Aimpoint is a Swedish manufacturer of red dot sights founded more than 45 years ago. The past years have offered major changes, both in terms of the market for red dot sights and the company itself. But one thing remains unchanged; we manufacture world-class red dot sights in Sweden. Read our story below.
The idea of a red dot sight
Aimpoint® is one of few large international companies in the optical industry that can trace its origin to a toilet roll.
It all started in 1974, when technician and inventor Arne Ekstrand wanted to improve his accuracy on moving targets during hunting and while on the shooting range. The idea of a red dot sight was hatched when Arne stood and shaved in front of the mirror and saw that the light reflection on the wall behind him did not move, regardless of whether he was moving his head or not. Arne got an idea and started sketching a concept that resulted in a prototype based on an empty toilet roll.
Arne Ekstrand himself did not have the financial strength to take the project further. Instead, he contacted visionary and entrepreneur Gunnar Sandberg from the company ElektroSandberg.
It all begins
Gunnar Sandberg was impressed by Arne's idea and invested in the continued development of the concept. As a first step, Gunnar arranged a working space in the form of a basement, located on Borrgatan in Malmö's harbor, where Arne could work on what would become the foundation of one Aimpoint.
With the financial support from ElektroSandberg, the development of the first red dot sight began, and in February 1975 the first patent was approved and Aimpoint AB was founded.
The first red dot sight from Aimpoint
Launched in 1975, Aimpoint® Electronic was the world's first commercial red dot sight. Believe it or not, but even today there are a lot of Electronic sights still in use around the world. The fact that a sight that was manufactured over 45 years ago is still in use is a hallmark of the high quality that all red dot sights from Aimpoint are characterized by.
Three generations of Aimpoint® Electronic were produced: G1, G2 and G3. The Aimpoint® Electronic was replaced in 1987 by the 1000 series with its smaller form factor and improved battery life.
Aimpoint gains recognition
The first products from Aimpoint® were designed for hunters and sport shooters, but in the early 90s the police and military began to realize how a red dot sight could improve their shooting.
An event that changed the way people looked at the red dot sight occurred in 1991 when the American general, Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., visited the Saudi city of Riyadh. With him as patronage, was a small team from the special forces. These men had equipped their carbines with the Aimpoint® 5000™, originally intended for the civilian market. An image depicting these men, with Aimpoint's sights on their carbines, quickly spread around the world and military interest in red dot sights exploded.
Volumes start to increase
In the summer of 1997, Aimpoint participated in the final stages of a US procurement that had been going on for several years. It involved a total of 100,000 sights, a huge business opportunity. Aimpoint ended up winning the tender and 100,000 CompM sights were to be manufactured, with only 3 workers located in Gällivare. Aimpoint realized that a greater workforce was needed and the number of employees in production thereby grew to 40. Shortly thereafter in 1998, a new factory was opened in Malmö to further increase production capacity.
The U.S. Army was incredibly pleased with the sights from Aimpoint, which received praise from both soldiers and generals alike. In 2007, Aimpoint participated in a new US procurement of red dot sights, this time involving 565,000 sights, the largest red dot sight procurement ever.
The launch of Aimpoint® Micro™
The small red dot sight Micro™ was a major breakthrough for Aimpoint in the civilian market. The idea was hatched by wanting to make a smaller red dot sight specifically designed for the hunter segment. It was important to have a closed emitter, which means that water and dirt cannot penetrate the housing and cause damage.
Said and done, the new Micro™ sight was shown at the German trade fair IWA in 2007 and was an enormous success. Over the years, Aimpoint received suggestions for improvement that laid the foundation for the second generation of Micro™, which became an even greater success when it was launched in 2014.
In 2018, the first generation of the Acro™ series red dot sight was launched. It was a compact and enclosed sight, originally intended for pistols. The Acro™ was met with cheers from sport shooters and hunters alike, and soon the second generation of the Acro™ was launched in 2021, with improvements such as a longer battery life. Today, Aimpoint is an industry leader in the red dot sight market with proud supporters from both the civil and professional markets.
Do you want to learn more about Aimpoint?
Take part in our shooting adventures and hunting experiences. The content comes from experienced hunters and professional users in the form of articles, videos, how-to guides and other practical information that will help you to get the most out of your sight from Aimpoint.