Review: Leupold DeltaPoint Micro
Leupold is one of a handful of companies producing a highly technical product in America that is nonetheless on par with the very best such products in the world. This is true whether the subject is traditional, magnified scopes, red-dot sights or miniature red-dot sights (MRDS). The company’s latest innovation is the DeltaPoint Micro, a small, enclosed MRDS that fits into the rear dovetail of your handgun’s iron sights.
Looking like a tiny grenade launcher with a single contact-lens case affixed, the DP Micro attaches with two included Torx screws to a mount that fits in the rear dovetail. Unload the pistol, remove the slide, drift out the original sight, insert the mount, reattach the slide to the frame, then screw the sight to the mount. The system is both simple and secure. Though gunsmith installation is recommended, if you have a sight pusher or access to a vise, (soft) punch and mallet, you can likely do it yourself.
The advantages to the mounting system are numerous. Not only is it simple, it obviates having a slide cut to accommodate the sight if your pistol isn’t MRDS-ready. This is a boon to the consumer, but even more of a selling point to large law-enforcement or security agencies that want to transition to optic-equipped handguns.
Another advantage to the low mounting position is that the red-dot of the DP Micro co-witnesses with the front sight post without the need for a suppressor-height sight.
Further, the low-mounted sight can, in the event of an electronic failure, function as a ghost-ring iron sight. There are two unilluminated dots on either side of the rear aperture that can be aligned with the pistol’s front post to keep you in the fight. Such a scenario is unlikely, though, as the DP Micro, being fully enclosed, is double tough (and waterproof and fogproof). Moreover, it has a long battery life, goes into battery-conserving sleep mode when not in use and includes a motion detector to bring the unit to life when movement is detected. Leupold asserts the battery will last an impressive 3.5 years when powered on at setting 4.
The circuitry is encapsulated in the short, cylindrical case that hangs off the back of the slide. While not pretty, it is cleverly innovative. Should there be a problem with the circuitry, the case can be swapped out for a new one without having to remove (or re-zero) the sight.
The DP Micro’s appearance, while contributory to function, is a bit disconcerting. It’s small, but not inconspicuous. On the bright side, it allows an equipped pistol to fit standard holsters. On the other hand, you’ll have to get used to lifting your cover garment a bit higher during the draw, especially if you opt for appendix carry. As for weight, the unit is light to the point of insignificance. I couldn’t perceive a weight difference with the DP Micro mounted on a fully loaded Glock G23.
In use, the DP Micro exhibits all of the advantages of a MRDS with few of the drawbacks. Its 3-MOA dot, which has eight brightness settings and is compatible with night-vision gear, allows you to have both the target and dot in the same focal plane. Windage and elevation are easily adjusted with a small Allen wrench (also included). Rough sight-in is especially easy as you merely have to move the red dot over the front post.
Those transitioning from irons to an MRDS will likely have an easier time of it with the DP Micro. Most MRDS scopes force adopters to relearn how high they raise their gun to get it up on target. Typically, they have to hold the pistol a little lower than they’re used to because the MRDS is relatively high. With the new Leupold unit, however, the “scope” is much closer to the bore axis and the dot co-witnesses with the front sight, so you raise the pistol to the same height you always have—the learning curve is much shorter.
MSRP is more than $500, but expect an actual street price of $399.99. This places it right in the thick of the MRDS market, which is a bargain for Leupold quality. This is an aluminum-housed sight with high-grade lenses and a lifetime warranty, after all.
- Manufacturer: Leupold
- Magnification: 1X
- Reticle: 3 MOA red dot
- Adjustability: Elevation, 100 MOA; Windage 180 MOA
- Eye Relief: Unlimited
- Length: 2.25 inches
- Height: 1.25 inches
- Weight: 1.1 ounces
- Accessories: 3V lithium battery (1632), mounting screws, installation and adjustment wrenches, manual
- MSRP: $519.99
- On Target: Keeps holster fits; makes aiming easy
- Off Target: Adds length to gear
- Article by Daniel McElrath