Aimpoint’s 2 MOA Micro T-1 Red Dot Optic
At the 2012 Shot Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Aimpoint introduced their new 2 Minute-Of-Angle (MOA) Micro T-1 Red Dot optic. It offers all the same features fans of the original T-1 rave about; incredibly small, lightweight, robust, night vision compatible and ridiculously long battery life, but with a smaller 2 MOA aiming dot instead of the original’s 4 MOA reticle. From the outside the only way to spot the difference between the newer smaller reticle versions is the “2 MOA” text on the side. We got the chance to do some testing with the 2 MOA T-1, and compare it to the original T-1.
Initially while zeroing in the 2 MOA T-1, and re-confirming zero on the 4 MOA T-1 at 50 yards the difference in dot size was apparent. While some say the 4 MOA version actually produces a slightly smaller 3.5 MOA dot, the 2 MOA is still noticeably smaller. This made some of us wonder if the 2 MOA T-1’s small dot size would be difficult to pick up while running & gunning and engaging close range targets with a carbine. To find out we ran various of up close and personal drills like the VTAC 1-5, and setup a course of fire with IPSC cardboard silhouettes as close as 5 yards away to 6-inch steel gongs at 20 and 40 yards.
All of our shooters who worried about the 2 MOA dot size possibly being a challenge to acquire quickly had their fears put to rest. To be completely honest none of us really noticed a difference between the T-1s during our close range shooting. When running up close and personal drills, and a competition style course of fire your visual focus is mainly on the target, the red dot is in a sense secondary. You see the target, drive your gun there, get the dot where it needs to be and break the shot. Mentally you’re processing so many things: was my hit in the A-Zone, where’s the next target, how many rounds in this one – the last thing you’re thinking is, “hmmm this T-1’s dot is smaller than the other one I just used.”
Next up for the T-1s was stretching their legs a little bit. Bench shooting at 16×16-inch steel plates 200 yards out, the 2 MOA version had a clear cut advantage as expected. It’s simple math, at 200 yards a 4 MOA dot will cover 8-inches of the target, while a 2 MOA will only cover 4-inches. Some will say, just turn down the brightness of the 4 MOA T-1, so the dot is semitransparent to get a better sight picture when doing precision work. We completely agree, and have done so many times. From the bench that’s not a big deal, but when time is of the essence like in a competition you don’t want to be spending precious seconds adjusting your gear.
We stepped out a little further and started shooting plates at 300 yards. We added Aimpoint’s 3x Magnifier to aid at sighting the targets from this distance. Both T-1s worked well with the magnifier, but again the 2 MOA’s smaller dot allowed for more precise adjustments for windage and elevation.
Three of the shooters who spent time with 2 MOA T-1 had varying degrees of astigmatism, and all wear corrective lens. Shooters who suffer from astigmatisms can sometimes have problems with reflex red dot sights where the dot appears oblong, see a comet tail or even see two dots. For some this will only occur when using a magnifier. Two of the three found that the 2 MOA T-1 produced a much rounder and sharper dot than the 4 MOA version. While the other still had issues with 2 MOA having a distracting comet tail streaking off the dot that he also sees when using the 4 MOA version. If you have an astigmatism it’s best to try before you buy.
When choosing a T-1 on a carbine which should you go with, the 2 MOA or 4 MOA? We’d lean towards the 2 MOA because of the added precision it provides, and that we didn’t have any issues acquiring the small reticle while engaging close range targets. But if you’re primarily focused on having the T-1 with the fastest possible reticle acquisition the larger 4 MOA dot logically makes sense.
Both the Aimpoint 2 MOA and 4 MOA Micro T-1 optics retail for $731. The less expensive H-1 that offers the same compact optic, but doesn’t provide night vision compatibility, or have the higher level of waterproofing for submersion is also available with a 2 MOA or 4 MOA reticle. MSRP for the H-1 is $653.