Back in January 0f 2011, Aimpoint came out with a new weapons sight system to market to their law enforcement customers. Named the Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO), the new sight expands on the company’s already proven designs and focuses these features into a no frills optic. The PRO comes in a package that is ready for deployment on an law enforcement officers weapon. Now that it is available to the civilian market, it makes for a great “do all” red dot sight for any shooter wanting to outfit their carbine, shotgun, or sub-gun.
For shooters that are wanting to get themselves a red dot optic, I would have to say that this is probably the best bang for the buck this year. Pricing from popular on-line retailers, such as SportOptics, usually put the optic somewhere in the $400 price range with free shipping. Features that make this optic a great buy for any shooter include:
- Always ready – always on The PRO boasts a 3 year battery life allowing the shooter to leave the optic turned on so that it is always ready. No need to fumble with switches when something goes bump in the night. No need for a patrolman to have to remember to turn his sight on before he deploys his weapon. Always ready, always on.
- 2 minitue of angle red dot gives the shooter a precise aiming point for accurate target engagement at all distances. In most situations, a threat will not present a “full frontal” target for us to aim at. A threat is trying to shoot from behind cover just as you are, so having a small aiming point ensures us that we can engage a small target such as an extremity hanging out from a door jam. Add the distance of a large high school hallway, or the large open space of a warehouse and you can imagine how a large dot would make life difficult.
- Threaded front lens for adding an Anti Reflective Devise (ARD) if the mission dictates you need it, or for the tacti-cool guys that just need to look hard core.
- Recessed objective lens helps prevent against impact damage, fingerprints, and scratches.
- Front and rear flip covers are included with the sight to keep the lenses clean.
- Transparent rear flip cover that allows use of the sight in an emergency, even if the front cover is closed. If you are shooting with both eyes open you can deploy the sight with the front lens cap down.
- QRP mount incorporates a torque-limiting twist knob that provides the correct level of pressure on the rail while completely eliminating the possibility of over-tightening. The mount clicks once the proper torque level is achieved. It’s a “grunt proof” mounting system.
- Removable spacer that allows the sight to be used on a shotgun as well as sub-machine guns.
- Hard anodized aluminum alloy housing that is extremely rugged.
The PRO is compatible with all generations of night vision devises, and can be used with an Aimpoint 3x magnifier. It is also waterproof down to 15o ft for those really deep puddles LEO may experience (I kid, I kid).
Initial impressions of the PRO is that it’s a complete shooting package. Opening the box, the PRO is ready to be mounted to an AR style rifle. The scope already has the QRP mount on it with the spacer installed. The caps are already on the scope. All the shooter has to do is put the battery into the unit, mount it up and they are ready to shoot.
Mounting is very simple since the mount comes pre-installed on the scope. Take the PRO out of the box and place it on the rifle. Push forward on the optic making sure that the recoil lug is making contact with the rail system. Next we tighten the thumb screw with out little paws until the thumbscrew clicks. Once it clicks we know that the mount has achieved the correct tension. Pretty grunt proof.
Next we bore sight the optic so that we know we will be on paper once we get to the range. Click adjustments are 1/2″ at 100 yards. I did a 100 yard zero.
Now for the fun stuff……..a little range T&E:
The 2 MOA dot is really nice. I was able to zero at 100 yards very easily. The intensity of the LED is adjustable from one extreme to the other. I had no problem seeing it during the day at the range or running around my house. The first three click are night vision settings.
Running 9 hole drills, I found that the PRO is very easy to shoot with from alternate shooting positions. Having no parallex in the optic means that where ever I put the dot is where I am going to hit, I don’t have to have my head a certain distance for the scope.
Being able to fire the optic and deploy the weapon effectively with the caps closed is pretty neat. I can see how useful this feature would be in certain instances: a patrolman exiting his vehicle in the heat of the moment doesn’t have to immediately flip the caps up to deploy the weapon. If something goes bump in the night and I grab my carbine, you wouldn’t have to flip the caps up.
For some reason I feel like I have to address the issue that people find with the “tube style” red dot sights. Using the sight with both eyes open and superimposing the dot on the target vs trying to use the dot as an aiming point is the how the optic is intended to be used. When used properly, I had no issue with accuracy, meaning between 0-100 yards and I was able to put rounds on target consistently. In terms of precision, I was able consistently hold between 1-1.5 moa when shooting from the supported prone position.
In a nut shell, the PRO is a great purchase for any shooter. It’s rugged, reliable, and is ready to deploy right out of the box. If you are looking at scoping out your AR platform with a red dot optic, this is a great route to go.