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.
You can check out my EG1 review at www.looserounds.com and my RV1 review at www.thenewrifleman.com.
i have a hard time considering one of these. i really dont like how high these sit. good-bye cheek weld. eventually i will probably try one.
You kept touting it’s budget friendly-ness. I was expecting a Primary Arms competitor. This is more holosun.
Sounds cool, though.
Yeah I was hoping it would be low 100’s, not double that.
I will say that the auto-off is a nice feature and I don’t know why more RD’s don’t do that (small matter of SW).
PA has their new Gen3 30mm for $130 with 14K hours, 2moa dot, and lifetime warranty. The only thing I don’t like is the button battery and no auto-off.
Well I think its best to think about the DIO models as a step up in certifications. Each of their optics must pass 810g testing, and that’s a bit of assurance that they can survive shock, immersion, and temperature extremes to a level that lower cost optics may not guarantee.
With the cost below Aimpoint, I think these optics are a tremendous value for a Korean military spec optic.
Yes finance the chicoms of the PLA. Great idea.
Primary Arms red dots ARE Holosun.
I’ve run one (RV1) for over a year. I would compare this more with my Aimpoint PRO than with a PA or Holosun. Build quality is VERY impressive, and I’ve been a good bit rougher for longer on mine. At range, the 1moa vs. 1/2moa isn’t noticeable (you aren’t shooting precision at 300-400 yards with a red dot, dude). Zero holds even after heavy tube impacts. This is a true combat-grade optic that is actually fielded by South Korean troops. Only difference is a change in the designation to meet ITAR nonsense. Oh, and battery life is understated, from what I’ve seen with mine. I leave my RV1 (no automatic shutoff like the RV2) on in the safe at a high-mid bright setting and even after a year and a half the battery still tests as almost new. The 3/5ths co-witness takes a little getting used to if you’re a big fan of absolute c/w like me, but it’s worth enduring for what else you get from this sight for the money.
You can put a Raven sight on an M240 and be fine. PA sight? Not so much.
is it so high that it will co-witness’ with the iron sights?
It does co-witness. Its a little below absolute but not a true lower third.
I have the EG1. Very happy with it. I’m probably going to pick up one of the RVs, the one with the turn dial, just because of the price.
I seriously feel these are under valued and it’s only a matter of time before they catch on. They’re pretty much legit military optics under a different model name to get past whatever that law is regarding export of military equipment. The only downsides I see are the weight, they’re built like tanks so they’re heavy. And their name isn’t familiar.
I agree. The more people handle them, the more they are impressed with the cost to quality ratio.
I LOVE my FC1. It currently sits atop my MPX and perfectly co-wit’s with my backup irons. I love the little thing. Its svelte, stout and wonderfully bright. I love how thin this housing is because it gives you a viewing window that appears much larger than it is.
Im a fan of DI.
Can anyone give me a good enough reason to even justify a $297 dot when my 20 year old Tasco ProPoints still work and hold zero on a $650 AR15?? I cant.
I also have a cheappy Chinese $40 2x green dot with a red laser pointer. Good to 100 yards easily. That actually works too.
Almost every quality dot is well over $350-500. That’s hardly a regular working persons dot.
I have a 3×9 $49 scope coming in tomorrow. Cant wait to see if it holds zero past 2 rounds at 75 yards.
With me if it hits paper at 150 yards it works.
“Put a Dong on your AR.”
We’ve all seen sillier things attached to an AR…
University of Texas approved.
Brian, are you the proprietor of The New Rifleman? If so, I want to thank you for all the work you put into it.
I knew absolutely nothing about AR-15’s when I started my quest to build my own, and The New Rifleman was instrumental in getting me started. When I put the rifle together (found a barreled upper, did all the rest myself), the builder’s guide was invaluable.
I’m rolling with iron sights for now, but will probably want to add an optic at some point…this is definitely one to keep in mind as a high-quality option that doesn’t cost tons of money.
Yep that is me. Thank you for using and visiting the blog.
The reason I started thenewrifleman was to educate and to make jumping into the AR15 game easy. The whole reason behind that goal is simply to arm as many American citizens as possible.
Thanks for reading!
I’m surprised more of these are not prism red dots, like my Vortex Spitfire. Reticle is visible even with a dead battery or turned off, so there’s no practical need for a BUIS. In fact, I usually use it turned off.
No mention of parallax, which I assume is zero beyond a certain range.
Here is a link to their site, interesting the rifles are leaning on the front of an early 70’s Chevy pickup. Now I want to watch a baseball game and have a craving for apple pie. A link to everything they offer for commercial buyers.
Military Arms Channel has done a couple of videos on their products in the past few months, he likes them also.
Buy once, cry once, works for most tools. 20 years ago if you told someone that a Korean car will cost $59,500 base price, you would not be able to own a firearm cause you were certifiably crazy. Genesis
I’ve been using the RV1 for about three years. It’s been through two deer seasons of stalk hunting in cold temps, it’s been rained/snowed on, knocked on trees, and brought into a warm house at night. It’s also been used for target shooting and plinking for well over a 2000 rounds, I’ve only had to change the batteries ones, and it’s never lost zero. For an optic that’s NV compatible and able to deliver consistently every time I turn it on I would say I got my $230 worth!
May have to try one out sometime. If something does go bad how is their CS and warranty? If its remotely good, one could probably order one, abuse it, return it, and get it replaced before you would even get shipping info from PA on an order placed at the same time.
I always imagine a factory filled with turtles doing all the work of shipping items at PA and one lone rabbit running the credit cards…
What sections of MIL STD 810 was it tested to? There are about 28 different test methods described in that doc (depending how you count them), and I’m sure they didn’t test to most of them (nor would it make sense to). If it passed a mechanical shock (516.7) or gunfire shock (519.7) test with a reasonable profile, great. If it passed a Fungus (508.7) or Rail Impact (526.1) test, I could care less. Was it tested to and did it pass high temp (501.6), low temp (502.6), fluid contamination (504.2), humidity (507.6), sand/dust (510.6), immersion (512.6), freeze/thaw (524.1)? That would all be certainly nice to know. Saying something “passed MIL STD 810” is kind of meaningless without further info.
says on their website MIL SPEC CONFORMITY MIL-STD 810G Durability Testing
From what I understand, it got the full 810 ride. It actually IS a military optic, and the RV series was made to be used on up to and including M240’s. Fully weather and temp tested, and the operating range is pretty substantial.
I’ve spoken with the US marketing guys (they are the ones who got me straight on using ARMS #17-compatible QD mounts on the sights), and customer service is pretty simple and straightforward. Can’t attest to repair/ replacement issues as I haven’t been able to break mine.
I almost gave up on this article after a few paragraphs. The spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors and mislabeled tools were confusing. Luckily I managed to finish it, because the review itself seems to be well done.
A few suggestions:
“does the DI Optical’s RV2” -> “does DI Optical’s RV2”
“better or different or better” -> “better or different”
“or a half dozen other” -> “or a half-dozen other” or “or half a dozen other”
“DI Optical’s company’s willingness” -> “DI Optical’s willingness”
“bash, bang, drown, and otherwise bash” -> “bang, drown, or otherwise bash”
“knob that has a flat-head slot” -> “knob that is slotted” (there is no flat-head screwdriver, only slotted. I wouldn’t comment, but the mantra of this blog is to educate)
i only have plus and minus screwdrivers.
i use them to adjust my intake and extake valves.
The form is accessible on the internet and must be that has a college transcript,
recommendations from the 3 people and a personal statement.
And then, there is a sacrifice of God’s son to the humanity with a Roman cross, the supreme expression of
God’s love beyond almost any magnitude of comprehension. (Mostly
inside the South) If these students were sent a check mark
for $5-10K, they could make two years worth of Mortgage payments; obtain a used car, or whatever.