Review of the Leupold Deltapoint Reflex Sight
“The times, they are a changin’.” Much like how the advent of “red dot” optics have revolutionized the world of long guns, similar optics systems are starting to find their way onto handguns in recent years.
Last year, a friend of mine (we’ll call him John…because..well.. that’s his name) sent his M&P 9c to Bowie Tactical Concepts for a lengthy list of modifications for be performed – the most significant of which was the installation of a Leupold Deltapoint Reflex optic. It took six months for Bowie to finish the work (he actually mills out the slide to mount the Deltapoint closer to the bore axis, which also makes concealed carrying the Deltapoint equipped firearm easier. Almost immediately his scores in the Tactical Shooting League we both participate in started going up. John is a faster shooter than I am, but traditionally I shot more accurately than he did. But once he got his optic equipped pistol, he was consistently placing in the top five of all shooters in our league – very impressive improvement. It didn’t take me long to want to even the playing field between us, and I acquired my own Leopold Deltapoint equipped M&P 9c with a custom milled slide (complete with co-witnessed back up iron sites) also done by Bowie Tactical:
The Deltapoint is available in two different reticles – a 7.5 MOA triangle version, and a 3.5 MOA dot version. Both versions are otherwise identical, and feature zeroing adjustments for windage and elevation. I was fortunate enough to find a Bowie Tactical Concepts modified M&P 9c pre-owned and virtually unfired – it had the 7.5 MOA triangle version installed. Having intended to send my own M&P 9c to David Bowie to perform his magic, I had already purchased the 3.5 MOA dot version of the Deltapoint – so I’ve been able to use and evaluate both versions. Here’s a photo looking through the Deltapoint optic – it’s hard to capture what the triangle-like “dot” actually looks like in a photograph, but this is the 7.5 MOA version (you’ll also see the co-witnessed back up iron sites installed by Bowie):
Which version you will prefer comes down to individual choice, how you’ll be using the gun, and a bit on your eyesight. The 3.5 MOA dot does on paper afford the ability to be more precise, while the 7.5 MOA will be easier/faster for target acquisition. I’ve kept the 7.5 MOA version on my pistol, and here’s an example of what I can consistently do from 25 ft.:
So you can appreciate just how small that 12 round grouping is, here’s a second photo which offers some scale to the image:
Could I do that with iron sights at 25 ft.? Quite possibly, sure. Could I consistently do that with iron sights at 25 ft.? No…not that tight. I’m both faster and more accurate using the Deltapoint which is a huge advantage both from a competition and tactical/self-defense point of view.
Does the Deltapoint have any serious disadvantages? Absolutely. You’re introducing an electronic device to an inherently more reliable mechanical one. The possibility that the Deltapoint Optic will fail due to any number of reasons is very real, as I recently found out during one of our league competitions. “Is the shooter ready? Standby…….BEEEEEP!” I reached in my holster, drew my weapon, and looked through a blank lens on the Deltapoint optic….no “red dot” was present. Much to my chagrin, the battery had run out on the Deltapoint. I had just fired 100 rounds through the gun the night before at the range too – there was no readily apparent indication that the battery was running low either – it just quit working. So does this mean the Deltapoint shouldn’t be used on a concealed carry/self defense weapon? Not necessarily, no. Because I do carry the weapon, I’ll now be changing the battery every 90 days whether it needs changing or not. The lithium ion batteries used by the Leupold Deltapoint aren’t very expensive so it makes sense to me to go ahead and change them out on a regular basis. Of course most handgun self-defense engagement take place in the 8-10 ft. range, and most people loose the presence of mind to even use their sights (electronic or otherwide) due to the stress of such and engagement – most simply “point and shoot.” Still, if you plan on using a weapon with an electronic sight system like the Leupold Deltapoint, I strongly recommend having custom back up iron sites installed, as is the case with my M&P 9c done by Bowie Tactical.
Amazon.com carries the all versions of the Leupold Deltapoint Reflex Sight with great discounts and can be found by clicking below:
Leupold Deltapoint on Amazon.com – CLICK HERE
Depending on which mounting version you get, it costs about $400.00.
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.