and mounted in the scout position like that, it really doesn’t look like it blocks much more of the FOV than iron sights. I’d personally rather have it out there than right up against the rear mount.

  • MSRP of $450? Color me surprised, that’s actually a very competitive price point for this optic. Puts me in the mind of an LED RMR in one of the old LaRue IronDot mounts. I’m definitely in for one, it would be great on my Glock-in-a-stock. Who’s selling these?

  • andrey kireev

    Very interesting… Competitive price, but sadly the bezels are little too thick…

  • Harrison Jones

    That’s a great price!
    I wonder what the mounts will cost?
    How do you change the battery?
    If you have to take it off the mount to change the battery that is a minus for myself.

    • Lt smash

      I saw this sight at the show. Not half the features are mentioned here. This is not a wanna be. This is the real deal. They don’t mention it can change reticles, like 4 to choose from. And it’s designed to take a beatn. We just ordered a load. Smaller, lighter tougher they said. Having seen it I believe. This is a game changer “. You’ll see people who know what they are on about using this.

      • MR

        So, do you have to take it off the mount to change the battery?

        • Shield

          No, there is a screw cap on the side for the battery.

  • Colin

    This back up sight is used by all the brits not just SF.As an Englishman I can only apologize for it not being/made in ‘merica but you know somethings aren’t and still bloody good !.

  • You guys need a US distributor, pronto. These things look like they’d be flying off the shelves if sold in the USA, especially if you’ve passed real military testing.

    • Shield

      Thanks! We are working on distribution for the USA

      • Is there an email list somewhere I can subscribe to for notifcations on this subject?

  • Wingbert

    I’ll rock that over a Aimpoint Micro any day.