Aimpoint’s new Patrol Rifle Optic offers fast and precise target acquisition
Story and photos by Dr. Martin D. Topper Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Having worked in law enforcement, I can testify that equipment issued to the field takes a real beating. When the balloon goes up, an officer’s first concern is to stay on top of the action. If a sight accidently strikes an obstacle, it must survive the blow and hold its zero. That’s why iron sights for tactical guns often have protective steel “ears.”
Second, a sight used on patrol also has to be both fast and precise. Most shots taken by law enforcement officers are well within 50 yards, but it’s not out of the question for a policeman or special agent to encounter a threat at distances beyond 100 yards. At longer distances, an optic with a 4 minute of angle (MOA) dot does not provide a sufficiently precise aiming point to ensure the bullet will hit its mark.
When you add in the effects of wind and the fact that most patrol rifles shoot groups that are 2 to 3 inches, you can’t shoot very precisely with a dot that’s much bigger than 2 MOA. On the other hand, the dot can’t be so small that it’s difficult to pick up against the target. A 1 MOA dot can easily get lost at CQB distances, unless there are other parts of the reticle that frame close-in targets.
Last, but not least, a law enforcement optic has to have a wide field of view, and it must be useable with both eyes open. During a critical incident, an officer must clearly see both the target and its surroundings. Situational awareness is maximized with sights that have 1x magnification. Awareness can be maintained with a 2- to -3x sight, but it takes a great deal of practice to keep both eyes open while using a magnifying optic. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Â There are a lot of really good reflex sights out there, but only a small handful meet all three of these requirements. One company that has done a good job of balancing these needs is Aimpoint with its new Patrol Rifle Optic, or PRO. This optic is very rugged. It’s based on the battle-proven technology of Aimpoint’s CompM3 sight. Sights used by the military get a lot of hard use, and Aimpoint has a good reputation for durability. The PRO’s rugged, hard-anodized, 30mm main tube can take a beating, and this sight also has a chloroprene rubber coating that cushions impacts and helps make it waterproof to 150 feet.
Because it’s very similar to a CompM3, the PRO has all of the features one expects from an Aimpoint military tactical sight.
NOTE: This excerpt ran in a recent issue of Gun World magazine.