Dan and I are currently leaving Gunsite Academy after two days (and one night) shooting and training with Crimson Trace’s new RAD — Rapid Aiming Dot — line of reflex style red dot sights, which will be hitting shelves soon. With basic and Pro models in three sizes, the RAD line has you covered from micro-compact pistols up to rifles and shotguns.
This is not a review. That will follow after we tinker with the RADs a bit more, but I’ll cover the initial RAD dot models that Crimson Trace will be releasing soon and a little bit of the dot-specific training we did at Gunsite.
All reflex optics with 7075 aluminum frames, each size of the RADs comes in both red and green LED flavors and in a simple, less expensive variant and a more feature-rich, higher-priced variant.
The RAD Micro is a teeny little bugger. It’s ideal for CCW pistols like the SIG P365, Springfield Hellcat, and any other micro-compact that’s cut for an optic.
The Micro uses the Shield footprint that we happened to post about yesterday.
The standard RAD Micro automatically adjusts dot brightness and has a rear sight notch machined into it. It’s so slim and small that it will co-witness with many factory sights.
Handwritten price notes on the product detail card above and all of the cards to follow are expected retail prices — so a bit under MSRP.
You’ll see a pattern here shortly, but bumping up from the standard RAD Micro to the RAD Micro Pro means the addition of the CT Motion Sensor. If the sight is completely still for two minutes it puts itself to sleep. The slightest movement wakes it up instantly. This conserves battery life without the user having to manually turn the optic off or put a cover on it.
The RAD is still an extremely compact reflex sight, and this one is geared toward compact, duty, and full-sized pistols. Picatinny mounts are available for use on rifles and shotguns, too.
If I remember correctly, the CT RAD is on the Docter footprint.
While the RAD is manual brightness adjust and manual on/off, the RAD Pro provides the option of automatic brightness adjustment and has the motion sensor sleep mode.
Finally, the RAD Max and RAD Max Pro. These larger dots are geared toward use on rifles and shotguns and come with both a low-profile and a co-witness Picatinny mount.
Arriving in the classroom at Gunsite Academy we were each “issued” a Radian Weapons Model 1 AR-15 and a GLOCK 19 MOS. The AR was sporting a RAD Max and a CMR-301 light and laser unit, while the GLOCK was equipped with a RAD and a CMR-207 light and laser.
We then spent a full day on the range receiving Gunsite instruction on running optics-equipped pistols. We worked a lot on presentation techniques geared specifically toward acquiring a pistol dot quickly and efficiently and how to correctly sight with it.
We ran nighttime drills employing the light, laser, and red dot both on the square range and out on a steel target course in the Arizona high desert.
Likewise with the rifles from close-in back to 25 yards in the dark.
The next day we ran both rifles and pistols on a range full of different shooting positions to engage Caldwell steel targets of various shapes and sizes out to 250 or so yards. This was a lot of fun, and this is where a red dot on a pistol really shines for me over iron sights.
We ran a house clearing drill with the ARs. I did not murder the no-shoot target holding a camera.
This guy holding a detonator didn’t make it, though. That was a really fast double-tap so I felt obligated to show it off.
A good dot certainly makes shooting confidently and accurately a lot easier, and by all appearances and behind-the-gun time so far the RAD line is full of very good red dots at very competitive prices.
Dan and I were both impressed by how crisp and clean and clear the dot itself is. I don’t typically see a perfectly round, clean dot with the vision in my right eye but I did through all of the RADs. I had no problem getting a very precise sight picture and dot brightness was appropriately adjustable for use in pitch black night to full sun Arizona day.
The glass has very little tint to it and the frame doesn’t block much field of view.
We’ll follow up with in-depth reviews on the Crimson Trace RAD optics line soon and perhaps an article on the Gunsite Academy facilities and instruction as well.