Shield Sights’ SMS and RMS lines are the most compact reflex sights on the market, which makes them perfect for sub-compact and micro-compact pistols. In fact, the mounting pattern — the “footprint” — of these sights has become an industry standard that is used by many other optic manufacturers for their smallest reflex style pistol-focused red dot optics, but there has been come market confusion as to what this footprint should be called and where it comes from.
The following is a statement from the CEO of Shield Sights explaining this a bit further:
I just wanted to take a moment to help clear up some confusion in the marketplace in regards to the Shield Sights footprint and other branding being used around it. We have been receiving a lot of questions from our customers and other communications that show a great deal of confusion about the compatibility of different optics with all of the new factory cut pistol options. A lot of this stems from us not taking time to educate the public on the history of that footprint and the work that has gone into making it a standard that so many are now adopting.
Shield Sights developed the footprint in the mid 1990s with the design and launch of the SMS. You may know the SMS as the jPoint, Firepoint, Tasco Optima, and the Trijicon Red Dot since we originally designed and manufactured all of those sights based on the SMS. Since that time we have moved on to manufacture and brand our own line of optics that you’ve seen gain popularity over the past several years.
The sticking point for us has been the years of collaboration and work with major gun manufacturers to adopt this footprint, only to create confusion as manufacturers and other optics companies are naming it as their own. With the first adoption by Walther, followed by Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, Springfield Armory, Glock, and now Ruger, we believe that our footprint is pretty standard. With all of the history behind the footprint and these companies now offering pistols cut with it, we feel it is an industry standard and the naming of it should also be standardized to remove consumer confusion. There is no trademark or intellectual property based around the footprint itself but the variety of names for it has created a lot of confusion in regards to optic compatibility. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for your help in clarifying the messaging around the Shield footprint.
CEO – Shield Sights