Aimpoint ACO Review – 2022 Guide

Aimpoint’s ACO is a modern sporting sight that serves as the base for a full line of accessories, allowing you excellent control over its performance. Despite its overall quality, not every sight is ideal for every user. Here’s what you should know to decide whether the Aimpoint ACO is the right scope for your needs.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 2 MOA red dot with 10,000 hours of battery life
  • Durable construction and 15 feet water resistance
  • Features integrated mount for latest sporting rifles
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Aimpoint Carbine Optic 2MOA

Pros

  • Battery Life
  • Accessory Lineup
  • Water Resistance
  • Temperature Range

Cons

  • No Magnification Options

Aimpoint Carbine Optic Specs

  • Eye Relief: Unlimited

  • Adjustment Options: 16 mm at 1000 meters (.5 inches at 80 yards)

  • Type of Reticle: 2 MOA Dot (red)

  • Magnification: 1x

  • Objective Lens: 30 mm

  • Field of View: Unlisted

  • Weight: 10.6 oz

Pros

Here are the primary positives of this scope:

Battery Life

The Aimpoint ACO uses a DL1/3N battery, which is a 11x12mm battery of 3 volts and a mAh of 160. This is a relatively standard battery for sights because it’s affordable, common, and easy to replace when it eventually runs out.

This scope is designed for constant use, rather than being turned on or off, and that’s where the surprisingly large battery comes into play. With a fresh battery, this scope supports over 10,000 hours of continuous operation. In practice, it’s a “set and forget” scope ideal for regular use.

Water Resistance

Aimpoint’s ACO is fully submersible down to 15 feet, which is deeper than most people ever take their rifles. If your rifle goes deeper than that, chances are you’ve lost it. For context, this is almost twice as deep as the average swimming pool.

Functionally, this means the ACO is waterproof for any practical use scenario, which is ultimately the only scenario that matters. Some gun sights are surprisingly poor when submerged even a few inches, so this rating is more important than it seems at first.

Accessory Lineup

Accessories are a vital aspect of getting the most from any part of your gun, and the scope is no exception. The most notable additions are the flip-up front and rear covers, which come in three primary versions.

The basic version is an opaque cover with Aimpoint’s logo on it. This is simple, straightforward, and gets the job done. They also sell transparent versions of the covers, which we like a little better. They don’t offer genuinely sharp image quality, but they provide flexibility if you’re in a harsh environment and want to avoid damaging the ACO’s lens.

Finally, both the opaque and transparent front covers come with a “Killflash” anti-reflection device (ARD) variant. Extra filters are available on request. These filters help limit potentially compromising flashes from your scope. They aren’t necessary for general sporting, but they can be useful for hunting or going into military environments.

Finally, Aimpoint sells essential spare parts (switches, caps, eyecups, and so on), as well as replacement batteries. Those batteries are widely available elsewhere, too, but it’s nice to pick things up in one order when you can.

Temperature Range

The ACO has an operating range of -30 Celsius to 60 Celsius (about -20 to 140 Fahrenheit). This is a respectable operating range and covers most likely use environments. However, it does break down a little at the extremes.

The high point of this range is fine because that’s above practically anywhere recorded on the planet. While you might reach that range if you focus reflected light onto the scope, that’s implausible at best.

The cold operating range is a more significant issue. Some places in the United States can get below -30 Celsius during the winter, which means you can’t use the scope anywhere in the country at any time of year. It’s still perfectly functional in most areas, enough to consider this a pro overall, but working when it’s another 20 degrees colder would make this even better.

Cons

Here are the main downsides of this product.

No Magnification Options

As a simple 1x scope, the ACO is useful mainly for shorter-range activities. While you can try to hit distant targets, and skilled shooters can, it’s functionally inferior to any magnifying scope for hitting distant targets accurately.

We particularly dislike this because of the price of this scope. This isn’t a budget scope, so we have higher standards for features and options than we do for the cheapest products around. It does close-range shots just fine, but even going to 2x or 3x magnification would significantly add flexibility for users.

It Only Comes With the Basic Product

This negative requires a little context. It doesn’t come with any lens covers straight out of the box, which means your scope is fully exposed to the elements at all times. That’s a little awkward at this price point. Similarly, it doesn’t come with things like a lens cleaning cloth, which are essential for long-term use.

Premium caps are one thing, but even basic plastic caps cost virtually nothing to produce and help buyers protect their investment. This is obviously less of an issue if you already have appropriate-sized caps and cleaning supplies you can use, but we can’t assume that you do.

Best Uses for the Aimpoint Carbine Optic

Here are the best uses for an Aimpoint ACO:

Short-Range Sport Shooting

In this context, “sport” shooting refers to regulated environments such as gun ranges or obstacle courses. As a 1x scope with no magnification options, Aimpoint’s ACO is not suitable for trying to shoot targets over ~100 meters away, depending on skill and weapon.

However, while it’s not good at long-range, it’s excellent at short-range activities. That includes situations like indoor obstacle courses or simulated defense missions, where aiming rapidly at close-range targets is a key factor in success.

Variable Lighting Shooting

While sporting environments tend to have fixed lighting, that’s not the case for every environment you may want to shoot. Aimpoint’s ACO has variable dot intensity, and it’s rated for visibility under 0.1 to 55,000 lx.

This is roughly the full moon on a clear night to most areas of direct sunlight. It might be difficult to see it under completely direct sunlight, but you shouldn’t be looking at the sun through a scope anyway. While you may have to adjust the brightness when transitioning between lighting levels, this sight is equally useful in almost anything except a completely dark environment.

Is the Aimpoint Carbine Optic Compatible With Any Rifle?

No scope is truly compatible with any rifle you might own. However, this scope uses an integrated mount design that’s highly compatible with modern sporting rifles, and it’s ready to mount directly out of the box.

The mount itself is a fixed-height version, which means it won’t slowly move out of place over time. It supports absolute co-witness with AR-15 style backup iron sights.

What Do I Need to Know About Mounting the Aimpoint Carbine Optic?

The main thing to note about mounting this optic is that it’s significantly easier than it looks. If you have a modern sporting rifle, you can slide your scope directly on and start using it right away. This is as easy as installing a scope gets. If it doesn’t work, chances are you have an older rifle.

If you’re not sure which types of scopes are suitable for your weapon, we recommend visiting a store that sells scopes and testing several options on your gun. Once you know what works, you can start shopping with more confidence.

What Makes the Aimpoint Carbine Optic Stand Out From the Competition?

The main thing that makes this optic stand out from others is its general durability. It’s waterproof past any realistic depth, and it’s excellent at withstanding shocks, vibrations, and humidity. It can also withstand the occasional contamination from cleaners, lubricants, and the like.

Aimpoint ACO vs. Pro - Comparison Overview 

Aimpoint’s Pro is functionally a better version of the ACO. The Pro version lasts over 30,000 hours (more than three years) of constant use, and it’s submersible to about 150 feet. It’s also lighter, works in a wider temperature range, and comes with extras like lens covers.

The Aimpoint Pro is a fundamentally better scope at a slightly higher price point. Considering it fixes most of the gripes we have with the ACO and it’s almost as affordable, we emphatically recommend the Aimpoint Pro over the ACO. Even if you have to wait a little longer to save up for your scope, the Pro is worth it.

Conclusion 

The Aimpoint ACO is a decent scope at a middling price point. It’s extremely reliable (with over one year of operation per battery) and functions well for most short-range shooting.

However, it is inferior to some other scopes at similar price points, so ultimately, we do not recommend this scope for most buyers. It’s not a bad scope on its own merits; it just can’t quite compete with other options like the Aimpoint Pro.

People Also Ask

Here are some other questions people often ask about this product.

What Kind of Warranty Does the Aimpoint ACO Come With?

Warranties vary by store. However, Aimpoint provides a general warranty against defects in material or workmanship under regular use for two years (professional/competition use) or ten years (personal use).

Stores usually provide a 30-day return at the minimum but check when you’re buying.

How Long Does the Battery Last on the Aimpoint ACO?

A fresh, fully-charged battery will last for about 10,000 hours on the Aimpoint ACO. Older, slightly discharged batteries will not last as long.


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