NEW! – Micro-Dot HEX Wasp, Springfield Armory’s Smallest Red Dot Sight

Say hello to Springfield Armory’s new Wasp micro red dot sight. The Wasp is one of SA’s new HEX line of optics, and it warrants a serious look for concealed carry and duty gun use. I’ve been watching the evolution of pistol red dots for decades and they are finally getting the features that many believe have always been needed.

A single red dot removes sight alignment errors and typically makes shooters more accurate. Red dot sights were used for years in bullseye competition before they made their debut in practical pistol shooting, and now they may be ready for daily use. 

I was at the USPSA Nationals some 30 years ago when three shooters showed up with red dots on their pistols. Jerry Barnhart won that year shooting one of those pistols, and the rest is history. Since then it’s been a slow but steady march toward the normalization of red dots on personal carry and duty guns.

The body of the wasp is low enough that it sits at normal sight height

Description

Making red dots small enough for handguns has always been one of the toughest challenges. The Wasp is small enough that it easily fits on a pistol, even on a sub-compact like the Hellcat. It’s only 1.6” long and .95” wide and weighs almost nothing compared to the material removed to mount it.

The Wasp with the 2032 battery weighs in at a feather weight 5/8th of an ounce, while the plate to fill the cutout on the Hellcat was ½ of an ounce. So, the actual added weight of the Wasp to the gun was a miniscule 1/8th of an ounce.

The Wasp weighs just a touch more than a 147 grain 9mm round

However, there are many small red dots on the market today. What sets the Wasp apart is how Springfield Armory addresses the other challenges. The size of the optical window is one of those obstacles. It needs to be large enough to enable a shooter to rapidly find the red dot, yet small enough to fit comfortably on a concealed carry pistol.

The window size of the Wasp is just right, giving the shooter enough real estate to find the dot and track it during firing, while not adding excessive bulk to the profile of the pistol. A key factor contributing to the speed and ease in finding the dot is the low mount position of the Wasp on the pistol.

Patented side serrations on the Wasp made racking the slide an easy task

The aluminum body of the Wasp is very low and therefore the window is down at normal sight height, so finding the dot is as natural as finding the iron sights. The back of the Wasp base has a slot that could be used as a fixed rear sight if needed.

Manufacturing the Wasp from 6061 T6 aluminum and using a glass lens ensures a sight rugged enough for daily carry and serious use. The lens has scratch and glare resistant coatings for longer life and a better sight picture. 

The sight is mounted with the Springfield Micro Footprint pattern with 4 corner index points and 2 mounting screws (same as a Shield RMSc). The hood holding the glass lens overhangs the front and rear of the lens holding it securely as well as protecting it from damage.

The slide acts as the bottom of the Wasp holding the battery in place

Specifications

 Length-            1.6”      Width-             0.95”

Weight-           0.7 oz. Dot Size-         3.5 moa

Battery Life-    ~65,000 hours on low  Battery-           2032

Settings-         Auto dimming. MSRP-             $299

The rear surfaces of the Wasp are all serrated for glare reduction

Windage and elevation screws are clearly marked on the Wasp allowing for rapid zeroing of the dot. An included adjustment indicator allows for more precise adjustment rather than wasting ammunition with trial and error. 

The red dot of the Wasp is 3.5 moa in size, making it 3 ½” in diameter at 100 yards, more or less, typically the bloom and glare of dots make this an approximation. I found the dot of the Wasp to be very consistent in size and shape.

If you can’t have graduated turrets like a scope this is the next best thing

My first shot with the Wasp was at a 12” steel silhouette at about 75 yards, just because I happened to be on the rifle range. The dot presented an excellent aiming point and a slow steady trigger press was rewarded with an instant ring from a hit.

If you haven’t already noticed from the previous pictures the Wasp doesn’t have an on/ off button or a button to adjust dot brightness. This is where the Springfield Armory Wasp made the huge leap and tackled the two most important challenges for a carry optic.

The always ready HEX Wasp

A carry optic has to be on when you need it and the brightness of the dot needs to be appropriate for the lighting. In competition there is time for pushing those buttons and adjusting to the optimal setting, real life doesn’t offer those luxuries. 

The Wasp comes on when the battery goes in and a sensor adjusts the brightness based on lighting conditions. I found it was always easily visible under changing conditions outdoors as well as indoors. My eyes could not detect any major changes, but the brightness was always right and the dot visible.

The key to having a carry optic that is ready all the time is a tremendously long battery life. No one wants to re-zero their optic due to frequent battery changes or risk it going out when they need it most. The Wasp has an estimated battery life of 65,000 hours on lowest adjustment, but has a realistic 2 years at varying intensity according to Springfield Armory.

Wasp offers a clear bright view through the lens; dot is actually much more vibrant in real life

Due to the low mounting height it was very easy to pick up the dot while shooting the Wasp on the range. Close range fast targets or those at longer distances were all easily engaged. Removing sight alignment error meant it was all down to trigger control.

I wish I had an AR mount for the Wasp so I could try it on my AR-15. With the long battery life and always being on the Wasp makes a logical choice for any defensive type firearm. The 3.5 moa dot is small enough to make it a valid option out to 300 yards or so.

Durability is the only outstanding question, and unfortunately, I didn’t have 5000 rounds to blast up to see how it holds up to the punishment. However, being made of metal and glass rather than plastic and having a secure mounting system, odds are it could take it.

In case of any issues, the Wasp is also covered by a lifetime material and a 5 year electronics warranty from Springfield Armory.

Summary

Springfield Armory’s HEX Wasp overcomes the challenges that have plagued red dots for decades, making carry optics readily available.  It’s lightweight, properly sized, always on when its needed, self-adjusting for lighting conditions, and has enough battery life at a price that doesn’t break the bank.

Check out HEX OPTICS to learn more

 

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About the author: Jeff Cramblit is a world-class competitive shooter having won medals at both the 2012 IPSC World Shotgun Championship in Hungary and more recently the 2017 IPSC World Rifle Championship in Russia. He is passionate about shooting sports and the outdoors. He has followed that passion for over 30 years, hunting and competing in practical pistol, 3gun, precision rifle and sporting clays matches. Jeff is intimately familiar with the shooting industry – competitor, instructor, RO, range master, match director. Among his training credits include NRA Instructor, AR-15 armorer, FBI Rifle Instructor, and Officer Low Light Survival Instructor. As a sponsored shooter, Jeff has represented notable industry names such as: Benelli, 5.11 Tactical, Bushnell, Blackhawk, DoubleStar, and Hornady. He has been featured on several of Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery episodes and on a Downrange TV series. Jeff’s current endeavors cover a broad spectrum and he can be found anywhere from local matches helping and encouraging new shooters as they develop their own love of the sport, to the dove field with his friends, a charity sporting clays shoot, backpack hunting public land in Montana, or the winners podium of a major championship.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • James May 22, 2021, 10:39 am

    This optic has a fatal flaw. I own the hellcat RDP and absolutely love it however the hex RDS that comes with it does not hold zero. If you drop the weapon as little as a foot the Point of impact shifts dramatically and I’m not talking about a full on hit to the optic its self but a muzzle down while in a holster. if such a small impact can shift the dot as much as it did on mine it renders the optic utterly useless.

    think im going to bite the bullet and get a trijicon rmr cc

  • Bryce March 1, 2021, 5:35 pm

    Nice price point in the world of $400-600 red dot sights. What is the mounting pattern? Does it use the pattern of the Trijicon RMR or the Leupold DPP or is it proprietary?

  • David Wood March 1, 2021, 1:07 pm

    Will this red dot fit a Springfield XD Defenders Seris 9 mm 3″

  • Roy March 1, 2021, 9:58 am

    Is there a template to have a plate cut on older handguns that do not have a mounting plate to remove? It looks like a great addition to my home defense gun – A Springfield XD-S which has not mounting holes/cutout for this.

  • Cea February 23, 2021, 8:02 pm

    Just what I’ve been waiting for. I’m getting one!

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