The Aimpoint line of red dot optics are some of my absolute favorite red dots, actually, they are my favorite red dot. Aimpoint has a long history of excellence, which ranges from durability to battery life, and scores high marks in nearly every category. Aimpoint as a company is one of the biggest reasons that red dot optics are so popular today. The Aimpoint H-1 is one of the optics in their micro-optics line. This small optic is designed specifically for hunting.
A red dot for hunting may have some scratching their heads. Why use a red dot over a set of iron sights, or even a magnified optic? The same reason you would use one on a tactical weapon, it’s much faster than lining up iron sights for close range shooting. Some folks with compromised eyesight also find using a red dot much faster than a set of iron sights. I personally love a micro red dot on my shotguns, especially hunting in the swamps of Florida.
In Florida, our game moves mostly during the cooler and darker morning and evenings, often under a thick, almost jungle-like canopy. A red dot makes it nice and easy to see the reticle in any environment. This makes a red dot very, very handy, and I’ll cover why a bit more later.
Out of the Box
The Aimpoint H-1 comes in a standard Aimpoint cardboard box, that’s foam cut for safe and secure storage. Included is the basics, sight, battery, manual, warranty info, and a tool to adjust the sight for zeroing. Nothing incredible. The Aimpoint itself is advertised as micro, but it’s not super small. When I hear micro my mind tends to drift to Trijicon RMRs, not the H-1.
Comparing The Aimpoint H-1 and T-1
The Aimpoint H-1 is the younger brother to the Aimpoint T-1 which we also have a review on. They share a number of characteristics, including an objective lens diameter of 20mms. Overall they are the exact same size, and weight. Speaking of weight, the H-1 is a feather, at only three ounces this thing is remarkably light. The Aimpoint T-1 and H-1 are nearly identical, with the biggest difference being the reticle settings.
The H-1 being designed for hunting gives the user 12 different daylight settings and is not night vision compatible. The T-1 is designed for tactical situations and is night vision compatible. The T-1 has only 8 daylight settings but has 4-night vision settings. The T-1 also comes with a higher price tag, and we can’t pretend price isn’t a deciding factor. The H-1 is over a hundred dollars cheaper than the T-1.
Battery Life and More About Brightness Settings
The Aimpoint H-1 has a five-year, continuous battery life. Aimpoint is known for its battery sipping ability and the H-1 follows that tradition. This is important because you want the H-1 on from the time you get in the tree stand, to the time you go home. If the battery life was short you’d be fumbling to turn the optic on instead of taking aim at that big buck. The H-1’s 12 brightness settings allow enough choices for any time of day and go from barely visible to holy crap that’s bright.
Unless I was hunting in the desert I doubt I’d ever have to crank it up to twelve. Setting seven seemed to be nice and bright for most high noon, bright light shooting. In the field, I’d see myself using three or four during the morning and evenings.
The only real control on the optic is the adjustment dial. This dial switches the optic off, and, of course, changes the brightness level. The elevation and windage adjustments do require a small tool, or the rim or a coin, or the rim of a cartridge will work as well. You have an included tool if you’re inclined to keep track of it.
You Can Mount It Everywhere
The H-1 can be mounted on a wide variety of weapons, and it’s lightweight small size, and unlimited eye relief allows it to work with nearly any hunting weapon out there. The H-1 works great on shotguns as I mentioned and a big part of an effective shotgun is the speed in which you can maneuver the weapon. The lightweight of the H-1 keeps the weight down and the speed up.
The H-1 can also be mounted on a handgun, or on a lever action rifle with a scout style mount. Last but not least the H-1 can be mounted on a compound, long, or crossbow as long as it has a Picatinny mount. You can easily move between bow season to muzzle loading season and general gun season with the same optic.
H-1 Range Test
Since I’m a Florida hunter and tend to stick to the marshes and swampland I hunt with a shotgun 90 percent of the time. To test the H-1, I attached it to my Mossberg 930 Hunting Model and took it to the range. I zeroed the shotgun at 25 meters using Federal buckshot. Zeroing was quick and easy with buckshot and slugs being used.
I decided to run round after round of buckshot and slugs through it for durability and zero hold testing The 12 gauge shotgun has some pretty bad recoil, and I had complete faith in the Aimpoint H-1, but why not verify? Forty rounds of buckshot and 10 magnum slugs later I reconfirmed the zero, and the dot hadn’t shifted a hair.
What is readily apparent with the H-1 is the incredibly wide field of view the optic affords the user. The Aimpoint H-1 is designed to be used with both eyes opened and that gives to the widest field of view possible. The red dot is imposed over your vision and makes transitioning from target to target a breeze. The sight picture is bright and seamless, the coating on the optic makes it nice and bright.
The advantage over iron sight is apparent immediately. The ability to not only get on target rapidly but place accurate shots with proper shot placement that will humanely take down an animal is an important consideration. Moving out to fifty yards and using slugs we were capable of ringing a 12-inch gong over and over again.
Throughout all our testing, which was 175 rounds of double ought buckshot, and 25 rounds of magnum powered slugs the Aimpoint H-1’s reticle never shifted or moved, even a hair. The optic ran without a hitch, and made , mincemeat out of the paper targets, and beautiful music when it rang the gong. I’d suggest the H-1 for anyone looking for an easy to use optic for close range hunting.