August 2, 2009: Most U.S. combat troops have been carrying primary optics (scopes) on their weapons for well over 10 years. In that time, a couple of different optics have emerged been modified and standardized. The first, Aimpoint, a Swedish Optics company retains the honor of having supplied more military optics worldwide than any other manufacturer. For the U.S. this comes in the form of the red dot M68 Close Combat Optical (CCO) This design has gone through several refinements over the years and is now standard issue as the M4S. Second, is EOTech Holographic Weapons Sight (HWS). This has gained ground in recent years, and its 553 version was selected as the primary sight of Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
Recently, a poll was taken from soldiers in the field about which optic was preferred. The winner is neither the M4S nor HWS, but the Micro T1. A design introduced by Aimpoint in 2008. Featuring a 2.4 length, 1.6 inch diameter and 2.4 inch height with mount, and weighing a mere 3.7 ounces, the sight can be mounted not only on rifles and carbines but pistols as well. Its diminutive size and weight quickly won over users carrying weapons typically mounting a laser/infra-red designator and flashlight. Such a collection of gear, with standard scope and full magazine, tops out at over 9 pounds. With the Micro T1, up to 7 of those ounces are lost.
The Micro T1 boasts many features commonplace with its larger brethren, such as a 5 year battery life, extreme durability, waterproofing to 80 feet and compatibility with all Picatinney rail systems. Other mount designs have emerged including one enabling use of a bullet drop dial when used in the 5.56mmm or 7.62mm weapons. Two civilian versions called the H1 and R1 are designed for hunting and pistol matches respectively.
EOTech isnít resting. It recently introduced a miniaturized version of its HWS with a 600 hour battery life while maintaining all the hardiness and user interface as its full size derivatives. -- Mike Perry