It’s not the most iconic sight, It’s not even the most popular sight made by the company that makes it, But the Trijicon MRO has proven to be a popular option with shooters in the US. Some might be on a budget that doesn’t allow an Aimpoint but does put them above the realms of Vortex and Holosun (Both very good for the money in my opinion), this in turn with the Trijicon battle-tested pedigree is probably a major reason as to why the MRO has been so popular, Especially on creep with it being the sight of choice for “Street” on CBS’s new show, SWAT (Some choice gear on show but not a patch on CBS’s other action show… SEAL Team)
Also the MRO is soon to be in the hands of Mark Wahlberg in the hotly anticipated Peter Berg directed Mile 22.
So when I saw that there were reproduction MROs, With reasonable looking trademarks and what appeared to be a solid all-round performance for the incredibly low price of £30 I just had to give it a shot.
So, I’m probably going to piss off a few domestic retailers here but here goes… I buy a lot of my stuff from eBay, Unless I specifically need something quickly or feel that the difference in cost is negligible. The problem is that a sight that I can buy for £30 will cost about double that from a UK seller. Yeah I understand how business works, but I’m more concerned with keeping as much of my hard earned in my pocket as possible… If I have to wait an extra week or something to save half the price, So be it.
So, onto the sight… It arrived in a little but well packaged box, As do many other very cheap optics… it’s surprising how much attention is usually made on the cheapest of optics.
The sight was supplied with a lower 1/3rd co-witness non QD mount, 4 bolts for said mound and an Allen key to tighten them up. A surprising omission was the lack of a driver for the star drive bolts securing the mount to your rail of choice… Not an issue for the prepared amongst you but a little odd, The Visionking comes with 2 keys for its low mounts… I’ve repurposed one for this mount as it’s a perfect fit.
There are various mounts available with the repro MRO sights, Low, Co-witness and lower 1/3rd with a QD comp type wheel are also available, but the mount I received is exactly what I was looking for. Cheap QD mounts can become loose over time, a fixed mount should in theory be better… Plus it has a more tactical look than the other mounts on offer.
The trades are convincing, with “Trijicon MRO” and “Made In USA” being cast into the opposing sides of the optic and what looks to the uninitiated as correct QR codes and other markings throughout.
The other markings on the illumination adjustment knob on top go from an Off position to a Low (n) and High (N) “Night mode” which is surprisingly effective for Mk1 eyeball operation although due to the glass not being to the required standard is not suitable to be used in conjunction with light gathering optics.
It then cycles through to level 1, 2 and then another off position which is situated in a great, middle position… Ideal for quick swapping between low and higher modes.
After this you can continue through from level 3 to 6 which is the brightest level.
Without wanting to dissuade anyone from buying, The glass clarity is poor… I’ll be honest it’s massively superior to anything else within its price range, I’ve yet to see an Aimpoint or EOTech clone with anything like the clarity or light transmission of this sight. Other, Similar form sights such as those offered by Holosun or Vortex will offer a much clearer picture, the real test being at night or dimly lit buildings… Pretty much exactly when you need your dot and picture to be crystal clear, Most repro sights will let you down.
Now bear in mind I’m directly comparing the repro MRO to a sight that costs presently 6 times as much… It’s usable at night. Much more so than most of the alternatives.
The blue hue that’s apparently a criticism of the real sight becomes a little darker and you’ll lose some definition in the sight picture but most importantly you can actually sight in against most backgrounds and the dot itself does not suffer from the shocking ghosting and splash back effects generated by many repro sights around.
Another interesting point is that unlike practically all cheaper red dots, When set at a low power it doesn’t appear to show up as a light source when viewed from the front, even under night vision it’s barely perceptible. One of the things I noticed whilst at Op:Krait was the amount of light spilled from cheap optics… It makes an NVG users job much easier to locate targets when your signposting your location with a glowing dot above your weapon.
The windage and range adjustment is simple with the directional arrows marked clearly on the sight. The turrets are shrouded but there are no caps to remove. An interesting move away from the easy to lose caps of the ACOG but not something I’ve ever worried about. I can only imagine it’s a combination of keeping the profile down along with a lack of need for the covers due to the shroud around the sight that prompted the design. The increments appear consistent and the point of aim has failed to move so far, Now I’ve only put about 300 shots through my MWS but it’s failed to shift so much as an inch which is obviously very good news. Adjustment isn’t quite as positive as say a Holosun or Aimpoint and it’s easy to under or over click the inset dials (also a common issue with the real one) but once it’s set you’ll hopefully not need to touch them at all.
So overall it’s hard to not like this sight, If the manufacturers would make an Aimpoint T1/2 with the same level of finish and overall ability I’d buy it in a heartbeat. The only concern I have is can it last as long as a more ruggedly tested sight such as my Holosun HS403C? I guess we’ll see… But for £30 I’m not going to panic if it takes a direct hit on the first game I play with it.