Trijicon RCR Mounting System

Demand for more ruggedized duty-grade enclosed emitter pistol mounted optics is at an all time high, which is why Trijicon responded to the market by releasing the RCR during the summer of 2023. The RCR is the Michigan company’s first duty-grade enclosed-emitter reflex sight. Keep in mind that all of Trijicon’s micro reflex sights (except the smaller RMR CC) use the RMR footprint. This includes the RMR, the SRO and the newly released RMR HD. 

With very few exceptions (see Holosun EPS/Carry), virtually all enclosed emitter optics on the market are fastened to slides or optics plates via a lateral clamping force, not unlike the way Picatinny based mounts clamp onto Picatinny railed surfaces. The Aimpoint ACRO pattern is the clear leader for enclosed emitter footprint styles. This differs from the manner in which most other [open emitter] reflex sights are anchored to a slide, which is via a pair of vertically oriented screws. Like every other enclosed-emitter design save for the Holosun EPS, the Trijicon RCR has no openly accessible screw holes either. However, it doesn’t use a side-clamping fastening pattern. So what’s the Trijicon RCR’s footprint? The same and original RMR footprint! But the RMR footprint takes vertical screws, so how is the RCR mounted? 


A capstan is something found on ships and docks of old. It’s a horizontal pulley with slots near the top that sailors would attach rods into for leverage. With their rods inserted, a team of men was able to apply torque to turn the capstan, which could provide a mechanical advantage in order to move or lift things connected by ropes. Similarly, Trijicon developed special screws with heads tall enough to drill slots into. These screws keep the same thread pitch as any other RMR spec screw.

Tourists turning a capstan on an old sailing ship. Image Credit: Wikipedia

The idea behind Trijicon’s capstan screws to fasten the RCR is that they fit within the unit’s slots, and one inserts a small, thin allen wrench into the screw head’s slots to tighten the screw down. Think of the sailors inserting their rods into the capstan to turn it. Trijicon will instruct the user to snug up the capstan screws. Obviously these cannot be torqued via normal means, such as with the aid of Fix-It Sticks. Instead, Trijicon includes a small card with various graduated markings. The capstan screws are properly tightened when the allen wrench can bend past four of these markings. Don’t forget the thread locker prior to tightening them (a small vial of blue Locte is included with the RCR).


Trijicon’s ingenious solution is important because of the popularity of the RMR footprint pattern. Besides Trijicon, other companies have adopted it and make many of their wares compatible with this footprint. It’s fair to say that the RMR footprint holds a good portion of the market share. That the RCR is an enclosed-emitter dot but can still use the traditional RMR footprint is a fairly big deal. Not only is this footprint part of Trijicon’s legacy and brand identity, the RCR can be mounted on damn near every gun that already uses the RMR pattern. These implications are important because it means that shooters now have the option of a fully American-made enclosed emitter reflex sight. I happen to use Trijicon RMR pattern plates with both of the PDPs I’ve been shooting, so mounting my T&E RCR unit to my Walther PDP Match Steel Frame pistol was fairly straightforward.

RCR Capstan Screws
Trijicon RCR mounted on my Walther PDP Match Steel Frame pistol. The slot for the capstan screw can clearly be seen.


Besides reading this piece, I strongly recommend for anyone interested to watch the video below, it’s worth one thousand words. Honestly, installation is quite straightforward though tightening the screws by inserting and extracting the small allen wrench into the holes to turn the capstan screws can become a little tedious, but not actually difficult. At the time of this writing, I’ve only mounted the RCR and dry-fired with it. But I’m very interested to see how the capstan screw system will play out when I shoot this new red-dot sight on my Walther PDP Match SF. 

P.E. Fitch
I am a shooter first, and a writer second. IG & Twitter: @pfitch45