In the world of pistol mounted optics there is one name that seems to rise to the top very quickly and that is the Trijicon Ruggedized Miniature Reflex, or Trijicon RMR as most of us call it. The version of the Trijicon RMR that we are highlighting today isn’t the new RMR Type 02, it’s actually the recently discontinued RMR Type 01. There were a few things that based on field reviews that the company wanted to change that led to the original optic being replaced but that doesn’t mean the Type 01 was a disaster. When this line of optics was released the world of pistol mounted red dots was in it’s infancy and the idea of mounted some sort of LED based optic on a pistol was enough to make the old guard of pistol enthusiast lose their collective minds. Fast forward a few years and now many manufacturers make slides cut for these type of optics.
Why the Older Type 01 RMR ?
Some readers may want to wonder why I chose the recently discontinued optic to review, and the answers to that are simple. When new things come out there is a portion of the population that has to run out and buy the latest and greatest or drinks the rumor koolaid about a product and ditch them way too early. This means that many shooters who were perfectly happy with the performance of their Type 01 optics will upgrade and sell their old optics for a fraction of what they paid for them. This allows shooters on a budget to grab up an optic they may never have been able to afford.
The original RMR still shares the same dimensional footprint with it’s newer brother the Type 02, which is great because as potential users of either style of RMR won’t have to deal with capability of slides or “generational” issues that sometimes plague guns and gear when it evolves (think Glock Generation 1-3 versus Glock Generation 4 or 5). We have listed some of the general specifications of the Trijicon RMR Type 01 below for easy reference.
Type: RMR Type 01
Red Dot Size: 3.25 MOA
Battery Size: CR2032
Sight Window: .87 x .63 inch
Demensions (LxWxH): 1.8 x 1.1 x 1.0 inch
Weight: 1.2 Oz with battery
Battery Life: 2 years normal use up to 5 years in storage
Magnification: 1 X
Water Resistance: 66 Feet
Operating Temperature Range: -40*F to + 120*F
Quirks and Fixes
Shortly after the first batches of optics came out and people began to run them hard in tests and drills a small percentage of shooters reported the red dot on the RMR flickering at times. This was almost always due to a poor fitting and connection between the optic and the battery. In a short time tips and tricks came out to give the batteries a little better interface with the contacts of the optics. Some of these included the above picture stainless steel pad with a raised section to provide upward pressure to the battery. Other more ingenious shooters found that a piece or two of electrical tape provided the small about of upward pressure they needed. The staff at Trijicon advised shooters to bend the tabs of the optic out a little to let the batteries be held in more securely. Many people used a combination of efforts to make it work.
A few growing pains aside the optic has steadily gained a loyal fan base and a healthy dose of imitation and competition in the form of the Leupold Deltapoint. It’s durability and easy of installation and set up has also added to its reputation and fan base. The optic is held onto the slide with a simple two screw set up that runs from the top of the optic through it and into the top of the pistol frame. The screws are located just above the elevation controls for the 3.25 MOA dot in our case. The windage elevation control is located on the side of the optics just being the unit’s serial number and the now familiar biblical scripture marking that the company got into some hot water over in recent years.
Set Up and Testing
I described briefly how easy the optic is to install and it’s really pretty simple. Once I was sure that the optic was installed correctly and that the 3.25 MOA dot was clear I began to practice with the unloaded pistol. The first thing I noticed is that shooting with a red dot affixed to a pistol sounds easy, it’s actually not as intuitive as I once thought. In a video that has run here on the site by own of our more well known writers Mr Garand Thumb himself, he said that in order to really get the hang of shooting with the RMR on a pistol you should go run at least 100 rounds through your gun. At the time I thought this might be an exaggeration but after some drills I think that is a solid starting point in terms of numbers of rounds shot.
Impressions & Thoughts
Ive had the Trijicon Type 01 RMR on my Glock 17 and the Grey Ghost Precision slide for about five days now and I can say I’m becoming more accustomed to it being there. The optic itself is incredibly lightweight and isn’t nearly as obnoxious as I thought it would be. The 3.25 MOA dot on this test sample is getting easier to pick up on the draw but I still fish around and try to acquire it faster. This is 100% a result of my skills and it will become easier in time but it’s something I wanted to put in the impressions section. I will say that I didn’t wait to see of the “RMR Flicker” would happen with the optic, I ordered and installed the Battle Werx Anti Flicker Plate for my pistol. To date I have witnessed zero flickers or distortions to the 3.25 MOA dot on my optic. Peace of mind is worth the $12 that Battle Werx charges for the plate.
In the next few weeks we will start the field testing section of the review and our well used and trusty CTS Targets . A healthy supply of Armscor, Sig Sauer and Union Metallic Cartridge Company 9mm full metal jacket ammunition will be fed into our test gun and optic. Unless there is a huge surge in global warming these tests will all be conducted either at freezing temperatures or below at my local range here in Chugiak, Alaska. This will also give us an idea how the optic works in the winter weather that undoubtedly will linger here till late March at the earliest.
In closing I want to say that while the Trijicon Type 01 RMR isn’t new anymore, it can be a very affordable option for shooters on a budget. With the price of the Type 02 RMR hovering north of the $400-$425 mark, I have routinely seen the prices of gently used Type 01 RMR’s down near the $250-$275 range both locally and online. That’s a nice chunk of change to save on any optic. It was enough of a savings that I took a gamble and picked one up. I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is in the name of science. Let us know what you think of the Type 01 RMR , are you considering a pistol optic for yourself ? If you are let us know, we are always interested in what our readers are up to.