Review: Ameriglo Haven Red Dot Sight

Long known for its iron sights, Ameriglo has gotten into the slide-mounted, pistol red-dot game in a big way.

posted on December 21, 2021
Ameriglo Haven red dot sight

As has been apparent for a while, pistol-mounted red dots are hot and getting hotter. Just about every major handgun manufacturer has at least one or two models either with dots or dot-capable, and most of the larger companies have multi-optic-capable designs. Even the majority of the super-trendy micro-9 mm double-stack pistols are ready to accept some form of micro-red-dot sight. With this background, it’s no surprise at all that an established iron-sight company like Ameriglo would get into the action.

Ameriglo’s new Haven red-dot sight is, at first glance, fairly indistinguishable from other offerings. This mostly has to do with the small size and weight necessary for a slide-mounted sight. It’s an open-emitter model, meaning that the LED that projects the dot is separated from the lens by, well, air. There’s a generous glass lens and an industry-standard RMR footprint, 11 brightness settings including two compatible with night vision and a host of useful features designed to prolong battery life and make the Haven more intuitive for the user.

Among these features, two are quite prominent. The first is Carry-Loc, which allows the user to press the increase and decrease brightness buttons for 1 second to lock the brightness setting at the current level. This is quite useful if you inadvertently press either button while racking the pistol—there’s nothing more disconcerting than finding the dot either terribly faint or full blast when you’re not expecting it. For times when your illumination is going to be constant, like if you shoot exclusively on an indoor range, it’s a useful feature to have. It offers a quick check to keep the brightness constant so there is one less possible distraction when training.

brightness controls, battery tray
Mounting the Haven is simple; torque the screws to spec and/or Loctite in place • A tray on the side allows the battery to be changed without removing the optic from the slide • Changing brightness levels is intuitive, easy and can be locked out if needed.

Power-Protect mode is engaged after the unit has been inactive for 12 hours. The Haven will turn itself off and the motion sensor takes over. At this point, any motion will turn the unit back on to the power setting it was last using. Should the unit be inactive for an additional 12 hours, it turns completely off. The power setting will revert to setting No. 5 after that additional 12-hour shutdown. With the unit on setting No. 5 (medium power), this will extend battery life to two years (with the unit on continuously at brightness setting No. 4, battery life is one full year). When it does come time to replace the battery, there’s more good news: not only does the Haven take the standard (inexpensive and easy-to-find) CR2032, but the battery tray is located on the side, meaning you don’t have to remove the unit from the pistol to change batteries.

At the product event launching the Haven, Dan Brokos from Lead Faucet Tactical ran our group through a wide variety of drills designed to test the Haven at its limits. Distances ranged from 3 to 50 yards (and even some “independent testing” at 100 yards), multiple targets were employed and we also teamed up for some friendly (ish) competition. At the close-range targets, most of the attendees (myself included) were bracketing the center with the window of the Haven and getting solid hits. At distance, even at 50 yards, all shots stayed on a standard silhouette target.

What’s most notable about the Haven is that it was more or less background; we had nine shooters plus Brokos, and the handful of problems experienced were either of the end-user variety or simple hardware issues. (A couple units came loose, but that’s understandable considering the pistols were loaners and the Ameriglo folks were reluctant to Loctite them down. Also, one shooter saw the front sight of the Glock G19 fall off, which has nothing to do with the Haven, but was an interesting counter to the “iron sights never fail” crowd.) The Haven just plain worked. Whether we were checking zero at 10 yards with slow-fire, screaming through a plate rack or taking careful aim at 25 yards, the Haven was crisp and clear, did not flicker or disappear and never exhibited any “blooming.”

One additional note, and it’s a brilliant move by Ameriglo—two dot sizes are available (3.5 and 5 MOA), and both sizes can be had as part of a package that includes Ameriglo iron sights specifically designed to work as backups for the Haven. If you’re getting into the red-dot game and have standard sights, the package comes at a modest premium over the red-dot sight alone.

So, what’s the final verdict on the Haven? Let me put it to you this way. All of Shooting Illustrated’s Gun Locker reviews have an “On Target” and an “Off Target” section where we highlight what we like about the item in question, and what we feel could use some improvement. For the life of me, I had to reach for the “Off Target” for the Haven. The price is right, the features are plentiful, battery life is impressive and the footprint is common. As you can see from the
“Off Target” chosen, there’s not much Ameriglo could have done to make the Haven better.

Ameriglo Haven specs


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