The tools for self-defense improve every day. Red dot sights, such as the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro, can help handgun shooters keep both eyes open. This let’s you see their sights while focused on a threat in all light conditions and maintain situational awareness.
Costs and wait times for installation of these sights has kept many shooters stuck in the dark ages with iron sights. Brimstone Gunsmithing wants to help.
Reflex sights are non-magnifying optics that reflect an illuminated reticle back to the shooter’s eye as a point of aim. While not new, recent developments have made reflex sights with red dot reticles practical for handguns.
This puts the red dot in the same focal plane as the target. That means that new shooters can focus on the target without looking at a front sight. Shooters over 40 will find that they don’t struggle with near vision accommodation and can clearly focus the dot and the target.
The reflex sight eliminates the need for sight alignment. All the shooter has to do is put the dot on the target and activate the trigger without moving the barrel. Keep your eye aligned with the optical axis of the sighting glass to see the red dot. When properly zeroed, if you can see the dot on the target, it will hit. This is great for awkward shooting positions.
While the concept is simple for the shooter, mounting an electro-optical sight on the slide of a pistol is a technological challenge. The sight has to survive recoil and the acceleration and deceleration of the slide as it operates. Size and weight must be kept to a minimum, but ruggedness is essential.
Pistol optics promote shooting with both eyes open which provides faster target acquisition and improves threat awareness. The size of the dot maximizes accuracy making 100 yards shots a reality.
Brimstone Gunsmithing has a special program for milling handguns to accept red dot sights. With their CNC (Computer Numeric Control) Machining capacity, they can do very precise machining quickly while controlling costs. This gives them the ability to provide custom modifications in a quick and affordable way to put a red dot on your gun.
The cost includes all tear down and reassembly, including installing new sights (if you included them), and it also includes a single color Cerakote of your choice on the slide. This is critical to protect the newly machined surfaces from corroding, but it also allows a custom look.
Leupold’s DeltaPoint Pro reflex sight is a minimalist optical sight, among the smallest and lightest sights available. The Aspheric Lens Technology provides a wider lens housing giving you a wide, clear field of view and an adjustable brightness aiming point for the perfect sight in any lighting situation.
The DeltaPoint Pro is made to handle abuse. DiamondCoat lens coatings provide amazing abrasion resistance while a rugged aircraft-grade aluminum housing protects the optic.
I went with Leupold’s DeltaPoint Pro because I believe that it is the best practical handgun optic available today. Leupold scopes and red dot sights are famous for performance and durability. A family owned company, Leupold & Stevens has been building optics in Beaverton, Oregon since 1907.
The controls on the DeltaPoint are dead simple. There is one control, the power button, located on the top of the sight directly behind the sight’s viewing glass over the battery compartment.
You turn it on by briefly by depressing the power button. To turn the sight off, you depress and hold the power button for three seconds. When turned back on, the red dot returns to the previously set brightness level.
The power button is also used to change the intensity of the projected red aiming dot. Once the sight is on, each brief press of the button cycles the intensity of the red dot through its eight brightness settings. These sightings can accommodate any light from total darkness to full sunlight and any ambient light level in between.
The locking adjustment system uses two screws that lock in windage and elevation. This keeps the reticle stable under recoil. 60-MOA of adjustment in windage and elevation allows you to dial in your zero in a wide variety of applications.
Leupold’s Motion Sensor Technology conserves battery life by switching the unit to stand-by mode when the power is left on if the gun has not moved for at least five minutes. Any movement will turn the sight back on.
When the battery is low, the red dot will flash 10 times. You have several hours of operating time in this mode before the battery dies completely.
The battery is replaced through a door on top of the sight. With a single latch, the battery compartment opens and a magnet lifts the battery to make access easy. It can be done in seconds with no tools or special training.
- DiamondCoat scratch resistant aspheric lens for brightness and resolution
- Motion Sensor Technology (MST) to save battery life
- Unlimited eye relief
- Wide field of view
- Blackened lens edges
- Waterproof to 33 feet
- Leupold Gold Ring Full Lifetime Warranty (housing and optics)
- Leupold Gold Ring 2 year Electronics Warranty
- Magnification: 1.0x
- Sight window: 1.01 in. by 0.68 in.
- Windage and elevation adjustment range: 60 MOA
- Adjustment click value: 1 MOA (40 MOA per revolution of adjustment)
- Red dot: 2.5 MOA
- Elevation Adjustment Range (MOA): 60 MOA
- Windage Adjustment Range (MOA): 60 MOA
- Operating temperature range: -20F to +120F
- Battery: One 3v, CR 2032 lithium cell
- Dimensions: 1.82 in. x 1.31 in. x 1.30 in.
- Weight: 1.9 oz. (with battery)
DeltaPoint Pro reflex sight is designed, manufactured and assembled in the USA. With a wide field of view and rugged construction, you don’t have to compromise performance to get a dot on your handgun.
I have been through several classes with the Brimstone gun including 88 Tactical’s excellent High Threat Vehicle Engagements course for responding to close range, high-threat targets in, through and around vehicles day and night.
The DeltaPoint lets you see the sights clearly under any conditions. The low Brimstone profile makes sight acquisition intuitive. Being able to see your sights through recoil makes you more aware of the fundamentals. You realize immediately if your trigger press moves the sights. This is the best coaching tool I have ever used.
You can close one eye and do marksmanship, but the best way to run a red dot is both eyes open and fast. If you try to focus on the dot and stage the trigger it makes things worse. It is counter-intuitive, but good rapid fire usually produces better groups that slow fire.
I love shooting steel at long range. You get immediate feedback, no running down to check targets. The Brimstone Glock with a Delta Point sight will reach out and hit targets out to 100 yards and beyond. I had to hold on the top of the plate to adjust for drop. When I did my job, it hit the target.
Brimstone Gunsmithing is a family owned company in Camas Washington. Their motto is ‘Bringing traditional gunsmithing into the 21st century.’ Located within the SafeFire indoor shooting facility, Brimstone seeks to keep that old-world quality, attention to detail, and (the most difficult) the wide range of services that traditional gunsmiths would offer. They have an innovative communication system which allows customers to follow the project on the web. A click of the mouse will show the status of your gun.
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machining is a process which uses a computer to control machine tools. With CNC machining, the computer can control exact positioning and velocity. The 21st century gunsmiths at Brimstone can write computer programs customized for specific guns and optics.
The real key to their success is their ability to rapidly prototype up a digital model of your firearm, optic, and sight combination, and even send you a picture of how the sights are going to co-witness before they ever start cutting on your slide.
Once the model and the machining are all proved out digitally, the finished product is cut into your slide to within 0.0005” of the picture they sent you. This is accomplished by using an optical comparator to build an incredibly accurate model of slide, optic, and sights, and then using an $8,000 probe system in the mill to exactly find the surfaces of your slide before cutting starts.
All this technology gives them a great diversity of red dot and firearm options, but Brimstone will always recommend the Leuopld Delta Point Pro. It is one of the all-round best red dots and Brimstone can provide them (at a discount) if you don’t already have one.
On a standard frame Glock (G17, G19, etc) the Delta Point Pro will not fit between the rear dovetail and the internal safety plunger. On some large frame Glocks, there is room to squeeze the red dot in there, so you can keep your rear sight dovetail.
Brimstone will machine away the rear dovetail and install the red dot where the rear dovetail was. If you want a co-witness with iron sights they can then machine a dovetail in front of the red dot.
There are three options for dovetails here:
Option One: Remove the rear sight and run with just a front sight. That front sight may just be the factory one and it’s just filling the hole, or it may be a suppressor height front sight that you can see through your optic. Some red dots come with a mark or features on the rear which allow you to use your red dot as a rear sight, or you can even paint a line on the rear of your optic as a rough rear sight.
Option Two: If you’re running a DeltaPoint® Pro, Leuopld makes a drop in rear sight that fits in the rear of their red dot. You’ll still need to get a front sight tall enough to co-witness, but there’s no new dovetails needed. To make that work, they move the red dot forward slightly and machine the slide flat behind the red dot.
Option Three: Machine a new Glock dovetail in front of the red dot.
They also offer some slide serration packages and a wide range of other Glock or general gunsmithing work. While the same discounts don’t necessarily apply, it might be worth getting done at the same time. Their website has a solid selection number of options listed under Shop – Glock Work. If you are so inclined, they can even do custom engraving, although that is quoted on a case-by-case basis.
Brimstone has a special program for police duty guns, “Dots for Cops.” If you have a duty gun that you want to upgrade to a red dot sight, or if you are modifying duty guns for your agency, you may contact info@BrimstoneGunsmithing.com for pricing and turn around times. They also offer special pricing for the Leupold Delta Point Pro.
Their CNC capability gives them the ability to provide individual officers and agencies a quick and affordable way to put a red dot on their duty gun. Brimstone can do large runs and process hundreds of guns. They understand that the officer is probably having to foot the bill for this project out of their own pocket, so whether it’s one officer or it’s an entire agency, it’s the same heavily discounted price. The only requirement is that the firearm is a duty gun.
After over three thousand rounds and hundreds of hours of training, I can tell you that this slide work is ready for the most arduous self defense or duty roles.
With a handgun optic placed where you normally grip the gun for manipulations, you are driven to use it as a handle. In disabled drills, you may be racking your pistol against a barricade or vehicle. The Brimstone mounting cuts give you the strongest mount available. Their custom fit provides support to the screws and spreads the stress over a larger area. It sits low providing faster sight acquisition.
Photos by Mark Miller: Brimstone modified Glock 17 Gen3 in sniper grey with Leupold’s DeltaPoint® Pro, Trijicon Suppressor Night Sights, KCI USA Magazines, Safariland holster and Sig Elite Performance ammunition. Background is Slumber Jack’s Perception DST camouflage with “Disruptive Shadow Technology.”