Aimpoint’s New Micro T-2 Red Dot Optic

The Aimpoint Micro T-2 (right) improves on the already solid Micro H-1 and T-1 designs.

The Aimpoint Micro T-2 (right) improves on the already solid Micro H-1 and T-1 designs.

We’re a people of excess. Not that excess is bad in general, but there are situations where too much can be a bad thing.

Optics comes to mind. Almost without fail, we shooters go “all in” when it comes to magnified optics. Even though most of us will be shooting at ranges of 100 yards and less (usually much less), we tend to crank up the power on rifle optics. Gimme that 12-42x monster scope so I can precisely target the “Y” on the back side of a Bayer aspirin, will ya?

The flip-up scope caps are excellent. They won't fall off and are transparent so it's not necessary to open them.

The flip-up scope caps are excellent. They won’t fall off and are transparent so it’s not necessary to open them.

While that sounds good on paper, too much power can be detrimental. Try shooting a high magnification scope from a standing position, and you’ll see what I mean. While your gun is wobbling the same amount as with low magnification, the perceived swings and movements will make you seasick and actually lower your odds of hitting your target. It’s hard to achieve a steady hold with too much magnification.

While it may seem counterintuitive, most people, with some fundamental training and practice, can hit a target out to 400 yards using iron sights. That’s right, just ask any Project Appleseed instructor.

When it comes to my “regular use” and home defense AR rifles, I equip them with zero magnification red dot optics. Why? There are a few benefits. As we discussed, you can hit accurately out to several hundred yards if you want to without magnification. Your field of view through the optics is much, much larger than with a magnified optic. There are no parallax issues that require perfect alignment of your head to the optic for repeatable accuracy. You can (and should) shoot with both eyes open. Red dots work well in low light. They’re fast. Really, really fast. They’re far easier to use than multiple-part iron sights – just put the dot on the target and shoot.

My personal choice for MSR red dot optics is Aimpoint. I’ve used the Aimpoint Micro H-1 and Aimpoint PRO on a number of rifles and couldn’t be happier with those choices. One of the things I like best is the “always on” capability. Battery management is so good that a set of batteries lasts 75% of forever. This means you can leave it on, all the time, and not worry about running out of juice when you need it most. Many models will run at average power level for five years continuously. If you want to be crazy-prepared for the worst, set yourself a reminder to change batteries every two or three years and you’ll never have to worry. It’s a great benefit for a home defense rifle where you don’t want to think about turning switches on and off should you hear a bump in the night.

Recently I got my hot little hands on a brand new model – the Aimpoint Micro T-2. Let’s check it out.

Aimpoint Micro T-2

The Micro T-2 represents the next generation of the Micro T-1, which is the sibling of the Micro H-1. The only real difference between the H-1 and T-1 models is night vision compatibility.


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X-Products Takes Shotgunning a Beer To A Whole New Level

The term "shotgunning a beer" takes on a whole new meaning with the Can Cannon from X Products.

The term “shotgunning a beer” takes on a whole new meaning with the Can Cannon from X Products.

In the “why the heck not” category is the new Can Cannon from X Products. Known for their rock solid drum magazines for modern sporting rifle designs, the X Products folks got a wild hair to bring something just plain fun to market. The Can Cannon is a complete upper assembly with a soda can diameter barrel. The upper unit contains a custom chamber, barrel extension and “barrel” with gas ports. The upper uses .223 blanks to create adequate gas pressure to launch the soda can down range. It’ll work with a full beer can too, but that would be a tragic waste of carefully fermented grains and hops, no?

In addition to no-excuses fun, the technology will be adapted to more practical uses like retriever training. The company hopes to develop similar versions capable to replicating gun shot noise while launching retrieval toys. Why not get some shooting in while training your hunting dog?

For more information, visit

OTIS Technology Announces LaPierreCare Offerings

OTIS Elite Cleaning System - everything you need, for every gun you have. Or might have.

OTIS Elite Cleaning System – everything you need, for every gun you have. Or might get.

Hey folks – just found out OTIS Technology, maker and purveyor of my absolute favorite cleaning kits, just launched a couple of rebate specials. Starting October 1 and continuing through the end of the year, there are two deals to check out.

Is it coincidence that the launch date coincides with the go live date of LaPierreCare Affordable Gun Act? I think not.

The first deal is for the OTIS Elite Cleaning System which has gizmos to handle every firearm from .17 caliber through 12 gauge shotguns. 105mm light guns require additional parts, sorry. Buy the OTIS Elite kit and send in the forms for a $15 cash back rebate. If you want to know a little more about the OTIS Elite system, we gave one away last year with the ladies from Women’s Outdoor News.

OTIS Technology MSR / AR-15 Kit with B.O.N.E. Tool and Ripcord cleaner

OTIS Technology MSR / AR-15 Kit with B.O.N.E. Tool and Ripcord cleaner

The second offer is available with purchase of the OTIS MSR / AR Cleaning Kit. Specifically designed for AR platform rifles and pistols, this kit includes things you need to clean out that nearly impossible to reach chamber. It also includes the OTIS B.O.N.E. tool, which is one of the niftiest inventions I’ve seen in a long time. Use the OTIS B.O.N.E. tool to clean your bolt, bolt tail and carrier. Handy. When you buy the MSR / AR kit, OTIS will send you a free OTIS Ripcord cleaner, which we recently evaluated.

If rebate forms don’t come included with your purchase, no problem. You can get them from the OTIS website.

Review: Bushnell Zoom Dot Red Dot Sight

The Good
Our aging eyes had no trouble at all picking up the very bright 10 MOA dot.
The Bad
A minor nit with the Zoom Dot was the placement of the windage adjustment. It’s partially blocked by the scope mount in its ‘factory shipped’ condition. This was a minor inconvenience at the range.
The Ugly
While the Zoom Dot claims water resistance, we did not have any 200 foot free dives planned during the evaluation period to test it out. Maybe next time..
Our Rating
3 Nuns Three Nuns!

Bushnell Zoom Dot Red Dot Sight

Suggested Retail Price: $423.95

Approximate Street Price: $235.00

Zoom. Zoom. Zoom. That’s Bushnell’s approach to balancing rapid sighting capability with precision aiming in the same optic. Some optics makers elect to use a single red dot, an arrow, or a small MOA dot surrounded by a larger circle for close in and fast sighting. The Bushnell Zoom Dot approach is just like the name says – a variable zoom control knob increases the red dot size from 1 MOA all the way up to 10 MOA. Just for scale, that would mean the largest dot setting dot would just about completely cover a paper plate at 100 yards. Zoom is controlled by a large control knob on the right side of the tube. This control knob also serves as a battery disconnect for long storage periods of inactivity and houses the units battery.

Sensory Perception


The Bushnell Zoom Dot comes with rubber flip-up lens covers, and in addition to keeping dirt, grit, slime, and meddling politicians away from the glass when not in use, the covers serve a secondary purpose. The Zoom Dot is equipped with an automatic brightness adjustment. An onboard sensor detects light conditions and intensifies the dot accordingly. Outdoors, the dot gets brighter. Indoors, the dot gets dimmer. Best of all, when the lens covers are closed, the dot turns off altogether, thereby extending the battery life to thousands of hours. We’re leaving the unit turned on at about the 5 MOA setting just to see how long it will run. If the battery outlasts our patience with presidential election primaries, we’ll consider it a victory for all mankind.

Oops – Placement Counts


The Zoom Dot has a rock-solid six screw mount. However, when we went to make our very first windage adjustments at the range, we found that the factory default mounting position was too close to the windage adjustment and the adjusting hex wrench was not able to fit. So we had to loosen the mount, move the mounting ring further from the control area and re-seat the mount before we could make windage adjustments. Not a deal breaker, but it was unusual that you’re not able to make sight adjustments with the out of the box configuration. So your options are to move the tube permanently in the mount, allowing for future windage adjustments, or move the tube, adjust for windage, and move it back.

Flip Up Covers

The included lens caps are made of a rubber material. The optic has ‘nubs’ that will hold the lens cap in the open position. A firm push flexes the rubber cap back over the nub to close the cover. Nice touch. The rubber lens caps are mounted on a ring that can be rotated around the tube, so the covers can be positioned to open up, down, sideways, or diagonally if you’re feeling particular rebellious.

It’s Rugged

Judging by the cornucopia (a ‘cornucopia’ is about two and a half boatloads by the way) of gun, ammo, and accessory products hitting the market, zombies are everywhere. This is a good thing as we thought a reasonable durability test would be to red-dot whip a few dozen of the undead to make sure the Zoom Dot lived up to its sturdy appearance. Unfortunately there were no undead to be found in our area. Nor could we find any rapists at local Occupy events as a substitute target. No matter – Bushnell claims that Zoom Dots are in active duty use in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have been unable to verify whether the Zoom Dot is featured in Modern Warfare 3.

The Zoom Dot is also fully waterproof to an unspecified depth. We were going to take up high-performance free diving and bring this puppy down to a couple hundred feet, but the water was a bit chilly, so we postponed that. Maybe later.



The Bushnell Zoom Dot is intended to work with back up iron sights in the event the fudge hits the fan and your battery dies at an inopportune time. Our test platform was a DPMS Panther A3 Lite with a Magpul Back-Up Rear Sight and integral front sight. The height of the optic with included mount was a bit lower than we would have preferred as the optical sights lined up in the upper half of the tubes visible area. With the integral front sight of the A3 platform, we found the front sight to be too much in the field of view when using the optic. Of course, this would not be an issue with a fold-down back-up front sight setup. And if you’ve resorted to iron sight use, the height is irrelevant as you can see clearly through the glass. if the mount height really bothers you, the tube is a standard 30mm diameter so the mount can be replaced with one a bit higher.


We did most of our shooting at ranges between 10 and 100 yards. At 100 yards, the smaller MOA settings (1-3 range) were perfectly adequate to consistently hit clay targets and other small objects. For 25 yards and closer, we liked the higher settings, maybe in the 5-8 MOA range. Going with a larger dot size in bright sunlight was also helpful. While the dot intensity automatically increases in bright light, the optical illusion of even greater brightness with larger dot sizes was helpful.

Closing Arguments

The stand out feature of this optic was its feeling of solid. No, we didn’t drive nails with it, mainly because Paul at Bushnell might have used it on us if we beat the heck out of his red-dot. Nor did we have the opportunity to AR-whip any zombies with it, but it just feels substantial. We’re going to keep it on for a while and run it through the paces of several high school shooting club outings. 25 or so teenagers using it at the range should be roughly equivalent to a year or so in a combat zone. That ought to provide some real world perspective and we’ll post updates as appropriate.


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Review: Aimpoint Micro H-1 Red Dot Sight

The Good
This is a really well engineered piece of equipment. Versatile with thoughtful design.
The Bad
If I had to be really picky, I would prefer flip up lens covers instead of the connected rubber covers. They are designed to quickly pull down and rest around the sight base however so they don’t get lost.
The Ugly
I have to somehow convince her that we need one of these more than we need to do other things – like feed the kids or make car payments.
Our Rating
3 Nuns Four Nuns!

Aimpoint Micro-H1 Red Dot Sight

Approximate Street Price: $565.00 (as configured with mounts)

Note the optics co-witness height with back up iron sights

Note the optics co-witness height with back up iron sights

We met Kristi, Aimpoint’s Marketing Director, at this year’s POMA Conference Media Day at the Range in Ogden, Utah and had the opportunity to try the Micro H-1 Red Dot sight. We were impressed with the size, weight, and clarity of the H-1 and worked out a more in-depth evaluation opportunity. The H-1 seemed like a great option for an AR platform so we planned an in-depth test on a DPMS Panther A3 Lite 16.

The Skinny on the Micro H-1

The Micro H-1 and its slightly more tacticool sibling the Micro T-1 (night vision compatible) are, in fact, skinny. Just 1.6″ wide compared to the classic Aimpoint Comp M4’s 2.1″ width, the Micro H-1 (not counting the brightness adjustment wheel) was skinnier than the DPMS receiver it was mounted on. The Micro H-1 has a lens diameter of just about 3/4″.

Weight is also dramatically reduced over the Comp M4 unit. The Micro weighs in at 3oz while the Comp M4 weighs 9.3oz. As an additional comparison, the Eotech XPS2 weighs about 8oz, so the Aimpoint unit is light. Really light.

As light as it is, the Micro H-1 feels substantial. Made of aluminum with an anodized semi-matte finish, both the sight and it’s base were rock solid. No feeling of cheapness here.

It keeps going. And going. And going.

The Aimpoint Micro H-1 is powered by a CR2032 3 volt Lithium battery. The significance of all those numbers and letters is that the batteries are available in your local grocery or drug store. Very common they are. Not that it matters, because the Micro H-1 runs continuously on a single battery for about 5 years. That’s almost as long as the last State of the Union speech. Almost. Our evaluation period was 60 days, and we left it on. Just because we could. (It was still running just fine when we sent it back by the way.)

Attention to Detail

One handy detail is that the windage and elevation caps double as adjustment tools

One handy detail is that the windage and elevation caps double as adjustment tools

At BUDS Training, prospective United States Navy Seals are tested and drilled to internalize attention to detail. Apparently someone at Aimpoint took this concept to heart. We found numerous examples of really thoughtful design and engineering with the Aimpoint Micro H-1.

The Micro H-1 includes a multi-purpose tool that serves a variety of functions. One end has two nubs (our word) for adjusting the windage and elevation controls. The opposite end has a Torx bit sized to the base mounting bolts. The sides of the tool are wide, flat plastic blades sized to the battery cover. To top it off, the direction of rotation for right windage and upward elevation adjustments are imprinted on the multi-tool. This is a particularly helpful feature for those of us who tend to toss the instruction book. The tool also serves as a nearly lethal shuriken assuming one has the proper Shaolin training.

Another stand out feature is that the screw caps for the units windage and elevation adjustments are also shaped with nubs that allow the caps to be reversed and used as a tool to adjust the dials. So that neat nearly-ninja multi-tool is not technically required to be kept in the range bag. That’s just a nice touch.

Mounting Up

Aimpoint Micro H-1 with LRP Mount and Micro Spacer High Mount

Aimpoint Micro H-1 with LRP Mount and Micro Spacer High Mount

Our evaluation model came with a two part mounting system as it was to be used on a flat-top AR platform. First was the Micro LRP. This is a quick attach and detach system with a lever to clamp the unit on a Mil-Std Picatinny rail. The spring loaded clamp lever includes a notch that locks the lever in place when tightened. It’s not going anywhere. The neat part of the system is that zero is maintained when the sight is removed and re-attached in the same place. Translation: You hit the same dang thing you aim at no matter how much you take the sight on and off. Our unit also included the Micro Spacer High mount which is attached between the Micro LRP mount and the Micro H-1 optic itself. This combination of components places the H-1 at perfect height for co-witnessing with iron sights on a flat top AR system. On our DPMS, a Magpul flip up rear sight and integral front sight lined up just below the vertical half-way mark through the Aimpoint optic.

While we tested the Aimpoint Micro H-1 on an AR platform, it was designed with a multitude of uses in mind. Optional mounting accessories allow the H-1 to be used with 11mm dovetail systems, Glock pistols, Ruger 10/22’s, Ruger Mark III’s, bows, revolvers with Weaver mounts, and Merkel Double Rifles. Safari anyone?

Subjective Shooty Stuff

When we first opened the box of the Micro H-1, we were a little concerned about the diameter of the optic. It looks narrow. Measured with our precision wooden ruler, the lens appeared to be about 3/4″ in diameter. We thought it would be slow to aim given the relative small diameter of the glass. Not the case. If anything, the narrow dimensions of the Micro H-1 improved overall vision as the other eye field of view was not obstructed by ‘optic junk.’

There was an additional benefit to the small tube of the H-1. It provided a reasonable ‘fast and close up‘ sighting method on its own, without need to pick up the red dot itself. For short range shooting, the tube itself provided a decent ‘minute of evil d00d‘ sighting system.

The Micro H-1 has a 4 MOA (minute of angle) dot size, so it’s designed for tactical, competitive speed shooting, or hunting applications. The unit has 12 degrees of brightness adjustment for a variety of lighting conditions. We found that settings 7 and below provided an exceptionally crisp sight picture while brighter settings were useful in heavy sunlight conditions.

The Micro H-1 includes a nearly-ninja and handy multi-tool

The Micro H-1 includes a nearly-ninja and handy multi-tool

Because the specs said we could, we mounted the Micro H-1 and zeroed it at 50 yards, shot a bunch of stuff, then removed the optic and did some back up sight shooting. Remounting the Micro H-1 with the LRP quick mount system did in fact maintain the original zero. That’s a handy feature for folks like us that like to tinker with stuff, whether it needs tinkering or not.


We were a little skeptical about two things with the Micro H-1. First was the small diameter of the optic. Would that slow down target acquisition? Second was the specific mounting system for a flat top AR being made of three distinct parts. Would it be solid?

Both concerns turned out to be non-issues. Kind of like Justin Bieber becoming a threat in the world of Ultimate Fighting. Sighting with both eyes open was actually improved as it allowed better peripheral vision with the non-sighting eye. And the Aimpoint Micro H-1 was solid, well fitted, and well constructed. our test unit came with the sight, spacer, and LRP mount pre-assembled, and one wouldn’t know that they were three separate pieces without reading the documentation.

Four Nuns on this one – it’s a really impressive optic.

BUY NOW: Aimpoint Micro Series Optical Sights Micro H-1

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