Archive Yearly Archives: 2019

Vortex Venom vs Viper – Which is Best?

Looking for a comparative buying guide between the Vortex Venom and Vortex Viper? You’ve come to the right place.

Both are comparable in price. In fact, there are mini Red Dot optics on the market today that cost two to three times the price of these Vortex models. We discuss the features of both sights to provide you with the relevant information for you to decide what best fits your needs.

Here’s a quick reference guide comparing both sights:

WeightSize L x W x H mmWaterproof depthNight VisionBattery LifeLens cover TypeApprox Cost
Venom1.1 oz.48.2 x 28.2 x 25.9 (front), 10.4 (back) mmO-ring seals prevent moistureChoose between 10 levels of brightness in manual mode or switch to auto mode14-hour auto-shutdown; Up to 150 hours at highest setting; Lower settings allow up to 30,000 hours.ArmorTek® protects exterior lens from
scratches, oil, and dirt + protective cover.
$225
Viper1.1oz45.97 x 26.9 x 25.9 (front), 8.4 (back) mmO-ring seals prevent moisture.Adjustable illumination intensity14-hour auto-shutdown; Up to 150 hours at highest setting; Lower settings allow up to 30,000 hoursArmorTek® protects exterior lens from
scratches, oil, and dirt + protective cover.
$225

As you can see, both the Venom and Viper are comparable in price, weigh the same, have identical battery life, are both waterproof and shockproof (constructed of aluminum), and come with lens covers. Each also comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty and includes a mount, wrench, rain/protective cover, lens cloth, mounting screws (Venom), battery and screwdriver (flathead wrench for the Venom). Both offer a clear, wide field of view. Deciding which one is right for you depends on size, design, and functionality, which we discuss here.

The Venom

Rated as “the best bang for the buck” (pun intended) from a customer, the Venom is available in 3 and 6 Red Dot, making it a great choice for both long guns and handguns. The 3 MOA red dot is excellent for the precision needed for rifles; the 6 MOA red dot model works best for handguns. Many owners like the ease of the compact design with top load battery access. This allows the sight to stay mounted during battery changes. The Venom uses the CR 1632 battery, which is not as common as the CR 2032 (used by the Viper). It is also slightly larger than the Viper.

The windage and elevation adjustments are “super sleek and make sighting in a breeze.” Power and dot intensity controls are conveniently located on the left side of the sight to choose between 10 brightness levels. The Venom also has an auto-brightness mode that uses an ambient light sensor to control dot intensity if the shooter prefers. These brightness levels are a unique attribute of the Venom allowing full functionality regardless of lighting conditions or background.

The Venom Red Dot will fit well on your rifle or shotgun giving you optimal flexibility. Vortex says, “Make your rifle, pistol, or shotgun even more poisonous with the Venom Red Dot sight.”

The Venom has 493 reviews on Amazon, 74 percent of them are 5-star. One customer review said, “Almost perfect. This is the best combination between price and accuracy. An all-around great Red Dot.”

The Viper

In one review, a customer stated, “This pistol and Viper Red Dot performs better than I could imagine.” Its low profile and compact design makes it perfect for handguns, and its low height allows it to co-witness with suppressor height pistol sights. 

Unlike the Venom, the Viper has only one dot choice, the 6 MOA dot. The 6 MOA dot diameter gets shooters on target fast. This optic’s multi-coated lens increases the efficiency in transmission of light but also reduces glare, allowing for clarity. The finish is in matte, and it is waterproof to improve its durability.

Like the Venom, the controls are located along the side of the sight.  It also has the same battery life as the Venom, although it uses a CR 2032 battery.  However, the sight must be removed from the mount for battery changes.

The fully multi-coated, ultra-clear lens offers a wide, unobstructed field of view. The left-side up/down power and illumination controls are easy to access and manipulate. The daylight bright Red Dot is easy to see and paints targets regardless of lighting conditions or background. The recessed 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustments are super clean, protected from incidental contact, and always “at the ready.”

The Viper has 156 reviews on Amazon, and 69 percent of them are 5-star. One customer review said, “…the Venom is a little easier to operate and the battery compartment is on top, so changing it is easier. The viper is a little lower profile so it can co-witness with the gun’s sights better. I have the Viper on my Smith &Wesson M&P Performance Center, and really like it.”

Summary and recommendations

The Venom is a 3 MOA dot and Viper comes in both a 3 MOA and 6 MOA dot. Depending on what you’re shooting and at what distance will determine your preference between the different sights. Said one customer, “In my opinion, a 6 MOA dot would be better unless you’re trying to shoot bullseye out to 50 yards or so.”

The Venom is slightly bigger than the Viper, making the Venom a great choice for rifles and the Viper a solid option for pistols.  The battery changes on the Viper are more difficult, but due to this design, it does have a more compact profile. We like the 10 brightness levels of the Venom.

Conclusion

As you can see, both the Venom and Viper are comparable in price, weigh the same, have identical battery life, are both waterproof and shockproof (constructed of aluminum), and come with lens covers. Each also comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty and includes helpful accessories. Both offer a clear, wide field of view. Deciding which one is right for you depends on size, design, and most importantly functionality. Venom a great choice for rifles and the Viper a solid option for pistols.  

Sources: 1, 2

Trijicon MRO vs Aimpoint Pro – Which is Best?

Looking for a comparative buying guide between the Trijicon MRO vs Aimpoint Pro red dot sights? You’ve come to the right place.

Both rifle sights are comparable in price, and each one brings solid benefits. The sights can be used for military, as well as sporting and hunting, by both beginners and professionals.

We discuss the features of both red-dot sights to provide you with the relevant information for you to decide what is most important: Battery life, field of vision, weight, size, night vision compatibility, ruggedness, reputation, unique characteristics, and customer feedback.

Here’s a quick reference guide comparing both sights:

Weight Size L x W x H mm Water Proof depth Night Vision Battery Life Lens cover Type Approx Cost
Trijicon 116 g (4.1 oz.) 2.6 x 1.7 x 2.0 in. (66 x 43 x 51mm) 30 m (100 ft.) Yes, 2 5 years of continuous use None $430
Aimpoint 220 g (7.8 oz.) 4.5 x 2.2 x 2.2 in.   (115 x 55 x 55mm) 45 m (150 ft.) Yes, 4 3 years of continuous use Front and rear flip covers, Transparent rear flip cover $400 -$450


As you can see, both the Trijicon MRO and AimPoint PRO are comparable in price, and each one brings solid features. Deciding on the right one for you really comes down to what features are most important to you…and this is what we cover below.

Trijicon MRO  

Newer to the market than the AimPoint PRO, the Trijicon MRO (Miniature Rifle Optic) can be mounted to your rifle for faster target acquisition and absolute dependability.

One big difference between the two sights is the Trijicon MRO has a larger objective lens diameter providing wider viewing, a better field of view, and less tunnel vision. It also allows for fast target engagement – especially from non-standard shooting positions.

In addition, it is half the weight and size of the AimPoint PRO. It also has the convenience of an ambidextrous illumination knob on the top. The Trijicon MRO is a sealed miniature reflex sight intended for use on rifles, carbines and shotguns to provide fast target acquisition.

Made in the USA, it is fully sealed, waterproof, made with hard anodized forged 7075-T6 housing and is considered the ultimate mini reflex sight on the market.

Because the sight can be rifle or shotgun mounted, is fully ruggedized, waterproof and enables fast target acquisition, especially from non-standard shooting positions, it is trusted by special operations forces around the world and is also a favorite among turkey hunters.

Regarding the specs, the front lens coating seems to block out the sun glare pretty well. The optic has nice adjustment turrets that don’t require removing of any caps to operate. MOA adjustments are done in solid clicks. Large and well-marked brightness adjustment are in the shooter’s line of sight for fast adjustment. However, a big difference between this sight and the AimPoint PRO is that it doesn’t come with any covers for both the front and rear lens.

The elevation and windage dials have an audible and physical click with each turn.  It is waterproof to 30 meters (versus the AimPoint PRO is waterproof to 45 meters) and temperature rated to -60 to +160F. Said a customer in a review on Amazon, “So you can freeze it in a block of ice, thaw it out and it should still be working.”

The battery is included and comes pre-installed inside the optic. It is rated to run for 5 years of continuous operation at brightness level ‘3’ on a single battery, which customer stated is, “awesome” and “outstanding” (the AimPoint PRO has a 3-year battery life).

On Amazon, there are 259 reviews, 72 percent are 5-star. The sharpness and clarity of the reticle is strong and customers like the legendary Trijicon toughness (“construction is robust”), a lifetime warranty, increased FOV, a well-thought-out ergonomic control setup. Said one customer, “5 stars in my book!” At around $400, the price is carries a lot of value, and is comparable to the AimPoint PRO.

Aimpoint PRO

In the world of firearms, “boringly reliable” is a good attribute. The AimPoint PRO (12841) Patrol Rifle Optic, launched in 2011, has proven itself again and again. It was designed with the feedback from an elite group of professionals, and unlike the Trijicon MRO, the lens covers and mount are already included.

The PRO sight contains a QRP2 mount and a standard AR15 spacer that can be removed. While it is bigger and heavier than the Trijicon MRO, the all-in-one features make it complete and ready to mount, and you can customize your sight with other accessories and mounts.

Additionally, the PRO is always on and has a 3-year battery life, removing the need to switch it on prior to use (note that the Trijicon MRO has a 5-year battery life). It has a 2-minute of angle red dot for accurate target engagement at all distances. In-service date and battery change date reminders make inventory tracking and maintenance easy.  It has enhanced speed on target and increased first shot hit probability when compared to iron sights and magnified scopes. It is compatible with all generations of night vision devices and may be used with all Aimpoint Magnifiers and Concealed Engagement unit.

With hard anodized aluminium alloy housing, the Aimport PRO is rugged enough for real world conditions and is waterproof up to 150 feet. The threaded front lens opening allows the use of screw-in antireflection device (ARD). The front and rear flip covers keep lenses clean, a big difference compared to the Trijicon MRO which does not come with lens covers. A transparent rear flip cover allows use of the sight (with both eyes open) even with both covers closed in an emergency. It is designed for sudden quick shots when you don’t have the time to flip up the covers. According to one user, it is quite accurate in a pinch.

Battery and adjustment cap retainer straps conveniently keep everything together. The PRO comes with a modular mount set up for use on flat-top AR15, M4 Carbine and M16 rifles (adapters are available for carry handle mounting). You can snap the QRP2 rail grabber mount knob three times for a perfect mount, which will not deform your rail like many other mounts. The recessed lens openings helps prevent against impact damage, fingerprints and scratches.  

This sight is made in Sweden (unlike the Trijicon MRO which is made in the U.S.) and has 522 reviews on Amazon with 88 percent of those reviews 5 star. Regarding the specs, customers like the sharp, crisp and adjustable reticle. The tension knob is highly effective, although one reviewer found it bulky. Customers also like the red dot optic, calling it “excellent”. The settings can be fine-tuned for the most desirable sight picture either day or night.

Referred to as “an awesome value,” it is very rugged, with a positive feel. The unit seems well made, solid, and customers like the long battery life. At around $400, the price is comparable to the Trijicon MRO.

Summary and Recommendations

Both the AimPoint PRO and Trijicon MRO are comparable in price, and each one brings solid features. It really comes down to what features are most important to you.

The battery life for both sights is strong. However, the Trijicon MRO is longer. The MRO also has a larger aperture and tapered light path to maximize the viewing area and allow for faster target acquisition and superior situational awareness. The MRO is also half the size and weight of the AimPoint PRO. Keep in mind that a separate mount will cost around $90, and many customers recommend a quality QDS mount (which come standard on the AimPoint PRO).

Both models are also compatible with night vision devices, and both have great image quality.

Conclusion

If you prefer a product that has been proven by the test of time, then the Aimpoint Pro is your sight.  It is highly durable and reliable, and the lens covers are a great addition that will keep the lenses clean and protected.

However, if you need something more compact, Trijicon MRO is a solid choice. The wider field of view is also an important consideration.

Aimpoint ACO vs PRO – Which is Best?

Today we will be comparing two sights from the same brand, the Aimpoint ACO and the Aimpoint PRO, two very similar and popular sights that can be hard to choose between.

On one hand we have a very capable and successful patrol rifle optic and that has become hugely popular among forces and civilians alike, on the other we have a carbine optic designed specifically for modern sporting rifle and aimed at civilian use, wrapped in a friendly price tag.

Which one is right for you? We’ll sum up some key differences in the following table, then delve into the details of the brand and each optic.

Aimpoint ACO
Aimpoint PRO
Aimpoint Carbine Optic (ACO) Sight
Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
Weight
190g
220g
Configured Weight
300g
330g
Size
130mm x 55mm x 76mm
130mm x 55mm x 67mm
Waterproof Depth
5m
45m
Night Vision
No
Yes
Battery Life
10,000 hrs
30,000 hrs
Lens Cover Type
Not Included
Flip Covers
Aimpoint ACO
Aimpoint Carbine Optic (ACO) Sight
Weight
190g
Configured Weight
300g
Size
130mm x 55mm x 76mm
Waterproof Depth
5m
Night Vision
No
Battery Life
10,000 hrs
Lens Cover Type
Not Included
Aimpoint PRO
Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
Weight
220g
Configured Weight
330g
Size
130mm x 55mm x 67mm
Waterproof Depth
45m
Night Vision
Yes
Battery Life
30,000 hrs
Lens Cover Type
Flip Covers

A look at Aimpoint as Brand

AimpointAimpoint is a top name in red dot optics, and quite rightly so as they produced the first electronic red dot back in 1974. With this revolutionary step, Aimpoint have worked hard over the following years to maintain their name and continue to produce high quality products for a range of shooters.

When the US army switched from using iron sights to the far superior red dot sights, naturally, Aimpoint sort of blew up in both law enforcement and civilian worlds. They are best known for manufacturing durable equipment that can really deliver in real world situations.

For those who swear by the Swedish quality of Aimpoint, there is still not a straight forward choice when it comes to choosing your ideal sight. They have plenty of options for military, law enforcement, hunting and sports shooting. Let’s see how two of Aimpoint’s top quality yet affordable products fair against each other.

Aimpoint ACO vs PRO

In this standoff between two great products, we should start by stating which features are the same and which are different.

What do the Aimpoint PRO and ACO Have in Common?

Both the ACO and PRO have a lot of similarities, for example they look very similar as they share the body tube and lenses. Both optics have unlimited eye relief and are parallax free and both have a 2 MOA red dot.

Furthermore, both are designed by Aimpoint, so in both cases a highly durable product is guaranteed. But the two gun sights have some fundamental differences, too, and these are what will help you decide which is right for you.

What Are the Differences Between the Aimpoint PRO and ACO?

Price and Affordability

The Aimpoint Carbine Optic (ACO) came out after the ever popular Aimpoint PRO as Aimpoint’s second entry level optic. It was more specifically designed in order to satisfy a market of amateur buyers who at the time were going for the overqualified Aimpoint PRO as their entry level optic. Targeted at civilian and sporting use, the Aimpoint ACO was designed so that first time sight buyers wouldn’t have to shell out so much cash to get a sight with a range of features they might not require, e.g. a home defender or amateur shooter, but was still similar to the popular PRO.

Range of Uses

You can either view this as a positive, or a negative. The lower price means less features, so you will find that the ACO is not night vision compatible, neither does it come with lens caps. Some see this as a huge downside, since when you add the price of the caps to the optic (which are necessary when using your gun outside, as hunters will find) then you may as well go with the Aimpoint PRO and get the other added features, for practically the same price as your ACO plus caps. But others will argue that there’s no need to pay more if you don’t want or need the other features.

Brightness

As for the lack of night vision due to different lens coatings, the Aimpoint ACO makes up for it by having 9 daylight brightness settings whereas the PRO only has 6, but of course the PRO is night vision compatible and comes with an additional 4 night vision settings. Which sight is best suited to you depends on your use and needs. If you don’t shoot at night or know you will never use night vision but you value the extra brightness settings, then its an easy choice.

Battery Life

Another point where the Aimpoint PRO excels above the Aimpoint ACO is on battery life. Although they share the same battery, the battery life of the ACO is only 10,000 hours, a third of that of the Aimpoint PRO. On the other hand, Aimpoint have not carried out testing on the battery of the ACO, so it is likely the battery life would actually be similar, but that would only be a guess. The uncertainty is enough to sway many who really value the guaranteed longevity of the PRO’s power.

Mount Type

A final difference between the two sights is the kind of mount. The Aimpoint ACO comes with a fixed mount which means, once centred, it is always ready to use. This also provides absolute co-witness and due to the fixed mount, this cannot be adjusted to 1/3 co-witness, which may or may not be a problem according to your preferences. For those who prefer a clear view when shooting (one of the draws to using a simple red dot in the first place) it may be worth investing in the PRO which has a more versatile mount.

Summary and Recommendations

In review, both models are great optics and share the high quality and durability of an Aimpoint product, but for those on a tight budget or for those who only require the most basic of features, the Aimpoint ACO is the sight for you. It was designed and marketed for people like you, and while it doesn’t have the fancy features like night vision compatibly or being waterproof to 45m, it is still waterproof to 5m, has a good range of brightness settings, and is simple yet effective. Ideal for civilian use, from sporting competitions to home defence.

On the other hand, if you’re not so concerned about your budget, even if you are an amateur and don’t require anything fancy, paying a tiny bit extra for the Aimpoint PRO is 100% worth it to get a boosted battery life, night vision compatibility, a more versatile mount, and all the added bonuses.

Aimpoint Carbine Optic (ACO) Sight
  • UP to 1 year of constant-on Use on a single Dl1/3N Battery
  • Completely waterproof
  • 2 Minute of Angle(2 MOA) red dot with 9 brightness settings
Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
  • Always red - always on; Turn it on for up to 3 years using one single battery; No need to fumble with switches prior to use
  • 2 minute of angle red dot for accurate target engagement at all distances.Battery type: 3V lithium battery
  • In service date and battery change date reminders makes inventory tracking and maintenance easy
  • Patrol Rifle

At the end of the day, even though the ACO was designed for entry level shooters and civilians whereas the PRO was aimed more at low budget defence departments, the PRO wins out, especially when you consider the price difference.

As noted, even just adding the price of buying your own caps for the ACO evens them out. If you’re already prepared to pay around $385 for a sight, are you really going to shy away from an extra $35? Not to say that the ACO isn’t a great optic that gets the job done, and if you can find it on sale you’re sure to get an excellent deal there, too, just a larger price drop would make more sense.