Siopto SCOUTER: Strike Industries’ first red dot sight
The Siopto Scouter red dot sight represents the first foray in the field of sport optics by Strike Industries, a brand chiefly known for its vast line of components and accessories dedicated to the AR-15 platform
Strike Industries announced its debut in the field of sport optics in late 2021 with the launch of the SIOPTO Scouter close-quarters red dot sight, a product dedicated specifically to meet the needs and demands of civilians, sport shooters, and law enforcement personnel.
Announced at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $249.95, in Strike Industries’ intentions, the Scouter is meant to be the cornerstone for a future broader line of sport optics, branded SIOPTO, that will be designed and engineered in the US and manufactured in Asia, to provide potential customers with a set of aiming solutions sold at a competitive price point while still remaining fully functional and reliable to operate even in austere conditions. As such, the SIOPTO Scouter aims to cut itself a share in the market for entry-to-mid-tier sport optics solutions, which is rife with possibilities, but also potentially the most crowded and fiercely competitive in the field of firearms and relevant accessories for civilian and law enforcement customers. As such, the Scouter needs to distinguish itself and stand out from the crowd.
The SIOPTO Scouter has been designed and built around a futuristic, aesthetically pleasing, yet rugged HOOD design that is unique even among other enclosed-hull red dot sights. The body of the SIOPTO Scouter is CNC-machined out of a single piece of matte black 6061-T6 lightweight aluminum alloy, and so is the mount, issued with each sample, built to bring the sight to an absolute cowitnessing height with typical AR-15 iron sights.
The mount of the SIOPTO Scouter red dot sight is MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny compatible, and reprises the footprint of higher-tier sights such as the well-known Aimpoint Micro-T1 and Micro-T2. The SIOPTO Scouter is 6,2 cm / 1.78” high with its mount, and barely 3,85 cm / 1.52” high alone. The overall package is 7,93 cm / 3.12” long, 4,53 cm / 1.78” wide, and weighs in at approximately 178 grams (10.10 oz), battery included. Ounces are pounds, and the Scouter is as unobtrusive and lightweight as it can get.
The SIOPTO Scouter features a set of collimated optical glass wedge lenses, with full multi-layer treatment to maximize light transmission and protect the glass from dirt and scratches. The 20mm objective lens translates into a 20 MOA field of view, which is more than enough for fast target acquisition and quick transition. As of today SIOPTO doesn’t offer any dedicated magnifier, but the Scouter is compatible with third-party flip-to-side magnifiers if need be.
The SIOPTO Scouter is based on a specially customized set of mini micro-LED technology of European manufacture. The bright red 2 MOA center dot is perfectly visible in all light conditions; a set of recessed turrets, located respectively on top and on the right side of the sight’s body, allow the shooter to adjust the position of the illuminated dot for windage and elevation in ½ MOA increments. Also on top of the sight’s body are two rubberized buttons, providing manual on/off and brightness adjustment functions. The red dot can be adjusted to eleven different illumination levels; unfortunately, none of those is compatible with night vision devices.
The SIOPTO Scouter red dot sight is powered by a single 3V CR2032 commercial battery, hosted in a sealed compartment built-in on the left side of the sight’s body. The solid, rigid, machined 6061-T6 lightweight alloy battery compartment port is held in place by four hex screws. This means that, on one hand, there’s no need to remove the Scouter from any firearm it’s installed on in order to replace a spent battery; on the other, that the battery can not be replaced without a dedicated tool.
A single CR2032 battery will provide up to 18.000 hours of continuous runtime with the dot illumination set half-way in the scale (position 6 of 11), but the embedded circuitry helps to make the Scouter even better, energy-wise.
Most notably, an auto-motion detect system will automatically put the sight into standby mode if no movement is detected for two hours. The system is deactivated when the illumination is manually switched off. The embedded circuitry also offers a memory function that will automatically return to the last selected illumination setting once the Scouter is turned off and then on again.
Each SIOPTO Scouter red dot sight comes issued from factory with a single 3V CR2032 battery; two Hex tools (2mm and 4mm respectively); a Torx T10 tool; and a small vial of Loctite Blue 242 threadlocker, to be used on the screws that secure the sight to its mount. Also issued are a cleaning cloth, an instruction manual and a warning card.
That’s a pretty basic set right there, given that a set of accessories – potentially including other mounts at various heights – have been announced for the near future but not made available so far.
But how will the SIOPTO Scouter actually perform on the field? After our tests – carried on with a high-grade AR-15 variant of Italian manufacture (Sabatti SAR) – we can safely affirm that the vast majority of what Strike Industries state about the SIOPTO Scouter is essentially true.
The SIOPTO Scouter is a solid, fairly reliable aiming solution for your shooting machine, be it for home defense, sport shooting, or patrol. The Scouter is also certified to resist immersion in 10 meters (approx. 32,8 ft) of water for three hours, which is more than other entry-to-mid-tier optics can boast. The Scouter is also covered by SIOPTO’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.
The main issue with the SIOPTO Scouter lays in Strike Industries’ choice of the market tier to launch it on: it is definitely meant to satisfy the needs and demand of civilian shooters, local law enforcement and private security personnel, and it’s certainly worth what the Company asks for it. But it is also priced fairly highly for that tier of product, and one can’t help but wonder whether Strike Industries couldn’t consider boosting its chances for success by either reducing the price – along with some features, thus putting the Scouter more or less on the level with most major competitors – or by increasing both the list of features and the price tag and launching the Scouter in a higher league.
True thing, however, as we mentioned before, the market for sport optics is packed with alternatives and fiercely competitive. It will be hard enough as it is for the Scouter to affirm itself, there’s no need to make it any more difficult with such shot-in-the-dark decisions. Perhaps other versions of the design, either “budget” or higher tier, will come in the future.