Back in June I posted an article titled Trijicon SRS: High-End Failure that detailed my experiences with the sight. Needless to say, I was more than a little disappointed with the performance given the price it commands. It’s also worth noting that the problem I was having was not unique to my sight.
As I promised in the previous article, I sent my sight to Trijicon for service in June. The sight was returned to me this week (Sept 10th) with a note saying they replaced a battery cap spring and painted the circuitry around the emitter inside of the sight black. Apparently the lack of black paint on the circuitry caused a reflection around the dot under the right lighting conditions. If the sun was anywhere in front of the sight, the reflection of the circuitry around the dot looked similar to signal strength bars on a call phone.
Once I cracked open the box from Trijicon, I stuck a new battery in the SRS and headed outside to see if the problem had been corrected. Right away I noticed a big difference in how the dot appeared in direct sunlight. As long as the sun wasn’t directly in front of the SRS I could see a clearly defined dot, this was definitely an improvement. Before being repaired, the sun could be anywhere in front of the sight (180 degrees) and the reticle would be obscured by the bars of light around it. Heavily overcast days were an even bigger problem as the bars of light appeared around the dot no matter where the sun was in the sky.
I thought things were looking pretty good.
However, the moment I turned the sight more towards the sun the dot faded and a larger “box” of light appeared around the reticle. Making matters worse, the sun caused a bright dot of light (glare) to appear to the right of the reticle. The glare looked more like the reticle than the reticle did, if that makes sense.
Let’s take a look at the reticle before the repair. This shot was taken on a heavily overcast day with the sun to my back:
…and here’s what the reticle looks like after being repaired:
The repair definitely improved the situation, however I’m still not happy with the performance of the sight. Trijicon tells me that a $120 Killflash ARD will remedy the problem, but then I don’t use ARD’s for a reason. Looking through a red dot sight with an ARD installed is like looking through a screen door, and they’re expensive. If the SRS requires a Killflash ARD for proper operation, I believe Trijicon should include one in the box. Had I known the sight required an ARD, I wouldn’t have purchased it.
Prior to owning the SRS I’ve never had such issues with my higher-end red dot sights. If I perform the same test with an Aimpoint T1 Micro or Comp M2 I will not see any signs of glare from either the electronics or sun in the sight picture.
Ultimately the SRS offers nothing over competitive products in the same price category. At first glance the solar power feature seems interesting until you understand how it works. Some mistakenly believe the sight can operate without a battery and this isn’t the case. The solar panels only serve to extend battery life, they don’t recharge the battery or allow the sight to operate absent a battery. When you compare the SRS to the Aimpoint Comp M4′s impressive 8+ year battery life without solar assistance, the SRS appears overly complicated, at least to me.
Hopefully Trijicon continues the development of the SRS and a 2nd generation site emerges that corrects the shortcomings of the current design.