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Gideon Omega Red Dot Sight Review — A 10mm Torture Test

When I started shooting pistols back in the ’80s as a young man, there was nothing but “iron sights” for handguns. Other than scopes for rifles, there really was not much out there when it came to optics for handguns. I started hunting deer with an old M1 Garand with iron sights, and it really helped develop my skills to make 100-200 yard shots with ease.

I remember when red dots, lasers (remember the original Terminator movie with the MASSIVE laser on his pistol?), lights, prism optics, etc. first started coming out. It was like Star Wars coming to life. So, when I look at what’s available in today’s market, it’s clear things have changed and the future is here.

[Don’t miss Mike Boyle’s article on red dot vs. iron sights.]

Seeing Red

Red dots have taken the market by storm for many reasons, which we will discuss here. While the red dot really started its life on long guns, it soon started to make sense to try to put them on handguns as the technology matured and the optics got smaller and smaller. As time has gone on, they have become increasingly smaller and lighter, feature longer battery life, are feature-packed, and are tough as nails.

Currently, there are more companies than I can count that are making red dots for pistols. What you can get for your money these days is insane. It’s actually difficult to choose a red dot with so many options and different companies on the market. But, I love reviewing them. My goal is to always find the best “bang for the buck” for my viewers — and also myself.

I was at SHOT Show 2021 when I stopped at the Gideon table. They were just getting started and I don’t even remember what optic they had, but I do remember it piqued my interest. So, I took their card. Sometime later we connected, and they asked me to review their pistol-mounted red dots.

I was impressed that they were aware of how I torture-tested my optics and specifically asked that I hold nothing back, giving them the same test I put the toughest optics through. I always like to hear that, as I think that says a lot about a company. Of course, my response was “Heck yeah; send ‘em!”.

My Pick

They sent me several of their optics to test and review. The one I am reviewing here is the Omega. This one was the most attractive to me because of the massive field of view. I included what I call the “Specs & Tech” in the video, so be sure to check it out.

I don’t want to repeat everything, but I do want to point out a few of what I think are the most important features, and the first is that massive field of view. The window is 22.3mm tall by 27mm wide and is parallax-free to 33 yards with several available reticle options (red dot, red circle dot, green dot, and green circle dot).

I also want to point out that for many like me, as we are aging iron sights are getting harder and harder to use. I can still see well enough (at this time) to make rapid shots center-mass up close. However, as far as accuracy or shooting at distance goes, the sights are too blurry. I see fantastic beyond my reach, but up close, it just keeps getting worse. Red dots are the saving grace for many of us with aging eyes. So, what am I looking for in my red dots?

The Details

I have a list of the options I am looking for on red dots that will live on any of my pistols. What I personally want on every red dot optic I have is the following:

Shockproof – I see many companies list that their product “can withstand 1000G” and more. I have found that for me the bottom line is if I can I drop it from 17’ onto my deck and then test its IPX rating (water submersion). I have found a lot of optics still work just fine after dropping them, but seals get broken, gases leak out and they are no longer IPX rated and will fog up on the inside, rendering them useless.

IPX7 or better — I want an optic that is waterproof up to a meter for 20 minutes. Do I plan on ever taking my pistol into the pond or pool? Being underwater at a meter for 20-30 minutes? No. But if it can handle that, it will handle anything I will encounter with it. For me, the IPX7 is really the minimum I look for with my optics. For most, IPX6 (waterproof under pressure, like heavy rain, hit with the hose) works just fine and, if cost is the factor, they are good with the IPX6 rating.

Works below freezing temps — Here in Nebraska, it can get as cold as the artic. I have seen temps as low as -30° F, and that is without windchill. Believe it or not, I like to hunt and shoot sometimes in that level of cold, and I really hate it when things don’t work because it’s too cold. If I can handle it and am out there, my optic should too. This is why I freeze the optics wet after testing the IPX rating. The moisture gets in small spaces and, if the optic is going to fail, it will when it gets frozen. Any gas leaked in/out will cause condensation on the inside of the optic. This is the part of the torture test that crushes many of the optics I test. They may appear to have passed the first two, only to come out of the freezer with frost on the inside of the lenses or simply no longer working.

Motion activation On/Off — With this system, after a period of time, the optic shuts off to save battery life. The most important thing is how fast and easily it will come back on (shake awake)? Most will come on with the slightest touch, which really equates to “always on” as far as I am concerned. I will not have an optic that does not have this feature. I don’t need to grab my gun and have to mess with turning on the optic, and I never remember to turn them off — which in the past meant dead batteries. The Omega shuts off in 225 seconds and instantly comes back on with a touch of the finger. With this feature, it will give you up to 50K hours of battery life. Another good feature is the battery loads from the top so if the battery does die, you don’t have to remove the optic and potentially effect your zero.

Manual Multiple brightness settings — I want to be able to choose the brightness level for many reasons. Obviously, I want brighter outdoors and less bright indoors. Many companies are going to “auto brightness” and that is great, and it works just fine most of the time. As you know, I like to push the distances with pistols, and when shooting at 200 yards and beyond with a red dot I need to drop the brightness to as low as it will go to where I can still see it to achieve maximum accuracy. This holds true for even shooting at 50 yards for accuracy. If it only has an auto setting, it will choose a bright setting that will not work for me. The Omega is strictly manual with 10 total settings (eight day, two NV).


So, how did it do in my testing? Well, it is everything I just listed. It passed the torture tests I just described with flying colors. I even took it literally to a higher level by dropping it from much higher than I normally do. I put it in the hot tub at 105° F with chlorinated water for 20 minutes and then immediately froze it.

As far as the features, it has every major feature that I require as listed, and so much more. It has an RMR mounting footprint, which is my favorite just because it seems to be the most common in my experience. It is made of 7975-T6 aluminum, yet only weighs approximately 1 oz. I do want to mention at this point that in the images it looks as if the lens is “red”, but it is not. See the field of view in the video looking down the gun at the target.

I specifically chose my XD-M Elite 10mm to put this on to really test it under recoil. I took the 10mm hog hunting and ended up shooting the hog on the run. I absolutely love the field of view of the Omega on my 10mm. It makes it quicker and easier to regain my sight picture between shots.


So, when you look at everything we have covered, the torture test to the optic and let’s not forget the lifetime warrenty offered, the Gideon lives up to the name “Gideon”. I always like to end reviews with “there you have it, it is what it is, you decide what you think”. I think Gideon is here to stay, and I look forward to seeing what they come out with in the future.

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