Competition Reviews

Trijicon SRO Reflex Sight

The Trijicon SRO is a fantastic RDS with a large field of view that makes tracking the dot relatively easy. It is exceptionally well suited for competitive pistol shooting applications.

The Trijicon SRO is the third micro red dot sight (RDS) that I’ve had the chance to spend some time with. In short, I have found it to be fantastic. However, it’s not a RDS that I would suggest for all applications. Let’s take a look at it.

The SRO, which stands for Specialized Reflex Optic, is available in three flavors. One comes with a 1 MOA dot, another comes with a 2.5 MOA dot, and the last option comes with a 5 MOA dot. Other than those differences, their variants are identical. I got my hands on the 2.5 MOA variant.

With a street price of about $550 to $650, one gets:

  • The SRO itself,
  • two 0.5″ long #6-32 flat head torx screws,
  • a torx head key,
  • a manual,
  • a warranty card,
  • a sticker,
  • and a nice hard carrying case.

Folks looking to mount the SRO to a Glock MOS, Springfield OSP, Walther PDP, or an optics ready H&K VP9 will also need to purchase a separate mounting kit (AC32085) in order to securely mount the SRO to their pistol. The mounting contains two shorter screws which are necessary in order to be screwed all the way down and properly torqued. Attempting to use the long screws supplied with the SRO may bend or otherwise damage the optic adapter plate.

Like other micro red dot sights, there isn’t a lot of real estate to cover on the SRO. However, in typical fashion we will cover it from front to back. At the very front of SRO, we find the 7075-aluminum housing for the optic lens which is not magnified. The parallax-free lens provides a very clear and large field of view. I found the large view port, which is the largest micro RDS view port I’ve worked with, to be my favorite feature of the SRO as it makes tracking the dot during recoil exceptionally easy compared to the pistol mounted red dot sights I’ve used.

While the 7075-aluminum housing that frames the lens is very durable, the circular shape is not exceptionally rugged. At least not as rugged in comparison to the Trijicon RMR. The MRDS white paper produced by Aaron Cowan from Sage Dynamics documents several SRO failures from the hard-use research conducted and collected duty-use field reports. As such, I’m reluctant to recommend the SRO for concealed carry or duty use. On the other hand, I know several folks who carry a pistol equipped with a SRO on a regular basis and have not experienced any failures. However, those folks don’t put their SROs through the same punishment that Aaron Cowan has put them through.

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 SRO has eight (8) brightness levels – the first two of which are intended for use with night vision devices. An automatic brightness setting which can be engaged by pressing both adjustment buttons simultaneously for less than one (1) second while the SRO is powered on. Pressing and holding both buttons simultaneously for more than three seconds will power the SRO off. Pressing either one of the adjustment buttons will power the SRO on if it is currently turned off.

The SRO also has a button lock-out mode which prevents inadvertent brightness adjustments and ensures the automatic brightness setting remains active. Additionally, the SRO has manual brightness lock-in mode which also prevents inadvertent brightness adjustments and ensures the desired brightness remains active.

Moving past the adjustment buttons one will find the battery compartment on the top side of the SRO. The location of the battery compartment makes it fairly easy to replace the CR2032 battery. However, replacing the battery is not a frequent task due to the excellent battery life of over three years with continuous use with a brightness setting of 4 or less when the ambient temperature is 70ºF (21ºC). It should be noted that Trijicon recommends changing the batter annually. This something that I suggest as well as a drained battery is a frustrating and completely preventable cause of a red dot sight failure when it is in use.

Next up one will find the red LED emitter. When the SRO is powered on, the light from the emitter is reflected off the lens to provide the red dot used for aiming. The SRO is available with three different dot sizes: 1, 2.5, and 5 MOA. As mentioned previously, the SRO I got my hands on is the variant with the 2.5 MOA dot. While I haven’t spent any time with the other variants, I am very happy with the dot size on the SRO. It works well enough for fast coarse grained aimed shots and also works well for slower fine grained aimed precision shots.

Folks who are wondering if a smaller or bigger dot is better for them should know that smaller dots provide a finer point of aim which can be beneficial for achieving precision hits on smaller targets or as the distance to targets increase. However, smaller dots are more difficult to “steady” which may result in greater perceived “wobble” when attempting to shoot fast, transition between targets, or shooting on the move. It’s for these reasons that I continue to opt for the medium sized dot since it appears to strike a balance between a fine grained point of aim and “wobble”.

As we approach the end of the front to back journey of the SRO, we arrive at 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. While coarse, I’ve found 1 MOA adjustment increments to be perfectly suitable for adjusting the zero on optics that are mounted on pistols. This is because the most common zero distances for a pistol mounted optic are either 10, 15, or 25 yards. As a result, 1 MOA adjustments are granular enough to get a more than adequate zero at those distances. However, I have a strong preference for finer grained adjustments for rifle mounted optics since the zero distances tend to be further out. Again, that’s simply my personal preference based on the rifle shooting activities I participate in.

Overall, I find the SRO is a fantastic RDS that is particularly well suited for competitive pistol shooting applications. Based on the research I’ve mentioned, I personally won’t be using the SRO for defensive carry and won’t recommend it for that purpose nor for duty use. However, I plan to use it quite a bit for shooting competitive matches. Other than that, I really wish Trijicon would supply both the long and short mounting screws along with the SRO so that folks who need the short screws don’t have to make a secondary purchase.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the SRO holds up over time.

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