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Red Dot Proliferation

At some point in the last couple of years, slide-mounted miniaturized red dot sights on pistols have become totally mainstream.

In the 1990s, the appearance of miniaturized red dots had enthusiastic early adopters sticking them on pistol slides, but it was a purely ad hoc, aftermarket sort of thing until the commercial release of the FNX-45 Tactical, which came from the factory with suppressor-height sights and the slide cut to accept several optics via the use of included adaptor plates.

This was about the same time as Trijicon launched its “Ruggedized Miniature Reflex” sight, and the concept the slide-mounted red dot has since proliferated across the entire spectrum of the handgun market, from the most expensive to the…let’s say the “very price-sensitive” end of the market.

Remington’s booth at NRAAM this year included a range of Custom Shop variations of their R1 1911-pattern pistol. Prominent among them was a stainless long-slide 10mm, featuring engraving apparently intended to depict the critters you could shoot with it, as well as a slide cut to accommodate a Trijicon RMR via adaptor plate.

A more mainstream segment of the market, at least relative to $2000+ custom 1911s, was seen at the Beretta display, where the usual array of 92-pattern pistols was joined by an expanding variety of striker-fired APX models. Among these, the APX RDO and APX Combat models were easily spotted, with a wide variety of the currently available optics mounted to their slides.

But the clue that the slide-mounted MRDS concept has effectively permeated the entire market came at the little display booth of FMK Firearms.

Front and center in their display was the FMK Elite, a variant of their basic pistol that comes from the factory cut to accept either a Vortex Viper or Burris Fastfire 3 miniature red dot.

The pistol accepts Glock 19 sights and ships with both regular & suppressor-height sights in the box. The mag well is beveled and the slide features forward cocking serrations, and all these features come in at an extremely reasonable price point, since the MSRP is just $475.95, and is only bumped to $679.95 with the optic included from the factory.

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