3 Tactix MPRD 2: The Cheapest Red Dot

— Travis PikeCADRE Dispatch

The gun industry can often be a get-what-you-pay-for industry and budget-worthy optics and gear can be tricky. Occasionally, an exception emerges, and today, we are forced to ask if the 3 Tactix MPRD 2 from Riton Optics is an exception.

With a price point that floats around $100, with occasional dips to $80, the optic fits the needs of the budget-minded. Budget optics can be a real trick world to enter, though, so let’s do so with a little bit of caution. 

How I Met the Riton X3 Tactix MPRD 2

There are many budget optics out there, but I met the X3 Tactix MPRD 2 a few SHOT Shows ago when Taurus announced their Defender Toro series revolvers. These optics were mounted to the guns and worked well across the entire range day experience.

I knew I wanted an 856 Defender TORO and optic, and these two seemed like a perfect pair. 

3 Tactix MPRD 2 on Taurus revolver
The MPRD 2 works perfectly with revolvers.

Riton Tactical offers a mix of red dots and variable options. It tends to be a budget brand with optics designed in the United States but produced in China. The 3 Tactix MPRD 2 fits the Shield RMSc footprint and falls into the micro red dot category. 

The optic packs a 3 MOA red dot reticle with automatic brightness adjustments. The unit is devoid of buttons, and we get only two turrets in terms of controls. It comes with an aggressive shake-awake feature that detects motion and will shut the optic off after three minutes of being motion-free. 

MPRD 2 micro red dot turrets
The turrets lack any clicks.

One of the big downsides is that the battery mounts in the bottom of the optic. When it comes time to change the battery, you have to unmount the optic, swap the battery, and potentially re-zero. Luckily, the battery will last 50,000 hours, so you won’t have to do it often. 

The little optic weighs a mere .6 ounces and is super small. Size is important for use on the Defender TORO. The optic already sits higher on the gun, so reducing bulk aids in concealment

Taking Shots With the MPRD 2

The Taurus 856 Defender TORO was my platform of choice for the MPRD 2. Shooters have to be picky with their red dot selection when it comes to revolvers. Due to how high the dots sit, many of the dots will run Winchester on elevation before the gun can be zeroed.

Since I saw and used the dot at SHOT years ago, I knew it would work with my 856 Defender TORO. 

revolver with red dot sight in hand
The Defender’s 3-inch barrel makes it a softer shooter than most CCW revolvers.

With the dot mounted, I wasted no time zeroing. Almost instantly, I got hit with a bit of revulsion as I manipulated the turrets. There wasn’t a click to be heard, felt, or found. Part of me knew this would be a long day, and it was. I had a heck of a time getting the dot properly zeroed. I can typically zero a dot in six to eight rounds, but this took a dozen to dial in. 

Once I got past the zeroing portion, I decided that this dot wasn’t leaving this gun. I started slinging lead and ringing steel. The 3 Tactix MPRD 2 performed like a champ.

For a budget optic, the clarity delivers. It’s got that slight blue tint notch filter, but it’s not terrible. The 3 MOA dot is well-sized to be easy to see but unobtrusive. 

shooting 856 defender with Riton X3 Tactix MPRD 2
I’m no six-gunner, but I’m getting solid with the 856 Defender.

At the 25-yard line, I could see a 10-inch gong with the dot centered. I’m not bragging that I could hit it every time, but I had no problems most of the time. My striker fire spoiled triggers are learning to work those double-action triggers. 

Going Fast With the MPRD 2

The dot appears to have a decent refresh rate. There is a barely detectable lag when I move the gun and optic as fast as I can. For practical purposes, the refresh rate isn’t a problem. On a revolver, it’s not going to be an issue.

There is no slide reciprocation, so no user-observed lag when tracking the dot. Blasting through six rounds as fast as I accurately could, I was able to keep an eye on the red dot without it becoming a blob. 

top of mrpd 2
The MRPD 2 lacks buttons but has adjustment turrets.

The lack of buttons and reliance on automatic adjustment works perfectly fine most of the time. In general, you’ll never notice a problem.

Ultimately, the dot has a good spectrum of brightness between varied levels. It can get bright enough to deal with high noon in Florida and dim enough to see indoors without being obtrusive. When the dot dims, it does become a little less crisp and more blob-like, but it is still usable. 

At one point, I assumed a shooting position in the shade of a tree at high noon in Florida. This dimmed the dot because I was in the shade, but I needed a bright dot because the steel target reflected that Florida sun. I still hit it, but seeing the dot against the steel target was tough. 

856 defender on molle

A Rough World 

Throughout enough shooting to make my hand sore, the Riton 3 Tactix MPRD 2 performed admirably. There was no zero shift, and the optic remained locked to the gun’s plate. I even submitted the 3 Tactix MPRD 2 to a few tumbles and allowed it to hit the ground on both sides and the top. The ground was just the dirt and grass of the range, but it took the hits without complaint. 

Riton mrpd 2 on gun
The Riton optic is a budget buster.

Because it’s also Florida, I’ve been hit by afternoon showers that do their best to cool me off at the range. This is an open emitter optic, so if the good lord aims a drop just right, it hits the emitter and kills the reticle. That’s true of any open emitter optic. A quick wipe fixes everything. The point is that the MPRD 2 took the rain and kept working. 

The El Cheapo Optic 

I didn’t have much hope for an optic that commonly retails for less than $100, but I’m pleasantly impressed. If you’re rocking and rolling with the Taurus 856 Defender TORO, this option will work with the revolver without the need for shims. It won’t blow your mind, but it will get you on target, and that’s what’s important, right? 

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