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Trijicon RMR versus Aimpoint T1 for Pistols

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So a lot of people ask me how I like the Aimpoint T1 mounted to a pistol versus the Trijicon RMR. I purposely set up a T1 pistol so I could have experience with both optic systems on pistols. They both have some advantages, and some disadvantages. I’ll outline the most obvious ones I’ve found so far in the chart below. Keep in mind, I am neither sponsored by Trijicon or Aimpoint. I had to buy both of these optics with my personal money, so this is an unbiased report. The Aimpoint T1 used was the 4 MOA version, and the RMR tested was the RM06 3.25 adjustable LED version. I have the Aimpoint T1 mounted to a gen 3 Glock 17 via a Unity Tactical ATOM Slide. And I have the Trijicon RMR mounted to a gen 4 Glock 19.
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There’s one thing my chart doesn’t mention, and that’s mounting options for both of these optics. RMRs are the  red dots most commonly used on pistols today. All that mounting them requires is a company who can cut the slide for them to fit in. The RMR screws directly into the slide where they install two attachment points. The Aimpoint T1 on the other hand has to screw upwards into a mount, so it’s impossible for it to attach like an RMR. So the only options to mount a T1 on a pistol is a dovetail mount (not recommended), or the versatile Unity Tactical ATOM Slide. Which is what I’m using in these photos. So if you’re wanting to run a T1 effectively, you’ll need to run an ATOM slide until something else comes along.

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ENCLOSED vs EXPOSED LED EMITTERS

One of problems with the RMR and some of the other miniature red dots, is the fact that the LED emitter is exposed to the elements. And if your optic is exposed to water, the projection from the LED can get distorted on the glass and be harder to visualize. If dirt or mud fills the emitter, you won’t see a projection at all. So for combat applications, this could potentially be a problem. The T1 does not have this problem because the emitter is enclosed inside the optic.

MORE RECOIL FROM THE T1?

Some people have asked if the weight of the T1 adds extra recoil. I’ve noticed a little bit of extra recoil, but not a lot. 

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BRIGHTNESS CONTROLS

I often adjust the brightness of my optic, whether it’s the RMR or T1, based on my environment. If I go inside a dark building, I lower the brightness because I don’t want to draw and have the optic so bright it washes out my sight picture. And if the sun comes out on a dreary day, I pop the optic higher so my dot will be more visible. The T1 has been very easy to adjust especially when I’m carrying concealed because the knob is right there on the outside (I’m right handed). The RMR is a little trickier, because the brightness-up button is facing my body. It can be done though.

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CARRYING INSIDE-THE-WAISTBAND

A lot of people think the size of the T1 would make inside-the-waistband carry much more uncomfortable. Well, it doesn’t really since the T1 is the same thickness of the slide. A little bit of the T1 might touch your body if you carried at 4 or 5 o’clock, but it’s not like a bulge that would be uncomfortable. Carrying appendix it’s no problem. Now for a lefty, this could be a different story since the battery compartment is on the right side of the optic: the side that would touch your body. So that is something to think about if you’re a lefty. This Glock is pictured holstered in one of our IWB 3.0s.

CONCLUSION

So here are my thoughts… I love both of them. They’re solid, dependable, and nowadays are pretty easy to get installed on handguns. As you can tell looking at the chart, they both have some advantages and disadvantages. But I don’t think one is WAY better than the other. Based on what I personally want in an optic mounted on a pistol, I’m swaying towards liking the T1 more. I like having an enclosed LED emitter, and a longer more reliable battery life. – Lucas
 
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