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Williams Gun Sight is a bit of a legacy company that’s been producing various forms of high-visibility iron sights as long as I’ve been modifying guns. They’ve always been an iron sight company, until now. Any company looking to enter the red dot world can do it fairly easily by just licensing an overseas red dot like everyone else and calling it a day. However, for a company dedicated to iron sights, Williams Gun Sight Company had a rather innovative idea with the LRS.

What’s the LRS

LRS stands for Low Reflex Sight, and the William Gun Sight LRS is not your typical red-dot sight. At first glance, it appears to be an exposed emitter red-dot like the Aimpoint Acro, but it’s not entirely enclosed. They took your typical open emitter, pistol-sized optic, and flipped it upside down. They then attached the optic to a housing, which doubles as a somewhat protective roof cover.

It’s no enclosed emitter optic (Travis Pike for TTAG)

 

Flipping the optic upside down gives you a very low to the gun optic. Williams Gun Sights claims it sits 30 to 50 percent lower than competing optics. If you use a Williams Gun Sight Direct mount, it sits even lower. Most micro red-dots are designed for modern rifles and handguns, but the LRS is designed for weapons with more traditional stocks, like most shotguns and lever-action rifles.

A top loading battery is a must for an optic like this (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The optic might resemble your typical pistol red-dot, but it’s not designed for pistols. In fact, the company has never tested the optic on a pistol and claims it’s not rated for a pistol with a reciprocating slide. It will work on pistols with nonreciprocating slides like the Ruger Mk series and large format pistols.

Mounting the LRS

Most mini-red dots have screw slots through the body of the optic. Since the LRS sits upside down compared to most optics, it doesn’t have those same slots. Each of the four corners on the bottom of the optic housing has a bolt that works horizontally instead of vertically. This allows the LRS to attach to mounts rather than directly to a gun. If it did work on pistols, I don’t know how you’d mount it.

The mounts keep it super low, but its comes with a picatinny rail adapter (Travis Pike for TTAG)

When you purchase the LRS, you get an included Picatinny mount. While the LRS still sits lower on a Picatinny mount than other optics, the real magic of its height comes into play with their gun-specific mounts. They make these adapter mounts to fit the drill and tap pattern of several popular patterns. This includes Benelli, Mossberg and Remington.

See the bolts on the corner? Those attach it to the mount. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I used the Mossberg adapter on my 20-gauge 590 and was so pleasantly pleased by how low the optic sits. Low optics on traditions are fantastic. The higher the optic, the higher your head tends to rise. The higher your head rises, the less cheek weld you have, and the likelihood of a good smack to the mouth due to recoil increases. It sits low enough that I’m dang close to cowitnessing with the Mossberg bead.

If I threw a HighBall bead from Defender Tactical on the gun, I’m betting it would co-witness with the dot. That’s crazy low. Another benefit to a small, low dot is that it’s not in your way for reloading over the top of the gun for a port load.

The LRS Basics

The LRS packs a really nice reticle, especially for shotguns. It has a 32-MOA segmented circle with a 3-MOA dot in the center. Not only is the reticle big and eye-catching, but it is also useable with buckshot loads. You can pattern the load to the circle and know that at a specific range, the load will stay within the circle. With loads like Flitecontrol, the circle and dot are effective out to 15 yards.

The 32 MOA circle is perfect for shotguns (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The LRS has an auto shut off after six hours but doesn’t shake awake. This makes it tough for home defense because when you grab the gun, you want the optic on. If you hit the up button, it is quick and responsive to turn on and activate. I really think a shake-awake or motion-sensing option would be fantastic.

The LRS has six illumination levels, and it gets crazy bright by hitting the up or down button. The LRS uses a CR2032 battery, and the battery life isn’t listed, but it’s been over a month and hasn’t died yet.

To The Range

With the LRS mounted to the 590 20 gauge, I hit the range. I did some basic ready-up drills and led a mix of birdshot and buckshot fly. I zeroed the optic for buckshot, and honestly, at shotgun ranges, the birdshot hits close enough to work. The big reticle worked exceptionally well and made it easy to turn clay pigeons on the berm to dust.

The LRS sits low enough to make it super comfy for those ready-up drills. The dot naturally finds the eye. I stare at the target, raise the gun, see red and turn orange into dust. It’s super intuitive, and I’m never left trying to find the dot and get it on target.

My head stays tight to the stock when using the optic (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The LRS has a slower refresh rate that I don’t notice when I shoot. It only became evident when I pointed a camera at it. If I tossed it on a reciprocating slide, it might be a problem, but mounted to a shotgun, it’s not an issue. Driving the gun between targets didn’t result in any staggering, I noticed. The reticle does appear crisp, and the lens has a slight blue tint, but it is very clear.

The buttons are very repsonsive and intuitive (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The LRS held up to the recoil from the meager 20 gauge without a problem. As predicted, my head never left my good low cheek weld on the gun, and I was able to keep a safe, smack-free grip on the gun. The low-mounted optic makes a huge difference in the comfort level of using a dot-equipped shotgun. It feels natural, like using a bead, but it has all the benefits of a red-dot.

The New Option

With a fairly modest price point, the LRS is one of the more interesting optics I’ve seen come off the assembly line. It’s a bit niche, but it does cover a fairly underserved market of traditional stocked shotguns and rifles.

Specifications
Weight – 2.77 ounces
Brightness Levels – 6
Reticle – 32 MOA Segmented Circle and 3 MOA Dot
MSRP – $270

Ratings (Out of Five Stars)

Ease of Use – *****
Installation is simple and with the plate and Picatinny rail. Dropping a battery in and zeroing is the only other thing you need to do. The buttons are nice and easy to press, and they certainly keep your head low and on the stock.

Clarity – ****
The glass punches above its weight for the price and outdoes something like the blue tint of a Holosun. The reticle is crisp and clear, but there is a slightly slow refresh rate. Luckily, it’s not on reciprocating slides, so this isn’t the biggest problem.

Overall – ****
The Williams Gun Sight LRS is a modestly priced option that takes a nontraditional route. That route isn’t a gimmick but a niche-filling design. The reticle is large and easy to see and use; the optics mounts with ease, zeroes with ease, and holds zero. The only thing I would like to see is the addition of a shake-awake function to make it better suited for defensive use.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. If it had ‘shake awake’, I’d almost/maybe consider looking closer at it for home defense shot gun use if I didn’t already have something else.

  2. High-visibility, Low-reflex? Is that like “high capacity”?

    Large format pistols? Is that like a 5inch 1911 or a Beretta 92FS (with reciprocating slides)?

    What exactly is meant by “refresh rate”?

  3. This is *genius*. Lint and such will fall away from the emitter instead of collect on it.

    TELL WILLIAMS WE NEED A PISTOL VERSION ON THE ACRO MOUNT!!! With shake-awake.

  4. I have not heard the name Williams in quite some time, no doubt a good product however all I want to do for Home Defense is release the safety so unfortunately having no shake awake ads to the to-do list and makes it a deal breaker. The torx heads are not helping either as they clash with my gun’s decor.

  5. Williams has made very good sights for generations, but I think I’ll pass on this. I like the ghost ring tritium and Surefire on my 870. Just me.

  6. That’s an awful lot of money for a dot with a low refresh rate and no shake awake.

    Wonder what the street price will be.

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