Photo: A.J. George
Recently, I was invited to attend the Aimpoint Writer's Event. As a law enforcement professional, I have been using Aimpoint optics for years but know very little about the company or its training curriculum. This was my chance to experience both and I certainly wasn’t going to pass it up.
Aimpoint has recently partnered with the Telluric Defense and Security Group, making Telluric the official training provider for Aimpoint curriculum. So the event was hosted at Telluric's new indoor facility in Brunswick, Ga. Several industry writers and law enforcement professionals were invited to the event, which was scheduled on the heels of a Close Combat Optic training course for instructors. The two-day course I attended was condensed into one day, keeping all of the essential product info and hands-on range time we were looking for.
I was met at Jacksonville airport by Tony Williams, manager of government sales for Aimpoint. During the hour-long drive to Brunswick we discussed the direction of the company and some of its recent successful products, specifically the Micro T-1 with a 2 MOA dot and the new Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO).
Not surprisingly, most of the attendees were very familiar with the Aimpoint line. After all, none of us are new to this industry and neither is Aimpoint. The company's optics have long been known as the simple, accurate, and rock solid choice for close combat. Aimpoint scopes are not the most fancy option, but there isn't an optic out there that can hold a candle to their durability, battery life, and value. Maybe that's why they're mounted on more military and law enforcement weapons than any other piece of glass.
The attendees, including myself, had several concerns about the event. First, we wondered if we were going to learn or see something new. Aimpoint's product line has always been simple and limited. Second, if something new wasn't brought to the table, what were we going to be doing all day? Theories were plentiful, but at the end of the discussion, we were all just happy to get to spend a day at the range.
Kristi Drawe, Aimpoint's marketing director and Matt Swenson, Aimpoint's vice president of government sales, met us in the lobby and escorted us across the street to the Telluric Group facility. It was a large, unassuming building stuck behind a few hotels and adjacent to the freeway. To the uninformed, it probably looks like just another warehouse.
We were greeted at the entrance by Brian Garrett, one of the founding partners of the Telluric Defense and Security Group, who had a cheerful handshake for each attendee. Garrett, like the rest of his partners and staff, have extensive résumés with military special operations and several lifetimes' worth of experience to bring to the table. You'd never know it by meeting him though, as he is very humble and friendly. As an instructor, experience is worthless if one's ego prevents it from being shared.
Garrett kicked off the event with a classroom presentation about the technology behind Aimpoint's product line and the company's emphasis on durability and simplicity. We got to handle the scopes and talk briefly about each of their optic variants. Then it was time to begin shooting.
Aimpoint doesn't make guns, but guns are necessary to experience the company's product. So Aimpoint has partnered with Daniel Defense to provide AR15 variants for their classes. Daniel Defense is known as an industry leader when it comes to high quality AR15 rifles. The company manufactures everything in-house (rare for any AR15 company) and stand behind its product like no other. Not a believer? Check out their "torture test" video on YouTube . It is truly amazing how much abuse this weapon takes and still runs flawlessly. While watching, be sure to notice the optic on top of the beaten and battered rifle. It’s an Aimpoint and, yes, it survives all of the same abuse.
We added a sling and magazine pouch, graciously provided by Blue Force Gear, to the Daniel Defense rifles, and we were ready for the range. Telluric's instructors ran us through several great drills designed to emphasize the fast target acquisition ability and accuracy of the Aimpoint optics. We traded rifles, shot from different positions, shot on the move and at several different targets. Finally, we competed in a couple of scored events for a new Aimpoint T1. I somehow managed to win and, as happy as I was to walk away with a new optic, I was more thrilled to compete using great gear against a group of accomplished shooters.
At the end of the day there were a lot of casings on the ground, a few brass burns on our skin, a little ringing in the ears, and we each had an assortment of small cuts and bruises from manipulating the weapons. More importantly we all walked away with a better understanding of Aimpoint as a company and knowledge of how to use close combat optics.
As an instructor I am asked constantly for my opinion about the "best" piece of gear out there, be it a magazine pouch, flashlight, optic, or firearm. My answer is usually the same: "Buy what you are comfortable with and what you know will not fail on you when you need it most." If I were taking my own advice, there is a pretty short list of gear that makes the grade. Aimpoint optics and Daniel Defense rifles are certainly both on it.