Shield RMSw, RMSc, and Others: the Reflex Mini Sight Series

The Shield RMS (Reflex Mini Sight) had been around for quite a while now. While some potential users were dubious about its ability to withstand punishment at first, its demonstrated ability to take abuse has made it increasingly popular. If you’re looking to understand the Shield RMS vs RMSc vs RMSw (etc.), then read on.


That dubya on the end of the acronym there stands for WATERPROOF, as in: Reflex Mini Sight Waterproof. There are a couple of different versions, including 4MOA and a 4MOA glass lens version, and three versions in 8MOA (“dubya”, “dubya with glass, and Heavy Duty dubya). There are also options for additional mounting plates to ensure you can find one that fits the most popular pistols. Or in case you have a preferred mounting platform.

⚠️Note we say pistols because that’s how these optics are most commonly used. There are people who’ve put them on rifles and shotguns.

Dubya model mounted to a Danger Close Armament G19 (with an Inforce light attached).

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Primary Arms


Shield Sights says the system is a tight seal gasket between the slide and the battery without the need for an additional/special mounting plate. They say it stays watertight at depths of up to 20 meters for half an hour and provides additional protection against damage from “harsh environmental conditions”.

Shield RMS vs RMSc

The RMSc differs from the Shield RMS only in size and intended purpose: the RMSc is a Compact version. Just note that RMS no longer refers to previous micro sights (at least colloquially). It might refer to the 2.0, the X version, or the forthcoming RMSd (which is a metal housing).

Shield RMS vs. Shield RMSc

Shield Pistol RDS: Latest news

The first of the Shield Sight RMS series came out circa September-October 2016. The original Shield RMS was very small, though not as small as subsequent RMSc (q.v.). All the RMS line is descended from the British CQB, which saw extensive service with MoD and other Commonwealth forces (and the CQS, the civilian version of the CQB).

12-5-19 Glass lenses now a custom option on RMS (and RMSc and RMSw) sights.

Shield has advised they’re adding an all-glass lens as a custom option for their whole line of micro RDS(RMS, RMSc, RMSw, and SMS).

Shield sight with glass lens option.

Via the release: “The addition of an all-glass lens provides a solution to customers looking for maximum scratch resistance. The glass lens is clear and uncoated for maximum clarity in all shooting situations. The glass lens has no magnification value and provides a true representation of the shooting environment.

Shield sight with glass lens options.

Custom Options & Features

  • Colors include Blue, Bordeaux Red, British Racing Green, Bronze, Crimson Orange, Silver, Gunmetal Grey, and Purple.
  • Type III Sulfuric Acid Anodizing
  • Dot sizes include 4MOA and 8MOA
  • Lens options SiO2 coated polymer or all Glass lens
  • Delivery within six weeks
RMS sight customization options

RMS sight customization options
Shield RMS color options as of their most recent update included: Blue, Bordeaux Red, British Racing Green, Olive Green, Bronze, Crimson Orange, Electric Blue, Fiery Red, Gunmetal Blue, Gunmetal Grey, Neon Lime, Pink, and Purple. All colors are a Type III Sulfuric Acid Anodizing treatment to the aluminum housing.

Remember the JPoint? The SMS is an all-polymer RDS that takes up the same real estate as the RMS at half the price. 📷 @hun_tactical.

Shield Sights SMS

Shield RMS

The Shield Arms RMS (Reflex Mini Sight)  was the first of the RMS series, all of which evolved from the CQB (which was used by the British Ministry of Defence).

pistol red dot sight from Shield Sights
pistol red dot sight from Shield Sights

Reflex Mini

The RMS is described by the manufacturer thusly:

Parallax free, clear polymer optic, which can withstand up to ten times greater shock impact than products using glass optics. Unlike many competing products, the RMS is designed without a red reflective filter on the lens to ensure minimal visual signature. The…body is made from aerospace-grade aluminum and has an anodized matte black finish. Variable intensity drive circuit that senses target light levels and controls LED output giving optimum visibility of the dot against the target. Available in different dot sizes, tailored to your application. The RMS fits all mounts readily available for the SMS. The RMS is available with an optional battery draw that allows you to change the battery without having to unmount it.

RMS Specs

  • Light Source: Red light-emitting diode (LED) No laser; completely eye-safe No radioactive materials
  • Optic Size Options: 4 MOA dot 8 MOA dot
  • Lens: Reflex x1 (no magnification)
  • Lens Coating: Anti-reflection No colored coating, minimizes visible signature
  • Battery: One 3V lithium battery, CR2032
  • Battery Life:  2 to 3 years – average use >4 years – dark storage
  • Brightness Adjustment: Automatic
  • Brightness Range: Lowest – Compatible with Night Vision: Highest – Visible against the sky in bright daylight
  • Housing material: Aluminium
  • Colour: Matte black
  • Dimensions: Sight only (Length x width x height) 42 x 25 x 23 mm 1.7 x 1.0 x 0.9 inches
  • Weight: 17.5 grams / 0.61 ounces
  • Mount: A wide range of mounts are available.
Shield Sights cowitness

Shield RMSc

Released in early 2018, the RMSc (or RMS-C) is the…wait for it…RMS Compact. Initially intended for sub-compact pistols like the Glock 43 and S&W Shield, the little optic has seen wider use with new types of sub-compact handguns.

Shield Sights RMS (compact) on a Grey Ghost Precision G43
Shield RMSC on a Grey Ghost Precision G43

The RMSc was released with the same bolt pattern as the original RMS (and for that matter, the first Shield SMS). This allowed users with RMS-compatible slides to switch to the RMSc without undue hassle. A side-accessible battery draw also allows for quickly changing out batteries.

Shield red dot mounted up for use.
The Shield RMS series is an increasingly popular option for the smallest of concealed carry pistols.
RMS (compact) on a GGP slide
Another Shield RMSC on a GGP slide.

RMSc Specs

  • Light Source: Red light-emitting diode (LED) No laser; completely eye-safe. No radioactive materials
  • Optic Size Options: 4 MOA dot 8 MOA dot
  • Lens: Reflex x1 (no magnification)
  • Lens Coating: Hard coating with Anti-reflection No colored coating, minimizes visible signature
  • Battery: One 3V lithium battery, CR2032
  • Battery Life: 2 to 3 years – average use >4 years – dark storage
  • Brightness Adjustment: Automatic
  • Brightness Range: Lowest – Compatible with Night Vision: Highest – Visible against the sky in bright daylight
  • Battery Fitting: Underneath.<
  • Housing material: Aluminium
  • Colour: Matte black
  • Dimensions: Sight only (Length x width x height) 40 x 23 x 22 mm 1.7 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Weight: 16.40 grams / 0.57 ounces inc Battery
  • Mount: A wide range of mounts are available. It fits existing RMS/SMS mounts.

As optics for pistol use became increasing popular some manufacturers began releasing handguns already so equipped: like this Walther PPS M2 equipped with an RMSc, reviewed on Shooting Illustrated.

Shield RMS-W

The Shield RMS-W (also referred to as RMSw) is a “ruggedized” and water-resistant version of the Shield RMS.

Shield Sights RMS-W

According to the original release (c. December 2018), “The RMS-W also features a newly designed frame which adds thickness to the aluminum lens housing as well as a newly designed side profile. The RMS-W will also be the first sight in the RMS line to benefit from the newly developed hard-coated polymer lens.

Shield Sights RMS-W

These modifications have increased the flex strength of the standard RMS sight by over 80% while maintaining the original viewing window and mounting footprint. The RMS-W will fit any slide that has already been cut for the RMS, RMS-C, SMS, or Jpoint.”

RMS-dubya Specs:

  • The RMS-W is machined from aerospace-grade aluminum
  • Gasket sealed to ensure consistent waterproofing
  • Increased thickness of aluminum housing
  • Hard coated polymer lens to resist scratching
  • Very fast automatic brightness adjustment
  • Very low profile to Co-Witness standard iron sights
  • 2-3 year average battery life with standard CR2032 battery
  • Weight: 17.6 grams / .62 ounces battery included]

Shield RMS Review (s)

RMSc Review – Springfield Hellcat (Mike Humphries)

“I have to admit I really like the Shield RMSc on the Hellcat OSP. The combination of the compact little red dot with the excellent U-Dot iron sights of the Hellcat gives me a great combination of options. I have the red dot right there whenever I need it, and I also have the irons backing it up in case anything happens to the optic.

A Springfield Hellcat with RMSc aboard, via "The Armory Life"

I personally have had trouble in the past with red dots on handguns with finding the red dot in the sighting pane — basically, I would have to search a little bit to spot it. On the Hellcat OSP and the Shield, I use the co-witnessing U-Dot iron sights to get me “in the zone” for the first fraction of a second. By starting to align the iron sights like I would with a normal pistol, I get the gun aligned properly so I can quickly pick up the red dot. The more I do it, I find I’m automatically aligning the pistol on the target to see the red dot without having to even think about the irons. As with everything, practice makes perfect.”

Read the remainder of Hellcat Reflex on Armory Life.

RMS Review: The Firearm Blog (Nathan S.)

“Typically, I am wary of self-adjusting optics. Almost invariably, those models have major issues from shooting from dark light into high light and vice versa. The Shield RMS did not – if only because it defaults to being a bit brighter than one is used to. This leads to some fuzzy outline on the dot when shooting into low-light, but not so much as to be distracting. Its bright that the 4 MOA goes to 8. On the converse, the optic is bright enough in low-light that shooting to high makes the dot a fine circle. While not tested with night vision – Shield states the dot will adjust to night-vision compatible in suitable environments…

TFB Review: Shield RMS “Reflex Miniature Sight”

…Putting rounds down range is as easy as put the sight on the target and pull the trigger. When using the Glock front sight, I especially liked the rear notch. As one who practices finding the dot by establishing the iron sight picture, the integrated sight is a real benefit. Even re-mounted with the taller aftermarket sights, it worked well – I just did not like the taller irons taking up more of the sight picture – not the fault of the RMS.

As with any sight mounted to the slide, it takes practice to follow the dot during recoil and reset for follow-up shots. At first, the bouncing red dot is unnerving, but with a hundred rounds down the pipe, it becomes comforting to watch the weapon’s behavior and track the dot back onto the target – a big boon over standard irons which require getting the rear sight back into focus as well. For close-in targets, I did not see much improvement in splits or accuracy, but targets 15 yards and out, the RMS shined bright like the red dot.”

Read the rest of this review on TFB.

Shield Sights Review: TTAG on the RMS (Jeremy S.)

“Thanks to the polycarbonate lens, there’s no distortion or color shift when looking through the RMS. It doesn’t require a red coating and gets only an anti-reflection and anti-scratch treatment. Glare and “visual signature” from downrange are reduced as compared to a glass lens RDS. Additionally, the polymer lens is both lighter weight and more impact resistant than glass. It falls short vs. its glass brethren only in scratch resistance…

…A light sensor in the RMS adjusts the dot’s brightness automatically. And very well, I might add. For instance, if you’re in deep shade but your target is in full sun, the sensor does a good job of recognizing the brightness of your target area and adjusting the dot accordingly…

…I think the SHIELD RMS is the best micro red dot sight on the market, or at least as good as it gets. No buttons, no settings, it just works and works well.”

Read the rest of the original article on The Truth About Guns.

Shield Sights Video Overview –

(They’re also on eBay – lots of Glock parts and accessories are available there.)

Zero your Shield RMS

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