Rugged Reliable & (a little more) Affordable
Here at Green Mountain Defense we are not paid to review products. We don't get gear for free in exchange for a positive review. What we do is train and use equipment in the field. If you see something reviewed on this sight you can rest assured we bought it and we would buy it again!
Aimpoint states on their website that the optics are "optically centered" and that "only minor adjustments" should need to be made. I can say that the optic as mounted was within 4 clicks for windage adjustment. My example however required 17 clicks of elevation adjustment to achieve a 50 yard zero.
I checked and Re checked the mount to the rail and the overall straightness of the sight in the mount itself. Funny enough my Magpul MBUS sights were flipped down. After getting my 50 yard zero i flipped them up and remembered they were zeroed at 50 as well. Turns out the co witness was perfect and I should have used the irons as a starting point to begin with.
During and After Zero this optic produced sub 1.5" groups more than once (photos below). The rifle it is mounted on has no special trigger work and from a rest 1.5" groups with a 2 MOA dot is frankly awesome (especially with me shooting. I would give the Aimpoint Carbine Optic a 5/5 in the accuracy Department.
I have no doubt this will stand the test of time. Everything about the fit and finish screams of quality. It essentially feels like an Aimpoint PRO with slightly different specs. Aimpoint states that the ACO is water proof up to 15 feet of submersion. I have no intention of swimming around with my rifle UDT style but it is nice to know that some rain during a pig or coyote hunt won't hurt the ACO. At the moment I will give the ACO a 5/5 in reliability as well. If something should come up I will come back here and notate it.
To be fair I have not had the optic for a year so I can't testify to Aimpoints claim regarding 1 year battery life. They say that if placed on setting 7 the optic should last a year on the same battery. If this proves to be true I would say the battery life is more than acceptable.
I was a bit concerned in the beginning that the 7th out of 9 settings might not be bright enough to be the default setting. This is what you get for spending the extra $ over some of the other "budget" rds. After all one never knows when he will need his rifle. In the brightest of daylight today I would say that the 7th setting was crisp and just about perfect. It stood out well against a number of backgrounds and I have no complaints. I would give the ACO a 4/5 in the battery department.
The Aimpoint Carbine Optic sports clear glass, 1 year of battery on a usable setting, killer accuracy, and the industry proven name sake and reputation that comes with its name. Given the current price point (roughly $30 less than the PRO I would still lean in the PROs direction just for the additional Battery life. I happened to score my ACO on a PSA black friday special for $299. At that price I should have bought 2. Bottom line this optic is good enough to substitute for its bigger brother if you can get it for a good enough price. Overall I would give it a 4/5 with the only real knock being battery life.