Attaching a red-dot optic to your pistol without having to send your slide out to be milled would normally take a gunsmith to accomplish the task. However, you can now attach a Picatinny rail mount to most pistols that have a front attachment rail without any gunsmithing involved all thanks to the UM3 sight mount.
A UM3 mount cost less than $100 and will clamp onto the pistol. Compare that to having your slide milled for a red-dot sight which can run upwards of $200 when you include shipping. Before you choose to have your slide milled, it pays to investigate the UM3 sight mount as it offers plenty of advantages. In fact, you have never shot a pistol using a red-dot device before you may want to do that first so that you can get the feel of it before making such an investment.
The UM3 itself is solidly constructed thanks to the use of Type-3 hard anodized and 6061-T6 aluminum. This makes the device highly durable, able to take a beating and scratch-resistant as well.
How to Install the UM3
This part is actually fairly simple as you simply slide it onto the rail of the pistol while keeping in place the spring-loaded detent. Once you have placed the mount in the proper area, all you need to do is release the detent lever and it will stay in place. The fit itself is quite tight and will hold up over repeated usage if done correctly.
Because the mount itself is split on the top and down the middle, it can be mounted on a number of different types of pistols. Once you have mounted the UM3, you can push the two halves together which will clamp down the sight on the rail. Then, you can tighten them until they are closed which will provide a powerful lock for the sight itself.
Admittedly, there are a few pistol designs that are a little fiddly for the UM3 to properly mount, such as the 1913 rails, Vortex Razor and others, but for the most part the clamping device will easily lock down on the rail and stay put. The advice from UM is that you tighten the sight until you have both halves of the rail meet in the center for maximum accuracy. Once it has been properly mounted, it will stay locked down.
The Fit & Carry of the UM3
The fit is good and solid, retaining its status over many different periods of shooting. This means that you can fire the weapon with minimal maintenance of the UM3 and retain its proper mounting over time. Obviously, at some point the mount may have to be tightened again, but that appears to be a long way off in the future.
With everything ready to go, the universal carbon fiber paddle holster features cutouts specifically for the UM3 mount which means that you can carry it easily in this particular product. The adjustable, carbon fiber speed holster contains no retention qualities, mechanical or otherwise and can fit a wide variety of pistols. This means that at the range or carrying to and from your vehicle is usually no problem at all.
However, it is understandable that some people may want a mechanical retention for their needs, particularly if they are out at night or moving through rough terrain. There is a Blade-Tech adjustable paddle that will work for belts up to 2.5” wide which is a nice touch.
Firing the Weapon w/UM3
The red-dot system works pretty much as expected with the possible exception of the height of the site being a good 2” over the bore. While firing at distances is no real issue, at close ranges you may find yourself hitting a good inch or more below the target area. It is true that this can be compensated over time it is something to keep in mind if you are firing at close targets and want the best precision possible.
As with anyone who uses a red-dot device for the first time, it does take a little while to adjust. This is because your eyes have not been trained to spot the dot immediately under all lighting conditions and there is a tendency to jiggle the gun a bit until you do. However, over time you’ll be able to see the dot immediately so for those who want to enjoy some quick-draw action, it will take a little practice to see the dot so that it does become second nature.
The UM3 does retain its accuracy over time as it is locked down onto the pistol in a very tight, secure manner. All you need to do is ensure that it is properly maintained from time to time by checking to see that the sight is not coming loose when you first use the weapon. However, if you have locked it down properly, it may take years before you see any real gap.
Generally speaking, you can find the UM3 Sight Mount MSRP for $99 and the UMH3c Holster for $69 at most retail outfits.
The UM3 is a remarkable red dot sight mount that scores quite well, especially when compared to traditional sight mounts that need gunsmithing. In the following areas, the UM3 was rated Very Good to Superior when it came to how it performed over time;
- Quality of Build
- Ease of Installation
In particular, the quality of the build itself is truly remarkable as this simple design has no rough edges and fits normally on the rail. Plus, the accuracy even after repeated firings was simply amazing despite being slightly off on very close targets which is understandable given the height of the sight mount. Overall, the UM3 is one impressive red-dot sight with an easy to mount system that can save you money and time. For those who want to avoid going to the gunsmith as well as saving around $100, the UM3 is definitely the choice for you.