The Practical Trijicon MRO Review and Video

Trijicon MRO Review

Much has been written about the Trijicon MRO already. One forum has no less than 52 pages of arguments, many of which seem to be written by people who don’t actually USE their optics beyond their couch or local range. I think many people are looking at this Trijicon the wrong way. I waited, timing my MRO review to point out one really big thing and all the associated benefits that many have ignored or glossed over. There’s info here that didn’t fit in the video so read and watch to make the most of your time here.

American Made Trijicon MRO

Here’s something often glossed over or ignored. To my knowledge, the Trijicon MRO is the only American made tubular red dot sight on the market, something worth pointing out here between Memorial Day and July 4th. Trijicon is a rock solid American company manufacturing in Michigan. Not terribly surprising then is the fact that there are less expensive brands from importers on the market.

In fact, the biggest knock I’ve heard on the US made Trijicon optics has always been price. I get it. The first magnified optic I ever bought was a Triicon ACOG ECOS. I still have it and it remains a favorite. My bank account felt the hit when I acquired the ACOG, but it’s been worth it. In the case of the MRO, however, you get a true American born and bred Trijicon optic for 15-20% less than competing high quality red dot sights. That’s a win, but it’s just the beginning of what this American made optic delivers.

Trijicon MRO Build Quality

Trijicon MRO Hog Hunting

At first glance, the bell shaped 7075 aluminum housing is 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 often used by other red dot sight manufacturers. That’s just the beginning. I reached out to Logan Killam at Trijicon to learn more.

In the same process as the ACOG, the MRO begins life as a single billet of 7075 aluminum. This billet is then forged into the rough shape of the MRO. It is this process that leaves behind the distinctive “parting lines” which make the MRO and ACOG so distinctive. The rough forging is then machined in Trijicon state of the art machining centers to achieve the final shape. Each MRO is hand built and inspected to ensure the final customer receives an optic worthy of the Trijicon name and our customers trust.”

Trijicon MRO Design Benefits

MRO Review
When it comes to the bell shaped housing, some people like it, some don’t. 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. More importantly, most reviews go on and on about how thanks to bell shaped housing the field of view on the MRO is so much better than other micro red dot sights. That’s great, but the benefits are more than meet the eye. 

What I like about the wider field of view on the Trijicon MRO is the advantage it provides when shooting a moving target. My favorite moving targets are wild hogs often moving at 30+ miles per hour, but the same thing holds true for competitive shooting and tactical training: The wider field of view leaves more of your moving target inside the optic when pulling the dot out in front. For those who shoot with a single eye open, this is a really big deal. If you shoot both eyes open, it’s still helpful. 

Speaking of which, your eyes are amazing creations. They work best together. That’s why you walk around with both of them open. If you’ll shoot with both eyes open using a red dot sight, your brain will wire the images together and essentially give you an unlimited field of view, not to mention depth perception. 

Even with that in mind, however another benefit of the MRO design becomes apparent whether shooting one eye open or both. By locating the control knob to the top of the sight, the optic becomes more symmetrical, cleaner. Some might say that helps them in rapid targeting. True or imagined, you certainly get less visual interference when panning. 

Trijicon MRO Brightness

Placing the control knob on top of the sight also makes it ambidextrous. Adjusting dot brightness is easy no matter which hand you use. Maybe it’s just me, but I would have done one thing differently with the control knob – I’d reverse it’s power settings. I want to turn it like a volume knob on a radio, clockwise to increase and counter clockwise to decrease. As designed, the MRO knob is backwards to me. 

There are eight brightness settings for the MRO’s 2 MOA red dot, the brightest being 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, at the bottom of the brightness scale you go from the dimmest Night Vision setting to Off in a single click. As you turn on and up the brightness you’ll hit an additional Off position 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.

Trijicon MRO for shotgun

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 and 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 sealed flush windage and elevation turrets with half MOA clicks. The clicks are distinct, but subtle. Some describe them as a bit soft. Unlike my ACOG, there are no caps to fiddle with or loose. Anything from a flat screw driver to spent brass can be used to dial in your zero. All in all, it’s a great design in my estimation, an improvement over numerous other ones.

What Doesn’t Matter

Review Trijicon MRO

I’ve read some people who are appalled when they discover that 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 like my office. Perhaps because I’ve hunted and trained with running a 4x ACOG, in my real world of 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. Note that I’m shooting with both eyes open.

MRO Verdict

You can find the Trijicon MRO for under $500 without a mount, and that’s how I’d suggest you buy it. It’s no secret, I’m very partial to the Alamo Four Star mounts due to their rock solid absolute return to zero properties and the fact that they don’t damage the rails I mount them to.

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 that 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 America. 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. That said, the quality, features, benefits and price of the American made Trijcon MRO really make it stand out. Trijcon sent me one to test. Think I’ll have to pony up and buy it. Enough said.

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