Review: Trijicon MRO

MRO_01

The new Trijicon MRO is the hottest optic currently. MRO stands for “Miniature Rifle Optic”. During the Fall 2015 Big 3 Media Event, I had a chance to try out the Trijicon MRO provided by Georgia Optics.

When I was at Trijicon’s training facility a while back (A Day at Trijicon), I was suggesting that they should shrink down the Trijicon SRS to something close to the size of the Aimpoint Micro T-1. Well, it took Trijicon couple of years to do it, the new MRO is Trijicon’s take on the Aimpoint Micro series.

 

MRO_02

It didn’t take long for me to notice a number of oddities with the Trijicon MRO. Its objective lens is angled not only vertically, which is a common feature for most red-dot sight designs, but the MRO’s lens is also angled side-to-side. When the light hits the lens at certain angles, the greenish lens coating tint will show up on one side of the view.

 

MRO_04

While somewhat close to it, the MRO’s base does not match the mounting bolt pattern of Aimpoint Micro’s base. As of now, there are few options for an MRO QD mount. One such is the newly released Midwest Industries 1/3 co-witness QD MRO mount for AR type rifles. On the AK side, RS Regulate is working on a MRO mount for their AK300 series of AK side mount.

I’m also not a fan of the top-mounted battery compartment / illumination control dial. It blocks too much of my peripheral version on top for me. However, I do like the dual off positions on the switch and the cape-less adjustment turrets.

 

MRO_03

The biggest issue I have with the current version of the Trijicon MRO is: its view Magnification.

Yes, the MRO has a slight magnification. I have no idea how that happened but if I would make a guess, I would said it’s probably due to the cone-shaped internal tube that Trijicon used to increase the field of view and its unusual dual off-set objective lens combination caused this side-effect. This doesn’t affect every user but many have noticed that. There are also a few reports regarding parallax errors when using the MRO at longer range.

 

MRO_05

“Missed by THAT Much” – Get Smart (a 1960s American spy comedy TV show).

That would be my summary on the new Trijicon MRO. It has a lot of potential to be a good sight and I hope Trijicon will fix the optical problem soon.

 

Trijicon MRO Specification:
Objective size: 25mm
Length: 2.6 inch (66mm)
Weight: 4.1 oz (116g) w/o mount
Reticle: 2 MOA dot
Power: CR2032 lithium battery
Battery Life: 5 years
Adjustment: 1/2 MOA per click
Waterproof depth: 100 ft (30m)
Street Price: $500 +/-



Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim’s direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at- gmail.com


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  • Joe

    Battery powered. Light-gathering or tritium backup would be nice. Without those features I don’t really see an advantage for this optic vs. competitors.

    • KestrelBike

      battery powered, yes, but the life is ~5yrs. That’s two CR2032 batteries ($4 tops) versus the max 10yrs of tritium, which requires a factory replacement (and I do understand you mean as a backup, not as the sole power-source). The cost is probably considerably less without those features.

      • Jeff Smith

        +1. That beats tritium for me – hands down.

      • Hellbilly

        Primary Arms’ Advanced Micro Dot is smaller than this and also has a ~5 year “always on” battery life for $160.

        • Nicholas Chen

          A hipoint pistol is about $160. Doesnt mean I want a hipoint. Different strokes for different folks. Also the Primary Arms optic is just a rebrand of a Holosun optic.

    • David

      Joe, as others have said, this unit sports a 5 year, constant on (at setting 3) battery life and it’s user serviceable. I just bought one myself and the unit itself can be had for just over 400 + the mounts. shop for the mounts, as they can also see some price variance. I was better off ordering the optic from one place and the mount from another. Incidentally, I bought the low mount and a medium riser off Amazon for about the same cost as the co-witness Trijicon mount… Likely due to sales, discounts and such, but shop around. I had the MRO, low mount and Amazon sourced medium QD riser for less than $475, so I can use it on an AK / FAL type with low sights, or AR type sights.

      I’ve got an ACOG and a couple other Trijicon scopes and I’ve got favorable opinions of them all. Only the RMR has disappointed me. I sent it back and it appears to be working now – for at least 5 months now. I did also notice the “odd angle, colored light reflection”. it’s subdued, so don’t read too much into this. It’s far less than some lesser red dot options. I don’t have a preference either way for covered or uncovered adjusters, but zeroing is made easy and you can use the rim of a common cartridge to adjust.

      I’m not sure what the issue with the top mounted battery compartment is. I’m at a loss to envision how they would have packaged this differently and not either increased the unit size or made the unit much more clunky. My opinion is that this is a preference issue. Your non dominant eye is happy to provide supplemental information on what’s in front of you.

      I like Aimpoints. A lot. I only have one, but I like them. I’ve always thought they were significantly overpriced, but that’s a subjective opinion of mine. I do feel they are a quality product and I’ll go as far as to suggest they’re an industry leader. However, lately the lower cost red dot offerings have improved and done so significantly. The’ve made leaps and bounds progress on dot quality, battery life, glass and durability. The MRO is not the smallest, lightest or least expensive red dot out there, but it is very small, very light, has excellent dot quality, optical quality and it’s built quite solidly. For the money, this is an excellent red dot.

      • David

        I put the MRO next to a Hi-Lux 2 MOA, 3.25 MOA RMR and Aimpoint Comp C3 and this is how it shook out for me.

        the Hi Lux Micro-Max has a more precise, more granularly adjustable dot than both the 2MOA Aimpoint and the MRO. However, the Micro-Max has a lot of “shading” – red reflection off the glass and internals. this periodically interferes with shooting. I backed up the dot precision comparison with a known shooting buddy, asked only for his observations – he thought the MRO was a 3+MOA dot. In fact, it looks a lot like the dot produced by the LED RMR.

        The MRO “magnification” is there, but unless you’re using past about 150 to 175 yards, it’s transparent. I observe a very minor shading or shadowing around the circumference of glass. very minor, but it’s there. I like this glass a little better than the other dots I compared for true to life color; I guess my observation here is that the MRO doesn’t seem to color or shade what I’m looking at, if that makes sense.

        What I don’t like about the MRO is the dot intensity and adjustability or rather the lack of it. The adjustability on the MRO is coarse. The Micro-Max and Aimpoint have numerous daylight settings. The MRO however has 2 usable settings and one for scorching your retina. To set the context, I am over 40, but have 20/20 vision with know known vision issues. Setting 3, where the battery life is compared is good for dim ranges or low light shooting. It is practically useless in even overcast daylight skies. Setting 4 works in overcast and even sunlight. Setting 5 should only be used if you are trying to shoot into the sun and you want to drown out the corona of the Sun.

        My aimpoint is winner in my comparison for me. It has the best combination of dot precision, lack of distortion, clarity, dot intensity adjustability. Of course, I can mount 2 MRO units in the same rail space.

        I am having trouble deciding on 2nd between the Hi-Lux and MRO. I really dislike the red shading on the hi lux. I can’t get the MRO to exhibit this behavior unless I look at it in such a way that seeing the dot would be impossible and it is even then far more subdued. However, the Hi Lux dot is undeniably more precise, has finer adjustment and also offers a 50k hour battery life, albeit with an 8 hour auto shut off. The MRO has only 2 practical settings, dim and bright – if you exclude the night vision settings and retina scorch settings.

        The RMR is kind of just there. I want to like it but I kind of don’t. it’s light, unobtrusive and it does work, less than 4 MOA dot, it doesn’t mind being bounced around and continues to hold zero.

  • DIR911911 .

    “The new Trijicon MRO is the hottest optic currently” . . . . currently what? this sort of thing hurts to read. I find myself agreeing with other comments I’ve read about proof reading.

  • Yankee

    Pretty weak “review.” More like observations from holding it in your hand. Doesn’t even imply that you shot with the optic, and uses vague “references” to state flaws. I could have written a very similar entry just surfing ARFcom and looking at pictures.

    I’ve got an MRO…it’s fine…it’s no Aimpoint…it’s not perfect. But it’s priced fairly and made in the USA by a very well-regarded manufacturer. It deserves a better review, especially when the overall review is negative. And especially considering it was apparently your idea. LOL.

    • Ethan

      ^^^THIS.

      No objectivity.
      No technical details not on Trijicon’s website.
      No first hand experience.
      No new information.

      What you DO have is a whole lot of innuendo. Like, MSNBC level innuendo.

      This article is just bad. Please take this crap down.

      • Timothy G. Yan

        Could you two genius explain why a red-dot sight should has magnification and parallax error? Not only I have shot this, I tried on 4 different samples.

        Btw, it’s really sad that some folks would pay out of their own pocket to be a beta tester.

        • Yankee

          Then give more information, genius. Mention you’ve shot it. The magnification is so minor, it may or may not matter to others. prove the parallax error, as your only cited info was “vague reports.”

          Can’t take a little criticism? Your article was lame. If this it what passes for content at TFB, then I’d rather surf ARFcom or YouTube for “objective” info. My original comment above has 10 likes, so I dare say I’m not the only one who felt cheated by your “review.”

          Dang. I reassert that your review implies the MRO is inaccurate or otherwise misses the target (“missed it by that much.”) You give zero, ZERO, support to allow readers to reach that subjective conclusion. Inaccurate at what range? 50/100/200/200? Any data to support why it might not be a problem with your eyes versus the sight? Hows the does the optic hold up to hard use and environmental exposure?

          You say you are protecting your readers, keeping them from being Beta testers, but in fact isn’t a lot of what is published at TFB and similar sites simply gun porn marketing? Someone has to buy the first, second, third, and so on, and TFB exists to promote the industry, or at the very least, to profit from the industry by producing nothing but words on a screen, versus tangible products. That’s fine, but if that’s your claim, give readers an honest effort at a review.

          FWIW, I write for a publishing group in the LE world. I could not squeak a submission so thin by a junior editor, but I guess blogs are different.

          • Rick5555

            The writing on this blog is not the greatest…try reading some of Miles.Vining’s stuff. It’s atrocious, with the run on sentences. I don’t think the editor’s actually review the material. I’ve discovered so many grammatical errors. However Alex C. and two others writers do produce solid content. Which appears professional. I won’t read anything from Miles, even if it’s some thing that really interest me. That’s how bad the writing is. You’re correct about this purported review. Anyone can make an observation and reveal their opinion. I find a lot of this on You Tube Gun Channels too. Perhaps, its a means for these people to make money off the industry…opposed to being truly objectionable?

          • anon

            This comment was better than the whole article.

        • Yankee

          added comment to below post

        • Notasinglepositivd

          *Geniuses, genius. Their critiques of your review are spot on.

  • Nicholas Chen

    I have been using my Trijicon MRO on various weapons. I have used it on my Keltec CMR-30, CZ Scorpion, my Salient Arms AR, and my SCAR 17. However all of the times I have used it, it was for close range within 50 yards. The optic works great and I like it for my Scorpion the most. It can co-witness with the irons.If I am going to shoot out past 50 yards I will use a scope. I know red dots can do a lot and I have seen Tac Limited shooters in 3 gun. But that limitation does not interest me. I like having scopes for longer distances.

    • Andy B

      +1
      I always thought red dots were meant for closer shooting.

      • Nicholas Chen

        It depends on the shooter. I have seen great shooters in 3Gun (cause I was one of the RO on a long distance stage) they can engage and hit targets all the way out to 400 yards. For many military guys that is doable with irons. I never had the proper discipline or training for long distance iron sight shooting so I am rubbish at it. Some people can shoot long distance (more like medium distance, with irons but doing it in a time constraint with other targets at close range mixed with pistol and shotgun and thenhaving to hit 8 long range targets in under 3 mins is challenging. It can be done with red dots. But it is not for me.

  • Jack

    I had about 5″ of parallax at 50yds the first time I shot with one of these. Sent it back to trijicon. They said it was fine.

    After getting it back, I’ve been able to reduce the parallax by mounting the MRO as far back as I can.

    I’ve shot aimpoints fur awhile and never had any issues with them. Not sure if it’s the optics or me but at this price I think I’d stick with a PRO.

    I’ve not shot the MRO a ton so maybe it’ll grow on me. YMMV

  • BrandonAKsALot

    You should probably get your beloved Holosun in touch with Trijicon so they can inform them how to probably make an optic. Maybe then they’ll get a glowing review.

    • Nicholas Chen

      Actually it isnt Holosun but Hilux that he likes. I like them too. But I also like my Eotech and Holosun.

      • Timothy G. Yan

        My Primary Arms (made by Holosun), Hi-Lux, EoTech, Meprolight and Aimpoint red-dots…….none of them have magnification or parallax error.

  • kipy

    I sent my Eotech 512 in last week, when I get my money from them I’ve decided to put it towards an MRO. I was seriously looking into the Aimpoints but I’m gonna give Trijicon a shot.

  • gibonez

    What rifle is that it’s beautiful

  • steveday72

    Might I suggest changing the title from “Review” to “Quick Rundown” or “Overview” – then everyone will/should be happy.

    I’ve read full in-depth reviews or the MRO that ended with the exact same summary. At least Timothy’s rundown skipped the waffle and gave people an honest opinion… that with the current design flaw(s) it’s really not ready for prime time – certainly not from a company like Trijicon.

    You could forgive the flaws if it was produced by a lesser brand and/or for a very low price, but this optic fits neither of those descriptions.

    I’m interested in one, IF they fix the problems. Until then this “overview” helped confirm what the more lengthy reviews had discovered, but in a short and concise format.

  • Fred Johnson

    I was seriously looking at the MRO to replace my EOTech. Not sure I want to deal with another case of reported parallax errors in a pricey red dot, when I can get that in any red dot. The MRO sure looks rugged though.

  • Mc Cain

    I purchased two, and tried them on two different rifles, fairly extensively, and turned right around and sold them. Why? Four major reasons.

    1) Fisheye effect really bothered me.
    2) Magnification equally so.
    3) Parallax errors….real deal-breaker.
    4) Too much glare/flare from the glass.

    Four strikes and you are out Trijicon! Sorry, love your ACOGS, but a swing and a miss with the MRO. Maybe Gen 2 will fix these issues?

    Sticking with Aimpoint.

    My advice is, forget the MRO and go with an Aimpoint Pro, basically same price, for a better quality red dot.