Reader Brian P. writes:
Who — or what — is DIO? It’s the US arm of Dong In Optical (hold the jokes, please), a Korean manufacturer of optical aiming accessories for the military, law enforcement and civilian markets. If you haven’t heard of the company, you’re hardly alone. But given the quality and affordability of their RV2 red dot, you probably will be hearing more soon.
The more important question: does the DI Optical’s RV2 do anything better or different or better than an Aimpoint ACO, SIG Romeo or a half dozen other similar optics? There’s only one way to find out . . .
Aimpoint’s reputation is built on years of hard military and civilian use. DI Optical is Korea’s answer to Aimpoint and they have several models in service with the South Korean military. Some are even targeting the enemy on crew-served weapons in the US arsenal.
Having handled nearly every optic DI Optical produces for the civvy market, I’ve been generally impressed. DI has quietly been building a reputation for quality in forums, on Facebook, and through retailer reviews as a quality, affordable red dot.
What DI brings to the U.S. market is civilian-ready products that meet Mil-Std 810g testing standards. As a prior COMPM4 owner, I can attest to the toughness of DI’s competition. So the only way to really test the RV2’s is to use it and abuse it. So I appreciate DI Optical’s company’s willingness to let me bash, bang, drown, and otherwise bash their products without complaint.
“Yes, we do not hold against you or hold you be liable for any damages for doing us a favor by reviewing our product. We would rather apologize for wasting your time instead if any damages occur while testing,” – DI Optical’s Mr. Yi told me when I told him how I wanted to test the RV2.
The RV2’s body is machined from a solid piece of aircraft grade aluminum, and the work is excellent. The optic’s body feels hefty, and the fit and finish are tight and confidence inspiring. In an era of cheap Chinese optics, a quality-built optic priced for a working man’s budget is much appreciated.
The mount is an ARMS #17-compatible base and is secured to the body with two hex bolts. The mount attaches to your Picatinny rail with a single knurled knob that has a flat-head slot if you want to use a screw driver for more torque.
The windage and elevation caps are tethered together, and the battery compartment is captured with a rubber tether, too. The W/E caps thread on cleanly and completely cover the o-rings for a tight, water-resistant seal. Each click of the W/E turret is 1 MOA per click with a 40 minute total range.
A single AA battery powers the optic for 20,000 hours at a reported “mid brightness setting.” With a 10-hour automatic shut-off, that gives you some 2000 10-hour days of use on a single, AA cell.
The RV2 features a push-button membrane marked NV, DN, UP. Hitting either DN or UP turns the optic on and to the last used brightness level. Hitting the NV button switching the RV2 to night vision mode. Then pressing either UP or DN changes the night vision setting intensity. Hit the NV button again and your back to daylight mode.
Seven daylight and seven night vision settings are available. Daylight brightness is a non issue. The RV2 is plenty bright without maxing out the 7 daylight settings. Sadly I do not possess NVG’s to test out the NV settings.
At the range, after sighting in, I attempted to induce a zero shift with some stout ground and tree impacts. Post abuse, I also threw the unit into the drink just for good measure.
As you can see, I wasn’t gentle in my testing. But the RV2 soldiered on as if nothing had happened. No dents, no dings, no zero shift. That’s a good thing. The optic performed just as it should with no drama and no leaks.
So what’s not to like? The OCD among you may not appreciate the 1 MOA per click adjustments. Most red dots and other optics feature ½-minute clicks.
After hundreds of rounds of testing and more than a little abuse, I the DI Optical RV2 is built with all the quality I’d ask of a Aimpoint. But if gives you a military grade level of quality at a Primary Arms price.
At around $260 bones retail, the RV2 is punches far above its weight class in terms of performance and toughness. More quality choices and tougher competition are good for the market and, ultimately, the consumer.
Specifications: DI Optical RV2 Red Dot
Optic Type: Collimator LED red dot
Lens Dimensions: 30mm Objective Lens/25mm Ocular Lens
Eye Relief: Unlimited
Overall Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.9 x 2.7 inches (L x W x H)
Weight: 11.75 oz w/ mount & battery
Dot Size: 1.5 MOA
Brightness Settings: 14 (7 daylight, 7 night vision)
Storage Temp Range: -41° ~ 71° C, (-42° ~ 160° F)
Operating Temp Range: -32° ~ 71° C, (-25.6° ~ 160° F)
Mil Spec Conformity: MIL-STD 810G durability testing
Mount: 1913 Picatinny rail or optional quick disconnect mount
Battery Life: Approx. 20,000 Hrs (mid brightness level)
Night Vision Compatible: Yes
Waterproof: Submersible up to 30 feet
Ratings (out of five stars):
Build Quality * * * *
High quality machining give the impression that you’re getting a lot for your dollar compared with other optics in this price range. The RV2 is built to last.
Optical Clarity * * * *
The RV2 is distortion free and the red dot has enough brightness range for any condition.
Adjustments and Controls * * *
Ten hours before auto shut-off is good, but I’d appreciate an “always on” override. Controls are solid and intuitive. One MOA per click may bother some, but the unit is easy to zero and accurate.
Value: * * * *
Given the robustness of its build quality vs. its price, the DI Optics RV2 is a great value for shooters looking for a “serious” red dot without an Aimpoint price tag.
Overall * * * *
There’s a lit to like in the RV2. Similarly priced Chinese imports can’t hold a candle to the RV2 in terms of mil spec toughness or build quality. The RV2 gives established, more expensive options a run for their money.