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Trijicon 1x38 Sealed Reflex Sight (SRS)
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Legacy Reviewer's Review of Trijicon 1x38 Sealed Reflex Sight (SRS)

This review is of 2 Quick-release SRS mounts - 1 I sent back due to the problems listed below (at Trijicon's recommendation), and the 2nd sight was identical. So all problems are design flaws that almost certainly apply to every SRS sight.

First, the good. Overall, I am choosing to use this sight on my under-the-bed AR 15 rather than my EoTech XPS 2-0 and my Aimpont CompM4. This is because:

-- EoTechs are terrible in low-light conditions, like in your house at night, because the outer ring throws so much visible light back at your eye that it blinds you a bit to anything within the ring. So if you're trying to aim at your doorknob for instance, and it's not bright inside your house, you can't see the doorknob once you get the ring over / around the knob - there's just too much light to discern the details of a darker background. To potential critics of this - my eyesight is excellent in light and darkness (I am an ophthalmologist - physician eye doctor / eye surgeon).

-- Aimpoints have a noticeably smaller FOV. To those who aim with both eyes open, not really a problem. I grew up shooting iron sights and always shot with one eye closed. While I have tried to train as much as possible to shoot both eyes open using electronic sights, I am 99% sure that I would instinctively default to one eye closed under the extreme stress of a kill-or-be-killed situation. So a much larger FOV is a big advantage, especially indoors at close-quarters.

Also, this sight is not overly heavy.

And Trijicon claims these are extremely rugged with long battery life. I cannot verify these claims at present.

Now the bad:

1) You MUST have a KillFlash on this sight, or it is almost unusable in daylight conditions. The red rectangle artifact that encompasses the red dot (a reflection of the upper circuitry) is both large and about half as bright as the red dot, so it is VERY easy to lose the red dot in this large red rectangle, and it cripples the usability of the sight. With a KillFlash, this artifact becomes nearly invisible. So you can solve this problem by paying an extra $110 for the KillFlash.

2) In low-light / no light conditions, there are concentric red rings visible that are reasonably far away from the red dot. This is an artifact, and therefore bad. But this is MUCH dimmer than the EoTech ring, and pretty far away from the dot, and subtle enough that it does not impair your ability to see the entire world in a low-light situation. Not a big deal in my opinion.

3) The glass has obvious distortions, even at in-the-house distances. My EoTech / Aimpoint / Ta11j ACOG have distortion-free glass - the SRS is clearly not perfect. It's enough that, with both eyes open aiming, it throws you off a little bit, because the world is mildly but appreciably distorted through the sight compared to your non-dominant eye that isn't looking through the sight. The magnitude of this problem is small enough that I am willing to live with it. But 2 of 2 sights have the same mild noticeable distortion.

4) The sight is NOT parallax-free - not even close. With the gun held steady in a gun vise, and with my head positioned so that the red dot is centered in the sight and also centered on a bulls-eye at 100 yds, moving my head (to move the red dot in the sight) toward the periphery of the sight also moves the red dot toward the periphery of the sight in the same direction. This is normal and how all RDS are supposed to function. HOWEVER, it also results in a gradual shift in the point of aim away from the bulls eye. At the far periphery, this shift is 8 inches at 100 yards. This is massive parallax, and true of 2 of 2 SRS sights I have owned. In fairness, the dozens of EoTech and Aimpoint sights I have used have the same issue, but the magnitude of those brands is only about 3-4" off at 100 yards. But since this is for my in-the-house AR, it doesn't really matter at 10-15 yards. Also, if you are shooting at something 50-100 yards away, you may have have more time / ability to make sure the red dot is generally centered in the sight before firing. EoTech, Aimpoint and Trijicon all advertize being parallax-free, and this is a measurable lie for all 3 companies, but it's a mild-moderate lie for EoTech and Aimpoint, and a moderate-large lie for Trijicon.

So overall, this sight has some major problems, some of which can be fixed, and some of which cannot. For CQB, its downsides overall are less than any other electronic sight I have used. If I had to shoot a home intruder at night, I would rather use this sight than any other. But not by a landslide.

Right now I am 50/50 on returning it... although it is "the least bad" sight on the market, I feel conflicted that I shouldn't give Trijicon the business until they at least manufacture the sight without visible distortions in the glass. That's pretty basic, and inexcusable, and 2 of 2 sights = a design flaw, not a random error. The circuitry reflection artifacts are much more understandable as potentially very complex engineering problems to solve, and the major reflection problem can be fixed for $110 for a KillFlash.

So I don't recommend avoiding this sight, but if you don't have to buy one, then it's probably best if you don't give Trijicon the business until their engineers fix the major issues above.
Pros: Very large FOV, easy to cowitness BUIS, not heavy, overall BARELY better than EoTech and Aimpoint sights in my opinion
Cons: Can see reflection of circuitry around red dot, is NOT even remotely close to parallax-free, glass has minor but obvious distortions

This review was written in the old system and had content requirements that are different than reviews written today.

Would Recommend: Yes
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