Look Ma, No Batteries! Meprolight’s M22 Reflex Sight

Meprolight has quietly developed a reputation for world-class firearm sights and optics. Founded in 1990 as the primary red dot, sighting system, and battle optic provider to the Israel Defense Force (IDF), Meprolight brings that experience to every product. We recently got our hands on the company’s new Mepro M22 Self-Illuminated Reflex Sight. We’ve been running it for over two months now. Here’s what we found.

Man firing an AR-15 with a Meprolight M22
The Mepro M22 is strong but lightweight. (Author’s Photo)

Mepro M22 Overview

Meprolight recently introduced the Mepro M22 to replace their successful Mepro M21 Reflex Sight, which saw decades of IDF service, along with military and law enforcement agencies around the world. The M22 is smaller and over 3 ounces lighter than its predecessor while delivering the same high performance. The optic is available with a tritium fiber optic 3.5/40 MOA Bullseye or 10 MOA Triangle reticle. No batteries. We chose the bullseye.

Meprolight M22 available reticles

We ran the M22 on an Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Zion 15 rifle, which seemed appropriate. We loved it for the most part, though we did have one slight issue. We’ll break that down for you momentarily, but let’s begin with the optic’s specifications.

Meprolight M22 Specs

  • Weight: 9.1 ounces (257 grams)
  • Length: 3.9 inches (99 mm)
  • Width: 2 inches (50 mm)
  • Height: 2.7 inches (68 mm)
  • Display Window Dimensions: 1 x 0.8 inches (25 x 20 mm)
  • Reticle Color: Red
  • Height Over Bore: 1.5 inches (39 mm)
  • Windage/Elevation Adjustment: 1 MOA
  • Total Windage Adjustment: +/- 60 MOA
  • Power Source: Tritium (Night) / Fiber Optic (Day)
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Mount: Picatinny Rail Quick Release (MIL-STD 1913)
  • Water Resistance: 66 feet (20 m) for 1 Hour
  • Operating Temperature: -40 degrees F to 140 degrees F (-40 C to 60 C)
  • Compatible with night vision and magnifiers
Meprolight M22 Self-Illuminated Reflex Sight on a rifle
(Author’s Photo)


We all know that batteries are weak points in illuminated optics. It’s why we have backup iron sights. But the Mepro M22 doesn’t need batteries. It’s 100 percent self-illuminated thanks to the tritium fiber optic reticle. The reticle’s illumination auto-adjusts to its location’s ambient light conditions. No need to hit the “on” switch or rely on “shake awake.” The M22 is always on. Meprolight offers a 10-year warranty on the tritium’s luminescence.

The M22 is small and lightweight, but the display window has plenty of room, making target acquisition a breeze. We easily transitioned between targets both laterally and at different ranges. The optic’s compactness leaves plenty of room for a magnifier if you want one, as well as backup irons. Despite the light weight, the M22 feels solid and well-made. The body and hood provide ample protection for the glass, and we expect this optic is up to being knocked around.

We love the quick-release Picatinny mount. Easy on and easy off while still holding zero. The included adjustment tool makes for quick zeroing, so we’ll have no qualms about slapping the M22 on various rifles, even if it’s for a single range trip. We checked to see how the M22’s zero would hold if we switched rifles. We changed it from the Zion 15 to an Aero Precision AR, and the zero was spot on, thanks to the rock-solid mount. It continued holding zero when it went back to the Zion 15. We love this optic’s versatility.

Quick detach mount
The quick detach mount held zero despite being moved to different rifles. We loved it. (Author’s Photo)

Running the M22

We found the M22 very intuitive, with easy transitions and fast target acquisition. We chose the bullseye sight for that reason. The ring outlines targets without having to search for a dot, though we could see that, too.

We zeroed the M22 at 50 yards. It was super easy. Two 5-round groups, followed by a 5-round confirmation group, and we were golden. We fired from the bench at 50 and 100 yards and ran drills from 7 and 15 yards, sometimes transitioning out to 50 yards. The M22 proved very accurate and consistent once we found our holds. We ran 2-2-2 drills from 7, Dot Torture from 15, then 2-2-2 at 7, moving to 50 for the last 2 shots.

We didn’t notice the M22’s weight on the IWI Zion 15 rifle. It tracked easily and was very user-friendly. Some red dots can be tricky to bring on target at first. Not the M22. The learning curve was almost flat. We quickly learned the holds for the Zion 15, and the bullseye ring even helped to reference those.

Meprolight M22 on an AR-15
The M22 is intuitive and user-friendly. (Author’s Photo)

Reticle Brightness Issues and Solutions

The bullseye sight was easily acquired at close range. Longer ranges were a bit trickier for my less-than-optimal vision, depending on the target. Beyond 50 yards, lighter-colored targets on a sunny day tended to wash out the fiber optic reticle for me, though I could see it clearly against darker backgrounds. I also saw it well on overcast days.

Practice taught me to look for the reticle’s color against light targets in bright conditions, and things got a little easier. My son’s eyes are sharper, and he acquired the reticle more reliably, though he agreed that it could have been brighter. So, while I wish the daytime fiber optics were more visible, that’s the trade-off for not depending on batteries. The tritium shows up fine in darkness. No issues there.

We both had trouble shooting from shaded to brightly lit areas. The problem was bad enough that I contacted Meprolight to ask about it. They told me that other shooters were having similar experiences, and they had an explanation. That phenomenon is caused by the fiber optic’s reliance on ambient light. The brightness adjusts to where the optic is, not where the target is.

Meprolight M22 Reflex Sight
(Author’s Photo)

I was pleased to hear that Meprolight is addressing the situation. The M21 had an available polarizer that screws on the optic’s front, focusing the reticle. An M22 polarizer is coming soon. Additionally, the M22 is already set up to accept a battery-powered light module to brighten the reticle. Meprolight estimates that the M22’s current configuration effectively addresses 85 percent of possible scenarios. That sounds about right to me. They told me that these upgrades would raise that to 95%. As I said, there is a trade-off for not depending on batteries. These upgrades are meant to deal with the downsides of that trade-off if the shooter desires. Meprolight agreed to let me test those upgrades, and I’ll report back when that happens. For now, I’m just adding a set of Meprolight FUBS backup sights to fill any gap.

Man firing AR-15 rifle
We just added some Meprolight FUBS backup sights to fill the rare gap until the upgrades are available. (Author’s Photo)

Final Thoughts

The Mepro M22 quickly became one of our favorite optics. It’s well-built, sturdy, and easy to use. The construction seems top-notch. It was absolutely reliable through about 500 rounds on our Zion 15 rifle and 30 rounds on the Aero Precision. We believe it to be superior to battery-powered red dots in terms of being always ready and not battery-dependent.

We both liked it better than the traditional red dots we’ve run on other rifles, but the brightness is not what it could be at times. Battery-powered dots’ adjustable brightness gives them an edge on sunny days against certain backgrounds. As noted, Meprolight is addressing those issues. But again, firearms and accessories always have trade-offs. This is one of them, though Meprolight is working to minimize it.

But we like that the dot, whether bullseye or triangle, will always be there since it doesn’t rely on an exterior power source. The light module will require a battery, but you won’t need it most of the time. We think that’s a pretty good trade. Your mileage may vary based on the role an M22-equipped rifle might fill for you.

man firing AR-15 with Meprolight M22 and a magnifier
A magnifier gives you an instant illuminated scope that’s always on. (meprolight.com)

We get lots of guns in for testing and evaluation. We’re always swapping accessories between those guns. The M22 will get lots of work running them. The easy zeroing and quick-release mount make that a certainty. We think the M22’s easy accessibility is a great strength. Plop it on your rifle, walk it into the 10-ring, and go. Throw on a magnifier behind it and you have an instant scope that’s always illuminated. What’s not to like? All that from the IDF’s main optics supplier. We’ve found that you can run Meprolight stuff hard. You gotta love that.

William "Bucky" Lawson is a self-described "typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast". He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, "here and there". A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar - preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.

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