Crimson Trace RAD Pro Review – Worth It In 2024?

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Crimson Trace RAD Pro

Overall Score 6.6

Tested With Scoring System 2.0

Optical Quality
Durability and Build Quality
Weight and Size
Battery Life
Ease of Use

Learn How I Test & Score Here

⭐️ Verdict: Solid Micro Dot (6.6)

As a shooter who’s had the chance to test out the Crimson Trace RAD Pro, I’ve seen first-hand how its features stand out.

The sight boasts a Shake-To-Wake Sensor, ambient light sensor, and is crafted from sturdy aerospace aluminum. Its IPX7 waterproof rating and top-accessible battery compartment make it a practical choice.

During testing, the Shake-To-Wake Sensor impressed me with its responsiveness, lighting up the reticle instantly upon movement.

The ambient light sensor adeptly adjusted the reticle’s brightness in varying light conditions, from bright daylight to dim indoor ranges. However, the auto-dim feature struggled in very low light, affecting visibility.


Responsive Shake-To-Wake Sensor

Adaptive ambient light sensor

Durable aerospace aluminum construction

Convenient top-accessible battery compartment

Reliable IPX7 waterproof rating


Poor performance in extremely low light

Inconsistent auto brightness in varying lighting conditions

Price Comparison

Available at 2 shops 
Optics Planet

The RAD Pro generally hits the mark in terms of living up to expectations, but it’s not without its shortcomings. Its performance in low-light conditions was a letdown, with the auto-dim feature sometimes rendering the sight less effective than anticipated. 

Performance Review of Crimson Trace RAD Pro

1. Optical Quality

When evaluating the optical quality of the Crimson Trace RAD Pro, I approached it with a critical eye. 

The sight promises high performance with its 3 MOA red dot reticle, designed for quick and easy target acquisition. 

The reticle was crisp and clear in bright conditions, making target engagement easy. 

The integrated co-witness sight added an extra layer of confidence, especially in challenging shooting scenarios.

However, the sight’s performance in low-light conditions was somewhat disappointing. 

Despite the CT Radiant ambient light sensor’s claims to adjust reticle brightness according to surrounding light conditions, I found it lacking in very dim environments. 

This inconsistency can be a significant drawback for shooters who require reliable performance across all lighting conditions.

Compared to competitors, the RAD Pro holds its own in terms of durability and ease of use, thanks to its aerospace aluminum construction and intuitive features like the Shake-To-Wake sensor. 

Yet, it falls a bit short when it comes to optical performance in varied lighting. 

Score: 5/10

2. Durability and Build Quality

The Crimson Trace RAD Pro, with its aerospace aluminum construction, sets a high bar in terms of durability and build quality.

From my testing, it’s clear that the sight is designed to endure the rigors of regular use in various environments. 

The robustness of its build is evident in its ability to withstand drops and impacts without any significant damage.

This resilience is crucial for a shooter who relies on their equipment in critical situations.

Compared to other sights in the market, the RAD Pro stands out for its sturdy construction. 

As a shooter, the confidence that comes with a sight that can handle rough use and still perform flawlessly is invaluable. 

Its performance in this aspect not only meets but exceeds the promises made in sales materials. 

This level of durability is a significant benefit, particularly for those who shoot frequently or in varied conditions.

Score: 6/10

3. Weight and Size

The compact and lightweight design of the Crimson Trace RAD Pro is a game-changer in the world of reflex sights. 

It’s impressively unobtrusive when weighing in at just 1 ounce and with dimensions of 1.7″ L x 1″ W x 1″ D. 

This makes it an ideal choice for compact and subcompact pistols where size and weight can impact handling and performance.

In my field tests, the RAD Pro’s small footprint contributed positively to the balance and handling of the firearms it was mounted on.

It strikes an excellent balance between being lightweight and solidly built. The benefit here is clear: you get a high-quality sight that doesn’t compromise the feel or performance of your firearm.

In practical terms, the RAD Pro’s size and weight mean it can be easily carried and used without fatigue or discomfort, an important consideration for extended shooting sessions or everyday carry. 

Length1.7 inches
Width1 inch
Depth1 inch
Weight1 ounce

Score: 8/10

4. Battery Life

The Crimson Trace RAD Pro, promising 20,000 hours of battery life, seems to set a new standard in electronic sights. 

My experience, however, has been a mix of admiration and slight disappointment. 

Initially, the long battery life, powered by a single CR1632 battery, was impressive. 

However, there is a caveat. While the auto-shutoff feature is designed to conserve battery, it sometimes feels overly sensitive, shutting off at moments of inactivity that aren’t long enough to warrant a power-down. 

This can be mildly frustrating, especially in situations where constant readiness is key.

Overall, the battery life of the RAD Pro is commendable, but not without its minor quirks. It’s a feature that largely delivers on its promises, with room for improvement in the auto-shutoff sensitivity.

Score: 7/10

5. Reticle

The reticle of the Crimson Trace RAD Pro is a critical feature, offering a 3 MOA red dot that facilitates swift and accurate target acquisition. 

During my time with the RAD Pro, I found the red dot clear, sharp, and easily discernible against various backgrounds. 

This level of clarity is crucial for quick target engagement and enhances the overall shooting experience.

Regarding market comparison, the RAD Pro’s reticle holds up well against its competitors. 

The clear, bright dot is on par with what other high-end sights offer. 

However, the real test comes in varying light conditions. While the RAD Pro generally excels in well-lit environments, its performance in low-light scenarios is not as reliable. 

This can be a significant drawback for shooters who frequently find themselves in diverse lighting conditions.

Score: 7/10

6. Ease of Use

The ease of use of the Crimson Trace RAD Pro is one of its standout features. 

The integration of the CT Radiant ambient light sensor and the CT Motion shake-to-wake sensor significantly enhances the user experience. 

The ambient light sensor’s ability to adjust the reticle brightness according to the environment makes the sight exceptionally user-friendly. 

In my experience, these features worked flawlessly, adjusting the reticle brightness without any need for manual input and activating the reticle instantly upon movement.

Compared to other sights on the market, the RAD Pro’s user-friendly design is a significant advantage. 

The shake-to-wake feature, in particular, sets it apart, ensuring that the sight is always ready when needed. 

This feature adds to the sight’s operational efficiency, especially in high-pressure situations where speed is crucial.

However, I found the auto brightness feature to be somewhat inconsistent in varying lighting conditions, which could be a concern in critical scenarios. 

Score: 7/10

7. Price

Assessing the price of the Crimson Trace RAD Pro in relation to its features and performance presents a nuanced picture. 

When compared to other high-end sights, the RAD Pro offers a competitive set of features, making its price seem reasonable.

However, the pricing might be a barrier for budget-conscious shooters or those who don’t require the advanced features it offers. 

In my experience, while the sight justifies its cost through performance and durability, the issues in low-light performance and the inconsistency of the auto brightness feature are points to consider when evaluating its value for money.

Score: 7.5/10

Who Should Get Crimson Trace RAD Pro

If you demand the best from their gear and don’t compromise on quality, then the RAD Pro is for you. The RAD Pro is compatible with the following firearms;

Final Verdict

After thorough testing, the Crimson Trace RAD Pro impresses with its high-end features, robust build, and innovative technology. 

It’s a significant step up from its predecessors, offering superior durability, ease of use, and accuracy. It’s aerospace aluminum construction,

Shake-To-Wake sensor and ambient light adjustments set it apart in the market. However, its performance in low-light conditions and the inconsistency of the auto-brightness feature are notable drawbacks. 

Despite these issues, its overall quality and a reasonable price for its advanced features make it a commendable choice for serious shooters. 


Can you turn off a crimson trace red dot?

Yes, the Crimson Trace RAD comes with a manual ON/OFF function using the side brightness buttons, in addition to an AUTO Shutoff Function that automatically turns off after 8 hours of operation.

How does a reflex sight work?

A reflex sight works by allowing the user to look through a partially reflecting glass element and see an illuminated projection of an aiming point superimposed on the field of view.

Is the Crimson Trace red dot good?

Yes, the Crimson Trace red dot is a reliable and compact option for pistols, known for its LED 3 MOA red dot and open reflex design, enhancing accuracy and target acquisition.

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