Trijicon is a rock solid American company manufacturing in products in Michigan, and—to my knowledge—the Trijicon MRO is the only American made tubular red dot sight on the market.
By Jonathan Owen
At first glance, the bell shaped 7075 aluminum housing screams, “The ACOG is my cousin!” Some people like that, some don’t, but you can’t argue with the durability inherent to the design. 7075 aluminum is stronger than the 6061 aluminum used most often for red dot sight manufacturing. That’s just the beginning. When it comes to the bell-shaped housing, some shooters like it more than others. Either way, the question is, “What’s the benefit?” If you like red dot sights, but don’t like the feeling of looking through a tube, this is what you’ve been waiting for.
What I like about the wider field of view on the Trijicon MRO is the advantage it provides when shooting at a moving target. The wider field of view allows a greater lead while still being able to view the moving target in the optic. By moving the control knob to the top of the sight, the optic becomes more symmetrical, cleaner. Some would say it aids rapid targeting. True or imagined, you certainly get less visual interference when panning.
Placing the control knob on top of the sight also makes it ambidextrous. Adjusting the dot brightness is easy no matter regardless which hand you use. Maybe it’s just me, but I would have done one thing differently with the control knob—I would have reversed its power settings. I want to turn it like a volume knob on a radio—clockwise to increase and counterclockwise to decrease. As designed, the MRO knob is backward to me.
There are eight brightness settings for MRO’s 2 MOA red dot. The brightest setting is ludicrously bright while the two dimmest settings are visible only to night vision. I prefer my red dots only as bright as needed and brightness setting 3 works well for me in daylight. There are two “off” positions, but not necessarily where you’d expect one of them. As you’d expect, you go from the dimmest Night Vision setting to Off in a single click. There’s also an Off setting between brightness levels 2 and 3. If you’re turning your optic on and off for daylight, this is the perfect place to have the Off position. If you forget to turn your optic off, no worries. Trijicon says the CR2032 battery is good for five years at setting 3.
The MRO has 70 MOA of adjustment. What that means for you and me is a very broad range of useful applications. You can zero at a great variety of distances for a broad selection of guns. That includes high velocity flat trajectory rifle rounds to rainbow arcing slow movers. I’ve even mounted it to a UTAS bullpup shotgun for fun.
You adjust your dot within that 70 MOA by way of a waterproof, sealed, flush, windage and elevation turrets with half MOA clicks. The clicks are distinct, but subtle. Unlike my ACOG, there are no caps to fiddle with or loose. All in all, it’s a great design in my estimation, an improvement over numerous other ones.
Some people are appalled when they discover the Trijicon MRO is in fact a 1.05x optic. That’s right, there’s a super slight magnification to it. Not everyone notices it, but I do when closely studying the MRO in a controlled environment such as my office. Perhaps because I’ve hunted and trained while running a 4x ACOG. In my real world application when hunting, training and the occasional fireball creation, the slight magnification remains below my radar. In fact, I wonder if it might help out my less-than-perfect right eye.
Any comparison or review that doesn’t pause long enough to consider the Made in the USA piece of the puzzle is missing something significant. Some might say, if you want the best, it doesn’t matter where it’s made. Fair enough, and I own red dot sights from Europe, Asia, and the USA. The quality and value proposition of this American made MRO holds its own.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against optics made elsewhere. I have them; I like them; each has its place. The quality, features, benefits, and price of the American made Trijicon MRO really make it stand out. Trijicon sent me this one to test. I think I’ll have to pony up and buy it. Enough said.
Everybody loves the ACOG, but how does the MRO stack up in your book? Do you own, or have you shot the MRO? Share your experiences and opinions in the comment section.
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