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.