I don’t envy the Aimpoint engineer who drew the Micro S-1 assignment. Developing a plug-and-play red dot for a wide variety of shotguns must have been a nightmare. Most shotguns aren’t designed with optics in mind.
Fortunately for us, Aimpoint’s engineers figured it out.
The result is the Micro S-1, a brand new red dot from Aimpoint and one of the only optics on the market capable of mounting without a rail to dozens of shotgun models.
The Micro S-1 comes with eight interchangeable base plates that allow shooters to mount the optic to a shotgun’s vented ribs. As long as the ribs are 6 to 12mm wide and 1.3 to 3.6mm thick, it’ll work.
Aimpoint was founded in 1974 by a group of Swedes who wanted an optic that allowed shooters to acquire their targets more quickly. As Europeans primarily hunt driven game, they needed something that gave them the ability to hit a moving target in all lighting and weather conditions.
Since the company developed its first red dot in 1975, they’ve become well known for producing reliable, extremely rugged optics. The Micro S-1 is the next logical step in the company’s development as few shooters need to be able to acquire their targets more quickly — or hit quicker moving targets —than bird hunters and clay shooters.
- Magnification: 1X
- Reticle: 6 MOA red dot
- Height of Optical Access: 14mm
- Weight: 5 oz.
- Adjustment: 1 click = 13mm at 100m = 10mm; at 80 meters = 7/16 in. at 100 yds.
- Lenses Coating: Anti-reflex; waterproof
- Materials: Aluminum housing; carbon fiber reinforced mounts
- Battery: 1 CR2032 Lithium battery
- Runtime: 50,000 hours (over 5 years of continuous use)
- MSRP: $800
- Manufacturer: Aimpoint
First, and this is the most important step, make sure your shotgun’s vented ribs are within the specified size range: 6 to 12mm wide and 1.3 to 3.6mm thick. Some ribs are too thick or too wide. If you aren’t sure, get some good calipers and make exact measurements.
Once you have the exact rib size, you have to choose the correct base plates. The rib on my Benelli Nova is 3mm thick and 8mm wide, so I chose mounting pieces 3 and D.
Don’t expect to install your Micro S-1 and transform into Kim Rhode. There’s a learning curve, and honestly, I didn’t reach the top of that curve during the time I spent with the optic.
Aimpoint designed the Micro S-1 with an optical axis height as low as physically possible. The bottom of the optic tube actually rests on the shotgun ribs — it can’t get any lower. Still, it’s higher than my iron sights, which forced me to raise my head slightly every time I shouldered the gun. That slight delay made it difficult to hit clays with my usual consistency, and it wasn’t until the end of my range session that I finally started to acclimate to the MicroS-1.
But those final 25 shells were enough to convince me: the S-1 is an awesome little piece of equipment. It takes some practice (what doesn’t?), but it gives shooters the ability to focus on the red dot and the target—and nothing else. When I was able to see the dot quickly and line it up with the clay pigeon, I rarely missed. It was almost too easy. With a little more time behind the red dot (and maybe a raised comb), I think the S-1 could improve my shooting tremendously.
While wing shooting takes a little practice, the Micro S-1 gives shooters an immediate payoff on anything that isn’t flying through the air. The red dot allows for two things, both of which are crucial when hunting turkey or deer. First, it allows shooters to see their point of aim much more clearly in low light conditions. Obviously, an illuminated red dot is easier to see than a shotgun’s front bead at dusk and dawn.
Second (and this, in my mind, is the real benefit), a red dot can be zeroed with much more precision than the front bead sight typically found on shotguns. Even if your gun has adjustable sights, the S-1 is infinitely easier to adjust and can be adjusted with more precision.
After I finished with the clays, I zeroed the Micro S-1 at 50 yards with a few rifled slugs. The same process can be repeated with any load, but slugs were a little easier to see.
The Micro S-1 is Aimpoint engineering at its best. They saw a problem, developed a creative solution, and we get to reap the benefits. As with every Aimpoint optic, you get what you pay for. The S-1 isn’t cheap (MSRP will be around $800), but it’ll last through as many muddy, rainy duck hunts as you can throw at it—and let you take home more birds in the process.
To learn more about the Aimpoint Micro S-1, click http://www.aimpoint.com/product/aimpoint-micro-s-1/.
To purchase an Aimpoint optic on GunsAmerica, click https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?Keyword=aimpoint.