Your author today has really only ever used a Trijicon RMR for pistol optics. To be honest like most people early on in the pistol optic lifespan were hesitant, initially optic cuts had some issues, just like anything new, and having a pistol fitted with an optic was a chore. You definitely needed to send off the slide for cutting. Which was a test of faith. Slides were not easy to come by and aftermarket let alone “optic ready” slides did not exist. In those early years I definitely had a RMR come off during firing. Finding the perfect fit of the tap and screw to give maximum torque was still a mystery due to tolerance differences in manufacturers. I know you’re thinking ‘shut up old man!’ right about now, and you’re right. But to understand the Swampfox Kraken optic you need to know where we came from to appreciate where we are now.
This generation of optic is where the real magic happens. We all want an optic that is rock solid on the top of your gun. If I were to really crank on a drilled and tapped RMR you’re going to wince. Maybe you’ve cross threaded a bolt before, or even stripped one. The Kraken like the Aimpoint Acro and holosun 509t’s mount the same way, to fit it to any legacy system will require an adapter plate ( Kraken comes with RMR and MOS adapters in the box) But the real magic of this design shines through if you invest in a custom cut slide to accept the optic. I highly recommend you get a slide cut to match the optic, this isn’t like years past where slides were not available, now there are lots of aftermarket options.
Let’s cover some of the obvious now. It’s a closed emitter sight, this is another check box in the awesome category. I have cleaned many RMR lenses, and you can never get them as clean as when they were new. Krakens outer lenses are as easy to clean as a cellphone screen, no nooks and crannies to hide dirt. I have a slight astigmatism and have become accustomed to a dot not being round and a little fractally. The Kraken is clear for me. It’s the first dot in a long time I can actually see the roundness of the dot.
For training purposes, I really like the optic window. It’s not in a low and wide format but more a tall and wide scenario. When I first am training someone to use a pistol red dot it’s always a little hard to ‘find the dot.’ I always say tip the barrel up and down until it appears, which works well for new people. The Kraken works better because of the glass shape. It has more up and down viewing space which makes dot acquisition easier.
Fit and finish is superb, very well-made lenses nice and secure. The Aimpoint Acro does hide the battery better with a flusher fit for its battery compartment, but the Krakens is easy to grip and easy to access. The Krakens buttons are nice and simple, easy enough to press with one hand. The shake awake feature works flawlessly and has 20,000 hour battery life when using the shake awake and 8,000 hours straight up on. The finish is excellent. It just works, it will be there when you need it.
My final thoughts on the Swampfox Kraken is that for the price, MSRP 349.00, it’s a steal. This optic has all the bells and whistles of its top competitor and comes in at almost half the price. Making it in my mind, an absolute buy. Stay tuned for a shooting breakdown review of the Swampfox Kraken.
Swampfox Kraken Specs:
Closed Emitter Dot Sight 1×16
Auto On Shake and Wake
Lens Diameter 16mm
CR2023 3V battery
8000+hrs battery life 20,000+ with shake and wake
7075-T6 aluminum / anodized finish