The Smith & Wesson Pro Series CORE pistols were announced several months ago, and they were ready to run at the Media Day event at the SHOT Show this year. I had the chance to shoot an M&P9 fitted with a Trijicon RMR sight. [Ed. note: Check out Paul Carlson's interview regarding the Trijicon RMR here.]
The three-dot sights were taller than the standard sights so you can co-witness through the optic. This is good should something go wrong with the optic in combat or competition. The downside is they could be somewhat distracting for some people – nothing that isn’t quickly overcome with training, however. I didn’t have any problems with them.
I’ve shot a lot of AR-type rifles with various red dot optics, but I think this was the first pistol I have shot with one. The RMR sight worked just as I would expect it to. The bright aiming point was easy to see, allowing for fast target acquisition. Accuracy was very good with the RMR.
Trijicon has an excellent reputation for building durable optics. Friends of mine who have used an ACOG overseas have been very complimentary of the ruggedness are reliability of them. The RMR is also supposed to be designed to take a beating (listen to the above interview by Paul Carlson.) While a group of writers at Media Day isn’t the harshest thing a RMR is likely to encounter, the guns were certainly being shot a lot. Also, the temps were very cold – below freezing when I was shooting. Both the gun and the optic ran 100%.
Having an RMR or similar red dot on top of your pistol does add to the overall size of the gun. However, I think the benefits may outweigh the drawbacks of a larger package. There are a number of kydex holster makers who are already making scabbards for guns fitted with an optic. I also saw a new duty holster from Safariland this year designed to accomodate a red dot. So, we may be reaching critical mass on pistol optics.