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While the Aimpoint optic might be the default standard for red dot sights, there are very few people who can actually afford one. The usual model people seem to prefer is the T-1, which clocks in at over $650. That’s a lot to pay for something so small and simple, and Aimpoint keeps losing sales to other cheaper red dots like the Vortex SPARC ($200). Now Aimpoint has announced a new sight – the Aimpoint Carbine Optic – priced much more competitively than the T-1 to appeal to budget-concious customers with a modern sporting rifles. But with an MSRP of $393, will it be “budget” enough? Presser after the jump . . .

Chantilly, VA, October 20, 2014 – Aimpoint, the originator and worldwide leader in electronic red dot sighting technology, has announced the introduction of a new sight designed specifically for modern sporting rifles such as the AR-15. This new product, known as the Aimpoint Carbine Optic (ACO), expands upon the company’s already proven designs and focuses these features into a high quality, entry priced optic.

This new sight was developed with the modern sporting rifle owner in mind, and the ACO is ready to mount and shoot directly out of the box. A full suite of branded accessories, such as front and rear flip covers, an anti-reflection filter, and spare battery holders are available from dealers, and allow users to customize the sight to fit their specific requirements. The ACO pairs a 30mm aluminum alloy sight tube with an extremely rugged fixed height mount designed to provide absolute co-witness with AR-15 backup iron sights. A two minute of angle (2 MOA) red dot is utilized to allow maximum target acquisition speed and accuracy at all distances. The ACO is completely waterproof, and offers one year of constant-on use from a single 1/3N battery.

“The Aimpoint Carbine Optic is the smart choice for today’s modern sporting rifle owner,” said Brian Lisankie, President of Aimpoint Inc. “By choosing this optic, shooters get a premium Aimpoint sight at an extremely friendly price point. If you own an AR-15 rifle, the ACO is exactly what you need to complete the package.”

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58 Responses to New From Aimpoint: The Aimpoint Carbine Optic

    • So, seriously, all they did was remove the flip up lens covers from the Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO) and drop the price like $25. If it wasn’t selling at a shade over $400 it isn’t gonna sell at a shade under $400

  1. Well, it’s a pretty good looking red dot. I wonder how much better the others are in durability to warrent the cost difference. I have a feeling AP wouldnt want to make it too good and make their older designs obsolete, but wouldn’t want to put there name on garbage either.

  2. Meh at $393 and 1 year of battery life I’m not going to wait for it. The aim point pro with 3 years of continuous battery life for $409 seems to be a better deal to me.

    • Bad comparison. The Aimpoint PRO’s MSRP is $453. If we assume the same 15% discount to the carbine optic, it will be $334. How much does it cost to change batteries once a year? Well, 1/3Ns run about $2.50. So, not a lot in comparison to the usual amortization.

      I think $334 is actually pretty compelling, assuming that this is a combat-grade optic. Trijicon has nothing in that price range. Eotech 512s are about the same price, albeit the Eotech hate is strong in some circles.

      I wonder where this thing is made?

      • It’s only a bad comparison if you assume the only difference is battery life. What If it turns out there are significant build quality differences? I just can’t see anyone selling the same product for less money without changing how it’s made or what it is made of. I have several Aimpoint pros here that cost me $399 each, I suspect these will sell for about $329. I am very interested in seeing what that $70 savings really represents.

        • Looks like the mount it comes with is more simple than the PRO. Adjustment knob and battery compartment covers are different so there is likely some cost saving measures there as well. The lower battery life probably comes from cheaper, less efficient electronic components, and my guess is it will lack night vision settings as well because of those cheaper parts.

        • @JT But how am I going to operate operations operationally without night vision targeting capability? Aimpoint PLS!

  3. How is this different from the Aimpoint PRO? It sounds like it’s just a tiny bit cheaper so I don’t understand why the distinction between the two.

    • They probably put a different resistor in the power supply circuit to reduce the battery life down to 1 year, like when they put a different resistor in the aimpoint pro to reduce the battery life to 3 years, from the 5 year life of the Comp M3. That way they can use one design to provide 3 optics at 3 price points, slim up the profit margin on one end of their product line to be competitive, and make up for it on the other end.

      • Or it could be that they are using old cheaper LEDs that they have in stock. In an effort to make money on what would other wise be wasted inventory.

      • Yup, you “get it” Don.

        I have a friend who’s a senior product chemist at Olay. That company has four “tiers” of facial products, with the biggest differentiator between the products being price. In fact, Olay’s third-tier “Regenerist” product outperformed the company’s “Pro” products in internal company clinical tests. Yet the Pro products still cost 30% more. Why? Because people often incorrectly assume “This product is more expensive so that must mean it’s better.”

        I wouldn’t be even a little surprised if, in terms of field performance, this new Aimpoint product performs about the same as the more expensive Pro model. In that case, many would still buy the Pro. Because it’s more expensive, so it must be better, right? 😉

  4. IDK, still a bit high, I get having good optics, but am I going to buy multiple ‘good’ optics for my different rifles? Probably not. I can have one good eotech and half a dozen cheaper ones for it’s price. This seems like a half attempt at a budget optic, I’d say 300 and under would be a good baseline.

  5. Considering the quality, CS, and replacement policy that Vortex offers..

    Nope.

    It has it’s market, but unless it can beat the Sparc in features or, idunno.. somehow DOUBLE the quality.. it’s no threat to the market share that Vortex has.

  6. It won’t be budget enough for the truly budget-conscious, and the more-tacticool-than-thou crowd will disparage it as “not a real AimPoint”, the same way they did the PRO.

    • I know, right?

      Do they have Gear Anonymous? I would at least sit in the back and drink coffee until I got a sponsor, then I would take a sponsor to the range, then we would go back to the meeting and sit in the back until we got sponsors…

    • You are missing the difference between street price and MSRP.

      Reminder: Aimpoint PRO MSRP is $453.

      Is this coming together for you now? 🙂

    • Given you can get a PRO at just over $350 with discounts (visit slickguns if you need to verify; I have purchased several for under $360 from OP, PSA, and LAPG with discount codes), that is about $100 below MSRP.

      Given some time to settle after the product release you should be seeing these around, or slightly under, $300 using discounts and coupon codes from select vendors (again, after it has been out for a while).

  7. I doubt anyone who was going to buy a Sparc but not a PRO is going to be convinced to buy this instead, the price difference isn’t far enough apart between the Aimpoint offerings IMO.

  8. I’ve shot $400 EoTechs and the $50 Amazon no-name holographics and red dots. I can’t (at this time) see myself spending half a gun or more on a site when those cheapos do the job for me every time. I’ve looked through day and night, glare and calm but don’t see a difference that justifies the 8x price. What am I really missing here? Now, scopes I’m sure have a bit more of a return in value. But 1x optics? Educate me, please.

    • The great majority of the price difference is ability of optic systems to handle certain hazardous conditions. A $1000 Trijicon or 500 dollar Aimpoint can handle the shock of a parachute jump, be submerged in ocean water for 20 hours, be run over by a 5 ton truck, and still work. A Vortex SPARC stands no chance. Either the casing, electronics, of mount will fail. The rub is most people buying their own optics will never abuse their weapons to the degree mentioned above. That is where firms like Lucid, Primary Arms, and Vortex make their stand. Even companies like Leupold, Burris, and Nikon make excellent scopes for the 200-400 dollar range. Good stuff for the average (most of us) user.

      • Very, very much agree.

        I don’t really want to spend the amount I have spent on Aimpoints and ACOGs, however, anything that either I, or my family may need to use in a critical situation is mounted with one or the other.

        That is not to say that I don’t have a place for ‘affordable’ RDS. I have some Vortex and Primary Arms offerings on some range toys, and trainers for my younger children. As you say, they serve a role very well in those capacities, and some have been put through the ringer just because I wanted to see how much they could take before failing. I’ve busted a few Strikefires through rough treatment, but my little PA MD-06Ls are troopers so far. Too bad they don’t offer those any more.

        For my friends that could not make the stretch to an Aimpoint I’ve recommend the MD-06(L) as a stand in until they can move up. Mostly, however, it is working with them to make sure they are fully proficient with their irons. Lots and lots of irons work (which is a good thing).

      • I liked your comment about the abuse this or any optic might take in the hands of a civilian. I often read about guys that want a weapon to withstand the apocalypse when frankly most of us shoot at controlled outdoor or indoor ranges. I even saw a critical comment on the Aimpoint carbine 1yr battery life! Maybe we’ll get an optic powered by nuclear energy one day

  9. I own a PRO (New) and a COMP ML2(Used). I paid $360 for the PRO from PSA and $400 for the COMP ML2 and Larue M68 CCO mount. It’s almost the same optic on my assigned M4 so it is familiar. They are both great optics and were less than this optic. I think they are starting to see the benefit of a lower priced optic with companies like Vortex and Primary Arms putting out quality optics for half of the price. This still seems a bit high. For around $330 I think they would have a winner.

  10. I have trouble paying that much for something which still needs batteries. Sure, the Meprolight on my Tavor and the Trijicon on my bullpup 7.62×39 Saiga were about $100.00 more each but they glow on their own. TRITIUM BABY! Ok, in a decade or so, when the tritium fades out, y’all can laugh at me.

    • Anyone hear anything about the Mepro TRU-DOT RDS? I heard MSRP is $400. Haven’t seen any good reviews on it yet.

      • Love mine. Looks perfect on the Tavor – I was fortunate enough to get a special edition unit with the aluminum hood, as opposed to polymer. Only beef is that I wish the brightest setting was a *tiny* bit brighter. It’s got the battery life of an Aimpoint and the FOV of an EOTech. The auto on/off is an outstanding feature as well. And finally, all of this goodness comes powered by the ubiquitous AA battery. What more could you want?

      • I have one. Ran it during a carbine class last week and it was awesome. Banged it on barriers and whacked it with my gear and it stayed on point. I’ll probably sell my 552 and buy another Mepro.

  11. Vortex SPARC.. Is that still supported in Solaris, or do you have to find a copy of SunOS for that?

    (Or NetBSD)

  12. Primary Arms has their Advanced 2 MOA Micro Dot with 50,000 hr battery life and a weight of less than 4 ounces and a 3 yr warranty for $170… Pretty challenging to compete with that.

  13. No thanks. Keep it. One of the most appealing features of Aimpoints is the battery life. The PRO is acceptable with the three year life, but with just a year, this thing is mediocre at best.

  14. Aesthetics aren’t everything, or even much of anything, but does anyone else think this is an absurdly ugly optic?

  15. Anyone know if these can handle repeat use as a deer hunting shotgun slug gun?

    Blew up an inexpensive “Burrus TruDot/something or other integrated in 870 saddle mount” a couple years ago when they first came out, advertised as low cost alternativ…

    and hesitant to spend $300-400 if the these entry level EOtechs are also made in China and just aren’t rugged enough, by design.

    • There isn’t an EOTech made in China they are all US made. Aimpoint or EOTech any model will handle the recoil of a 12 gauge slug no problem. There is knock offs that are made in China seen plenty that are meant for Airsoft that look just like the real deal if you didn’t know what you were looking at that are probably Chinese.

  16. If this were a budget equivalent to their micro line, kind of how the PRO is a budget companion to the COMPM4, I’d bite. But a slightly cheaper PRO with 1/3 the battery life, and all the same weight/bulk? Why bother?

  17. But with an MSRP of $393, will it be “budget” enough?

    No. I’ll wait for the primary arms copy to come out.

  18. Seems they will do everything they can to avoid lowering the price point on the T1, now that the T2 is out.

    Just drop the T1 $200 and you’ll sell a ton more, Aimpoint. Quit diddling around the edges. This is essentially an Aimpoint Pro at a slight discount. Yippee.

  19. No lens covers. No quick detach ratchet assembly. Flimsy looking mount that might (?) survive a drop. All this for a marginal price difference of $20 to $60?

    I’ll stick with the PRO. I have 3. Can’t see this as a necessary product.

    • I used Aimpoints in the army and loved them, I got my PRO on Monday and am tickled pink with it. I like it better than the CCO I used that was the comp2. I would love to have one of the 4s (8 years on one AA!?) but I can’t afford it

  20. Why is nobody mentioning the 3.8 oz difference in weight between the Carbine and the PRO?

    That’s not an insignificant amount and I consider it a big plus when comparing to the PRO. Sure it may not be able to take the punishment of a PRO or it’s big brothers, but that’s the point. It’s a more affordable option intended for a different market segment who doesn’t need a military-grade red dot.

  21. It all depends on what you want. Some like bling, special handguards, grips, stocks, brakes, etc. Those guys to me are the lower cost red dot consumers. I spend money on barrels, triggers, BCG’s, and optics. Because everything else is just fluff….. Aimpoints for me please!

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