Last year, RF mused over the Leupold DeltaPoint mounted atop a S&W 686 and we promised then that we’d contact Leupold about getting one. Sure enough, now we (I) have one in our grubby little hands. Astute readers may have noticed that the Next Intent Tactical mount I reviewed was wearing the DeltaPoint as the secondary reflex optic. How high-speed-low-drag is that? Anyway, now that I’ve had it for a month or so, it’s had a full workout on my AR using the NITactical mount and on my 10/22 as its primary optic. In short, I’m wildly impressed . . .

The only disappointment that I’ve had with the DeltaPoint so far was removing it from the box. With a retail price just a touch under $500 for the Picatinny only mount, a buyer expects ehh…more. The DeltaPoint is without a doubt the smallest $500 object I’ve ever held in my hands, short of a small chunk of gold. Then again, a chunk of gold doesn’t allow fast target acquisition. So keep that in mind.

For those that can’t stand fuss or muss, the DeltaPoint is a big time contender. Unlike the Burris FastFire, the DeltaPoint doesn’t even have an on/off switch. There are literally no buttons, switches, or dials on the unit. The only exposed hardware bits are the adjustment screws for elevation and windage.

The DeltaPoint is motion activated and automatically adjusts the brightness of the 3.5 MOA dot for ambient conditions. One small gripe is that the windage/elevation adjustment screws uses the world’s smallest torx bit (included). I immediately lost it. While Allen head screws are apparently sooo last year, I’d love to see future revisions use a more common screw head.

Sighting was a breeze (once I found that stupid torx wrench) and I was on target within 5 shots or so. Once set, the DeltaPoint never lost zero. Leupold states that the DeltaPoint has been tested to withstand 3500 Gs of impact, something I have no intention of testing. And here’s why:

***Physics Incoming***

1 G of acceleration is equal to 32.174 ft/s2. The formula for acceleration is simply change in velocity / change in time. So 3500 X 32.174 gives us 112,609 ft/s2. According to this extremely handy table from Chuckhawks.com, the recoil with the fastest recoil velocity is the .600 Nitro Express with 28.8 ft/s (50 BMG was 12.3 ft/s). So assuming that the rifle goes from zero to 28.8 ft/s (it does), it would need to do it in .00026 seconds to reach 3500 Gs. The folks at Dvorak make a device to measure lock time on a trigger. Some of the best times they see near 2 ms. The heaviest recoiling caliber made by the hands of man would have to fire in 13% of the current best time possible to break the DeltaPoint. Is it overbuilt? You betcha.

***Physics Concluded***

Optical clarity on the DeltaPoint was top notch. Some lower quality red dots I’ve used seem to have a weird greenish tint to them. Not so with the Leupold. It truly is a 1X clear optic with a  handy little red dot. You can shoot with both eyes open with ease, and boy did I.

Mounted on the NIT mount, the DeltaPoint was deadly at helping me dispatch paper targets at medium ranges. Sitting atop my Ruger 10/22, I was busting clays, paper, VarmintTargets, and anything else I fixed my steely gaze upon.

The 3.5 MOA dot was always at the perfect level of illumination, and it was always on when it was supposed to be on. As to battery life, well…that’s something that’s a little harder to test. I’ve taken the DeltaPoint out for a few days at the range, and haven’t had to change batteries. But for those that might want to have one mounted on their EDC gun, independent testing might be in order. Leupold says their sight has battery life 2X longer than other red dots. However, we can’t verify that claim or put it in any kind of quantifiable metric.

Speaking of EDC options, the DeltaPoint is apparently very happy atop any number of pistols. In fact, a quick google image search of DeltaPoint and your favorite gun will probably result in loads of relevant results. At the time of this writing, there’s an M&P 9 slide and a DeltaPoint winging their way to California to meet up with Scott Folk at Apex Tactical so I’ll be putting this thing on top of my brand new M&P 9.

Specifications: Leupold DeltaPoint 3.5 MOA Dot with Cross Slot Mount

Actual Magnification: 1X
Weight: 6 oz.
Elevation Adjustment Range: 60 MOA
Windage Adjustment Range: 60 MOA
MSRP:  $499 w/ Cross Slot Mount $564 w/ all mounts.  $381.67 @ Amazon

Ratings (out of five stars):

Build Quality * * * * *
For something so tiny, it’s amazingly robust. I’m looking forward to having this mounted on my M&P.

Optical Clarity * * * * *
Like all the Leupold glass I’ve ever used, this thing didn’t disappoint. Unlike a lot of red dots, there’s no evil green glare or fuzziness around the edges of the optic. Additionally, the aiming dot was crisp at all angles and distances.

Adjustment & Controls * * * *
I’m knocking one star off for using Torx screws, but otherwise all the adjustments were easy and held zero with no issues.

Overall Rating * * * * *
I was just totally blown away with how great the DeltaPoint was. It’s definitely on the more expensive end of the spectrum, but if you are serious about buying a great red dot, this is the one for you.

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19 Responses to Gear Review: Leupold DeltaPoint Red Dot Sight

  1. Hi Tyler: sounds like a nice peice of kit. I have a Burris Fastfire, but I haven’t played with all that much, other than to test the Stoeger Double defense. Have you compared the two side by side? The Leuppy is 2x the cost, which is probably worth it if its on an AR, but it seems like overkill on a .22LR.

    In any event, you mentioned batteries: what kind does it take, and how easy is it to replace them? Can you replace the battery without taking the sight off the rail?

    • I was wondering the same thing regarding battery replacement. I was able to find the instruction manual here and it looks like you have to remove the red dot from the rail to replace the battery. http://goo.gl/DrDpY

      That’s a bummer. I was debating a c-more rts or the delta point for my next red dot. I’m starting to lean towards the c-more.

  2. I’m liking this, even at $500. Gotta question, if it’s motion activated, does that mean it will switch on while in the trunk of my car as I drive to and from the range? And while carrying it slung over my shoulder? Seems like it would be on a lot of non shooting hours if so.

  3. OMG. Tyler’s doing physics. Someone’s been spending a lot of time with Foghorn!

    Physics aside, it’s the math that bothers me. Popping a $500 sight atop a $200 rifle or $450 pistol just doesn’t seem right. Also, after more experimenting than I ever wanted to do, I’ve come to the conclusion that iron sights will outperform red dots in most, but not all, circumstances. If immediate target acquisition is the deal, then maybe red dots are better. But I think that’s the only advantage of dots over irons. And a 3-5 MOA dot isn’t going to help long range accuracy, either. At distance, a scope will outperform a dot.

    Based on this review, I’d say that the Leupold red dot is a super sight. And why not. Leupold has been making world-class products for a long, long time. But I think that red dots are overated. Go ahead and call me a Luddite. I can take it.

    • I’m gonna go ahead and disagree with you on this one, Ralph. I put a Trijicon RMR on my Glock 19 a couple weeks ago. I’ve since used it in a local school’s weekly training sessions and I am impressed with the concept. The only fault I found was that picking up the dot on presentation from the draw can be a bit difficult at first, but with more practice the time spent hunting for the dot went down. I’ve only put about 250 rounds through it so far. It’s definitely something that you will have to retrain yourself to do. Other than that, I’ve found all positives. Longer range shots are much easier and more accurate. Target to target transitioning is much faster, too. Though I haven’t tried it myself, yet, I’ve read that shooting moving targets with a red dot is easier, too. Other advantages I’ve found are that the red dot provides a big contact point for weapon manipulations. It’s a lot easier to rack the optic, rather than the rear sight, on your belt or holster when shooting one handed and just normal speed reloads and such have sped up for me. I’m a big fan of the red dot-equipped pistol.

  4. Funny this review posted today. I’m on hold right now trying to return my deltapoint for the second time. The problem I have is that the auto brightness always goes to max brightness and then starts to flare and the dot develops a tail. They have been polite but I’m still disappointed with the problems.

    • That seems odd to me. I have had extremely good service with Leupold, the best of any company I have ever dealt with in fact. Their lifetime warranty on their scopes is the best in the world.

      Once I took a tumble down a scree slope and chipped the ocular lens on a 1.5 X 5 Leupold. The scope was still usable and in fact I shot a bear and a cougar with it in that condition. However, I wanted it fixed and sent it back to Leupold at the end of the season. They sent me a letter saying it would cost $38 to fix which I thought was more than fair since the problem was my fault not theirs. I agreed and a few days later there was a box on my front porch. It contained a brand new 1.5 X 5 Vari X III. They replaced it with a new scope! The old scope was just that, old like maybe 20 years old, and beat to all hell. I had even painted it. Yeah, it was that beat. Backpack hunting takes a toll on equipment. The new scope has better optics too. Although they were the same model in name it is a much better scope.

      Anyway that made me a Leupold fan. It is the only scope I will buy now although I still own others. I would never sell my Unertls although they are becoming more of antiques than anything else.

      I have been looking at the Delta Point. Yes, it is expensive but if it’s a Leupold it is going to be good. I am really surprised to hear about your problem with the company. Everyone I know has had nothing but great service from them. I am kind of surprised they just didn’t send you a new unit. Maybe you should give them a call.

  5. 1)It’s not mounted backwards. In fact, the lens is coated so the dot isn’t visible[1] from the front; if you reversed it you wouldn’t be able to see the dot.

    2)The battery is a coin cell. You have to unscrew the sight from the base (the base can stay on the rail). There are a couple of dowel pins that relocate the sight after changing the battery. I haven’t noticed any change in zero, but then I’m not trying to shoot MOA w/ a dot.

    3)I was told (by Leupold) that they advise changing the battery every 60 days if you are carrying it 40 hours a week. The manual says the dot will flicker hi/lo for several hours as warning when the battery needs changing. I’ve had mine a year plus and the battery is going strong, but my use is on an HD gun that is in the safe apart from range trips. I like that you can just grab it and not mess with a switch.

    [1]specifically, you can’t see the dot *thru the optic* from directly in front. Someone in front of you may be able to see the dot where it emerges from the base to project onto the glass if you are holding at low ready – something you might want to remember and avoid in a defensive situation.

  6. I have 5 Deltapoints, all mounted on handguns. Unbelievable improvement in accuracy for 60 year old eyes. Someone mentioned the dot flaring. I occasionally have this problem and found out it has to do with astigmatism inadequately corrected and/or contact lenses. So I took a look with my good non-dominant eye and lo a crisp clean dot.

  7. I shoot in competitions with uspsa and 3gun usually 3-4 times a month in open division. i use a glock 17 shooting 9mm major.decided to switch from my fastfire 2 to a deltapoint mostly because of the brighter dot and bigger window .i went through 2 deltapoints the first ones internal adjustments came upart and the second stopped holding zero.I found that the deltapoint doesn’t hold up at least with a 9 major.Found other open shooters had same problems.My fastfires were allways tanks in fact one looks like its been shot by one and still works.Was sad because I loved the clarity,brightness and dot size of the deltapoint.I decided to try a c-more but then found out the fastfire 3 had a bigger and brighter dot available so i went with that and have loved the damn thing .I’ve allways used leupold scopes on my rifles and recentlly installed a vx-r 2-7 ballistic firedot on my 3gun rifle and it’s been great, most shooters are spending 1500.00 on a vortex ,I spent 1/3 of that on the leupold and you can’t tell the differance.

  8. My only problem would battery life on a carry gun. If motion activates it, then day to day motion will trigger it in the holster. I don’t mind this, as long as I can be aware of when to change the battery. If daily carry, would replacement be 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year?

    I can handle buying a battery every three months, I would just like to know before I buy.

  9. With the Deltapoint 2 coming out, does anyone know if the DeltaPoint 2 spec sizes and mounting screw positions will allow you to mount it on a G-34 slide in the same “SLIDE MELT” slot and position of an original model Deltapoint.
    And if the height at its rear will allow the Deltapoint 2 to co-witness with suppressor sights on Combat cut mounted sights, as does the basic/original Deltapoint.
    Anyone know??

  10. I’m encouraged that Leupold is fine Tuning the DeltaPoint Reflex.
    I turned in 2 of them because of the Torx Screw Adjustment screws. Unlike the Trijicon, the Adjustment screws are Terrible. You can’t “feel” the Adjustment for Windage etc. Having the battery now on the Top is Great, but those Adjustment screws have to go. The Burris Fastfire3 has their Act together.
    For a $500 Optic, from Leupold, I’m still Not buying them. Everything else is spot on, but they Really have to investigate what is a serious flaw for simplicity.

  11. I make MRD mounts for the Burris, Docter, Trijicon RMR, and JPoint. Several people have e-mailed me in the past few days asking if any of my mounts fit the Leupold Delta. My question is, does the Delta use the same mounting platform as the Burris and Dcoter? This platform (Burris / Docter) is the most common, Insight also works with this platform. JPoint has their own and to my knowledge no one uses it. Thanks!!

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