If you read my AR15 optics reviews, you know that my main rifle optic is the Sig Sauer Romeo 5. The cost, the brand, and the specifications, it truly is a winner. So I was a bit skeptical when the higher-priced Rome 7 optic hit the market.
And, well, rightfully so.
The Romeo 5 is incredibly cost-effective and it’s 2 MOA red dot, super durable housing, and is backed by a trusted and reliable brand.
The Sig Sauer Romeo 7 is all that also. And maybe a little more. But for a lot more paid.
The short answer is: It’s complicated. The Romeo 7 is not a full blown runaway winner, in my opinion. I won’t be “upgrading” myself. But the Romeo 7 is amazing.
OK, that was confusing, let’s get to it. I’m going to keep with the theme of Romeo 5 vs. Romeo 7 because I feel that’s relevant in the decision process.
Sig Sauer Romeo 7 Review
Weight: 12.6 ounces (Sparc 6.4 ounces, Romeo 5 12.2 ounces)
Size: Full size, closer to the Vortex Strikefire.
Motion Activated Illumination: Pick up your rifle, your Romeo 7 is on.
The glass is crazy good. You will get no noticeable blue tint. The low Dispersion glass lens design means a crystal clear view.
Let’s start with the biggy. The Sig Sauer Romeo 7 is one of the largest sizes in the market at 30 mm. This is a big deal. This means much more eye relief, which translates to more seamless target acquisition. This is a big improvement over its predecessor, the Romeo 5.
The increased size is truly noticeable if you compare more standard 20mm optics next to it. The 20mm experience is already great, a 30mm like Romeo 7 is just massive luxury. It’s a big win for Romeo 7, make no mistake about it, but you aren’t slumming it with 20mm.
Housing is outstanding. It is IPX-7 rated making it immersible in up to a meter’s water depth and fog proof. It is graphite, matte finished. Like the Romeo 5, the housing is sharp and clean and truly adds to your rifle’s look in a positive way.
Uses an M1913 mount.
Romeo 7 Cons
You can’t swap out the base. This may or may not matter to you.
It’s a heavier experience. When you look at the raw numbers across the market, the Romeo 7 at 12.6 ounces seems huge. But its ounces. You notice it on an AR 15 but I don’t know how much you honestly care. I am more concerned with balance and it does not degrade that part of your rifle’s experience.
Romeo 7 vs. Romeo 5 (What’s New Here)
Both are 2 MOA.
Battery: Romeo 5 takes a single CR2032 (40,000+ hour battery life) while Romeo 7 takes a two AA (62,500 hours is good battery life). Aimpoints can run at 80k constant hours, but you completely leave any semblance of budget optics once you go there. This is a big deal and a considerable advantage for Romeo 7.
Waterproof/Fogproof Housing: Both. IPX-7 rated for immersion of up to a meter’s depth.
Durable Housing: Both. You could mount either on a 12 gauge shotgun and fire away for years without any issues.
Motion Activated Illumination: Both.
Eye Relief: Romeo 7 is winning this battle. Romeo 7 is 30mm, versus Romeo 5’s 20mm. This means faster target acquisition for Romeo 7. This also means the Romeo 7’s housing is larger, but let’s not split those hairs. There is more value in increased eye relief than there is a detraction in minimally added weight. Yes, the Romeo 7 is substantially heavier, but will that ever matter in terms of your use? Will you ever lose a target because you had to raise up several more ounces in weight?
Weight: Romeo 5 is 12.2 ounces while Romeo 7 is 12.6 ounces. Who cares?
Where is Romeo 7 Better?
The 30mm vs. 20mm tube size is a big deal. The Romeo 7’s tube size is 33% larger.
Point blank, this means more places to put your head and still pick up the red dot. This means MORE light will enter the tube, meaning your Romeo 7 will outperform my Romeo 5 in lower light situations. If you are a hunter, this is a big deal.
This also explains why the Romeo 7 is larger. Lots of people think that smaller is better with red dots, but Sig Sauer can’t make a 30mm tube and keep it the size of the Romeo 5. That’s not possible.
Romeo 7 battery life is better.
Honestly, the end…
Romeo 7 Price (A Mixed Bag)
The Sig Sauer Romeo 7 can be purchased anywhere from $279 to $300. That’s a heck of a markup from the Romeo 5.
Let’s review a little history and discuss how this price increase MIGHT help you get the optic you deserve.
When the Romeo 5 was becoming the hottest AR optic around (just behind the Vortex Strikefire), the cost was around $225’ish. That was more than the Strikefire, but the Romeo 5’s 2 MOA compared to the Strikefire’s 4 MOA justified the price bump.
The Romeo 5 soon came down, inexplicably, to $160’ish. At that price point, the Romeo 5 became the hands-down top AR 15 red dot in the game (my opinion, of course).
Now, you can find that Romeo 5 on Amazon for around $136. WHAT? Yeah, insane. A 2-MOA red dot in durable housing for that price is nuts.
This could be the Romeo 7 effect. Truthfully, I have no idea why its price is dropping even more.
In this way, the Romeo 7’s high price point is potentially driving down the Romeo 5’s price point. As a consumer, this is a big win no matter which of the two you decide to buy.
The Romeo 7 price is too high. But it would be money well spent. In other words, you will never need another red dot. The Romeo 7 is outstanding. But considering the Romeo 5 is now in that $130 zone and the Vortex Sparc 2, which is a 2-MOA experience, is around $210, it’s hard to justify Romeo 7’s price point.
Will you care that you spent $100 more on a Romeo 7 in two years? Probably not. You’ll still have a super reliable, incredible optic.
What Do You Get For More Spend?
You get improved eye relief. You get substantially more battery power.
The eye relief of 30mm vs 20mm is certainly substantial.
Battery life? These days, you can stack your bag with batteries and it hardly matters. Both Romeo 5 and Romeo 7 shut off and reserve battery life. If doomsday comes and you only have a single battery left for your Romeo 7, well, you’ll end up reaping the added benefit. If not, this probably never really matters that much to your life.
Better glass. But not by a ton. My Romeo 5 is crystal clear. The Romeo 7 is more crystal clear. Splitting hairs again.
The Sig Sauer Romeo 7 is an awesome red dot. You aren’t likely to regret the purchase.
Is the Romeo 7 better than the Romeo 5? Yes, overall, it is. But not by leaps and bounds and you are going to pay significantly more for the Romeo 7.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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