Have you finally found a great optic for the money with the Sig Romeo 5?
You can find top quality gun optics for affordable prices, including the spectacular Sig Sauer Romeo 5 1x20mm Red Dot sight.
This article seeks to answer the question: is the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 as good as it seems to be, and is it a viable contender in the value-priced segment of the red dot market?
The recent changes in manufacturing potential in the optics sector have made low cost legitimately competitive firearms optics a growth industry. Prices will continue to drop and premium qualities and capabilities will continue to grow as more factories overseas, come online with the newest technology.
Furthermore, as more big brand names recognize the value of promoting, and fully backing value driven products, consumers in the gun market in the United States will have access to exceptional options for a pittance.
What are the PROS and CONS of the Romeo 5 by Sig Sauer?
- Clear glass plates
- Bright dot perception
- Motion Activated Illumination
- Affordable for the build quality
- Durable considering the light weight
- No reticle options
- Tube design is somewhat awkward and could obstruct your view
- Bikini covers
What many people don’t realize is that the Sig is a well-reviewed, well vetted product that isn’t even made by Sig Sauer, despite carrying the brand name. But just because it’s not a true Sig manufactured product, doesn’t mean that this optic isn’t very good on all fronts.
The Romeo 5 is hardly a “new” product, the fact that it is a best seller, and generally gets great reviews, makes it a subject of importance to shooters looking for an affordable optic now. If you’ve stumbled across the Romeo 5 or have heard good things but aren’t quite sure yet, this is a good resource to help you determine if it will make sense for you.
Need a quick synopsis of this article? Buy Now.
The quick version of this article is this: Compared to the Holosun HS403B and the Primary Arms MD-ADS (similarly priced optics), the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 1x20mm Red Dot sight is the one to buy. You get crisp optics, great adjustability and a value price point, without some of the drawbacks that keep other optics from underperforming. If you are in the market for a red dot at this price point (under $150 USD), this is the right optic. It is also among the most durable optics at any price point, with verifiable torture tests that can be viewed to ensure you are getting more than enough durability.
You can buy the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 here.
Best for: Shooters who need versatility and high value for their optic budget
|Dot & Glass||4.2/5|
|Ease of Use||4.5/5|
The whole story on the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 Optic a versatile 1x20mm red dot tubular sight
For the nuances of the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 you’ll want to keep reading, because while it is an impressive optic, it also isn’t perfect. We will cover the relative value and baseline competitive characteristics of the Romeo 5 against substantially similar competition.
Three popular red dot sights to choose from in the price point
We will utilize a semi informal approach by pitting the Sig Sauer 1x20mm Romeo 5 against popular options in the same space:
This is mostly a showcase article about the Romeo 5, but we want to give realistic comparisons to the other options that are super popular in the market segment for discerning buyers to vet the products.
Comparisons of the Dot and Glass for these three budget optics
Sig Sauer Romeo 5 features a 2 MOA dot on a 20mm objective lens with 10 brightness settings. 2 of which are night vision compatible.
Relative to each other, these three optics will give substantially similar glass clarity and dot definition. The tint on the glass differs, but each has a decidedly tinted glass surface (the Sig has a bluish tint as does the Holosun; the Primary Arms has an orange tint). The tint can cause your view to be a bit darker as a result but can help in bright background scenarios, or where distinct visual acuity is needed.
Overall, from a glass and dot perspective, they’re on par, with very small differences.
If you’re looking for more clarity in your glass, the Vortex Sparc AR is clearer than all of the 3 mentioned. We don’t compare all aspects of this sight here, but the glass is of good quality.
The Sig Sauer Romeo 5 is a tube style red dot sight, this means it may have more bulk than other designs, but it also imparts a durability that open architectures cannot compete with generally (one notable exception is the Trijicon line, known for its durability with the open architecture, though the Trijicon’s are nearly 4 times the price as a baseline).
10 Brightness settings
Sig Romeo 5 has 10 brightness settings, 8 of which are for normal uses and 2 are night vision compatible. You can adjust these by conveniently clicking the “+” and “-” button located on the top of the optics.
The red dot is easy to see in broad daylight on brightness level 6-7. If you happen to live in places with lots of snowy bright background, the 8-10 settings would do the job.
The large range of brightness settings makes the Romeo 5 quite versatile.
With a large amount of use, non-adjustable, or too bright/too weak red dot designs can cause eye strain, and discomfort, not to mention the difficulty in finding sight on target consistently.
Night vision brightness settings also work. Once you set it to 1 or 2, the dot will be invisible to the naked eyes and can only be seen with night vision device. While this may not be applicable for a lot of mainstream users, the option for hardcore users or those who might use the optic for nighttime hog hunting, or other needs, this is a valuable feature.
Practical use of these 3 Red Dot Sights and the reasons why the Romeo 5 by Sig is better for your money
Motion Activated Illumination
Utilizing motion sensors, the red dot turns itself off after leaving it completely still for 2 minutes. When the red dot detects motion, it automatically turns on. This is beneficial to the overall health of the batteries and mechanical parts. It is also a failsafe for users who may forget after a range run.
The motion sensors seem to work well enough that whenever it is picked up, the red dot is turned on (no shaking or fast movement needed) and the auto-off feature works as advertised.
This is not only good for battery saving, in a home defense situation where a homeowner might panic, but they also won’t have to worry about fumbling around to turn it on. Just pick it up and you’re good to go. That’s one less thing to worry about in a difficult scenario where adrenaline is coursing through your body.
When transported in a vehicle or over difficult terrain where the sensor might trigger the optic to be turned on, you have the option to manually turn off the system, to avoid losing battery life or other functional needs.
This Motion Activated Illumination feature is quite rare for red dot sights in this price range, though, the HOLOSUN HS403B also has this feature.
The Sig Romeo 5 comes with a low mount and an AR absolute co-witness riser mount (1.41 inch) which can be mounted on both Picatinny and Weaver rails.
This makes it versatile and easy out of the box, without extra expense, but for the most durable and accurate mounting condition, or where you need extreme reliability in your mount, you should source a separate high-quality mount.
Elevation and Windage adjustments
While the elevation and windage are not finger-adjustable, the attached caps can be used as keys to adjust these. There is no need to pack screwdrivers and flatheads for this optics.
Admittedly, this is not as easy-to-use as finger adjustable ones, but the red dot is also less likely to be adjusted accidentally. This is a great feature for those who use the sight on only one or two firearms and don’t need a ton of adjustment on the fly, or who shoot at predictable distances (such as when in a home defense setting, etc.)
A drawback of the Sig Romeo 5 is that it offers no other reticle option than the red 2 MOA dot. It’d be nice if Sig Sauer would offer a green dot, 6.5 MOA circle or other dot sizes for shooters to choose from. For many shooters, the value of other aspects on this optic more than makes up for the lack in reticles for most use cases.
The Sig Sauer Romeo 5’s ergonomics is ambidextrous as it has only 2 buttons, “+” and “-“, located on the top of the optics which can easily be reached with either hand.
While the elevation adjustment is on the right side of the optic, because it is not a frequent adjustment once the optic is set on a firearm, it is not a deal breaker for ambidextrous control purists.
This can be annoying for the forgetful shooter or those who prefer permanently mounted lens covers – the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 only utilizes a bikini style lens cover from factory. Annoying, but again, not a deal breaker and easily remedied with a bit of foresight and some third-party options.
How good does The Sig Sauer Romeo 5 1x20mm Red Dot Sight look?
For those who prefer the military or tactical look of hardcore optics, the Sig offering won’t have those same angular looks compared to the Trijicon and Aimpoint. Furthermore, to touch on a mention from earlier in the article, if you miss its logo, you can misjudge the Romeo 5 for a Primary Arms or a Holosun, since these are all manufactured in China, it may even be produced in the same factory.
With the improvements in technology and the high risk of a big brand like Sig taking on a bad partner, it’s pretty solidly built, despite this fact. While nothing is foolproof, the research, development, and attention to detail and quality control seems to mitigate most concerns with the cheaper production facilities and material selection. Again, for the price point, the build quality is pretty good.
Other positive things to note for this Sig Romeo 5 are its light weight (4.8oz) and the overall compact footprint. You can shoot at any odd angles, and the red dot will not throw your rifle off-balance or cause too many concerns with snagging.
Durability and Longevity of the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 Optic
The durability is excellent for the price point, and there is a very well-made video torture test on the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 that would serve any potential buyer well to view it.
As a brief recap of the video linked above, the Romeo 5 by Sig handled just about everything that was thrown at it. For the value price it is set at, it represents an exceptional value for those who need durability without a hefty price tag.
You can put this red dot on any firearm, from a shotgun to a high-powered rifle and it will hold zero, rock solid. The Sig Romeo 5 holds zero well on any .223/5.56 AR-15 even after 500+ rounds.
An important note: If you think you’re going to use it in rough conditions or you are particularly hard on your optics or add-ons while using your guns, get high-quality third-party mount instead of the one provided.
Sig Sauer offers a 5-year warranty on electronics and a lifetime warranty on the rest of the sight. Note that both Holosun HS 403B and Primary Arms MD-ADS offer only a 3-year warranty. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all the product in the line are perfect, rather that Sig will stand behind its product (essentially a third party manufactured sight under their protected brand name).
Long Battery Life of the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 1x20mm
The Sig Romeo 5 is powered by a CR2032 battery, which is a very popular battery for optics and is widely available. The battery compartment is located on the right side of the optic, so you can replace the battery without removing the red dot sight.
According to the manufacturer, the Sig Romeo 5’s battery can last for +40,000 hours (4 years and a half). This is a highly optimistic number, but you can expect very good relative performance for the battery if you run on settings that are similar to other makes and models.
To be fair, there is a large group of documented users that have independently tested this model for more than a year and not yet had to change their battery, the 40,000-hour number is still optimistic and likely not to be attainable with normal use.
The still excellent battery life under normal use or even high-volume use lessens your battery replacement costs over time with this model.
The Value Proposition of this Optic
The Sig Romeo 5 offers exceptional value.
It’s not the cheapest option, of course. But when you compare the relative perks of the Romeo 5 versus much more expensive options, you are getting a very good product that only narrowly underperforms on some aspects and is at par or better than many of the more expensive options.
So, what are the finer points about why this is such a great optic for so many shooters?
There simply are not any red dot sights under $150 that can reliably couple the Motion Activated feature with this level of durability. Many shooters who normally obsess over Trijicon or Aimpoints, etc., are buying the Sig because of extreme value and the very competitive performance.
Pros and Cons Table
|✓ Clear glass plates||✗ No reticle options|
|✓ Bright dot perception||✗ Tube design is somewhat awkward and could obstruct your view|
|✓ Motion Activated Illumination||✗ Bikini covers|
|✓ Affordable for the build quality|
|✓ Durable considering the light weight|
Some opinions from Amazon buyers
Alternate Red Dots
1. Holosun HS403B Micro Red Dot Optic
The Holosun HS403B also has motion activated feature (8 hours auto-off if not used).
- Less durable
- Has Motion Activated feature, adjustable 1-12 hours auto-off timer.
- Can disable Motion Activated feature
- 12 Brightness settings, 3 of which are night vision compatible.
- Less warranty (3 years on electronics)
2. Primary Arms 2 MOA Advanced Micro Red Dot
Many people compare the Sig Romeo 5 red dot with this Primary Arms red dot.
- No Motion Activated feature
- 12 Brightness settings, 2 of which are night vision compatible.
- Less durable
- Less warranty (3 years)