Aimpoint Comp M5 Review: Tactical Firearm Red Dot Sight

Chris G.

After testing numerous models over the years in all conditions, I recently had the opportunity to take a first look at the Aimpoint Comp M5 red dot reflex sight. With its extremely durable design and proprietary sight technology innovations, the Comp M5 claimed capabilities never before seen in the red dot sight market. Naturally my interests were piqued to see if this promising new optic could deliver unmatched optical performance for tactical scenarios. 

The Aimpoint Comp M5 is Aimpoint’s newest generation closed reflex sight intended to deliver enhanced ruggedness and optical clarity under grueling conditions for elite tactical teams. As a fan of Aimpoint’s previous Micro series sights, I was eager to check out their cutting-edge proprietary technology upgrades embedded within the Comp M5. Out of the box, the Comp M5 exudes premium quality with aluminum protective caps, adjustment tools, lens pens, and an efficient quick-detach mount. We’ll examine the Comp M5’s capabilities under the hood.

In this comprehensive review, I’ll provide my thorough hands-on evaluation and experience using the Aimpoint Comp M5 over both long-term range sessions and simulated combat shooting tests. We’ll take an in-depth look at the Comp M5’s unique features, advanced lens system, battery efficiency, precision adjustments, mounting solutions, comparative performance against leading competitors, and ideal applications suited for this versatile sight. Let’s dive in!

Aimpoint Comp M5 Under the Hood: Advanced Features and Specifications  

a close up of a gun with Aimpoint Comp M5

My first impression upon handling the Comp M5 was the obvious attention to detail in its construction. Weighing just 5.2 oz, the sight still possesses a stout profile that fills the hand with an aura of rugged dependability. Twisting off the rear cap reveals Aimpoint’s ACET tech handwheel for adjusting dot intensity across the full range of visual conditions. Further disassembly shows how the Comp M5’s optics and electronics receive enhanced impact protection within the sight housing. Additional gaskets seal out moisture or fogging issues even in brutally frigid environments.

On the business end, my initial sight picture through the Comp M5 provided a pleasantly wide unobstructed view despite its compact form factor. The front aluminum protective cover features a small embedded anti-glare honeycomb grid allowing the user to leave the caps closed while maintaining situational awareness – an ingenious advantage if urgently returning fire.  

  • 2 MOA Dot Optimized for Speed and Precision
  • Advanced ACET Technology Enabling Over 5 Years of Constant Operation 
  • 6 Daylight and 4 NVD Compatible Settings
  • 45 m/150 ft Rated Waterproof Protection 
  • Hard Anodized Finish for Extreme Durability
  • Wide Temperature Operation From -45°C to 71°C
  • Surface Friction Dot Adjustment with Positive Audible Clicks
  • Integrated MIL-STD-1913 Standard Mount 

Examining these impressive credentials and specifications whet my appetite to rigorously test whether the Comp M5 could deliver such phenomenal performance promises. Let’s move to the range and bullets-down range where reality counts.

Thoroughly Testing the Aimpoint Comp M5 Red Dot Sight for Speed and Precision

I simulated rigorous tests the Comp M5 might realistically face in the hands of military or law enforcement. For controls, I shot multiple groups using my proven Aimpoint T2 Micro and several other optics to compare speed and accuracy. I selected a Daniel Defense MK18 topped with a Geissele SSA-E trigger as my evaluation carbine for repeatability across tests. 

Beginning at 25 yards, I was immediately impressed by the Comp M5’s fast target acquisition and shot placement clustering tightly even during rapid double taps. The 2 MOA aiming dot provided optimal precision for center mass shots without obscuring the entire target at this distance. 

However, I did notice slightly more parallax error on the Comp M5 compared to the T2 Micro. Shifting my head position at awkward shooting angles caused the Comp M5’s dot to dance unpredictably before my eye. Not a deal breaker by any means, but worth considering for those requiring pinpoint accuracy – I’ll trade some precision for the Comp M5’s lightning quick target acquisition.

Moving back to 50 and 100 yards, the Comp M5 remained exceptionally accurate with Lapua Scenar 69 grain match ammo. I ringed consistent .6 MOA groups – meeting the common standard for acceptable “combat accuracy” of remaining within a 4-6 inch vital zone at 100 yards. 

Running drills under varied lighting conditions, the Comp M5’s adjustable dot illumination and included honeycomb anti-glare grids performed admirably. From bright sunshine to heavily overcast days, I could always dial in a crisp red dot. The Comp M5 even shined during night fire exercises. Running it on NVD setting #3, my PVS-14 night vision goggles easily picked up the reduced illumination pulse preserving my natural vision. 

 Testing Lens Durability Under Pressure

To simulate real-world battle conditions, I needed to test the Comp M5’s durability claims under duress. Starting tests, I subjected the Comp M5 to prolonged 120+ round full-auto mag dumps causing the carbine to heat up significantly. After initially sighting in, the Comp M5 maintained reliable zero with only the minimal shift inherent to the carbine heating up. I repeated hot barrel and re-zeroing exercises several times with consistent positive results.

My next durability trial involved partially submerging and spraying the Comp M5 with high pressure water hoses. True to its 150 foot depth rating, the Comp M5 continued illuminating perfectly despite direct water exposure. To check sealing performance, I left the Comp M5 alone overnight after soaking it. Returning the next morning, internal fogging remained minimal and cleared quickly once powered on. 

For my final sight torture test, I removed the Comp M5 from my carbine and fired an additional 500 rounds of Federal M193 ball ammunition. Allowing the empty carbine to heat up significantly, I reinstalled the Comp M5 and re-confirmed zero. Despite the simulated harsh combat conditions, the Comp M5 performed admirably holding reliable zero shot after shot.  

Analyzing the Results After Putting the Aimpoint Comp M5 Through Its Paces

My range tests proved the Comp M5 could certainly take a beating from field use while providing combat effective accuracy within reasonable expectations. If anything, seeing how well the Comp M5 maintained precise zero shifts under duress increased my confidence tenfold compared to comparable Micro red dots. This versatile sight helps users ring steel quickly during chaotic encounters while holding up to years of heavy use and adverse conditions.

Let’s shift gears and examine my firsthand experience getting the Comp M5 mounted and running for daily carry purposes.

Steps for Mounting and Zeroing the Aimpoint Comp M5 Red Dot  

a close up of Aimpoint Comp M5

The Comp M5 ships ready for action right from the factory – just add rail space. To start mounting, I flipped my AR’s safety selector to SAFE and cleared the chamber before slapping in a bright neon yellow chamber flag for good measure. Wouldn’t want any negligent discharges messing up my day!  

The Comp M5 comes with a quick-detach Lever Release Picatinny (LRP) mount designed to grab onto mil-spec 1913 rails. After moving my rear iron sight to a side rail, I slid the Comp M5 into position centered above my carbine’s bore axis. Hand tightening the single throw lever anchor provided sufficient clamping force to prevent slippage even under recoil. However, users planning to subject their carbines to sustained automatic fire may still consider applying Loctite thread locker.

With the mount secured, I inserted a fresh AAA Energizer Ultimate Lithium battery with the positive terminal oriented towards the cap. Aimpoint thoughtfully includes pictorial diagrams with proper battery orientation molded into the Comp M5’s housing so you never second guess polarity. Once my battery was seated properly, rotating the ACET adjustment knob illuminated the 2 MOA aiming dot as expected. 

Finally, I confirmed zero at 25 yards, marking my windage and elevation before safely removing the chamber flag. Now it was time to run some split timers and test handling for personal defense use. 

Real World Handling Impressions Carrying the Aimpoint Comp M5 Daily

Right off the bat, the Comp M5’s rugged aluminum housing and efficient lever mount make it an ideal grab-and-go solution for patrol rifles living a hard life rattling around squad cars. With an IP67 weather resistance rating certified to function fully submerged down to 45 meters and weigh just 5.2 oz, I never worried about exposing my Comp M5 to the elements. 

While bulkier overall than the T2, I welcomed the Comp M5’s enlarged adjustment dial and battery compartment manipulating it with gloves on during biting cold winter months. Aimpoint’s ACET power efficiency technology also means you can truly fit it and forget it – expecting over 5 years of constant runtime even at medium power settings. 

I became a believer in Aimpoint’s bold “always ready” reliability claims after inadvertently leaving my Comp M5 powered on after a late night home defense readiness drill. Returning from a week-long work trip, that little red dot was still burning bright waiting for action despite my absent mindedness!

While impractical for concealed everyday carry profiles, the Comp M5 really shines as a compact magnified optic bodyguard. I paired my Comp M5 with a piggybacked Aimpoint 3x Mag-1 magnifier for lightweight recon work. The 3x further enhanced target identification rapidity and eliminated any holdover guesswork past 100 yards – an ideal two piece system extending capabilities for minimal bulk.

For home defense use, I relied on the Comp M5’s enclosed honeycomb anti-reflection device to keep the front protective cover closed and maintain night vision without interfering with maintaining situational awareness. Battery longevity was simply never a concern remembering to power down, as I easily eclipsed the one year constant operation mark with my typical usage averaging a few hours weekly.

The Comp M5’s intuitive controls, gasket sealed battery storage, and simplified sight picture make mastering this professional grade optic safe and easy for all experience levels. Let’s see how the Comp M5 stacks up against its closest competitors.

How Does the Aimpoint Comp M5 Compare to the Leading Competitors?

a close up of Aimpoint Comp M5

Naturally I couldn’t complete my review without comparing the Comp M5 mano a mano against its toughest rivals. I especially focused on the earlier Aimpoint Comp M4 and Micro T2 models along with checking features against the EOTech EXPS-3 and Trijicon MRO patrol optics. Would the Comp M5’s upgrades provide enough advantage to justify the premium price tag? Time to find out!

Comp M5 vs Comp M4 and Micro T2

The Comp M5 improves substantially over the M4 inside while preserving nearly identical external dimensions. Optically I found minor clarity and light transmission upgrades increased target detection speed marginally from my T2. 

However battery storage relocates to a top mounted compartment compared to the M4’s sidecar design which many users disliked. I also welcomed little touches like the Comp M5’s surface friction ring adjustment and vertically split spring-hinged lens covers. Subtle but meaningful evolution! 

Comp M5 vs EOTech EXPS-3 Holographic Sight  

The EOTech’s classic 68 MOA circle surrounding a precise 1 MOA central dot allows both rapid CQB target acquisition and distal precision. My EXPS-3 definitely felt quicker indexing threats up close below 25 yards. However, the Comp M5’s solar-compatible 2 MOA dot enabled more precise follow up shots as the target size shrank.

While the Comp M5 holds up well against liquids, I would not recommend fully submerging an EOTech! Lens coatings and holographic technology differ greatly from Aimpoint’s refractive prisms. For duty use expecting hits out to 200+ yards, I would grab the Comp M5. Operationally both served target shooters and home defense well in my testing.

Comp M5 vs Trijicon MRO  

Trijicon carved an enviable reputation in combat optics through their legendary ACOG “pillow pipes”. But could the patrol focused MRO with ambitions of becoming “the redesigned Aimpoint” match up? Surprisingly I found the MRO fell a bit short for my needs.

While praised for its large viewing aperture, I struggled finding the tiny 1 MOA dot under dynamic shooting. The Comp M5’s more visible bright 2 MOA dot was easier locating quickly from awkward positions and transitions. Adjustment turrets also felt vague needing more rotation than expected to shift point of impact compared to the Comp M5’s sure clicks.

Conclusions: Comparing the Aimpoint Comp M5 Against the Best Red Dots

After thoroughly testing against its closest market rivals, the Comp M5 clearly demonstrates why it deserves consideration as an elite modern red dot system. Optically and electronically, the Comp M5 proves itself a meaningful advancement over previous generation systems without drastic retraining. If you expect your life might one day depend on your optic’s performance, the Comp M5 delivers professional grade engineering and execution.

Recommendations for Mounting and Maintaining Your Aimpoint Comp M5

a close up of Aimpoint Comp M5

Concluding with CompM5 Ownership Best Practices 

Drawing on my extensive testing and thousands of rounds downrange evaluating the Comp M5’s capabilities and limitations, I would feel confident entrusting my life to the Comp M5’s lifesaving capabilities. However, proper weapon maintenance still reigns supreme no matter how impressive your optic might perform. Let’s briefly review best practices ensuring your Comp M5 always delivers when needed most.

Optimize Mounting – Seek professional installation if possible, or thoroughly research proper sight positioning minimizing parallax and maximizing eye relief for your platform. Invest in quality mounts from reputable manufacturers and confirm proper rail interface and tension.

Maintain Lens Integrity – Change lenses only when necessary using manufacturer authorized components to avoid degrading image quality or seal performance. Exercise reasonable care avoiding unnecessary exposure to abrasive and impact conditions.  

Change Batteries Proactively – Confirm proper battery installation orientation visually or through electronic verification. Mark your calendar in advance of expected lifespan estimates to prevent unexpected failures. Lithium batteries prolong storage duration during infrequent use.  

Confirm Zero Regularly – Regardless of claimed shockproof ratings, confirm zero retention after exposure to shock impacts before entrusting your life to the weapon system. Reconfirm zero anytime removable components are shifted.

Store Responsibly – Ensure lens caps remain in place when not in use and remove batteries during long term storage to prevent corrosion or leakage. Care for your optic’s external condition to extend serviceable lifetime.  

Final Verdict: Aimpoint Comp M5 Red Dot

In closing, while any optic is only a supplemental accessory bolted onto your weapon system, a reliable red dot sight remains crucial for target acquisition speed and accuracy. My exhaustive testing found the Aimpoint Comp M5 reflex sight deserves strong consideration as an EDC patrol and defense solution for both civilian and military operators.

The Comp M5 continues Aimpoint’s reputation for delivering bombproof electronic sighting systems ready to soldier on through adverse missions. Whether standing guard duty overnight or riding point recon through enemy territory, the Comp M5 has your six. Backed by Aimpoint’s 10 year warranty and my personal endorsement after extensive field use, trust the Comp M5 to watch over you and family when split seconds matter.

In my experience both on the range and concealed carry in harsh conditions, Aimpoint delivers an elite modernized closed reflex sight offering substantial advances over previous units. Despite the premium price tag, I believe the Comp M5’s enhanced optics and ruggedness warrant investment extending service lifetime for serious shooters. Thanks for reading and see you downrange!

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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