Red dot sights are simple machines. I have thought that for years… yet the cost of a red dot can range from $20 bucks all the way to $800 dollars. That’s a huge price variance. The tech is not rocket science, yet we still pay out the nose to get a “combat grade” optic. The typical names that spring up when discussing a quality dot are Aimpoint, Aimpoint, and Aimpoint. We know that Aimpoint makes a quality product, but they are not the only game in town… yet they are the most often recommended for a fighting rifle by far. Do we really need to drop $400 to get a decent product? I can buy far more complex machines for $400 dollars with far more moving parts made to high standards of quality… yet a “fit for fighting” Aimpoint with just a handful of moving parts and a small electronics package manages to rip that cash out of my pocket for their cheapest base model… I don’t like it.
So I began to explore options. I have been looking at mid-tier options for the average man for a few years now. We all want quality gear at a budget. The key is finding the balance between budget and quality that could displace Aimpoint as the only relevant option for the prepared citizen.
First world nations overseas have their own optical firms. Japan has a large industry of sport optic manufacturers stemming form their first world quality control and savvy technical manufacturing sector. Korea is another country with first-rate manufacturing and they too need to equip their military with hard use components. DI Optical has been providing the South Korean military with their own brand of optical sighting devices, which appear to primarily center on red dot optics. This brand is fairly new to our shores, and I had contacted DI Optical for possible review but never heard back. I put it on my want list and the day came where I could finally plunk down the $229 for the DIO RV1.
The RV1 is the Americanized version of the Korean T3N red dot sight. I find it to be a bit sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing than the T3N, and I am happy with the product changes for our marketplace. Let’s get started!
I am happy to report that my initial impressions are good. The optic is solid. This is a one piece optical body machined from a hunk of aluminum. The construction fits the definition of overbuilt. It tips the scales at 14 oz which is a move away from the market trend of the popular “micro” red dot form factor. While it may be behind the trend’s of today’s red dot marketplace… something that never goes out of style is a product that is overbuilt and made to last. DIO appears to have given us the brick poop-house optic of our budget dreams. The dials are solid, the caps tighten down with a satisfying feeling, and the mount continues the design philosophy of “build it tough.” The mount can also be substituted for ARMS #17 style mounts which cover a few products such as cantilevers and spacers. Overall construction is exceptional.
The optic features four night vision settings and seven daylight visible settings. I don’t have night vision to test the feature so we must omit this. The daylight settings are useable in all conditions and running the RDS on HIGH gives me no worries about brightness or washout in full daylight. The dot is 2 MOA and is crisp. The lens tint is not a significant worry as it is on the edge of barely noticeable. A single low mounted AA battery powers the optic for a reported 20k hours at a medium setting. This is an important step in the future of red dots, as even cheaper Chinese imports are sporting greater run times. DI Optical’s electronics package running with always-on operation that lasts almost 2.5 years is a decent run time for a combat grade optic.
The RV1 mounted without issue and did not mar the upper receiver’s finish. The bolt which the knob tightens against forms a recoil lug which prevents the mount from shifting under recoil. The mount is a simple clamp type mechanism with a coin slot to tighten the optic down on to the rail. The package raises the optic to a lower third co-witness. There is no way to position the optic for absolute co-witness. The windage caps are tethered together so they won’t get lost. The W/E adjustments feature a coin slot for adjustment. The first issue many shooters will encounter that is worthy of complaint is the optic has 1 MOA adjustments. This is rather gross for most shooters as we have grown accustom to 1/2 minute adjustments. In practice it wasn’t the biggest issue. At worst you will always be 1/2 a minute off a “perfect” zero, and for a red dot this should be sufficient for shots out to 400 yards on a man sized target. At short and intermediate ranges, your performance as a shooter along with your ammunition selection will have far more of an impact on your ability to hit the target than having the optic off by 1/2 a minute.
The optic is reported to be sealed and impact resistant. I filmed it getting impacted and soaked. The quality of the video is low as I had a difficult time getting it to finalize with any degree of quality so please excuse the small parts of the video.
In all the optic has taken my limited testing in stride. Performance is almost on par with a CompM4 from my standpoint as the RV1 has proven to be tough, optically clear, and offers good battery life which is 1/4 the ability of the Aimpoint product. The optic has been on in my gunsafe since I purchased it and it has my confidence as a quality piece of equipment. No signs of rust have presented in the mounting hardware, and overall the package running at $229 dollars is a steal for a optic that gives a shooter confidence. The optic also comes with some rather robust flip covers which I omitted in the photos. The spec sheet below should answer any questions I did not cover in the review.
The RV1 appears to be squared away. I recommend it to shooters who want a duty grade optic on a budget who don’t mind the weight and size penalty. Also, if you are OCD about your zero… this optic might not be for you.
If any readers have a RV1 please pipe in below and if you have had one break… I and all my readers want to hear about it and also let us know the customer service response from DI Optical USA. It is important that a company take care of customers as any product can fail… and we want companies to stand behind products if they send out a lemon. My contact with them has been limited and I haven’t found any negative customer experiences with the RV1 thus far.
This optic was purchased with my own hard money and DI Optical had no contact with me to solicit or support this review.
√ Budget Priced
√ Conforms to Mil-STD 810G
√ Solid construction
√ ARMS #17 compatible mount
X 1 MOA adjustments
X 14 Oz Weight