Sig Sauer: What’s The Difference Between Romeo 5 and 5X?

Have you wondered what the difference is between the Sig Romeo 5 and Romeo 5X? Sig Sauer is primarily a gun manufacturer, but they have also built up an impressive selection of optics, including scopes, magnifiers, and red dots. Their Romeo line of red dots has become quite popular and is used on many AR-15 rifles and handguns. Most of their Romeo series are identified by numbers, like the Romeo 7, Romeo 4, etc. Some of their optics have the same number with a second letter or number to identify a change.

Sig Romeo 5
The Sig Romeo 5 (left) and Romeo 5X (right) are both great optics for the price. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
This change is often the difference in size or an upgrade to the previous optic. One example is the Romeo 7 and Romeo 7s. The 7s is a smaller version of the full-size Romeo 7 red dot. I’ve owned a lot of Sig optics over the years, and I can’t say I’ve ever had any problems with them. They continue to make improvements to their scopes, full-size red dots, and micro dots for handguns. The Romeo 5 is an optic I’ve used at home and work, and it has never failed me. After owning the Romeo 5 for a while, I purchased the 5X, which brings us to the topic of today’s discussion.

What’s the difference between the two? But before we get into that, let’s first look at the Romeo 5 and what it has to offer.

Romeo 5 Red Dot

Sig’s Romeo 5 red dot is a simple red dot optic that uses two push-button controls on the top of the optic. To turn it on, press and hold the plus or minus button for three seconds. Repeat this step to turn the optic back off. It has 10 illumination settings, two of which are NV. It’s powered by a CR2032 battery that loads in the side of the optic. While the CR2032 is a little coin-cell battery, it will power the Romeo 5 for more than 40,000 hours.

Sig Romeo 5 red dot.
Sig Romeo 5 red dot. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
It uses a 2 MOA red dot and has Sig’s MOTAC (motion-activated illumination), which powers the optic down when there is no motion. When it senses motion, it powers the optic back up so it’s ready to go. It uses a standard 1913 Picatinny rail mount and is easily mounted to any rifle with a Picatinny rail (like an AR-15). The only complaint I really have about the Romeo 5 is the three seconds it takes to turn the optic on. But with motion activation, the optic could be left on all the time, so it turns on when you pick it up.

I’ve said many times in the past that I also prefer larger batteries in optics when possible. When Sig first introduced the Romeo 5, the battery was something I wished they had done differently. But that’s one thing Sig changed with the Romeo 5X, which we will get to next. For a $140 optic, the Romeo 5 is a great deal for anyone wanting quality at an affordable price.

Romeo 5X Red Dot

So, what’s the difference between the Romeo 5 and this one? There are several things, but first, I want to mention the generation of this optic. Sig does a great job updating optics to ensure each model stays relevant in today’s high-tech world of optics. My Romeo 5X is a generation 1, which is an enhanced version of the Romeo 5. I’ll cover a few of the upgrades from the Gen 1 to the Gen 2 next. But first, let’s talk about the main differences between the Romeo 5 and the Romeo 5X.

Sig Sauer Romoe 5X red dot.
Sig Sauer Romeo 5X red dot runs on one AAA battery. [Photo: Jason Mosher}
First, the 5X uses a AAA battery, which I like a lot. It only makes sense for optics to use common household batteries if possible. It’s easier to find a battery when it needs to be replaced, and it’s faster to switch it out. Instead of a side-mount battery, Sig moved the battery compartment to the bottom side of the optic to accommodate the larger power supply. Sig lists the service life of the AAA battery-powered optic at up to 50,000 hours. Like the original Romeo 5, it has 10 settings, motion activation technology, and an IPX7 water rating.

The other noticeable difference is the elevation and windage adjustment controls. On the Romeo 5, metal caps cover the adjustment knobs to protect them from being bumped. With the Romeo 5X, the adjustment knobs sit flush with the optic, so they cannot be turned without a small flathead screwdriver. Sig also provides a sight key with an optic that has a flathead tip on it. Other than that, the two optics are about the same. I feel the 5X improvements make it worth the extra money.

Romeo 5X Gen II

After Sig updated the 5X, the Gen II version has even more enhancements than previously, and they’re all good. They added a cross bolt mount, making it easy to take the optic on and off by hand or with a flathead screwdriver. The battery lid has also been updated and now has a groove for a flathead screwdriver in case it’s too tight to get off by hand. The final noticeable difference is a slight change in the design of the frame. The plus and minus buttons are angled a little, and the overall frame has a rounded look. It retails for about $150.00.

Sig Romeo 5X Gen II
Sig’s Romeo 5X Gen II is the newest version of the Romeo 5 red dot. [Photo: Sig Sauer]

Romeo 5: Three Great Versions, One Great Dot

For the slight difference in price, it only makes sense to buy the newest model, which is the Romeo 5X Gen II. It has a newer look and the latest upgrades. But even when you look at the original Romeo 5 red dot, it’s a great optic for the price. It can be used on an AR-15, shotgun, or any other rifle, PCC, or sub-gun with a Picatinny rail. I may even break down and buy the Gen II because I like my 5X so much. All three versions have a multi-coated lens.

If you want to add a magnifier, Sig offers the Juliet flip-to-side 3X magnifier that works great with the Romeo 5 models. Sig even sells the two as a set if you want to save money by bundling your optic and magnifier. There are lots of good optics on the market, but this is one worth checking out. Mine has been thrown around quite a bit over the years and it’s still running strong.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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