Gun owners can be just as picky about their optics as they are about their firearms themselves. And if you do a lot of shooting, then you know that not having the right product for the situation can lead to a very unenjoyable time in the field. What about when you need red-dot accuracy and fast target acquisition? Enter the Trijicon Miniature Rifle Optic.
The brand is well-known for consistently putting out quality items, but historically they’ve dealt with magnification. In 2015, however, that all changed, and this product was born.
Worth The Investment?
In a word, yes. It offers several features that take it head and shoulders above the corresponding Aimpoint products that have held the market for a few years. For shooters looking for the accuracy of the red-dot optics without any magnification, the MRO is worth the buy.
For its price point – under $500 – if you don’t already own it, you should.
Scope Review and Breakdown
It is billed as a 1X optic. Its sole purpose is to offer you red-dot accuracy, and it does that job very well under a wide variety of situations, while still holding up to weather, general wear, and even abuse.
It sports eight adjustable brightness settings ranging from daylight to super bright and even night vision. Left-handed shooters will appreciate the ambidextrous control for those brightness settings, leaving your trigger hand free to keep shooting regardless of lighting.
The parallax-free aperture helps with target acquisition because the front glass is 25mm – larger than most other red-dot units. In fact, its field of vision is 44% bigger than most red-dot scopes – even the ones that cost much more.
That larger front glass makes it slightly great in size than its relative counterpart, the Aimpoint Micro. Even with the front opening, however, the overall footprint is still well within the ‘micro’ expectation.
The glass is USA-made, and are designed to produce zero reflections across all light conditions, meaning less chance of you spooking your target. The multi-coated lens also ensures that your eye gets the maximum amount of light available, giving you a better sight picture.
Lastly, it is made out of 7075-T6 aluminum – the same grade used on aircraft. That’s a significant improvement over the 6061 used in many others and ensures that it can take a beating in the field.
- Waterproof to 45m, or 150 feet due to rubber O-rings protecting the adjustment towers.
- One lithium battery that lasts for five years of continuous “on” operation at Setting 5 Brightness (Daylight) in 70-degree weather.
- Forged 7075-T6 housing
- 2 MOA reticle, with positive-click adjustment in half-MOA increments
- Choice of three mounts: low, co-witness and lower 1/3 co-witness
- Eight brightness settings, with two designed for night use, and two for indoor operation
Ease of Use and Reliability
As mentioned, the waterproof and aircraft-grade housing means you can drop it, bang it against something, and give it a beating without any ill effects. Since the battery life is five years at the standard daylight brightness setting, even if you live in an area with severe cold, a battery check once every year or two would be overkill should it be left on 24-7. When you need it, it’ll be ready to go.
Trijicon is the maker of the ACOG line as well, and those have seen some extreme conditions while being used by the U.S. military – and still perform excellently. The company brought that same engineering to this product, and it shows.
In the ease of use department, it passes with flying colors as well. The adjusters are sub-flush, so there are no flip caps to lose or edges to snag on brush or clothing. Manipulating them also requires actual effort to accomplish. It will ensure that bumping your unit won’t change its settings, but also means if you want to change them, you can do so without a lot of fuss.
It can be operated with either hand, even if you’re wearing gloves. Settings specific to day or night are separated by a mid-adjustment off position between the 2 and three settings so you can feel where on the spectrum you, are even if you’re not looking in it at the time.
One drawback to this product – and every other red-dot unit – is that if you have astigmatism, you’ll want to make sure you update any prescriptions you have before trying to use it. Astigmatism will make the red dot appear blurry, and you might be extremely underwhelmed. Checking with your eye doctor first can help you get the most out of this unit.
Pros/Cons of the trijicon mro
- High value for price point
- Performance and quality
- Everything needed to mount the optic is included
- 5-minute setup
- Wide variety of brightness settings including night vision
- Ambidextrous operation
- Infinite eye relief
- Under $500
- Has a tiny amount of magnification even though advertised as a 0-mag
- Brightness settings may not be adequate for super bright desert environments
- On high brightness, a red halo is visible
- The emitter is located at the 11 o’clock position and can be visible in some lighting; proper head position can mitigate this
- Still not a ‘budget’ product
This product is easily worth more than its sub-$500 price range and can compete successfully against others higher on the price list. It’s been out for some time, but as it holds up under heavy use, it’s gaining more popularity among both recreational and professional shooters.
Who is this scope for?
Type of shooter
It is designed for short-range shooters who need fast target acquisition in a variety of lighting conditions and shooting positions, including a home intruder situation. Trijicon hails it as being for professionals and enthusiasts alike, and its fast learning curve makes it easy to become proficient with use. Three-gun competitive shooters can find this item useful in their shooting events because of the quick target acquisition as well.
Type of gun
It is equally at home on a rifle, carbine, or shotgun. While you might commonly see this on an AR platform, it’s just as useful on a home defense shotgun, set to an indoor lighting setting and left it on.
No optic is perfect, but this Trijicon model gets close to its price point. Even with just the ACOG-level quality, ambidextrous operation and long battery life, this product would be a solid buy. When you include the rest of its features, it becomes a must-have for shooters looking for fast target acquisition. It just does its job with no fuss. Once it’s zeroed, it’ll stay that way, regardless of the abuse you heap on it in the field.
Even its few drawbacks, such as the halo on high-brightness settings, aren’t anything not already found in most other red-dot optics, and the placement of the emitter isn’t insurmountable either.
Other Options Worth Looking At
Even beginners looking to hone their skills can use this unit but if you’re looking for other optics, the Aimpoint Carbine Optic, or ACO, is a worthy competitor. It’s slightly lower on the price scale, under $400, but comes with nine brightness settings and up to 1-year always-on battery life.
The Aimpoint Micro T-2 is another option and is this model’s main competition – even though it’s significantly more expensive. It has an 18mm aperture, flip-up lens covers and a 2MOA dot that runs five years on one battery.