Fake Chinese Trijicon MRO Knock-Off Red Dot Sight Review

Fake Chinese Trijicon MRO Knock-Off Red Dot Sight Review Buy once, Cry once? A couple weeks ago, I purchased a Chinese knock off of a Trijicon MRO on AliExpress from […]

Fake Chinese Trijicon MRO Knock-Off Red Dot Sight Review

Fake Chinese Trijicon MRO Knock-Off Review - Mounted on AR15 - side viewBuy once, Cry once?

A couple weeks ago, I purchased a Chinese knock off of a Trijicon MRO on AliExpress from a Chinese trading company. I paid $35 for it with free shipping. It ended up showing up at my door step today. I wanted to give some first impressions of the red dot and my overall experience with using AliExpress. Bare with me. This is NOT a Trijicon. So, don’t start chanting “buy once, cry once”, or “you get what you pay for”. I am well aware of what I bought and the fact that it is not a genuine MRO.

*Editor’s note: This guest post is shared because it is interesting. Gear Report does not condone illegal black market production, importation or sale of patented products or technologies. We agree with the author that the torture test of this cheap optic should be incredibly educational.
If you want the Real Deal, you can find genuine Trijicon MRO at 
1800GunsAndAmmoAmazon, Brownells
Or check eBay for fake Trijicon MRO.

Fake Chinese Trijicon MRO Knock-Off Review - Mounted on AR15 - left side viewWhy buy a cheap Trijicon clone?

First of all, I want to go over my mission statement for even doing this. I was basically bored one day, and had some money to burn. I was looking on AliExpress wasting time, when an MRO came up. I have been looking at getting an actual MRO at some point. The cheap knock off called to me. So, I figured for $35, I would give it a whirl and also torture test it to failure. I want this torture test in the future to actually prove and teach people some things. More on that later, when I actually get a chance to test it fully.

First Impressions

The MRO came in a foam lined hard plastic case, which I was not expecting. The fake Trijicon even came with English instructions, allen keys, a lens cloth, and a battery. I was actually impressed…


Until I installed the CR2032 battery. DEAD. I assumed the worst, and figured this test was dead before launch. I pulled an extra battery from my Vortex SPARC II. Low and behold, the faux-MRO turned on. I ran through all the brightness settings on the knock off. It is actually very bright. Easily comparable or better to my other red dots as far as brightness goes.

It also came with a riser mount which I installed first thing.

Insecure about my purchase

Another issue came up, as the base plate for mounting wasn’t even hand tight for the base plate screws. If I would have taken this right onto the range, within a couple shots, I would have been chasing a zero that I could never catch. I installed the added riser mount, and also put a dab of locite on the now tight screws. I know… I am cheating. But for $35, I am fine with making some “enhancements”, and who doesn’t love an under dog story. I would do this anyway for a higher end optic that I needed to defend my life with. The mount supplied gives a pretty good absolute co-witness of my back up irons.

Fake Chinese Trijicon MRO Knock-Off Review - Mounted on AR15 - absolute co-witness

Playing with the elevation and windage adjustments were nice. Each turn provided an audible click, and it could be felt. Little things like that were not expected with this optic. I zeroed the red dot off of my iron sights, and it was VERY close before adjustment. I definitely still have plenty of adjustment between windage and elevation.

The glass for the airsoft Trijicon MRO copy optic is clear enough, and had no issues.

Fake Chinese Trijicon MRO Knock-Off Review - Mounted on AR15 - clear glass

The body of the optic is supposedly T6 7075 aluminum. I am not a metallurgist, but I kind of doubt it. I would assume it is 6061. The body of the optic was a little beat up. Any scratches or gouges in the metal seem to be PRE-anodizing. Again, $35. Its not a concern to me.

Fake Chinese Trijicon MRO Knock-Off Review - Mounted on AR15 - UnicornHow the seller describes this not-really-a-Trijicon MRO

The Trijicon copy optic also lists a run time on setting “3” as 5 years continuous on…. FIVE years. I am not going to test that… but I highly doubt this optic is capable of that feat. If it is, then I hope unicorns are real too. I would ride that unicorn into the sunset shooting steel targets with my knock off MRO.

The Audacity of Hope…

Now the best thing about this knock off, that really gave me hope that it will surprise me, is the actual dot. Its one of the best dots I have seen. It is crisp, clear, and does not “star burst” at all. Its actually better than my Vortex SPARC II as far as dot clarity.

Fake Chinese Trijicon MRO Knock-Off Review - bright red dot

A chink in the armor?

Ultimately, there is only one issue that concerns me with this MRO knock off. And that is the brightness adjuster itself. It works, and there is definitely a tactile feel to each adjustment, but it has a slight wiggle at the base of it. That really is the only thing as part of the materials used in the optic that feels cheap. Again, $35. So, I am not too concerned with it, but I have a feeling that it could be a major failure point from impact testing. I am already predicting that if dropped on its top too hard, it will affect turning the unit on or adjusting brightness settings. Or it will just fall apart in general at that location.

Deal with the Devil

Ordering from AliExpress, I had no issues. They guaranteed delivery within 30 or 35 days, and estimated delivery between Nov. 8-16th. It showed up a day early. So, no problems there. Their tracking did not update as fast, but its crossing an ocean from the other side of the world. I wont judge them too severely considering it was free shipping from China.

But does the fake Trijicon actually work?

Once completed, I will provide an update on the actual field testing. The review will verify the actual size of the dot, how the optic tracks with windage and elevation adjustments, if it will hold zero, and usage out to 300 yards. The torture test will test how well the optic and the supplied mount handles mild to hard impacts, how its zero is maintained, and whether it is in fact “sealed” with a water test, using poured water and also a dunk test.
I love a good underdog story. So, I am rooting for this guy!
If you want the Real Deal, you can find genuine Trijicon MRO at 1800GunsAndAmmoAmazon, Brownells
Ken Whitmore
US Marine Veteran
Admin at AR15 SNOB FREE
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Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits.

A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management.

Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.