For years, the Aimpoint T1 has been the gold-standard of red-dot sights. When I first got wind of the T2 in the works, I was curious. They sure look a lot alike. The similarities between the T1 and the T2 are obvious. What about the differences? What makes the Aimpoint T2 unique?
The T2 comes with see-through flip covers attached, extending the length 6 millimeters over the T1. Most people would never even notice, but if you use a magnifier, you’ll note that in order to flip the covers open you’ll need more space between the magnifier and the optic. That said, the flip covers are a nice upgrade to the T1 bikini cover that I always fear losing. The covers don’t have a goofy tint to them like some do, so the sight is quite useful with them closed.
Apparently, some end-users felt like the elevation turret cap on top of the T1 was vulnerable to impact damage. The T2 housing now protects that cap and turret. This is a nice, incremental improvement to the design, the only little downside here is that both of the T1 caps had the required nubs to adjust wind and elevation turrets, while the T2 has only one cap with the dual-nubs. Either way, using the supplied eight point micro-tool to make those adjustments is a better way to go.
Another nice, incremental improvement is the rotary-dot brightness control knob. The T1 knob is solid – I never noticed anything negative about it – but the knob on the T2 is substantially nicer. Buttery-smooth with solid detents for each brightness or intensity level.
When it comes to usability, I built a test rig to test the T1 and T2 side-by-side using a quad-railed upper-receiver, we used it with and without magnification.
The first thing I noticed on my test platform was the difference in optical clarity between the T1 and the T2. The T1 has a bluish hue I barely noticed before, next to the T2 though it is readily apparent. The T2 also has better contrast making the overall image quality noticeably better. Add a magnifier and the differences become even more apparent.
Like the beam of a spotlight hitting the ground at an angle, the T1 dot is elongated. Behind the T2 it’s a whole different story – the dot stays crisp and round. I suspect the improvement comes from a change in the angle of the lens that reflects the red dot back to the shooter’s eye.
While the initially apparent differences individually might seem small on the surface, the T2 is better in every way. Since you can buy the T2 online for about $60 dollars more than the T1, it’s a no-brainer. Get the T2.
At the top of the food chain of the compact, red-dot sight world, it commands $750 dollars plus street pricing, but it is the top of the food chain now.
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