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GUNS Magazine January 2011 - Page 34
JOHN TAFFIN The H-1 and R-1 set a new standard for compact, durable red-dot sights. or those among us who may not be familiar with redf dot “scopes” they began looking much like a regular scope though somewhat shorter. Today’s red dots are very compact, normally 2" or 3" in length with no magnification. There are no crosshairs but simply a red dot in the middle of a plain field. The red dots are powered by a battery and allow varying degrees of intensity for varying situations. A leader in innovation has been Aimpoint. Their red-dot scope sights can easily be found at combat and bull’s-eye matches where red dots are used almost exclusively unless a particular phase calls for iron sights. I also know of several handgun hunters who regularly use Aimpoints on their sixguns including those chambered for the .454 Casull. Thanks to Aimpoint, red-dot scopes are no longer the fragile things they once were. My first real positive experiences with red-dots sights took place 20 The black matte finished h-1 Aimpoint was mounted on a Browning Buckmark and the silver finished R-1 on Ruger MK III. At 3 ounces each in weight, the Aimpoints don’t affect the handling qualities of either pistol. AIMPOINt MICRO SIGhtS Shooting accurately at 25 yards with the Ruger MK III hunter Model with Aimpoint’s R-1 in place was a snap (above). The red-dot Aimpoints (below) work well for squirrel hunting in deep woods where a conventional crosshair might get lost. years ago when I tested two of them on a Voltquartsen Custom Ruger MK I Stingray .22 and a fully-custom Smith & Wesson .45 ACP Model 625 provided by Cameron Hopkins who was then the editor of our sister publication American Handgunner. I was impressed at the usefulness of both of these Aimpoints and how easy it was to hit targets with these red dots in place. As I look back at pictures, I am somewhat stunned at how compact current Aimpoints are by comparison. You might say Aimpoint wrote the book on red-dot sights as they were the first to market such a radical idea and have been at it for more than 30 years. As this is written, Aimpoint has announced a new contract with the United States Army to supply more than half a million Close Combat Optic rifle sights. Several sights were put through rigorous testing, however the Army’s Research & Development Command chose the Aimpoint as the best sight available for use by our troops. Aimpoint also supplies sights for the US Air Force and five of our allied armies. R-1 & h-1 On the civilian side, Aimpoint offers two new sights, the Micro R-1 and Micro H-1. These sights differ only in finish with the former being a silver metallic and the latter being finished in matte black. Aimpoint says the R-1 is designed for competition on pistols and revolvers while the more subdued finish of the H-1 is more adaptable to hunting rifles and revolvers. However, either can be used in both situations and also be adapted 34 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • JANUARY 2011