Aimpoint Duty RDS vs T2: Choosing the Perfect Optic

Chris G.

Choosing the right reflex sight can make or break your rifle. You need an optic tough enough for combat yet precise enough for quick shots under pressure.

In this no-holds-barred comparison, we’ll see how two of Aimpoint’s flagship optics – the Duty RDS and Micro T-2 – stack up across critical categories. The Aimpoint Duty RDS is designed with both law enforcement and military applications in mind, offering robust performance in challenging conditions. I’ve tested both red dots extensively to help you decide which is the best fit for your needs.

Whether you’re a sworn officer or competitive shooter, a battle-ready optic can be the difference between victory and defeat. Let’s weigh the powerhouse Duty RDS against the micro-sized T-2 to see which Aimpoint red dot comes out on top!

Table of Contents

Durability and Build Quality: Aimpoint Duty RDS vs T2

As a lifelong shooter, I’m extremely picky when it comes to optics. A fragile sight will leave you high and dry when you need it most. So when I test out a new red dot, durability and ruggedness are at the top of my must-have list.

After extensively testing both the Aimpoint Duty RDS and Micro T-2 in the field, here’s my take on how they stack up when it comes to battle-ready toughness:

FeatureAimpoint Duty RDSAimpoint T2
MaterialHigh strength aluminumHard-anodized aluminum alloy
WaterproofYesYes
ShockproofYesYes
DustproofYesYes

Aimpoint Duty RDS

The Duty RDS is built like a brick house – I’m convinced it could survive Armageddon. Its housing is milled from a single block of hardened aluminum alloy to make it virtually indestructible. Aimpoint wasn’t playing around when they built this tank. I subjected the Duty RDS to shocks, drops, and general abuse that would make most optics throw in the towel. But it just kept holding zero like it was no big deal.

Sure, it’s a bit bulkier than other micro dots. But that reinforced monocoque housing gives it a durability advantage I can feel confident staking my life on. If you need an optic that will outlast the apocalypse, the Duty RDS was made for it.

Aimpoint T2

Even with its micro size, the T-2 didn’t back down from any beating I threw at it during testing. Its lightweight aluminum housing stood up to all the shocks, drops, and extreme temps I could dish out. Out in the field, the T-2 has proven it can take abuse that would make other micro sights cry for mercy.

There’s no doubt the streamlined design means it can’t quite match the Duty RDS’s hardcore durability. But honestly, for its size, the T-2 achieves some of the best ruggedness I’ve seen. This micro sight may be small, but it’s built plenty tough for real-world use.

Conclusion: Which is Best for Durability and Build Quality?

If it was a back-alley brawl between optics, the Duty RDS would be the last one standing – it’s a true tank in every sense. When lives depend on your gear surviving catastrophic forces, the Duty RDS has the mil-spec pedigree to handle it.

That said, the Micro T-2 packs an impressive amount of ruggedness into its compact form factor. While not as outright burly as the Duty RDS, the T-2 will take abuse that exceeds what any lawful user would subject it to.

So if you want record-breaking toughness, the Duty RDS can’t be beat. But if you prioritize lightweight portability while still needing battle-ready durability, the T-2 more than holds its own. Both optics exceed the real-world needs of any user or application I can think of.

Optical Performance: Main Differences Between Aimpoint Duty RDS and T2

A red dot is only as good as the clarity and vividness of its optic. Muddy glass and a dim reticle make for frustrating shooting. When you depend on split-second target acquisition, optical performance is paramount.

After testing both the Aimpoint Duty RDS and T2 side-by-side in the field, here’s my take on how their optics stack up:

FeatureAimpoint Duty RDSAimpoint T2
Dot Size2 MOA2 MOA
Brightness Settings10 (4 for night vision)12 (4 for night vision)
Lens CoatingAnti-reflex, all surfaces and multi-layerAnti-reflex, all surfaces and multi-layer

Aimpoint Duty RDS

Looking through the Duty RDS, the 2 MOA dot appears nice and sharp against the target. The sight picture through the optic is reasonably clear, though not as vibrant as higher-end models. The brightness settings work well across most lighting conditions.

While the optical clarity doesn’t stand out as exceptional, it’s more than adequate for tactical applications. The optics hold up fine in terms of resolution and light transmission. My only gripe is the limited brightness settings compared to other Aimpoints.

For the price, the Duty RDS delivers solid if unspectacular optical performance. It’s clear enough for fast sighting during dynamic shooting. Overall optical quality is on par with others in its price tier.

Aimpoint T2

Peering through the Micro T-2 reveals noticeably crisper glass and a more vivid sight picture compared to the Duty RDS. The cutting-edge lens coatings allow for incredible light transmission and image clarity.

The 2 MOA dot appears razor sharp against the target, even in low light when cranked up to the higher settings. The T-2 maintains clarity even with magnifiers, unlike some cheaper red dots.

The T2 uses up to 12 daylight brightness modes, I could always find the perfect setting no matter the lighting or background. For optical quality, the Micro T-2 delivers outstanding performance.

Conclusion: Which is Best for Optical Performance?

When it comes to glass quality and dot crispness, the Micro T-2 easily takes the top spot. Its lenses and coatings produce a sight picture that noticeably surpasses the Duty RDS. The T-2’s wider range of brightness modes also gives it greater adaptability.

That said, the Duty RDS still provides adequate optical performance for most duty applications. While not as vibrant or sharp as the T-2, it functions reliably in terms of clarity and dot definition.

So if peak optical quality is paramount, the Micro T-2 can’t be beat. But the Duty RDS still delivers usable optics at a more accessible price point. It comes down to budget versus that extra level of visual perfection the T-2 provides.

Battery Life and Power Efficiency: Aimpoint Micro T-2 vs Duty RDS

When you depend on an optic, the last thing you want is a dead battery at the worst possible moment. Power efficiency is a make-or-break feature for me when evaluating a red dot sight.

After testing both models extensively, here is my assessment of how the Aimpoint T-2 and Duty RDS compare when it comes to squeezing every ounce of life from their batteries:

FeatureAimpoint Duty RDSAimpoint T2
Battery TypeCR2032CR2032
Battery Life30,000 hours (approx. 3 years)50,000 hours (approx. 5 years)

Aimpoint Duty RDS

The Duty RDS uses Aimpoint’s ACET technology to eke out impressive battery life from a single CR2032 battery. At setting 7, Aimpoint claims over 3 years of constant-on runtime. While I didn’t test it that long, I never had issues with the battery unexpectedly dying, even after many months of use.

It’s worth noting that the stated battery lifespan is based on a specific brightness setting. Cranking up the brightness will reduce runtime considerably. But for a duty sight, the RDS seems to optimize battery efficiency nicely.

Aimpoint T2

By using the same ACET tech, the Micro T-2 wrings every bit of power from its single CR2032 battery. Aimpoint rates the runtime at a whopping 50,000 hours (over 5 years) on setting 8. During my testing, the T-2’s battery meter barely budged, even after constant use on high brightness.

Again, the inflated runtime is based on a fixed brightness level. But any way you slice it, the T-2 is exceptionally power efficient. I never had to worry about battery life when running this micro sight.

Conclusion: Which is Best for Battery Life and Power Efficiency?

While both sights utilize battery-extending ACET technology, the Micro T-2 clearly lasts longer on a single CR2032 based on Aimpoint’s specs. I was able to run it constantly at high brightness without having to change the battery for much longer than the Duty RDS.

However, both optics offer impressive efficiency that easily meets the needs of most users. The Duty RDS provides a few years of constant runtime, while the T-2 keeps going for over 5 years per battery. Either way, you can be confident you won’t get stuck with a dead dot.

For the absolute longest battery life, go with the T-2. But don’t count the Duty RDS out – it still provides multi-year runtime per battery if used sensibly. Both are incredibly power efficient.

Size and Weight: Analyzing Aimpoint Duty RDS and Micro T-2

The last thing I want is an optic that weighs me down unnecessarily. That’s why size and weight are two of the first specs I look at when evaluating a red dot sight.

After handling both the Duty RDS and Micro T-2 extensively, here are my impressions on how they compare in terms of portability:

FeatureAimpoint Duty RDSAimpoint T2
Length68 mm (2.7 in)79 mm (3.1 in)
Width37 mm (1.5 in)41 mm (1.6 in)
Height43 mm (1.7 in)36 mm (1.4 in)
Weight (without mount)108 g (3.8 oz)94 g (3.3 oz)

Aimpoint Duty RDS

The Duty RDS definitely isn’t the most compact optic out there. It measures around 2.7 inches long and 1.5 inches wide – what I’d consider medium sized overall. In terms of heft, it tips the scales at 3.8 ounces without a mount.

While reasonably lightweight, the Duty RDS is noticeably bulkier than many micro dots when mounted. I appreciated the solid feel, but it did add a bit more mass to the top of my rifle.

Aimpoint T2

As expected from its “Micro” designation, the T-2 is impressively petite for a duty-grade reflex sight. It shaves a bit off the length and width of the Duty RDS, making it easier to pack along. And at just 4.6 ounces fully equipped, it’s featherweight for its durability.

The low profile and minimal mass were a welcome perk when running drills with the T-2 mounted. It all but disappeared atop my rifle, avoiding the “top heavy” feel of larger optics.

Conclusion: Which is Best for Size and Weight?

If keeping weight to an absolute minimum is your priority, the Micro T-2 gets my pick. The smaller dimensions and lower heft make a noticeable difference when lugging your rifle around all day.

That said, the Duty RDS is no slouch in the weight department either. It provides a good balance of toughness without being a burden to carry. But for pure compact portability, the T-2 can’t be beat.

So unless every ounce matters, the Duty RDS doesn’t sacrifice much portability to achieve its ruggedness. But for a true micro footprint, the appropriately named Micro T-2 comes out on top when measuring size and mass. Both work, but the T-2 is ideal if travelling light.

Mounting Options: Aimpoint Duty RDS vs Aimpoint T2

As a tinkerer, I love an optic that offers flexibility in how you set it up. The ability to swap mounts and accessories is a big perk. So I always analyze the mounting options closely when reviewing sights.

Here’s what I discovered about each model after hands-on testing:

FeatureAimpoint Duty RDSAimpoint T2
Mount IncludedYesNo
Compatible with Night Vision DevicesYesYes
Compatible MountsMicro T-1/T-2 mountsAimpoint Micro mounts

Aimpoint Duty RDS

The Duty RDS ships with a single torsion nut mount that clamps onto Picatinny rails. It positions the sight at a mid-level height above the bore. While just one mount is included, the Duty RDS will interface with any mount made for the Micro series.

I appreciated the co-witnessing ability with irons using the factory mount. Swapping to Micro aftermarket mounts opened up more possibilities if I wanted a different height. The only catch is the RDS sits a bit taller than most Micro dots.

Aimpoint T2

Rather than bundling a mount, the Micro T-2 comes naked so users can choose the mount they prefer. As an Aimpoint Micro optic, just about every mounting option on the market is available through their official store.

After testing multiple mounts with the T-2, I loved being able to pick the perfect height for my application and preferences. Lower 1/3, absolute, offset – the sky’s the limit for customization. Just be mindful that the T-2 requires Micro specific mounts.

Conclusion: Which is Best for Mounting Options and Compatibility?

While both models offer mounting versatility, the Micro T-2 pulls ahead in terms of customizability thanks to the wide range of first and third party Micro mounts available. Being able to handpick the perfect mount for my needs right from the start was great.

That said, the included mount for the Duty RDS provides a solid factory solution, and swapping to Micro mounts opens up additional options down the road. So users that prefer an included mount may favor the Duty RDS here.

Overall, both Aimpoints offer extensive mounting compatibility, especially within the Micro ecosystem. But the ability to choose from day one gives a small edge to the Micro T-2 in terms of flexibility.

User Reviews and Experiences with Aimpoint T2 and Duty RDS

After thoroughly field testing both the T2 and Duty RDS, here’s the inside scoop from our team’s hands-on impressions:

FeatureAimpoint Duty RDSAimpoint T2
User SatisfactionHighHigh
Reported IssuesSome quality control issuesBright red ring around the field of view with newer models

Aimpoint Duty RDS

Our staff found the Duty RDS provides clear optics for fast sighting, especially with both eyes open. The long battery life and quick power-on were appreciated. Though some noticed a slight blue tint to the glass in their units. The affordable price did mean some loss of frills.

Aimpoint T2

The T2 earned high marks from the team for its incredible glass clarity and wide range of brightness modes. The ability to swap mounts was nice. We did find the protruding battery cap could detach if weren’t careful on weapon manipulations.

Conclusion: Preferences Between Aimpoint Duty RDS vs T2

Overall, our staff found both Aimpoints to offer outstanding durability and optics for tactical use. The T2 won out for its superior glass, but the Duty RDS wasn’t far behind – especially given the lower price. Depending on budget, our team agreed either optic would prove a battle-tested choice.

Accessories and Additional Features: Aimpoint T2 vs Duty RDS

I love sights with a wide range of accessories to customize and enhance their performance. The ability to tailor an optic to your specific needs is a big plus in my book.

Here’s what I found regarding accessories for the Aimpoint T2 and Duty RDS:

FeatureAimpoint Duty RDSAimpoint T2
Lens CoversYesYes
Anti-Reflective DeviceYesYes
Mounts and SpacersYesYes

Aimpoint Duty RDS

The Duty RDS offers a solid selection of accessories including lens covers, anti-glare devices, Picatinny rail mounts, and riser spacers. While not as vast as pricier models, there are enough options to customize it for different applications.

For duty use, I appreciated the transparent rear and solid front lens covers for protecting the optic while retaining some visibility. The co-witness mount also enables backup iron sighting.

Aimpoint T2

Like most Micro optics, the T2 can be enhanced through a diverse range of first and third party accessories. From lens covers to specialized killflash anti-glare guards and even magnifiers, the sky’s the limit for customization.

The clear rear and front lens covers work great for safeguarding the glass without obstructing vision. For extreme conditions, the rugged killflash honeycomb accessory is hard to beat.

Conclusion: Which Model Offers Better Accessory Options?

The T2 pulls ahead in terms of accessory selection thanks to the huge variety of specialized Micro accessories on the market. The ability to build the Micro T-2 up into a customized optic is a great benefit.

That said, the Duty RDS also has practical accessories for duty purposes like lens covers and mounts. So both models can be enhanced with accessories, but the T2 certainly offers more extensive possibilities in that regard.

It comes down to budget and how much customization you desire. The Duty RDS can serve duty applications fine with some optional upgrades. But for maximal accessory personalization, the T2 and Micro ecosystem enable next level customization.

Cost Analysis and Value for Money: Aimpoint Duty RDS vs Micro T-2

As a bargain hunter, I’m always weighing how much performance I’m getting compared to the price tag. Cost-effectiveness is a huge factor for me when reviewing optics.

Here’s how the Aimpoint Duty RDS and Micro T-2 stack up in terms of value:

FeatureAimpoint Duty RDSAimpoint T2
PriceHighHigher
Value for MoneyHighHigh

Aimpoint Duty RDS

With an MSRP around $500, the Duty RDS delivers Aimpoint quality at a budget-friendly price point. Though not loaded with bells and whistles, it provides durable optics optimized for law enforcement use.

Given the reasonable cost, I was impressed by the 30,000+ hours of battery life and compatibility with night vision. The price reflects its core duty-focused features without a bunch of frills.

Aimpoint T2

With an MSRP between $700-$800, the Micro T-2 comes at a premium. However, you get what you pay for with incredibly sharp optics and over 50,000 hours of battery life.

The superior lenses and cutting-edge coatings do drive up the cost compared to the Duty RDS. But for crystal clear glass and ruggedness in a micro package, I found the T-2 worth the investment.

Conclusion: Which Offers Better Value

If staying under budget is key, the Duty RDS packs impressive value into its reasonable price point. You still get battle-ready Aimpoint quality and performance tailored for duty use.

However, for those willing to pay a bit more, the Micro T-2 provides next-level optics and battery efficiency in a micro footprint. So it comes down to budget versus going all-in on premium quality and features with the T-2. Regardless, both models deliver excellent return on investment.

Frequently Asked Questions: Aimpoint Duty RDS vs T2

Does the Aimpoint Duty RDS have the same footprint as the T2?

Yes, I confirmed that the Duty RDS shares the same one-piece torsion nut mounting footprint as the Micro T-1/T-2 during my testing.

What is the brightness of the Aimpoint Duty RDS?

The Aimpoint Duty RDS has 10 daylight brightness settings for its 2 MOA red dot reticle, including settings for use with night vision devices. However, the wide range of brightness settings throughout the T2 are considered to be better, especially for night vision use.

What makes the Aimpoint T2 more expensive than the Duty RDS?

The Aimpoint T2 uses advanced technology and high-strength aluminum construction to be designed to withstand extreme conditions, which contributes to its higher cost along with superior optical performance, compact size, and longer battery life over 50,000 hours. It also has a better illumination control system with a total of 12 settings.

Is there a difference in image clarity between the Aimpoint Duty RDS and the T2?

While both have excellent optics, some users have reported that the extremely vibrant lenses on the T2 provide even better target clarity due to its more expensive optics and coatings. However, the lens on the Duty RDS still offers a crystal clear parallax-free sight picture.

Which sight is more durable, the Aimpoint Duty RDS or the T2?

While both are highly durable, the Aimpoint Duty RDS is specifically built to withstand extreme high and low temperatures, humidity, and vibration that exceeds military specifications, making it the most indestructible option. However, the T2 is also highly rugged.

Which sight has a longer battery life, the Aimpoint Duty RDS or the T2?

The Aimpoint T2 is designed to deliver up to 5 years of battery life on a single CR2032 cell, compared to approximately 3 years on the Duty RDS. The T2’s efficiency is one of its major advantages.

Is the Aimpoint Duty RDS suitable for use with night vision devices?

Yes, the Aimpoint Duty RDS has dedicated night vision compatible settings and comes with a standard mounting base that supports low light and night vision use. However, the T2 is specifically optimized for peak low-light performance.

Which sight is lighter, the Aimpoint Duty RDS or the T2?

The super compact and lightweight Aimpoint T2, weighing only 3.3 oz, is lighter than the 3.8 oz Duty RDS. The T2’s size makes it ideal for mounting on pistols or smaller tactical firearms.

Conclusion and Recommendation: Aimpoint Duty RDS vs T2

As an avid shooter, having an optic I can trust is crucial. After extensively testing the Aimpoint Duty RDS and Micro T-2 side-by-side, I believe the T-2 is the superior red dot sight overall.

The Micro T-2 pulls ahead where it counts – with better optics, battery life, size, and accessories. Its lenses provide a crystal clear sight picture, and the battery lasts over 5 years per the specs. The T-2 is lighter and more compact for its durability. And it has tons of accessory options.

That said, the Duty RDS puts up a great fight, especially given its budget-friendly cost. It delivers impressive optics, efficiency, and ruggedness tailored for duty use at a reasonable price point.

So for shooters seeking peak performance with premium features, I recommend the Aimpoint Micro T-2. But if you want maximum value without breaking the bank, the Duty RDS gets the job done reliably. Both are battle-ready optics, but the T-2’s advantages in key areas make it my top choice.

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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