Shield RMS Review: For Competition, Not Carry

Disclamer: The Shield RMS was provided to Firearm Rack for this review at no cost.

The Shield RMS was designed to give competitive shooters a lower profile option when kitting out their pistol. Over recent years people have taken the Shield RMS and pressed it into uses that the Shield RMS not only isn't designed for, but it is not well suited for.

We are going to take a deep look at the Shield RMS and identify when it is a good option and when you probably shouldn't choose it for your gun. Shield has launched the RMSw, a version on the RMS that they claim is more rugged as a response to some of the testing completed by Firearm Rack and Sage Dynamics. While the specs look promising, we won't know until we try it.

Trust that we will have a full review of the upcoming Shield RMSw when they ship.

Shield RMS Video Review

Why Get The Shield RMS?

So if I broke the sight, why the hell would you consider it? The answer is pretty simple, for non-critical roles. There is flat out nothing wrong with having a pistol set up for competition or for general range use.

There are some distinct advantages to running a red dot sight that allows the use of stand iron sights like the Shield RMS. The most noticeable benefit? There is a much lower chance of the gun snagging on cover garments if you are using the pistol to shoot some form of Carry Optics class that requires a concealment garment. Another benefit to the lower mount height of the RMS is that the weight is kept low to the slide which should, in theory, minimize the amount of muzzle flip.

Shield RMS on Glock
Note the domed screws used to properly mount the Shield RMS.

It also helps that the Shield RMS looks pretty awesome sitting on top of my Glock 34 Gen 5 in the low profile Shield RMS mounting plate. Sometimes it is ok to be motivated by cosmetics, but only sometimes.

What You Should Know Before Buying A Shield RMS:

Since the above video was filmed months ago, I continued to use the replacement sight for a while until I had a new red dot come in for evaluation that took its place. There are some aspects of the Shield RMS that I flat out don't care for. One of those being the lack of clicks when adjusting the optic. Shield ships the sight with a dial that fits over a hex wrench to fine tune your zero. While I appreciate that, there is one problem ... I kept losing the damned thing. It was also kind of annoying to have to keep track of a special wrench and plastic dial when hitting the range.

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Another issue that is worth noting is how fragile the battery tray is. While I appreciate that they designed the RMS to allow for a battery change without removing the red dot, I would have appreciated a slightly more robust battery tray. After changing the battery for the second time (for testing purposes, not because the battery died) the plastic battery tray broke. I am still able to use the sight if I remove it, install a battery, then install it on the pistol. As you might imagine it is a less than ideal arrangement.

Should You Buy One?

That really depends on your intended use. If you intend on using it for competitive shooting or general range use, I say go for it and give the Shield RMS a shot. The optic is clear, easy to use, doesn't require you to change the iron sights out, and isn't insanely expensive.

Shield RMS Sight Mounted on Glock
When using the low profile mounting plate from Shield, the RMS sits very low to the slide keeping the weight as low as possible.

Now if you wanted to use it on a pistol that you would consider using for defensive purposes, I would say hell no. You need to consider something proven like the Trijicon RMR or the Holosun HS507C.

If you feel as though the Shield RMS will shine in your intended use of the firearm and want to pick one up, Brownells is a good resource. They have the Shield RMS in stock for $400 at the time this is being written as well as the low profile mounting plate.

My Take On The Shield RMS:

Once you come to terms with the reason that the Shield RMS was developed, the RMS starts looking like a pretty good option for some users. Just like everything else, understanding the limitations of an item is super important to getting the most out of it.

I really enjoyed shooting with the Shield RMS on the range and found the super clear, distortion-free lens to be very fast during acquisition of the dot as well as when shooting quickly on multiple targets. I also found that when handing the gun to shooters that were getting a taste of red dots on pistols for the first time they didn't seem to hunt for it as much as with other options like the Trijicon RMR I generally prefer for carry and hard use.

So, does it have a place in my safe? Absolutely. Once I finish testing the red dot that is currently mounted on my Glock 34 (more on that later, no cheating) I will absolutely be remounting the Shield RMS onto the 34 and use it for introducing new red dot shooters to the magic that is the dot.

Shield RMS Adjustment Screw
You can see just how tiny the adjustment screw is on the Shield RMS. Also, note the slightly rounded out mounting screws as a result of the small bit size required.

Like I mentioned earlier in the review, the sight can be found at Brownells for about $400, but coupon codes often bring the cost down to $370 or so. The Shield RMS normally carries an MSRP of about $420 when you convert £330 (That funny symbol is for British money units.) to Continental Dollars.

You can find more about the Shield Sights product line on their website.

About Patrick Roberts 217 Articles
Since founding Firearm Rack in 2014 which evolved into Primer Peak in 2020, Patrick has been published by RECOIL, Ammoland, Gun Digest, The Firearm Blog, The Truth About Guns, Breach Bang Clear, Brownells, The Shooter's Log, and All Outdoor. When he isn't writing you can find him instructing handgun and AR-15 courses, training his dog Bear, or spending time with his son Liam. See what he is up to on his YouTube Channel, on Facebook, or on Instagram at @thepatrickroberts.

1 Comment

  1. You don’t like the RMS but would put Chinese junk on your carry pistol?
    Good luck with that.

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