There’s no questioning the key role Crimson Trace has played in creating the consumer market for laser sights and continually driving it forward. Now Crimson is breaking its own mold. This November they are busting out of the laser sight realm with a new electronic sight series featuring open and closed red-dot reflex sights for tactical and competition pistol, rifle and shotgun shooters.

For rifles and shotguns, the new Crimson Trace CTS-1400 has several virtues worthy of attention.

First, this open reflex sight is very low profile compared to others. It’s remarkably small and light, while still being sturdily built of aircraft grade anodized aluminum. It measures 2.3-inch long by 1.5-inches wide by 1.6-inches high mounted on its base.

The thin base is actually a separate part that the sight screws to with two Allen head socket screws (included) allowing it to clamp solidly onto a Picatinny rail. This base is thin, which contributes to the unit’s low overall height. Since the base is a separate part, one could dispense with it and have a gunsmith mount the sight directly to the receiver for the lowest possible profile.

Additionally, the total weight is only 2.9 ounces. The sight comes with a soft rubber slip-on/slip-off protective cover.

Key Features of the Crimson Trace CTS-1400

The CST-1400 has a wide-coated glass lens and is water, dust and fog proof, as well as impact and shock resistant. It uses an easy to spot 3.25 MOA red aiming dot. The brightness of the aiming dot can be adjusted through 10 levels by touching controls on the left side of the sight. It is also adjustable for windage and elevation (up to 100 clicks in 1 MOA clicks) with an Allen key.

Because there is no magnification and the aluminum frame that surrounds the lens is so thin, the CST-1400 minimizes visual obstruction of targets. This allows shooters a wide field of view, better situational awareness downrange and faster target acquisition. This new optic is also compatible with night vision equipment.

This well-made optic with an all metal body should prove sufficiently durable for home defense, or any tactical use short of a battlefield. To save height, and keep it compact, it doesn’t have a secondary shield over the frame that supports the lens so I wouldn’t want do drop it down a flight of concrete steps. But then again, most optics wouldn’t fare too well in that scenario.

As a self-defense tool, it offers the advantage of being very fast to the target as long as there is enough light to see. This type of sight is of no advantage in very low light or darkness. However, if used in combination with an external light, you’re back in business up to the range of the light.

A Long Life

The unit operates on a single CR2032 battery and features an advanced electronic automatic shut-off feature that senses when the sight hasn’t moved for a specified period of time, turning it off to extend battery life.

Additionally, battery life is estimated at an amazing 20,000 hours, and the little 3V Lithium coin style battery is available in any drugstore. They’re cheap, too. You can buy a pair of them for $3 and enough power to keep your sight going for more than four-and-a-half years of continuous use. That should be enough to get any would-be survivalist through the worst of an EMP apocalypse.

More so, when you do have to change the battery, you don’t need to dismount the sight and mess up your zero. The CST-1400 has a side accessible battery door on the lower right side of the unit. It closes tightly and stays shut.

The Crimson Trace CST-1400 has the usual three-year limited warranty and qualifies for its batteries-for-life program. However, with 20,000 hours of use from a battery, chances are the sight or the battery will be obsolete by the time you need a new one.  While MSRP for the CST-1400 is currently $469, I’d expect actual retail to be around $400.

For more information about the Crimson Trace CTS-1400 Red Dot Sight, please visit

Crimson Trace CTS-1400 Red Dot Sight

  • 3.25 MOA round aiming dot
  • 1X Magnification
  • Includes low-profile, snag-free M1913 Picatinny mount
  • Externally accessible battery compartment
  • Wide field of view (FOV) and superior glass quality
  • Intelligent electronics maximize battery life when not in use
  • Free Batteries For Life
  • 3 Year Limited Warranty
  • MSRP: $469

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