I guess one could say that I already wrote a micro review on the Trijicon RMR Type 2 which was contained within my review of the optics ready Heckler & Koch VP9. Regardless, I figured it would be worth revisiting it now after having used it quite a bit over the past year and a half.
I previously mentioned the Trijicon RMR Type 2 is available in three different illumination models each of which comes with various color, dot size, and mounting options for a total of 97 choices. That still holds true as of writing this post. The RMR variant that I’ve been using and is my reference for this review is an adjustable LED RMR with a 3.25 MOA dot and no mount included.
Out of the box, the RMR includes the following:
- The box which is actually a pretty nice hard case that is way too large for the RMR, but also includes:
- two long mounting screws (which won’t work with the Glock MOS system),
- an allen wrench,
- a user manual,
- a sticker,
- some other marketing materials I didn’t pay attention to,
- and the RMR itself.
There isn’t a lot of real estate to cover on the RMR, but let’s start from the front which begins with the multi-coated lens. The lens is not magnified and I’ve heard several reviewers claim that some folks consider the window to be on the small side. In my opinion, the “small” window is a feature that makes it a great candidate for a pistol mounted red dot sight. While a larger window might make it easier for folks new to red dot sights to find the dot, I’ve found no problems with finding the dot after spending a little time behind this sight and getting familiar with it.
Another claim that I’ve heard is that some folks don’t like the slightly blue tint of the lens. I’m not sure where the complaint stems from. While there is an ever so slight tint, I haven’t found it distracting and honestly hardly notice it regardless of whether or not tint is present in the eye wear I’m using.
Another thing worth noting is the distinct patented shape of the frame that houses the lens. Trijicon claims the shape absorbs impacts and divers stresses away from the lens to increase durability. This claim has been confirmed by Aaron Cowan from Sage Dynamics as a result of the testing he has conducted for his miniaturized red dot systems for duty handgun use white paper (available as PDF from the Sage Dynamics home page). His testing approach includes a shoulder height drop test directly on the lens housing onto a hard surface. The RMR is one of few red dot sights which has not suffered a broken lens from the drop tests making it one of the most durable red dot sights in the market today.
On the sides of the housing, one will find the brightness adjustment buttons. The button on the left hand side of the housing increases the brightness while the button on the right hand side decreases the brightness. This RMR has eight (8) brightness levels and an automatic brightness setting which can be engaged by pressing both adjustment buttons simultaneously for less than 3 seconds. Pressing and holding both buttons simultaneously for more than three seconds will power the RMR off. Pressing either one of the adjustment buttons will power the RMR on if it was currently turned off. One thing that I noticed, that I did not find mentioned in the manual, is that the RMR will return to automatic brightness mode after being in manual brightness setting mode for some time. I’m uncertain what that duration is, but figured it was worth mentioning as folks who prefer a manual setting will find themselves adjusting the brightness setting on a daily basis.
Moving past the adjustment buttons one will find the battery compartment on the bottom of the RMR. Changing the battery is the primary complaint I’ve encountered regarding the RMR since changing the battery requires dismounting and remounting the red dot sight. Personally, I haven’t found this to be an issue given the outstanding battery life of the RMR which is about four years of continual use at brightness setting 4, however that life can be reduced to only 25 days if the RMR is constantly set at the brightest setting. I think the complaint likely stems from folks, like me, who reconfirm zero after remounting the sight after a battery change. While I’ve only changed the battery once, not because it was dead, but because I prefer to proactively replace batteries on optics on an annual basis, I found that the RMR held zero after having been remounted. That finding is likely anecdotal and coincidental, as such I will continue to reconfirm zero after a battery change and don’t suggest folks to alter their approach based on this singular experience.
Next up we have the LED which is reflected off the lens to provide the red dot used for aiming. The RMR is available in three different MOA dot sizes: 1, 3.25, and 6.5. As I mentioned I opted for the 3.25 MOA dot. While my experience with different dot sizes is limited to the 3.25 MOA dot of the RMR and a 2 MOA dot from a different red dot sight, I’ve picked up some additional insight from the Red Dot Essentials training course I attended and various reading material (like the white paper from Sage Dynamics). From what I’ve gathered, smaller dots provide a finer point of aim which can be used to achieve greater shooting precision as target distances increase, however that comes at a cost as smaller dots appear to move more in the window making it more difficult to “steady” the point of aim. On the other hand, larger dots reduce the appearance of dot movement in the window making it easier to “steady” the point of aim, however because the larger dot will cover more of the target as distance limits the achievable shooting precision.
That brings us to the elevation and windage adjustment dials. The elevation dial is found on the top side of the RMR while the windage dial is found on the right side. Both dials are adjusted in 1 MOA increments. I found the tactile clicks to be subtle, but they are present nonetheless. In terms of optics, 1 MOA adjustment increments are rather coarse. In my opinion, the coarse adjustments are fine for use on pistols since target engagements are most likely to occur at short distances. However, I prefer small adjustment increments for red dot sights that will be mounted on a rifle since target engagements with a rifle are likely to occur at further distances. I’m not saying the RMR should not be mounted on a rifle because of this, in fact many people do. It’s just something folks who are considering acquiring an RMR with the intent to mount it on a rifle should keep in mind.
Overall, I’m extremely satisfied with how the RMR has performed on a pistol. The battery life has been excellent and zero has been retained perfectly even after its been used to aim a few thousand shots. Given it’s features and demonstrated durability, I think the RMR is a fantastic red dot sight and one that I think folks who are looking to mount a red dot sight on an everyday carry defensive pistol or duty pistol should strongly consider.