Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Reflex Sight Review (Updated 2024)

Chris G.

Review Box

The Aimpoint ACO is a red dot sight that is optimized for use in carbines and rifles. I love its aggressive profile, durability, and user-friendly operation. Although it doesn’t have extraordinary features, it does its job very well. I highly recommend this sight for long-arm users.

Overall Rating7.0
Reticle6.0
Brightness Settings6.5
Night Vision Gear compatibility0.5
Lens Quality8.0
Target Acquisition7.0
Windage and Elevation7.0
Durability And Reliability7.5
Size and Weight8.0
Battery7.5
Mounting Option9.0
Price8.5

ProsCons
Rugged and toughSharp and defined reticleExtra brightness setting Long battery lifeAggressive aestheticsSomewhat limited field of viewNo auto-brightnessNo advanced featuresNot night vision gear compatible

Does the Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Sight really live up to its hype?

As an experienced competitive shooter (especially in obstacle courses), I’ve put many optics to the test. The Aimpoint ACO, a popular red dot sight known for its durability and excellent quality, is one of the optics in my collection.

After spending quite some time using this model, I am eager to share my insights with you. My evaluation covers everything from its functionality under different circumstances to its compatibility with various weapons.

For these tests, I used my Heckler & Koch HK416 carbine, Remington 1100 semi-automatic shotgun, and a friend’s Springfield M1A that is fitted with a Picatinny rail.

What is Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Sight?

a closeup of Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Reflex Sight

Let me introduce you to the Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Reflex Sight—a pivotal addition to the world of optics. the Aimpoint ACO (Aimpoint Carbine Optic) is a red dot sight designed for rifles and carbines.

Aimpoint, the company that produces the ACO Red Dot Sight, is a well-known Swedish manufacturer that specializes in producing red dot sights and other electro-optical sighting systems. Aimpoint has gained a strong reputation for producing high-quality, durable, and reliable optics, particularly in the field of firearms.

Aimpoint offers a range of optics that cater to various needs and preferences. Some of their popular series include the Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic), CompM, and Micro series. Each series may have specific features and applications, making Aimpoint optics suitable for a wide range of shooting scenarios. 

Overview of the Aimpoint Carbine Optic

The Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Sight is a great optical equipment, designed for contemporary sporting rifles, carbines, and shotguns. 

Optical Magnification: 1x
Dot Color and Size: Red 2 MOA
Brightness Settings: 9 daylight settings
Night Vision gear compatibility: None
Optical coating: anti-reflex, multi-layer
Eye relief: Unlimited
Parallax: Parallax-free
Battery type: 3V Lithium battery, type @l76 or DL1/3N
Battery runtime: 10,000 hours (over 1 year of continuous use)
Size (L X W X H): 4.8 X 2.2 X 2.2 inches
Weight (including battery): 6.7 oz

Key Features of Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Sight

The Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Sight comes with a collection of specific features that can improve your shooting performance. 

2 MOA red dot for quicker target locking and acquisition
10,000 hour battery life for continuous operation
Fixed height mount that provides co-witness with backup iron sights
Ready to mount on a Picatinny interface
Rugged and durable to withstand abuse and harsh conditions
Anodized high strength aluminum housing for scratch protection
9 reticle intensity settings for a variety of lighting conditions
Waterproof and submersible to 15 Feet 

Performance of the Aimpoint ACO (Rating: 7.0)

a closeup of Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Reflex Sight

Let’s go farther into the journey that takes us to the heart of Aimpoint ACO’s performance. 

Reticle (Rating: 6.0)

The reticle of the Aimpoint ACO is a simple 2 MOA red dot that enables swift target tracking and locking. The reticle is sharp and defined, maintaining its clarity and sharpness under different lighting conditions.

The reticle doesn’t have any other setting except for a red dot. With this aggressive-looking Aimpoint Carbine Optic, it would have been better if there were options such as the circle-and-ring configuration of Holosun red dots.

Brightness Settings (Rating: 6.5)

The brightness levels of the Aimpoint ACO reticle can be controlled via manual brightness adjustment. It has 9 daylight settings and 1 extra bright setting to be used in exceptionally bright environments such as noontime on a cloudless day.

The ACO’s brightness adjustment can be done by turning the rotary switch behind the battery compartment. The rotary switch has a bit of tactility, so you can feel the settings. However, the switch is quite small; for those with big hands like mine, it would be tricky to switch to different brightness settings.

The Aimpoint ACO is not equipped with an auto-shutdown or an auto-brightness adjustment feature. It is not night vision compatible, so it doesn’t have NVG settings.

Night Vision Gear Compatibility (Rating: 0.5)

While the daylight brightness adjustment of the Aimpoint ACO is quite good, the red dot sight is not night vision compatible. Thus, it doesn’t have NVG settings.

You can still use the optic in low-light conditions such as during dusk or in a dimly lit room. 

Lens Quality (Rating: 8.0)

The quality of the lens and clarity of the glass in the Aimpoint ACO are exceptional. This Aimpoint carbine optic has a multi-coated, anti-reflex lens that reduces glare and distortion while increasing light transmission. However, there is some sort of slight greenish tint to the sight picture, probably due to the multiple coats. Thus, there’s a bit of color alteration. 

The Aimpoint ACO’s lens is parallax-free, and the sight offers unlimited eye relief. The target picture is clear and well-defined. Just like all other tube-style red optics, my eyes are often forced to focus through the tube, somewhat affecting peripheral awareness.

Target Acquisition (Rating: 7.0)

With the Aimpoint ACO’s 2 MOA reticle and clear multi-color lens, acquiring and tracking targets at 50 to 100 yards when properly zeroed. With both eyes open, I can see my painted target as well as the surrounding areas clearly. 

But as with other tube-style optics, my eye is inexorably drawn towards the center of the sight. This “tube-effect” can sometimes distract me from what’s going on outside the target, especially if it’s right in my peripheral vision.

Windage and Elevation (Rating: 7.0)

The Aimpoint ACO red dot reflex sight provides adjustments for both windage and elevation. Each click equates to a half MOA (Minute of Angle), allowing for an exceptional refinement of your aim. Adjusting the windage and elevation dials is straightforward, but you need a coin or a flat edge to turn each of them.

The adjustment dials are protected from inadvertent adjustments via screw caps. A strap for each of the two caps is provided.

Durability And Reliability (Rating: 7.5)

The Aimpoint ACO shines in terms of durability and dependability. The aggressive design alone speaks volumes of its rugged and robust design.

Made from high-strength aluminum, this sight is designed to withstand a variety of challenging conditions. Be it intense recoil or rough weather, the ACO remains steadfast. It can even resist water up to a depth of 15 feet.

The lens is quite recessed into the housing for further protection. For extra protection, I suggest purchasing TPE or rubber lens covers.

Size and Weight (Rating: 8.0)

The Aimpoint ACO offers an optimal combination of compact form and light weight although it’s not as small or light as open reflex sights or the Aimpoint Micro series. 

Its weight is a mere 6.7 ounces without a mount (10.6 ounces with the included MIL-STD 1913 Rail). This makes it a barely noticeable accessory to rifles, carbines, shotguns, and SMGs. However, it feels heavy on full-sized pistols like the Desert Eagle, and it’s completely useless on smaller pistols or concealed carry handguns.  

Its dimensions are relatively compact at 4.7 inches in length, 2.2 inches in width, and 3.0 inches in height. But its relatively long weight makes it a challenge to use it with other big and long optics such as telescope sights or night vision scopes, especially if your firearm has shorter rails.

Battery (Rating: 7.5)

The Aimpoint ACO is known for its exceptional battery life. It is advertised to operate for an impressive year-long period on just one DL1/3N battery. In my practical experience though, my battery lasted for 7 months. Practically speaking though, this battery’s longevity is quite impressive.

This long-lasting battery life is particularly beneficial for those who relish extended hunting trips. With this sight, there’s no need to stress about your equipment failing you mid-adventure. 

Of course, it’s prudent to keep a spare battery on hand. 

Mounting Option (Rating: 9.0)

The Aimpoint ACO offers a variety of mounting options, providing flexibility to shooters in setting up their gear effectively. Whether your firearm has a Picatinny or Weaver rail mount, the ACO will adapt effortlessly to your choice. It can adapt to modern sporting rifles, carbines, SMGs, and shotguns easily.

The Aimpoint ACO also provides a Quick-Detach (QD) feature, a significant advantage for those requiring fast attachment or unmounting of the sight. 

Price (Rating: 8.5)

The Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Sight is reasonably priced at $349 as presented on their website. That is excellent value for your money for such an awesome optic, considering its specifications and features. 

This sight is engineered for rifles and carbines used by the military. This means it’s constructed to withstand the harshest environments and a whole lot of abuse. 

Pros and Cons of the Aimpoint ACO

a closeup of Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Reflex Sight

Let’s weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the Aimpoint ACO, a red dot sight that has gained popularity among both casual shooters and experts.

Pros

  • The Aimpoint ACO is rugged and tough. It can withstand significant impact, recoil, and abuse.
  • The Aimpoint ACO remains functional even in extreme weather.
  • The reticle on the Aimpoint ACO is clearly defined
  • An extra brightness setting enables the red dot to be visible even during the brightest noon.
  • The Aimpoint ACO has a long battery runtime.
  • The sight looks extremely cool and aggressive.

Cons

  • The Aimpoint ACO has a somewhat limited field of view due to the tube-style design.
  • It does not have an auto-brightness adjustment.
  • It does not have more advanced features such as solar panel backups, motion-detection activation, and more.
  • The ACO is not compatible with night vision devices and does not have NVG settings.

Tips When Buying a Red Dot Sight For Carbines, Rifles, and Shotguns

If you’re searching for a red dot sight, it’s necessary to comprehend the key aspects to look for, to ensure you get a good value for your money.

  1. Recoil Resistance: Choose a red dot sight that can withstand the recoil generated by the specific firearm. Some firearms, such as shotguns or high-caliber rifles, produce more recoil than others. Ensure that the sight is rated for the level of recoil your firearm generates.
  2. Size and Weight Compatibility: Consider the size and weight of the red dot sight in relation to the firearm. While a compact sight might be ideal for a lightweight carbine, a larger sight with additional features might be suitable for a rifle with a longer barrel.
  3. Mounting Options: Different firearms may have varying mounting systems. Ensure that the red dot sight is compatible with the mounting options available for your specific firearm. Some firearms may require specific adapters or mounts for optimal installation.
  4. Application-Specific Features: Tailor your choice based on the intended use of the firearm. For example, a red dot sight for a tactical carbine might prioritize quick target acquisition, while a sight for a hunting rifle may benefit from features like a longer battery life for extended outings.
  5. Optics Compatibility: Some red dot sights can be used in conjunction with magnifiers and scopes for increased accuracy at longer distances. If you plan to use a magnifier, ensure that the red dot sight is compatible with this setup.
  6. Reticle Size: Consider the appropriate reticle size for the type of firearm and its typical engagement distances. A smaller reticle might be suitable for precise shots at a distance, while a larger reticle may facilitate faster target acquisition in close-quarters situations.
  7. Brightness Settings: Look for a red dot sight with adjustable brightness settings. This feature is crucial for adapting to different lighting conditions. Choose one with a night navigation gear compatible brightness setting if you plan some nocturnal shooting or if you’re operating at night.
  8. Battery Life: Long battery life is desirable, especially if you plan on using the sight frequently. 
  9. Durability and Construction: Opt for a sight with a rugged and durable construction. It should be able to withstand recoil, environmental elements, and rough handling. Water-resistant or waterproof features are also beneficial.

Conclusion

The Aimpoint ACO Red Dot Sight’s powerful performance, superior durability, and extraordinary accuracy make it an irresistible choice for firearm lovers. Sure, it has a couple of drawbacks, but these are easily overshadowed by its many benefits.

If you’re on the hunt for a trustworthy, easy-to-use red dot sight that provides great value for money, you might want to consider the Aimpoint ACO. Believe me, it’s worth the investment and you’re less likely to feel any regret. 

About the author

The name's Chris. Just a regular dude who loves firearms. I've been shooting since I was a kid. My old man taught me the ropes.

I'll never forget the first time I missed an easy shot on a buck, thanks to a bum scope. The image was fuzzier than my dog's butt. After that, I got obsessed with understanding scopes. What makes the good ones tick and the bad ones trash. After a few years and a few thousand bucks, I learned what separates the winners from the losers. Once I had a good stockpile of knowledge, I launched this site.

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