Whenever I mention Sig’s red dot sights in an article, I do it with a great deal of respect. Sig is known to produce high-quality red dot sights, and I always enjoy either plinking or hunting with them.
In this article, we will compare the esteemed Romeo 5 with the fairly new Romeo MSR. Both are highly versatile and durable yet have distinct differences. Which one is the better red dot sight, and more importantly, which one should you choose – let’s find out!
Table of Contents
Romeo MSR Overview
The MSR is a compact and highly versatile red dot sight. It was specifically designed for modern sporting rifle platforms, air rifles, and shotguns – I enjoy using it on my 12 gauge. This sight has been on the market from around 2019-2020.
The Sig Sauer Romeo MSR features a closed housing with an emitter system – allowing the sight to have increased durability and reliability. Overall, this is a great optic for close-quarter engagement.
Romeo 5 Overview
The Romeo 5 has been on the scene since 2016 and is widely popular under shooters for all kinds of applications. I specifically like its robust design – it creates a sense of reassurance that it will not fail me when exposed to severe environmental conditions.
Overall, the Romeo 5 is an excellent sight and one that I have enjoyed for many years, especially for mid-range target engagements. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up to the younger MSR. You can read more about this optic in our detailed Romeo 5 Red Dot Review as well.
Sig Romeo MSR vs Romeo 5 – Red Dot Comparison
1) Durability & Toughness
Both these sights are built from durable aluminum housing. They are both IPX-7 rated for waterproofing. Both these sights are designed to withstand the toughest of conditions. I have used both on multiple occasions during severe wind, rain, and snow.
However, if I had to pick one that is more durable, I would have to go with the Romeo 5 – its robust design gives an extra level of durability not found with the MSR red dot sight. Durability is one of the main reasons I also rated the Romeo 5 as one of the Premier SIG P365 Red Dot Sights I tested as well.
2) Glass Quality
Both sights feature some of the best craftsmanship, especially with glass quality. The glass allows for optimal light transmission and hence a clear and bright image. They also have high-performance lens coatings – reducing glare and enhancing light transmission.
Really, I can’t pick a winner here – I feel both have excellent glass quality characteristics.
3) Optic Mount Comparison
The MSR comes with a standard M1913 Picatinny mounting. In comparison, the Romeo 5 also comes with an M1913 Picatinny mounting, but it also has a modular Co-Witness 1.41. riser, which allows for a higher mounting. I prefer the Co-Witness option as it provides a backup via the iron sights in case the red dot sight gives you issues.
Therefore, the winner in optic mount comparison for its versatility is the Romeo 5.
4) Battery Life Comparison
Both these sights have features to conserve battery life. One such feature is Motion Activated Illumination (MOTAC). Like the Shake Awake feature found in many Holosun sights, it turns the optic off when not in use and turns it on when motion is detected.
The MSR features a side-loading battery compartment, something I always find favorable as it adds to the sight’s user-friendliness. In contrast, the Romeo 5 has a bottom-located battery compartment, and if problems might occur with the sight’s battery, then it becomes a pain to constantly check the battery.
The MSR comes with a standard CR1632 battery and is rated to last up to 20,000 hours. The Romeo 5 has double the battery life of the MSR, with 40,000 hours. It also uses a CR2032 instead of a CR1632 battery.
5) Price & Availability
Both these sights are widely available and can be found at any major optic retailer or online store. The MSR is generally cheaper than the Romeo 5 – making it a more popular choice for budget-conscious buyers.
6) Design & Size Comparison
Both have an ultra-compact size. The Romeo 5 measures 2.47″ x 1.5″ x 1.52 ” (L x W x H) and weighs 5.1 ounces. In comparison, the MSR measures 3.1″ x 1.5″ x 2.6 ” (L x W x H) and weighs 4.9 ounces. Thus, the Romeo 5 is a more compact red dot sight.
Additionally, the Romeo 5 just has a much more aesthetically pleasing design than the MSR. That is one of the main reasons I rated the Romeo 5 as one of the Top 300 Blackout Sights that I used. Whenever I use my MSR, it feels as if I am using a bulky scope – something I do not really prefer.
7) Eye Relief & Comfort
Both sights offer unlimited eye relief – making them comfortable and easy to shoot with. I have astigmatism, and sometimes when I test red dots, my eyes quickly start to feel tired, or the reticle appears distorted. Luckily, this is not the case with these sights. Sig really did a great job accommodating shooters with various eye prescriptions.
8) Field of View Comparison
Both these sights have similar objective lens diameters (20 mm) and, therefore, have a similar field of view. When I compared these two sights, I found that the Romeo 5 delivers rapid target acquisition. The MSR also delivers similar performance, but I found it lacking in lower light conditions.
9) Additional Features
Both the MSR and Romeo 5 have a plethora of brightness settings and integral brightness control that makes adjusting brightness settings easy. The Romeo 5 has 10 brightness settings, 2 of which are for night vision equipment and 8 for daytime use. The MSR has 12 brightness settings, 10 for daytime use, and it also has two night vision settings.
10) Price Comparison
The MSR is priced more budget-friendly than the Romeo 5, making it a more attractive purchase than the Romeo 5 for cost-conscious shooters. You can expect to pay $70 more for the Romeo 5.
Which Should You Choose?
I would definitely advise you to go for the Romeo 5. It has a lot of extra features that make your shooting experience that much more enjoyable. Additionally, it is just a better scope than the MSR.
However, if you can’t spare $70-$100, then you should go for the Romeo 5.
Other Comparable Optics
There are a lot of red dot sights that are comparable with the MSR and Romeo 5, but my top picks have to be the following:
- Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight
- Aimpoint Pro
- Holosun HS403B
- Trijicon MRO
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Romeo 5 and Romeo MSR?
What does Romeo MSR mean?
Is Romeo MSR shake awake?
Is the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 worth it?
The Bottom Line
Both the Romeo 5 and MSR provide a highly durable and reliable aiming platform for a variety of firearms. The MSR features more brightness settings and is cheaper. But it also has a more bulky design and is lacking in other aspects compared to the Romeo 5. The Romeo 5 is more expensive but is justified by a more aesthetic design and extra features. Both are excellent and highly versatile red dot sights. But if I had to pick one, I would go with the Romeo 5 – it is the better red dot sight.