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 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.
In this standoff between two great products, we should start by stating which features are the same and which are different.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aimpoint remains a superior choice when it comes to red dot sights and the brand now has a diverse line of products for military operations, modern sporting and hunting. As an entry level shooter or a professional, you are sure to find something from Aimpoint’s range that is the ideal choice for your needs.
But today we will be specifically taking a closer look at the Aimpoint PRO vs the Aimpoint Comp M4 and Aimpoint Comp M4s variations and advise which is best for particular types of buyer.
First off let’s take a quick look at each of the sights compared:
At a quick glance we see that the Comp M4 & M4s are considerably more expensive, a fair bit weightier but performs a leap above the PRO when it comes to brightness and night vision settings as well as battery life and durability, but all this comes with a hefty price tag and you will see that the PRO has a decent range of features regardless, even matching the Comp M4 and M4s on many features.
So is the jump in price worth it for what the M4 series provide, or does the PRO perform well enough to consider saving money and using it as a serious optic? Read on to find out…
Since they both use the same reflector red dot system you will find unlimited eye relief using either sight, so the user will have the same view regardless of eye distance from front lens. Both the Aimpoint PRO and Comp M4/M4s are compatible with anti-reflection devices due to the thread at the front lens.
Both optics also feature Aimpoint’s parallax-free optical correction system, which means minimal error of red dot accuracy when the user changes their view through the sight.
Both optics are also compatible with a range of other accessories, including the Aimpoint 3x magnifier and an Aimpoint Concealed Engagement Unit (which allows you to safely view up to 260° around bends), along with usual accessories such as preferred lens caps.
Beyond the similarities there are a lot of differences which separate these Aimpoint red dot sights. The differences don’t necessarily make one range ‘better’ than the other, but they will dictate which sight is the right choice for your needs.
When it comes to brightness settings, the Comp M4 series wins by a mile with 9 daylight settings and 7 night vision settings where the PRO only has 6 daylight settings and 4 for night vision. These extra settings gives the Comp M4 series more versatility in a range of environmental settings, which increases overall accuracy regardless of surroundings. This is the kind of edge that earns them service in wars over patrolling city streets.
Another key difference is the battery life. If the 3 year constant use battery life of the Aimpoint PRO sounds impressive, then what of the insane 8 year battery life of the Comp M4? To top it off the Comp M4 takes a far more common battery (a single AA) which is cheaper and easier to find than the PRO’s Lithium 2L76 and has almost three times the stamina, pretty impressive.
While we can find very few difference between these two optics, weight is another factor that you may not think is so important, but you will certainly notice it if you have to run around with your gun all day. The PRO is significantly lighter and also slightly smaller in size. That said, the Comp M4 is known for providing a cleaner, unobstructed view, despite its greater size. Some claim that the larger 30mm optic tube equates to faster target acquisition, adding to the M4 series’ wins.
Field of View
Speaking of field of view, lets take a look at the difference between the Aimpoint Comp M4 and Comp M4s. At first glance they are identical, the only difference being the placement of the battery tube, which begs the question, why two identical products, bar one feature? And the answer is simply preference.
Shape and Usability
On the Aimpoint Comp M4 the battery compartment is higher up where as on the Comp M4s it is lower down, offering a better field of view. Some also prefer the set up of the Comp M4s as it offers greater protection from potential knocks and drops, and it helps to keep a lower profile.
The benefit of having the battery compartment up high, however, is that it causes less problems when it comes to compatibility with accessories. For example, using a 3x magnifier with the M4s can get in the way if you wish to alter your brightness settings. You may find similar problems with other accessories such as handles and mounts that just don’t occur with the M4. But if you know you won’t need to change your settings in action, or you wont be using such accessories, we can’t see why you wouldn’t choose the M4s aside from personal preference overruling all.
In review, we’re dealing with three great optics here. In no category does the Aimpoint PRO fail, it is simply equal to, or out-done by the Comp M4 series. That is to say that the Comp M4 series are more elite optics for professional and military standard gunners, which is reflected in the price, usually sitting at around double that of the PRO.
The Aimpoint PRO is still a high performing optic whose purpose is to serve low budget police departments. For an optic serving in the city street or on your sporting or hunting rifle, it is a top performer, and exactly the tool you need. It is lighter and more compact and if you have a budget to stick to but care about quality and performance, this is the optic for you. If you’re not taking your gun to a war zone, there’s really no need to splash out all that extra cash for a few more settings and increased battery power of an already impressive battery life.
The Aimpoint Comp M4 series are the superior optic, and lay the claim to Aimpoint’s most robust optic available. You can count on this optic’s durability and you can go the extra mile using this sight. Proven through use by the army and in wars, this is the optic you need if you know you will be in open fire.
Between the Comp M4 and M4s, we see more benefit in choosing the Comp M4s which provide a better field of view with a lower profile, and greater protection should your mounted weapon be dropped. However overall, if your needs aren’t so extreme as to require the Comp M4’s expertises, the Aimpoint PRO will serve you well, and for half the price.
You’ve arrived to the point in your journey where you’re ready to choose an optic for your weapon. A quality sight is essential in order to improve your target acquisition and improving shot accuracy. If you’ve already got this far, then you’re probably aware of the biggest names in the game, and of each band’s most affordable, entry level sight. Welcome to the ever popular debate of the sturdy Aimpoint PRO vs the super-precise EOTech 512.
Both holographic dot sights have a lot to bring to the table and excel in areas where the other falls short. However, it’s difficult to choose an overall winner without considering your precise needs. To begin the comparison, let’s start with a simple table, then we will delve deeper into the defining categories of these red dot sights and which one comes out on top.
Aimpoint and EOTech are undoubtedly the top names in gun sight production and are both highly respectable brands. Let’s take a look at why.
Aimpoint made their name by getting in there first back in 1974 and hold the title to having produced the first electronic red dot optic. Over the 40 years following, they have worked closely with all types of users to ensure the most up to date experience and have become a solid favorite among many shooters. Aimpoint are unparalleled in ruggedness, durability and simplicity.
EOTech on the other hand is part of the larger organisation, L-3, which produces a range of US military equipment, maintaining a market among both civilians and the forces. Though it started independently in 1972, EOTech now produces holographic sights, lasers, illuminators and thermal imaging equipment as a branch of L-3.
Aimpoint vs EOTech
The key difference between the two brands lies in the type of display they produce; red dot vs holographic weapon sight. EOTech uses a holographic weapon sight system, which they claim to be a superior to a red dot due to newer technology and use of the finest red dot available (1 MOA) combined with a 68 MOA circle for ultimate speed and accuracy in target acquisition. However some still swear by the simplicity of the 2 MOA red dot used by Aimpoint, despite a minimal reduction of accuracy. If the extra degree of accuracy is important to you then EOTech is your precision shooting winner, but Aimpoint wins on other categories, as you will see.
Both brands have had a revolutionary impact on the red dot industry, both brands have seen use in the U.S military, though EOTech definitely gets more of this action, and both brands offer an affordable sight that is popular among civilians. But it really comes down to a difference in preference and order of priorities as a shooter. So lets take a closer look at the two affordable star contenders from each brand and how they compare.
When it comes to choosing between the Aimpoint PRO and EOTech 512, it can be extremely hard to differentiate which model is best suited to your needs as each one has its own winning features, and neither one is outright better than the other.
Comparing Battery Life
For example if you take a look at battery life, the Aimpoint PRO is at the top of its game with a battery life measured in years rather than hours due to its LED reticle that does not drain battery. In addition to this, the sight never has to be switched off as the as battery use is so minimal, therefore it is always ready to be used. This is ideal for shooters who need to jump straight into the action.
However if you don’t mind switching your sight on between every use and have time to set up before a shot, the EOTech’s 600 – 1000 hour battery life (with alkaline or lithium batteries, respectively) shouldn’t be a problem. The EOTech 512 guzzles battery so much faster due to its more complex display using a laser. Sure, you have to change the batteries more often, but the 1.5 AA batteries of the EOTeach 512 are much cheaper and easier to find than the Aimpoint PRO 3V batteries, so EOTech wins on that point at least.
Field of View Differences
Field of view also differs between the models, although both optics feature unlimited eye relief, are parallax free and can be used with two eyes open. However the round and bulky design of the Aimpoint PRO can be quite limiting to the field of view, where as the EOTech 512’s square design allows for a wider field of view and it blends seamlessly with our eye’s natural field of view so that use with both eyes open is smoother. Additionally the glass used in EOTech lenses is clearer, giving them the edge in this category.
Dot Brightness Controls
With just one control for dot brightness, which switches the sight off when turned all the way down, the Aimpoint PRO wins on ease of use, though the EOTeach 512 has a nifty feature where if turned on using the “up” (brightness) button, it will stay on for 4 hours before shutting itself off, but if turned on with the down button, it will stay on for 8 hours. The layout of the EOTech 512 display is known for fast and reliable target acquisition which is its own win for ease of use, so the two models tie on this point.
Which Sight is More Durable?
When it comes to environmental settings and durability, Aimpoint PRO takes the lead again. Firstly, the Aimpoint PRO boasts night vision compatibility where the EOTech 512 does not. Secondly, while both weapons are made to withstand military operations, the Aimpoint PRO has a better reputation for sturdiness, has been tested against a range of chemicals, is shock proof, and can function in a wider range of temperatures than the EOTech. Both optics are waterproof to some degree, however the EOTech is only resistant down to 10 feet, whereas the Aimpoint has no problem delving down to 150 feet, taking another obvious win, if a highly waterproof sight is what you require.
Finally, if we take a look at versatility we find that the EOTech 512 is only well suited to two weapons, an AR 15 or a shotgun, where as the Aimpoint PRO can be calibrated to any short range device, so if you’re looking for a sight that is compatible with multiple weapons, the Aimpoint should better serve your needs.
Overall, the Aimpoint PRO has taken the lead in more categories, which makes adds up as the average price for the sight iOS higher than that of the EOTech512. If you are willing to splash a little extra on your sight to have a more durable optic who’s battery will never let you down or if you require a waterproof optic or night vision compatibility, then it makes sense to grab yourself an Aimpoint PRO. This sight will perform well in all weather conditions making it a great choice for hunters, however it’s performance in extremes is best suited to military operation use, which it sees worldwide.
If your primary values are a wider field of view, greater precision from your reticle along with a preferred reticle design over a hard-to-find red dot, particularly if affordability is a key factor, then the EOTech 512 will suit your needs perfectly. The EOTech 512 sees a lot of military action and has a good reputation in this regard. It is most notable for speedy target acquisition which is also key for hunters.
At the end of the day, both sights have a lot going for them and both sights are very capable. A big part of your choice will boil down to personal preference, so if at all possible, its best to get you your hands on both of them to test them out before making a firm choice. You may find that one handy little feature is a tipping point for you, but for us, it’s hard to fall on either side of this debate without knowing the priorities driving the purchase.
There’s no question that Aimpoint has set the industry standard for red dot sights, so buying one is a no-brainer.
What’s the difference and which Aimpoint sight should you go for?
Sight With Mount
Sight Without Mount
Straight off the bat, it’s easy to see that the T1 and T2 seems almost identical to the H1 and H2, with exception to a pretty noticeable price hike, so let’s focus on the finer details that really set the T series apart from the H series. First and foremost, the H series was designed with civilians in mind, whereas T1 and T2 were designed primarily for military use.
The T series can go about five times as deep in water and is also designed to be able to work at night and in extreme brightness, with 4 night settings, 7 daylight settings and 1 extreme brightness setting (for use with laser protection glasses or in bright desert sunlight).
On the other hand, the H1 and H2 sights have 12 settings for use in daylight and low light settings. Though that is the same number of light settings on both the T1/T2 and H1/H2, on the H series the settings are more condensed and so will allow for finer adjustments in daylight. This certainly makes up for the lack of brightness settings at the two extremes of the spectrum.
The only other key difference between the T1/T2 and the H1/H2 is the working temperature range. Whilst the T series can withstand temperatures ranging from -45C to 71C (-49F to 160F), the H series can take marginally less at -30C to 60C (-20F to 140F).
Whilst most of you probably won’t be taking yourself or your equipment to either of those extremes, if you think you might be, it could be worth opting for either the T1 or the T2 just for that additional peace of mind.
When Aimpoint released the second generation for their Micro series, there was a lot of question about the changes and whether they were worth upgrading for. Though the changes made aren’t all that obvious, the subtle upgrades are definitely something to consider before writing off the T2 or H2 completely.
Perhaps the most obvious change made was to the sight housing. With the T1 and H1, the elevation knob was exposed, putting it at risk of damage, whereas with the T2 and H2, the elevation knob is built into the body, making far more protected and giving it a sleeker appearance.
Another appearance change made was with the lens caps. Both the T1 and the H1 came with a ‘bikini’ style lens cap which, whilst extremely lightweight and cheap to replace, is also very easy to lose and somewhat inconvenient to carry around when not on the sight itself.
By comparison, the T2 and the H2 both come with flip covers fitted; the T2 with a transparent back and black front, and the H2 with both a transparent back and front (meaning you could theoretically use it with both the lens caps still on).
Now whilst the flip covers certainly provide better protection than the ‘bikini’ style covers, they also create additional weight and length (an extra 6mm) meaning that if you choose to use a magnifier, it would have to sit further back, potentially affecting the balance of weight and subsequently your experience shooting. Having said that, the flip covers are removable if you did decide to use a magnifier.
The rest of the changes made are far more subtle, but still have a noticeable effect on user experience. Firstly, the brightness adjustment knob has much smoother turning with far more pronounced clicks at each setting. Though this wasn’t something people really complained about with the 1st gen. sights, it is a much-welcomed upgrade in the 2nd gen. sights.
Another subtle change made in the H2 and T2 sights is that they have a much more natural and life-like appearance with increased contrast versus the H1/T1 sights which had much less contrast and a slightly blue-ish effect to them. This will undoubtedly improve performance, especially when hunting more camouflaged targets or in low lighting. This is mostly down to the new reflective coatings that improve light transmission.
One key difference between the Aimpoint H1/T1 and the Aimpoint H2/T2 is the options available. Both the H1 and T1 sights are available in ether 2 MOA (minutes of angle) or 4 MOA, whereas the H2 and T2 sights are only available in 2 MOA. Obviously, this doesn’t make a difference if you prefer to use 2 MOA but is definitely something worth considering if you prefer using 4 MOA.
Aimpoint also fixed an issue that users experienced when using the H1 or T1 sights with a magnifier. Though there were no issues with the red dot normally, when using a magnifier the dot distorted slightly, making precise aiming much more difficult. This has been completely rectified with the H2 and T2 sights and the red dot is as high quality with a magnifier as it is without.
Hopefully the above information will have clarified things a little bit for you, but if you’re still wondering what you should do, fear not! All will be revealed.
If you don’t have a sight at all, the obvious choice would be to go for the 2nd gen. H2 or T2, but as explained earlier, though the changes made in the 2nd generation were good, they’re not the be-all and end-all, so if you were on a tighter budget, buying the T1 or H1 could save you a pretty penny that could be later spent on ammunition.
If you are going to be doing more specialist hunting (such as in the deep sea or at night) then either the T1 or the T2 would be ideal for you. The increased cost is a price worth paying for greater versatility in harsher environments.
However, if you know that you’re only going to hunt on dry land and during the day, there’s no point splashing the extra cash when the H1 or the H2 are of an equally high quality.
If you’ve already got a T1 or an H1 and it’s working well for you, there’s no real need to upgrade to the 2nd gen. unless you really want to, as the subtle changes made to the T2 and H2 sights, whilst absolutely great, aren’t going to make or break your hunting experience.
If you were dead set on upgrading from a T1/H1 to a T2/H2 micro sight, you could probably find quite a good deal, as you would only need to buy the sight itself and not the mount, as all Aimpoint micro sights use the exact same mount, meaning you would only need one (unless, of course, you were planning on using both sights at the same time).
Hopefully, this article has clarified a few things about the differences between the various Aimpoint Micro sights and has helped outline a few of your options when it comes to deciding which sight to get. So with that, happy shopping and happy hunting!
*prices taken from Amazon USA and accurate at time of writing.