November 16, 2010
By Greg Rodriguez
Reflex sights have been popular on both carbines and competition pistols for several years now.
By Greg Rodriguez
Reflex sights such as the DeltaPoint don't require the shooter to align front and rear sight. Just put the dot on the target and press the trigger.
Reflex sights have been popular on both carbines and competition pistols for several years now. I have reflex sights on several of my carbines, but I never even considered mounting one on a pistol until I read Dave Spaulding's article on his Trijicon-sighted Glock.
Not too long after that, Leupold introduced its new DeltaPoint reflex sight, and I wasted no time in getting one to test. Why was I so anxious to try it? Reflex sights are super fast. Instead of aligning a front and rear sight with the target, just place the sight's aiming dot where you want it and pull the trigger. Not only is it faster, it's more accurate at speed than iron sights.
Its point-and-shoot capabilities make sights such as the DeltaPoint great for older shooters because focusing on the target and sights at the same time is especially difficult for older eyes.
The new DeltaPoint weighs just 0.6 ounces and measures 1.1 inches tall by 1.6 inches long. Its base is the same width as the slide of my Glock 19, and the screen is just a hair wider. Thanks to Aspheric Lens Technology, that little screen has a surprisingly wide field of view and is crystal clear from edge to edge.
The sight is very high-tech. A sensitive motion sensor activates the unit with the slightest movement, but it shuts down to save the battery when the pistol is parked on the nightstand. Covering the sight with the included rubber cover also shuts off the sight to preserve battery life.
The DeltaPoint's automatic brightness sensor samples the ambient light and raises the brightness level of the 3.5 m.o.a. red dot or the 7.5 m.o.a. red delta aiming point at the same rate your pupils dilate, so it's always in sharp focus.
Thanks to its magnesium frame, the DeltaPoint is shockproof and can stand up to a lifetime of heavy recoil. The frame also protects the lens and provides the rugged structure necessary to make the unit waterproof. Two tiny screws--one on top for elevation and one on the left side for windage--provide 60 minutes of adjustment.
Installing the DeltaPoint on my Glock 19 was fast and easy with the supplied mounting hardware. The optic sits low enough on the slide that the rig slid right into a Comp-Tac belt holster and a Summer Special IWB holster from Galco. Additional retention devices could pose a problem, but the DeltaPoint should work fine with most CCW holsters.
Zeroing the DeltaPoint was simple. Just be sure to loosen the appropriate set screw before you crank on the windage or elevation adjustments. I zeroed the pistol at 15 yards with Federal's 124-grain Hydra Shok load. Because the 7.5 m.o.a. delta is large, I zeroed it to hit right at the tip of the delta so the triangular aiming point doesn't obstruct my target.
At close range, I can stick any part of the delta on a bad guy and make good hits. But for longer distances or more precise shot placement, it's nice to be able to have the smaller aiming point provided by the tip of the delta.
I shot the DeltaPoint-equipped G19 several times over the course of a month. I thought I might have to shoot it for a while to get used to it, but it didn't take me long to see the benefit. The other shooters I let try it also saw an immediate increase in their speed and accuracy.
I have to admit that my long-range precision suffered at first with the 7.5 m.o.a. delta, but a little fine-tuning of my zero fixed that. I did a great deal of shooting out to 65 yards with the DeltaPoint and found it to be considerably more accurate than the same gun with iron sights. As long as I did my part and went easy on the trigger, I had no trouble dusting clay pigeons.
After a few range sessions to get comfortable with the sight, I spent an afternoon comparing it to an iron-sighted gun. I won't get into numbers because your mileage may vary, but I was significantly faster at close range with the DeltaPoint-equipped Glock. Rapid-fire, single-target drills like El Presidente (two to the body and one to the head) were much faster with the DeltaPoint, and my shot placement was noticeably better.
The DeltaPoint really shined in multiple-attacker scenarios and on the plate rack. Even my slowest run on one four-target scenario with the DeltaPoint gun was over a half-second faster than my best run with iron sights. I credit that increased speed to the fact that I didn't have to worry about aligning my sights. When the delta hit the target, I simply pressed the trigger and watched the target fall.
Overall, the DeltaPoint I tested was superb, although I did have a slight issue with the reticle in low light. At times, the edge of the delta was a bit fuzzy, but this issue was only noticeable in very low light. Outdoors or in brightly lit rooms, the delta was sharp and clear. It seems that the delta was, perhaps, a bit too bright for really dim rooms, but it did not hinder my ability to make fast, accurate shots.
I'm not one to run out and buy every gadget that comes down the pike. But I have no qualms about adding equipment to my toolbox that really improves my shooting skills. Because it significantly improved my speed and accuracy, Leupold's DeltaPoint definitely falls into the must-have category for me.