Aimpoint ACO VS Aimpoint PRO : Which One’s the Best Deal for You?

Aimpoint ACO Aimpoint PRO

Both Aimpoint ACO (Aimpoint Carbine Optic) and Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) are affordable version of Aimpoint red dot sights. The ACO is the cheaper of the two.

Since Aimpoint is the go-to optics for military, law enforcements and home defense situations, one wonders whether the ACO is as reliable as its predecessor, Aimpoint PRO.

Certainly with ACO’s cheaper price, some features must be omitted or less effective. But are those features critical to you?

In this article, I’ll help you spot the differences between these 2 optics, so that you can make an informed decision and don’t end up disappointed, saying “I should have known”.

Quick summary

Get Aimpoint PRO as price difference is rather small such that the you’ll save more with just the included mount and lens cover. Note that Aimpoint PRO also has longer battery life and night vision capability.

Aimpoint AB is a Swedish optics company manufacturing red dot sights for civilian, police and military use. Aimpoint red dot sights are currently used by numerous armed forces around the world, including the US military.

PROS and CONS breakdown

Aimpoint ACO Aimpoint PRO
Pros
  • Cheaper
  • Same glass and dot with Aimpoint PRO
  • Same durability with Aimpoint PRO
  • Better battery life
  • Night vision compatible
  • Mount included
  • Flip lens caps included
Cons
  • Shorter battery life
  • No night vision capability
  • No mount included
  • No lens cap included
  • Higher priced

 

Aimpoint ACO and PRO open up choices for affordable Aimpoint’s red dot

In the past, anyone who wishes to get Aimpoint quality red dot must be willing to spend more than $500. People with tight budget need to wait for exceptional deals or go for second-handed optics.Then came along Aimpoint PRO, which allow you to spend only something $400-ish for those SHTF rugged quality.

With the new ACO, which is currently the lowest priced Aimpoint product, quality red dot is ever more affordable at less than $400.

Let’s dive down into the details

Optics Showdown : ACO VS PRO

Pretty much the same glass

A burglar
Average home defense shooting distance is around 7-10 yards.

Aimpoint ACO’s dot and glass are pretty much the same as the PRO, except that the ACO is not night vision compatible.

On the PRO, 1-4 brightness settings are night vision compatible and can’t be seen with the naked eyes. This is not the case with ACO as those settings are just low brightness dot that can still be seen.

For both optics you need to use 7-8 brightness on most outdoor conditions and 8-10 on bright sunny days.

PRO has 3x battery life

Super reliable batteries, “always on” battery or motion-activated feature are critical for home defense and occupational optics. The failure of your red dot could spell disaster for you, your family or your team.

Summary of Batteries for each Mentioned Optics

Aimpoint PRO Aimpoint ACO
Battery type 3V lithium battery, type 2L76 or DL1/3N 3V lithium battery, type 2L76 or DL1/3N
Battery Life (Settings of 7 and 3 are equivalent brightness for Aimpoint and Trijicon respectively) 3 years on setting 7 1 years on setting 7
Always On battery Yes Yes

Aimpoint PRO has around 3x battery life expectancy compared to the ACO. This is a significant advantage in my book, as you can be relatively sure with the PRO that by replacing battery each year, you’d have no running out of battery issue.

Brightness control and Battery compartment of both the ACO and PRO are located on the right hand side of their tube housing.

Mount and Lens Covers Included with Aimpoint PRO

Aimpoint PRO comes with a QRP2 rail grabber mount which can be used on a Picatinny rail. Once mounted, turn the knob until it clicks 3 times and you’re good to go. It has torque-limiting twist features which gives optimal level of pressure and will not deform the rail.

Mount height is easy to 1/3 co-witness on an AR platform, and you can remove the spacer and lower the unit for absolute co-witness.

Even though reliable, the mount is a bit heavy. Another thing to complain for this factory mount is its big protruding knob that could be annoying for some people. That said, it doesn’t affect performance. Plus, you can buy a quality 3rd party mount afterwards if you don’t like the included mount.

AIMPOINT MICRO T-2 flip up caps down
Tip : Rotate your flip covers such that they flip down and do not obstruct your field of view.

Flip covers for both rear and front glass are already included with Aimpoint PRO, helping protect your red dot glass from external environment. Front cap is opaque while the rear cap is transparent.

No mount nor lens cover is included with Aimpoint ACO. Note that a quality 3rd party mount and lens cover would already cover or exceed the $40 price savings of the ACO (price at the time of this writing).

Thus the ACO is a favorable choice only if you intend to discard Aimpoint PRO’s mount and lens covers in the first place.

ACO is slightly lighter

Aimpoint ACO Aimpoint PRO
Weight without mount (oz) 6.7 7.8
Length (Inch) 4.8 4.5
Objective lens (mm) 23 23

Superb durabiltiy for both

Top of red dot
For better precision, you can zero with the top of your red dot instead of the center.

Durability is where Aimpoint really shines. The ACO, even though not as proven as the PRO, is supposed to be as tough and reliable.

Personally I have a great run with both optics and have experienced no durability issues. Aimpoint’s warranty is 10 years for civilian use, 2 years for professional use.

Admittedly, the best warranties are the ones that you *don’t* ever have to use them. And you can count on Aimpoint products to fall into that category.

PRO higher price is worth it

Price fluctuates due to demand and supply. But at the time of this writing :

  • ACO – $397
  • PRO – $436

Aimpoint ACO is currently cheaper by $40, but I personally don’t think it would be worth the inferior battery life, lacking of night vision, the cost of buying mount and lens covers.

 

Hear what others have to say about Aimpoint ACO and Aimpoint PRO red dot sight

Aimpoint ACO

 

Aimpoint PRO


 

Conclusion : Go PRO

Aimpoint ACO Aimpoint PRO
Image
Dot, Glass and Lens Coating On par On par
Battery Life 1 year on setting 7 3 Years on setting 7
Night vision compatible No Yes
Mount included No Yes
Lens covers included No Yes
Weight (without mount) Slightly lighter (1.1oz) Slightly heavier (1.1oz)
Price $40 cheaper More expensive
Durability On par On par
Warranty 10 years for civilian use, 2 years for professional use 10 years for civilian use, 2 years for professional use

Get Aimpoint PRO as price difference is rather small such that the you’ll save more with just the included mount and lens cover. Note that Aimpoint PRO also has longer battery life and night vision capability.

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