As you’ve no doubt seen, Leupold just dropped their new DeltaPoint Micro. It’s something entirely unique on the red dot market and perhaps it’s difficult to perceive how it might work in the field. So . . . off to the shooting range we went.
With such a tiny window, would a sight picture through the DeltaPoint Micro be difficult to acquire? That, really, is the biggest question on everyone’s mind. Dan donated his GLOCK 43 (Leupold also has a version for Smith & Wesson M&P pistols) and a loaner DeltaPoint Micro and I set out to put it through its paces, which y’all can watch in the Rumble-hosted video above.
Unlike a typical reflex sight, the DeltaPoint Micro is a true “red dot sight” with its LED emitter fully enclosed by a front and rear lens. This protects the emitter from the elements, and the form factor creates a round tube through which to look.
This, really, is the key to the DeltaPoint Micro and the key to why I immediately found it so intuitive, fast, and easy to use. It’s a ghost ring sight placed in the notch of a traditional rear sight.
As you can see above, if you were to remove the tube housing portion of the Micro you’d be left with a fairly typical looking rear sight. It even has a recessed dot on each side post and can be lined up with a front sight dot in the normal, 3-dot sight fashion (as invented by HK for the P7, the best pistol ever made). Color fill those rear dots if you’re so inclined.
Instead of a notch in the center, the DeltaPoint Micro has a tube. Basically a ghost ring. Whether the red dot is on or off, you can shoot this thing like a ghost ring sight and it’s fast and easy. The front sight appears inside the rear ring every bit as fast, if not faster, than when shooting with standard iron sights.
For self-defense style shooting within five or so yards, simply getting the front sight anywhere inside that ghost ring is enough to put holes in a silhouette target. Fast and dirty and appropriate for center mass shots taken quickly.
Alternatively, if you’ve practiced enough to have any sort of repeatable firearm presentation, simply getting the target inside of the ghost ring frame is sufficient for this sort of use. This has always been my suggested close-range pistol dot practice: use the frame of the dot as a ghost ring and when the target appears inside the frame, pull the trigger. It works with typical micro reflex optics — pistol dots — and it works at least as well with the Leupold DeltaPoint Micro.
“Slow to find the dot” is the number one complaint of shooters attempting to get used to a red dot on a pistol, but at typical self-defense distances my suggestion is to forget about all that and ghost ring it. The smaller diameter of the long, round tube that is the DeltaPoint Micro makes it uniquely suited to this use. It’s more precise and draws the eye down its length more easily than a micro reflex optic’s frame.
When more precision is necessary, this is when you choose to care about the dot. Inside of about 15 yards I end up slightly more accurate when I’m shooting irons rather than roughly using a pistol dot (though the dot has the advantage that I’m better with both eyes open and focused on the target, not the front sight), but beyond that my confidence level of making accurate shots on a small target goes way, way up.
Five-inch target at 50 yards? 100? I wouldn’t put money on nailing that shot with standard iron sights. My eyesight simply isn’t good enough to see both the sights and the target well enough to get everything lined up precisely enough. With a red dot, though? You bet.
Especially a crisp, clean, deep red dot like the 3 MOA orb inside the DeltaPoint Micro. I can center this on the bullseye at 100 yards and, with a clean trigger press, have confidence in making that hit.
Ultimately, this is why I like to have a red dot on a carry / self-defense pistol. While I gain no advantage (nor suffer disadvantage) inside of what we’d consider typical self-defense distances, the dot expands my capabilities greatly when it comes to making precise shots at any sort of range.
Requiring no aftermarket slide or milling of the factory slide — the DeltaPoint Micro installs very easily into the factory rear dovetail — aligning with the height of a factory-height front sight, and eliminating the need for a sight-cut holster makes the Micro a far simpler upgrade than most pistol dots.
On the downside, I suppose, is that fitting a form factor to achieve all of those conveniences required moving the battery and brightness adjustment down behind the slide. Really a non-issue except when it comes to disassembling the internals of your slide should you need to clean the firing pin and such.
Granted, this isn’t something that’s frequently done, but given how the DeltaPoint Micro installs, it’s going require re-zeroing the optic or at least verifying your zero after re-installing it.
Pressing the button underneath the rear of the Micro adjusts the brightness of the dot. Hold the button for a couple seconds to manually shut it off. When pressed again in the future, it returns to your previous brightness setting.
Alternately, the DeltaPoint Micro has an internal motion sensor and will turn itself off if it stays still for a while. For instance, when you take it off your hip for the night. As soon as it moves again it comes back on. Clearly for carry use it should remain on and at-the-ready.
Frankly, I went into this review and testing process fairly skeptical. The small window size of the DeltaPoint Micro made me think it would be difficult to use. This was not the case at all.
In fact, I think I’m faster with the DeltaPoint Micro than I am with a micro reflex sight. Something about the round, tube shape of it and the fact that it lines up when I present the gun exactly as I would with normal sights — it’s at the same height, after all — makes it intuitive and fast. It may look weird, but it darn sure works well.
Specifications: Leupold DeltaPoint Micro
Reticle: 3 MOA Dot
Fit: GLOCK and S&W M&P now, with more (including Picatinny rail) coming soon
Brightness: 8 settings
Battery Life: 3.5 years at medium brightness
Dot Color: Red
Adjustment Range: 100 MOA elevation, 180 MOA windage
Weight: 1.1 ounces
MSRP: $519.99 (available for about $399 retail on Brownells soon)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Form Factor * * * * *
Quite the trick to pull off a red dot that aligns with factory sight height and uses the factory sight dovetail. The round tube shape of the DeltaPoint Micro makes its use intuitive and easy, and it works great as a ghost ring plus allows traditional 3-dot style alignment, too.
Optics * * * * *
Zero color shift. Clear glass, deep red color dot that’s clean and crisp.
Function * * * * *
The DeltaPoint Micro really surprised me. It’s far faster and easier to use than I expected. Sighting it in and adjusting the brightness is extremely easy, and the dot looks great.
Overall * * * * *
Other than having to remove the DeltaPoint Micro in order to detail strip the slide — granted, something I nearly never do — and a higher MSRP than I’d hope for, I have no negative feedback on this unique little optic. It’s very easy to install and use and I shoot amazingly well with it. Big fan.