Guns and Gear

Steiner MPS Review — Pistol Red Dot Optic Perfection

The Steiner Micro Pistol Sight, or MPS, has garnered quite the reputation for being a duty-proven optic for pistols or long guns. I had the opportunity to run the Steiner MPS through its paces on top of my Springfield Armory Echelon, as I was curious how the optic and the pistol would perform together.

The Steiner MPS red dot sight was tested on the Springfield Armory Echelon pistol.

Steiner MPS Features

For a defensive pistol, a straightforward optic is very desirable. The Steiner MPS is chock full of all the features you need and no unneeded superfluous extras. It is non-magnifying — a true 1x optic.

I found the MPS to be extremely user-friendly. It has eight brightness settings, with two designated for compatibility with night vision gear. It features a battery life of 13,000 hours and has an auto shut-off feature to prolong the power source. The auto-off feature can be disabled for someone using the MPS as a duty optic on a handgun or patrol carbine. This keeps the optic turned on at all times, eliminating any turn-on delay.


In this photo, the author is showing the optic's features while it is mounted on the pistol. The MPS sits low — even with the adapter — allowing easy access to the top-mounted battery on top of the sight. Additionally, it allows the use of a suppressor. Not bad for a new red dot.
The Steiner MPS features battery compartment on top of the optic. This means you do not have to remove it for a battery swap.

Windage and elevation adjustments on the MPS are 1 MOA, meaning every audible, tactile click will move bullet impact 1 MOA on target. Along with the technical aspects, the MPS features an ACRO-pattern footprint.

The design of the MPS allows it to maintain Steiner’s battle-proven durability and mil-spec ruggedness. The MPS features all-metal construction and strong sidewalls to completely seal in the emitter for the red dot. What this means in layman’s terms is that nothing is going to cover the emitter and render your red dot non-functional.


Shown here is the author testing the optic with a Blackhawk holster designed for police and military duty use. You can see the clearance that the rig provides for a red dot sight. The Safariland rig offers a similar fit and clearance. The MPS is powered by a battery that is top mounted which is perfect for an optic from the pistol for fast target or sight acquisition. 
Many modern holsters are designed with an optics cut. In the rigs tested, the MPS was compatible with these when mounted on the Echelon handgun.

The front of the optic has a hood that overhangs to protect the recessed objective lens. This means you can utilize the optic itself to rack the slide if needed in an emergency.

Mounting the Optic

I found that mounting the MPS was a breeze, and the Variable Interface System for optics on the Echelon makes it even easier. Although you will need a separate plate for the ACRO/MPS footprint, the plate itself is machined to complement the slide work on the Echelon.


The author demonstrates adjusting the point of aim in this photo. He is using a screwdriver to shift the red dot. This means the emitter changes where the dot appears on the front lens of the MPS. Adjustments have light clicks in them allowing for audible and tactile feedback on the sight adjustments. The dot size is fixed and has a feature after 13 hours that turns off the emitter. This is like the Trijicon RMR.
Near the top of the optic on the right side is an adjustment screw. This allows you to sight the optic in for the appropriate distance in your set-up.

The plate will match the rear serrations, fits perfectly, and will look as though the MPS-mounting footprint was machined into the slide. The plate itself locks into place on the slide with two Torx screws and recoils bosses for a worry-free and secure lock-up.

A user-friendly feature of the optic is the battery compartment. The MPS uses an easily accessible compartment that allows you to swap the CR1632 battery without removing it from the slide.

Performance

Out on the range is where the Steiner MPS shines. The crystal-clear glass and large window assist with fast target acquisition. I have shot this optic on the Echelon for more than 1,000 rounds in a multitude of different drills. Coming from the holster and picking up the dot on target is simple. There is no hunting for the dot.


In this photo, the author is shooting the Springfield Armory Echelon 9mm duty gun with a Steiner attached to the slide. Both the gun and optic worked flawlessly. The optic was compared to the Holosun with excellent characteristics in its favor. Likewise the Echelon proved to be superior to the Glock in many ways. 
The Steiner was tested on the Springfield Armory Echelon pistol. Here the author spends time on the range shooting the pistol with the mounted optic.

Let’s talk a bit about the dot itself. It’s crisp and clean with a perfect 3.3 MOA dot. I can’t answer why the dot is 3.3 MOA and not just 3 or an even number, but it’s the perfect size for defensive use. The size of the dot leaves plenty of room for target identification and doesn’t cover too much of a silhouette at extended ranges past 25 yards.

When mounted on the Echelon, the factory “iron sights” were visible in the lower quarter of the viewing port. This allows for co-witnessing a sight picture should the Steiner optic ever malfunction, however unlikely.


Shown in this photograph is the brightness and size of the red dot when looking through the lens of the MPS. The dot is bright and clearly visible even with glare from the sun. The MSRP of the optic is slightly over $600 which makes puts it firmly into competition with duty type sights. 
At only 2.05 ounces, the sight adds little weight to the handgun. This makes it easier to get on target quickly and to hold it there for an extended period of time if needed. 

The red dot design of the MPS is a closed-emitter red dot, which excels when the atmospheric conditions are less than ideal. Rain, snow or sleet will not affect red dot performance, and the MPS has been no exception. Even when the temperature changes from cold to hot or back and forth, the fogproof construction of the MPS ensures the dot will be there when you need it.

In addition to using the red dot on my Echelon, it worked admirably as an offset red dot on my rifle. With over 1,500 rounds through my rifle, it never let me down. I think the MPS is built like a tank, and it would take a catastrophic event to destroy it. It is, as they say, a shooter.


As seen in this photo, the author demonstrates how you can co-witness the factory u-dot sights with the MPS sight. The u-dot sights use a tritium vial in the front sight that allows you to index it in low to no light conditions such as at night or in a dark room.
You can co-witness the Echelon’s factory U-Dot sights when the MPS is installed on the slide. As shown here, the iron sights are in the lower part of the sight picture and are completely useable.

Having used it for the last eight months leading up to this review, I can say the battery life is as advertised. On top of this, many red dots use a blue tint or hue on the glass to achieve a better battery life and this will affect glass clarity. The MPS, as stated before, has the clearest glass of any enclosed emitter red dot I have used, and I have used them all. One last note about glass performance is the anti-glare coating works and works even when shooting into the midday sun. There were no issues regarding dot brightness.

Conclusion: Zero Problems

What else can I say about the Steiner optic? It is great. The MPS is personally my favorite enclosed emitter reflex sight for a pistol. On top of this, the MPS looks awesome on top of the Springfield Armory Echelon.

I believe Steiner made a perfect optic for a duty pistol. It is waterproof, shockproof, fogproof and backed by the Steiner Heritage Warranty. This means no matter what, the Steiner MPS will not let you down and be with you for a lifetime of service. Whether it is the crystal-clear glass or the durability, the Steiner MPS has found a forever home on my 9mm Echelon.

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