The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Swampfox Sentinel II Micro-Red Dot [Hands-On Review]



At RECOIL, we review every product fairly and without bias. Making a purchase through one of our links may earn us a small commission, and helps support independent gun reviews. Learn More

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 a slight fish-eye to the lens. 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. 

The effect is barely notible and fades away if you're focused on just shooting the gun, but if you're looking for it, you may notice it.

SIX-MONTH UPDATE

June 2024, I've been using the Sentinel II for over 6 months and my final judgment is that I really like this dot.

The slight fish-eye is still there, but it's only when you look for it or are slow-firing groups. In any practical sense, it doesn't exist. From Back Up Gun matches to training classes, the Sentinel II has performed wonderfully.

The dot is bright, even in the Arizona sun, the Iron Sides keep the dot safe from bumps and bangs, and everything has performed perfectly.

Built-in iron sights are a big plus in my book. These fit the gun, don't get in the way, and are actually pretty easy to use.

For me, this is my Goldilocks EDC red dot. Not too small, not too big, not too heavy, just right in every way.

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!

Enter Your E-Mail to Receieve a Free 50-Target Pack from RECOIL!

NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOIL

For years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included).

Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.

You want this. Trust Us.



Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter