Swedish optics manufacturer Aimpoint has long been the leading manufacturer of electronic red dot sight technology, and in fact, the company invented it. Upon its release in 2007, the Aimpoint Micro T1 red dot sight quickly shot to the top of the market and for many years was considered hands down the top micro-red dot sight out there—used by police, military and civilian shooters the world over.
Then in 2014, Aimpoint outdid itself again by releasing the new and improved Aimpoint Micro T2 , which of course came with a slightly higher price tag. The question on many people’s minds though was how the two actually stack up against one another; in a battle of Aimpoint T1 vs T2, is the T2 really that much better?
To help answer this question, we’ll look at the differences between the two products before then giving a quick review of each to help you decide what the right micro-dot red sight for you is. First though, it’s important to look at Aimpoint to help you better understand whether you’re better off with this top end brand or something a bit less expensive.
Aimpoint: Bomb-Proof Optics
The headline is no joke, as Aimpoint optics are designed to handle military and police purposes, meaning they need to be able to take a beating and still keep working perfectly. All Aimpoint products are virtually guaranteed to be the most durable you’ll find, easily capable of being dropped, hit or otherwise hit with minimal to no impact to the sight.
Like most quality optics, the Micro T1 and T2 are fully waterproof. However, unlike most others, both the T1 and T2 are waterproof to a depth of 25 meters—not that you’re ever to take your gun into water that deep. The T1 and T2 truly are military grade technology, as both are also compatible with any night vision device and feature four different night vision settings.
In terms of image clarity and the brightness of the red dot, Aimpoint again outperforms all other competitors. Still, this is one area where the differences aren’t actually so great, as many people find they can achieve virtually the same results with a much lower priced sight.
As you would expect considering its military-grade design, Aimpoint is really at the highest end of the spectrum in terms of both quality and price. The fact is, if you’re willing to spend over $650 on it, either the T1 or the T2 are pretty much guaranteed to be head and shoulders above any other brand on the market. Of course, if you’d prefer something a bit cheaper, there are plenty of decent lower priced options available, such as the Bushnell TRS-25; but for those who want the best, Aimpoint truly is the king of the micro red dot sight.
Aimpoint T1 vs T2: Analyzing the Differences
In terms of price, there’s actually not that much difference between the Aimpoint Micro T1 and the Micro T2 as you can generally pick up the T2 for only $60-80 more. This leads many people to believe that there’s really no difference between the two, and taking a quick glance at them side by side, you’d probably only notice a few differences.
Housing & Lens Caps
The main differences you’ll immediately notice are the housing and the lens caps. Whereas the T1 features loose bikini caps, the T2 features see-thru flip down caps, which help to better protect the lenses and ensure that you’ll never have to worry about losing the lens cap unlike with the bikini caps. The addition of the lens caps does add about ¼-inch to each end of the sight though, so if you’re using it with a magnifier, it will need to be mounted just slightly forward to allow the front lens cap to flip on and off easily.
In terms of the housing, the T2 has added an additional part at the top that helps to protect the elevation turret. On the T1, the elevation turret is an open knob just like the wind turret on the side. However, on the T2, the elevation turret knob is encased to keep it from accidentally being moved if you bump it. Either way though, the knob doesn’t move that easily due to the protective cap, so it seems this improvement was mostly made with more rugged, military-type purposes in mind. Still, the added housing does add a bit to the overall durability of the T2.
Moving on from the more cosmetic or noticeable differences, one major difference that you wouldn’t notice until using both sights side by side is in the brightness control knob for the red dot. The knob on the T1 works great, but the one on the T2 is still better. When adjusting the knob, it moves much more smoothly and you’ll notice much more of a definite click at each setting to allow for greater control.
Still, where the biggest differences come in is in terms of the picture quality, as the clarity, contrast and brightness are all much better on the T2. These differences become even more noticeable when you’re using a magnifier, as you’ll be able to see a much crisper, clearer dot with the T2. In fact, the red dot typically looks longer, more like a dash, when using a magnifier with the T1, while you’ll always see a perfect red circle when looking through the T2 with a magnifier.
As well, the T2 produces a much clearer, more natural looking image as compared to the image from the T1, which generally has a slightly bluish tint. That being said, the tint is really only noticeable when compared to the T2, as otherwise the T1 still outperforms basically any other red dot sight on the market.
This video does a great job of explaining these differences:
Aimpoint T1 vs T2: Specs and Features
Now that we’ve gone through the differences between the two, it’s time to get into the basic features of these Aimpoint micro red dot sights. Other than the differences listed above, the two sights are virtually identical in almost every other way, so what follows is applicable to both the Micro T1 and T2.
- Mounting. Although the housing is different on the T1 and T2, both sights have the same Picatinny-style base, which not only fits Aimpoint mounts, but also a wide variety of other aftermarket mounts from top brands like Unity Tactical and LaRue. Both sights are also compatible with Aimpoint twist mount magnifiers or most any 3x magnifier, allowing you to hit targets at distance without the need to re-zero in your sight.
- Weight. You don’t have to worry about adding too much extra weight to your weapon with these sights, as both weigh in at just 3 ounces excluding the mount or 3.7 ounces with the Aimpoint mount.
- Battery Life. Although the sights are battery powered, they feature Aimpoint’s patented Advanced Circuit Efficiency Technology (ACET). This technology enables the scopes to operate for up to five years on a single 3V lithium watch battery. That accounts to over 50,000 hours of constant on use, making these the longest lasting, most efficient electronic red dot sights on the market.
- Brightness Settings. Both models feature 8 brightness settings, ranging from low light situations to the extra bright level, which is suitable for bright desert settings or when using laser protection glasses. As well, there are an additional four night vision settings should you ever need them.
- Performance. Despite their tiny size, both the Micro T1 and T2 are built to the same high precision specifications and offer the same outstanding level of performance as Aimpoint’s full size red dot sights. The small size makes them a great choice for a range of weapons, and also makes sure you have enough room to use the sight with a magnifier for distance shooting.
Aimpoint T1 Review
If you happen to have an Aimpoint Micro T1 and are considering trading it in to upgrade to the T2, it’s pretty easy to understand why you’re thinking about it after looking at the differences between the two. While the flip down lens caps and improved housing probably don’t add that much for the average user, at least not enough to justify spending the extra cash, the difference in terms of image quality most definitely does.
However, despite the fact that the T2 outperforms the T1, the differences probably aren’t that big enough for most people to justify spending another $700-800 on upgrading to the T2 when they already have the next best thing lying around at home. On the other hand, if you don’t yet own one and are simply trying to decide which to buy, the T2 is really the only way to go.
Aimpoint T2 Review
It’s probably no surprise that the Aimpoint Micro T2 gets a perfect 5-star rating in our review, as it is simply the best electronic red dot sight on the market today. In fact, it will probably stay that way until the day Aimpoint invents the T3, that is, if they ever find a way to improve upon the nearly perfect T2.
The Aimpoint T2 is such an outstanding scope that it’s the go-to red dot sight of choice for numerous snipers and other military/police personnel. In fact, in November 2015, the FBI announced it would be equipping all of its elite Hostage Rescue Units with the T2.
So, while they may look similar on the outside, in the battle of Aimpoint T1 vs T2, the T2 is the clear winner—even if the T1 still beats every other red dot sight on the market.