SIG Romeo5 XDR Green Dot Review
By Chris Benson
Photo Credits: WMTAC & Blacksheepwarrior.com
I am Chris Benson, co-owner of Western Montana Tactical Training Center, as well as the Director of our Law Enforcement and Civilian Training programs. I also currently serve as a Law Enforcement Officer within the state of Montana. One of the things that we have found, is there are a lot of individuals out there, “Brand Influencer’s”, who are reviewing products with some form of kick back or incentive. This is not to say they are wrong, or the product is not a quality product, but there is potential for these reviews to be misleading. At Balck Sheep Warrior and Western Montana Tactical Training Center, we are dedicated to providing honest and quality reviews of products in order point our clients and other, in the right direction when it comes to products. This is something we are very passionate about as we want people to know what products they can rely on; especially in potential life or death situations.
Romeo5 XDR Predator Review
The Sig Romeo5 and Sig Romeo5 XDR is a product which has generated a lot of interest for civilian, Law Enforcement, and Military personnel alike based upon the credibility of the manufacture, Sig Sauer, and the price point of this optic. The Romeo5 is currently priced in the $160.00 – $300.00 range making it very affordable and enticing.
According to Sig Sauer, their products are backed by the Sig Sauer Infinite Guarantee. For us at WMTAC, there was some confusion after reading the warranty information as there is an additional 5 year warranty covering Electronics and Tritium defects or workmanship. As we were unsure of how comprehensive the Sig Sauer Infinite Guarantee actually was, we attempted to contact them in order to find out specifics on warranty coverage. SIG did not respond.
Romeo5 XDR Key Features:
The Sig Sauer Romeo5 XDR sports: “High performance red-notch coating for excellent light transmittance and crisp red dot clarity”; “1x20mm objective lens”; “2 MOA Dot or 2 MOA Dot / 65 MOA Circle Dot with 10 illumination settings (8 daylight + 2 NV)”; “MOTAC – Motion activated illumination control powers up when it senses motion and powers down when at rest. Extends LED run time in excess of 50,000 hours under normal use”; “1.41 inch Absolute Co-Witness or 1.63 inch Lower Co-Witness M1913 Torx Riser Mount”; “Cast from aircraft grade aluminum for ruggedness and durability”; “Dependable IPX-7 Waterproof and fog-proof performance”; and “Front mounting AAA battery for easy replacement without sight removal”.
Green Predator Reticle:
The particular optic model tested for review, offered the selection between 4 reticle patterns with green illumination. The 2 MOA dot, a 2 MOA dot with a single line beneath it, a 2 MOA dot surrounded by a 12 MOA Triangle, and a 12 MOA triangle (the later two being similar in shape to that of the Predator movie).
In order to adjust the brightness of the reticle, the user depresses the front button located on the top of the Romeo5 XDR with the + sign for a brighter reticle, or depresses the rear button on the top of the optic with a – sign to dim the reticle illumination. In order to change the reticle pattern, simply depress both the brightness adjustment buttons located on the top of the optic at the same time and hold them down until the reticle pattern changes.
All of the instructors at Western Montana Tactical Training Center were fascinated by the Romeo5 XDR for several reasons. The first reason and possibly one of the most important factors considered in this review is the price point (available from MTG for $259.99). For many people affordability of an optic can be a significant factor in choosing to proceed with the purchase.
The quality, ruggedness, clarity, and durability of this optic for the price, is very impressive. The second thing our instructors fell in love with was the simplicity of the optic. The Romeo5 XDR is very intuitive. This is a great thing for both the trained professional and the recreational shooter. The adjustments on the optic are tactile and responsive.
Personally, one of the selling points of this Romeo5 XDR for me was the fact it is operated by a AAA battery. This was very refreshing when so many of the top red dot optics are operated off of a CR2, CR123A, or other variant of an expensive 3v battery. The fact this optic has the ability to provide upwards of between 40,000 and 50,000 hours from on AAA battery is very impressive; not to mention easy on the pocketbook. Another feature offered with this optic is Sig’s MOTAC or Motion Activated Illumination System, which powers up when the optic and weapon system are in motion and powers down with inactivity. This is a really great feature to have in the sense that you would not have to worry about powering up the optic manually when in this mode whether it is in the event of a tactical or life threatening situation, competition shooting performance, or recreational shooting at the range.
The next thing our instructors looked at when evaluating the Romeo5 XDR was weight. As many trained professionals know, gear and kit combinations can be extremely heavy and taxing after several hours of wear. Therefore, limiting or reducing weight becomes very important. With this optic weighing in at approximately 5.5 ounces, it is extremely light weight. Especially when compared to optics like the Vortex Sparc AR (7.5 ounces), Aimpoint PRO (11.6 ounces), or the Eotech XPS-3 (11.2 ounces). The Trijicon MRO is considered one of the lightest optics available weighing in between 4 to 5 ounces depending on model. Therefore, comparatively, the Sig Sauer Romeo 5X/XDR scores very well based upon its weight and composition.
Romeo5 XDR Reticle Options:
Several of our instructors really enjoyed the reticle patterns available in the particular Romeo5 XDR model tested which was the green dot “Predator” version (Red dots with circles are also available). As mentioned before, the Romeo5 XDR has several reticle options: a 2 MOA green dot, a 2 MOA green dot surrounded by a 12 MOA green triangle, a 2 MOA green dot with the green bottom line of the 12 MOA triangle, or a 12 MOA green triangle. The green 2 MOA dot with the 12 MOA triangle reticle was the preferred reticle pattern for most of the instructors during testing.
Prior to the testing of the Romeo5 XDR, it was zeroed. Throughout the process, there were no attempts made to re-zero the rifle; mainly because there was no need. The ability of the Romeo5 XDR to endure the abuse of the testing process and still maintain zero was very impressive not to mention somewhat unexpected. Several of the instructors anticipated having to re-zero the optic during testing.
Another feature built into the optic is reticle memory. Simply put, the optic will return to the last reticle pattern and brightness setting prior to it powering down or being turned off. This is a nice feature to have especially for trained professionals such as Law Enforcement Officer, Military Personnel, or Competitive Shooters in the sense that they are often in situations or environments where they do not have the time to adjust their optic prior to having to engage a target or threat. Therefore the Romeo5 XDR’s memory function lets them return to the previously selected pattern and brightness setting allowing them to focus their attention on other more necessary things. This is also a benefit to the recreational shooter in that they will not have to recall a favored reticle and brightness setting as the optic will remain on the setting the next time they are ready to use the weapon system.
Yet another impressive feature of this Romeo5 XDR is its night vision compatible settings. Optics in this price range typically don’t offer the ability to be utilized with night vision equipment. For example, some of the lower end Eotech models do not offer this ability and they are significantly more expensive.
Romeo5 XDR Mounting Options:
Instead of purchasing an optic and then having to buy the mounting hardware separately, Sig Sauer has included not 1, but 2 mounting options with this optic; thus, saving the consumer from having to go through the aforementioned process of buying the optic and mounting hardware separately. The mounting options are 1.41 allowing for an absolute co-witness with iron sights and 1.63 allowing for 1/3 co-witness with iron sights.
Romeo5 XDR Windage Adjustments:
A feature which can often be overlooked, but serves several purposes, is the fact the Romeo5 XDR does not have windage or elevation turret caps or covers. This allows for easy access and simplicity of adjustment of the optic and it also reduces weight. One concern some of our instructors voiced with this is the possibility of the turrets being exposed over time to harsh weather conditions, moisture, dirt, etc., and whether it would affect the water proofing of the optic.
The Romeo5 XDR Testing:
Our process for evaluating this Romeo5 XDR involved several scenarios testing the waterproofing, durability, function, and overall quality of the optic. We decided to first look at the function of the reticle in indoor, outdoor, bright, and low light conditions. The optic thrives in open naturally lit environments. However, indoors, the clarity of the dot was significantly diminished. With brightness settings 2-10, the 2 MOA dot was not crisp it was significantly ill-defined and fuzzy. This was true for all reticle patterns except for the 12 MOA Triangle reticle pattern without a dot. This reticle pattern maintained its clarity on brightness settings 1-8 and did not significantly reduce clarity until brightness setting 9 and 10. In an outdoor and naturally well-lit environment, this optic functions phenomenally maintaining crisp reticle clarity throughout all reticle patterns and brightness levels aside from the 2 night vision settings. The 2 night vision settings maintain reticle clarity in both outdoor and indoor environments with use of quality night vision googles.
Romeo5 XDR Drop Testing:
The next part of our testing included dropping the optic out of a 2 story window (approximately 15-17 feet high) 3 times onto dirt and rock laden ground. Granted, we did this with the provided lens covers as we wanted to preserve the glass for later testing, but the housing of the optic was merely paint chipped with minimal damage. The optic’s glass is recessed into the aircraft grade aluminum housing offering an additional level of protection to the optic. The aircraft grade aluminum housing is also covered with a scratch resistant coating which is also supposed to prevent rust and pitting due to moisture or other environmental conditions.
Romeo5 XDR Temperature Testing:
In order to simulate extreme temperatures, we took the Romeo5 XDR and placed it in a climate controlled environment. We then dropped the temperatures and tested the optics ability to resist fogging at 32(F), 0(F), -10(F), and -20(F). We then took the optic out of the regulated cold environment and placed it in another heated temperature controlled environment. The optic was able to resist fogging through the environment transitions through temperatures above 0(F). Between 0(F) and -20(F), the consistency in fog resistance varied enough for us to feel as though we could not completely rely on the optic to ward off fogging below this temperature range especially when wet.
We conducted the same test cycle with the optic dry and then submerged it in water. Submerging the sight in water caused optic fogging around 0(F). However, the fogging of the optic only occurred on the outside of the glass and did not penetrate the inside of the optic itself.
We conducted this same test with an EOTECH 512, Leupold VX3, Vortex Crossfire II, and a Sightmark Wolverine FSR, all optics yielded similar results at temperatures below 0(F) with some variance when moisture was added to the optic lenses. Even though the lenses of the Romeo 5 along with the other optics mentioned above fogged during the testing, the Romeo 5 returned to perfect functioning order several minutes after the tests were completed and did not have any residual issues.
Romeo5 XDR Water Test:
Additionally, we submerged the Romeo 5 in water overnight after the drop test and extreme temperature tests were completed. The water was unable to penetrate the optic housing as far as we could tell and did not seem to affect any other function of the optic after the test was completed. Between the testing scenarios, we re-mounted the optic on the M4 it was originally zeroed with and ran several drills consisting of sending approximately 500 rounds of ammunition down range.
Based upon the testing conducted by the WMTAC staff, along with the other documented durability tests, we believe this optic is extremely durable and possibly one of the most durable optics in its class and at the price point.
Overall, it has been fun testing the capabilities of the Romeo5 XDR. At some point, we may release a supplemental review commenting on our experience with the overall performance and durability of the optic over an extended period of time. A few things we would like to discuss before we wrap up the Romeo5 XDR review. The first is we have contacted Sig Sauer asking for clarification on their warranty. One area we feel Sig Sauer could improve which is not specific to this optic, is to clarify in writing the specifics of the warranty outlining what is covered after the 5 year tritium and electrical warranty has expired. They have yet to return our phone calls or emails.
In our contact with Sig Sauer, we have also asked why some models of the Romeo 5 have windage and elevation turret adjustments and some don’t. We wanted to know if this is considered an upgrade, or if there were other specific reasons for changing this feature. We also wanted to know more about the IPX-7 lens coating and what testing they have completed in house on this coating. Again, we are very impressed that throughout our testing, we did not observe any moisture penetrate the aluminum housing of the optic.
We also wanted to find out if our experience with the star bursting of the reticle and clarity reduction observed while indoors was uncommon in Romeo5 XDRs or to be expected. We asked if they had received any other information from consumers regarding similar observations of this issue.
Finally, due to the sensitivity of the MOTAC settings of the Romeo5 XDR, very minimal movement of the weapons system or optic, activates the reticle. This could be problematic for trained professionals such as Law Enforcement or Military Personnel in that the reticle will be activated all the time due to inadvertent movement or activity. It would be nice to have the ability to manually adjust the sensitivity of the MOTAC system for the individual user. However, this would also increase the complexity of the operation of the optic and could possibly take away from some of the simplistic allure of the optic. If the sensitivity of the MOTAC system does become an issue and you find your reticle is constantly activated, we would suggest scheduling battery replacement on a consistent basis. The hope would be in changing out the battery every couple of months, one would avoid having to worry about their optic not functioning properly when the time comes.
Another way to deal with it would be to just turn it off like you would an Eotech or similar optic.
In our opinion, this is a top contender for an affordable quality optic. The Romeo 5X/XDR has a lot to offer in a very little package. Sig Sauer has done a great job of bringing simplicity, quality, and affordability together. The features of the Romeo5 XDR cater to a variety of shooters from the trained professional to the recreational shooter. There are other optics available which may be better suited for mission specific utilization, due to having more advanced features or specific qualities needed by the user. However, the Sig Sauer Romeo 5X/XDR is a well-rounded optic and can accommodate a wide variety of usage. Admittedly, Sig Sauer is relatively new in the optics game; but the design, engineering, and quality of this optic make us excited to see what the future of Sig Sauer optics has instore.
Where to Buy the Sig Sauer Romeo 5X/XDR:
You can purchase the Sig Sauer Romeo 5X/XDR from Sig Sauer directly. You can also link up with the guys at MTGTActial.com who have been great to work with and provided us with the test optic. They offer the Sig Sauer Romeo 5X/XDR in all configurations as well as a variety of other optics.
I along with the other instructors and staff at Western Montana Tactical Training Center would love to hear the experiences and opinions of others who have had the opportunity to use this optic. Comment below to let us know what you think. Be sure to visit wmtac.com to check out our course calendar and our other services offered.
The WMTAC staff and I would like to thank MTG Tactical for the opportunity to review the Sig Sauer Romeo 5X/XDR Compact Red Dot Sight. This is a product which has generated a lot of interest for civilian, Law Enforcement, and Military personnel alike based upon the credibility of the manufacture, Sig Sauer, and the price point of this optic. The optic is currently priced in the $160.00 – $250.00 range making it very affordable and enticing.
Thanks for reading!