Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS PRO mil-spec red dot sight Review
Can the Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS PRO mil-spec red dot sight deliver?
So far, yes!
I have shot hundreds of rounds through various firearms that were wearing the Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS Pro (Amazon link) and it has worked perfectly every time. More on this below…
Who is Meprolight?
We met with the Mako Group, an importer of products made in Israel, and Meprolight team at the NRA show in May. The sales manager got us up to speed on the scope of the Meprolight brand (here is the booth video). Many of their products are used by the Israeli military, like the M21 sight, which is the standard issue sight on the Tavor and AR platform rifles. He said that the Israeli military is also starting to buy and use the new RDS sights as well. In my humble opinion, there is a real problem with companies claiming products are “mil-spec”. It usually means absolutely nothing and is misleading, at best. In this case, Meprolight doesn’t just call their sights “mil-spec”. Their products are actually made to specific military standards and used by the Israeli military. Contrast this to the US military that issues Aimpoint, Trijicon ACOG, EOtech, and some Elcan combat optics.
Now is probably a good time to note that this review is for the PRO model of the Mepro Tru-Dot RDS. They also make a consumer version of the RDS which looks nearly identical and functions the same, but is not over-built and tested to the same degree as the true mil-spec PRO version. Can you spot the difference?
Red Dot sights like to tease me
Having shot many thousands of rounds through firearms equipped with a wide variety of red dot sights I have developed a bit of a Love/Hate relationship with red dots. Most red dots that I have tried have worked well for just long enough to inspire confidence… then failed .
Sure. I admit that I am a bit rough on sights. After all, they are mounted on rifles. My rifles are for shooting, not display pieces. When the Gear Report team heads to the range I often have 5 – 10 rifles tossed in the back of the van. I’m not going into combat, but still see to break red dot sights with surprising efficiency. Maybe that is because the Boy Scout in me tends towards Thrifty goodies. I have tried a variety of “budget” red dot optics and have only found one or two that held up for more than a few trips to the range. Of the survivors I still half expect them to break next time I try to use them.
It is with this history that I dove into the field testing of the Mepro RDS PRO mil-spec red dot sight. I am jaded. I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect a sight to work.
Why am I struggling to write about the Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS Pro Red Dot sight?
Because it has one of the characteristics of all great combat optics: it is boring as hell!
And that is awesome!
The biggest compliment I can give a combat optic is when I completely forget about it.
Sounds odd, I know, but as I sat down to write this review I realized that when a sight is simple, reliable and effective, then I can focus on whatever I am doing and NOT on the optic. The Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS PRO Red Dot sight just works… every time we throw it on something. It may be the most drama-free item in our entire review inventory.
Let’s see if I can find something to tell you about this sight…
- Installation was easy with two quick disconnect clamps that secure it to any standard picatinny rail.
- Operation is dead simple with one battery and one rotary knob. There is practically no learning curve.
- The Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS PRO sight runs on a standard AA battery. I already have lots of AA rechargeable batteries. It makes me happy NOT to have to use CR-123 batteries.
- The Mepro red dot has required no sighting on our .300 BLK testbed AR. It was dead-on right out of the box. The RDS Pro required minimal initial sighting on one other rifle.
- The Meprolight RDS Pro Red Dot sight has held zero perfectly through use on various rifles, including a long stint on our Slide Fire equipped .300 Blk AR15.
- With a large viewing window it is easy to “find” the dot and quickly get on target.
As you can see, for a combat optic, “boring as hell” is a good thing. The reason I had to think hard on what to write about it is that the Meprolight RDS Pro Red Dot sight is simple, intuitive, and drama free.
To be fair I just dug through the Gear Report office to find the Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS PRO manual. I had glanced through it when taking the sight out of the box, but not really read it before since the sight is so easy to use. Here are some interesting features I discovered:
- The battery compartment on the Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS PRO is on the front so the battery can be changed without removing the sight from the weapon. The battery compartment cap is tethered to the body so someone clumsy like me can’t drop and lose it.
- Sleep mode kicks in and shuts down the sight after 15 minutes of no movement. I like this since I a notoriously bad at remembering to turn off electronic sights. If I were in a combat zone I might consider just leaving the sight turned on all the time since it will shut itself off when not being used.
- The sight window is a robust 33mm x 20mm.
- Overall size is 118mm x 60mm x 69mm.
- The Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS PRO weighs less than 300 grams (10.6oz).
The aiming dot has 2 blink modes to tell you the battery is getting weak.
- 4 blinks means there are about 50 hours of battery left
- Continuous blinking means about 5 hours of battery left.
- Windage and elevation adjustments are 0.5 MOA per click.
- The Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS PRO complies with MIL-STD 810. I didn’t know what that meant, but the Wikipedia told me “MIL-STD-810 addresses a broad range of environmental conditions that include: low pressure for altitude testing; exposure to high and low temperatures plus temperature shock (both operating and in storage); rain (including wind blown and freezing rain); humidity, fungus, salt fog for rust testing; sand and dust exposure; explosive atmosphere; leakage; acceleration; shock and transport shock; gunfire vibration; and random vibration.”
- I really like the small-ish 1.8 MOA red dot. 3 or 5 MOA dots cover up too much of the target.
What is in the box?
- In the box you will find one of each of the following:
- Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS PRO sight
- User manual
- AA battery
- Cleaning brush that you can squeeze to expel air and blow dust off of the lense
- Cleaning cloth
Mepro Tru-Dot RDS PRO red dot sight Operation
- To mount the sight, open the adapter levers (I call them QD or Quick Disconnect levers), mount the sight on the rail, close the adapter levers.
- The Mode Selector Switch has 5 positions:
- 0 = off
- 1 = Brightest red dot
- 2 and 3 = decreasing red dot brightness
- 4 = too weak to see in daylight. This is for use with night vision.
- Look through the Tru-Dot RDS PRO sight with both eyes open and put the dot over your intended target before firing. This is a relatively short range optic, so there are no hold-over dots or lines.
How we tested
So far, we have mounted the Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS PRO Red Dot sight on the following firearms:
It would be more, but it works so well on our workhorse .300 BLK testbed AR that I have been reluctant to move it. Something incredibly important when reviewing firearms and ammo is that the optic is reliable and trouble free. That has certainly been the case with the Meprolight RDS Pro. However, since the RDS Pro red dot is in our long term review inventory we will have many opportunities to try it on different firearms.
What Meprolight says about the RDS Pro
“The MIL-SPEC, Mepro RDS Pro is exclusively available in the United States. Outside of the U.S., the RDS PRO is known as the Mepro M5 which is standard-issue to the most elite fighting forces and law enforcement agencies worldwide
The Mepro RDS PRO is an energy-efficient, compact sight, that provides thousands of operating hours while utilizing a single “AA” lithium battery. With battle-proven LED technology and a rugged MIL-STD design, performs under the harshest environmental conditions.
With its large display window and clearly-defined Red-dot, the Mepro RDS PRO ensures rapid target acquisition with both eyes open. Offering four easily switchable reticle brightness intensities, the Mepro Tru-Dot® RDS fits every tactical scenario.
To facilitate night vision operations and long-range target engagement, the Mepro RDS PRO is compatible with GEN II and GEN III NVGs as well as with Magnifying Scopes.
Its human-engineering allows positioning of NVGs and Magnifiers close to the sight’s optics with no decrease in the field-of-view and without compromising convenient switch operation.
* NVG Compatible.
* Durable & Lightweight.
* LED Technology for low power consumption.
* Auto Shut-off mechanism for additional energy savings.
* Four Distinct reticle brightness levels for different scenarios.
* Compatible with Magnifying Scopes.
* Large display window.
* Integral Picatinny Rail Adapter.
* Low-battery indicator.
* Minimal maintenance.
* MIL-STD qualified.”
The Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS PRO is a $695 MSRP red dot that is built and tested to Israeli and US military standards and in active military use. $650 isn’t cheap. For that kind of coin I expect an optic to be nearly bulletproof, easy to operate and reliable. Our test Mepro Tru-Dot RDS Pro is approaching 1000 rounds without a hickup. We love to shoot with night vision gear, so NV compatibility is a big plus as well. Time will tell how well it holds up, but so far it appears to be a legit combat optic in the same class as similar products from Aimpoint, Trijicon ACOG, EOtech.
Without the support of our ammo suppliers we would not be able to do nearly the amount of gun reviews that we today.
Big thanks go to our Ammo Sponsor Defender Ammunition Company for supplying ammo for our tests and reviews on an ongoing basis. For this review we shot more than a few magazines of Defender’s .300 Blackout rounds in 150gr supersonic FMJ & HPBT and 220gr SMK subsonic HPBT.
We also shot a bit of Gorilla Ammunition‘s Troop 147gr FMJ supersonic and 220gr SMK HPBT.