A Solid Micro Reflex, Reasonably Priced: The Samaritan   

Authors Brian McCombie Gear Reviews Optics/Sights Red Dots
Shooter aiming down the barrel of a pistol with the Samaritan red dot attached
The Samaritan Red Dot is quite a game changer

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

In a world of $400 and $500 handgun red dots, with the newest units boasting ever more features, can a basic reflex sight even be worth consideration? Doesn’t the much lower cost of such an uncomplicated optic suggest, all by itself, a cheaply made red dot ready to break down shortly after Round #10 leaves the pistol?

Not necessarily.

2 - A Solid Micro Reflex, Reasonably Priced: The Samaritan   
The Samaritan proved itself a reliable and handy micro-reflex sight at an affordable price point.

Certainly not if the unit is the Samaritan Micro Reflex Optic from Gorilla Optics, which proved itself reliable and very functional while selling for a reasonable price.

Unboxing the Samaritan

I received a new Samaritan and on opening the box I found:

-One Samaritan Compact Micro Reflex Dot Sight, featuring a 5 MOA green dot;

-Three sets of different-sized mounting screws, two screws per set;

-One installation wrench for the mounting screws;

-One adjustment wrench for the optic;

-A small tube of Loctite 242;

-One battery, an Energizer ECR2032 3V lithium;

-An instruction booklet;

-A cleaning cloth.

The Samaritan red dot with full packaging
The Samaritan unboxed.

In fact, it came with everything needed to mount the Samaritan onto my pistol.

Installation

That pistol was a new Girsan High Power™ MCP35 PILW, imported exclusively by the European American Armory Corp. The 9MM MCP35 is a lighter-weight version of the Browning High Power, sporting a 3.8-inch barrel and an aluminum frame.

The rear slide of the MCP35 PILW is cut for the RMSc optic footprint, the same footprint employed by the Samaritan. I removed the optic cut plate on the rear of the pistol’s slide, installed the provided battery into the bottom of the optic, and fitted the Samaritan onto the High Power’s slide.

Girsan High Power pistol prepped for a new gadget
Rear slide of the new Girsan High Power is cut specifically for the RMSc optic footprint.

I attached the optic using the pair of M4x.7 8.6mm mounting screws provided.

The Samaritan kit also came with M3x.5 12MM and M4x.7 10.1MM screws. These three sets allow the optic to be attached to a variety of pistols.

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The list includes the Canik Subcompact, Glock 43X, and 48 MOS, the Springfield Armory Hellcat and Hellcat Pro, the Sig Sauer P365 and P365XL, and the Smith and Wesson Shield 2.0 Optics Ready models.

Of course, the Samaritan fits any other pistols utilizing the RMSc mounting footprint.

Zeroing The Samaritan

As noted, my Samaritan had a green dot, which can also be purchased with a red center dot. My Samaritan featured manual brightness controls located on either side of the unit. It can also be purchased with an automatic brightness control, where the optic illuminates as soon as the battery is installed.

At my outdoor range, I started the zeroing process shooting for a rest at 10 yards. The day was sunny, and the green dot popped very crisply.

My first three-shot group hit approximately 2.0 inches high and 2.5 inches to the left. While the elevation and windage controls moved easily enough with the supplied Allen wrench, the controls didn’t “click” when turned. The controls are not set up for the standard .25 MOA or .5 MOA per click movement of the point of impact, either.

2 - A Solid Micro Reflex, Reasonably Priced: The Samaritan   
Zeroing the Samaritan: Triangle, first 3 shots. Short lines are shots during the adjustment process. Circles: pulled shots. Last two shots: bullseye!

READ MORE: Police Praise ‘Good Samaritan’ Who Fatally Shot Active Shooter At Indiana Mall

That wasn’t a problem, exactly, but it took me a few more shots to figure out just how much I needed to adjust the green dot to get onto target. Plus, I pulled two shots. In the end, though, my Shots # 12 and 13 drilled the bullseye.

More Shooting

I shot several more groups at ten yards rest from my rest. My best two groups, at five rounds apiece, came in at 1.0- and 1.2-inches.

2 - A Solid Micro Reflex, Reasonably Priced: The Samaritan   
McCombie found the Samaritan a solid micro-reflex sight, very suitable for self- and home-defense applications.

I moved onto seven yards and shot offhand. The best five-shot groups hit at 1.4- and 1.5 inches, plus I scored a four-shot cluster at .90-inches.

The Samaritan With Its Wide Lens

One feature that sets the Samaritan apart from many reflex sights is its very wide, 17 x 24mm lens. For us non-metric types, that’s .70 inches at its tallest center point by .94 in. wide. For comparison, the popular Holosun 507K GR-X2 and 507K X2 both feature a .58 in. high and .77 in. wide lens.

The Samaritan Red Dot
One wide lens

A larger viewing area can lead to faster target acquisition. So, I shot off a couple of magazines starting from low ready, counting to five and quickly raising the pistol and seeing how fast I could get on target.

Obviously, at seven yards, I got on target as fast as a shooter would with nearly any reflex sight. But I did feel that the Samaritan’s nearly 1.0-inch-wide lens also provided a good view of the sides of my targets. That wider view could be important in a self-defense situation, especially as human predators often operate in pairs.

Conclusions

The Samaritan is a solid reflex optic that I would use on my concealed carry and home defense pistols. Yes, it is basic and pretty simple—both of which I consider top qualities in most gear.

The Samaritan Red Dot is a bang-up optic
The optic’s controls were easy to use and adjust.

How much of a banging around the optic could take without losing zero or malfunctioning are good questions, fine questions for any reflex optic really. I don’t know the answer.

However, Allen Davis, President of Gorilla Optics, tells me the Samaritan has been used extensively on pistols chambered in 10MM AUTO and 45 ACP with no issues. The unit’s housing is made of tough 7075 aluminum alloy, and Gorilla Optics rates the unit as IP67 waterproof, too.

The Samaritan red dot bottom battery view
The rubber gasket surrounding the battery chamber explains the unit’s IP67 waterproof rating.


To conserve battery life, WAKEN technology puts Samaritan in standby mode after two minutes of inactivity. Once movement is sensed, the unit is back on and at the brightness level it was on before going into standby.

Gorilla Optics also sells an adapter so the Samaritan can be used on a larger handgun,  PCC, or rifle.

Basic, very functional, and gets the job done…for $150? Sold.

Specifications: Samaritan Reflex Optic

Magnification: 0x
Window Lens Size: 17x24mm/0.7×0.9in
Length: 40.9mm/1.6in
Width: 26mm/1.0in
Height: 24mm/0.9in
Weight (net): 18.4g / 0.65oz
Eye Relief: Free
Optics Coating: Multi Coated
Parallax: Free (<2MOA)
Parallax Setting: @25 yards.
Adjustment Range: >45MOA
Dot Size: 5MOA Green or Red Dot
Intensity: 8 Levels & 2 NV
Mounting Footprint: RMSc direct compatibility
Working Temperature: -20~+55C
Housing Material: 7075 Aluminum Alloy
Battery Type: CR2032 Battery
Runtime: 40,000 hours (at lowest illumination setting)
Finish: Black matte anodized
Ratings: IP67 waterproof, Shock Proof to 1,000 g.
Includes: Instruction booklet, mounting screws, battery, installation and adjustment wrenches, Loctite 242, cleaning cloth, sticker.

MSRP: $149.99

Gorilla Optics

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  • Greg November 3, 2023, 6:03 pm

    Does it have a low enough profile to co-witness with the steel sights or suppressor sights?

  • Mark M October 30, 2023, 11:50 pm

    That optic looks promising in a crowded field. I wanted to ask how the recoil feels with this new Hi Power compared to the originals? I plan to buy this model in a couple days!
    Thanks, Mark

  • Tommy Barrios October 30, 2023, 1:46 pm

    I really like the concept of the red and green dot reflex sights! The first time I saw one I was amazed, but now they ghost on me, and I am not going to be wearing glasses just so I can use one, to me that is asinine! I don’t need them otherwise, so why should I wear them?
    So I have to use either crosshairs or open sights, which I have no problem with the open sites because I’ve been an open site shooter since I was old enough to hold a gun, and I’m 72!
    I recently tried out the Bushnell RX-100 RMR on my PSA Dagger and again the results were disappointing!
    Anybody knows of a reflex sight that won’t ghost on somebody like me without wearing glasses, please tell me!

  • Joe October 30, 2023, 11:49 am

    Made in China ?

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