The Extra Medium Millet DMS-1

I shot a two gun match the other day and it occurred to me that, as impressive as the ranging features on certain sights are, they may not be all that practical. Don’t get me wrong, I like my ACSS reticle and long range shooting is fun, but the longest shot in that match was 130 yards. If you shoot a 5.56mm rifle with a 50 yard zero, you don’t really have to start thinking about come ups until the target gets past 250 yards. And as a civilian, you are unlikely to have to use your rifle at anything approaching that distance. You may not have a duty to retreat in your state, but no matter where you are, if you shoot someone you do need to articulate a reason that you felt a credible threat. Imagine trying to explain to your own attorney why you felt that you had to shoot a man 200 yards away. Even in a sweaty Arfcom dream of civil disorder, with football pad and tire armor wearing visigoths roaming the scorched landscape, odds are pretty good that if you’re engaged by someone at a couple hundred yards, it’s probably safer just to run away. That said, shooting stuff is fun, and a 1-4x variable scope is a versatile tool.

The Millet DMS-1 1-4x24mm sight is not new. It’s been on the market for some years. Believe it or not, that’s actually a good thing. It has developed a track record of being a dependable, durable sight. It is simple, with a basic circle-dot reticle with a fat, 10 MOA thick ring that draws your eye for quick target engagement at close range, and a small, 1 MOA dot to make precise shots at longer range. The circle and dot are battery illuminated, with a spare battery stored under the windage cap. The reticle is sharp and crisp and the image is bright (for a 24mm objective lens) with only a small degree of distortion around the edges at 1x.

Elevation and windage adjustments are positive, with sharp, audible clicks and enough tension to avoid running past a desired adjustment. The adjustment knobs also have a zero disk to facilitate return to zero after dope adjustments are made. The magnification ring is a bit stiff but not too difficult to turn that it can’t be done with wet hands.

The set of features is simple and the execution is well done. This is not a $1,000 sight. It isn’t as clear as a Leupold or Trijicon and it might not be as durable, but it also doesn’t cost as much. It also isn’t a pile of cheap Chinese crap. It is an American designed assemblage of quality Chinese workmanship. If you can afford a better sight, you may get more from it, but you won’t be throwing away your money as with cheap sights. At $220, the DMS-1 fits a price and quality point that is attractive to many users.

So where does the DMS-1 fit in practical terms? What’s it good for? I’d recommend it for hunting, close to medium range competition, or an all purpose defense rifle in the recce style. The 4x magnification is enough to make target detection easier and to help get fast, precise hits at 100 yards and out while the 1x setting is roughly as fast as a reflex sight. Like many compromises, it doesn’t do any one thing better than more specialized solutions, but it does a lot of things reasonably well. It’s a lot of sight for the money, but it isn’t anything fancy. It’s extra medium. Is it ideal for you? Post a comment below and let us know what you plan to use it for and we can let you know whether we think it would be a good fit.



Andrew

Andrew is a combat veteran of OEF and has performed hundreds of ballistic tests for his YouTube channel, The Chopping Block (https://www.youtube.com/user/chopinbloc). He is an avid firearm collector and competitor and lives with his family in Arizona. If you have any questions, you may email him at choppingblocktests@gmail.com


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  • raz-0

    I own said millet. IMO the price difference between it and peer vortex offerings is worth every penny. The burris tac-30 is also hard to argue with for a similar price. When it debuted, the millet was beating everything in quality vs. price. That’s not the case anymore.

    • DrewN

      I mail ordered one quite a few years ago, but the size really put me off. Still in it’s box in a closet somewhere.

    • DangerousClown

      Can you expand on that? Curious how it’s better than the Vortex.

      • raz-0

        Ambiguous phrasing on my part, plus your reading.
        I’m saying the minor price premium for the similar vortex offerings or posisbly even the burris TAC-30 are worth it over the millet scope.

        Vortex has nicer optics and better CS for not much more. Burris has better glass and similar durability.

        • DangerousClown

          That makes sense. I got rid of my 1-4x Burris for the 1-6x Vortex. I’ve yet to have any issues with their stuff, and have a handful across different firearms.

    • James

      I Agree. I ran the Millet in 3Gun for four seasons shortly after they came out and it proved satisfactory. I paid $200 for it and it worked well until its internals came apart.

      While we all would like a first focal plane Swarovski, Razor HD, US Optics, etc, there are many options with decent glass with lifetime warranties that fall in the lower price ranges today. Even the Chinese stuff is leaps ahead of what is was even 5yrs ago.

  • Connor Christensen

    I agree, it’s not practical to be making shots at that distance in a self defense scenario, but the major advantage of magnification is target identification, but a pair of binoculars could always do the same thing. Unless your being truly attacked from a distance and can’t run away (which itself is pretty unlikely) then there’s no reasonable justification for making shots that far it would seem.

    • Joe

      I agree, using the optic for target ID/IFF is the most practical use of magnification in a self-defense scenario. Easier to drop down from 4x to 1x than fiddle with binoculars. However, it violates the “don’t aim at what you might not want to shoot” rule.

  • Jeff

    The greatest disadvantage that the 1-4/6/etc. scopes suffer from, when compared to a true 1x RDS, arises when shooting from awkward positions. A 1-4x, at the 1x setting, still sucks to use when trying to shoot under a vehicle. They also suffer a bit when shot from the non-dominant side. From the bench or prone, you won’t notice this. But the problem is quite noticeable when you are crawling through the weeds and trying to shoot without elevating your profile. When a long shot arises, though, that 4x sure is nice.

    • Kelly Jackson

      I agree, you can’t even hang out of a car door upset down and shoot under the vehicle with a scope like this

    • Chop Block

      That’s a very good point, Jeff. Some of the better quality variables have larger eye boxes, which reduce the impact of this problem, but none are as forgiving as a reflex. It’s also worth noting that there is no such thing as truly parallax free. An Aimpoint will still have a bit of POI shift if you are shooting from an awkward position and the reticle is near the edge of the sight.

  • gunsandrockets

    Minimum magnification adjustment is probably closer to 1.25X than a true 1X.

    It’s a pretty large and heavy 30mm tube scope.

    The DMS-1 ‘donut of death’ reticle might be able to use the old trick of the AUG 1.5X reticle, for longer range firing.

    • david

      I wouldn’t say it’s heavy by any means, I think it’s mid-weight in terms of 1-4x scopes. What would consider to be better in the 1-4x or fixed 4x category besides the obvious (ACOG, Steiner, Vortex…)?

      • gunsandrockets

        Don’t misunderstand me, I like the DMS-1.

    • Chop Block

      No. It’s pretty close to true 1x. Way closer to 1x than to 1.25x. The real issue is the distortion around the edges of the sight.

      • gunsandrockets

        Pretty close? Not my DMS-1.

  • noob

    not to argue the point, but just curious.

    If you’re a farmer working alone in a treeless pasture and you’ve gotten off your quadbike to say fix a fence half way down in a gully, and there’s a guy from town who has decided that you offend his sensibilities and he decides that he’s a l33t sniper so he’s going to park up at the road and take potshots at you with his unscoped Rem 700 from 300 to 400 yards because you’re probably not going to be able to fight back effectively and you have 200 yards to run back to the quad bike or the nearest cover…

    How long would you live if he misses his first shot **and** you decide to run away?

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      I like your thinking. Any real farmer wouldn’t be more than 20 or 30 yards from his 4-wheeler, because it’s carrying your stuff and the further you stray from it, the more you have to walk and the less work you get done. Not to disprove your story, but to say that cover would be near. And from the side, a 4-wheeler is a lot of tires and engine block, it would make decent cover and also a decent platform to return fire from. Dial it up to 4x and make that city slicker rethink his life choices.

      • The Pontificant

        Yeah, but can you shoot under the 4-wheeler with that scope? I mean that is the real question…ain’t it? 😉

        • noob

          quad bike lift kit. higher ground clearance, increased risk of rollover.

        • Chop Block

          LOL.

      • noob

        Indeed. If I had my way I’d drive the quad all the way down to the property line, but the owner of the property cautions that it is too steep, and he doesn’t want to explain how I rolled the quad on me and crushed my back to my parents. A rollover vehicle accident is a lot more common way to get killed or maimed than getting shot around here, but it always pays to think about all kinds risks wherever you go. Be prepared and all that.

        Maybe I should ask my friend to hire a backhoe and grade the gully a little a to make a little dirt road? Sounds expensive but who wants to walk 200 to 400m?

    • Aaron

      Have you ever encountered such circumstances? What role did you play? The playground adage of “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” applies in this situation. In other words perhaps you should practice deescalation rather than winding up mouthy people even further.

      • noob

        Mostly my own paranoia 🙂 There is a gully that has an annoying property line halfway down it within view of a rather secluded road on the other hill, and it’s too steep for the 4 wheeler. When helping on my friend’s property we’ve been cautioned that even if you lean with your full body weight you could still tip over and end up rolling on you.

        If I for some unthinkable reason wanted to kill my friend (and I don’t he’s a great guy), that’s the spot where I’d hit him.

        I just assess risks wherever I go. It’s not really a habit anymore, more like a symptom.

    • Chop Block

      You’ll notice that I used qualifying verbiage in the article. It’s “unlikely” that a civilian would find a need to use deadly physical force at 200 yards. COULD it happen? Sure, but it’s a lot more likely that if you ever need to shoot a man, you’ll be able to smell him.

  • iksnilol

    This short range mentality is making me rethink 6,5×55 vs 308 for emergency use. I mean, both are common in my neck of the woods, but with the 308 I can have a shorter barrel (like 40-45 cm instead of 55 cm) and it should still be fine out to like 500 meters (5,56 would also work, but not against the wildlife).

    • Nicks87

      I hunt white tail deer with .223/5.56 and it seems to work fine but .308 is so much better when it comes to distances beyond 300m.

  • Nicks87

    Optical clarity is more important than magnification and I think I would go with something a bit more expensive if you want to use a 1-4/6 optic. The Primary Arms 1-4x is a decent choice at this price point and the Vortex 1-4/6/8 are better but a bit more pricey.

  • Chop Block

    Wow. That’s truly awful. I’d contact the retailer you bought it through and find out if you can get your money back or get credit on something else.