Wood AR 15 Build Optic: Trijicon MRO
The Optic: Trijicon MRO
Every quality rifle needs a quality optic.
It is amazing how many people will pour $1,000+ into an AR-15’s trigger, stock, rail, etc. and then top it with a $100 optic. Some people will say that you need to spend as much on your optic as your whole rifle and while that may be a good rule of thumb we tend to think it is a little excessive. That is unless, of course you are wanted to hit an Ace of Diamonds at over 1,000 meters.
There are few components on an AR-15 that are more directly determined by the rifles intended use than the optic. Today’s AR shooter has the option of everything from fixed iron sights to 20+ times magnifying scopes with infrared vision and beyond. As mentioned in the Wood AR-15 Build Introduction, the intended use of this rifle is for demo/new shooter accessibility. Therefore, we need an optic that is durable, easy to use and effective out to a couple hundred meters. We expect to rarely shoot this rifle at targets past 200-300 meters. While I am sure we will get grief in the forums for trying to shoot a 2-MOA red dot at 300 meters, our military experience tells us that on man-sized targets this is not only possible with red dots but also with iron sights (and that was on standard issued M-4s and M-16s, no fancy triggers or barrels and no match grade ammo).
Cap-less adjustment screws
Based on the above criteria we knew we wanted some kind of 1x (I know the MRO and others aren’t true 1x, but they are close), no/low parallax optic. For dependability sake we wanted a well know brand with a history of quality so we narrowed in on the usual three manufactures, EOTech, Aimpoint and Trijicon. We liked the Aimpoints but the MRO beat them out due to its larger 25mm objective size. The weight of the EOTech’s were their real killers. We very much liked EOTech’s reticles but it seemed like a lot of weight (7oz for the EOTech XPS2-RF, 4.1oz for the MRO plus the weight of mount) for a red dot. This rifle isn’t a “Light Saber” but we know the wood will add weight, so if there is a way to go lighter without losing features, we’re all for it. Finally, the MRO’s battery life rocks. Always on for five years is tough to beat.
Looking down the business end
As a caveat, we did consider the great ACOG but thought it was a bit of overkill for this rifle. They are fantastic optics but for this rifle we found them to be a little big, pricey and less accessible to new shooters.
So MRO it was, and once it arrived we were very pleased with our decision. As with all Trijicon products the quality and finish of the optic does not disappoint. It is forged from 7075-T6 Aluminum and is just over two and a half inches long. Its reticle is a simple 2 MOA dot that adjusts at ½ MOA clicks by turning cap-less (another nice feature) adjustments. It has 8 different illumination settings, the highest of which is very bright in daylight (too light for our eyes) and Trijicon claims it is waterproof down to 100 ft. A claim we will not be testing ;).
With Trijicon's Full Co-Witness Mount
Price: $579.00 (MSRP)
Objective Size: 25mm
Weight: 4.1oz (without mount)
Adjustment: ½ MOA per click
Material: 7075-T6 Aluminum
Battery Life: 5 years
Illumination Settings: 8
It will be a few months before we will be mounting this beauty on the Wood AR-15 and finally getting to put some rounds down range. This is going to be a long painful wait but we are sure it will be worth it. Stay tuned to the “Wood” AR-15 Build to hear about the next components and see the final product!
As mentioned in the Wood AR 15 Build Introduction, each of the components were selected prior to our contacting manufacturers for sponsorship. This means that we have ended up purchasing a number of the components from manufacturers who weren’t interested. That being said, we want to give a big thanks to Trijicon who sponsored the MRO for the build! We really appreciate their support and the arrival of the MRO put any second guessing we may have had about our optic selection out of our minds. It is really an impressive optic.