JPoint Micro-Electronic Reflex Sight
One weapon accessory that has been perpetually growing in use and popularity has to be the red dot weapon sight. You would be hard pressed to go a day at the range and not see an Aimpoint or Eotech sitting on top of someone’s rifle. Military and law enforcement around the world have all but made them standard issue. We’ve also been seeing these optics sitting on top of pistols, especially in competitions such as in IPSC.
Well, I’m a very into “tacti-cool” weapon accessories and nothing is much more awesome than seeing a holographic red dot painted on wherever you want to make a hole—so that’s why I wanted to check out the JP Enterprises Inc. Micro-Eletronic Reflex Sight for one of my pistols. Although it is one of the coolest, and the most accuracy improving accessory that I’ve ever put on my Glock 21c, there are some details that are hard to escape, but the benefits to accuracy may just negate those few concerns.
To read the complete review of the JPoint Red Dot Sight please click “Read More” located below…
The JPoint Red Dot seems to be of solid construction, and hasn’t failed or lost zero after 1,500 rounds of .45 ACP through my Glock. The frame is constructed out of a glass reinforced nylon polymer in a black finish which holds up well against scratches. The lens is a hard coated acrylic lens. Using a “glass reinforced nylon polymer,” for the frame, combined with an acrylic lens helped keep the JPoint Red Dot’s weight down to only .05 ounces. The optical lens area is only .85” x .6”, creating quite a small viewing area, and features a 4 moa dot reticule.
It’s powered by a single 3v CR 2032 lithium battery (which is used in cameras and computers for CMOS batteries) and automatically adjusts for brightness depending on the amount of light the sensor picks up. The JPoint reflex sight does not have an off on switch; it stays on all the time, so battery life is dictated by how much and how long the brightness needs to be turned up. For the most part, the protective cover serves as the on-off switch. One battery should last approximately 6-12 months; if you take it to the range a lot you can expect that to be shorter. I’ve had mine mounted for about 2 months with about 5 range visits and the JPoint’s dot is still shining bright.
The small electronics package that’s inside the housing is completely sealed using epoxy. This allows it to to be water resistant but not water proof. To make the JPoint Red Dot more resistant to water, JP Enterprises suggests you use some electrical jelly or petroleum jelly to fill in the gaps in the housing where the battery and mount meet.
The JPoint Red Dot sight requires you to buy a specific base depending on which weapon you want it mounted on. JP Enterprises makes a variety of mounts for the JPoint Red Dot ranging from Trijicon ACOGS to Smith and Wesson revolvers. There’s also a few other companies that make mounts as well; I purchased an Aristocrat mount since it was the only one I could find at the time of ordering my optic. You may also have to purchase a 1 degree mounting shim or two if you cannot get the dot to zero and you’ve reached the maximum range for your height adjustments—which seems that it could be a fairly common occurrence.
Installing it on my Glock 21c was almost an effortless affair. I just cleaned the rear sight area with alcohol, and then knocked out the rear sight using a punch. Next, the base for the mount was tapped into the rear sight mount—the base had a little too much play for me to be comfortable after being set in, so I just added some loctite red to keep it there snug. After that sets for about 5 minutes it just needs to have the battery installed, and the top frame screwed into the mount you just installed in the sight base.
Another option for the install that I was debating (and will probably go to in the near future) is what JP Enterprises calls melting the sight in. This is a custom install in which you will have to send your pistol in to a company such as Briley Manufacturing who will “melt” the sight in. Melting the sight simply means that the install will entail cutting a small portion out of the rear of the slide so that the JPoint Red Dot’s lines will be more flush with the slide, lowering the height over bore; hence, improving accuracy at a variety of ranges. Melting the sight in is also necessary if you wish to take advantage of the back up sight at the rear of the JPoint (just two notches in the back that resemble a standard pistol sight). Without melting the sight in, the point of aim/point of impact of the BUIS is entirely off , rendering the back up sight useless unless you chose this custom install option.
Zeroing and Range Time
Like with other red dots, zeroing the JPoint Red Dot on a pistol involves shooting groups then adjusting. There is one major difference though between zeroing the JPoint and zeroing an EOTech or Aimpoint, which is the elevation and windage range of the clicks. The adjustable range significantly less on the JPoint than with others. Speaking of clicks, there is no clicks when when dialing in the windage or elevation–the JPoint Red Dot uses an Allen wrench that goes into set screws to adjust the two axis for zeroing, and there are no clicks to tell you how many MOAs you’re adjusting. Not having clicks to know exactly how far I was moving the dot was a concern for me, especially when I tried adjusting it before going to the range. There is one major flaw to the zeroing process with the JPoint, one which could render your purchase useless.
As mentioned before, the is a limited amount of range you can move the reticule from left to right or up and down–it is imperative that you do not force the windage or elevation more than the threshold will allow (more than likely you might run into problem with elevation). It’s noted in the instruction manual (twice, in bold) that forcing the the reticule past its limitation has the likely potential to have the electronics inside to actually disengage from the zeroing mechanism, leaving you with a useless optic. Another thing worth noting is that JP Enterprises’ warranty does not cover malfunctions due to over adjustments, and let me tell you, it is easy to do if you’re not careful and deliberate when zeroing. With no audible or tactile clicks to let you know how far you’re adjusting, and the limited rotations for the dial (the manual states one full turn), going past the threshold seems like it could be common. That’s probably why JPoint sells the height adjustment shims so that if you meet that threshold, so there’s still an option to get that dot on the true point of impact.
Well, after reading this I decided to wait till I got to the range to even attempt to zero it. Before going, I only adjusted the windage, fearing that I would dislodge the sighting mechanism if I messed up the elevation. I started by bench resting the pistol and firing a group of 5 rounds from 50 ft. I saw that my group was about 9 inches right and about a foot up. So with my Allen wrench, and the Glock still bench rested, I looked through the glass and moved the reticule to where the group was. This is important when zeroing the JPoint Red Dot; you want to move the dot to the point of impact, not move the reticule where you want to point of impact to be. After that adjustment, the groups moved closer to my point of aim and it only took one more final adjustment to get them right on target. Luckily, I did not need the shims to further adjust my elevation as I previously feared I would. The zeroing process was not as difficult as I anticipated, and the lack of tactile/audible clicks were not as big as an issue as I thought.
So far, after about 1,500 rounds though my Glock 21C, the JPoint Red Dot has held zero. It definitely improved my accuracy and consistency at the range. My groups are tighter, and I’m able to shoot more accurately at farther ranges. Shooting out the “x” at 7 yards is an easy task, and hitting clay targets on a hillside at 50 yards was also easier with the JPoint Red Dot. But after firing and handling the weapon with the JPoint, one issue started to concern me which might negate that accuracy improving characteristic of the device, and that was obtaining a fast sight picture.
This area of the optic is the one that I have been deliberating since buying it. I originally purchased this for my Glock 21c to try to compensate for the distraction the ported barrel can cause. Seeing the flash in between my front sight post and rear sight while shooting was distracting, and caused me to lose my sight picture briefly, especially when rapid firing. I wanted a red dot so that the sight picture would be more abrupt and obvious, lessening the distraction caused by the vertical flash being caused by my compensated Glock. Well, I can tell you that the JPoint did this extremely well, the auto adjusted brightness was right on the money, the dot is easy to see, and the flash from the ports does not wash it out. But obtaining that sight picture from a draw sometimes proves to be too difficult to be confident with.
I started to debate the practical use of the JPoint on a pistol when first practicing drawing the weapon. Since the JPoint has such a small viewing area, it is extremely easy to lose the dot. Just about a half inch to inch cantor on any axis will cause the dot to completely leave the viewing area. The weapon has to be aligned just right in order for you to have a good sight picture. Also, trying to obtain that initial sight picture can be difficult, since there is no reference while looking through the glass to see which axis you need to tilt the gun to get your dot in alignment. With standard 3 dot sights, you have a reference–you can see where the dots aligned, make that quick instantaneous adjustment and your in line. With the JPoint, there is no reference, its just glass. There is no instant way to know to tilt back, tilt left, or tilt anywhere in order to get that dot in view. In order to get that dot on target from a draw, one would have to train a good bit more in order to make sure his or her draw is consistent.
Due to inconsistencies I have with drawing the weapon and obtaining a good sight alignment, I would not use my Glock 21c as a carry weapon (I generally didn’t anyway just because of the size of the gun). With the JPoint, I find it could be a liability not being able to get that fast sight alignment. Even with training, I feel that getting that sight alignment could still be slower than using the standard factory sights. As mentioned before, just a few centimeters of tilt on any axis and the dot is gone out of your field of view. Also seeing that dot fly around the glass while trying to get it aligned on target could be a distraction . I know with training, a lot of the concerns regarding sight alignment from a draw could be resolved, but one thing that cannot be resolved is the inherit flaw of using an electronic sighting system, and that is the battery.
Well, since I wasn’t going to use it as a carry weapon sight for personal defense, I looked at the JPoint Micro-Reflex Red Dot sight for a home defense optic on my pistol. This is where the battery life was a concern. For home defense, I would not like to try to test Murphy’s Law–to have my optic not working at the moment I needed it caused me to be a little reluctant for home defense use. Since the batteries last about 6-12 months with normal use, if you are going to use the JPoint for home defense, I strongly suggest you have a reminder to change that battery out at least every 5 months to be sure. I will use the JPoint Red Dot for home defense, but only after I get the custom melted installation. That way, if the JPoint’s battery does die, I will still have back up iron sights for my pistol.
Another drawback I noticed with JPoint for home defense is when its used with a tactical mounted light. When the JPoint Red Dot is combined with the light, there’s a tendency for light to washout the red dot. I’ve actually lost the reticule when turning on the light, and I have to put forward an effort in order to find it again.
For tactical uses on a pistol, I wouldn’t recommend the JPoint Red Dot. First and foremost, in tactical purposes, the pistol is usually a secondary weapon. Meaning, your primary weapon has failed for whatever reason, and you need a weapon right there and now and it MUST work or you die. Therefore, the weapon must work, and the before mentioned concerns about the JPoint just leads me to say that the tried and true standard pistol sights are probably the best bet for this type of situation. I could see advantageous tactical uses regarding the JPoint Red Dot for purposes such as a CQB sight mounted on top of a scope such as an DMR scope or ACOG. Using it as a secondary sight on a rifle would be the most ideal tactical use for the JPoint.
Overall firing my Glock 21c with the JPoint Red Dot mounted on top was awesome. It was everything (when firing) what I wanted it to be. Its very accurate, enabling me to hit targets consistently out to 50 yards; its durable, holding zero after 1,500 rounds of .45 ACP though it; and its inexpensive, costing under $300 (that’s including mount).
The one major drawback for me, which also limits its uses, is obtaining that sight picture. I fully understand that with enough training obtaining a consistent sight alignment would not be a big issue. Already after owning the sight for 2 months my draw has significantly improved, and that sight picture is coming up faster and faster. However, there are still times when the dot is just not there, and I spend about .5-1.5 seconds more trying to find it (which is way too long in any critical situation). I’m curious to see if these results will improve if I do indeed have the JPoint Red Dot melted in, which I suspect it will.
Some improvements I would like to see with the JPoint would first come to the zeroing process. After reading the bold text in the manual stating how easy it is to break the sight, I would really like some audible/tactile clicks to let you know you’re in the danger area of breaking it while adjusting it and to let you know how many MOA you’re adjusting. (Just some more FYI, JPoint can tell if the sight was broken by over adjustments because there is tape on the bottom of the upper housing where the vertical adjustment is, if that tape is broken, that means you over adjusted.) Another improvement I would make would be to put a small dot of tritium at the back of the sight where the iron sights are. This would be a true backup system if the red dot went down. It would allow you to use just a standard iron night sight system using a dot on dot method, similar to Henie sights.
Even with the short comings of getting that rapid sight alignment, and worrying about battery life, the JPoint’s accuracy improving attributes make up for it all. Shooting it at the range or out in the desert is just pure fun. Hitting bottles from 50 yards away, or shooting out the “X” every time at the range makes this optic completely worth its relatively small price tag. Although nothing can replace good shooting fundamentals, the JPoint Red Dot does a good job improving my accuracy and consistency while shooting my pistol.