AR15s are a capable, durable, and handy rifle… what you need to match it, is a very durable optic. Not to state the obvious, but when you buy an optic, the more you spend… the higher quality it is. For red dots, you will eventually be reaching a point of diminishing returns. I believe that the Trijicon MRO lands in a sweet spot, combining a budget friendly price with legendary Trijicon durability. How does it stack up?
The price of an Aimpoint t2 with a mount is around 850$. The price of a MRO with a basic mount is around 500$. And for me, I got it for $450 shipped from Big Daddy Unlimited, Midwest Industries QD Mount included. For that price difference you can get the MRO with a mount and 1000 rounds of ammo for the same price or less. The features of the MRO and the Aimpoint are similar and both optics are extremely durable. The Aimpoint is more proven at this time as the military has used them for years and the MRO is relatively new coming out about 5 or 6 years ago. However as time goes on, I think the MRO will be seen as just as good of an optic if not better than an Aimpoint. Let’s take a look at the features that make up the price differences.
Some of the features that make this optic so great are the 5 year battery life, 25mm objective lens, and its 7075-t6 aluminum body. The 5 year advertised battery life puts it right there with Aimpoint but with some caveats; setting 3 for the MRO v.s. setting 7 on the Aimpoint. Setting 3 is usable in not so bright conditions. For the MRO setting 4 would be the most applicable setting for most environments, so ultimately it isn’t as efficient as the Aimpoint, but I would be willing to bet you will still get 3 years out of one battery. Having the larger objective lens also gives you a wider field of view in theory. Since it’s a red dot you should have both eyes open while shooting, however; it’s still *nicer* to look through the MRO than a regular tube optic like an Aimpoint. Finally, the MRO is a forged 7075 t6 body and is what makes this such a durable optic.
When I tested this optic for its durability, I didn’t go crazy with beating it up, but I wanted it to be realistic for what I might experience. I have previously zeroed the MRO at 36 yards. To start the test, I started before we even drive to the shooting spot. I tossed the rifle in the back of the truck bed. I then tossed my AK on top of it. It’s a nice bumpy ride to my shooting spot so the rifles were bouncing around and on top of each other while smacking the truck bed. I then confirmed the zero at my 200 yard target. It was dead on. I then dropped it once on each side of the optic, once directly on top. It didn’t miss a beat. For me, that is more than acceptable!
Trijicon has developed its legendary reputation of durability from its ACOG optic. The ACOG as we know is a combat proven, highly effective optic that gives our troops a great advantage over anyone we face. There is a reason the military uses ACOG’s. It’s because they’re darn near indestructible, and the MRO is made from the same company, using the same materials, and the same quality control. Again 7075 T6 aluminum is what makes this optic housing extremely strong. So there should be no doubt that the MRO is as durable of an optic as its older brother the ACOG. The MRO is also made in America, which is a huge addition for me compared to its Aimpoint counterparts which are made in Sweden. That’s not a bad thing for Aimpoint, but ‘Murica nuff said. Almost all Trijicon products are made in America with a few exceptions which is great by today’s standards.
The Trijicon MRO is a very robust optic and I have no doubt it will be one of the most reliable optics anyone can buy. As for the quality to price ratio, the value is extremely high on this optic. You are getting a micro dot size package that competes directly with the Aimpoint micro series of red dots. You get a 5 year battery life, very crisp dot, an interesting optic design that grows on you and is left or right hand friendly (the illumination dial is on top vs right hand side). If you have read articles where they say that the MRO has some magnification, they’re true. However you have to look for it. What I mean by that is while you are shooting, you really won’t notice it, but if you are specifically looking for the magnification you will see it. It also has a slight blue tint but it doesn’t really bother me. Again, while I was shooting and focusing on everything else, it was barely noticeable. If you have the chance to get this optic, do it. I will recommend this over all optics in the budget price range (holosun, primary arms, vortex) but they do have their place. But for people who want a serious optic, save your money and get the MRO. For anyone wanting a micro red dot that you can bet your life on, save your money for the MRO. I will take an MRO over a budget red dot or even an Aimpoint micro for the price.
MRO and Midwest Industries quick detach mount from Big Daddy Unlimited for $450 shipped and tax.
The MRO is sitting on a PSA Upper which has been functioning great! Review to come.
This Optic was purchased with cash money and Trijicon has no financial ties to www.thenewrifleman.com. See more on the Trijicon MRO at Trijicon’s website Here.
Trijicon variables optics are being MADE IN JAPAN. Guess Americans are too dumb to provide good, optical glass.
Primary Arms announced at Shot Show 2020 that they’re coming out with their own 25mm red dot that is strikingly similar in size and shape to the MRO. Any thoughts on Primary Arms optics in general, and where you’d rank their upper tier optics on the durability/reliability/hard use scale?
Also, do you know if the blue tint or slight magnification is being addressed in the new MRO HD they announced at SHOT Show?
Thanks for all that you guys do, love your blog. Keep the solid info coming!
I’m really impressed with budget red dots these days. They keep getting better and better. As far as Primary Arms I have owned a few of their optics and never had a problem, but for hard use I would raise the budget to $200-350 for a bombproof red dot.
Thanks! From your experience, how is the parallax on the MRO? I’ve heard it has quite a parallax shift compared to other RDS but wanted to hear your take.
Have you (practically) noticed impact shift while shooting with it, due to parallax concerns?
I ordered one last week and sighted in at 50yds. If the dot isn’t really-really centered, I seem to get drastically different impact points. About 3″ at 50. I may test it on other platforms, but it’s in the 151k s/n range… Bench mounting it and experimenting with dot movement is really bad.
Thank you! As always, great content