The Romeo 5 has been around a while. It has caused loyal buyers from other brands to jump ship just because of its MOTAC feature.
But what else is there to the Romeo that isn’t overshadowed by MOTAC?
Is it any good as a functional RDS considering its budget price tag?
The Sig Sauer Romeo 5 has MOTAC, NV compatible settings, a very low-profile LED emitter, and two mounts. It has a 2 MOA dot, 0.5 MOA adjustments, and clear glass. It has the performance of an upper entry-level RDS and has the reputation that makes it a contemporary RDS today.
It’s super popular and there’s no way that it can be ignored if one were to gather a shortlist of the best red dot sights on a budget.
So, Target Tamers bought it, tested it, and have reported the details below in our Sig Romeo 5 review.
My Sig Sauer Romeo 5 Review
What I Like: MOTAC
What I Don’t Like: Non-adjustable MOTAC
Best Uses: CQB, Close to Mid-Range, Tactical, Small Caliber Rifles, Heavy Recoil, MOTAC
- Magnification: 1x
- Coatings: FMC
- Eye Relief: Unlimited
- Reticle: 2 MOA dot
- Adjustments: 0.5 MOA
- Battery Life: 40,000+ hrs
- Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.5 x 1.5” / 5.1 oz
- Mount: Low profile & 1.41” riser
My Verdict: The Sig Sauer Romeo 5 is quality optic that should be considered a high-end model for the entry-level market. With a few, standout features and dependable performance, it’s a red dot sight that appeals to all skill levels and tight budgets.
Who is the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 1x20 Best Suited to?
The Sig Sauer Romeo 5 is best suited to budgets under $150. Its most attractive feature, MOTAC, is the primary aspect that many will gravitate towards as it is not often seen in affordable red dot sights.
Those who want to try their hand at having motion sensor technology in their red dot sight will look to the Romeo 5, such as those looking to mount one to a duty rifle or SHTF and home defense rifle.
However, due to its two-minute dot deactivation, it may not serve hunting applications appropriately.
How Does the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 1x20 Perform?
Overall, the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 is affordable and accurate. It holds zero, has a rugged, tough build, and is incredibly easy to use. In the field, the Romeo 5 remained bright, proved to be impervious to water, and the MOTAC is highly sensitive.
I spent a lot of time with the Romeo 5, as I have done with other red dot sights at the range. I got on paper especially close to the bull’s-eye out of the box. I was impressed. I had assumed it had 1 MOA adjustments, but it indeed has 0.5 MOA clicks. I figured this out after another 3-shot group when it only adjusted halfway to what I had expected.
So, good tracking? I’d say excellent. My groups? Meh, needs some work.
However, few red dots have required me to wear corrective lenses to get a round dot. Unfortunately, the Romeo 5 counts among the few as I needed my glasses to zero in at the range. Though the dot was distorted, and my specs took care of that, it’s through no fault of the Romeo 5 that my vision is the way it is.
At the end of the day, the Sig is a reliable red dot that can be implemented in both urban and rural environments. Its MOTAC feature may not be attractive to the hunter, but it does appeal to many others for various reasons.
If you are interested in reading a head-to-head comparison of the Romeo 5 with another similarly priced red dot sight, check out our Vortex Crossfire Red Dot versus Romeo 5 article here.
Features & Benefits
MOTAC (Motion Activation) is Sig Sauer’s acronym for motion sensor technology in red dot sights. It activates upon sensing motion and deactivates when not in use. The Romeo 5 is a highly recognized red dot with this high-end feature and is one of the very few to offer it at a budget price point.
This feature is usually an asset for law enforcement and personal defense rifles. The timer is set to deactivate after 120 seconds (2 minutes) of non-motion. Though it certainly helps the 40,000+ hour battery runtime, it’s extremely sensitive. It turns on at the slightest vibration detected.
This is a benefit as it takes very little to activate the dot, but I found that it also turns on with vibrations felt through the floor. Every time someone walked into the room where the Romeo 5 was on a counter, it turned on.
Needless to say, it’s going to activate through all the bumps and movement while on a rifle hanger or in a patrol car, but that’s the point, right? It can’t discern what movement it senses as when you need it or when it’s unintentional. So, I’m not holding that against it.
Sig Sauer claims the Romeo 5 is fog-proof and waterproof that it can handle complete submersion for up to one meter. It has a IPX7 rating which corroborates this. It is made from aluminum, has audible, tactile turrets that adjust in 0.5 MOA clicks with caps that serve as the tool to adjust them.
Many torture tests have been performed online with the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 RDS. I didn’t feel the need to replicate those frozen iceblock or shotgun tests. Instead, I opted to take advantage of Monsoon season and replicate a likely, though still extreme, scenario of leaving the Romeo 5 to the mercy of a downpour. Being caught in or having to use our rifles in the rain is something more relatable.
Every surface and crevice of the Sig sight was drenched. Heavy and big droplets clung to the glass as the red dot was visible through the closed tube. I meant to only leave it out for 30 minutes, but I lost track of time, and it sat out for a solid 60 minutes in the unforgiving rain.
This was proof enough for me that it’ll hold up for almost anything I need to put it through.
The Sig Sauer Romeo 5 comes with two mounts in the box. The Romeo is preinstalled with a 1.41” riser mount that provides an absolute co-witness with AR sights.
A low-profile mount is included that is ideal for shotguns, AK platforms, and rifles like the Ruger 10/22.
Both mounts fit to Picatinny rails and can be torqued to 30 in-lbs. The Romeo 5 has a T1 footprint and thus can be fitted with alternative T1 mounting systems.
I fitted the Romeo to the STNGR quick detach mount and it fits like a glove with an obvious extension along one side of the body. However, it does nothing to inhibit performance. The screws fit tight and snug and there is no movement between the mount and the RDS.
Note: I did not capture footage of dot illumination below 5 as it gets harder for the camera to pick up. Remember, the dot is more brightly visible than what is seen through digiscoping. Generally, it’s easier to see the dot against darker targets. Though it washes out on camera on highly reflective white targets in bright, sunny conditions, it’s still visible through the RDS though it does become faint and harder to pick up.
The Romeo 5 has a total of 10 illumination intensity settings, eight of which are daylight settings and two are night vision compatible. With button operation, the sight is uncomplicated to use. The plus button increases brightness while the minus button decreases brightness.
The first thing I want to reveal is that once you put the battery in, you must hit the + button to increase brightness to see the dot. Many reports indicate that it did not work from box opening.
I thought this was the case for myself but I’m relentless and kept hitting buttons until the dot finally showed up. I think the default setting from the factory is on a very dim illumination setting. So, it’s not broken, it’s just not turned up!
The illumination was bright enough for most of my needs. At the range, it was a non-issue and had to be decreased. Though I couldn’t see settings 1-4 in normal conditions, 1 and 2 are for use with night vision and 3 and 4 are intended for low light.
The battery compartment on the Romeo 5 is a conventional knob protruding from the right side of the body. On alternative dot sights, it also doubles as the illumination rotary dial. However, with button operation, the knob is reserved solely for housing the battery.
I wouldn’t usually mention this battery compartment as a noteworthy feature, but I found need to. While field-testing the very similar Holosun HS403B with the same button operation, I came to appreciate the ease of use of the battery compartment on the Sig dot sight. (Check out my side-by-side comparison of the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 vs the Holosun 403B here).
The battery compartment tray on the HS403B drove me nuts for its tiny screws, requirement for an equally tiny Torx bit, and the time it took me to install a battery and then do it again (because I initially did it wrong). Tedious is the word I’d use for this one feature on the Holosun. Incredibly easy is the word I’d use for this one feature on the Romeo 5.
MOTAC allows the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 to be activated when sensing motion and deactivates the dot after two minutes of non-motion. Unfortunately, there is no way to adjust for the deactivation time.
The two-minute time didn’t inhibit me during field testing or shooting at the range. For most recreational purposes, the short time will suffice. However, it can limit its use for other applications such as hunting.
If you don't think you need the MOTAC, or are put off by the inability to adjust the deactivation time, you could check out the Romeo MSR instead. Check out this Romeo 5 vs Romeo MSR comparison for a full rundown of differences and similarities between the two.
Sig Sauer has their own term for motion sensor technology called MOTAC (Motion Activation). The Romeo 5 has MOTAC that disables the dot after two minutes and will instantaneously activate once motion is recognized. It’s extremely sensitive but the sleep timer is not adjustable.
The Sig Romeo 5 does not have night vision technology. However, it is night vision compatible meaning that dot visibility is dim enough to be safely used with night vision devices. The Romeo has two illumination settings dedicated to night vision compatibility use.
In general, the Sig Sauer Juliet 3x Micro Magnifier will work with the Romeo 5 RDS. The Juliet magnifier will provide 3x magnification. A magnifier is not included in the box and must be purchased separately if desired to pair with the Romeo. The image below demonstrates 1x magnification through the RDS (left) versus 3x magnification with the Juliet3 (right) to a 34 yard target.
Sig Sauer states that the Romeo 5 is compatible for MSR and carbine rifles, shotguns, crossbows, and air rifles given its compact size and recoil resistance.
The warranty on the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 red dot sight is split. Since the electronics are under a different warranty, it’s safe to assume that the Electro-Optics Infinite Guarantee applies to the housing and glass. It is fully transferable, no receipt and registration required, and is unlimited.
The second part of the warranty states the Electronic u0026 Tritium Limited 5-Year Warranty terms. This coverage states that the electronics (presumably the LED illumination system) is warrantied for 5 years from date of manufacture.
I really couldn’t find fault with this red dot during my Sig Romeo 5 review. Yes, I needed my glasses, but that’s due to my vision and not the RDS. I don’t particularly like that the MOTAC can’t be adjusted for the time it takes before it deactivates, but thousands of owners obviously don’t mind.
In the field, the Romeo 5 was a strong performer whether it was in the elements, in the suburbs, or at the shooting range.
Overall, the Sig Romeo 5 shouldn’t just be defined by its MOTAC tech even though it’s fashionable and functional. It’s a solid, closed tube, 2 MOA dot RDS based on its fundamental features. The MOTAC just makes it that much better.