Best 1911 Red Dot Sights
The 1911, so aptly named in honor of its official birthday when it became the pistol choice for the government in 1911 and has been well known as a famous military handgun ever since.
The 1911 had been consistently used for military purposes up until it’s retirement from the services in 1983.
Yet, even though the 1911 is no longer being used in the military, it is still a widely used and well-loved pistol. In fact, it is such a popular model, that almost every major gun manufacturer has their own version of the 1911 available.
One of the reasons for its continued popularity is its ability to work well as a conceal-carry firearm, even given the larger size and weight. That, combined with the comfortable grip, shootability, and reliability means that it is likely to remain popular for many years to come.
The only addition that could help bring a classic gun into more modern times is the addition of an excellent red dot sight. Here are some of the top ones that work perfectly for your 1911.
The RMR, or Ruggedized Miniature Reflex, is an excellent option in those wanting to conceal carry and have proper illumination no matter the time of day.
The RMR offers an automatic brightness mode and has eight brightness settings, 2 of which are for night vision and one that is super bright.
Manually changing the settings is simple thanks to the plus and minus buttons located on either side of the unit itself. When in use, the red dot is crisp and clear, making target acquisition fast and accurate.
Aiming to be versatile, the RMR can be ordered with a Picatinny Mount that suits the 1911 perfectly or can be ordered with no mount so that you can attach it to your 1911 with a mounting plate of your choice.
The RMR is small, but incredibly durable thanks to being constructed with military-grade aluminum alloy. The weight is a negligible 1.17 ounces, including the battery, which is a great plus since the 1911 is considered to be fairly substantial for a handgun by itself.
Adjustments to windage and elevation are easy to use and can be done with a coin or the rim of a round. Overall, the RMR is an excellent red dot sight. However, it should be noted that when not in prime conditions, such as above or below 68°F, your battery life will drop much quicker.
The other downside is that the RMR is on the expensive side, and we were a bit sad that at this price point, we still needed to purchase a seal plate separately.
The Venom is a compact red sight that is well suited for the 1911. The machined aluminum housing makes the Venom both lightweight, coming in at around 1.05 ounces without a mount, and incredibly durable.
The top-load battery changing system means you don’t have to remove your sight or risk losing your zero when your batteries inevitably run dry, and the auto shut-off will help elongate the battery life.
The mount itself is a standard Picatinny, which means it should slide onto your 1911 with ease, and installation only requires either a flathead screwdriver or coin to tighten the clamp screw.
The windage and elevation dials are flush, so there’s no risk of accidentally nudging them while wearing or carrying your 1911. The high-quality multi-coated lens provides superior clarity and a decently wide field of view.
The Venom has ten brightness settings that you can either manually select using the buttons on the left side of the unit, or you can opt for auto-mode and allow the unit to auto-adjust to the light levels in your surrounding area.
The battery can last up to 150 hours on the highest setting, or 30,000 hours on the lower settings, so you shouldn’t have to swap the battery out too often no matter which brightness level you prefer. There are a few complaints about the Venom, however.
The battery cover, while thoughtfully placed, can be hard to open and even more challenging to close, especially with a battery inside, which means changing out the battery takes some time and finesse.
Also, while the red dot is exceptionally bright and crisp on the lower brightness settings, it does tend to get a bit fuzzier around the edges on the higher settings, which can be irritating for longer range shots.
The DeltaPoint Pro is a small sight that delivers massive performance. The DeltaPoint is 100% waterproof up to 33 feet deep and is constructed with a rugged aluminum housing and steel sheath to guarantee it will work in even the harshest conditions.
The field of view is superior thanks to the Diamond Coat Aspheric lens that provides a scratch-resistant coating that also increases the field of view by 56% without interfering with the crystal-clear image in your sight.
The bright red dot is clean and crisp, making zeroing in on your target a breeze. The sight is fueled by an easy to find CR2032 battery that is located on the top of the sight and does not require any extra tools to change, which is a plus.
Additionally, the DeltaPoint has a battery saving motion detector that will turn off your illumination after 5 minutes of inactivity but turn it on immediately once you shift your weapon.
The DeltaPoint also has an iron rear-sight to make sure you are covered in case your optics ever failed in an emergency. Overall, the DeltaPoint is excellent, but there are two issues that we found.
The most frustrating problem was that when you adjust your brightness level, to reach the dial, you have to place your finger in front of the sight, which means during adjustment, your red dot is not visible.
The other possible downside is that it can be difficult to find a sight that will co-witness well with the DeltaPoint, so if you want one that co-witnesses with ease, this may not be the best choice for your 1911.