Even though you’ll find quite a few red dot sight options on the market nowadays, not all of them are built to the same standard of quality. Not all of them are rugged, not all of them can withstand long term use and abuse. Unfortunately, this means that not all of them will last you a good while.
Well, that’s not the case with the red dot sight we have for you today – the Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic). It is built like a tank, it’s extremely rugged. It was actually made for use by everyone, from law enforcement and military, to the regular, armed citizen. Whether you torch it, freeze it, drop it, or take it scuba diving with you, it will surely last. Well, that’s if you can afford it in the first place.
Even though somewhat pricey, if you go through its feature set, you’ll find the Aimpoint PRO very well worth it. But don’t just take our word for granted – let’s take a more detailed look at it first.
The Aimpoint PRO on the outside – build quality and construction
The red dot sight is a tube-style scope. The mount diameter is the common, 30mm size. In the box, you’ll find that it ships with a battery (2L76), a removable spacer, a QRP2 mount and all the bolts and wrenches you need to set it up. It’s a nice thing to have all the necessary items in the box, kudos to Aimpoint for that.
If you were to use the spacer we mentioned, you will find the PRO’s centerline around 39mm above the rail’s top, which is ideal MSR height. This is a true, distortion-free 1x scope, which means the front sight is clearly visible. Without the spacer, the centerline drops to 30mm. In this situation, it’s better suited for SMGs such as the Scorpion Evo, or the MP5, as well as shotguns which have some drop to the stock (think Mini-14)
The mount it comes with, the QRP2 is actually pretty good. It has a tightening knob that’s spring-loaded, making it a pre-calibrated torque wrench. At a certain tension, that knob will snap down into the base of the angled teeth. With only a few clicks, you have the ideal tension level for a secure hold, without having to worry about damaging your rail. This is a fast and easy way to adjust, and it requires no tools, too.
A potential downside here is that the knob is actually fairly big. If you have a receiver-based left-hand charging handle, it might get in the way. Sure, a solution is to flip the mount, but you should keep this in mind.
The scope is powered by a single, small 3V battery. What’s impressive is the battery life – a single battery can keep it running for 30,000 hours at a brightness level 7. Yes, that’s over 3 years of continuous run time. On the other end of the battery tube you’ll find the brightness adjustment dial. It has ten settings, with 1 through 4 being night vision compatible, and the others meant for daylight or naked eye use. The highest level is very bright, so we’d only advise using it in bright, sunlit backgrounds.
The lenses are recessed quite a bit, which ensures they’re well protected. The aluminum housing should cover them well. There’s an internal threading at the front, so you can add an anti-reflection device if you want to. For additional protection, you have flip-away lens covers as well.
There’s a nifty little trick with the caps. The rear one is transparent, while the front one is black. Since the PRO is made to be always-ready, you will find that you can actually benefit from the red dot sight even when the caps are shut. Your brain compensates and lets you see things if you have both eyes open, even though you can’t actually see through the sight with one eye.
The last thing to discuss when talking about the outside are the adjustments. The turrets are very easily click-adjusted. You’ll need a coin or a cartridge rim, and adjustments are made in 7/16t inch increments at 100 yards.
How does the Aimpoint PRO red dot sight perform?
If we were to keep things short, we’d say admirably. If we go into detail, you’ll find that the PRO is very precise. You can shoot groups at 100 yards, and yes, you can make accurate shots on small targets with ease. A small dot like the one it has is excellent to use with a magnifier, such as one of their magnifiers. There’s no parallax issue with the PRO. Moving your head around, or behind the sight, will keep the dot right on target as long as the dot is visible.
Wrapping things up – is the Aimpoint PRO worth it?
This is a tough one to answer. We have nothing but praise for the Aimpoint, but it is no secret that the price is well beyond the reach of most recreational users. The 10-year warranty for recreational use might help make up your mind, but it’s still a lot of money.
If you only need it for recreational use, and are somewhat limited with your budget, we would recommend that you look at something smaller and lighter, as well as less expensive. However, if you need something that’s rugged, lasts for ages, and performs without any compromise, it’s a very good option.
At the end of the day, the deciding factor is yours. With the price being as high as it is, we’d advise that you give it a good thought before you pull the trigger on it – you might be paying too much for something you can’t use to its full potential.