So Aimpoint has a new entry-level red dot optic and they’re calling it the carbine optic. They’re touting the carbine optic as a whole new optic geared toward the recreational shooter who also wants a gun that can double as a home defense rifle.
However, if you ask me, the Aimpoint Carbine Optic is the Aimpoint Pro’s identical but Amish brother, who’s learned to live with less.
That what may be a $50 savings cost overall over the beloved Aimpoint Pro, is the Carbine Optic worth the loss in features? Let’s talk about what’s the same. It’s the same .30 millimeter aluminum alloy site two, with the same 2MOA Red Dot. It’s the same generalized shape the same anti-reflex coating, coating all surfaces, and multi-layer coating objective the lens.
The lack of parallax, which doesn’t require you to center your dot is the same. It all looks to be the same. So why not just buy the Carbine Optic and take the $50 you saved, put it in a savings account, and make 00000001 percent interest on your money?
Because they are not the same. The Aimpoint Pro and the Carbine Optic are the same the same way a Porsche Turbo and Turbo S are the same. They both look the same but for some subtle ornamental differences, they are both are damn good, but one is that much better and should be that much more expensive.
Or in the case of the Carbine Optic, that much cheaper. The Aimpoint Pro can run continuously for over three years before needing a battery change, where the Carbine Optic can only go for a year. The Aimpoint Pro also had night vision compatibility, which the Carbine Optic does not.
Where the Carbine Optic is a tactical Build-a-Bear set, where you get a clean utilitarian set of extras that you have to build on, the Aimpoint Pro comes with lens covers, connected adjustment caps so you don’t lose them, and most notably the QRP2 Mount.
The Aimpoint Pro looks like it had a lot going on. But when you take a closer look you realize you’re not missing all that much. The Carbine Optic comes with a rugged fixed mount that may not have the return zero that the QRP2 Mount does. But remember this is a recreational home defense optic. Not a let’s take over the world in 100 days optic.
The Carbine Optic has rubber attachments on the adjustment caps so you don’t lose them. They’re just not connected together in some high-speed low drag fashion like the Aimpoint Pro.
And as far as lens covers, personally they get on my nerves because they always seem to be in the way. Then again, I’m one of those people who don’t like to put cases on the cell phone.
There’s absolutely no discernable difference in the clarity of glass between the Aimpoint Pro and the Aimpoint Carbine Optic. My shooting experience was absolutely the same between the two. Once the gun is shouldered, you can’t even tell which optic is which.
I like the Aimpoint Carbine Optic. It’s slick, well-built, and doesn’t have any noticeable difference in user experience compared to the Aimpoint Pro. Ironically, that’s the Carbine Optic’s biggest flaw. It’s such a good entry-level optic that it barely has an entry-level price, at least from an MSRP standpoint.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say the entirety of the Carbine Optic’s success will hinge on what the street price on these optics settle down as. But only time will tell.