The Advantages of Using A Trijicon RMR Sight

There aren’t many sights that can work on every platform, but Trijicon’s sights may be the closest ones to filling that role. For that it takes a sight that can stand up to the abuse of heavy kickbacks and be wrapped up in a small package. Trijicon’s RMRs deliver on this and more, making them a great option for any shooter.

What Is A Trijicon RMR Sight?

Trijicon is known for putting out quality optics and this sight is no different. The ‘RMR’ its title is short for ‘Rugged Miniaturized Reflex’, which highlights what makes makes this sight different from the competition:

Rugged – These sights are built to take a beating. Constructed to Mil-spec standards using 7075-T6 aircraft aluminium-alloy,, they have a patented shape that absorbs impacts and diverts stresses away from the lens. This helps the sights hold their zero through the recoils of rifles, handguns, and even shotguns.

Miniaturized – RMRs are some of the smallest reflex sights on the market. At a size of 1.8″x1.1″x1.0″ they’re able to fit on any rail without adding bulk. The compact dimensions are made possible by their unique open-style design which incorporates just a single lens with minimal housing. Their low-profile makes these sights great as a primary tactical optic or backup sight.

Reflex – Trijicon RMRs work like any other reflex sight by reflecting light off the optical lens to form the reticle that the shooter sees when looking through it. The LED and Adjustable LED versions use an internal LED as the illumination source while the Dual Illuminated version utilizes fiber optic and tritium as the source. Between these versions there are plenty of reticle options that range from 3.25 MOA to 13 MOA in size and circular or triangular shape.

Three Versions

The Trijicon RMR series comes in three different versions: LED, Adjustable LED, and Dual Illuminated. They all share the same core specs like housing shape, lens design, and size, but differ when it comes to illumination settings. With multiple options shooters shouldn’t have a problem finding on that fits their needs.

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LED & Adjustable LED

trijicon ledThe two LED versions of the RMR are each powered by a single CR2032 battery that should give it 2 years of life for the LED and around 4 years of life for the Adjustable LED in typical use cases.

The difference between the two is stated in their names. The LED version automatically adjusts reticle brightness to the ambient light while the Adjustable version allows the user to manually set the reticle brightness to 8 different settings.

The non-adjustable version does a good job of setting the brightness to always allow the reticle to be clearly seen, but if you’re looking for complete control then the adjustable version is the way to go.

The LED works like in most other reflex sights, where it creates collimated light that reflects off the lens back into the shooters eye, thereby creating the reticle. LEDs are great because they don’t draw a lot of energy which allows for such a long battery life. Both versions have two reticle options: a 3.25 or 6.5 MOA dot in red. The smaller size should give good precision shots out to a few hundred yards, while the larger dot is great for close quarter targeting.


Dual Illuminated

trijicon dual illuminatedThis version forgoes the internal battery for the passive combination of fiber optics and tritium-phosphor lamp. Together this pair provides constant illumination through high- and low-light conditions without the need for a battery.

During the day the reticle is primarily powered through the fiber optics that line the outer housing, which collect incident sunlight and pipe it to the lens. The brightness and contrast automatically adjusts to the surrounding light conditions as it gathers more or less light depending on the environment.

In low-light levels the tritium-phosphor lamp then becomes the primary power source. Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that decays, exciting the phosphor atoms which produce light. Trijicon uses these same lamps in its tritium night sights, and is the first to do it in reflex sights. The tritium will provide a constant illumination source for years on end, and is completely passive so you never have to worry about turning it on or off.

This version has different reticle options than the previous ones. There is either a 7 or 13 MOA yellow dot available. Or, a 9 MOA green dot or a 12 MOA green triangle.

Platform Versatility

Trijicon RMR sights are capable of operating effectively on a wide range of firearm platforms because of their small size and multiple mounting options. This allows shooters to use them in everything from target shooting, to self defense, to hunting. Here we’ll talk about the RMR’s application on each platform.


trijicon acog rmrRMRs are the only reflex sight which can be used as either a primary or secondary optic depending on how it is configured on the weapon system. As a primary optic mounted on the top rail, the RMR delivers all the advantages of using a red dot sight. The added benefit is that its compact size makes it ideal for tactical, small-profile weapons where overall size matters, and rail space is at a premium for additional gear.

However, what they really excel at is operating as a secondary optic on a system that uses magnified primary optic. Anyone who has run a magnified optic knows that it is near useless for close target engagements. That need to be able to transition quickly from mid-long range shooting to CQC distances has led to backup sights becoming more common for people who find themselves in defensive roles.

Backup sights need to be light weight and subdued so that they stay out of the way until needed. This has typically meant iron sights, but now RMRs can provide the same utility. They can be mounted to a 45 degree offset rail to be used with a quick rotation of the gun. Another option is to mount them directly on top of the primary optic itself. Trijicon specifically builds its ACOG 4x scope with a mounting option for the RMR.


trijicon rmr handgunTrijicon RMR sights are one of the few reflex sights that are practical to use on smaller weapons like pistols. For the most part, other reflex sights, which are tube-style, are too bulky to be effective and don’t allow for a good holster fit.

Pistol sights need to be low-profile and unobtrusive so that they don’t negatively affect the shooter’s draw motion or get caught on something in the process. The compact size of the RMR’s open-style design allows for it to fit perfectly on a pistol’s smaller frame and in a holster without any problems.

Similarly, other sights aren’t able to take the abuse that comes with a handgun’s recoil. Since they are attached directly to the slide, every shot whips the sigh back and forth as the slide kicks back. Pistol sights need to have a solid construction and mount so that they can hold their zero after repeated shots. RMRs are specifically built to handle such heavy impacts through their optimized shape.

Shotters will gain a handful of benefits by upgrading from a pistol’s iron sights to a Trijicon RMR sight; faster target acquisition, improved accuracy, and an open sight picture. One improvement that is often overlooked is how these sights can help in low-light shooting situations. They will outperform other dedicated night sights which are tritium based in dark environments.


rmr shotgunThe above average reticle size options for RMRs are well suited for shotguns. Typical red dot sights have dot reticles in the 2-4 MOA range, which is great for precision shooting, but not very useful when it comes to shotguns. Both LED versions offer a 6.5 MOA dot, while the Dual Illuminated version goes all the way up to 13.0 MOA.

The larger sizes cover more target area and give a better representation of shotgun spread at close distances. Target acquisition is sped up since getting a larger reticle over a target’s center mass takes less effort and precision.

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