Aimpoint’s PRO — Patrol Rifle Optic — is an extremely rugged, always-on red dot optic designed for duty use by law enforcement, military, and the armed citizen. Freeze it, torch it, drop it, SCUBA dive with it, leave it on for three years straight, if you can afford the four- to five-hundred dollar cost of entry then the PRO and its bright, precise 2 MOA dot will serve you well . . .
The PRO is a tube-style red dot scope with a 30mm mount diameter. It ships with 2L76 (aka 1/3N) battery, QRP2 mount, removable spacer, and the necessary hex wrenches and bolts.
With the spacer, the centerline of the PRO is 39mm above the top of the rail and at ideal MSR height. Standard AR sights co-witness about 1/3 of the way up the glass (lower third co-witness). Though it’s a long RDS it’s a true, distortion-free 1x and the front sight is clearly visible through the PRO.
Without the spacer, the PRO centers 30mm over the rail. This is better-suited for SMGs like the MP5 and Scorpion Evo, or for use on shotguns or rifles with some drop to the stock (like an AK, scout rifle, Mini-14, etc.).
The QRP2 “rail grabber mount” itself is actually pretty slick. It employs a spring-loaded tightening knob that’s effectively a pre-calibrated torque wrench. At a certain tension level the knob rides up angled teeth then snaps down into the base of the next one. Three clicks and you’re at the perfect tension level for a secure hold without damage to your rail. It’s extremely fast, easy, and effective, without any need for tools.
That knob is big, though. It’s likely to be in the way of a receiver-based left-hand charging handle, as it was on my X Products SCU upper unless I mounted the sight all the way to the rear. Thankfully the mount can be flipped around and it works just as well with the knob on the right side. At any rate, while it’s a very cool design it would be even cooler if the knob itself could be removed once used to torque the mount down.
Alternatively, Optics Planet (who loaned TTAG this optic so we could review it) offers the PRO with an optional QD SIDELOK mount from Kinetic Development Group for an extra $42. If you want to very quickly and easily swap the PRO from gun to gun or just want a sleeker option with nothing protruding from either side, this mount is simply badass.
A single little 3V battery will keep the PRO powered up (at brightness level 7 of 10) for 30,000 hours. That’s 3.4 years.
On the other end of that battery tube is the brightness adjustment dial. Click left to dim the dot and right (as in, clockwise) to brighten it up. Levels one through four are night-vision compatible, then five through 10 are for naked eye/daylight use. Level 10 is extra bright, causing a bit of halo inside the body of the optic unless you’re sighting at a fully sunlit background, in which case that halo gets washed out.
Of course, that allows you to actually see a bright, pretty darn crisp dot even in full sunlight. It doesn’t disappear on a Texas afternoon. With the sun shaded or partially shaded by a cloud, levels eight and nine were preferred for the perfectly clean edge on the 2 MOA round dot. In full sun, setting 10 was best for dot visibility against the light sand background and, though the circumference of the dot fuzzed up a bit, it remained crisper than the vast majority of other brands do at full brightness.
Captured caps cover turrets that are easily click-adjusted with a deep, wide slot that readily accepts a coin or cartridge rim. Adjustment clicks are in 7/16th-inch (0.4375″) increments at 100 yards. Maybe they drew that number out of a hat or 7/16 is a kid’s birthday or something…who knows. As good as anything, I suppose.
Lenses are well recessed into the aluminum housing to provide extra protection from impact, dirt, scratches, fingerprints, etc. The front of the tube is internally threaded for the addition of an anti-reflection device.
Flip-away lens covers — solid black plastic front and transparent rear — offer additional protection from the elements and quickly pop out of the way. They can be rotated on the PRO’s body so the user can change whether they flip up, down, or to any point on the clock.
Why a clear rear cap? Well, the PRO is an always-on optic designed to be ready for immediate action. With both eyes open, the sight is surprisingly usable even with the caps shut. It’s amazing how well your brain compensates and allows you to see everything while still maintaining that superimposed red-dot-on-target sight picture even though one eye can’t actually see through the sight. Very cool.
Why not a clear front cap, too? No idea. Maybe to discourage laziness and ensure that you flip the cap up during use? Certainly the image is clearer and brighter and more distortion-free without a plastic cap or two over it.
On the range (not pictured above) the PRO was excellent. I love a 2 MOA dot — especially a really crisp, clean one. Shots on 14″ square steel plates out to 300 yards weren’t an issue, whereas a larger dot begins to obscure your target much sooner. Heck, the PRO’s dot is precise enough to shoot decent groups at 100 yards and make accurate, confident shots on small targets such as the head zone on an IPSC silhouette.
Additionally, a smaller dot like this is better for use with a magnifier like one of Aimpoint’s magnifying modules.
As you’d expect, the PRO is free of parallax. With the gun rested and aligned on target, the shooter can move his or her head around behind the sight as much as desired and, as long as the dot remains visible inside the sight, it remains right on target.
So I fully admit I didn’t torture test the PRO. Tyler put hundreds of rounds through it and I’ve put a bunch of 5.56, .308, and even a little .458 SOCOM through it. As you’d expect, it wasn’t phased. It’s rated waterproof to a whopping 150 feet and operates in temperatures from -49° F to 160° F (often temperature limitations are battery-related more than anything else). The PRO is also vibration, shock, and chemical resistant. It carries a 10-year warranty for personal use (2 years for professional or competition use).
So the Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic has a bright, crisp, precise dot, is always at-the-ready with 3+ years of leave-it-on battery life, is extremely rugged, and comes with a dual-height, torque-perfect mount. What’s the downside? Assuming the $559.99 MSRP ($415.15 on Optics Planet with “TTAG5” coupon code for 5% off anything on their site) isn’t a hurdle too high, then it’s the weight. Aimpoint’s PRO — all-in with battery, lens caps, AR riser, and mount — tips the scales at 11.64 ounces.
On balance, I like the PRO a lot. For recreational use I’d likely choose something smaller, lighter, and less expensive, but for “important” duty the PRO is rugged, adaptable, and easy to use. Combined with a magnifier and night vision it would be a perfect TEOTWAWKI optic.
Specifications: Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic)
|Technology:||ACET (Advanced Circuit Efficiency Technology)|
|Working principle:||Reflex collimator sight – red dot sight|
|Lightsource:||LED (Light Emitting Diode) totally eye-safe|
|Lightsource wavelength:||650 nm red light|
|Red dot size in MOA (minute of angle):||2|
|Parallax:||Absence of parallax – No centering required|
|Night vision compatibility:||Yes|
|Surface Coating:||Anti-reflex coating|
|Objective Lens Coating:||Multi-layer coating objective lens|
|Magnification:||No magnification (1X)|
|Battery:||One 3V Lithium battery, type 2L76 or DL1/3N|
|Battery life in hours:||30 000 (over 3 years of continuous use)|
|Dot intensity adjustment:||Manual rotary switch|
|Daylight (DL) settings:||6 DL – one extra bright|
|NVD settings:||4 NVD|
|Housing Material:||High strength aluminum|
|Surface finish:||Hard anodized, matte|
|Adjustment 1 click:||13mm at 100m, (1/2in at 100yds)|
|Mounting methods:||QRP2 mount for M1913 standard Picatinny rail, and spacer for AR15/M4 carbine application|
|Temperature range:||-45° – +71° C, (50° – +160° F)|
|Water resistance:||Submersible to 45m (150ft)|
|Radioactive components used:||None|
|Width/height sight only:||2.2in x 2.2in|
|Maximum ring width:||30mm|
|Weight w/ sight only:||220g, (7.8oz)|
|Weight w/ integrated mount:||11.6 oz including mount and spacer|
|MSRP:||$559.99 (currently $437 on Optics Planet. Use coupon code “TTAG5” for 5% off anything on their site. NOTE: TTAG receives no compensation whatsoever based on traffic or sales to Optics Planet via this link or coupon code).|
Ratings (out of five stars):
Quality * * * * *
Aimpoint has a rock solid reputation and they’re at no risk of screwing that up with the PRO. It’s a solid, well-made sight with a solid, well-made mount.
Optical Clarity * * * *
With a mess of lens coatings to protect the glass, prevent reflection, and improve dot image there’s some color shift, but the image is clear and completely free of distortion. The 2 MOA dot itself is extremely crisp and clean. It’s parallax-free.
Adjustment & Controls * * * * *
Nice click adjustments for brightness, windage, and elevation. Holds zero.
Overall * * * *
The Aimpoint PRO is a fantastic optic that won’t let you down, whether you’re guarding your home, out on patrol, or shooting a competition. I’d happily give it five stars if it weighed a bit less and if that mount knob — as much as I love the torque-limiting feature and the fact that it can be installed and removed without tools — was either smaller or removable. I’d also prefer it if there was no color shift of the background when looking through the sight, though I understand there are reasons for tinting lenses to enhance contrast and such. A very strong four stars here overall.