TFB Review: Aimpoint CompM5s Red Dot Sight with Spuhr Mount

    The Aimpoint CompM5 series of sights is a hybrid between the well-known models CompM4 and the Micro T-2. Is the CompM5s the best of two worlds? With the Aimpoint CompM5s in my possession since springtime, it’s now time to come to a conclusion. I bought it from a local shop and mounted it on my Heckler & Koch MR223.

    Here’s what the testing platform looked like. German-made rifle with some American modifications like the Geissele HK MR556 Trigger and a Troy Carbon Fiber handguard.

    Launched in 2019 the CompM5s is one of the newer red dots from Aimpoint, and it has been difficult to source as the order book has been larger than the production capacity. I had to wait quite a long time for mine and got it in April 2020.

    Ergonomics

    The housing material is high strength aluminum with a matte grey/black anodized surface finish. The size is fairly small and it blends in well on any AR15 or even smaller SMG-style firearms. Overall, the length is only 85mm (3.4″) and the clear aperture is 18mm (.71″).

    The package of the CompM5s includes the sight itself, an LRP mount (Lever Release Picatinny) and a spacer that will give you an optical axis of 39mm (1.5″). The sight weighs 165 g (5.8 oz) and 235 g (8.3 oz) in its standard configuration on the firearm.

    The M5s has a low right AAA battery compartment, and the illumination is compatible with night vision devices. I did not have the luxury to test the NVD settings, but it has 4 settings for night and 6 for daylight.

    One reason to chose the CompM5s over the other M5 models is its low right AAA battery compartment. If you shoot with both eyes open – like you’re supposed to – the battery compartment will not obstruct your left eye in any way. This only goes for right-handed shooters of course.

    ADJUSTING THE SIGHT

    Adjusting the intensity of the dot is done via a mechanical switch at the end of the battery tube (bottom-right, towards the shooter), and the feeling is precise, tactile and works with gloves on. For typical daylight, settings 6-8 are the best, in my opinion, hugely depending on the background. The dot intensity is visible against a background luminance of 0,1 to 55 000 lx.

    You can adjust the windage and elevation on the right side and on the top of the sight, and there are protective plastic caps to cover the adjustment screws. The plastic cap on the right side, which covers the windage adjustment screw, has two protruding knobs that fit the adjustment screw.

    To adjust the zero you need either this small cap or Aimpoint’s tool, and this is the biggest design issue I have with this sight. I displace both the caps and the tool all the time. This is fine and survivable at the shooting range, but what if I go in harm’s way in a sandbox far far away and need to adjust my sight? Why not make some kind of slotted head as well, which would be much more universal?

    Why not make a slot for a screwdriver or a coin on the adjustment screw as well?

    I presume that the top plastic cover doesn’t have the protruding knobs to able the sight to pass various drop tests, but I would prefer both covers to be the same. If one breaks, I still have the other one left.

    TFB’s Nicholas Chen made me aware of this solution which may be of interest to some Aimpoint owners, just be aware these particular ones don’t fit the M5 model: ATA (Adjustable Turret cap, Aimpoint Micro).

    Each click represents ±1 cm at 100 meters. If you’re using your Aimpoint as a secondary sight with a close range zero, bear in mind that you probably need to do a lot of clicking.

    Note how the main body in metal covers the adjustment screws. That’s how you survive drop tests and military-style handling.

    Electronics

    The 2 MOA dot is one of the best I’ve seen, and I do have some astigmatism which can make the dot blurry or smeared. The operating principle is a reflex collimator sight with a LED powered by an AAA size 1.5 V Alkaline LR03 or Lithium FR03 battery. A “collimator sight” allows the user to see an illuminated dot virtually regardless of his eye position, and the parallax is often negligible. In this case, the dot color has a peak wavelength of 655 ± 15 nm, and appears red and crisp to the user.

    The best M5Comp model of them all? To remind you: 1 MOA (Minute Of Angle) is about 30 mm at 100 m or about 1” at 100 yds.

    According to Aimpoint, there is no optical signature visible within 10-meter distance, front side, on appropriate settings with Night Vision Devices. Perhaps I should mention that a few of the images in this review have been edited to highlight and exaggerate the red coating and reflection from the front lens.

    The diode circuitry uses what Aimpoint calls “Advanced Circuit Efficiency Technology” (ACET), which takes us into the next subject: battery life.

    Note: It is VERY difficult not to say impossible to catch the red dot as it will appear to your eye. This is just an example to show the 1x magnification and FOV, in reality, the red dot is very small (2 MOA).

    Battery Life

    Aimpoint sights are famous for their long battery life. If we were to test and verify the claims of the producer we would have to wait for a very long time, so we haven’t. According to the specifications, you get 5 years (50 000 h) of continuous use at position 7 in the daylight setting. If you use position 8 you’ll have more than one year of battery life. Unless you’re in a place where there’s a lot of sunshine I hardly see the need for using 7-8 out of 10 a lot. If you’re a Night Owl Operator you get more than ten years of use with the Night Vision settings at positions 1-4. I think the quality of the battery, or really cold weather, will be more of an issue than the battery life itself. Personally, most of my Aimpoints or red dots are turned off (old habits die hard), but I have a few that are always on at around 4-5/10.

    COMPARING SIZES

    Below you can see other members of the Aimpoint family. PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic), Micro H-2 and CompM5s.

    This is me at the AA meeting (Aimpoint Anonymous):  -“Hello everyone, I’m Eric and I have an addiction. I see red dots everywhere.”

    The Aimpoint CompM5s comes with an LRP Mount (Lever Release Picatinny) and a spacer which gives a 39 mm optical axis. According to Aimpoint, the mount is optimized for the CompM5 and the second generation of the Micro series sights, but it also fits the generation before it. I recommend that you put some kind of thread lock on the screws – guess why I know.

    The Spuhr SM-1900 mount

    However, I decided to change the Aimpoint mount to a solution from Spuhr, a mount that looks OEM but doesn’t have the quick-detach lever as I don’t really need that functionality. The mount I used is the Spuhr SM-1900 (€75) which gives you a height of 22 mm/0.866″. It is marketed as “The world’s most rugged Aimpoint Micro/CompM5 mount” and while I’m very skeptical of claims like that I can see their point. Spuhr also mentions that this mount is not really intended for use on AR-style rifles, as it positions the red dot lower than the iron sights. Since I don’t use any iron sights on this rifle, it still works for me, the height is fine on my H&K.

    If you’re based in the USA, Mile High Shooting can help you out if you want to purchase this mount. They seem to run Aimpoints and a few other brands as well.

    There’s a wide range of mounts both from Aimpoint, Spuhr and other suppliers. Only you know what works best for you. As you can see below, the Spuhr mount and the CompM5s blend in really well on the Picatinny rail. If you like, the lens covers can be thrown away to have even less field of view obstruction.

    The sight comes standard with flip-up lens covers, with the front lens cover in a black non-glare finish and transparent rear one.

    Aimpoint CompM5S review

    The tripod solution is from our review of the Innorel RT90C Carbon Fiber Tripod with Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head in case you want to learn more.

    The CompM5s works with magnifiers like the Aimpoint 3XMag-1 and the 6XMag-1. Unfortunately, I didn’t have one around, but considering how good the 2 MOA dot is, it should work really well if you want to shoot at longer distances. But by then you’re also reaching into a total price region of high-quality LPVO (Low Power Variable Optic), which may be a better choice for your needs.

    The Aimpoint CompM5s is Made in Sweden, in Aimpoint’s state-of-the-art production facility. I got a factory tour there earlier this year and it’s a very impressive and modern place. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed.

    If you’re about to have a boating accident, the CompM5 series may be the sight for you. The sight is submersible to a depth of 45 m (150 ft.). This is something this review couldn’t verify.

    PRICE & AVAILABILITY

    The price for the Aimpoint CompM5s Red Dot Reflex Sight is $991, and the availability should have improved since I bought mine. Just note that the mount in the link is different from the one on most of the pictures in this review (Spuhr). In terms of the warranty, you can find the terms here.

    Conclusion

    For my basic needs, the CompM5s is a bit overkill with all its tactical features, but I’d rather have the specifications and durability on my side. If you’re looking for one of the most durable sights for a home defense or SHTF scenario you can’t go wrong really. If you have the need for night vision compatibility, swimming or diving (not necessarily at the same time) the CompM5s ticks even more boxes and you’re getting into the “must buy” area.

    As my main interest and therefore need is within sports shooting, I can’t help but to wish that Aimpoint could make a version with a larger tube and aperture. I’m sure that there would be some sacrifice in terms of accuracy at longer distances, but as a competitor, I can buy this if my speed goes up at closer distances. Think of a Pistol Caliber Carbine or Carbine match to get my idea. I have yet to see an Aimpoint fail in a competition, and since the sights are fully enclosed you don’t have to worry about rain or debris getting into the diode.

    As mentioned under the section “adjusting the sight”, I think there is room for some improvement on the adjustment screws. If you lose them you can’t really adjust your sights, so I’d like to be able to use a flat screwdriver or a coin to do so. Other than that this is a great red dot. Yes, it’s more expensive than many competitors, but I’d rather buy once – cry once.

    You can find a direct link to the Aimpoint CompM5s here.

    We’re always interested in feedback. Do you have an Aimpoint CompM5? Let us know what you think and if we missed anything positive or negative.



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    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics and sound suppressors. TCCC Certified medic.


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