Changing of the Guard: Sentinel vs. Sentinel II

By Alex Fanning


Introduced in 2020, the Swampfox Sentinel quickly established itself as a dependable concealed carry optic and one of the few micro dot sights for RMSc footprint slimline and micro compact pistols. Offering a 3 MOA red or green dot, 16mm diameter window, both manual and auto brightness, and Shake N’ Wake auto on/off, it was a feature-rich optic at an affordable price. But three years later, technology has continued to advance, and with it, consumer demands for carry optics.

Enter the second-generation Sentinel II and the next iteration of our micro red dot sight. Built on the success of its predecessor with consumer feedback, Sentinel II showcases significant enhancements to its everyday durability and functionality over Gen 1 – plus a patented new feature.

Sentinel vs. Sentinel II


At first glance, the most distinct difference between the first and second-generation micro red dot sights is their body design. While Sentinel was contained within its 1.61” length, Sentinel II extends and elevates the objective lens forward of its main deck, now measuring 1.84” overall. This extension, which will overhang a pistol’s slide once mounted, was necessary to accommodate the Sentinel II’s enlarged and recessed 20mm (measured corner to corner) window – 4mm larger than its predecessor – for greater visibility.

The optic hood surrounding the window has also been reinforced on Sentinel II, addressing failure points of the thinner hood Sentinel. Side wall thickness was increased from 1mm to 3mm, with the top of the hood tapering from 4.25mm at the rear to 2.20mm at the front to better protect the lens from drops and bumps. Despite this increase, Sentinel II maintains a compact profile on top of the same slimline RMSc footprint, measuring 1.07” wide and tall, or less than 0.20” larger than Gen 1 in both dimensions. Further, the rear hood features anti-glare serrations to ensure an unobstructed sight picture in bright conditions, especially when the sun is directly overhead or behind the shooter.

Like the original, Sentinel II is also constructed from lightweight and durable 7075-T6 aluminum, built to withstand the use and abuse of everyday carry. However, Gen 2 wears a new matte finish with blacked out and embossed branding to minimize reflection. Its lens uses the same ruby/silver tinting (depending on illumination color) and specialty coatings for anti-scratch, anti-fog, and hydrophobic performance. One additional set of mounting screws is also provided with Sentinel II for a total of four, accommodating the SIG Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield, Springfield Hellcat/Glock 43X/48, and Canik handguns.


Though Sentinel II continues using a 3 MOA red or green illuminated dot for aim small-miss small precision at self-defense distances, it employs a new, further recessed LED emitter for improved illumination. How reticle brightness is controlled has also been changed.

While Sentinel and Sentinel II are both offered with 10 manual brightness settings, continuous auto brightness was removed due to end user feedback of delayed or inadequate brightness adjustment. Brightness settings 1 and 2 remain night vision-compatible, with 3 to 8 for low-light and indoor applications, and settings 9 and 10 for daylight bright settings. Up and down brightness buttons are also now separated on each side of the optic hood, as well as made larger with audible clicks for greater control and tactile feedback while shooting and wearing gloves.

Similarly, windage and elevation dials on the new Sentinel II are also tactile, with 1 MOA click adjustments you can feel and hear – unlike the silent and non-responsible turrets of Gen 1. Together, these adjustments make it easier to zero and adjust brightness on the dot sight.

Speaking of zeroing, powering both Gen 1 and Gen 2 Sentinels is a bottom-load CR2032 battery. Perhaps not as convenient as a top or side load, the bottom location allows the use of a larger battery (compared to a CR1632) for longer battery life and a lower deck height. Combined with Swampfox Shake N’ Wake auto on/off technology, shooters can expect up to 50,000 hours, or nearly two years, of runtime – twice as long as the recommended period for battery replacement and zero confirmation of a carry optic.


The most standout feature new to Sentinel II is the patented rear sight guide found in front of the optic window. In addition to better protecting the lens from surface racking, the window recess also provides space for this removable guide, manufactured in collaboration with Night Fision. A solution for optic-equipped carry guns without traditional rear irons, the rear sight guide serves as a guiding landmark for quick target acquisition and alignment. However, due to their height in the elevated overhang, these hardened steel and nitride guides – available in Blackout and Stealth Tritium – are not intended to serve as a replacement for rear sights on their own. Matching height front sights will be made available in the future for popular handgun models, allowing shooters to properly cowitness with the provided rear guide.

For even greater durability, an optional Ironsides Shield can be purchased separately and added to Sentinel II. Sandwiched between the deck and handgun slide, the shield acts like a sacrificial helmet for the optic hood, providing insurance against damage. Of course, all Swampfox optics are protected by our Limited Lifetime Warranty, covering all illumination and electronic systems for 10 years, and manufacturing defects and material flaws for life.


Sentinel (Gen 1)
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Reticle: 3 MOA Dot
  • Illumination: Red / Green
  • Brightness: Manual, 10 Settings (2 NV) / Auto
  • Window: 16mm (W) x 16mm (H) / 16mm (Angular)
  • Footprint: RMSc
  • Dimensions: 1.61” (L) x 0.91” (W) x 0.94” (H)
  • Weight: 0.62 oz.
  • Battery Life: 50,000 Hours; Shake N’ Wake
Sentinel II
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Reticle: 3 MOA Dot
  • Illumination: Red / Green
  • Brightness: Manual; 10 Settings (2 NV)
  • Window: 21mm (W) x 17mm (H) / 20mm (Angular)
  • Footprint: RMSc
  • Dimensions: 1.84” (L) x 1.07” (W) x 1.07” (H)
  • Weight: 0.99 oz.
  • Battery Life: 50,000 Hours; Shake N’ Wake

Changing of the Guard

Though Sentinel remains a trusted everyday carry optic with a proven track record of reliability and performance, its watch has come to an end. Taking its place, the refreshed Sentinel II micro dot sight offers a redesigned and reinforced body with a larger objective lens, improved illumination and brightness control, extended battery life, and the introduction of the innovative rear sight guide. Sentinel II not only represents a changing of the guard, but an advancement in manufacturing and the next generation of Swampfox Optics.

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