Range Report: Trijicon's SRO Pistol Red Dot

Trijicon’s marketing for the SRO is focused on target and competitive shooters, but retailers should anticipate sales among handgun hunting and self-defense customers too.

Range Report: Trijicon's SRO Pistol Red Dot

At the 2019 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, Trijicon Inc. introduced its newest optic, the Specialized Reflex Optic, or Trijicon SRO, a red-dot-style sight Trijicon is marketing for pistol competition and target shooting. 

The Trijicon SRO sports a much larger lens than its forerunner, the Trijicon RMR. But the SRO also uses the same base “footprint” as the RMR, so the sight is easily mounted on many popular red-dot-ready pistols and onto most existing RMR mounts. I recently had the opportunity to use a new-in-the-box SRO and found the larger lens does provide a much faster sighting capability than its RMR older brother. My SRO zeroed quickly, handled low-light very well and provided excellent accuracy up close and at distance. The controls are also very easy to use.

While Trijicon’s marketing for the SRO is focused on target and competitive shooters, retailers should anticipate sales among handgun hunting and self-defense customers too.

My Glock 20 10mm Auto pistol already had an RMR mounted on it, so it was very to switch to the SRO. I simply removed the hex screws holding the RMR to the base plate, replaced it with the SRO and re-attached the same screws.

At my outdoor range, it was bright and sunny during my first session with the SRO. I set the SRO to a mid-level illumination and the 2.5 MOA red dot was easy to see and hold on target. The SRO can also be had in models with 1 and 5 MOA red dots.  

I zeroed the SRO at 10 yards from a rest, then, I tried it out at various distances firing from supported and unsupported positions.

I started my range work with Sig Sauer’s Elite V-Crown 10mm ammunition firing a 180-grain JHP bullet. My first shots pegged several inches low and to the left. The SRO’s elevation and windage click at 1 MOA adjustments at 100 yards. Many clicks up and to the right got me closer; several more clicks put me right on the bullseye.

I shot several five-shot groups with the Sig ammunition, and then switched to Federal Premium’s 10mm with a 180-grain Hydra-Shok JHP bullet and Hornady’s Custom 10mm with a 180-grain XTP bullet.

All brands of ammunition printed groups well less than 1.25 inches, usually with three of the shots clustering nearly on top of each other. The two best groups were recorded with the Sig 10mm at 0.72 and 0.62 inches. 

I then moved to the 25-yard line and, shooting from a rest, used the same three ammunition brands. I had no problem bringing in five-shot groups at 2 inches, often with two to three of the shots touching.

Next, I took on some human silhouette targets at 15 yards, firing three shot groups fairly quickly. The red dot got back on target quickly even with 10mm recoil. My best group saw shots No. 1 and No. 2 hit near the center of the silhouette at just 1.24 inches apart, while shot No. 3 went a bit wide and extended the group total to 2.14 inches. 

I also used the SRO during the evening just before sunset when the gloom was heavy, and on a second day in very cloudy conditions. The red dot cut right through the gloom and lower light; the illumination was easily adjusted with the push buttons on the sides of the SRO.

Last, I switched optics and put the RMR back onto the Glock 20 and shot three magazines. It was quite a change.

My Impressions

The RMR is a solid optic. I’ve used one successfully at the range and in the field while hunting, but the SRO’s sight picture is so much larger that I get on targets faster with the SRO versus the RMR. That larger sight picture also allowed me to get back on target quicker after the first shot when recoil moves the red dot. I don’t have the hi-tech electronic equipment needed to truly to measure the time it takes to get back on target between shots, but I’d guestimate it took me a quarter- to a half-second less using the SRO over the RMR.

The SRO features eight brightness settings, including one “Super Bright" mode and two “Night Vision" modes. The frame of the unit is made of tough, forged 7075 aluminum and the lens glass is tempered. Trijicon rates the internal electronics as able to take the recoil from 30,000 or more rounds.

The SRO runs on one CR 2032 battery and can be left on for up to three years if at a brightness setting between four and eight. That battery is also easily loaded from the top of the unit. The RMR battery, meanwhile, is loaded from the bottom on the optic, meaning you must remove the RMR to change the battery, and then you may well have to re-zero it. 

After speaking with Trijicon’s Global Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Chuck Wahr, and several members of his team, one huge plus for offering the SRO became clear: Many customers come to stores in search of optic thanks to a significant marketing effort by Trijicon.  

Trijicon’s marketing push for the SRO includes review articles in all the major shooting sports publications — both consumer and industry — as well as a wide range of advertisements in print and on various television shows. Trijicon is also devoting significant resources to promoting the SRO on social media and in the digital sphere.

For 2019, Trijicon sponsored more than a dozen shooting events across the nation where the SRO was featured by many of the competitors. The company has assembled a team of 20 professional shooters who will use the optic in competitions and other shooting venues, too. 

How to Sell Them

For actual in-store advice? Trijicon suggested displaying an SRO on top of the product box, preferably on an upper shelf, so customers can get a good look at the size of the lens. Mounting an SRO on a blue gun is also a great way for customers to experience the advantages of the SRO and its large lens. Trijicon also offers a range program that can help get the optic into shooter’s hands.

The Trijicon sales team is happy to work with each of their dealers on a case-by-case basis for marketing support. A dealer who has a specific need and doesn’t know who to contact should access the Trijicon website, click on the “Contact Us” tab, and relay their needs to the company. The appropriate representative will get back to the dealer in a timely manner.

Trijicon can also supply a dealer with SRO-specific sales and spec sheets, a high-quality video showing the SRO features and applications, as well as SRO stickers and patches.

Given the popularity of the RMR, some potential SRO customers will undoubtedly ask, “Why buy the SRO when there’s already the RMR?”

Dealers should point out that the two optics were in fact made and designed for different end users. Trijicon built the RMR with the military, law enforcement and concealed carry customers in mind, while the SRO and its larger lens were created for range and competition use.

Of course, if an optic works well on the range and in competition, that optic can have other uses, too. Expect handgun hunters, for example, to show a good deal of interest in the SRO. The large lens will put hunters on game fast; the precision of the red dot and the ability to tailor that dot’s illumination to environmental conditions are exactly what hunters need afield.

It looks like Trijicon has hit another home run. The smart retailer will get up to speed now to determine if the SRO is a good fit for their customer base.

Trijicon Specialized Reflex Optic

Magnification: 1x
Parallax:  None
Lens: Tempered glass
Dot Size: As tested, 2.5 MOA (Also available with 1 and 5 MOA Dot)
Illumination: Eight brightness settings including one Super Bright Mode and two Night Vision Modes
Housing: 7075-T6 forged aluminum
Durability: Electronics can withstand 30,000+ rounds 
Dimensions: (L x W x H) 2.2 x 1.3 x 1.4 in.
Weight: 1.6 ounces (w/ battery)
Eye Relief: Unlimited
Elevation/Windage Adjustments: 1 MOA Click Value at 100 yds.
Adjustments Range: 150 MOA
Battery: 1 CR2032
Battery life: Three years on setting of 4 to 8
Waterproof: To 10 feet
Misc: Manual and automatic LED brightness modes; compatible with most RMR mounts and many optics-ready pistols

MSRP:  $739


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