Sometimes a product comes out of nowhere and really catches you by surprise, especially from companies that don’t typically cross your desk. The FlipDot from NcStar was one such product. The FlipDot is a fascinating design from a company known for making very simple red dots. As the name implies the FlipDot is a red dot sight that flips.
How it Works
The FlipDot is designed with handgun use in mine and comes ready to mount on most Trijicon RMR cut guns. This includes the Glock MOS series, of which I own the Glock 17 MOS. The lens of the optic folds rearward to lower the profile of the actual optic. Folding the optic rearward also shuts the optic off. The lens pops up with the press of a small button on the side of the optic. Once its up its on.
It’s very intuitive and very low profile. If you want to cut height and weight off a Mini red dot this will do it. The FlipDot runs off of a single CR2032 battery and comes with two. In the box, you get all the goodies you need to attach the optic to a Glock MOS or Trijicon cut pistol. This includes a spacer for non-MOS pistols. With my Glock MOS pistol, I just mount it to the Trijicon MOS Plate.
On the Range
The design seems solid, the parts seem quality, but I was still wary. This sight retails for less than a hundred bucks, so I was wondering what the catch was. It did some time to zero, from the factory I was hitting way high, so I adjusted and got on target after three tries.
I started my shooting at about 8 in the morning the dot performed well. It isn’t the clearest, most well-defined dot, but it doesn’t bloom terribly. This is a small unit, even for an RDS so if you are new to shooting a handgun with a red dot be prepared to chase the dot a bit. I’ve been using a red dot on my Glock for some time and it wasn’t an issue. Once it was zeroed it stayed zeroed.
The biggest hiccup was when I put 124 grain +P JHPs in the gun. I fired ten rounds total and twice the FlipDot closed on me. I imagine the extra recoil caused by the +P rounds caused it to close. The next issue was that bright Florida sun. At about 10 AM it was so bright outside I could barely see the dot. It was very dim and If I reholstered, drew and attempted to fire I had a hard time finding the dot. If I was just shooting sustained once I saw the dot I was good.
One feature I really like is the fact the optic has iron sights built into it. Once the optic is in the up position you can see and use the built-in irons. This was how I figured out how to find the dot on sunny days. The sight has a very short radius, but are usable at handgun ranges. The rear sight will also cowitness with a suppressor height front sights sight. This is well thought out and a great addition.
This is not a duty red dot sight. I wouldn’t use it for concealed carry or going to war. It occupies the same spot a wide variety of my more affordable optics sit, and that’s a fun optic for a fun gun. Not every optic needs to be an ACOG and I couldn’t outfit my arsenal with ACOGs in the first place. Finding handgun optics that are affordable can be tricky, but at under a $100 bucks the FlipDot is an interesting idea.
I’d like to see NcStar push the concept forward and add a brightness control for those bright days as well as a stronger spring to keep the optic up when utilizing more powerful ammo. If this was put on a 40 S&W or 45 ACP gun you may run into this closure issue more often. The FlipDot is a fun optic and I love that someone produced an interesting concept in a somewhat stale market.