So I found myself in that position. A new gun that needs a glass. In this case it’s a Colt M4, 14.5 inch barrel. Sure enough, I’m looking at a gun that is intended for short to medium range, so not a big magnified scope but instead a red dot sight or holographic sight.
If you’re like me, you want quality but you hope there’s something good out there that doesn’t break the bank. Here’s the thought process I went through and how I ended up with an Aimpoint Micro in spite of having initially discarded it.
The military uses them, so they must be good. Circle and Dot? Sounds good. A big circle for quick shots close up and that 2MOA dot for more pinpoint accuracy at longer ranges. Perfect.
Well… no. Turns out the US military is currently suing Eotech because they have lied about their specs. They wouldn’t keep their zero and also had problems with their water resistance. While many people do still trust them, to pay that much money for a product when the company is being sued by its main client didn’t make much sense to me.
So a red dot it is.
Holosun, Vortex, Primary Arms…
Knowing that Aimpoint was crème de la crème but not wanting to spend that much money, these are the brands I started to look into. Most of the reviews were very good, lots of happy customers. Vortex are rugged and have good specs, Holosun have neat features, auto on/off, models that have motion detector to turn on, Solar powered sights. Vortex has the Spark AR which seemed ideal, using common AAA under the optic.
After taking a good long look at these brands, watching youtube reviews, reading articles and such I came to the obvious conclusion: These are nice “budget” red dots made in China. Some are better than others, have slightly better reviews or better durability, or better features, better runtime, but at the end of the day… budget light made in China.
What does this mean? Well, it means less quality, less durability. The battery won’t last as long, or the design and built quality isn’t as good. Even more important nearly all of them suffered sudden death at one point, even after one or two shots in some cases. Switches would break or fail, the red dot, was more of a line, the auto on feature would stop working, the zero would be impossible to keep. With every one of them there was always something. And here is where you come to the obvious conclusion I mentioned above, which is that if you want extreme reliability and durability in spite of the intrinsically fragile, state of the art tech, you need to buy the crème de la crème. You need that “Made in Sweden” quality. If you want to be sure that sight will still be on and bright 3 or 4 years from now when someone breaks into your house, if you don’t want your sight to die, move 5 feet to the left or become so dim its impossible to see in the middle of that gun fight you wished you never saw in your life, then go for it. Save up those extra couple hundred bucks, save money here and there and get yourself the Aimpoint. An Aimpont Micro T2 may be worth 600 bucks, but a broken Holosun or Vortex is worth 0.00 USD. Even worse, it may cost your life, and that’s a damn high price to pay.
Ok.. which Aimpoint?
So you made up your mind and are spending the big bucks. What about Triijcon red dot? Tirjicon is still rather new to the red dot game, and Aimpoint is still king of the hill. If you want something like an ACOG then sure, Trijicon is what you go for, but for red dot sights Aimpoint is still the best most proven brand.
Aimpoint options are basically Pro, micro T2 and H2. The Pro is clearly bigger, almost twice the weight but very durable. The micros are almost half the weight, much more compact and yet very durable. This is why you seem them so often being used by guys running nice guns. The H2 and T2 are very similar, look the exact same, but the T2 is night vision compatible and has better water and temperature resistance specs. My advice is to go for the T2 or Pro if you don’t care about the extra weight and size, but if you don’t care about the night vision, the H2 is still tough as nails and wont let you down. Any of the three would make a great purchase if one sale, so maybe just buy the one your see priced best if you don’t care about night vision compatibility.
As the saying goes folks, Buy once, Cry once. Words to live by.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”