Aimpoint PRO. The Aimpoint PRO was designed for law enforcement use. The PRO – P-R-O – actually stands for Patrol Riffle Optic. So what does that really mean? I think that that it means is that Aimpoint must have really focused on three primary criteria when designing this sight. This is what I would have focused on if I were designing a sight for law enforcement use.
Number one: effective and efficient. It had to be a sight that could be used in an emergency, and it had to be reliable and accurate. Number two: durable and simple. Professionals in law enforcement range just all other cross sections of society from picky, nick-nick types to sloppy and lax types. But regardless of how finicky they are about maintaining their equipment, it needs to work every time they reach for it with little no fuss.
Number three: this one might raise your eyebrows a little bit – affordable. Again, this is just my opinion. I think another key criteria or design goal was to make this optic affordable. Big city departments, federal and state agencies might have pretty good budgets to equip personnel with the latest and greatest, but that’s far more common than you might think. Most agencies have limited funds to fool around with – limited budget.
Sights for patrol riffles is usually going to wind up in the afterthought status. So it had to be budget-friendly. Did Aimpoint achieve this goal? Well, if you’re asking me – and why wouldn’t you – yes. I think they nailed it. This is a super user-friendly red dot sight that’s almost indestructible and very accurate and reliable.
This is not a cut-the-tag-off-and-turn-the-camera-on review. I’ve been running this sight on several rifles for over a year. I’ve used it for bench-rested accuracy testing, and quick acquisition action type shooting. It’s equal to the task every time. I’ve used it on my DPMS AR-15 with great results.
I’ve used it on my Stag Arms 3T-M for both distance and action shooting, and it’s excelled. On the Stag, it co-witnesses perfectly with the diamond head flip-up sights. Most recently I’ve used it on the Sig Sauer 556R and achieved really tight groups.
Let’s go over some of the key specs of the Aimpoint PRO. First off, it starts with the construction material. It’s a hard anodized aluminum in a 30 millimeter tube. Very lightweight but very, very strong and durable. It’s got a great flat, black coating on it that does a good job of not showing fingerprints and other marks. Inside there’s a high efficiency electronic circuit that allows the sight to be left on for up to three years on a single battery. It’s compatible with many types of night vision.
Aimpoint PRO also include this modular and removable spacer. You can use this spacer for most AR-platform rifles including the Sig 556 that it’s currently mounted on. But you can take it off if you want to mount it on a shotgun or a submachine gun. The spacer is just about absolutely perfect in height. I found that it co-witnesses excellently with most flip-up or iron sights.
Flip-up covers front and rear for the lens. Front flip-up cover is a solid black plastic. The rear flip-up cover has a clear window in it. We’ll talk a little more about why that is. Inside the reticle of this sight is a two-MOA red dot. The unit is waterproof to 150 feet in case you live in a really wet area. Obviously it’s going to resist any kind of precipitation and general moisture extremely well.
The mounting system is for any Weaver or Picatinny 1913 rail system. It also includes this ratcheting mounting knob, which is a really nice touch. The red dot is parallax-free. So once you get it zeroed in, no matter what the angle or distance from your eye to the sight, you’re on target every time.
There’s anti-reflex coatings and multi-layer coatings on the objective lens and on the rear lens. The Aimpoint PRO is a 1X. So there’s no magnification. However, it is compatible with Aimpoint 3X magnifier if you want to use that. The adjustments for elevation and windage are secured under this screw-down caps. Protects them from the elements and weather and from being from being bumped and obviously moved when you don’t want it moved.
The adjustments are made in one half minute of angle per click. So you can really zero this. Some of the more basic specifications. Overall 5.1 is the length of the Aimpoint PRO. It’s about just over two inches wide – 2.2, I think they call it. That is with all the things you see here mounted on it.
It weighs in at 11.6 ounces. So it’s not feather-light, but that’s including the mount. If you go looking for one of these at your favorite retailer, either bricks and mortar or online, expect to pay between $400 and $450. One of the things I love about this Aimpoint PRO is the mounting system that it comes with. A lot of mounts, you have to worry about whether you’ve got it tight enough.
Obviously, you want your optic to be very snug and not be moving when you shoot or under the recoil. At the same time, if you over-tighten, you can damage you rail, especially if you’ve got an aluminum Picatinny rail system. With the Aimpoint PRO and this ratcheting knob, it’s very easy to get these things set in place and get it just tight enough. You don’t have to worry about over-tightening.
Making adjustments to the sight is also very easy. Using the elevation and windage adjustments, you just simply dial in what you need. It’s got a nice size slot here. I find it fits a knuckle just about perfectly. Obviously you can use a screwdriver, or I’ve even used a cleaning tool. With a one half MOA per click, it’s easy to dial this thing in pretty accurately. The adjustable brightness for the red dot allows you to set it for everything from O-crap, grab and shoot brightness or pinpoint 100-yard groups.
The adjustments to the brightness of the red dot are very easy via control knob right here. No need to turn it off. Aimpoint boasts that you can leave the red dot on for up to three continuous years on one battery. I turn mine off in between range sessions but not during. If I’m at the range all day with this rifle, I’ll leave it on all day. It’s nice to just lift the rifle up, get it on target without having to fumble for the switch or reset your reticle.
One of my favorite advantages of the Aimpoint PRO, two-eye emergency shooting with the lens cap closed. Yap, you heard that right. The sight is designed to allow the operator to lift the rifle quickly, bring it up to your eye, without any prior preparation, without lifting the lens cap and have a red dot on your target and be able to shoot.
How does this work? Well, your brain is really doing the heavy lifting here. With the clear rear lens cap that you see here, you’re able to see the red dot against the blackness of the closed front cover. But with both eyes open and on target, your brain superimposes the red dot onto the target automatically. Because the sight is parallax-free, the dot’s on target every time – doesn’t matter what angle you approach it at.
Combined with the always-on battery life this makes the Aimpoint PRO just about the perfect self-defense of home defense sighting solution for a modern cabin or sporting or duty rifle. Although, obviously, a camera doesn’t a human brain and it doesn’t have two eyes, let me try to demonstrate how that works and what that looks like.
Here’s a normal look through the Aimpoint PRO with our red dot on our target. Now what happens when we close that front lens cap? If you bring the Aimpoint PRO up to your eye with the front lens cap closed, you can see that red dot brightly against the black. Your brain is going to superimpose that red dot if you keep both eyes open. That’s the important part. You have to keep both eyes open.
Your brain is going to automatically superimpose that red dot over your target. There she is, the Aimpoint PRO. In the $4,500 range this is, in my opinion, one of the very finest sights that you can put on a gun. The Aimpoint PRO has been in service for me on several rifles for over a year and I love it. It’s a no-brainer for me. I have no regrets. I would gladly buy it again. It allows me shoot groups like this in a set of 62 by 39 at 50 yards.