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Yes, you can have a premium optic that is compact and cost-effective

Law enforcement asked for a simple, cost-effective optic that doesn’t sacrifice quality and we got it with the Aimpoint Duty RDS

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Aimpoint has designed a Red Dot Sight named “Duty RDS” for law enforcement.


By Warren Wilson

The AR-15 patrol rifle is one of the most important tools for today’s law enforcement officers. The most relevant addition to the AR-15 is an optic.

There are a lot of optic options out there. Agencies must choose an optic and figure out how to pay for it. Then, agencies choose a mount and figure out if it is compatible with the rifle and sight.

Most agencies tend to choose a basic red dot sight, partially due to simplicity and partially due to cost. Speaking of cost, naturally, the higher the quality, the higher the cost. Until recently, that is.

Aimpoint has designed a Red Dot Sight appropriately named “Duty RDS” for law enforcement. Its suggested retail is only $499. It is simple to use, rugged and cost-effective. But don’t worry. It’s an Aimpoint, so all the necessary features are there.


You might not think simplicity is a feature, but it certainly is to me.

If you purchase this sight, it comes with a mount. That’s one complication down. You simply mount the optic to the rifle, install the battery and adjust it for the preferred zero.

There is also value in a simple red dot. Many optics have bullet drop compensators and reticles shaped like diamonds, triangles and circles. Those all have their place. But what’s needed in a civilian law enforcement rifle optic? Simplicity. We rarely deal with great distances, though long shots are certainly possible with the Duty RDS’s advanced optical lenses, which allow for enhanced light transmission and exceptional clarity of its 2 MOA dot.

The Duty RDS also comes with flip-up lens covers (the front is solid and the rear is transparent), a battery and an Allen wrench for the included one-piece torsion nut mount. There is an optional front lens cover with an integrated Anti-Reflection Device that can be purchased separately.

That level of simplicity means cops have a little more engagement to focus on their jobs.


Aimpoint is known for its rugged optics. The company builds optics for military and law enforcement and let’s face it, cops are good at breaking stuff. Our equipment must be exceptional.

The Duty RDS’s pressure-forged aluminum alloy housing provides durability against the extreme abuse and temperature changes it will face in law enforcement duty. The sight is vibration and shock resistant and is submersible to 80 feet. The exterior is hard-anodized and non-reflective. The windage and elevation adjustments are flush and waterproof, negating the need for caps, which can get lost.


The Duty RDS is powered by a common CR2032 battery (included) that gives 30,000 hours of constant operation on setting 7. That’s three years. It’s still good practice to change batteries out on important work tools every year, but those 30,000 hours of capability are certainly comforting.

The Duty RDS has 4 night vision-compatible settings and six daylight settings. The digital keypad has intuitive buttons to make those adjustments with or without gloves.

Ounces and pounds

There’s a saying about military gear that states ounces can feel like pounds if they’re carried long enough. I can personally attest to this principle.

In SWAT, we called watching a doorway until the room could be cleared, “holding a port.” If you’ve ever done that for a few hours while the rest of your team cleared other parts of a building, you’ll appreciate those fewer ounces.

Large optics tend to snag on seatbelts, etc. when being rapidly deployed from a vehicle. They get caught in heavy brush during field searches. A minimalist approach is wise in the field of law enforcement.

One might think – considering the cop-friendly pricing of the Duty RDS – it will have to be a relatively large unit. Aimpoint did not scrimp on this feature either. They packed all this technology into a 3.8 oz optic. Its length x width x height is only 2.7 x 1.5 x 1.7 inches.


I always appreciate companies who listen to their customer. Aimpoint is one of those companies that has always been responsive to its law enforcement customers. The company has never sacrificed its commitment to us. Officers asked for a simple, cost-effective optic that doesn’t sacrifice quality and we got it. The Aimpoint Duty RDS.

About the author
Warren Wilson is a captain, training commander and rangemaster with the Enid Police Department in Oklahoma. He is a former SWAT team leader, current firearms instructor and writer. He has been a full-time law enforcement officer since 1996.