Review of the Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Optic
I got my first Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) almost 1 year ago, for my S&W M&P 15 AR-15 rifle. At the time, the Aimpoint PRO was about the least expensive option for mounting a quality “red dot” optic onto a rifle. Sure, there are cheaper Asian “clones” out there of both Aimpoint and Eotech optics. And while they might be OK (though arguably illegal and unethical for their trademark/copyright violations) for use on Airsoft guns, their not going to hold up on a “real gun”). If you want quality, it’s going to cost some coin.
At the time I purchased my Aimpoint PRO, its availability was limited to government/law enforcement personnel (I had to provide proof of my status as being employed by a government contractor in order to purchase one). Recently however, Aimpoint has relaxed these restrictions and the PRO is now being sold to the general public. And with a street price around $450.00 (which includes the excellent mount), Aimpoint is selling all they can make. Since 1997, Aimpoint has been providing red-dot optics to the U.S. Army, for use atop M4 carbines and various light machine guns and is recognized as a top optic manufacturer. So while $400.00 may seem like a lot, its substantially less than other, very similar models Aimpoint offers, such as Aimpoint M4. Here’s a photo of mine mounted to my Colt 6940P:
The Aimpoint PRO is a robust unit – water resistant to 150ft, and has a reported battery life of three years. Mind you, that’s three years with the unit left on. Though (and I speak from experience here…) if you accidentally leave the unit on its highest brightness setting, you’ll run the battery down much more quickly. The design of the PRO allows for co-witnessing of your back up iron sites in the unlikely event of an optic failure.
Speaking of the settings, the PRO has a two minute of angle (MOA) dot, with 6 daylight brightness settings, and has four NVD (the PRO is night vision compatible). In terms of my practical experience using the PRO, I only use about two of the daylight settings. Essentially, I use the lowest brightness setting I can visually pick up, because increasing the brightness effectively increases the perceived size of the dot. Smaller dot=more precise shot placement, so I try to use the smallest dot I can.
Zeroing the Aimpoint Pro is simply a matter of adjusting the controls for both elevation and windage, which are concealed beneath screw-on caps. Here’s a photo of the elevation adjustment control with the cap off:
The PRO includes a rubber strap which connects atop both caps which cover the adjustment controls – it’s designed to help retain them, should one of the caps become unscrewed. It’s a bit annoying when trying to get to the adjustment controls, so I leave it off.
If you’ve never tried a red dot optic like the Aimpoint PRO, you really should. My first experience shooting an AR-15 was with some Navy SEALs and an M4 in conjunction with a story I was covering. The M4 they had me shoot just had iron sites and I couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn. The reason being is that I’m cross eye dominant – I had a heck of a time getting my left eye behind the sites while wearing hearing protection. At the time I thought I simply couldn’t shoot a rifle being cross eye dominant. It wasn’t until some time after that I had the opportunity to try an AR-15 equipped with a red dot optic that a buddy from my gun range let me try. It was a night and day difference for me. Sight acquisition was both quicker and easier – you can keep both eyes open when using a red dot optic.
I’ve tried other optics, but irrespective of price I find myself preferring Aimpoints. When the price of the Aimpoint PRO and the included mount is factored in, it’s an easy decision. I’ve picked up two additional rifles, and a Saiga 12 shotgun, and all have been equipped with an Aimpoint PRO. So yes, I strongly recommend the Aimpoint PRO.
Click here to find the best price on the Aimpoint PRO, Red Dot Sight on Amazon.
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.