FBI Drops EOTech, Switches To Aimpoint

Aimpoint_Logo1

In what appears to be a direct response to the recent SOCOM-issued warning about EOTech holographic sights, and the US Government’s lawsuits against L3 Communications, the parent company of EOTech, the FBI has purchased and is now issuing Aimpoint red dot sights to its agents in the Hostage Rescue Team, and Defensive Systems Unit, according to a press release by Aimpoint, reproduced below:

Chantilly, VA – November 24, 2015 – Aimpoint, the originator and worldwide leader in electronic red- dot sighting technology, has announced that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is now issuing Aimpoint Micro Series Sights to agents in the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) and Defensive Systems Unit (DSU).
The FBI conducted rigorous testing on optics from a wide variety of manufacturers. Following this selection process, the Aimpoint Micro T-2 and Micro H-2 were authorized as issued optics. The Micro T-2 was chosen for use by the HRT, and the Micro H-2 was selected by the DSU.
Contracts were awarded via competitive bidding process, and Aimpoint Dealers began shipments to the FBI in July, 2015.

Both units have used EOTech holographic sights for a number of years, making this the latest instance of someone “jumping ship” from EOTech. Earlier this year, EOTech international distributor Elite Defense, cut ties with EOTech due to the SOCOM product warning, as well as production and logistical issues from the holographic sight manufacturer.

Aimpoint sights differ from EOTechs in that they use an LED reflected off of a curved lens, creating a small red dot that is the sight’s aiming point (hence the company’s name). EOTechs do not need a curved lens, because they instead use a laser diode projected via a reflector onto an etched viewscreen, creating the reticle. Because they use more power-thirsty lasers, EOTechs have close to an order of magnitude lower battery life than their reflex sight counterparts, such as Aimpoints, but in exchange the holographic projection allows for customizable reticle shapes.

 

H/T Looserounds, SoldierSystems.net.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Mk32

    It seems like this article has a really misleading title…. I see NO evidence of the FBI “dropping Eotechs”…… the only source I can find is that Aimpoint issued a press release stating that 2 of their optics were approved for FBI usage.

    I understand the Eotech fiasco that just happened may have spurred this on…. but it doesn’t seem to have an relation. And just bashing eotechs and click baiting is kinda getting old.

    • JR300

      Denial is strong in this one….

      • Evan

        Yeah, actually he’s just stating the obvious: despite a quality control issue that affects their optics at extreme temperatures, EOTech is still a damn good optic. Aimpoint is amazing battery life supposedly making up for the fact that the optics themselves are junk.

        • A good optic plagued by QC, delivery, and ruggedness issues, on top of having much less forgiving battery life.

          • Evan

            I’ve never heard of ruggedness issues with EOTech. Aimpoint has ruggedness issues for sure, as well as being a generally crummy optic with an absurdly narrow field of view and a blob of a reticle, but based on what I’ve seen in the field, EOTech is perfectly rugged. Aimpoint does have far superior battery life, but in Iraq, I changed all my batteries every day, so that doesn’t really matter (although I can see why it would matter for home defense).

          • Jwedel1231

            Every battery every day? Tax dollars at work, let me tell ya…

          • Evan

            I’m not even going to pretend it isn’t wasteful, but when your life depends on your gear, you make damn well sure that your batteries are fresh. I have no regrets.

          • Yankee

            Or you buy Aimpoint…LOL.

            Which do not have ruggedness issues, IME. Which will not auto-shut off, which can be left on for YEARS instead of having to be turned on, you know, when your life might depend on it being on.

            I ditched EOTech and have no regrets for how I spent my money, just like you have no regrets for how you spent MY money.

            God, the EOTech guys worship at the alter and can justify almost any shortcoming as, at worst, a trade-off. LOL. Sure thing.

            I have never, ever, ever picked up an Aimpoint equiped weapon and found the sight dead or broken. Never. I had an EOTech that went back to factory twice, had the spring mod done on it, and still had dead batteries or blinking reticule nearly every time I pulled it out to use on duty or at range. After a while, I got a clue. I now have four Aimpoints and no problems. And one junk EOTech on a .22.

          • Evan

            Quite frankly, taxpayer money wasn’t on my list of concerns in Iraq. I wouldn’t have changed batteries every day with an Aimpoint, but that’s because had I been issued one, it would’ve sat in the bottom of my pack (like most issued Aimpoints tended to do) and I would’ve used irons. Aimpoints have a massive problem with the battery case coming lose under combat conditions (besides my many problems with them as optics in general). No such issue with EOTech.

            Please, tell me what it is, apart from the battery life, that makes you (or anyone else for that matter) like Aimpoint so much? I cannot for the life of me figure it out. Every defense of them I’ve ever heard has been battery life. I’ve never actually heard any mention of positive qualities of Aimpoints as optics that do their job better (or even half as good as) the competition. Yes, the batteries last forever. I get that, and admit is a good characteristic to have. But I can’t think of a single OTHER good characteristic of Aimpoints.

          • Grindstone50k

            If your EOTech is such a piece of junk I’ll give you $10 to lessen your suffering.

          • Grindstone50k

            What weapon platform is your Aimpoint mounted on?

            You want something to work when your life might depend on it working, right? So, what weapon do you use that has your trust?

          • Grindstone50k

            You think batteries are a waste of tax dollars? Boy, you have obviously never worked for the government in any capacity.

          • sasnak;1

            I second that. I spent 33 yrs in government employment. Each and every year the head shed bought new furniture wether they needed it or not due to the fact if they did not spend the money by years end they lose it. While we in maintenance never got the tools we needed.

          • carlcasino

            Been there brother and it get worse in public industry. I worked for one company that believed in once hired kept till the union agreed this slug cannot get to work without daily instruction. So the new hire was put in Production and when that didn’t work he was moved to the cleaning crew and when that didn’t work they were moved to maintenance. I’m Surprised the company is still in business.

          • I am surprised you’ve never even heard of the ruggedness problems EOTechs have…

          • Grindstone50k

            I thought that was an issue with the battery mount that was fixed? What other ruggedness problems were there?

          • Secundius

            @ Nathaniel F.

            Who’s at FAULT, the “Seller” or the “Buyer”. If you DON’T Research the HELL of a Product, before Buying THE Product. Then it’s “Buyer’s Beware” or “Buyer’s Remorse”…

          • Uncle Joe Biden

            Aimpoint has ruggedness issues? Please explain. I guess you haven’t seen the DDM4 torture test performed by Larry Vickers. After you watch that video you will realize how wrong you are. If that’s not rugged then I don’t know what is.

          • Evan

            Don’t know or care who Larry Vickers is. Based on my combat experience, Aimpoints have a real problem with the battery case coming loose when used in combat conditions. Sorry, but they’re not rugged.

          • Uncle Joe Biden

            I’m not sure how your specific combat experience applies to millions of aimpoints that are issued. I have never heard of “the battery case coming loose when used in combat conditions”. Maybe those cases came loose because you unscrewed and re screwed them every frickin day which is absolutely unnecessary even when your life is on the line. Maybe once a month and even then its OCD as hell.

          • Evan

            So basically, actual combat experience of Aimpoints, which comes with a reputation of not working (this is not just me. Every Marine I knew felt the same way. This is circa 2005), is irrelevant because they’re popular (apparently solely due to battery life) among civilians who take them to the range. There’s a reason that Aimpoints were largely replaced by EOTechs in the military. People in combat don’t have time for this fanboy nonsense. Just because you paid $700 or whatever it costs for an Aimpoint doesn’t make it a good optic.

          • Uncle Joe Biden

            It has nothing to do with fanboyism. Things have changed since 2005. Aimpoints are absolutely reliable and like I said your specific combat experience means didly in this year of almost 2016. I also want you to know that I don’t have anything against eotech and never said anything bad about them but Eotechs are not replacing Aimpoints. The Comp m4s is actually replacing the eotechs in the US army, and the marines generally follow suit with the army in terms of equipment. Oh by the way there are many current marines who will disagree with you.

          • Evan

            EOTechs aren’t replacing Aimpoints now, but they were back then. I don’t know the specific model, but the Aimpoints we had back in 05 had a reputation as worse than useless. That’s where my views on Aimpoint come from. I’ve shot with an Aimpoint in the civilian world a total of once, and was unimpressed, but that wasn’t nearly extensive enough to form an opinion. Maybe it’s true, as you say, that Aimpoint has fixed the issues that plagued them ten years ago, but my experience and the experience of everyone else I know who used an Aimpoint in the Marines is such that I would never spend my money on one. Were it not for this admittedly bad quality control issue with EOTech, I don’t think anyone would be discussing Aimpoint as equal to, much less superior than EOTech.

            There are relatively few optics I would trust my life to. Aimpoint comes nowhere near that list.

          • Uncle Joe Biden

            The Aimpoint micros (H1, T1, H2, T2) are excellent as well as the Comp m4s and I highly suggest you try one. I think you’ll like it. The video I was referring to with Larry Vickers is actually supposed to be an advertisement for how tough and rugged the DDM4 rifle is and ended up accidentally also showing how incredibly durable the aimpoint t1 on top is. They drive over it, shoot it with a 12 ga, blow it up with 25 lbs of tannerite and then drop it out of a helicopter. Both the gun and the sight were dead on and still in perfectly servicible condition. The video can be seen on you tube.

          • iHAL

            If you think the aimpoint needs a wider field of view you’re using it wrong.

          • carlcasino

            I have found , after hundreds of years of experience, that removing the battery when not in use negates trickle discharge. I also acquired from somewhere a 1.5 &9 V battery tester.( I have multimeters, scales, thermal imagers, electronic manometers) so battery testing is a must for me. My E-O has had the same battery’s now for over a year and since it’s not used daily battery depletion is not high on my list of concerns. Old Eyes are the biggest problem

      • Yimmy

        These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…..

    • I’ll look into it. The title reflects what I understood to be the case given the sources I was working from.

    • Sorry, Charlie, looks like the FBI independently verified the thermal shift problem, then downselected the Aimpoints from other competitors. Sounds like they’ve dropped the EOTech to me:

      http://www.outdoorhub.com/news/2015/11/25/maker-eotech-sights-pays-25-6-million-settle-fraud-lawsuit/

      “The US government also claims that EOTech discovered this fact almost a decade ago and it was only when the FBI independently confirmed the thermal drift that the company voluntarily disclosed the defect.”

      • Grindstone50k

        That would’ve been good to include in the post.

      • Bill

        Whaat? A contractor hid a known flaw so that they could continue to soak us for every example without having to spend any of those precious profits to fix it? No way.

      • Precious Roy

        That last part sounds like fraud and an ongoing criminal enterprise. I hope those responsible are punished and that no personnel were hurt as a result of using their products. I’d have thought that more people operating in those severe Iraq summers would note the problems.

    • Grindstone50k

      Not to mention that government equipment procurement process typically isn’t nearly this fast.

  • Coop82

    Why wouldn’t they discontinue use of Eotech optics? If I were an entity that has to make precision shots that could mean life or death for an innocent then I wouldn’t feel confident using an optic that is proven not to hold zero.

  • sliversimpson

    I have an Eotech and an Aimpoint clone. After being mounted to the same rifle for 5 years, I have not noticed a zero shift or any other problems. However, if it turns out that L-3, the parent company, did know about a problem and didn’t do anything to correct it, or tried to hide it, I will not be doing any more business with them.

  • Lance

    Much Much better choice for AR optics.

    • rickyc

      Which is much better for ARs?

  • thedonn007

    Why not go to the Trijicon MRO?

    • Jwedel1231

      The MRO is a new option, unproven in the field. Aimpoint has a ton of options that have years and years and thousands, if not millions, of copies in service for years and years. The MRO looks like it may be a good choice, but it does not have the service record Aimpoint does.

  • Kivaari

    Every time we get an update on the EOTech issue, I get pissed that I spent so damn much on a sight that keeps planting those little nagging questions about how it will perform, if actually needed. This article and Nathaniel’s link saying 32 degrees is now a risk factor. It is 16 degrees outside and will likely be that low for months. A favored region I visit is known for months of rain with little relief. My sight will likely never fail – but that little nagging voice keeps whispering, “It’s going to fail”.

    • Grindstone50k

      Seems like you are in a good position to test it out.

      • Kivaari

        At least I have co-witnessing iron sights.

        • Precious Roy

          No battery draining off-kilter diodes in that iron.

  • Mr. Lee

    Im going with Hartman Optics MH1! Looks like a top contender… They are a new company but Isreal puts out some d*mn good gun products!

    I always though EOTech was blurry so never had one but buddies liked them!

  • Bill

    Seven hundred bucks for an OPTIC??? Call me old school, but remember when the advice was to spend that dough on ammo and practice, practice, practice? Oh well, guess Uncle Sam can afford it…

  • BigFED

    1) While a FINE piece of equipment, the Trijicon is just too damn expensive as well as usually a bigger physical package. It is also a more complex design than the AimPoint. Also, the topic is RED DOT sight of which most of the Trijicon units are NOT simple RED DOT sights. And the MAIN point is that even with ANY of these optics, we most likely STILL have a set of BUIS (which, at my age, are not a good alternative), but I have a set on all my rifles anyway!!!

    2) One responder commented “If I were an entity that has to make precision shots…”. Under the circumstances YOU specify, that would be the role of the designated marksman and HIS equipment which is intend for that purpose. Primary purpose of these RED DOT sights is for those “up close and personal” engagements, not “precision” shots at intermediate or longer distances.

    3) In almost any situation us “commoners” will/would find ourselves in, we will have to make do with what we have. We are NOT going to be carrying around a bag full of assorted weaponry and alternate hardware, selecting the “proper” item(s) to fit the situation like it is a golf game!

  • Capn Stefano

    I’m not military or LE but own 4 Eotechs on 5.56/7.62 x 39/7.62 NATO weapons and have never had any issues

    A tip off magnifier allows for more precision shots..

  • CavScout

    So TFB is once again hopping on a bandwagon to hate something, then posting every article they can find showing how bad it is. The G36, of which they were wrong; and now the EOTech…

    Like arfcom has a hive mind, it’s as if you’re trying to steer the hive.

  • Steve_7

    But yet the FBI apparently wants to go to 9mm Glocks going by their RFP, even though Glock is buried under a mountain of lawsuits. At least one of which will most likely stick at some point.

  • Victor Cachat

    So, when will the “agency surplus” Eotechs hit the market?