Sunday, November 02, 2008

Trijicon Reflex II Gun Sight

Last week I picked up a Trijicon Reflex II model RX06-10 1x24mm sight for my Colt 6520.  The Reflex was considered one of the best non-magnified dot sights in the 90s but in the last several years has fallen behind Aimpoints and EOTechs in popularity.  That said, they are still worth looking at.

The reticle of the RX06 which I bought is a 12.9 MOA amber colored triangle.  I like the triangle as an alternative to the more common dot.  Like a dot, it offers quick sight picture acquisition but allows precise aiming with the tip of the triangle.

During the day, the reticle is illuminated by ambient light collected and focused through fiber optics.  In darkness it is illuminated by a tritium lamp.  No batteries are used in the unit.

When showing the sight to my father we discovered an interesting thing about the amber reticle.  Thirteen years ago Dad suffered a neuropathy in his right eye.  (Similar to a stroke but in his optic nerve.)  One of the effects of the neuropathy was to reduce his ability to see red.  He mentioned to me that he's having problems seeing the red reticle of the EOTech mounted on his Colt 6721 and can see the amber reticle of the Trijicon much better.  So, Trijicon may be making another sale soon.

The housing of the optic is made from cast aluminum and it very stout.  Sight adjustments are made using an Allen key.  While this means you need a tool to adjust the sight, it also means that once zeroed, it's not easy for the sight to become unzeroed.

My Reflex came with an RX10 mount (hence the "RX06-10" monker above).  This is a gooesneck mount that attaches to an AR-15's or M-16's carrying handle, placing the sight between the handle and the front sight tower.  It's very solid.  Because the mount and sight are lightweight, the rifle still balances fine.  If the sight were to go down, I can still use the irons just by lowering my head a little.

Side note: I bought my Reflex at a local shop.  When inspecting it before finalizing the purchase I discovered that the mounting bolt and wingnut were missing.  Having bought a lot of toys from this shop, I was able to get $20 knocked off the price.  After getting the unit home I was able to canibalize the mounting bolt and wingnut from an unused Hakko AR-15 carry handle scope I have, and mount the Trijicon.  I've since reached out to Trijicon through and should be getting the parts sent to me.  In the interim it's mounted and usable.

The main criticism of the Reflex sight that I've seen in recent years is that the reticle isn't bright enough and can wash out.  This is especially true when aiming from a dark area out into a well-lit area.  The RX06 comes with an adjustable polarizing filter (RX20) which screws into the front of the sight to mitigate this.  The downside to the filter is that although it increases contrast between the reticle and the target, it also reduces light transmission.  If the shooter keeps both eyes open when aiming, the effect isn't bad IMO.

Yesterday I went to the range to zero the sight.  I got it on paper at 25 yards then zeroed it at 75.  The triangle reticle lends itself to shooting tight groups on paper but still allowed me to do quick snapshots at some bowling pins.  The RX20 filter is a must-have for any of the 1x24mm Reflex sights IMO.  My firing point was under cover and my targets were in full sunlight.  Without the filter the reticle was washed out but with the filter it was easily visible, even against white targets.

The Trijicon Reflex II is a great little sight in my opinion.  It isn't the most modern tech but for most civvies it's certainly enough.  (Never having been in the military I can't opine on how well it would do in combat, but I suspect it would acquit itself well.)  It is light, rugged, and allows quick, precise aiming.

UPDATE 11/03/08:

I received the proper mounting screw and wingnut in the mail from Trijicon today.  Kudos to them for great customer service.