New Red Dot Option From Crimson Trace: The CTS-1000 Reviewed

As of late, there are so many options for red dot sights on the market. Some see this as a bad thing, but I really enjoy the huge selection that is available when shopping for an electronic sight. Crimson Trace adds to these options with their new line of electronic optics and I had the privilege to test out the CTS-1000 Combat Tactical Red Dot Sight For Rifles. This red dot brings many coveted features to the table at a lower price point with great reliability.

The CTS-1000 is tiny and powerful, perfect for many different applications.

Initial Impression

The CTS-1000 comes in a nicely padded box that includes an instruction manual, Torx wrench, and a microfiber cleaning cloth. A CR2032 battery is also included. Basically, this is all that is needed to mount the optic and head to the range, thanks to a QD style cam lock system. This locking system seemed sturdy at a glance (later proved through testing) and had a fail-safe switch on the cam lever to keep the sight from coming loose unintentionally. This mount will work on basically all m1913 Picatinny rails because there is also a mount tension adjustment which allows you to tune the sight to fit your firearm. The elevation and windage adjustments on the CTS-1000 are exposed, uncapped, coin slot adjustable dials. These dials have very definitive clicks and 1 moa/click adjustment value. Also, because of the red reflective front lens, it is obvious that this optic has a red notch filter which increases the clarity through the optic by transmitting the highest energy visible light wavelengths to the eye.

Like with all red dots, the CTS-1000 has the attractive red glow of the front lens.

The CTS-1000 also has 10 different brightness adjustments that can be seen by holding the “up” button down for 5 seconds, and once the sight has powered on, you can increase or decrease the brightness by the respective adjustments. The lowest brightness is night vision compatible and the highest is easily daylight bright, with 8 more variances in-between. If the red dot is left on a brightness higher than 7 for longer than 4.5 hours, the Intelligent Power Management system takes over and turns the brightness down in order to conserve battery power.


To test the CTS-1000, I mounted the optic on a Daniel Defense DDM4V11 Pro. I headed to the range and zero’d the sight at 100 yards with very little effort. For the next four weeks, I carried the rifle around in a backpack while coyote hunting and beat it around in the rocks as a consequence. Later, I went out and checked my zero at 100 yards and it was still perfectly sighted in. This definitely passed my stress test with flying colors.

While shooting the CTS-1000, I never wished that the dot was brighter. Often, I was shooting in direct sunlight on power 9. I do not have night vision equipment, but the lowest power range is so low that it is extremely difficult to see indoors, so I am sure that it would work well for that application.

The CTS-1000 is a great optic for a variety of weapon platforms and purposes.

Other benefits of the CTS-1000

The CTS-1000 comes with a 3-year limited-lifetime warranty which covers you for any materials or workmanship defects for the duration of that time. This sight also comes with a free batteries for life program from CTC. To take advantage of this opportunity, all you need to do is register your sight on CTC’s website and then call when you need batteries shipped to you. This program allows you one pair of batteries per product registered per calendar year.

Here, you can see the tension adjustment for the cam-lock system.

Final Thoughts

Overall, red dots are a simple product, but in some circumstances, people depend on them for their life. I would have a hard time doing the latter with any product, but I definitely have confidence in the way the CTS-1000 performs. The feature set of this red dot makes it extremely easy to use and very plug and play in the way you can unbox it and head out to go shooting with it. To me, the size and brightness of red dots can make or break them, and the 2 MOA round dot is perfect and has ample brightness levels. In the end, this is a product that I would recommend to anyone looking for a red dot optic.

The up and down brightness buttons are located on the top, front of the sight. Located directly behind them is the elevation dial.


  • 2 MOA round aiming dot
  • quick-detach Picatinny rail mount
  • 10 levels of brightness with intelligent power management
  • advanced notch coatings for maximum clarity
  • shock, impact, fog, and vibration resistant design
  • high efficiency LED for years of maintenance-free use
  • 3-year limited-lifetime warranty
  • free batteries for life program
  • battery type: (1) CR2032
  • battery life: up to 9 years
  • 1x magnification
  • MSRP: $299.00
Under the weatherproof cap, the CR2032 battery is locked into place.

To learn more about the CTS-1000, click HERE

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About the author: Riley Baxter is an avid and experienced hunter, shooter, outdoorsman, and he’s worked in the backcountry guiding for an outfitter. He also get’s a lot of enjoyment out of building or customizing his firearms and equipment. Check out Riley’s Instagram @Shooter300

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • mark December 30, 2019, 8:55 am

    where are these sights made? country of origin?

    • johnnyraygun December 30, 2019, 12:40 pm

      I appears to be made by Holosun. Holosun makes red-dot sights for Sig and others.

    • justjim December 30, 2019, 1:54 pm

      Thank you. My questions exactly.

  • DJ Statz September 24, 2019, 1:13 am

    Why not Green and Red. Why Red only. Is there just a DOT. This article they did not show what type of DOT. So I guess just a dot.

    I’ll check it out, but just a DOT AND RED ONLY. I’m not to excited.

  • johnnyraygun September 23, 2019, 7:38 pm

    “Comes with a three year warranty”. Get out C/T,,,,,,,, Vortex, Burris and Bushnell all give a lifetime, no questions asked warranty. I own several C/T lasers, but not this product, thank you.

  • hildebrand , charles September 23, 2019, 7:20 am

    could you please send me a catelogue of your products. or is all on your websight?

    charles m.hildebrand
    15114 oak spur street
    san antonio, texas 78232

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