For several years I have been trying to find the "perfect optic" for
work. I needed something that was very proficient in a CQB environment
(non magnified electronic red dot) and something that would give me some
magnification for situations that took place at longer distances.
In setting in which I work, 75% of the missions are CQB and the other
25% can range from perimeter work, to over watch on a VIP detail, to
searching large warehouses or schools, etc.
SWAT missions can often be dynamic in nature. One minute you can find
yourself on a perimeter trying to see if the barricaded gunman, standing
in the window has a gun or a cell phone in his hand. The next minute
you're being redirected to be part of the entry team. On other missions
you may find yourself sitting across a large parking lot covering a buy
/ bust operation, the bad guy goes mobile and now your part of a vehicle
In short there are times where an electronic red dot rules the day and
other times where a magnified optic is more desirable. But there is
almost never the time or opportunity to take one optic off the gun and
replace it with another while in the middle of a mission.
2 - 3 years ago I had the opportunity to get a small amount of trigger
time on a Aimpoint M3 with 2 MOA dot and Aimpoint 3x magnifier.
As I recall the Aimpoint M3 was in a standard LaRue Aimpoint Mount
(#LT-150, not the cantilever version) and the Aimpoint 3x Magnifier was
either a LaRue standard Aimpoint mount or night vision mount.
Due to the way the Aimpoint and 3x Magnifier was setup, I remember
having to move my head to the rear on the stock to get the proper eye
relief, and thus wasn't in my natural shooting position (head was too
far to the rear on the stock).
The one thing that sticks out in my mind about the 3x Magnifier after
using it (in the setup mentioned above) was that I didn't care for the
field of view (reminded me of looking through a straw) and the 3x
Magnifier just didn't "do it" for me.
In theory the magnifier would be an excellent choice, in reality it's
not. Sometimes events can be so dynamic and situations can happen so
quickly that you don't have time to fish around in a pouch for a
magnifier, locate it, and then put it on the gun. Or if I had the
magnifier in a pouch on my SWAT vest and I rolled on a bank robbery in
progress, active shooter incident, etc. and had to deploy the carbine
and didn't have a chance to don my SWAT gear then I'm without the
I needed something that stayed on the gun and was easy to use. I needed
an optic that I could go from no magnification to 3x, 4x, or 5x while on
the move in a second or two seconds at the most. Thus the magnifier was
not an option for me.
[b]Fast forward a couple years.[/b] LaRue Tactical releases their 3x
Magnifier Pivot Mount (LT649), which keeps the 3x Magnifier on the gun,
but has the ability to move the 3x magnifier into the same viewing plane
as the Aimpoint (ie. Aimpoint ML3 + 3x magnification) or move it out of
the viewing plane, so the shooter is looking through just the
The ring portion of the LaRue Pivot Mount is a rotating spring loaded
design that rotates the 3x magnifier out of the way of the Aimpoint (to
the 2 o'clock position) simply by grabbing a hold of the magnifier, pull
it back toward your face, and rotate to the right. Once the LaRue Pivot
Mount gets to the 2 o'clock position, it automatically locks into place
and the 3x magnifier is held in the 2 o'clock position and the shooter
then can use the unmagnified Aimpoint.
I have been shooting the S&B Short Dot for the last couple years, but
had been using Aimpoints since the late 90's. The only down side to my
Aimpoints is that they lacked magnification.
I have a lot of law enforcement / military guys contact me and ask my
opinions on different optics. Many of them have the similar mission
statements as me and have similar likes and dislikes. The Short Dot is
hard for many to afford due to it's price. And there aren't a lot of
other options on the market if magnification + an electronic red dot
(that can be seen under all lighting conditions) is needed.
A couple months ago I ordered a LaRue 3x Magnified Pivot mount and an
Aimpoint 3x Magnifier.
I mounted the LaRue Pivot Mount / 3x Magnifier behind an Aimpoint ML3 (2
MOA dot) in a LaRue cantilever mount on my Colt LE6920.
I have shot this set up from 50 yards out to 425 yards. Just last week
I shoot 100 rounds at the steel gongs at my local range at 425 yards,
conditions were cold and windy. With just a little hold over, it was
extremely easy to engage the gongs at 425 yards.
Some observations of the Aimpoint ML3 + 3x magnifier:
-The 3x Magnifier in the LaRue Pivot Mount would be a good duty set up
as it give you non magnified electronic red dot to 3x magnification on
-Very clear glass
-Generous eye relief (2" - 2.5")
-Wider field of view than I remember (close to the field of view on my
Short Dot at 3x
-The 3x magnifier can be taken off the gun when no needed to save weight
or make the carbine more mission specific
-In a recent phone conversation with Pat Rogers, Pat brought up the fact
that the 3x Magnifier can be removed from the gun and used as a
-A single 3x Magnifier can be used on several different guns set up with
Aimpoints or EO Techs
-3x Magnifier assists with threat and target identification
-3x Magnifier is much more economical than something like the Short Dot
-Noticed my groups at 50 and 100 yards were much smaller
-The 3x Magnifier can be brought into the viewing plane or moved out of
the viewing plane with the support hand in approximately 1 second while
on the run.
In closing, I am very impressed with the Aimpoint 3x Magnifier in
the LaRue Pivot Mount and will be using it for work. The Aimpoint 3x
magnifier is definitely another tool in the tool box.
Aimpoint 3x Magnifier directly behind the Aimpoint ML3
Aimpoint 3x Magnifier flipped to the right side (2 o'clock), out of the
way of the Aimpoint ML3
Aimpoint 3x Magnifier directly behind the Aimpoint ML3 (shooters view):
Aimpoint 3x Magnifier move out of the way via the LaRue Pivot Mount
(Disclaimer: The dot in the Aimpoint is 2 MOA, and the camera is set
too far away from the 3x Magnifier for proper eye relief (thus the large
black circle in the optic). The pictures were taken to show how the
LaRue Pivot mount looked from the shooter's perspective.)
Aimpoint 3x Magnifier in conjunction with an Aimpoint Comp M4
Aimpoint 3x Magnifier in conjunction with an Aimpoint T1 Micro