In today’s article, Scott Conditt reviews the Viridian RFX45 closed emitter green dot reflex sight. Introduced in 2023 as an alternative to other duty-grade optics like the Trijicon RMR, the RFX45 is packed with features including a rugged, machined 6061 aluminum housing. There is fair amount of research to suggest that the human eye can see green easier than other colors, potentially making it a superior choice to a standard red dot sight. But, how does it perform in the real world?
Back in 2006, Viridian Weapon Technologies disrupted the red dot status quo when it brought the green dot to market. Since its introduction, many shooters have favored this color when it comes to their dots and reticles in their optic.
Why? Simply put, the percentage of people who see vibrant bright green “better” than other colors on the spectrum is greater. Viridian has built its brand around that science when producing quality green dot optics and other firearms accessories (while it does offer red laser options as well).
[Be sure to read What’s the Best Reflex Sight Dot Color? for additional information.]
The most recent of their green dot options is the RFX 45 Closed Emitter Green Dot Sight, the latest addition to the RFX line of electro optics. Green is one of my absolute favorite colors when it comes to dots, so I was extremely happy when I received one of the RFX45 units to test out at the range on both my Springfield Prodigy pistol and SAINT Edge 5.56mm.
What’s in the Box
I’m a sucker for quality and thoughtful packaging. Engineers and designers put a ton of time into developing the optics and products we buy, but poor packaging can really undermine the experience.
Viridian does a really nice job when it comes to how they present their products to the consumer, and I am not just talking about their spiffy boxes. They give you good value when it comes to the quality and amount of accessories, mounts, tooling, and instructions they provide in the box.
The RFX45 came with a quick-start guide for the optic with mounting instructions, a good amount of mounting screws, a lower-third Picatinny mount and low Picatinny mount, installation tool, MLS mounting plate, LMR adapter mounting plate, battery, and the optic.
Viridian RFX45 Description
The RFX45 housing is precision machined from 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum, which is both lightweight and durable. Dimensions are 1.9″ by 1.1″ by 1.13”. The fully enclosed green LED emitter within the housing is shielded from dust, debris and possible occlusion from the elements, while also touting an IPX6 water-resistance rating. The footprint is the widely popular ACRO footprint (a Docter adapter plate is available), and the battery life is advertised to provide an impressive 50,000+ hours of life from a single CR2032 battery.
The highly visible green dot reticle provides a 5 MOA point of aim, and the unit affords “instant-on” immediate and automatic wake-up when movement is sensed. It also features auto-off after two minutes of no movement.
The “up” and “down” brightness controls are featured on the side of the unit, which I prefer to rear housing-mounted controls, and they offer eight daytime and two night vision brightness settings for use in any lighting condition. The glass is 24×15.5mm in dimension, and is clean and clear due to the fully multi-coated glass providing a distortion-free window.
|1.9″(L) x 1.1″(W) x 1.1″(H)
|24mm x 15.5mm
|Fully Multi-Coated Glass
|5 MOA Green
|1 x CR2032
|Up to 50k+ hours
|10 | 8 Visible and 2 Night Vision
|INSTANT-ON + User Controlled
|1.73oz / 48.19 grams
|Machined 6061 Aluminum w/ Hard Coat Anodization
|-4F to 130F
Range Time with a Closed Emitter Green Dot Sight
I mounted the RFX45 on my 1911 DS Prodigy pistol first and, although I have always favored as small a footprint as possible when it comes to pistol-mounted optics, I was excited to test out the RFX45. The benefits of a closed emitter for certain “messy” situations and circumstances are clear, and the durability and longevity of the design pose some very valuable benefits for certain conditions.
Running it casually for training at the range, I was curious how the larger enclosed housing design would impact my overall shooting experience on the Prodigy. Mounting with an ACRO plate on the pistol’s AOS optics system was a breeze using the included mounting screws.
One thing I immediately liked about the RFX45 sitting atop the Prodigy was that the window within the housing sat low enough to co-witness my irons. A lot of enclosed optics have a large, high-set body that doesn’t allow for a co-witness, so this was a definite plus. I expected it to weigh more than it did sitting atop the pistol, but it was not really that much of a difference from other reflex optics I have run in the past.
Loading up with Remington 9mm range ammo, I sighted in down range and found the large window to be extremely clear with no visible glass distortion. The brightness and visibility of the green dot against the harshly lit Arizona desert in mid-day sun on a 105-degree day was exceptional. I dialed my brightness to the mid-range of the available latitude, and it was more than adequately bright.
Pressing off a few rounds at approximately 15 yards out, I made a few swift adjustments to my windage and elevation using the flush-set controls on the top and right side of the unit and was quickly able to confirm my zero. After running about four magazines through the Prodigy, the zero had held just fine and I was happy with the performance of the RFX45 on the pistol.
It was comfortable, unobtrusive, provided co-witness capability with the irons, and was clean to view through. It was now time to transition the unit over to my carbine, the SAINT Edge, to see how it performed on a different platform.
Going Long with the New RFX45
The SAINT Edge is always a treat to run, it’s genuinely one of my all-time favorite carbines. I have used just about every available configuration of optic atop the Edge at this point, from LPVO’s, holo-sights, dots, and various irons at both traditional and offset angle orientations. I was happy to see the RFX45 came with a riser in the box and found affixing it to the Picatinny rail to be an easy task.
I practiced a few drills with the SAINT Edge at approximately 50 yards out from my Infinity Defense self-healing target after confirming my zero. Going from low-ready to rapidly sighting down on target and performing the tried-and-true failure drills, the ample size of the glass really made getting a rapid sight picture and reacquiring the dot for follow-up shots a very efficient and intuitive process.
The vibrant green quality of the dot that Viridian is synonymous with really can’t be understated. Visually, it genuinely is a very easy-to-obtain dot, presents no flicker or aberrations, and I really enjoyed running this optic atop the Edge for its small form factor, crystal-clear glass, and ease of use when it came to dialing for zero and tactile brightness controls.
Final Thoughts on the Viridian Weapon Sight
As for my personal takeaway from this testing with the RFX45, I really enjoyed the unit and will continue to work with it. Personally, I really enjoyed it atop the SAINT Edge and could see running this unit more often atop it. I also would like to do some heavy durability testing with it in the future to see what kind of abuse the housing can take. Based solely on my initial testing, I do think it’s a really quality optic for general casual range training and was very reliable in terms of accuracy and holding zero for target shooting.
I enjoyed running this optic on the Prodigy pistol and SAINT Edge carbine, but if I had to choose a platform to primarily keep it on I would lean towards the rifle. I could definitely see how a good deal of pistol shooters would find this enclosed design a very positive benefit, particularly for those operating in adverse environmental conditions. In those instances especially, I believe it would be well-suited for their needs.
In either case, the fact remains that the RFX45 presents usability and versatility between both pistol and rifle platforms, and for all of these reasons, I highly recommend you check it out for yourself if you get the chance.
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