Last year about this time I wrote a review of Aimpoint’s Micro H-1. I was using it on a Thompson/Center Encore in .30-06, a perfect pairing for the thick woods I hunt here in South Carolina. Yesterday I got the chance to hunt with another Aimpoint red dot; however, this one wasn’t attached to a rifle.
Associate Publisher Ryan Stalvey and I were hunting quail at River Bend Resort in Inman, South Carolina. The weather had been warm all week, but Thursday offered a brief return of colder temps. We took full advantage, knocking down birds in an early Christmas present to ourselves.
I was shooting a 20-gauge Franchi Instinct L equipped with a Micro S-1, a red dot Aimpoint introduced earlier this year. The S-1 is similar to the H-1 but optimized for shotguns—and, boy, is it. The Micro S-1 attaches directly to the rib of your fowling piece, meaning you don’t need to mar your gun’s receiver by drilling and tapping it for a mount. It also means you can put the S-1 as far out on the rib as you’d like, important since you’re using its red dot as an artificial bead and not as an aiming device.
The Micro S-1 features a 6 MOA red dot adjustable for 12 levels of brightness. What’s unusual about it versus other red dots is that the dot doesn’t sit in the center of the sight body; instead, the dot is positioned in the lower third of the sight picture. The goal is to make the dot appear as similar to a bead as the real thing, something those with older eyes or cross-eye dominance issues will appreciate.
The dot may appear lower in the sight, but it’s still easy to see and hit with. Like all Aimpoints, the Micro S-1 is parallax-free and allows for unlimited eye relief. Its body is aluminum, while the mount itself is carbon-fiber-reinforced. It also includes several interchangeable base plates to accommodate rib widths of six to 12 millimeters. (Tip: The Franchi Instinct L requires the A+1 combo.)
My favorite aspect of the S-1? I could dial it in to shoot a 50/50 pattern rather than the higher patterns some shooters prefer. Having the sights—whether they be beads, red dots, or, in the case of my handguns, iron sights—hit with a dead-on hold is my personal preference, but with the S-1 you can do as you wish.
As effective as the Micro S-1 was on quail, this sight would also be a welcome addition to a waterfowling gun, particularly those used for taking geese. Rising out of a layout blind to take cupped honkers would be a breeze with this red dot, or you can dial the brightness down and use it for passing wood ducks of a morning. Your choice.
For more information on the Micro S-1 and other Aimpoint products, visit us.aimpoint.com.