A Side by Side Comparison: Trijicon SRO vs RMR Red Dot Optic

Chris G.

As a shooting instructor, I often hear prevalent discussions among my peers about two renowned optics from Trijicon: the SRO and the RMR. I have both, so I decided it was about time to clear the air with a thorough, direct comparison.

I’ll be assessing their specifications, distinctive characteristics, advantages and disadvantages as well as their compatibility with a variety of firearms. My observations should aid both competitive shooters and tactical hobbyists in developing a more profound comprehension of these two sights.

Technical Specifications of the Trijicon SRO and RMR

a close up of the Trijicon SRO and RMR

Let’s start with the technical specifications of both the Trijicon SRO and RMR. In this section, we’ll dissect the fundamental aspects, comparing the various elements, features, and statistics of each model.

Trijicon SRO

  • Length x Width x Height: 2.2 in x 1.3 in x 1.4 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 oz. (45.36g)
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Reticle Pattern: 2.5 MOA Dot
  • Reticle Color: Red
  • Illumination Source: LED
  • Illumination Settings: Automatic and 8 Adjustable Settings (2 NV, 6 Visible)
  • Power Source: 1 CR2032 Lithium Battery
  • Battery Life: Over 3 years of continuous use
  • Adjustment: 1 MOA Per Click
  • Adjustment Range: 150 MOA Total Travel
  • Mount: Not Included
  • Housing Material: 7075-T6 forged aluminum
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • Submersion Depth: 10 feet

Trijicon RMR

  • Dimensions: 1.8 in x 1.1 in x 1 in
  • Weight: 1.2 oz. 
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Reticle Pattern: 3.25 MOA Dot
  • Reticle Color: Red
  • Illumination Source: LED
  • Power Source: 1 CR2032 Lithium Battery
  • Battery Life: Over 4 years of continuous use (when used at 70ºF (21ºC)) at setting 4 of 8.
  • Adjustment: 1 MOA Per Click
  • Housing Material: 7075-T6 Forged Aluminum
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • Submersion Depth: 66 feet

Red Dot Showdown: Trijicon SRO vs RMR

Technical specifications are just the start. Let’s do a more detailed face-off between the Trijicon SRO and RMR.

Durability

Both the Trijicon SRO and the RMR are excellent in terms of resilience. Both are made of sturdy 7075-T6 forged aluminum body. This robust, military-grade construction significantly reduces potential damage from heavy recoil or accidental drops. However, the RMR’s patented housing is designed to divert the force of an impact away from the lens.

The RMR is also superior when it comes to its waterproof capabilities.  It is capable of holding up under 66 feet of water, a considerable jump from the SRO’s 10-foot limit. But come to think of it, unless you’re a Navy SEAL, would you submerge your gun—and your optic— in water up to 66 feet deep?

In terms of general durability, both SRO and RMR are superb choices. With proper care, they should serve you for quite some time.

Field of View and Window Size

The SRO outperforms the RMR in terms of field of view with its large, clear circular window.  This superior view provides faster target acquisition and better situational awareness, which are vital in any shooting situation.

It’s worth pointing out, though, that the more compact RMR might be a better fit for concealed carry due to its smaller size.

Battery Compartment

The SRO’s battery compartment is conveniently designed on the top, making battery replacements a breeze without the need to remove the sight or adjust its zeroing. It operates on a CR2032 battery, similar to the RMR. 

The RMR’s battery compartment is at the bottom. This design choice necessitates the removal of the sight during battery changes. However, being underneath the optic means the battery is more protected from elements.

Battery Life

The RMR’s enduring battery life is a standout feature for the product. It can provide up to four years of uninterrupted usage at a brightness setting of 4, going above and beyond the SRO’s three-year offer at the identical setting. Some of my buddies at the range who use RMRs can attest to this with their dots clear and crisp for years.

Design and Accessibility

The SRO has a larger size and round window, offering users a wider viewing scope. It’s also designed with a battery compartment on top, a feature that’s handy for changing batteries during use.

The RMR presents a more compact design with a smaller, rectangular window. While this might restrict the viewing area, the design fortifies the optic, making it a reliable option for intense field use. The battery compartment’s bottom location can be a bit of a hassle as it requires unmounting for battery changes.

Both models, however, bear the mark of Trijicon’s exceptional craftsmanship. Despite their design differences, they’re tailored to cater to a variety of shooting styles and requirements.

Size and Weight

The SRO stands out due to its larger and heavier build. It measures 2.6 inches in length and tips the scales at 1.6 ounces. The RMR is a more compact model, stretching to a length of 1.8 inches and weighing a mere 1.2 ounces.

Though these differences might seem trivial, they play a key role in handling and usage. The SRO benefits from its larger size, offering a wider field of view, which can be beneficial in improving target acquisition. But its heavier weight might cause an imbalance when used on lightweight firearms.

The compactness of the RMR makes it an excellent choice for concealed carry and EDC. But its smaller window might limit your field of view. 

Finding the perfect balance in size and weight in a sight is essential for efficient handling and usage. The choice ultimately depends on individual preference and purpose.

Reticle

Both these models have adjustable LED red dots, but they vary when it comes to size options. The SRO model features 1, 2.5, and 5 MOA dots—a great fit for those who value precision shooting like me. On the other hand, the RMR model comes with 1, 3.25, and 6.5 MOA dots. The RMR’s larger dot options could allow the shooter to locate targets more swiftly during quick-fire situations.

Both models stand out with their superior brightness adjustment, delivering clear visibility under different lighting scenarios.

Illumination Adjustments

Both the Trijicon SRO and RMR come with a choice of 8 brightness settings. These settings allow me to alter the brightness level to suit the lighting conditions of my surroundings. The SRO and RMR are equipped with buttons that make the brightness level easy to adjust.

The SRO takes a slight lead with an extra “super-bright” mode, which is perfect for clear days when the sun is shining at its brightest. It also comes with a “lock-out” mode that locks in my settings. I can shoot all day without having to worry about accidentally changing the settings.

The RMR does not come with a manual lock. Rather, this model comes with an auto-brightness mode. This brightness of the reticule automatically adjusts to the ambient lighting. 

Windage and Elevation Adjustment

The SRO has a total travel of 150 MOA and provides 1 MOA per click adjustments. The RMR, on the other hand, offers a 70 MOA total travel accompanied by a 1 MOA per click adjustment. Both models stand out due to their tactile and audible clicks, which allow for precise adjustments. I find the RMR’s windage and elevation adjustment slightly stiff. 

Both the SRO and RMR’s windage and elevation adjustments dials can be adjusted without using special tools.

User Friendliness

The SRO stands out mostly due to its large window size, making target acquisition fast and easy. But, its larger size could potentially obstruct rear iron sights.

The RMR boasts a compact design, making it a more suitable choice for concealed carry and EDC. Its compact size allows it to co-witness with my firearm’s traditional iron sights. However, its smaller window may require a bit more practice for quick dot location. It also has a slightly narrower field of view.

Both are easy to attach on various firearms which have weaver or Picatinny rails.

Brightness and windage adjustments are straightforward in both. Battery lifetimes are similar, with the RMR just nudging ahead due to its better battery life.

Price

The SRO, with its extensive visual range and convenient top-loading battery feature, commands a more premium price. It’s indeed an expenditure, but for those who see the value of its features, it’s an expense worth making.

The RMR is known for its compact design and robustness and is more wallet-friendly. It’s a dependable sight that offers great performance without draining your finances.

Inclusions in the Box

As you weigh up the cost, it’s also beneficial to scrutinize what’s included with each sight in the box as a part of the Trijicon SRO vs RMR comparison.

Trijicon SRO

  • Trijicon SRO
  • pre-installed CR-2032 lithium battery
  • Adjustment wrenches: 2 flathead Torx cap screwdrivers, Torx head key
  • Instruction manual 
  • 5-year warranty card
  • Trijicon brochure
  • Trijicon sticker
  • Microfiber cloth 

Trijicon RMR

  • Trijicon RMR
  • pre-installed CR-2032 lithium battery
  • Adjustment wrenches: 2 flathead Torx cap screwdrivers, Torx head key
  • Instruction Manual 
  • Trijicon brochure
  • Trijicon sticker
  • 5-year warranty card
  • Microfiber cloth

Pros and Cons

In our ongoing discussion examining the Trijicon SRO versus the RMR, assessing the positives and negatives of each model should be our next step. Having tried and owned both of these optics, I’ve gathered some insightful observations to share.

Trijicon SRO

Pros

  1. Large Window Size: As I mentioned earlier, one of the most significant advantages of the SRO is its large window size. The expansive sight picture allows for quicker target acquisition and improved situational awareness.
  2. Clear Sight Picture: The SRO features a clear, unobstructed sight picture with a wide field of view, enhancing both speed and accuracy.
  3. Adjustable Brightness Settings: The SRO offers adjustable brightness settings, allowing users to customize the reticle intensity based on ambient lighting conditions.
  4. Top-Loading Battery Design: The SRO has a top-loading battery compartment, making it easier to replace the battery without removing the sight from the firearm.

Cons

  1. Weight and Size: The SRO is relatively larger and heavier compared to some other red dot sights, which might be a consideration for those looking to minimize weight on their handgun.
  2. Price: The Trijicon SRO tends to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, making it a significant investment for shooters on a budget.
  3. Limited Holster Compatibility: Due to its larger size, the SRO may have limited compatibility with certain holsters designed for more compact optics.
  4. Learning Curve: Some users may experience a learning curve when transitioning to the SRO due to its larger window size, especially if they are accustomed to smaller red dot sights.

Trijicon RMR

Pros

  1. Durability: The RMR is renowned for its rugged construction, designed to withstand recoil, harsh environmental conditions, and rough handling. It also has better waterproofing capabilities than the SRO.
  2. Compact and Lightweight: The RMR is compact and lightweight, making it suitable for a variety of firearms without adding significant weight or bulk.
  3. Adjustable Brightness Settings: Like the SRO, the RMR allows users to adjust the brightness of the reticle to match ambient lighting conditions.
  4. Co-Witness Capability: The RMR can be mounted to co-witness with iron sights, providing an additional aiming reference and allowing for quick target acquisition.

Cons

  1. Small Window Size: Compared to some newer optics on the market, the RMR has a relatively small window size. Some users may prefer a larger sight picture for improved situational awareness.
  2. Price: Similar to the SRO, the Trijicon RMR is often priced at a premium, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious shooters.
  3. Manual Brightness Adjustment: While the RMR does have adjustable brightness settings, some users may find it less convenient than optics with automatic brightness adjustment.
  4. Battery Replacement Procedure: Changing the battery on certain RMR models may require removing the sight from the firearm, which can be inconvenient for some users.

Firearms Compatibility

Both the Trijicon SRO and the Trijicon RMR are versatile optics designed to be compatible with a wide range of firearms. 

Trijicon SRO

The Trijicon SRO is primarily designed for use on handguns, but it can also be mounted on certain long firearms. Common firearm types compatible with the SRO include:

  1. Handguns: Most popular handgun models, including those from Glock, Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, CZ, and others, can accommodate the Trijicon SRO. It’s important to check for specific mounting solutions designed for your handgun model.
  2. Pistols for Action Shooting: The SRO is often chosen for competitive shooting disciplines, such as USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) and IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation).
  3. Some Rifle Applications: While the SRO is primarily a handgun optic, some users may choose to mount it on certain rifle platforms, especially in situations where a larger window and quick target acquisition are desirable.

Trijicon RMR

The Trijicon RMR is a highly versatile optic suitable for a broad range of firearms, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Compatible firearm types include:

  1. Handguns: The RMR is widely used on handguns, including popular models from Glock, Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, and many others. Various mounting solutions are available for different handgun models.
  2. Rifles: The RMR is commonly used on rifles, including AR-15 platforms and other semi-automatic and bolt-action rifles. It can be mounted on a Picatinny or other rail systems.
  3. Shotguns: Some users choose to mount the RMR on shotguns, particularly those used in competitive shooting or tactical applications. It can provide a fast and intuitive aiming solution.
  4. Submachine Guns and PDWs: The compact size and durability of the RMR make it suitable for use on submachine guns and personal defense weapons (PDWs).

In both cases, the key to compatibility is having the appropriate mounting solution for the specific firearm. Trijicon provides a variety of mounting options, including different plate systems for handguns with optic-ready slides and mounts for rifles with Picatinny or other rail systems.

Conclusion

Taking everything into account, the Trijicon SRO and RMR each stand out in their respective ways. Your selection will ultimately depend on what you value most in your shooting gear.

If a wider viewing area and simplified battery switch-out are high on your list, the SRO is a strong contender. This is my personal preference between the two due to the large window. It’s easier on my eyes and provides me more area awareness.

However, if you’re after robustness and longevity, the RMR might just be your perfect match.

Either way, you’ll be securing yourself a reliable Trijicon optic designed to improve your shooting performance.

About the author

The name's Chris. Just a regular dude who loves firearms. I've been shooting since I was a kid. My old man taught me the ropes.

I'll never forget the first time I missed an easy shot on a buck, thanks to a bum scope. The image was fuzzier than my dog's butt. After that, I got obsessed with understanding scopes. What makes the good ones tick and the bad ones trash. After a few years and a few thousand bucks, I learned what separates the winners from the losers. Once I had a good stockpile of knowledge, I launched this site.

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