The folks at Shield Sights often don’t get the recognition they deserve. People forget to give credit where it’s due, me included. Shield Sights spend time and money developing what is now the standard footprint for slimline pistol red dots. The company is best known for these small optics, but those crazy Brits have something else up their sleeves. With the continued growth of competition-based shooting sports, especially among women, it made sense for Shield Sights to aim their next dot at that market. The Shield Sights RMSx competition red dot is designed specifically for competitive shooters, featuring an 80% larger window, as well as a few other features. However, it still shares that familiar footprint, meaning it can still be mounted on smaller carry guns.
The Shield Sights RMSx Red Dot: Specifications
- Length: 1.7″
- Height: 1.4″
- Width: 0.9″
- Weight: 0.617 oz
- Material: Aluminum
- Footprint: Shield standard
- Battery type: CR2032
- Battery life: Two to three years
- Brightness settings: Automatic adjustment
- Dot size: 4MOA or 8MOA
- MSRP: $450.00
From Across the Pond
After receiving the box (and noticing a vague scent of tea and monarchy), I opened it to find the RMSx, a CR2032 battery, and everything I needed to mount the sight. Also included was the Shield Sights zeroing tool that came with my RMS2, which you may remember from my review of the Heckler and Koch VP9 Match.
The controls are simple in that there aren’t any. Once the dot is installed and zeroed, it’s ready to rock and uses an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust brightness.
The dot itself is red and is 4 MOA in size, though an 8 MOA dot is also available.
The overall fit and finish were stellar, and there were no areas where I saw corners being cut to save on cost. I was chuffed and ready to put it exactly where it should be; on a small gun, and being used in a competition!
Let’s Crack On: Running It
Well, that was the plan. We all get busy and using it in a real competition would have pushed this review back at least two months. Instead, I set up a “stage” at MODTAC Training Group’s outdoor range. I mounted it to a Strike Industries Strike Slide on my wife’s SIG Sauer P365X. I ran the same stage six times. Half of those were with the stock irons and half were with a red dot.
I designed the stage to accomplish a few things, including forcing reloads and certain kinds of shots. I began with the pistol unloaded on the barrel with six rounds in each mag. At the beep, I loaded the gun and engaged three targets with two rounds to center mass. Then I ran to the next shooting position which demanded two rounds to the head. From there, I ran to the last position, engaging two targets to the body with two rounds each. Finally, I pivoted for a longer two shots on a reduced silhouette steel target. Against my better judgment, I’ve included the 2:00 AM stage design drawing to give you a better idea.
Right away, I couldn’t help but notice the gigantic window of the Shield Sights RMSx. The large window is complemented further by the relatively thin walls of the housing. When I was focused on my shooting, the whole thing seemed to disappear, leaving only the red dot in my vision.
The brightness level was almost perfect. I tend to like my dots to favor the bright side over a dimmer, more precise setting. I think this is especially true with a competition dot. The 4 MOA dot was the perfect size to find the balance between speed and precision. I didn’t notice any refresh rate problems and faired better with the dot installed than without.
Using a raw time minus penalties scoring system (in the goodies is +0, in the tan is +1, anything else is a +5), I produced the following results:
- Run 1: 40.71
- Run 2: 35.44
- Run 3: 35.55
- Run 1: 41.15
- Run 2: 31.69
- Run 3: 32.82
C-Class Shooter, A-Class Conclusions
I’m no prat. I know my skill level and have no illusions of being the best or fastest. I am, however, able enough to know when a shot goes wrong because of me or my equipment. You can see from the scores above that, aside from the first run, the Shield Sights RMSx made me significantly faster and more accurate than I am with irons.
Without a doubt, the larger window was a huge help. I found my dot quicker than with smaller pistol red dots. If you’ve ever concealed a firearm, you’re well aware of how small dimension changes on paper lead to much more apparent consequences in practice. That’s the case here. What looks from a distance like a window that’s only slightly larger, in use, the window feels like my car’s windshield. The field of view is impressive. The ambient lighting settings worked, even when outdoors. It absolutely functioned the way it should, but for my personal preference, I wished it had aired a little more on the brighter side.
One very cool feature of the RMSx is the Customizer tool on the Shield Sights website. This allows you to choose the color of the housing and your dot size. Perfect for a bright Open gun.
The only issue I saw with the Shield Arms RMSx was a matter of preference. I would like to see this dot with controls for the user to choose their brightness setting. If this is designed for competition, I don’t have to worry so much about ambient light. I can set the brightness according to the current conditions and run it.
Overall, this is a red dot for those who want to go fast. While I’ve never been named “Quickest Shooter” by a panel of my peers, the Shield Sights RMSx helped me get a little closer.
If you’re interested in picking up a Shield Sights RMSx for yourself, head over to the Shield Sights website. You can also get more information when you follow Shield Sights on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and view their video content on YouTube. Get your gear together and go compete!
Outdoor photography by Bronson Eguchi
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