Using micro red dot optics (MRDs) on handguns has become increasingly popular, and many would argue justifiably so. While many current handgun models come from the factory set up for use of a MRD, what about those of us who want to add a red dot sight to a pistol we already own? One option is to pay $100+ to send off your pistol’s slide and have it modified by a gunsmith. Option two is spending $200+ on an aftermarket slide that is cut for a red dot optic. Or option three: Invest in a new pistol with an optics-ready platform.
In January 2021, Leupold introduced a fourth option—the DeltaPoint Micro. The Micro mounts to a handgun using the rear sight’s “dovetail” on the slide. While only currently offered for most Glock and Smith and Wesson M&P models, the design is a solution for the owners of those types of pistols who want to use an MRD without modifying their handgun.
The design of the DeltaPoint Micro is compact. The optic lens housing of the sight sits on top of the slide. Its height is less than half an inch above the top of the slide’s surface. The body of the optic is positioned behind the slide. The overall length of the Micro, including the battery compartment, is 2.25” with less than an inch of the sight protruding behind the slide.
The DeltaPoint Micro’s 3 MOA dot reticle is protected from weather in a rugged encasement that is also fogproof and shockproof. In line with other Leupold electronic optics, the DeltaPoint Micro goes into a power-saving mode with motion-sensing technology. That way the sight is always on when you need it. When the sight is motionless for several minutes it will go into a sleep mode to preserve the battery life. The CR1632 battery can be easily changed by unscrewing the ON/OFF button cap, which can be done without removing the optic. The battery is rated to last 500 hours on the high setting or 100,000 hours on the low setting.
The Micro is designed to fit all models and generations of Glocks except the rimfire Glock 44 and Modular Optics Systems (MOS) models, which already have their slide scut for an optic. The DeltaPoint Micro designed for the Smith and Wesson M&P series is not compatible with M&P C.O.R.E. or Shield-EZ models.
While Leupold recommends having a gunsmith install the DeltaPoint Micro, a Leupold-produced online video shows you how to install the sight yourself. We chose to mount our Micro on our tried-and-true third generation Glock 19. The installation process took approximately five minutes, following Leupold’s instructions.
A small insert fits into the dovetail of the rear slide and allows for two torqued screws to hold it in place. A torque-measuring screwdriver is needed to make sure the base is mounted securely.
The installation manual instructs you to leave the battery cover off when re-assembling the pistol due to the minimal clearance.
We boresighted the Micro before taking it out to the range. After shooting a few test groups we made our final adjustments for windage and elevation, which can be done with the supplied hex wrench. The elevation screw moves the point-of-impact 18 MOA per revolution, while the windage screw moves it 36 MOA per revolution. The manual states that this equates to changing your point-of-impact approximately 1” and 2” respectively at 5 yards. Leupold provides a video demonstrating how to sight in the Micro.
The eight illumination settings of the Micro’s aiming dot provide a good range to adjust for any lighting situation. The faintest illumination is great for low light, and the brightest helps you clearly see the red dot against a target in bright sunlight. You can easily toggle through the settings by pressing the ON/OFF button.
On the range, we practiced drawing from a holster and putting the red dot on target. As with all red-dot platforms, a consistent hold gets the dot on target every time. The compact design of the Micro puts the dot directly on top of the sighting plane of the original iron sights, making the learning curve short. After a few minutes of dry practice, at the full extension of our draw the dot was repeatedly centered in the target. The original front sight can be seen in the Micro’s optic window, which aids in acquiring the red dot until you develop your draw motion and sight acquisition coordination.
The 0.35” objective lens diameter of the DeltaPoint Micro is a considerably smaller window than most MRDs. While the small lens somewhat obscures area the around your target it also has a “ghost ring” aperture effect that helps focus your eye on the dot. It was easy to get back on target for follow-up shots as you can quickly center the red dot on the bullseye.
Comparing a Springfield Armory HEX Wasp (left) micro red dot with Leupold’s DeltaPoint Micro.
For those of us who are technology skeptics, adding a battery to our defensive gear can be worrisome. To answer these concerns Leupold adds a back-up system to the Micro. Not only can you see the front sight through the Micro’s optics window, but Leupold placed two sighting dots on the rear of the optic housing to create a three dot “iron sight” system that can be used for aiming in case of a dead battery or if the sight is turned off. These could also be filled in by the user to be more visible.
The Micro maintains a low profile on the rear of the slide. When racking the slide with an overhand grip the optic does not interfere with being able to reach the slide serrations. Weighing 1.1 ozs., this negligible addition in weight on the slide did not impede function and our Glock’s reliability did not change with the Micro installed. The Micro’s battery compartment extends about an inch beyond the rear of the slide but there is plenty of clearance between the optic and your shooting hand as the slide retracts.
Another advantage with Leupold’s design is that you probably won’t have to purchase a new holster. Because of how far forward other MRDs are mounted on the slide you often have to get a holster that’s cut for an optic. With the Micro mounted on our Glock 19, it still fit in all of our favorite holsters, from a Blackhawk Serpa to a Tactica OWB .
With the DeltaPoint Micro on the market, owners of Glock and M&P handguns that did not leave the factory set up for an MRD have a red dot option that doesn’t involve permanently modifying their pistol. As the MRD market remains strong, there is always the possibility of the Micro being offered for other handgun models in the future. Leupold’s DeltaPoint Micro retails for $399.99.