Featured NEW From Swampfox Comes The Sentinel II Micro-Red Dot [First Look][Hands-On Review] David Lane October 30, 2023 Join the Conversation Most brands claim to take user feedback when developing a new product, but very few do that as genuinely and diligently as Swampfox. Something that has continually impressed me is Swampfox’s willingness to make major tweaks with every generation and incorporate real change into the designs. The Sentinel II is one such example and is a wildly different option than the first generation and makes some major steps. While it isn’t perfect, I think it will be a real contender in the micro-red dot world. SPECS: FOOTPRINT: ShieldRMSc MAGNIFICATION: 1x RETICLE: 3 MOA dot ILLUMINATION: Red/green BRIGHTNESS SETTINGS: 10(2NV),manual LENS SIZE: 20mm PARALLAX: Parallax free at 33yards EYE RELIEF: Unlimited MAX ELEVATION ADJUSTMENT: 80 MOA MAX WINDAGE ADJUSTMENT: 80 MOA CLICK VALUE: 1 MOA REAR SIGHT GUIDE: Blackout/tritium, removable CONSTRUCTION: 7075-T6 aluminum LENS COATING: Fully multi-coated, anti-scratch/fog/water BATTERY: (1)CR2023, bottom-loaded BATTERY LIFE: Up to 50,000hours, Shake N’ Wake auto on/off DIMENSIONS: 1.84”(L)x1.07”(W)x1.07”(H) WEIGHT: 0.99oz. WATERPROOF RATING: IPX7 IMPACT RESISTANCE: 1,500g-force PROTECTIVE SHIELD: Yes (sold separately) MSRP: $269.00(Blackout), $299.00(Tritium) OUT OF THE BOX When Swampfox told me about the Sentinel II and showed me the spec sheet, I was pretty excited. Irons out front is something that hasn’t caught on yet in the micro-compact pistol world, and this gives the ability to have them right in the dot. Not only does this protect the dot a little more, but it also perfectly places the rear sight for use. Combined with the iron sides shield, green dot, and battery specs — I was enthusiastic to get this dot in hand for some testing. Installing the Sentinel II is straightforward and easy. The iron sides and rear sight are a little fiddly, but not by much. The bottom-loaded battery is a disappointment since it means the optic must be re-zeroed whenever the battery is changed. But between the extremely long life and the shake awake/auto-off feature, it’s really not that big of a deal. Mounted on my SIG Sauer P365 I went with the iron sides installed to see if they got in the way when carrying conciled. The good news is they don’t. The bad-ish news is the dot is really designed around using the iron sides. With the iron side installed, the dot buttons are well-protected and not easy to press by accident. Without the iron side, the buttons are pretty exposed. I’ve never had an issue with having my dot’s buttons accidentally pressed while carrying, but it is a thing that does happen, and the Sentinel II without the iron side really doesn’t have anything to prevent it. So far, I haven’t seen a downside to using the iron side, and I quite like it. But it is an extra part and adds a little to the price tag. ON THE RANGE The good news first. Shooting the Sentinel II is pretty nice. The backup iron sight is great, the glass is clear, the dot is very crisp and bright, and even with the iron side installed, it isn’t overly large or gets in the way. Bad news is there is more fish-eye than with some other optics. At first, I thought this was a one-off problem. The unit Swampfox sent me was pre-release, so that kind of thing can happen. Swampfox sent a second Sentinel II out for me to take a look at and RMA’d the first unit, but side-by-side, the fish-eye effect is identical. While it isn’t a significant problem, it is noticeable and worse at shorter distances. Outside of about 7 yards, it's less noticeable and doesn't get in the way. Once I got over it, shooting was good. As mentioned, the dot is crisp, bright, and points well. Even shooting with the new rear iron sight was pretty easy and nice to do. LOOSE ROUNDS This is still in the first phase of testing for me. I shoot my CCW a lot and plan on putting a good number of rounds under this dot. On paper, the specs are pretty awesome and exactly what I’ve been looking for. The bottom-load battery I can forgive. The buttons being designed to kind of rely on the iron side, I can understand. And more time will tell if this lives up to the durability needs of a CCW. More information to come! 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