As nearly everyone knows, Aimpoint is the industry standard for the ubiquitous red dot reflex optic be it micro or full-sized red dots. Battery life is nothing short of amazing as is their reliability and robustness. When you buy an Aimpoint sight, the only thing you need to concern yourself with is dot size and form factor, everything else is a given and those are the facts. Over the years, the value of the red dot reflex sight has, like the proverbial chicken, come home to roost. Company after company has entered the very lucrative market but at a price point that was totally ignored by Aimpoint. Very experienced optic centric companies like Bushnell, Burris, Leupold Stevens, Weaver and several others have red dot products they placed in the $200 to $400 range. They don’t give much up to Aimpoint, but are far more wallet friendly. So, the consumer is faced with rationalizing the cost to benefit of 80 feet of depth tolerance and 30,000 to 50,000 hours of battery life with a 1 meter for 30 minutes depth tolerance and 3,000 hours of battery life. A decision translating to save or forego an average of $300 – $400. As a business, Aimpoint had to do something to get a foothold in that mid-price space without running the risk of cannibalizing sales of its premium product, so in October, 2014 Aimpoint announced the Aimpoint Carbine Optic or ACO.
The ACO delivers the quality and most of the performance available from Aimpoint’s higher end products, at a selling price of $393. What are you the consumer giving up? Three things; battery life is reduced from 50,000 hours to 1 year; night vision compatibility is absent; and water resistance goes from 80 feet to 3 feet indefinitely. Contrast what you give up with a potential savings of $400 and you begin to see tons of value.
Aimpoint’s ACO still faces stiff competition but at least the company has entered the game, a game it could very well win with the Aimpoint Carbine Optic.