First Look: Crimson Trace Red Dots
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in Section Gear Reviews
Long known for its dependable line of light and laser sights, Crimson Trace announced an expansion of its product line with the launch of five all-new red-dot sights. These simple, intuitive optics have grown popular in recent years as competitors, hunters and professionals topped their rifles, shotguns and handguns with dot sights that allow for easy shot placement with a single-plane aiming point.
The first red-dot optic offered in the Crimson Trace collection is the CTS-1000, which is an enclosed, 1X unit complete with a 2-MOA aiming dot. The optic is built for use on today's modern sporting rifles and ships with a quick-detach Picatinny mount. The dot is adjustable for windage and elevation and comes complete with a push-button rheostat that allows users to fine-tune the brightness of the aiming dot. Crimson Trace has not yet announced an exact battery life for the optic, but the company's initial release promises "years of uninterrupted service" from the single battery provided.
Next up in the red-dot roundup is the Crimson Trace CTS-1100, a magnified battlesight complete with 3.5X magnification and featuring a specially developed hybrid BDC reticle designed by company engineers that provide holdover points for many of today's modern sporting rifles. An included Picatinny-rail mount allows users to attach the sight easily to any optics rail, and the large objective lens offers a wider field of view. The aluminum housing provides complete waterproof operation, and a CR2032 battery provides extended battery life.
Moving away from rifles, Crimson Trace's CTS-1200 is built to mount onto today's optics-cut pistol slides. The reflex sight's window provides a large, easy-to-see aiming reticle that measures 3.25 MOA. Once the optic is mounted onto a handgun and zeroed with the built-in windage and elevation adjustments, users don't have to worry about disturbing their sight to change out batteries, thanks to a side-mounted battery compartment. Other intuitive controls allow owners to fine-tune reticle brightness to match ambient lighting.
Another rifle-oriented red dot in the Crimson Trace lineup is the CTS-1300, an open design that's more compact than some of the company's closed-housing designs built for use on long guns. The minimized size of the CTS-1300 offers a large, easily seen 3.5-MOA aiming point, while reducing overall weight and leaving more rail space for mounting additional optics and accessories. The water-resistant design incorporates fully multi-coated lenses, and the included Picatinny-rail mounting system can be removed to accommodate other mounting options on the market.
Finally, the Crimson Trace CTS-1400 follows the CTS-1300 as another open-top reflex optic designed for rifles and shotguns. The aiming dot on this design is slightly smaller than the previous optic, providing a 3.25-MOA aiming point for increased precision at distance. While the exterior is built similarly to the CTS-1300, the CTS-1400 incorporates an automatic shut-off feature that detects inactivity and powers down the optic to save battery life.
All of the new optics in the Crimson Trace red-dot lineup are compatible with night-vision equipment, ensuring that users can operate with the easy-aiming equipment in a range of environments without issue. The sights are built with a durable housing machined from aluminum and are sealed to prevent moisture entry. The optics are waterproof-rated and are also impervious to penetration from dust and fog. Clear-coated lenses ensure that the sight picture is unimpeded and always in clear focus, from edge to edge.
All of the new red-dot sights in the lineup are covered under Crimson Trace's Free Batteries for Life program. Suggested retail pricing on the Crimson Trace red-dot optics lineup starts at $199.
This article first appeared on Shooting Illustrated