AllOutdoor Review: Grace Optics M-1 Micro Reflex Red Dot
Brian Miller 07.07.22
The Grace Optics M-1 Micro Reflex Red Dot sight has an interesting design. Grace Optics gives their micro reflex red dot sight the term of being a topless red dot. The top of the glass is exposed, and the housing does not obscure the shooter’s vision. The concept is very intriguing to me especially for a small carry optic situation on a handgun. I own a few C-More Slide Ride optics and always appreciated the large field of view. When I saw this optic, I immediately thought of the C-More Slide Ride that lives on my USPSA 2011 Open Class blaster. Could this little optic give me a wide-open sight picture with such a tiny footprint?
Grace Optics is a family-owned company located in Memphis, Michigan. The company is owned by two brothers, Nate and Matt. The brothers have 30 years experience in problem solving and engineering. The warranty on Grace Optics appealed to me. They term it the “No Questions Asked Warranty.” In the first 60 days of owning the product, if you are not happy they will refund 100% of your money back. In the event of your optic becoming damaged or defective, they promise to repair or replace it to perfect working order. An Unlimited Lifetime Warranty, Fully Transferrable, No Receipt Needed. The Grace Optics warranty policy caught my attention.
Specifications – Grace Optics M-1 Micro Reflex Red Dot
The Grace Optics M-1 Micro red dot has the same footprint as the Sig Romeo red dot and is priced at $199.95. The M-1 has 1x magnification. Some micro red dots state they have 1x magnification, but to my eyes, they are more like 1.25x – 1.5x. That is not an issue with the particular M-1 dot I have. The M-1 has a lens diameter of 24 mm. The overall length is 1.6″ and the optic is 1.3″ wide. The M-1 is 0.8″ high and weighs in at merely 1 ounce. The Grace Optics M-1 optic is waterproof-rated for 1 meter for 30 minutes. The M-1 has 10 brightness settings with 2 night settings. The battery life is advertised at 10,000 hours. The Grace Optics M-1 is offered in 4 dot configurations: 3 MOA or 6 MOA with a choice of green or red.
A picatinny rail adapter was included with the optic. In the instruction manual, a blueprint of mounting surface of the optic is included. I particularly appreciated the diagram enclosed in the package. I am a garage machinist, inventor, and mad scientist. I am always printing or machining my own optic mounts. In the past, I have had trouble acquiring this data. The pic rail adapter is of a robust design, but when building my own mounts I prefer a direct interface.
How Does the Grace Optics M-1 Perform?
I have been using the M-1 in a somewhat of an unconventional role. The M-1 has been riding on my crossbow as a back-up/super-short range optic. Here is an article I wrote on the subject: The Case for an Offset Red Dot on your Hunting Crossbow. The M-1 has been on my Killer Instinct X-1 for hundreds – if not more than thousands – of shots. Crossbows are notorious for destroying optics. The Grace Optics M-1 has not missed a beat. The optic has not lost its zero, and I am still on the original battery. I do not leave the optic turned on when not in use.
The glass has a slight blue tint when looking through it, but I own more expensive dots with more tint in the glass. The dot brightness controls work well. The button to increase brightness is on the passenger side of the optic, and the button to decrease the dot intensity is on the driver’s side. Simply depress and hold both buttons at the same time to turn off the optic. I have had a few red dots in this price range that have had intensity buttons that seemed sticky and didn’t work that well. The Grace Optics M-1 controls worked fine.
The Topless Design
The two biggest questions I had about the topless design:
- How far up the optic lens will you be able to see the dot?
- Will the dot wash out in intense sunlight?
The M-1 handled both questions with ease. The dot is visible everywhere on the lens. This makes the glass seem much larger than it is. I really appreciate the increased field of view by having the top of the lens open. The M-1 has worked great on the few bright of days that we get in Western Pennsylvania, and the dot is totally visible without any wash out. I am truly a fan of the configuration of the glass on this family of optics.
I really think this optic would shine in a slide ride, carry optics pistol configuration. My personal carry gun currently has iron sights, but as old age is creeping in, I might cut the slide and mount a Grace Optics M-1 or the slightly more expensive M-2 at an MSRP of $259.95. The M-2 appears to have a slightly more robust housing and uses the RMR mounting footprint. I really don’t think you could wrong with either optic, particularly when you consider the warranty.