Why I Choose Aimpoint

These Aimpoints are over a decade old and have been treated in the worst ways. Despite their external appearance, they still hold zero and work like new.

Loyal readers of MSW and the old 10-8 Forums know that Hilton and I have been longtime fans of Aimpoint red dot sights. Having seen all kinds of optics show up in classes and on the range, along with how they perform through training cycles consisting of fairly high round counts, Aimpoint really has set themselves apart from the rest in terms of reliability and durability. The photo above is of two of about a dozen sights that have been through the wringer for nearly a decade. Attached to agency MP-5 submachine guns, these sights were banged in and out of racks, dropped optic first onto concrete, and abused by patrolmen in just about every way imaginable day in and out. Regardless, they still hold zero to this day and windage and elevation adjustments are accurate. Battery life on the ML2 model is good; we simply change out the DL 1/3N battery once a year. The Comp M4 model lasts even longer at approximately 9 years of use on a single AA battery. Wrap your mind around this: the estimated run time of the Comp M4 exceeds the shelf life of the typical AA battery.

Aimpoint’s new Micro T2 is an excellent choice for a compact and lightweight setup, but the larger windowed Comp series optics are still my favorite.

I have had poor experiences with various EOTech models I have seen students bring to the range, though the newer XPS models appear to be more rugged. There are some advantages to the holographic reticle the EOTech offers, but the auto shut-off feature is a no-go for me.

This entry was posted in AR15/M4, Gear, Long Guns by Tim Lau. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tim Lau

Tim Lau has over a decade of experience as an end user, armorer and instructor. He has worked for several well known firearms training organizations, and holds multiple firearms instructor certifications. He owns and operates 10-8 Consulting, LLC, which provides industry consulting services as well as marksmanship and specialized firearms training to qualified civilian, law enforcement and military personnel.

16 thoughts on “Why I Choose Aimpoint

  1. I just realized that my Original Aimpoint is ten years old.
    I ran it on my Colt 6920 Semi Auto. While at Gunsite for a week I really put it through hard use. Close, intermediate and at distance to 600 yards it worked extremely well.

    No muzzle clutter to confound me. Put the dot on the target and press the trigger.

    EOTECH has gotten better with redesign. Battery life etc.. However I am stuck on Aimpoint.

    It rides around in the trunks of police cars in extreme weather here in RI. No issues with battery life.

    A firearms instructor suggested some knock off airsoft scope for Police use. Guys bought into this BS. I was aghast. During a week of hard training the knock offs fell to the side. Right out of the gate.

    Go with an Aimpoint.

    Good article Tim.

  2. I have a company issued (EOTech) 552 that is over 10 years old. It hasn’t yet failed and holds zero, but I have. seen others acquired at the same time that haven’t been so reliable with a lot less use.

  3. Definitely Aimpoint all the way. I am also a fan of the larger M/ML series comps. They have never failed me. We run the micros on our swat rifles and have for about 2 years now without fail. The departments Eotech’s on the 130+ patrol rifles are failing here and there but steadily being replaced with the PRO. Patrol rifles don’t see the abuse that the swat rifles do. Instead of treating it like an optic most treat them like a battery powered hammer atop their Commando. Therefor the Eotech’s we used to have atop the shorties failed miserably and fast. About 19 went down in the span of a couple of months. We’ve been Aimpoint all the way since without any issues. With the Eo’s we had everything from constant loss of zero on some, dimming of the dot, shutting off prematurely, and even the mother board falling out of the housing and wedging itself solidly between the front and rear glass on one. Needless to say since we transferred to the M4’s then the micros over the last 6 years we have had literally no issues. Aimpoint has been my favorite red dot since the 80’s and I’ll never change. That is unless Cormac and DB leave the company 😉

  4. Ran both for along time on personal rifles and work guns. We still have 40 eotechs in service that are 10+ years old aswell. Our guys can run what ever they want now thanks to mil-surplus. Super duper tier 1 units still use eotechs… Super duper tier 1 instructors still use eotechs… I have seen both fail, fog up, loose zero…exc. They are made by man and will fail… Pros and cons to both… but, haters going to hate.

    • I have no dog in the brand name fight except that I require reliability. A six or eight hour auto shutoff means a patrol officer cant make it through a shift without the optic turning itself off. The older 552s had as high as 50% failure rate in some of those “super duper” units. Aimpoints can fail as well, but at a much lower rate in my experience. And over the past decade plus, I have seen a “few” of both brands, among others.

      As for the EOTechs, I hear the XPS models are better than the legacy models in terms of durability. Use what you want, and if you’re happy with it, rock on. But for those on the fence, do your own research with trusted and vetted sources and decide accordingly.

      • Another interesting thing about the “super duper” units. When you ask them what they do when the EoTech goes down, they’ll reply “I go to the cage and get a new one”, or “I switch to the PEQ”. This doesn’t translate well for most civilian shooters, LE and otherwise.
        I guess the Aimpoint V EoTech is the next evolution in 9mm v .45, or some of the guys that talk about having a Kimber M1911 with 30k flawless rounds through it. If it works good for you, and you like it, drive on.

      • Ain’t hating Bubble. I still like Eotech’s and I personally have had no issues with any that I have used. My favorite Eotech was the 552.D1 with the single 1 moa dot. However like Tim said, reliability is a definite factor when you have to pull the rifle outta the bag/rifle rack and go to work. We have luckily experienced little to no issues with the Aimpoints for years where as the Eotech’s were failing left and right. We’ve had issues right outta the box with them and their customer service has been lacking for years. I believe it goes to show that when your duty rifle gets ran hard and fast you will need a reliable optic that you don’t have to worry about every time you pick up the gun. I don’t have to worry with my Aimpoints. We constantly have issues with the patrol optics and some are due to misuse or lack of proper care but the majority are from failed equipment that has to be repaired or replaced by Eotech. I’m not saying Eotech isn’t a viable option for a combat optic, it just won’t be an option I will consider from past issues.

  5. I’ve been using Aimpoints for over 10 years now. Never had one fail on me. Not once. They’ve been mounted on everything from .308 rifles to 9mm SMG’s, been through thousands of rounds and beat up in some rough country.

    I can’t say I’ve ever had as much luck with EoTech. Owned upwards of 6 of them at one time. But after taking my first carbine class with a 553 model mounted on an Ultimak gas tube on my 74, it took a dump on me midway through the course and never turned on again. The instructor politely informed me that EoTech’s aren’t designed to handle heat very well, and to get an Aimpoint instead. Slapped one of those on there, and have never had a problem since.

  6. Being the newest guy on the Team in Afghanistan, there were no serviceable EOTechs available. I received an M68; aka Aimpoint M3 and never looked back. That was 2002 and I never had an issue. The EOTechs on the other rifles, there were some concerns. A few fellas switched back to the Aimpoints.

    When you go out on an extended patrol, there is no Supply Sergeant, no cage, no Arms Room. The Aimpoints didn’t let us down.

    I’ve brought that experience back home to the civilian job and my personal equipment. Aimpoint all the way.

  7. Big fan of the indestructible Aimpoint micro series also. I do wish they would bring back the R1 version back for the non-operator non-frogman types like me.

  8. I’m no operator and I’ve never fired a round through a gun with an Eotech, Looking through them the dot/circle always looked fuzzy. The guy who owned it said that was normal. I looked great through the 3x magnifier. Is that really how they are supposed to look?

    • The EOTech reticles are typically pretty clear but if you have an astigmatism or other eye issues, they can appear fuzzy.

  9. Ahh the Ford vs Chevy, Mac vs PC……Aimpoint vs Eotech blog posts that are nothing but Link bait to drive hits/ad revenue IMHO.

    There Internet was built for this kind of stuff. The Internet has a better memory than an elephant.

    Eotech’s had some issues. They were battery boxes that tended to come apart and circuit boards that drained batteries pretty quick.

    Those issues were resolved at least 3 years ago, probably longer. However the Internet never forgets. If you have an old Eotech that works fine and its using the old battery box or if its using less than the “Revision F” electronics, Eotech will replace the parts for free, even if its 8 years old and working fine. I know of NO problems with Eotech’s that have the new battery box and Revision F electronics or newer.

    Another Internet Lore is that the XPS line moved to a cross position battery to fix the battery issues. Simply not true. The XPS/EXPS line moved to a cross position battery to save RAIL SPACE, to make room for magnifies, NV and such. The battery issues of older models were fixed with a new battery box….end of story. Don’t believe that….then why did Eotech just release to new Eotech’s with the inline battery boxes (518 and 558)??? Because the battery box problems was fixed 3+ years ago.

    IMHO a brand new Eotech is as tough as a new Aimpoint. It would take some extreme damage to figure out if one was tougher than the other. Yes there is a that Larry Vickers torture test for the Aim Point Micro, and there is a XPS one as well floating around on the Internet. There is also the Eotech with a bullet hole in the glass and its still works that they take to shot show and other places…is there one of those for an Aimpoint??

    IMHO a brand new Eotech (for a few years now) is just as reliable as a brand new Aimpoint. All the “Internet” stories about Eotech problems are either old or with Eotech’s that are old and have not been fixed with the new battery box and Revision F electronics. Get them fixed for free.

    That said you should make your choice on one of the following reasons as I truly believe that Eotech and Aimpoint are equal on toughness and reliability in 2015…

    The Aimpoint has better battery life, by a crazy amount and no auto shut-off.

    The Aimpoint has a simpler reticle.

    The Aimpoint be submerged to 150 feet vs 30 for the Eotech (for you Navy Seals in the crowd).

    The Aimpoint Micro is lighter than anything Eotech has to offer if weight is a big concern.

    The Eotech has a bigger, clearer FOV that is not a tube. With both eyes open the edges of the Eotech blur away more, especially compared to the larger Aimpoints like the M4 which blocks a lot of view.

    The Eotech reticle, while more busy, is way more functional and faster. (Look up the features). The 1 MOA dot is better for long range. Try shooting a soda can with both at 200m.

    The Eotech does not give off either a glare or a red tint on the from of it like the Aimpoint does.

    The Eotech has short batter life, but uses CR-123 which at least for me is in every light I own. Much easier to carry 1 battery type.

    The Eotech is made in America by Americans.

    Based on that list you should make you decision. Personally I prefer Eotech’s because of the reticle and the FOV. I wish Eotech’s had the battery life a Comp M4. Both are not only great companies but the both make great products.

    • While the EOTech fixes may be free, they still need to be fixed. A lone user sending in one optic for updating or keeping on top of battery compartment issues is not that huge a deal, it does become a huge deal when you have 50, 100, or 500 optics issued out to a department. History is history, and it won’t go away. EOTech has had a history of failure, and it will take an equally long period of success with their current designs and revisions to get everyone to forgive or forget their past. Aimpoint has its ardent followers thanks to a strong service record free of widespread failure.

      • The free fixes are for now old Eotech’s. It was the 2009/10 models that had all the issues, and only the 5xx series.

        To date, besides average electronic gadget fail rates of any device, the XPS line has not had anywhere near the same issues that were reported with those older models.

        Why can’t these departments send in 10 at a time? I mean if their rifles had issues would they not send them in for a free fix to Colt or whomever they got them from?

        You also speak as if Aimpoint’s never had issues. When I was in the Army, our unit had lots of issues with the M68’s (Comp M2) with knobs free spinning or breaking off. We also had to constantly re-zero them. Another issue was that the dot would stick to one side and no amount of adjustment would move it. We had to remove the battery to fix that issue.

        Aim point like Eotech, when on to fix those issues.

    • I won’t respond to the whole post as I do LE Pro staff work for Aimpoint and don’t want to start a pissing contest on MSW. The only thing I wanted to address is what seemed like a question about whether Aimpoint has “a” sight with a bullet hole in it. We don’t have “one”. We have a whole crap load of sights with bullet holes, burned, parts of tubes ground off from sliding on asphalt while attached to a police motorcycle, blown up and just about everything else…..and they all still work. My personal Aimpoint Comp M4 that is not something they gave me but I own has been thrown across concrete or asphalt parking lots 1000 times and is still on and holds zero.

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