The Spectra Pistol Dot is a new addition to the GPO's optics lineup, serving as their first-ever open reflex red dot sight. Prior to this release, the company has solely offered a small tube sight – they are fairly new to the red dot sight market. The decision to introduce an open reflex red dot sight has undoubtedly been influenced by the increasing popularity of optic-ready compact pistols. We visited GPO’s booth at IWA 2023 to check out Spectra Pistol Dot’s features.
An elegant design
GPO Spectra Pistol Dot embodies the classic GPO design; it sports a black-coloured elegantly shaped housing with minimal protrusions from its housing. The built-in lighting sensor eliminates the need for buttons, adding to the device’s compactness. In terms of size, the GPO Spectra Pistol Dot is similar to the popular Shield RMS. When the sight is switched off or the battery is depleted, the backside of the device conveniently serves as a rear sight.
Rugged and durable
GPO Spectra Pistol Dot is made from aluminium and designed to the IPX7 standard, making it waterproof. The lens is crafted from high-quality polymer. The overall construction is sturdy – At IWA 2023, we were informed that it successfully withstood 10.000 rounds of .40 Smith & Wesson during testing.
The device features the Shield RMS/SMS mounting standard, which means that there is an abundance of available mounts on the market for users to choose from. Despite it being ideally sized for pistols, GPO Spectra Pistol Dot comes with a fixed Picatinny adapter, which means that you can mount it on an AR platform, hunting rifles with a Picatinny base, and other similar firearms.
Looking for suitable mounting solutions for your GPO Spectra Pistol Dot?
Thanks to the quality of the glass and the coatings, the tint is barely visible when using the sight. The magnification appears to be a true 1x.
GPO Spectra Pistol Dot features a 3 MOA dot, offering minimal coverage and ensuring accurate shots up to a distance of 70 meters. This dot size is excellent for rifle use, but since the target audience for this red dot sight are pistol users, as indicated by its name, it would be ideal for GPO to provide an alternative size option, such as a 6 or 7 MOA dot, which is the preferred option of many pistol users.
The built-in sensor eliminates the need for manual brightness adjustment, as it detects the ambient lighting and adapts accordingly. This user-friendly feature works well in most situations, although it may falter in certain situations; for example, when the shooter is in the dark aiming at a target in a bright area.
The sight is powered by a CR1632 battery, easily accessible via a pry-open battery tray. It provides a battery life of 40,000 hours at a medium brightness setting. The battery can be replaced within seconds without the need for re-zeroing, as the sight doesn't need to be removed from the firearm (the tray is on the side of the device). An automatic shut-off function further preserves battery life by turning off the sight after one minute of inactivity. The lowest brightness setting is compatible with night vision, while the highest setting is suitable for daytime brightness.
An increasing number of optics manufacturers are entering the pistol red dot sight market, which comes as no surprise given the rising trend of mounting red dot sights on compact pistols. As the market continues to expand, GPO's Spectra Pistol Dot may not introduce any revolutionary features, but it maintains the brand's reputation for offering excellent value for money – we like its design, ruggedness, and advanced illumination features. Although the current model sports a 3 MOA dot, it would be a welcome addition if GPO were to introduce a 6 or 7 MOA variant to cater to a broader range of pistol shooters’ preferences.