Red dots on pistols continues to be one of the strongest trends in the industry, which leads to some incredible developments. Much like electronics in other consumer spaces, it doesn’t take long for what was once only an option for the rich to make its way down to us mortals. It wasn’t that long ago that an HD TV cost a fortune, with very few brand options. Now you would be hard-pressed to find a television that wasn’t HD, including the sub $200 models at Best Buy or Walmart. As goes TV’s, now so goes slide mounted red dots.
Ameriglo has just introduced the Haven RDS, with two option packages. Ameriglo is best known for very high-quality iron sights, including the later generations of Glock factory night sights. Why this transition to electro-optics? Because they see the future, and while that might include irons, more and more an electro-optic is becoming the primary focus.
In that vein, one of the options packages is directly focused on the Glock MOS customer. The so-called Haven Carry-Ready Combo includes not just the red dot optic, but a set of optic compatible Glock iron sights. Set up together, the irons reside in the lower 1/3rd of the optics sight picture. This gives you an immediate backup in case things get squirrely. And should provide some solid piece of mind for those making the transition from just irons to red dots.
The Carry Ready option is $439, but for many of us, the cheaper optics-only package is the winner at $379. What does that money get you? Quite a lot, I am happy to report. First of all, the Haven fits the RMR footprint. Love it or hate it, the RMR footprint is very nearly the industry standard for full-size pistols. Delta Point Pro/ Romeo 1 Pro is making some headway, but you will still find many custom slides or custom slide work is RMR only. Compatibility is a big issue but paid off for us. Our on-hand Sig P320 Norsso is cut for RMR only, but the lock-up with the Haven is perfect.
The Haven features a 12 hour on plus a 12-hour after-motion activated auto-on. That is a big win, no more checking your optic twice a day to make sure it’s still working. It also has a proprietary Carry-Loc. This mode locks the optic at a set brightness and prevents the buttons from adjusting. A very real concern if your optic is going on a carry piece.
Another huge gain is the battery replacement. Now, it isn’t a huge concern since the Haven will go 1 year on constant on, or 2 years with motion activation as the setting. But it is still nice that Ameriglo has improved on the old optic reality that you had to take to optic off the slide for a battery swap. The Haven is a side-loading battery, with a very well-designed battery box. You need tools to open the battery compartment, so the chances of an inadvertent fallout are near zero. This also makes the Haven waterproof, submersible to 1 meter. Waterproof is a big deal in slide mounts, that in my opinion isn’t addressed enough. I might not plan on falling in some water, but I probably didn’t plan on being in a gunfight either. The terror of an optic shorting out when I need it most because someone spilled coffee on it is something we should all think about when making a purchase.
The windage and elevation adjustments on the Haven are both audible and tactile, but I’m going to be honest, only if you are really paying attention. I do like that they made the attempt when many other optics do not have this. But it doesn’t work out, at least not if you rocked a Ma Deuce in your youth without ear pro. This is, however, compensated for by the very clear visible adjustments to the optic. The tic marks on the outside of the screw do provide precise adjustment, and we had no problem getting perfect impacts.
The Haven has a 3.5 MOA dot size, which is a happy compromise on a pistol optic. It is bright enough to compensate for being on the smaller end (3 and 6 are the most common), and its smaller size makes surgical shots easier. With 11 settings and 2 Night Vision settings, you can find a good brightness for any conditions. We tested in cloudless bright daylight and had no problems.
The Haven is brand new, so we can’t say a lot about durability. However, Ameriglo is well known for making tough products, and I can’t see how this would be any different. At $379, this might be the best deal in optics today.