Aimpoint Comp Ml3
The Aimpoint ML3 is an impressive optic that fills a particular niche for those looking for a high-quality optic at a mid-range price. As you'll see in our in-depth Aimpoint Comp ML3 review, high quality doesn't always have a high price.
The optic may not be objectively better than any other Aimpoint model, but it does offer shooters a wider variety of different features than other Aimpoint optics. The Comp ML3 is a reliable, lightweight, and durable optic that is well suited for a variety of different weapons.
Aimpoint Comp ML3 Mount
For this review, we used the Aimpoint Comp ML3 2 MOA red dot; I prefer the smaller red dot. I can always train harder for close range combat and pick up the red dot, but I can't unobscure a target at longer ranges.
This red dot optic comes with the standard box and accessories, warranty card, manual, etc. Nothing crazy here. The Comp ML3 does not come with a mount, and one must be purchased separately. This seems to be designed to reduce the cost in every way, but the overall optic's quality remains the same.
One of the Aimpoint ML3 optic's strongest features is the short 30mm tube section that is compatible with any 30mm mount. Compatibility with any 30 mm tube makes mounting the optic across a variety of platforms a breeze.
Not only that, but you have a massive amount of mounts to choose from. For this review, I used a Larue Tactical Comp mount which is pretty standard and a proven platform.
Aimpoint ML3 Features
The Aimpoint ML3 utilizes ACET technology, which is a low power consumption diode circuitry. What this does is allow the Comp ML3 to sip barely at the battery, giving the unit a remarkable 50,000-hour battery life. This one can be left on for five years straight.
The Comp ML3 uses a 3V lithium coin battery, a 2L76 to be precise. Personally, I think this is one of the optic's few weaknesses. The battery is uncommon, and most people have probably never heard of it. If the unit utilized a triple or double A, the batteries would be easy to find.
Another potential downside is the lack of night vision compatibility. The optic still has settings for low light, but none are night vision compatible. I say potential downside because users who don't use night vision aren't paying for it. The lack of night vision is a sacrifice, but it trims the price of the ML3 just a bit. This optic does have six daylight settings, with one being incredibly bright.
It appears that the same construction from the Comp M3 goes into the Comp ML3. I was somewhat confused when I first turned the optic on & the first four settings did nothing. The Comp M3 has 4-night vision settings that the ML3 lacks, creating four dead clicks which mean the optic is off until you reach the fifth click. These dead clicks are confusing, and I feel Aimpoint should address this.
Testing the Aimpoint ML3
The dot's brightness ranges quite broadly; indoors, the setting worked best at 2, in low light 1, and depending on how bright it was outside, the other 4 did the job. The ultra-bright setting isn't an exaggeration either, and on a clear Florida day, I found it too bright. That setting could be reserved for an afternoon in Iraq.
To mix it up from my regular AR testing, I mounted the Comp ML3 to a Mossberg 930 SPX shot for a day at the range. Surprisingly, the Aimpoint in the Larue mount co-witnessed nicely with my SPX high front sight.
Testing consisted of buckshot from 7, 15, and 20-yard distances. Zeroing involved nothing more than making sure the red dot was centered in the buckshot spread. We worked both the optic and gun over nicely, just pounding round after round of buckshot into our targets.
The Aimpoint Comp ML3 proved itself to be a contender and never budged on its zero. The red dot optic cut our transition between target's time down significantly and made smashing Colt Speed Plates to the ground quite easy.
The Aimpoint reduces transition and on target time because I don't have to worry about lining the sights up, finding the front sight, and focusing on pulling the trigger. Once I concentrate on the dot, my eyes can keep it in my vision as I move the gun from target to target which is particularly the case for smaller targets.
To round out our Aimpoint Comp ML3 review, we moved to the fifty-yard line and loaded a variety of different slugs into the weapon. Keep in mind that this is a smooth, bore shotgun with an 18.5-inch barrel. We used AR 500 ISPC 66% silhouette targets and were plenty capable of ringing steel. We didn't even zero the optic.
At fifty yards, we were hitting about an inch or so high. I imagine the Aimpoint would make quite the improvement on a dedicated slug gun.
In this Aimpoint Comp ML3 review, we've covered the optic's strengths and weaknesses as well as the fact that most of its weaknesses are there to reduce the price. You may be curious to know exactly how much you're saving.
The Aimpoint ML3 is priced right around 530 bucks, and the Larue mount cost me 125, but plenty of quality mounts are available for less than 100 bucks. Even with the Larue mount, you're looking at around 650, which compared to Aimpoint M4s, is a savings of about 200 dollars.
The Comp ML3 proved itself to be a very tough optic, withstanding over a hundred rounds of buckshot and another fifty rounds of various slugs, from standard to magnum loads. The optic never lost zero and never budged in the mount. The optic is waterproof and submersible, as well as shockproof.
While the optic may have some rather complex features, at its price point it's hard to beat. The Aimpoint is a solid combat optic and would serve a shooter well in a variety of fields, including law enforcement, home defense, and competitive shooting.