Viridian RFX11: Compact EDC Green Dot Sight

— Jason MosherCADRE Dispatch

Viridian Weapon Technologies doesn’t offer green dots as an option, green is what they do. Have you ever wondered why? According to Viridian, green triggers a higher number of receptor cells in the human eye.

This means green is easier to see during the daylight hours than red. Because of this, Viridian produces most of their dot sights in green and not red. This is a feature a lot of companies charge more for.

Let’s look at the Viridian RFX11, which is a handgun-mounted, green dot sight.

Viridian RFX II green dot on Ruger Max-9 with Safariland Species holster
light and compact, the RFXII Green Dot is a great optic for concealed carry firearms. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Viridian RFX 11

The RFX line of green dot signs includes four optics with each one having a few different characteristics to them. This includes the shape, footprint, and overall size of the optic. Viridian’s RFX11 is one of the smaller ones and has a square-shaped lens.

There are things with the RFX11 that people either like or don’t like so we will cover the basics of the dot and you can decide if this is a good option for you. In the optics world, there are many different styles and features so each person must find what works best for them.

I’ve been using the RFX11 green dot for a little more than one year and so far, it has held up great.

Just like a weapon-mounted light, the type of ammo, or the firearm itself, there isn’t one best optic for everyone. It all depends on what you need from an optic.

No control buttons — does simplicity have an advantage?

The RFX 11 is one of Viridian’s smallest green dots and the simplest to use. That simplicity comes with some restrictions however and this is one thing people like or don’t like.

Most pistol and rifle-mounted dot sights have a control setting for adjusting the brightness of the dot. An up or down arrow is common on one side or the other to adjust the settings.

Viridian made the RFX11 to be completely automated and removed all controls from the optic. Automatic On/Off and brightness control make it as simple as you can get. Just install the battery, mount and zero the green dot, and the optic does the rest.

For concealed carry or home defense, this is a great option because you don’t need to worry about the optic being ready to go when needed. After two minutes with no movement, the RFX 11 shuts down to preserve battery life. When you pick it up, it turns on and is ready to go, which again is great for a defensive pistol.  

Those who want to make their own adjustments, however, may see this feature as a disadvantage. In general, auto-adjusting optics work well, but there are times when the optic just isn’t bright enough or is too bright.

In my own experience, it works well. At the range, when I holster my handgun and pull my jacket over it, the dot brightness turns down because of the dark environment. When I draw the gun and raise it to fire at my target, the green dot is already adjusted to the brighter daylight and easy to see.

Viridian RFX II green dot.
There are no on/off or brightness controls on the RFX II green dot. It does everything for you. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

CR2032 bottom-loading battery

Using a CR2032 battery, the RFX11 boasts 30,000 hours of battery life, which is an excellent run time. With the auto off/on feature, it guarantees the battery will not accidentally be left on.

I’m not a fan of bottom-loading batteries and prefer top-loading instead. But that’s a matter of personal preference. To be fair, a top-loading battery does make the optic heavier and a little thicker so that design also has some disadvantages. Viridian set out to make this optic light and compact and a bottom-loading battery works better for this.

If you are not familiar with pistol-mounted dot sights, a bottom-loading battery does not have a lid. An opening on the bottom of the optic allows the batter to sit flush with the bottom of the dot sight. It is held in by mounting the optic on the slide of the handgun.

One disadvantage of this is water and dust intruding into the battery compartment area. Viridian did place a rubber gasket around the battery compartment to help eliminate this problem, but you must remove the optic from the gun to change the battery. With a 30,000-hour run-time, this will not be very often so it’s not a huge deal.    

Viridian RFX II green dot bottom-loading battery
A CR2032 battery loads from the bottom and will run the RFX II for 30,000 hours. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

RFX11 Size and weight: perfect for compact Concealed carry Guns

When you’re on the range blasting ammo at targets, I like having a large window on my optic. But, when I’m carrying a concealed gun, a large optic is not ideal for maximum concealment. This is where the RFX 11 starts to shine. At 0.44 ounces, it’s one of the lightest optics on the market. The difference between this and a heavier optic may not sound like a lot, but it all adds up.

When you factor in the weight of the gun, optic, magazine, ammo, and light (if you have one attached) a gun gets heavy quickly. I like to keep my daily carry as light as possible, especially when I know I will be walking around a lot that day.

Overall, the RFX11 green dot is 1.6 inches long, .95-inches wide, and .89-inches tall. For handgun-mounted optics, it doesn’t get much smaller or lighter than this. The frame is made of high-strength thermomolded polymer which helps keep it light but surprisingly durable.

Viridian RFX II green dot.
The size of the Viridian RFX II makes it easy to carry in my Safariland Species IWB holster. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

I’ve had the RFX11 on a few different guns, but one of my all-time favorites to pair it with is the Ruger Max 9. It’s just a great combination of light and gun for a budget-friendly concealed carry set-up. When worn with my Safariland IWB Species holster, it’s comfortable and easy to draw.

The Viridian RFX11: Perfect for everyday carry

You can zero the Viridian RFX11 using the windage and elevation adjustments found at the rear of the top and side of the frame. I zeroed mine the first time I used it and have not had to adjust it since. Even when I placed it on a few different guns, it was hitting the A zone from out to 15 yards. This is all I need it to do for a compact defensive carry gun.

Viridian RFX II green dot.
The Viridian RFX11 is easy to install and can be zeroed with a small Allen wrench. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

I mentioned above that the green dot was easy to see when transitioning from a holstered position to shooting. Even when I walk through multiple rooms that change from dark to bright, the RFX11 adjusts almost instantly. It’s always bright and easy to see, which is what I want for a concealed-carry gun.

If I wanted to hit the bullseye from further distances, the 3 MOA dot would be a little too bright. But that’s not the purpose of this gun so it doesn’t bother me one bit.

For a CCW gun, the simplicity of this dot is ideal for me. I take a quick glance before heading out the door to make sure it’s running and that’s all I need to do. No on/off buttons or brightness adjustments to check, just put it on and go. Viridian offers a limited lifetime warranty on their products, and I’ve never had any issues with Viridian optics to date.

Green dots are easy to see and the Viridian RFX11 is light, compact, simple to use, and the Shield standard footprint fits on a wide variety of compact handguns.  

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