FEATURING ITS NEW FINISH & REFLEX SIGHT, THE SIG SAUER MK25-D-RX IS THE RIGHT PRESCRIPTION FOR A DEFENSIVE PISTOL
The SIG Sauer MK25-D-RX is the right prescription for a defensive pistol with its new finish and reflex sight.
Three decades is a solid test of time. I became a SIG P226 pistol fan when I started carrying one 30 years ago and have remained a fan through each new P226 pistol I’ve tried.
Most recently, the MK25-D-RX has been my introduction to using a combat pistol with a red dot optical sight mounted. I had shot various pistols with red dots before, but this is the first one I’ve owned and shot quite a bit.
DESIGNED FOR THE U.S. NAVY SEALS
The MK25 is the latest incarnation of the P226 USN model developed for Naval Special Warfare personnel. Cosmetically, the pistols are interesting, as they include the military engraved anchor and the UID (Unique Identification Marking) label. As to be expected in a pistol designed for use by personnel operating in saltwater, internal parts of the MK25 are treated for corrosion and wear resistance. That is one reason the MK25 appeals to me.
When the MK25 was introduced, I ordered one and have used it since. The earliest USN versions of the P226 had the anti-corrosion treatment, but they did not have an accessory rail; the MK25 does. I’ve fired somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 rounds through the MK25 and have carried it fairly often.
As with other P226s I’ve used, I’ve been satisfied with the MK25’s DA/SA trigger pull and have found it accurate and reliable. My one complaint is one that has continued through the decades I’ve used P226s—the grip is fat, not obese, but fat.
DESERT FINISH AND A RED DOT SIGHT
The MK25-D-RX that I’m evaluating here adds two new features, a desert tan finish and the Romeo 1 reflex red dot sight. I like the Desert Finish (a.k.a. FDE or tan) because it looks high-speed tactical—yeah, I have a Walter Mitty streak! But, actually, I have found that if I wear tan/khaki trousers or a tannish shirt, tan guns actually are not all that noticeable
when worn concealed. Of course, I choose a jacket that covers the holster and gun.
As is standard with many military or law enforcement pistols, the MK25 comes with three magazines. These may be supplemented by Mec-Gar 17-round or 20-round magazines.
SIG also makes a 20-round P226 magazine, but it comes with a large finger-rest base plate that I find cumbersome. The 17-round Mec-Gar magazines may be carried in the pistol without protruding, but the 20-round magazines do protrude. The earlier SIG P226 extended magazines that I use have a flat base plate.
Controls are standard for the P226, which is fine from my point of view as I am used to them and find them quite usable. The thumb de-cocker may be operated with the thumb of the shooting hand, but for me that requires a slight shift in my shooting grip so I normally operate it with my support hand thumb. I generally do the same with the slide release, though during a fast reload I just pull the slide back and release it. I can reach the magazine release fairly well with the thumb of my shooting hand.
I’ve mentioned the P226’s fat grip.
The MK25’s textured grip is not only designed to be non-slip when wet, but it also fits my hand well. The MIL STD M1913 rail (a.k.a. Picatinny) takes various illuminators. I often use the SureFire X400, which offers both a light and a laser, so I installed it on the MK25. It fits snugly and allows easy access to the light or laser switch. As an experiment, I “cleared” the rooms in one hallway in my condo with the lights out. Despite the brightness of the SureFire against white walls, the red dot showed up perfectly.
The Romeo 1 sight comes mounted on the MK25 and has some good features. First, the optical sight allows use of the standard sights should the red dot fail. Actually, it is co-witnessed
“...THE OPTICAL SIGHT ALLOWS USE OF THE STANDARD SIGHTS SHOULD THE RED DOT FAIL... SECOND, THE ROMEO 1 SIGHT... CAME ZEROED OUT OF THE CASE.”
with the Siglite sights. Second, the Romeo 1 sight on my pistol came zeroed out of the case.
My experience with SIG Sauer is that it doesn’t market products that it doesn’t think will hold up to use. I would assume, therefore, that the Romeo 1 will endure normal usage.
The sight is also waterproof to 1 meter and fog proof. Its MO-TAC motion activated illumination system powers off automatically when the pistol remains stationary and on when it detects movement, thus prolonging battery life while keeping the sight ready for instant usage. The battery loads from the top when it does need replacing, thus making replacement very easy. Multiple illumination settings allow brightness of the 3 MOA red dot to be set to suit the environment.
SHOOTING WITH THE ROMEO 1
I’ve taken the MK25-D-RX to the range at least a half dozen times now and fired somewhere between 600
and 700 rounds through it. As I wanted to really learn to use the red dot, virtually all shooting was done with it.
Results are based on my own experience, but I would recommend an excellent study by KR Training and the Texas A&M Huffines Institute on the effectiveness of the red dot sight for engagement at close combat distances. The study results confirm my own findings. The KR Training study found, as did I, that the more a shooter uses the red dot sight, the faster he gets at acquiring it for quick, close-range engagement. The takeaway is that one needs to practice with his carry pistol a lot. That applies no matter what the pistol and what type of sights.
The study also found that many shooters actually do better acquiring a green rail-mounted laser than a
red dot. Although the SureFire X400 mounted on my MK25 incorporates a red laser, I did not shoot with it and the Romeo 1 on the assumption that I would have enough trouble concentrating on one red dot so didn’t need a second!
I found that when I took my time acquiring the red dot, I shot very good groups. I also found that it was especially useful at 25 yards. For typical close-range engagement (5 to 10 yards), acquiring the red dot was slower than using the MK25’s iron sights.
As the red dot was co-witnessed with the iron sights, use of the combination was fastest. I have found this true with red dot sights on AR-15 rifles, as well, when their BUIS are aligned with the red dot. I also found that when engaging from a low ready position or the draw, I had to concentrate on dropping my muzzle slightly to acquire the red dot.
I used SIG-Sauer’s 115-grian V-Crown for shooting groups and it performed very well. At 25 yards, firing five rounds single action, groups were in the 2.5-to 3.5-inch range. For shooting at 10 yards, I used various loads including the SIG-Sauer 115-grain FMJ and the 115-grain V-Crown.
As shooting at the shorter ranges was meant to duplicate engagement in a combat situation, I started at the low ready or from the draw, with the first round fired double action. Although I’ve gotten quicker as I’ve used the Romeo 1, I still have a slight hesitation bringing the red dot on target. Still, shooting quickly at closer range, I normally stay within 3 inches. Based on friends who use the red dot,
“TODAY, MANY HOLSTER MAKERS OFFER HOLSTERS THAT ACCOMMODATE A PISTOL WITH A RED DOT.”
I would expect to improve.
Another point, though, on use of the Romeo 1 at closer ranges: On precise shots at shorter range on a smaller target, such as an obscured head shot in a hostage situation, the red dot is precise.
MAKING A GOOD PISTOL BETTER
The MK25-D-RX (or the version in black) makes a useful carry gun, especially in areas where longer-ranged shots might be required. I did not shoot using the Romeo 1 on paper past 25 yards, but I did shoot at plates at 35 and 50 yards and found that the red dot helped get more hits. Under a jacket and with a proper holster, the MK25 conceals as well as many other belt guns. In open carry states, it will make an even better carry gun. For 30 years I’ve considered the P226 an excellent pistol. The MK25-D-RX just reinforces that view. I’m still in my learning curve with the Romeo 1, but I am getting better with it. Where firearms are concerned, I don’t follow the belief that newer is better. I still carry revolvers, 1911s, and Browning High-Powers. But, the MK25-D-RX combines a classic pistol with innovative sighting technology. I can work with that.CC
“...ON PRECISE SHOTS AT SHORTER RANGE ON A SMALLER TARGET, SUCH AS AN OBSCURED HEAD SHOT IN A HOSTAGE SITUATION, THE RED DOT IS PRECISE.”
The SIG MK25-DRX comes with a Romeo 1 reflex optical red dot sight mounted.
Below: The Romeo 1 sight still allows use of the Siglite iron sights.
Left: The MK25’s textured grips are designed for a secure grasp even with wet hands. Below: View of the MK25’s Siglite front sight and M1913 rail.
Note the location and flat design of the MK25’s slide release, de-cocker, and magazine release.
Close-up of the MK25’s UID code.
The Romeo 1 sight is designed for sturdiness and also for ease of adjusting zero.
Bottom: The three standard magazines that come with the MK25-D-RX (left) hold 15 rounds, but also available are 17-round Mec-Gar magazines (center) and 20-round SIG-Sauer magazines (right).
Like all P226 pistols, the de-cocker on the MK25-D-RX is on the left side only. Note the anchor and UID showing its military heritage.