As pistol-mounted optics trend up in size, Leupold’s DeltaPoint Micro takes an innovative approach.
With the introduction of the second-generation Leupold DeltaPoint Pro (DP-Pro) in 2018 ($520, leupold.com); Trijicon Specialized Reflex Optic (SRO) in 2019 ($749, trijicon.com); and the recent launch of the SIG Sauer Romeo2 ($780, sigsauer.com); it seemed as if the market was moving quickly towards larger lenses in pistol-mounted optics. Why wouldn’t it? Common sense dictates that a larger optic window allows the shooter to see more of the target area. The more information a shooter can take in, the better decisions one can make. The winner of a modern gunfight (or competition) will come down to who is making the best decisions — faster. Information, and the ability to process information, is paramount.
However, larger lenses are inherently more delicate. Engineers can integrate protections, but that typically results in more material and weight. Still, lenses are more prone to damage and interference. A smaller sight may limit the view, but a smaller structural profile can result in a sturdier lens and stronger shroud.
Meet the DP-Micro.
Leupold’s clever engineers flipped the script on pistol-mounted optics, and few saw this coming. “If the goal was to see more of the target or the environment, then why not go small?” they asked. Leupold went so small that the DeltaPoint Micro’s (DP-Micro, $520) sight profile is more like a post-aperature iron-sight setup than something larger (and taller over the slide) like a red dot. Peering through the window, only the red dot is visually prominent.
Measuring just 21/4-inches long and 1-1/4 inches tall, the DP-Micro is tiny. And it weighs just 1.1 ounces. Some of the aluminum-alloy housing is positioned behind the slide, and 9mm scratch-resistant lenses are on nearly the same optical axis as standard-height iron sights, just a bit higher. This arrangement helps to achieve a rough zero by simply aligning the 3-MOA red dot with the front sight centered in the window. The optic shape also functions with a standard-height front sight as a ghost-ring-style aperture should the dot reticle disappear. Barring a dead battery, though, it should never fail to debris or moisture since the DP-Micro is a closed-emitter optic. The diode and circuitry are encased within the aircraft-grade aluminum housing. The unit is tough, weather resistant, and meets the IPX7 standard for waterproofing, meaning it can be submerged up to a meter for 30 minutes with no effect.
The dot itself is clear with eight brightness settings controlled and adjusted by the large button behind the slide. Pressing the L-logo’d rubber-capped button cycles through the dot’s intensity levels. Holding the button down for 2 seconds changes the direction of the adjustments. There are no night-vision-specific settings, but looking at the low settings through my surplus PVS-14 revealed the DP-Micro works just fine. Windage and elevation adjustments are controlled by way of two small Allen-head screws on the unit’s left side towards the rear. A complete rotation of the windage screw with the supplied 1⁄16 Allen wrench moves the dot 18 MOA, which translates to 1 inch at 5 yards. A complete rotation of the elevation screw moves the dot 36 MOA, which equals 2 inches at 5 yards. There is a total of 100 MOA of elevation and 180 MOA of windage movement within the lens. Adjusting to a specific load should never be an issue.
In testing, I did not have to adjust above the fifth illumination level to see the dot, even in daylight. The dot also features Motion Sensor Technology (MST), which allows the optic to sleep when it hasn’t been moved for several minutes. The DP-Micro instantly powers on when movement is sensed. A single 3V CR1632 battery provides power (3 years at the fourth intensity setting), which is installed within the control button assembly at the rear of the unit. The one downside of the DP-Micro is that you need to remove the rubber battery cap to take off the gun’s slide for maintenance.
The huge advantage that the DP-Micro has over the current stock of pistol-mounted optics is that it does not rely on a specific mounting pattern that must be milled, drilled and threaded into the slide. Though the sight is firearm-specific, it simply replaces the factory rear sight — and installation is simple. With the rear sight removed, loosely insert the mounting plate within the slide’s dovetail. Attach the DP-Micro using the included Torx screws and start them. Slide the unit within the dovetail, center it up by eye, and tighten the screws to 25 inch-pounds of torque. Then, the unit is ready to be sighted in. It’s easy.
Leupold’s first two DP-Micro options support non-MOS Glock models and non-optic-cut Smith & Wesson M&Ps. You’ll notice the rear of each slide requires a different angle for the unit’s battery and electronics casing. The rubber cap has to be unscrewed and removed to take off the pistol’s slide.
Shooting any red-dot-equipped pistol requires practice and familiarization; the DP-Micro is no different. With many dots, a shooter new to using red dots gets a rough glimpse of the dot and then refines the sight picture during presentation. Repetition can make this process more natural and faster, but unusual shooting positions or situations may require one to search for the dot. With such a small lens, the DP-Micro is less forgiving of sloppy fundamentals, especially if the shooter has already been using a commonly available red dot sight on a pistol. For a shooter transitioning to a red dot from traditional post-notch sights, the DP-Micro offers the benefit of not having to alter the draw stroke. The shooter still drives the front sight to the target and the dot rolls into position within the aperture more like a traditional rear sight. Users should still expect to invest hundreds of repetitions and presentations from the draw (dry practice is acceptable) to a target before realizing the benefits of the DP-Micro.
With both eyes open, the lens and shroud almost disappear, which leaves the dot to sit right on target. This allows the shooter to see more of what’s downrange in real time. Aligning multiple focal planes also becomes a non-issue with the DP-Micro because the shooter simply focuses attention on the target and puts the dot where they want the bullet to go. Dot optics shine in the mid- to long-range shooting scenarios, and the DP-Micro is no different. Hits in the 10-ring of a B8 bullseye target were fast and consistent from 10 to 25 yards. Hits on man-size steel were easy out to 100. Running the 10-10-10 drill (10 rounds, 10 yards, under 10 seconds, from the holster on a B8) with my DP-Micro-equipped G19 produced consistent sub-7-second results with nothing outside of the 3.36-inch-diameter 10-ring.
The size and position of the DP-Micro are also an advantage when looking for holster compatibility. The DP-Micro-equipped G19 fit most of my holsters, including several Safariland ALS holsters. The only exception was my SLS-equipped duty holster, where the hood would not close over the button of the DP-Micro. When holstered, I couldn’t tell the difference between the DP-Micro-equipped pistol and a G19 with stock sights.
You can expect that additional dovetail adapters for other popular handguns will follow this introduction. For shooters in need of a very low-profile optic, or those looking to enhance a non-optics-ready pistol, the Leupold DP-Micro is an exciting new option.
Leupold DeltaPoint Micro Specs
Reticle: 3 MOA
Length: 2.25 in.
Width: .9 in.
Height: 1.25 in.
Weight: 1.1 oz. w/ CR1632 batt.
Materials: 6061 aluminum, glass
Adjustment Range: 100 MOA of elevation, 180 MOA of windage
Manufacturer: Leupold, leupold.com