We are never satisfied. If we have a new product that enhances our life, we want it bigger, faster and more powerful—unless we have to carry it. Then we want it smaller, lighter and to still have features as effective as the original product. Nowhere is that more prevalent than with optics, especially tactical optics.
Aimpoint has been the pioneer of the red-dot sight, and its 9000 series is a proven performer on the battlefield as well as in sporting applications. A few years ago the Sweden-based company came out with the Comp series, a more compact version, but still with a 30-mm tube. I mounted a Comp C3 sight on a Ruger Mark III Hunter and reported the results here in July. When Aimpoint sent me its brand-new, smaller Micro T-1 sight to wring out, I couldn't wait to put it on a pistol.
The Micro T-1 is the result of requests from operators around the world for a rugged, yet unobtrusive, red-dot sight as weapon systems become more complex with a host of accessories hung on them. "The idea to develop a much smaller sight was based on the awareness that there is a need for a small sight on weapons that become too bulky when equipped with an Aimpoint Comp M2, Aimpoint Comp M3 or Aimpoint Comp C3," said Lennart Ljungfelt, Aimpoint's president. While there are already smaller red-dot sight systems available, few, if any, seem to stand up to the rigors of the modern battlefield as well as the Aimpoint.
Constructed of aluminium and stainless steel, the 3 1/2-ounce Micro T-1 is just 2.4 inches long and 1.7 inches high, measured from the bottom of its integral Picatinny rail mount. Line of sight is a mere 3⁄4 inch above the mounting platform. It is held to the rail with a single Torx-head screw.
Powered by a lithium-ion battery that lasts 30,000 hours—or about 3 1/2 years at full power—the 1X Micro T-1 has a 4-minute-of-angle dot with 13 daylight brightness settings. Before offering it to the market, Ljungfelt put it into the hands of operators in 19 countries around the world. Some chose to use it as a primary sight, while others deployed the Micro T-1 as a backup sight. It has withstood the abuse of full-auto submachine guns as well as major-caliber service rifles.
At first glance I thought it belonged on a pistol, so I found an accurate semi-auto in our vault—a Kimber Stainless Target II in 10 mm Auto—and after installing a grip adapter, mounted the Micro T-1. As expected, the sight was quick to pick up on the target and proved to be very repeatable and reliable. I'd like to see Aimpoint make a version with a dovetail mount to give it an even lower profile on a handgun. After about 150 rounds I became quite comfortable with the sight, though I had some minor issues with the grip adapter mount shifting slightly on the mounting screws, thus moving the point of impact. This sight is so new and offers so many advantages to handguns of all types, including hunting revolvers, I'm sure a more universal and solid mounting system will be developed. Ljungfelt offered that because of its small size and light weight, bowhunters may find it useful—thereby introducing another mounting question.
I then mounted it on my DPMS A15 rifle and immediately realized I could not use it because the GI-style front sight was so tall it obliterated the target. Switching to a barrel sans the erector-set sight, I again found the Micro T-1 excellent for close work and accurate enough for 200-yard shooting. The dot is probably not ideal for precision varminting, but neither is a 1X optical sight. However, as a sight for a whitetail gun from a tree stand, the Micro T-1 would be great, especially for those of us with dimming eyesight.