Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Sight

   12.16.13

Red dot sights have become standard accessories for just about every gun owner. They’re as commonplace on the “tactical” black rifle as the mid-range magnified scope is on the bolt-action hunting gun, and the modern shooter has many options to choose from. One of the most recognizable names in the red dot optics game is the Swedish company Aimpoint.

Aimpoint’s products have a reputation for reliability and the company supplies sights to a number of law enforcement and military buyers, including the United States Armed Forces. One of the more recent products Aimpoint has released is the PRO, or Patrol Rifle Optic. Marketed towards law enforcement and non-law enforcement firearm enthusiasts alike, the PRO purports to offers military-grade reliability and effectiveness at an affordable price point. Having put a test unit through its paces for the past five months, I can without a doubt say that it does just that.

The PRO dot's elevation (top) and windage (bottom/right) are easily adjusted using the two cap-covered turrets.
The PRO dot’s elevation (top) and windage (bottom/right) are easily adjusted using the two cap-covered turrets. Image by Matt Korovesis.

Here’s some specs.

  • Weight (sight only): 7.8 ounces
  • Weight (with included QRP2 mount): 11.6 ounces
  • Length: 5.1 inches
  • Tube diameter: 30 millimeters (1.18 inches)
  • Objective diameter: 38 millimeters (1.5 inches)
  • Dot size: 2 MOA
  • Adjustments: one click represents one half-inch at 100 yards (half-MOA)
  • Eye relief: unlimited
  • Night vision compatible: yes
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Battery: one 3V lithium 2L76 or DL1/3N
  • Battery life: 30,000 hours
  • Material: aluminum
  • Finish: hard-anodized matte
  • MSRP: around $400 (can retail for as low as $360)

One of the first things a user will immediately notice about the PRO is its high-quality construction. The ruggedness of the PRO stands in sharp contrast to cheaper red dot sights. “Built like a tank” is a cliché phrase thrown around relatively frequently when one describes Aimpoint products, but it is fitting in relation to the PRO. It is a military-grade product, and not in the lowest-quality, lowest-bidder sense of the term.

The PRO includes Aimpoint’s QRP2 mount and spacer, which secures to a 1913 Picatinny rail. The QRP2 mount latches on to a rail quickly and securely with the easily-adjustable knob on the left-hand side of the mount.

The PRO mounted to the author's Tavor SAR. The red dot facilitated very quick target acquisition and tight shot groups.
The PRO mounted to the author’s Tavor SAR. The red dot facilitated very quick target acquisition and tight shot groups. Image by Matt Korovesis.

One of the PRO’s most touted features—and deservedly so—is its 30,000-hour battery life. This lends it an always-on capability that not many devices can match. For example, the battery life of an EOTech EXPS2 holographic sight (a comparable but admittedly different optic) is around 600 hours. Right after I received the PRO in late July, I turned the sight on to one of the “medium” settings, and have kept it running since. The extensive battery life of the PRO makes it the perfect choice for law enforcement and other gun owners seeking a reliable optic for a grab-and-go gun.

I first tested the PRO on my Tavor SAR (chambered in 5.56x45mm), and then on my SGL31-47 AK-74M clone (5.45x39mm). The optic provided a near-absolute co-witness with the integrated irons on the Tavor and a set of Magpul polymer backup sights I later mounted to the gun. The sight did not co-witness with my AK’s irons, but few optics do. AK owners interested in getting an optic like the PRO mounted low and comfortably—and in a position that offers something approaching a one-third co-witness with irons—on their gun should check out the RS Products AK-300 mount system.

I zeroed the optic at 50 yards on both firearms. Zeroing is simple and quick using the PRO’s screw-cap-covered half-MOA windage and elevation knobs. The PRO held zero on both the Tavor and the SGL, despite being banged around and generally mistreated. The 2 MOA dot that the sight projects facilitated fast target acquisition and tight groups at the distances I shot at—50, 100, and 200 yards. I could see the 2 MOA dot being a bit of a hindrance at targets farther than 300 yards away by covering up too much of a target, but I consider that to be my personal maximum effective range using non-magnified optics and was not bothered by it.

RS Products' AK-300 mounting system works great for mounting an optic like the PRO on an AK-pattern gun. Seen here is an AK-302 lower paired with an AKM upper. Image courtesy RS Products.
RS Products’ AK-300 mounting system works great for mounting an optic like the PRO on an AK-pattern gun. Seen here is an AK-302 lower paired with an AKM upper. Image courtesy RS Products.

Retailing for around $400 (and dipping closer to $360 when it’s on sale), the Aimpoint PRO is not cheap. However, it is also not exceedingly expensive. Many shooters espouse the “buy once, cry once” principle when it comes to purchasing optics for self-defense arms. At its price point, the PRO shouldn’t even cause a buyer to shed that many tears.

The Aimpoint PRO offers arguably the best value of all red dot sights on the market today. Its battery life, ruggedness, reliability, and affordability make it a go-to choice for individuals seeking an optic they can rely on in a high-stress situation. I can’t recommend it enough.

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