In a Nutshell
Trijicon tries to put out a worthwhile reflex sight and does, in a word, okay. However, the optics and the muddy adjustments make you wonder if your money may have been better spent elsewhere.
Our Rating: 6.8 / 10
- Accuracy: 8.5
- Features: 6
- Optics: 5.5
- Construction Quality: 8
- Value: 6
What’s the Scope?
A lightweight patrol rifle optic, the Trijicon MRO is intended to keep you covered in close quarters situations.
|Weight||4.1oz (red/green dot) / 5.0oz (MRO Patrol)|
|Size (LxWxH in mm)||66x43x51 (red/green dot, without mount) / 91x46x51 (MRO Patrol)|
|Waterproof Depth||30m (100 ft)|
|Night Vision||Yes (2 night vision settings)|
|Battery Life||5 years of continuous use at setting 3, 4 days at setting 6. Shorter in extreme temperatures.|
|Lens Cover Type||None (red/green dot) / Tenebraex integrated (MRO Patrol)|
|Approximate Cost||$600 or less (red/green dot) / $800 or less (MRO Patrol)|
- Small and lightweight, the MRO will stay out of your way
- Durable, it should hold up to a lot of wear and tear
- Easy to use and with ambidextrous brightness, the MRO is pretty idiot-proof
- Blurry magnification can make things harder than they need to be
- Lack of true 1x magnification can be jarring and unpleasant
- Murky and imprecise adjustments make sighting in a chore
- Get red streaks in optic from rear light is really disappointing
Sometimes, something is just thoroughly underwhelming. This is precisely what we found to be the case in our experience with the Trijicon MRO series, spanning the Red Dot, the Green Dot, and the Patrol. The long and short of it is that if you’re looking for a high-quality sight that won’t give you much trouble, this is probably not the place to start; you’d have better luck opting for a Vortex, EOTech, or Burris in the same (or lesser) price range. While some people absolutely love this sight series, I haven’t had the same experience, and my research has led me to believe that there are many people who have shared my thoughts.
So, looking through the lens on all of them, you’ll immediately come to notice a lot of the problems that plague this sight. The ugly blue-tinted glass reveals an equally ugly truth: these sights’ optics just aren’t great. The coating on the lens is a little lacking, and there’s a slight edge distortion toward the outer part of the lens. Of course, you can’t really expect expert-level glass seating in this price range, but there’s still quite a bit to be desired here. On the other hand, some might like the fact that the lens has a fairly large objective diameter. I’m not really one of them, in this case. The sight is also rather plainly not a true 1x optic, and the incongruence between the optic and the real world around it is actually a little jarring. To top all of this off, the magnification is, plainly, a little blurry.
On the bright side, the dot on this sight is fairly crisp across all models, which makes target acquisition pretty simple. Several brightness settings also carry this model forward, giving you a variety of illuminations set for a variety of different ambient lightings. The negative side is that light from behind will actually result in red streaks showing up in the lens.
This can sort of distraction and lack of clarity can prove fatal in a split-second situation, so this is a little bit of an unacceptable misstep. For people who are on patrol or in combat situations, this sight is a no-go since any light to your rear will pretty much slow you down at best, incapacitate you at worst. The MRO Patrol aims to alleviate this a little bit with an ARD Kill Flash to eliminate glare, but it doesn’t help as much as one might like in our experience.
The fact that the brightness settings are ambidextrous is sure to make all users happy, and in general, the unit is fairly easy to use. This ease of use, however, doesn’t so much extend to its adjustments. While sighting in on this thing is fairly quick, both the initial configuration and future windage/elevation adjustments are hindered by the fact that the sight’s adjustments just aren’t as precise or positive as one would hope. In fact, they’re a little muddy and hard to work with. Where other optics may offer a more definite and positive adjustment experience, this one simply doesn’t.
The battery life on this sight is nice, at least, offering up to 5 years of use off of one battery. Of course, people who use sights know that the best-case scenario often isn’t how things play out in the real world. But at any rate, the Trijicon MRO is efficient. Speaking of long term, Trijicon offers a fairly nice warranty. The MRO’s optics and structure are warrantied for the lifetime of the original owner, and the electronics are warrantied for five years from the date of manufacture under normal circumstances. It doesn’t cover repairs or replacements in the case of accidents or improper service, though, and it doesn’t seem to be transferable. So while it’s not as nice as, say, Leupold or Vortex’s warranty, there is a reasonable amount of certainty and security.
Also, in terms of overall build quality, the MRO series is well put-together, to Trijicon’s credit. It’s lightweight and small, so it stays out of your way when shooting and looks handsome and svelte when you’re not. It’s also super durable and will stand up to a pretty solid amount of wear and tear, and it holds zero like no other. All of this in addition to standard waterproofing, shock-proofing, and fog-proofing means that your optic should easily stand the test of time. The MRO Patrol offers a quick release mount for easy attachment and detachment for when it comes time to store and clean, and also includes integrated lens covers.
The MRO leaves a lot to be desired for tactical shooters or people who expect to be in high-stress situations, but for competition shooters, it does offer accuracy, durability, a nice warranty, and a nice lightweight reflex optic option.
Should You Buy It?
If you expect to use this for self-defense, then No, I wouldn’t buy something from this series. On the other hand, they’re a moderately priced reflex series that’s lightweight and accurate, so if you’re a competitive shooter, it might be worth at least checking out at a local reseller. That said, I think there’s probably a better option for you in your price range.
The Trijicon MRO isn’t a well-priced optic series for what it provides and is a little expensive in our opinion. When you consider the fact that in terms of Achille’s heels, it defies mythology in not having only one and anatomy in not only having two, but in fact has several weak points between the disappointing adjustments, the ghosting in the optic from rear light, lens distortion, and blurry magnification, the MRO series causes you to scratch your head about why it costs anywhere from 600 to 800 dollars at retail price. If you’re looking for a solid optic, I’d look elsewhere.