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[Video+Review]Crimson Trace RAD Pro Pistol Red Dot

We investigate the Crimson Trace RAD Pro -- a pistol red dot designed for mid-sized and full-sized handguns -- all while training at Gunsite.

Red dots are all the rage right now, and it seems like just about everyone rocks one on their favorite gun.

Well, the folks at Crimson Trace dive deeper into the red dot pool with a whole lineup of optics called RAD.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Glock G19
Crimson Trace RAD Pro

Normally, I see companies release a new product to fill a need, but Crimson Trace hopes to scratch every red dot itch with a slew of devices – 10 to be specific.

For the sake of clarity, the Rapid Aiming Dot consists of three basic body sizes…a micro, pistol, and long gun size.

Just like Goldilocks, you should be able to find the one that’s right for you.

 Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite in box
The RAD comes in a few flavors.

I got to test the RAD out recently at Gunsite Academy, putting these optics through the wringer. And today, we’re going to look at one of those models – the Crimson Trace Rad Pro.

This red dot is a premium, full-size pistol option, but can it compete with the bevy of other red dots on the market?

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Class
What better way to test the RAD series than training at Gunsite.

We’ll find out. I’ll run you through the specs and features and then talk about how it stood up to some training at Gunsite.

If you want to see the Crimson Trace RAD Pro do its thing, check out the full video review below.

As always, head over to Pew Pew Tactical’s YouTube channel for more guns and gear!

Table of Contents


RADical Man

I tested out the RAD Pro for this review, which is an open reflex sight for full-frame pistols.

The red dot in this unit is red and sized at 3 MOA.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Glock G19
Crimson Trace RAD Pro on a Glock G19

It’s an upgraded model from the standard RAD – that Pro signifying it’s got some extra features.

This red dot boasts a great feature set, including an ambient light sensor, shake awake-on, and auto-shutoff after 8 hours.

Best Red Dot for Mid-Size/Full-Size Pistols
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Worth mentioning, it also offers the ability to shut off after 2 minutes of no movement.

While that might not seem like much, features designed to conserve energy actually keep you from the hassle of having to swap batteries frequently.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite

In fact, Crimson Trace says the RAD Pro serves up 20,000 hours of battery life on a CR1632.

Notably, the battery is housed in a top mount on the Pro, so you don’t have to remove the optic to swap out.

On the other hand, the standard RAD offers a bottom mount battery.


Adding to the lineup, the Pro also comes in red or a green dot option. Brightness settings range from eight daylight settings to two nighttime.

The body of the RAD is made from 7075 series aerospace aluminum. Crimson Trace says it’s 30% stronger than the 6061 series aluminum other manufacturers use.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Holster
I repeatedly drew and reholstered and the RAD Pro seemed to hold up.

In addition, the multi-coated lens of the Pro features a recessed window for protection. The top strap of the housing is designed to deflect force should the optic fall.

Crimson Trace told us the RADs are “severely tested,” suffering 5,000 cycles on a shock tower.

Additionally, the RAD family comes with the Crimson Protect Lifetime Warranty.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Shooting
Let’s do some shooting!

Testing & Training

Crimson Trace was kind enough to provide a Gen 5 Glock G19 with a RAD Pro mounted for training at Gunsite. Train we did!

Fortunately, I attended a 250 Pistol Course a few years back, so I was familiar with a lot of Gunsite’s curriculum.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite
We were able to test out the RAD Pro at the famed Gunsite.

I zeroed my optic, then started working drills.

Right away, I noticed and appreciated the viewable area of the RAD. It was generous without being enormous.

The RAD allowed me to quickly get on target after drawing from the holster.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Shooting
It felt pretty natural.

I was also able to “ride the dot” through recoil and quickly reacquire sight picture for follow-up shots.

We spent time shooting center mass, then closing with headshots with the Mozambique Drill.

Delightfully, the red dot of the RAD Pro aided my ability to find and hit center mass, then move the dot up to the head for the stopping shot.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite

Under the Cover of Dark

When the sun goes down at Gunsite, the shooting doesn’t stop.

After a thorough briefing from instructors, we again set out on the line to use our RAD Pros in the fading twilight.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Night Shoot
Night shoots are fun!

The auto-brightness feature did a great job of detecting ambient settings.

But I appreciated the tactile buttons on the sides of the housing the most. This allowed me to adjust brightness manually.

Things also got punched up a notch when we started using the Crimson Trace weapon lights mounted to our Glocks.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Night Shoot
Using the CMR-207G Rail Master Pro for a little illumination.

The CMR-207G Rail Master Pro has a couple of great features that make it ideal for lights-out work.

First, it has two paddle switches in the rear accessible from either side of the trigger guard.

at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

A quick stab would turn the light on, and holding the button down would allow momentary control of the 400-lumen beam.

That might be fun enough for some, but the Rail Master Pro also has a green laser.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Glock G19
The full setup

With a little adjustment on windage and elevation, I got dialed in and continued drills into the night.

The way mine came together, my red dot from my RAD Pro completely covered my green dot from the weapon light as I looked through the RAD.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Night Shoot

However, I could imagine scenarios where I might rely on the externally projected laser for a shot, should the RAD go down or somehow be occluded.

We went through more training and even ran a few courses of fire. The RAD Pro ran reliably the entire time.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Range Night Shoot
Getting ready for more drills.

By the Numbers

Ergonomics: 4/5

Atop the Glock G19, the RAD Pro looked sleek and felt great. The buttons were tactile – which came in handy during low light.

Features: 5/5

I was impressed with the features and capabilities offered by the RAD and the Rail Master weapon light. The two paired together really helped me sail through a low light run that might otherwise be very challenging.

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Slide Locked

Reliability & Durability: 4/5

There was no flickering, no discernable shift in zero, and I had predictable results each time I brought my weapon up to target. The brightness, set on auto, performed well in various lighting situations, but I always had the option to bump it up or down to my preference.

While I did not abuse the optic, I did not baby it either. I drew from a holster, shot, reholstered, and repeated this process a whole lot during our hours on the range.

Value: 5/5

RAD red dots fall between $200 to $400, meaning there’s an optic for nearly everyone. Personally, I lean towards the higher end because more features mean more options. However, the lineup seems solid regardless of where you buy-in.

Best Red Dot for Mid-Size/Full-Size Pistols
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Overall: 4/5

Crimson Trace’s RAD Pro seems to be a great option for those looking for a red dot to mount on a mid-size to full-size pistol frame. It held up during my training and was a pleasure to shoot with.


By the end of a pretty intense two days of training, the Crimson Trace RAD Pro left me with a great impression.  

Crimson Trace RAD Pro Gunsite Shooting

The performance of the unit I tested was solid, and I had no major hiccups. If you’re looking for a red dot for your favorite pistol, look no further than the Crimson Trace RAD Pro.

To see more about my time at Gunsite with the RAD Pro, check out the video below.

What do you think of the RAD Pro? Let us know in the comments below. Need more pistol red dot options? Check out our list in the Best Pistol Red Dots.

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5 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar

    Over the years I've had electronic sight failures on a couple of different long guns while hunting so I may be overly cynical...I just don't have faith in electronic sights on my firearms. I would be interested to hear from LEO and Military personnel who have experienced failures in the heat of the moment or even in practice. Are these things really worth the money (some cost as much or more than the firearm), or are they gadgets that one is staking his/her life on?

    October 29, 2021 9:48 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      never had an electronic sight fail on me completely. I did have an EoTech that acted flaky, dot would be nice and bright but then suddenly dim to almost nothing then would flash quickly and be ok again. Did that several times, so I replaced it.

      Had a brand new, 1 day old, Stream light weapon light fail. I had damaged my old one finally after years of hitting stuff with it, I decided a replacement was in order.

      Entered a dark building; turned the (new) light on, cleared, went deeper into the building, saw the guy and came to a column and put the light on him. He started running, light quit, it was pitch dark suddenly, heard a sound and about two seconds later he was all over me. I got a little hurt, scar reminds me he didn't make it. Could never get the light to come back on, switch failure. Never had another Steamlight after that.

      October 29, 2021 12:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Thomas Copeland

    Crimson Trace laser sights are junk. Mine only lasted through a couple hundred rounds before it wouldn’t work anymore and Crimson Trace kept telling me I just need to clean the lens. They managed to delay me enough until it was out of warranty and then offered to sell me another one at a discount. I won’t buy anything Crimson Trace again.

    October 28, 2021 7:04 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Kevin m Niven

    And you can drop them.

    October 28, 2021 4:29 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Meeester Paul

    Seems like an option . . . but Holosun has multiple reticles and solar for that price point.

    October 28, 2021 4:15 pm
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