Although many avid hunters prefer to mount scopes on their favorite hunting rifles or handguns due to the fact that scopes are specifically designed to magnify the sight picture in order to enable a hunter to precisely place their shot, the fact is that scopes are best suited for shooting at relatively stationary targets at relatively long ranges in open terrain. Thus, in recent years reflex sights have gained considerable popularity among hunters who frequently hunt in dense foliage and/or who hunt game animals that tend be continually on the move due to the fact that quickly acquiring a target with one of these types of sights tends be much easier than it is with a scope. Thus, two very popular “red dot” sights on the market today are the Trijicon Miniature Rifle Optic and the Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic reflex sights.

So, first of all, you should be aware that a reflex sight does not employ a laser and thus, no light is emitted forward of the shooter. Consequently, most “red dot” sights fall into this category due to the fact that they consist of an objective lens with a partial mirror coating which is used to project the reticle from a point behind the objective lens which is then reflected off the back of the objective lens toward the shooter’s eye. However, due to the reflective coating, it should be noted that less light is transmitted through the objective lens than through a clear lens but, in most cases, this is hardly noticeable by the shooter because the reflective lens coating has been tuned to reflect only the wavelength of light emitted by the reticle projection system which is usually an LED.

Trijicon MRO vs. Aimpoint Pro: Ultimate Optic BattleOn the other hand, some reflex sights make use of the ambient light which is gathered by a fiber-optic system while others are supplemented by a tritium beta lamp unit for use in low light conditions. Therefore, because this type of reflex sight requires a wider bandwidth of light in order to project the reticle onto the objective lens, they tend to alter the color of the light passing through the lens coating a bit more than those that employ an LED to generate the reticle. Furthermore, reflex sights are generally available in one of two different types consisting of the “heads up” style which incorporates only one lens mounted in a bezel with the source of the reticle contained in a small box positioned behind and below the lens and thus, they have an entirely different appearance from tube-type reflex sights. Whereas, the other type of reflex sight incorporates a tube with a lens positioned at each end and thus, they appear similar to a scope. In addition, it should be noted that due to their construction, the “heads up” style of reflex sight can usually be mounted lower on the firearm than tube-type reflex sights and therefore, many shooters prefer the “heads up” style over the tube-body style because they are far less bulky and, in many cases, are significantly lighter. Plus, due to the shape of the objective lens, heads up reflex sights generally have a wider field of view than tube-body sights. However, due to their open bodies, the “heads up” type of reflexive sight is theoretically more easily damaged than tube-type reflex sights.

Trijicon MRO vs. Aimpoint Pro: Ultimate Optic BattleTherefore, both the Trijicon MRO sight and the Aimpoint PRO sight feature tube construction and thus, they are often referred to as “red dot” sights. In addition, they have different specifications. However, while comparing specifications is helpful if you know what you are looking at and what you are looking for, specifications alone do not tell the whole story. Thus, you might be wondering how Trijicon MRO and the Aimpoint PRO compare?

Well, first of all, both sights feature aircraft grade aluminum alloy tubular housings. Also, both sights operate on a single lithium watch battery and feature an “always on” multiyear battery life but, according to the manufacturers, the Trijicon MRO features a five year battery life on setting 3 while the Aimpoint PRO features a 3.5 year battery life on setting 7 to 10 and thus, they are very likely have nearly equal battery lives on equal settings. However, the Trijicon MRO features 5 Daylight settings and 2 Night Vision Device settings along with one super-bright setting whereas, the Aimpoint PRO features 6 Daylight settings and 4 Night Vision Device settings. In addition, both sights feature 1X magnification with a 2 MOA red dot reticle and unlimited eye relief but, the Trijicon MRO features a 20.4 mm clear aperture whereas, the Aimpoint PRO features a 23mm clear aperture and thus, the Aimpoint PRO has a slightly wider field of view. In addition, the Trijicon MRO features a 70 MOA adjustment range whereas, the Aimpoint PRO features a 72 MOA adjustment range. Furthermore, although both sights are designed to mount on Picatinny Rails via Weaver-style mounts, as you can see in the chart listed above, the Trijicon MRO sight is approximately half the height of the Aimpoint PRO and, it is also weighs nearly half as much as the Aimpoint PRO.

Trijicon MRO Red Dot Sight

Trijicon MRO-C-2200004 1x25mm Miniature Rifle Optic (MRO)...
  • LARGE VIEWING AREA: Allows faster target acquisition and engagement...
  • ADJUSTABLE BRIGHTNESS SETTINGS: Eight brightness settings with a...
  • EASY-TO-SET ADJUSTERS: Adjusters provide positive-click reticle...
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY GLASS LENSES: Multi-coated lenses provide superior...
  • AIRCRAFT-GRADE ALUMINUM HOUSING: Forged 7075 housing and fully-sealed...

The MRO is arguably the best value in miniature red dot optics in the current market. With more and more civilian shooters getting introduced to night vision, the MRO’s two dedicated NV settings will start seeing more use.The two MOA dot is both bright and crisp enough for close quarters and small and sharp enough for distance shots without obscuring targets. The brightness adjustments are definitive with no slop and the windage and elevation adjustments are accurate and repeatable.

On higher brightness settings, the red ring artifact around the objective can be a little distracting. Also, the LED emitter in the 10 or 11 o’clock position can draw your focal point away from the target.

However, no optic is perfect and each one has to walk a line between price, optical clarity, features and ruggedness. The MRO performs well in every category.

  • Red ring/halo on higher brightnesses
  • Emitter at 11 o’clock position can be distracting
  • Very slight bluish glass tint
  • Price – sub $500
  • Performance – Trijicon
  • Quality – Trijicon

Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic)

Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer...
  • Designed to deliver premium performance under harsh conditions
  • 2 MOA dot with 4 Night and 6 Daylight brightness settings
  • Up to 3 years of continuous operation using one DL1/3N battery...
  • Front and rear flip-up lens covers included; In-service and battery...

The Aimpoint PRO is a fantastic optic that won’t let you down, whether you’re guarding your home, out on patrol, or shooting a competition. I’d happily give it five stars if it weighed a bit less and if that mount knob — as much as I love the torque-limiting feature and the fact that it can be installed and removed without tools — was either smaller or removable. I’d also prefer it if there was no color shift of the background when looking through the sight, though I understand there are reasons for tinting lenses to enhance contrast and such. A very strong four stars here overall.

  • The Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic offers you with lots of features that you do not find on a traditional rifle optic.
  • The optics designed for professionals with quality in mind when it comes to the lenses and all.
  • You can leave the optic turned on for three years without replacing the battery, as it is an energy saver and economically friendly saving you money from constantly buying batteries that have run down.
  • The optic is suitable for any type of emergency combats as you are able to use the lens even while the covers in place. It comes with a see through design, which allows you to observe the target without you removing the covering of the lens.
  • The optic is affordable with all the features it has to offer, especially for professionals who want the best in optic to provide them with a fully functional rifle.
  • The optic comes with a large tube that helps to make an acquisition easier.
  • The only negative result is the knob that is huge, but not a major problem while aiming at targets.


Although both the Trijicon Miniature Rifle Optic and the Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic were specifically designed to mate with AR-15 platform rifles, they are not AR-15 specific and thus, both sights are compatible with any type of rifle. However, because they were both specifically designed with the AR-15 platform in mind, they are especially well suited for law enforcement use as well as for hunters who use AR-15 style rifles for hunting fast moving game species at relatively close ranges as well as for hunters who use AR-15 style rifles for hunting game in dense foliage where quick acquisition of the target is a must have feature. Thus, although they both have advantages and disadvantages over the other, either sight is an excellent choice for shooters who have a need for a miniature reflex sight.