Maybe you are training/practicing with a smaller caliber or airsoft version of your rifle, who knows. Those that count on and rely on their weapons working day in and day out with tried and true hardware though can’t afford to have failures due to quality or materials. But at what cost?
Enter the Aimpoint P.R.O. or Patrol Rifle Optic. Aimpoint has made quality and hardened optics for over 35 years. I have done reviews on some of their most popular reflex sights like the T-1 Micro and the Comp M4 (M68 CCO) and have always been thoroughly impressed. Those optics though are priced out of reach for many and then the rationalizations begin for ways to cut corners. So how do you get a good Aimpoint without spending a mortgage payment? The Aimpoint PRO is exactly what you have been looking for.
You can buy 2-4 budget optics and kick yourself for not just getting the PRO. Do it. Worth every penny. Period. At $400 average pricing online you are going to be hard pressed to show me an optic with the ruggedness, durability, simplicity and reputation that Aimpoint has put behind this optic. I beat on this thing. Aimpoint is probably going to be mad at me when they get it back (but it has fresh batteries!). This optic has taken a beating, stayed true, been left on since Shot Show 2013 and hasn’t quit. So how do they do it?
When you have different requirements, you can scale back some features without taking them away. Developed in fact as a “Patrol Rifle Optic” geared towards Law Enforcement, 40 levels of brightness in both red dot and Night Vision aren’t really anecessity. Move from Extruded Aluminum to a standard Aluminum housing and change the battery compartment. 1/2” MOA at 100yds as opposed to 1/4” etc. etc… All these things don’t sound like drastic changes and they aren’t. But they are enough to drive manufacturing cost of a really expensive optic down to reachable levels for the rest of us. No quality was lost, just some features and super fine tuning that most won’t ever notice. Those that do notice, get the more expensive optics and have no qualms about it.
I can bore you with all the facts, figures and data but what it boils down to is that Aimpoint made this optic with the same Advanced Circuit Efficiency Technology they use in just about every reflex sights they have made. They use the same materials and just use less costly manufacturing methods (have you SEEN what extruded aluminum parts go for?) They cut down 5mm on the glass and use a similar but different mounting method and keep all the weight down by switching to a smaller lighter battery that lasts 30,000 hours instead of 50,000-80,000 hours. They kept the 2MOA dot. Aimpoint also cut down on the number of brightness options for both red dot and NV brightness levels. Gears and adjustment dials that are more exact-o and less scalpel also shrink the price more than you know. They did not skimp on the quality and brand recognition they have fought for and earned over the years.
I honestly expected to encounter what most large companies do when I looked at the PRO online. Take all the guts and glory out of it, use plastic where there used to be metal and make a big obnoxious dot where there used to be a precise one. Make it water resistant and not water proof etc… etc… but that isn’t the case with this glass. This is everything you wanted Aimpoint to be plus a price point that won’t kill your shooting budget for the next two fiscal quarters. If you have owned Aimpoint products before, this will be a favorite optic very quickly, but be prepared for a few changes. The battery was kind of hard for me to find last minute locally and the fewer brightness options leave the high setting a bit too high. (Same laser with less settings mean bigger jumps from off to max power.) Other than those two things, not a single issue.
If you have never owned this or any other Aimpoint product before, your hemming and hawing over the Aimpoint PRO is over. Stop it, just stop it and get it. This is an optic for the long haul that you don’t have to sacrifice for, carry a million CR2032’s around for or get mad at not holding zero for. This will be the best new addition to your arsenal and a fantastic introduction to the world of Aimpoint. I recommend this over 5 budget optics all day everyday. Not because I am a fanboy, but because I expect products to work as advertised and last. Period. And you should demand that from your equipment too.