The Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) is an affordable battle-proven red dot sight under $450. It’s one of the most popular go-to home-defense optic due to Aimpoint’s unmatched reputation in reliability. Many people agree that the Aimpoint PRO is the minimum investment for a SHTF red dot where you depend your family and your life on.
But is the Aimpoint PRO the best deal in its class or is there a better red dot within its price range? Worry not, I’ll tell you all there is to know about this optics so you can make informed decision whether the Aimpoint PRO is the right optic for you.
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.
What are the PROS and CONS of the Aimpoint PRO?
- Military grade durability and reliability
- 30,000 hours of battery life – Always on optic
- Clear glass, bright dot with night vision capabilities
- Decent warranty and customer service
- A bit heavy for red dots
- Factory mount has a protruding knob
- Slightly smaller FOV compared to peers
The Aimpoint PRO gives you the much needed Aimpoint budget option
Before the introduction of the Aimpoint PRO, red dot sights from Aimpoint are mostly $500 up, and people with tight budget need to wait for exceptional deals or go for second-handed optics. But the Aimpoint PRO has changed all this as now you can get Aimpoint quality for something $400-ish.
Thus, the Aimpoint PRO has proceeded on to become one of the most value-oriented, reliable Aimpoint red dot with overwhelming positive reviews.
My recommendation? Get this Aimpoint PRO if you want a home-defense or occupational use red dot that doesn’t break your bank.
A quick summary of this article : Compared to the Trijicon MRO and the Aimpoint ACO (similarly priced optics), the Aimpoint PRO is the best deal of the three in my opinion. That said, if you value lighter, compact optics and accept slightly more fishbowl effect, the Trijicon MRO might be the way to go. Note that the Aimpoint ACO is an inferior option compared the PRO because you have to buy your own mount, lens cover, has no night vision capabilities and also shorter battery life. All in all, Aimpoint PRO is the right choice and you will happily use it for years to come.
Best for : Shooters who need superb reliability for home-defense and occupational use red dot sights
|Dot & Glass||4.8/5|
|Ease of Use||4.8/5|
The Whole Story of the Aimpoint PRO
Since no optics nor products exists in isolation. And words such as “crisp” and “great” dot don’t really mean much when you have no benchmarks. I’ll be comparing the Aimpoint PRO with other red dot sights in similar price range, so you know what’s the best option for your money.
Read on to find out why the Aimpoint PRO, even though impressive, isn’t a perfect red dot sight.
Meet the Benchmarks
The Aimpoint PRO costs about $440 (at the time of this writing). And I’ll be comparing it with :
- Trijicon MRO – 2 MOA, $390 (at the time of this writing)
- Aimpoint ACO (Aimpoint Carbine Optic) – 2 MOA, $400 (at the time of this writing)
These are 2 popular options in the market with similar price point and should give you a realistic feel of how good the Aimpoint PRO really is.
Comparisons of Dot and Glass for these 3 optics
Before getting to the comparison part, let’s familiarize ourselves with the Aimpoint PRO first. The Aimpoint PRO has 23mm objective lens and a 2 MOA dot reticle. You can pick between 10 brightness settings, 4 of which are night vision compatible.
Tube style housing could slightly obstruct your field of view, but you are compensated with bomb-proof ruggedness.
To determine the Aimpoint PRO’s performance, I lined it up alongside the Trijicon MRO and the Aimpoint ACO.
Comparing head to head, I found that both the Aimpoint PRO and the Trijicon MRO have slight blue tint on their glass. And the Trijicon MRO has slight fishbowl effect compared to the Aimpoint PRO. On Trijicon’s website, it is stated that the older MRO (Serial number < 89,000) is 1.05x magnified. Later ones are adjusted to true 1x or no magnification. To sum up, newer MRO should have no fishbowl effect like the Aimpoint PRO.
That said, MRO’s field of view is slightly bigger.
Trijicon’s MRO dot is slightly crisper than the PRO. MRO’s dot is also slightly brighter on highest settings (8 brightness settings with 2 night vision compatible). Note that both the Aimpoint PRO and Trijicon MRO dots can easily be seen in daylight bright, desert or snowy background.
For Aimpoint PRO you need to use 7-8 brightness on most outdoor conditions and 8-10 on bright sunny days.
Aimpoint ACO’s dot and glass are pretty much the same as the PRO, except that the ACO is not night vision compatible. Lower 1-4 brightness settings, night vision levels for the PRO, are instead just low brightness.
Battery and ON/OFF operations are critical for SHTF red dots
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||Trijicon MRO||Aimpoint ACO|
|Battery type||3V lithium battery, type 2L76 or DL1/3N||CR2032||3V lithium battery, type 2L76 or DL1/3N|
|Battery Life (PRO brightness 7 = MRO brightness 3)||3 years (on setting 7)||5 years (on setting 3)||1 years (on setting 7)|
|Always On battery||Yes||Yes||Yes|
In all 3 optics, you can leave the optics turned on, since their battery life are long enough. The Trijicon MRO has the longest better battery life, followed by the Aimpoint PRO. And the ACO comes in last.
CR2032 battery for Trijicon MRO is the easiest to find.
Trijicon MRO’s brightness control is ambidextrous because it is located at the top of the optics making it easy to navigate with any hand. Plus there’s a mid “OFF” position between brightness level 2 and 3 making it easier to turn off.
Easier turning on/off might not matter much for most people because we can leave all 3 optics on for a very long period of time. That said, people who don’t leave their red dot sights on could appreciate this feature.
Aimpoint PRO‘s brightness control and battery compartment of the are located on the right hand side of the optic, which are harder for you to adjust with your left hand.
Mount and Lens Covers Included with the 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. And another thing to complain for the factory mount is a big protruding knob that could be annoying. 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.
Flip covers for both rear and front glass are already included with the Aimpoint PRO, helping protect your red dot glass from external environment. Front cap is opaque while the rear cap is transparent.
Trijicon MRO also comes with a quality mount, while the Aimpoint ACO does not.
With factory mounts, the Aimpoint PRO mounts lower than the Trijicon MRO.
No lens cover is included for the Trijicon MRO and Aimpoint ACO.
Parallax error is minimal
Reflex sights are known for their ability to mitigate parallax errors, making it ideal for shots with of angle or very fast draw and target acquisition.
The Aimpoint PRO’s parallax error is relatively small and you can make decent shots without a perfect cheek weld.
But if you’re serious about parallax error, a holographic sight will give you even less parallax error as it uses different underlying technology.
Size and Weight
The Aimpoint PRO is markedly heavier and bulkier than the Trijicon MRO.
|Aimpoint PRO||Trijicon MRO||Aimpoint ACO|
|Objective lens (mm)||23||25||23|
Durability and Warranty
Durability is where Aimpoint really shines. Even though Trijicon MRO is a durable and military-grade optics, Aimpoint PRO is more proven and has better track record.
I personally have a great run with all 3 optics and have no durability issues. That said, the number of failure rate for the Trijicon MRO is higher than the Aimpoint PRO. Thus, for superb reliability, I vote for the Aimpoint PRO.
Plus, Aimpoint offers better warranty for civilian use. Aimpoint’s warranty is 10 years for civilian use, 2 years for professional use. While the Trijicon MRO has only 5 years warranty.
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.
Hear What Others have to Say about Aimpoint PRO
My Verdict of the Aimpoint PRO
Aimpoint PRO is the best deal of the three in my opinion. That said, if you value lighter, compact optics and accept slightly more fishbowl effect, the Trijicon MRO might be the way to go. Note that the Aimpoint ACO is an inferior option compared the PRO because you have to buy your own mount, lens cover, has no night vision capabilities and also shorter battery life. Thus, Aimpoint PRO is the right choice optic that you won’t regret forking away your money.
|✓ Military grade durability and reliability||✗ A bit heavy for red dots|
|✓ 30,000 hours of battery life – Always on optic||✗ Factory mount has a protruding knob|
|✓ Clear glass, bright dot with night vision capabilities||✗ Slightly smaller FOV compared to peers|
|✓ Decent warranty and customer service|
1. Trijicon MRO
- Slight fishbowl effect
- Crisper dot
- Less reliable
- Mount higher
- Lighter and more compact
- 5 years warranty
2. Aimpoint Micro H-2
- Longer battery life
- Better glass and dot
- More expensive
- No night vision capability
- Lower water submersion grade