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Steiner MPS - Initial Impression

 I've waited for another enclosed emitter micro pistol mountable dot for a while now.  I have been consistent in saying that the open emitter dots like the RMR aren't something I'd personally recommend for duty work (but policies for various departments are always beyond logic and reason), with that said, I had a lot of hope for the Aimpoint P1 ACRO, but it fell short because of various issues that I documented in a previous article.  With the above in mind, I saw this Steiner MPS at Warrior Expo in July of this year and I immediately knew I needed to get my hands on one.  I talked to the dudes at the show, and they told me a bunch of info on it, basically, they took the P1 ACRO and made it better in every way they could.  Once I was able to get my hands on it, I jumped at the chance.  Steiner was nice enough to send me one for testing and evaluation, for that purpose I will be running it exclusively for the next few months to see what kind of experience I have from the device.  This post is a first impressions post, having carried it for about a week and put about 500 rounds through it, I wanted to give a brief overview of my initial impressions.

In the box, you get the MPS, an allen wrench, a battery, a specific tool for the MPS, various documentation, a mounting plate with screws, and a screen cleaning cloth.

The plate and the screws are for a Doctor-type Glock setup or any other OEM setup that takes plates.  I do not run any plates or MOS systems on any gun, direct mill/mount, or bust. I don't know if it actually mounts to an MOS slide, I don't use them.

The top of the MPS has an aluminum battery screw cap that you can either use your thumbs and friction remove, or use the rim of a 9mm bullet, or use the tool that came with the MPS.  You could probably use the CR1632 battery itself also, but I didn't try yet.  

The battery clicks into place and is secured by a rubber washer-type setup under the screw cap.  No company has yet to make a double battery cap that allows you to store a new battery inside the cap, this one is no different.

The MPS features a pretty interesting outer shell construction that gives it an aggressive profile.  I did not try to remove the side plates but it looks like you can and probably replace them with some aftermarket type of cover if someone ever decided to make one.  This is a market segment that has so far been underutilized by the industry and I believe has a lot of options available to it in the long run.

Side buttons on and off have a very tactile feel to them.  You can tell when you press them, they actually feel like they are being clicked, unlike other models in the industry.  

The MPS has an ACRO-type mounting cut to it.  When I spoke to the Steiner guys at Warrior Expo they basically said that making a new mount setup, when the Aimpoint one was already pretty good didn't make any sense, also forcing people into a brand-specific mounting option would be very shortsighted, in my opinion, as those who have a P1 ACRO probably will move to the MPS once they read this, and the guys at Steiner probably believed the same.

The dot on the MPS is very crisp.  When I was shooting 25y 100 drills, the dot was very defined and not a meteor as the RMR's used to present.  I don't know what they did differently than Trijicon, or Aimpoint but this MPS dot is very nice.  The dot looks that way in the photo because of the camera focus, it's not actually that big, it's only a 3.3 MOA

The MPS is going to be replacing the P1 ACRO for me, which I will be reviewing in the next few weeks.  As you can see the battery setups are different, with different locations for them.

A clear photo of the ACRO mounting profile.  Slide milling was done by Maple Leaf LLC, which has done a good bit of work for me for milling slides and I would highly recommend them over any of the big names in the industry.

As you can see the MPS has a very aggressive appearance compared to the P1 ACRO.

MPS on top, P1 ACRO on the bottom, as you can see a slightly larger eye box.

The instructions tell you how to mount it and how to tighten it.  It doesn't say to use Loctite but I threw a little drop of blue Loctite on it, as I do most gun-related items.  With this design, you literally don't need to overtighten it, and it just needs a 1/4 turn past tight, or so.

After the easy install, I did a bunch of dryfiring, with drawing from the holster, rough zeroed to the Ameriglo MOS height sights I had installed.

The MPS fits the 7-series Safariland RDS compatible holster with ease and plenty of clearance.

Overall it's obviously smaller than the SRO, but the SRO allows for a better / quicker pickup for the dot due to its design.

I did a good bit of dryfire before going to the range and doing any live fire, and the MPS doesn't suffer from the same issue that the RMR suffered, or other dots suffer from, which is that you can pick up the dot in the draw easily.  This has been my biggest gripe, and sticking point, with any red dot, mounted to a pistol.  I wrote an article about 4 years ago covering this specific issue, and I believe that most companies have not solved this problem but mounting the dots in a position that can be seen while drawing the way they have always been drawn, removing the requirement to relearn or burn new reps to learn a new method of obtaining a dot picture on the draw.  Again, this is the biggest issue with any optic mounted pistol deployment and there have been tons of articles written on this particular topic.  For many years I refused to burn new reps to "learn" a system that I knew would be disregarded with newer technological developments, beyond the RMR, and it's finally materialized.  First in the form of the SRO, now in the form of the duty grade emitter enclosed optic.  

Running about 500 rounds through the gun before I began carrying it, the zero didn't move at all.  Not a smidgen.  I use a marking pen to make sure the zero is recorded, and have not had any issues as of this post with the zero settings moving on me.  Although, as I stated in my ACRO issues article, it would be so much better if they developed a method for covering, or locking, these settings as it would save us a lot of time and effort.  

The one thing I will note that people have misunderstood about the MPS is that it turns off automatically after 13 hours.  I really like this automatic setting, since when I put my gun on in the morning I go through the usual rep of dryfire and check the dot brightness.  To find that the dot was off overnight without me needing to have turned it off is a great passive battery saver tool.  Who is going to carry their gun on their person for more than 13 hours at a time besides LEO's or a very small percentage of other people?  Great idea.

I will do a totally separate post about its NVG settings and various brightness settings in various lighting conditions.  I did do a quick check under NVG for its settings and they work well enough, but I need more time under NVG with the optic to present more information.

As of this post, if you are looking for an upgrade to the P1 ACRO, this is it.

If you want to get one of these MPS, they are available over at V Development Group.