Aimpoint PRO vs ACO Comparison (2024 Review)

Aimpoint PRO vs ACO Comparison

When it comes to red dot sights, Aimpoint’s offerings – the PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) and ACO (Aimpoint Carbine Optic) – stand out even in the 2024 market.

Each optic is tailored to meet specific user needs, with the PRO designed primarily for law enforcement and military use, and the ACO catering to civilian and budget-conscious shooters.

Understanding the key differences between these two models is crucial for shooters to decide which sight best suits their needs. That’s where we come in, guiding you through each sights’ strengths and weaknesses to help you find the one that is best for you.

What Is The Aimpoint PRO?

The Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) is a quality red dot sight designed primarily for law enforcement and military applications.

Renowned for its robust construction and reliability, this premium red dot is tailored to withstand challenging operational conditions and intense weather conditions.

It’s engineered to enhance target acquisition speed and accuracy, especially in high-stress environments.

What Are The Primary Features Of The Aimpoint PRO?

The Aimpoint PRO has four primary features.

  1. Durability: Shockproof and waterproof up to 45 meters, ideal for rugged environments.
  2. Battery Life: Exceptional 30,000 hours of operation from a single DL1/3N battery.
  3. Reticle: Clear 2 MOA dot reticle, suitable for precise targeting.
  4. Night Vision Compatibility: Includes settings for use with night vision devices, enhancing versatility in various lighting conditions.

What Is The Aimpoint ACO?

The Aimpoint ACO (Aimpoint Carbine Optic) is a red dot sight designed for civilian use, particularly on modern sporting rifles.

It combines Aimpoint’s proven design features with affordability, boasting a better entry-level price point than the PRO, making it accessible to a broader range of users. The ACO is ideal for recreational shooting, offering reliability and ease of use.

What Are The Primary Features Of The Aimpoint ACO?

Similarly, the ACO has four primary features.

  1. Construction: Waterproof up to 5 meters and shockproof, designed for durability in everyday use.
  2. Battery Efficiency: Up to 10,000 hours of battery life from a DL1/3N battery.
  3. Reticle: Features a 2 MOA dot, balancing speed and accuracy for targeting.
  4. Mounting System: Comes with a fixed-height mount, ensuring easy installation and compatibility with AR-15 style rifles.

What Are The Differences Between The Aimpoint PRO & ACO?

There are nine main differences between the Aimpoint PRO and ACO.

  1. Construction and Durability
  2. Battery Life
  3. Night Vision Compatibility
  4. Brightness Settings
  5. Reticle Options
  6. Price
  7. Accessories
  8. Weight Comparison
  9. Sight Picture Differences

1. Construction and Durability

The Aimpoint patrol rifle optic is crafted for law enforcement and military applications.

It is constructed with high-strength aluminum, providing enhanced durability. It’s waterproof up to 45 meters (147 feet), shockproof, and able to withstand extreme temperatures. You can really feel the quality when you operate it; it’s just an all-around premium red dot optic.

Although also durable, the ACO’s build is less robust than the PRO.

It’s only waterproof up to 5 meters (15 feet) but is also shockproof, making it suitable for most civilian applications. When I handled the ACO, its sturdiness was evident, yet it lacked the PRO’s ruggedness and assurance of extreme resilience.

2. Battery Life

The Aimpoint PRO’s single DL1/3N battery boasts an impressive battery life of up to 30,000 hours (over 3 years). This extended life is invaluable in professional settings, reducing the need for frequent battery changes.

The Aimpoint ACO offers a substantial but shorter battery life of 10,000 hours, which is still considerable for most civilian uses. Its battery type is also a single DL1/3N battery.

While using the ACO, I appreciated not worrying about battery changes for extended periods. Some of the red dot sights only last a couple of hours before you need to swap the battery – that’s not the case with the ACO.

3. Night Vision Compatibility

The Aimpoint PRO has night vision capability, making it versatile for low-light and night operations. This feature has proven invaluable during my night shooting sessions and varminting, offering clear visibility in near-dark conditions.

The Aimpoint ACO is not night vision compatible. While you’ll notice this limitation in low-light conditions, the night vision features are hardly needed for civilian use.

4. Brightness Settings

The Aimpoint PRO features 6 daylight and 4-night vision settings, allowing for precise brightness adjustments in various lighting conditions.

The ACO comes with 9 daylight settings and an extra bright setting for lower light conditions, which can be seen as a compromise for the lack of night vision settings.

Although less versatile than the PRO, these settings have been sufficient in most of my low-light shooting expeditions.

5. Reticle Options

Both models feature a 2 MOA dot reticle.

However, when I tested these two Aimpoint red dot sights, it was evident the PRO’s reticle offers sharper clarity and precision. At the range, I found the PRO’s reticle to be crisp and more defined, aiding in more accurate shots​​.

It also performed better when I was hunting, allowing me to make quicker and more precise shot placement.

6. Price

You can probably already guess that there’s a price difference between these two optics. All those extra features of the PRO come at a cost.

You’ll have to pay $482 for the PRO, while the ACO will only cost you $419.

7. Accessories

The PRO is value-packed, offering a wider range of accessories and features, including flip-up lens covers and a QRP2 mount and spacer. These additions enhance the PRO’s functionality and user-friendliness.

In comparison, the ACO comes with standard options, such as a fixed-height A5-15 ready mount, suitable for most AR-15s. It does not come with lens covers, so you’ll need to buy it additionally.

8. Weight Comparison

There’s not much of a weight difference between these two sights. Both the Aimpoint ACO and PRO are very lightweight, weighing 6.7 and 7.8 ounces, respectively.

If weight is a deal-breaker, then the ACO is your better option.

9. Sight Picture Differences

When testing these two sights, I found the PRO to offer a clearer, more distinct sight picture, especially under challenging environmental conditions. This clarity was particularly noticeable in my low-light shooting scenarios.

Don’t get me wrong, the ACO still provides an adequate sight picture for general use. While not as sharp as the PRO, it’s perfectly functional for typical shooting ranges and conditions​​.

Should You Use The Aimpoint ACO Or PRO?

When deciding which sight to choose, your use case should be your main deciding factor. For instance, choose the Aimpoint PRO for demanding environments, law enforcement, or military use.

Conversely, opt for the Aimpoint ACO for general use, recreational shooting, or if you’re on a budget

When Is The Aimpoint ACO Best To Use?

The Aimpoint ACO is best for use in modern sporting rifles and general shooting activities.

It is also generally suitable for users seeking the quality Aimpoint offers but at an entry-level price.

Can You Use The Aimpoint ACO With A Magnifier?

Yes, you can use the Aimpoint ACO with a magnifier.

The ACO can work with Aimpoint red dot magnifiers, which utilize the red dot in the optic as the aiming reticle to extend your shooting range.

When Is The Aimpoint PRO Best To Use?

The Aimpoint PRO is best for professional use, especially in law enforcement and military operations.

Additionally, the PRO is ideal for users who need rugged, long-lasting optics with advanced features, such as night vision compatibility.

Where Are Aimpoint Optics Made?

Aimpoint optics are manufactured in Sweden, specifically in Malmö and Gällivare. However, the glass used in Aimpoint‘s sights is sourced from Denmark.

The Bottom Line

Both the Aimpoint PRO and ACO are exceptional in their respective shooting applications.

The PRO excels in professional settings with enhanced durability and advanced functionalities, while the ACO provides reliable performance and a better price point for everyday civilian use.

However, ultimately, your choice should align with your shooting requirements, whether for professional engagements with the PRO or recreational pursuits with the ACO.

About the author

Charles Neser

I'm a life long hunter & gun lover. Currently pursuing my Master's Degree (M.Sc.) in Animal Nutrition at University of the Free State.

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