Red Dot Sights

Overview


Red dot sights have been standard issue with IDF SF and regular units since the mid-1990's, effectively replacing iron sights, which now function only as backup.

Red dot sights enable rapid target acquisition with both eyes open, while maintaining situational awareness, and are particularly effective in close range engagements. They are sometimes combined with an optional magnifier for medium range engagement, and can be ordered in variety of reticles' sizes, colors (such as red or amber) and reticles' shapes (such as dot, triangle and chevron).

Red dot sights can be grouped into three primary categories based on the power source that illuminates the optic’s reticle:

  • Non-battery powered optics - such as the Meprolight Mepro 21, use an integrated fiber optic for ambient light collection during daytime and a Tritium during nighttime.

  • Battery-powered optics - such as the Meprolight M5.

  • Triple illuminated optics - such as the Meprolight MOR, use fiber optic, Tritium and a battery.

Non-battery powered optics are relatively cheap, compact, lightweight, reliable due to minimal moving parts or electric circuits and of course don't require batteries. However, their reticle is less visible and tends to wash out when aiming at bright areas. This effect occurs during strong sunlight or when aiming within a dark environment toward a bright area and even during room clearing when using high-power weapon mounted flashlights. This issue can be partially addressed by mounting an optional polarized filter on the sight but the filter becomes a burden when operating in a dark environment. Battery-powered red dot optics, provide a clearer point of aim during all lighting conditions, but require a power source.

While battery-free red dot sights were widely popular with SF units worldwide in the 1990's, today's battery-powered optics are the standard as they feature highly efficient power consumption, with some optics able to operate for thousands of hours without the need for a battery replacement. In addition, modern multifunction aiming sights such as MOR integrate laser pointers, making for a highly effective and comprehensive aiming solution.

 

History


The era of red dot sights in the IDF began in the early 1990's when Elbit won a the IDF contract to develop its first red dot sight. The result was the Falcon, one of the first military grade red dot sights introduced. The Falcon entered service in 1997 and became the IDF first standard issue red dot sight.

In the mid 1990's, prior to the Falcon mass introduction, Israeli Law Enforcement  units in an immediate need for a red dot optic were issued large quantities of the Trijicon Reflex. The optic was also issued to select IDF SF units and became the first red dot sight used by the Israeli SF.

In late 1990's sporadic samples of the Meprolight Mepro 21 entered service with IDF SF units. In 2002 Meprolight Mepro 21 won the IDF bid for its new standard issue red dot sight and began gradually replacing the Falcon. In the years to follow more advanced red dot optics entered service with the Israeli SF, most notably the ITL MARS, Meprolight MOR and EOTech.

In 2015 the Mepro M5 won the IDF bid for its new standard issue red sight and has been replacing legacy optics since. In 2016, after it has been in service with the IDF SF for few years, the MOR also won a formal IDF bid, and is replacing older optics and standalone laser pointers alike.

Today, the M5 and MOR and the most common optics used by the Israeli SF bringing long due standardization to red dot optics. 

 

Variants


The Meprolight M5 and MOR are the IDF current standard issue red dot sights, and are currently replacing legacy sights in service. The M5 and MOR are expected to gradually bring long-due standardization to the IDF issue of red dot sights.

Models

Illumination

Other Features

Meprolight M5

Battery

-

Meprolight MOR

Fiber optic

Tritium

Battery

IR Laser

Visual Laser

Meprolight Mepro 21

Fiber optic

Tritium

-

ITL MARS

Battery

IR Laser

EOTech

Battery

-

Trijicon Reflex

Fiber optic

Tritium

-

Elbit Falcon

Battery

-

TriPower

Fiber optic

Tritium

Battery

-

YAMAM operator during training armed with a M4 fitted with a Simon RLEM, rubber but stock, an Aimpoint and a rail system. The operator is also armed with a Glock tacked in one of the vest's empty magazine pouch, and is equipped with a KATA vest, an Oakley protective eyewear and a helmet mounted flashlight .

Optics Guide