Leupold’s newest offering for a red-dot pistol sight, the Leupold DeltaPoint Micro, is . . . interesting.
Everything from the design profile of the pistol sight’s housing to the red-dot’s lens size and style are unlike anything else we’ve seen before.
We recently got our hands on a DeltaPoint Micro for testing. Read on to see what we think about Leupold’s newest red dot sight.
LEUPOLD DELTAPOINT MICRO
Leupold’s unique low profile ghost ring style red dot.
LLeupold Delta Point Micro Background
DELTAPOINT MICRO SPECS
- Price $399
- Weight 1.1 oz (with battery)
- Battery 3V Lithium – CR 1632
- Runtime 3.5 years at level 4
- Material 6061 Aluminum
- Dot Size 3 MOA
- Brightness Settings 8
- Mount Iron Sight Dovetail
- Length 2.25″
- Width 0.9″
- Height 1.25″ (most below top of slide)
Leupold’s micro version of their popular DeltaPoint red-dot pistol sight line is unique.
In a market where sight windows keep getting bigger and endless debates are help about which sight mounting footprint is best, Leupold went the other way.
For the DeltaPoint Micro, they made a red dot sight for your pistol with the smallest lens available and made it mount to the rear iron sight dovetail so no mounting platform is needed.
The Delta Point Micro is best described as a low profile ghost-ring style sight.
From the rear, it looks like nothing more than a ghost ring sight with rear iron sight-style dots that can be used with the front sight post.
The side-view, however, tells a different story.
The DeltaPoint micro looks like a tube mounted on the slide.
In order to get the sight so low on the slide, Leupold dropped and offest the battery and electronics housing off the rear of the slide.
It is a novel design – let’s see how well it works.
LEUPOLD DELTAPOINT MICRO FEATURES
1 LOW PROFILE DESIGN
A small lens and a relocated battery compartment make this sight very low profile to the slide.
2 TUBE STYLE FOR EASY ALIGNMENT
Unlike window-style sights, this tube-style sight makes it easy to align with the target.
3 NO SPECIAL FOOTPRINT
The sight can mount directly to the reardovetail–no special slides or milling required.
4 EASY ACCESS BATTERY
Battery can be replaced without removing the sight.
LEUPOLD DELTA POINT MICRO REVIEW
Red dot sights on pistols are the future.
You may not like it but it’s true.
Sure, many shooters will still keep only iron sights on their pistols but more and more shooters will adopt red-dots as the benefits of red dots on pistols can’t be ignored.
In fact, it’ll be rare for a manufacturer to bring a new pistol to market witout the ability to accept a red dot sight.
There are three major problems we know of when we think of red dot sights on pistols:
- Ability to “find the dot,”
- The need to have a pistol slide able to accept a particular footprint, and
- Size of the sight.
Finding the Dot
I’ll admit that even though I know the benefits of a red-dot on a pistol, the vast majority of my pistols still only have iron sights because I don’t practice enough with a red-dot and I’ve spent so many years practicing with iron sights.
My biggest problem with using a red-dot? I still need to play hide and seek with the little red dot. My process still involves me shooting as if I only have iron sights so that I properly align the pistol and then, when the dot is visible, transitioning to the dot.
This is not ideal.
The biggest cause of this issue for me is lack of practice with a red dot. However, there are also design features that make the transition for shooters like me a bit more difficult: large lenses and tall optics.
With a large-view lens with a window style sight like most red dots (Trijicon RMR, Leupold’s standard DeltaPoint, etc.) you get a great field of view in exchange for some possible difficulty finding the dot as it is hard to orient the optic easily.
I personally don’t like the window-style sights and instead prefer a housing I can align.
This is one of the reasons I prefer an Aimpoint tube-style red dot on my rifles over an Eotech window-style sight. It is super intuitive to align a tube rather than hunt around in a window.
Leupold made this new micro DeltaPoint as a tube which makes it VERY fast and easy to align with the target. But, the tube is much smaller than a typical window-style red dot sight.
One would think that it makes it harder to “find the dot.”
One would be wrong.
You may not believe me, but I can “find the dot” faster with the Leupold DeltaPoint Micro than I can with any other pistol red dot sight.
The lens is small, but it’s larger than the front sight I’m used to finding and a large lens isn’t needed to “fish-around” to find the dot because it aligns so easily. It makes me wonder if it would work just as well (or better?) with a 50% larger lens.
The next problem Leupold tackled was the need to have a particualr mounting platform for a red dot sight on your pistol slide.
For most red dot sights on pistols, the slide needs to be specially milled to accept a particular mounting platform.
This means that you either need to purchase a slide or have a slide milled with the particular footprint you need OR you need to purchase a pistol with a “universal” mounting platform that can accept adapter plates to swith to your mounting platform.
Leupold solved this problem by having their Delta Point Micro mount to the dovetail for your pistol’s rear iron sight. Sure, there are other plates/adapters that have done this before but they have been a bit clunky and not a good solution.
The downside to this is that there will not be one model of the sight to fit any gun with that footprint. Instead, there are specific sights for specific guns.
For example, available first are sights for Glock (non-MOS models) and Smith and Wesson M&Ps. Ironically, the models of Glocks meant to accept red-dot sights (the MOS models) won’t work with this new sight (yet) because the location of the rear dovetail on the MOS glocks is in a different location.
Size of Sight
The size of the red dot sight is an issue for pistol mounted red dots. Bigger sights have bigger lenses/fields of view but can be more difficult to conceal.
Also, larger sights often sit high enough that it can be difficult to learn to shoot (aiming with something so high above normal) and the factory sights often can’t be used because they aren’t tall enough. This leaves most shooters installing taller suppressor-height sights.
By moving the battery and electronics off to the back of the slide, the delta point micro can solve both size problems.
The extremely low profile to the slide allows a shooter to still use their factory iron sights and it doesn’t add so much height that it makes it more difficult to conceal.
However, it does make the slide longer and this can be an issue for concealed carry depending on how you carry and what dimension are important to you.
Initial Thoughts of the Delta Point Micro Red Dot sight:
I was given early access to this sight for review purposes but I only had limited access to it. All of my thoughts about this sight are limited to the range session I had with it – ifwe get our hands on another one for a longer term review, we’ll be able to speak to things like durability and comfort carrying.
When I first saw pictures of it I thought it was ugly.
I don’t know how much of that is due to the fact that it is completely unique design that looks nothing like what I’ve come to expect a red dot sight to look like.
I also thought that it would be too hard for me to use because my biggest problem with red dot sights is picking up the dot quickly. Common sense said that a smaller lens/window would make it harder to find the dot.
Once I started to use it, however, it just made sense.
Within the first magazine I fired out of a Glock 19 with the Leupold DeltaPoint Micro installed, I was already faster on target from the holster and transitioning targets than I am with a “standard” red dot sight.
I’m not sure if I was faster because the tube-style sight made it easy to align with the target or whether the low profile design made it akin to shooting iron sights. All I know is that despite the small window, I was able to pick up the dot and shoot faster within the first 15 rounds.
The added length could be a negative to some shooters. I’d have to carry it for some time to see if it is an issue.
I do like the idea of the battery being accessible by unscrewing the round rubber cap on the base of the sight.
Also, mounting the sight directly to the slide makes it a handy and low profile platform, however, it means that that you can’t buy a sight for your Glock and then later use it on your M&P – a new sight would need to be purchased.
And, although I have no long-term experience to test its durability, I’m fairly confident in Leupold’s ability to make a good product and stand behind it with a warranty.
Who is this for?
If you’re new to red-dot sights and are first looking to transition away from irons-only, this might be the sight for you. The ability for me to be effective with it without much practice shows how easy it is to transition from iron sights to the DeltaPoint Micro.
DELTAPOINT MICRO PROS AND CONS
- Very easy to acquire dot
- Low profile
- Fast alignment of “tube”
- Can use standard iron sights
- Acts as a ghost-ring sight without dot
- No special slide/footprint needed
- Added length to pistol slide
- Specific model needed for each pistol
- CR1632 battery is not as common as the CR2032
- Unknown long-term reliability
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