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Posted: 8/4/2004 7:54:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2004 8:24:37 AM EST by rbielak]
Recently, I was able to have an email conversation with a very reputable 'spokesman' from Aimpoint AB. I was given permission to post the content of the messages here at ar15.com, but was asked NOT to include his name in my posts. I assure you, however, that he is one of the ... err ... "upper management types" at Aimpoint AB ... as in "very upper".

(NOTE: for those of you who had read the other thread where I mentioned his name [but have since edited it], please keep it out of the public postings. Part of his agreement to allow me to post the info was that he not be identified by name). Why, I don't really know, because it's all "good" information from Aimpoint AB. Regardless, I am keeping my word.

My first message to him:

> May I ask in what country/countries are the Aimpoint M2/ML2 scopes
> assembled at?
>
> Also, in what countries are parts produced for these scopes? Please do
> not leave out any names of any countries, just because you don't want to
> tell us.
>
> Thank you.


His first response (understandably):

> Before I give you an answer you have to tell me about yourself and the
> reason for your question.


I gave him the info, so he responded with the following:

Hello Bob:

Several years ago, Aimpoint used lenses from Hakko. What remains of that
relation is that Hakko provides the "bikini"-style lenscover which is delivered
with our 7000L and 7000SC models, nothing else.

In case of the TACPOINT it is an obvious attempt to ride on the good name of
Aimpoint. The TACPOINT sight was sold at the Shot Show in Las Vegas at just
above 50 USD. On the outside it looks just like our CompM2 or CompML2 and there
are probably similar mechanical parts on the inside as well. When it comes to
performance, the only similarity is that the dot is red! An extensive test would
show how huge the differences are.

A simple test you can make yourself is to put identical batteries in an Aimpoint
and in a TACPOINT, put the intensity at the highest setting and watch how long
the battery lasts. In case of the Aimpoint you have to wait several months, in
case of TACPOINT......you don't have to wait very long.

We buy all components for our Aimpoint sights in Europe and USA. The main part
of the sight is assembled in Sweden. Depending on the model, final assembly is
carried out in Sweden or at Aimpoint Inc. in Arkansas.

Best regards,

[signature]


My personal observations:

(1) Hakko did provide optics for Aimpoint (various models) at one time.

(2) Currently, Hakko no longer provides optics; however, they provide a minor part (bikini-style lens cover) for a couple of Aimpoint scopes.

(3) He states that the Tacpoint is "an obvious attempt to ride on the good name of Aimpoint". To me, if Aimpoint believed that there is/was patent or design "theft", it would NOT have been worded in this manner. If Aimpoint thought the Tacpoint was infringing upon their patent/design, I would have expected something to the effect of "no comment pending legal ramifications". Remember, "riding on a name/similar design" and a patent or design infringement are two different things.

(4) He said, "On the outside it looks just like our CompM2 or CompML2 and there
are probably similar mechanical parts on the inside as well." This can be taken one of two ways:
(4-1) An assumption that various parts are 'similar' because, in fact, they are 'similar' scopes that perform 'similar' duties.
(4-2) The potential that the 'similarity' on the internals is that Aimpoint is using parts that Tacpoint is also using (e.g., from the same supplier), but he does not want to tell me exactly WHO that supplier is. NOTE: He addresses country of origin for parts/assembly further down in the letter.

(5) The Aimpoint has a much longer battery life than the Tacpoint. Apparently, Aimpoint has tested the Tacpoint in SOME fashion. I wonder what ELSE they've done to compare the two.

(6) Aimpoint buys all their components in Europe or the USA. This doesn't indicate that the parts are MANUFACTURED in Europe or the USA, just that they BUY them there. Perhaps he will expound on this at a later time.

(7) Final assembly is in Sweeden or USA (Arkansas).

For what it's worth. Enjoy.

Note: I received a SECOND email from him with an offer that most here would probably like. I will post it in this same thread shortly.

Oh, yea:
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 7:59:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2004 8:25:14 AM EST by rbielak]
MY SECOND EMAIL (REPLY) FROM AIMPOINT

How would you guys like "an authorized Aimpoint representative" to participate on ar15.com?

Here is a portion of the second email I received from Aimpoint AB:

I stand for the answers you got before. It is entirely up to you if you want to
make the answers public. I would appreciate if you would refer to "according to
Aimpoint" or "an Aimpoint spokesman" rather than writing my name. Anyway, a
further possibility is that a company representative takes part of the
discussion on AR15.com
and answer questions on the discussion board. Isn't that
even better?


It will be interesting to take part of your testing methods and results.


I replied with a "Hell, yes!" -- only I used a more conservative selection of words ... :)

Stay tuned!
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 8:05:34 AM EST
Thanks for the post rbielak.
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 8:29:11 AM EST
Good work !
All info is good info.

Now if they only made an EO-tech they have something
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 8:52:42 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 8:54:19 AM EST
I'm all for an official Aimpoint representative participating on the forums. That's a great way to get the straight scoop straight from the source. If the person you are corresponding with wants to know how much interest there is in an official Aimpoint rep here, add one to the tally.

P.S. Rats! I thought maybe the offer was going to be Aimpoint would send a special "$100 off an Aimpoint CompM2/ML2 so you can see for yourself how it compares to the Tacpoint clone" coupon to everyone who has wrote an email to Aimpoint:


rbielak wrote:

Note: I received a SECOND email from him with an offer that most here would probably like. I will post it in this same thread shortly.


Link Posted: 8/4/2004 9:22:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By zrxc77:
Rats! I thought maybe the offer was going to be Aimpoint would send a special "$100 off an Aimpoint CompM2/ML2 so you can see for yourself how it compares to the Tacpoint clone" coupon to everyone who has wrote an email to Aimpoint:


rbielak wrote:

Note: I received a SECOND email from him with an offer that most here would probably like. I will post it in this same thread shortly.





Yeah, rbielak. Not nice.

I think that its great that someone from AimPoint wants to listen to all of the ranting that goes on here but "most here would probably like" the zrxc77 deal better.

Great work, by the way.

Wolf
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 9:27:44 AM EST
good job. we apprciate your dilligence.
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 9:42:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2004 9:43:00 AM EST by SULACO2]

Originally Posted By rbielak:

Several years ago, Aimpoint used lenses from Hakko. What remains of that
relation is that Hakko provides the "bikini"-style lenscover which is delivered
with our 7000L and 7000SC models, nothing else.


My personal observations:

(1) Hakko did provide optics for Aimpoint (various models) at one time.

(2) Currently, Hakko no longer provides optics; however, they provide a minor part (bikini-style lens cover) for a couple of Aimpoint scopes.




Aimpoint did not say they bought "Optics" from Hakko. That would indicate a scope manufactured of several components. Aimpoint said they bought "Lenses", 1 componenet, nothing more.


In case of the TACPOINT it is an obvious attempt to ride on the good name of
Aimpoint.
The TACPOINT sight was sold at the Shot Show in Las Vegas at just
above 50 USD. On the outside it looks just like our CompM2 or CompML2 and there
are probably similar mechanical parts on the inside as well. When it comes to
performance, the only similarity is that the dot is red! An extensive test would
show how huge the differences are.



Aimpoint is right in that statement. Because Aimpoint did not state "we are sueing Hakko for patent infringement", but instead stated it as above, means very little. Aipmoint may very well believe their patent was infringed/violated, but be under advice of counsel not to make any statement of such at this time. Aimpoint may still be pursuing legal counsel, etc. etc.
Aimpoint can not sue based on outward appearance only. Nor can they sue because both sights use a red dot, which btw. according to Aimpoint is where the similarities stop. Aimpoint's patent may very well rely on the details of construction, methods of sealing, methods of dot projection, order of manufacture/assembly, circuitry intricacies that provide long battery life etc. How many of those things the Hakko and Aimpoint share are unknown to us, and possibly, at this time Aimpoint.
Its possible that though its clear Hakko intended to simulate an Aimpoint they stopped just short of a IP infringement. That doesn't mean Aimpints wrong in the staement:


the TACPOINT it is an obvious attempt to ride on the good name of
Aimpoint.



/S2
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 9:46:48 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 10:03:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2004 10:04:16 AM EST by rbielak]

Originally Posted By C4iGrant:
Very well said S2 (as usual). I guess what gets me is that they are using Aimpoints good name and hard work to sell their products....



Hopefully, the "company representative" will join up and maybe even be able to address some of these questions in more detail.

BTW: Is it REALLY necessary to quote an ENTIRE MESSAGE (i.e., the entire 369 words aka the 1,847 characters (not including white space)) in order to reply with a one sentence blurb that does little more than agree with a post? Perhaps cutting quotes down will make it easier to read and follow.

I don't know about Ed Sr., but the "quote all 60 lines of text" for a single sentence response is worse than all the "+1" replies ...
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 10:07:24 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 10:07:51 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 10:10:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2004 10:24:19 AM EST by rbielak]

Originally Posted By SULACO2:
Aimpoint did not say they bought "Optics" from Hakko. That would indicate a scope manufactured of several components. Aimpoint said they bought "Lenses", 1 componenet, nothing more.


From www.m-w.com (Merriam-Webster dictionary):

Main Entry: 2optic
Function: noun
1 : EYE
2 a : any of the elements (as lenses, mirrors, or light guides) of an optical instrument or system -- usually used in plural
2 b : an optical instrument


Looks like we are both correct.


Aipmoint may very well believe their patent was infringed/violated, but be under advice of counsel not to make any statement of such at this time. Aimpoint may still be pursuing legal counsel, etc. etc.



You are correct -- anything is possible. I merely stated that, if a party were intending to bring legal action against another, most people would expect to get a "no comment" response back when asking specific details about the internals of the product(s).

Again, perhaps an Aimpoint rep will provide more insight (if s/he can).
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 10:14:51 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 10:22:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By C4iGrant:
Hmm are you trying to teach me about posting etiquette? Weren't you the one that was banned for breaking the rules???


Not at all, C4. Just trying to help improve the readability of the message threads, cut down on the amount of storage space, bandwidth used, yada yada yada.

If we can do that, perhaps people will get more meaningful use out of the message threads in general.

Thanks for the question and for allowing me to clarify.
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 11:39:30 AM EST
Thats awesome. I dont think it will sway me from my purchase of a Tacpoint as it is only going to be used as a beater optic but it does make me more of an Aimpoint fan after seeing the lengths the company is willing to go for their product. Thanks for the leg work...
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 12:14:49 PM EST
Maybe AIMPOINT would like to make friends with the guys here at ARFCOM by doing a one-time group buy of AimPoint scopes at the TACPOINT going rate.

There's no better advertising than a big ranting group of satisfied owners!

Link Posted: 8/4/2004 12:19:10 PM EST
This is cool, It really does just confirm what most of us believed, but it's cool to get it directly from the horses mouth.

I've always just been more interested in the testing on the Tacpoints that people are doing, there are lots of budget optics out there, but I believe that by the time this whole thing really settles the Tacpoint will be one of the most tested and reviewed by REAL people, not just the whores that do reviews for gun mags.

Thanks again for the efforts and the info.
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 1:09:53 PM EST
Great work rbielak!

Doesn't put me off Tacpoint OR Aimpoint in the least. They both serve a purpose that I value.
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 1:16:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By DV8Mind:
Maybe AIMPOINT would like to make friends with the guys here at ARFCOM by doing a one-time group buy of AimPoint scopes at the TACPOINT going rate.

There's no better advertising than a big ranting group of satisfied owners!




I think that is a great idea. We will bring it up to the AIMPOINT rep when they get here.
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 2:41:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By strick909:
I think that is a great idea. We will bring it up to the AIMPOINT rep when they get here.


The spokesperson didn't GUARANTEE it, but I'm hoping he will follow through.

He said: Anyway, a further possibility is that a company representative takes part of the
discussion on AR15.com and answer questions on the discussion board. Isn't that
even better?



Link Posted: 8/4/2004 3:24:34 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 3:25:06 PM EST
that would be great, they could hear first hand from real pewople about their products, uses, issues, ect, i would love to see it happen, and would feel honored that they would take time to hang out on arfcom
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 3:33:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 4:43:54 PM EST
Rather than get spanked for quoting you S2 and wasting bandwidth, I'd like to say, finally an articulate response that gets to the point in an objective fashion.

I vote for you for President
Link Posted: 8/4/2004 4:44:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By Boom:
Anybody get the name of the person rbielak is talking to at Aimpoint? Please IM me if you know.


IM sent to Boom.
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 6:19:38 AM EST
The Aimpoint guy is here. My name is Mike Kingston, and I'm the Manager of Commercial Sales for Aimpoint, Inc., which is the USA subsidiary of Aimpoint AB in Sweden. I've been a member of AR15.com for some time, and I try to jump in when I find a question I can answer that isn't ancient by the time I read it. If you have any questions about our company or products, I will answer them as best I can and in as timely a manner as possible. If any of you see that I have missed a questuion in a post on any of these forums, please send me an e-mail asking me to check in and reply. My e-mail address is mike.kingston@aimpoint.com. Of course you may always feel free to call our office toll free at 877-AIMPOINT or send a question to our customer service department at info@aimpoint.com.

Thanks,

Mike.
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 6:37:53 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 6:57:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By Aimpoint:
The Aimpoint guy is here. My name is Mike Kingston, and I'm the Manager of Commercial Sales for Aimpoint, Inc., which is the USA subsidiary of Aimpoint AB in Sweden.



Glad to see you made it (back), Mike!

Are you limited to questions relative to sales and marketing, or do you have technical "gurus" at your disposal as well?

Thanks!
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:25:28 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:43:29 AM EST
I began my career with Aimpoint as a factory service technician/customer service guy. I've built or fixed just about every model of Aimpoint sight ever made, and I've shot with alll of them over the years, so I guess I'd be qualified to answer most technical questions up to a point. I'm no engineer. However, if I can't answer a question about our products, I'll do my best to find the person who can.

Mike.

Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:44:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By Aimpoint:
The Aimpoint guy is here. My name is Mike Kingston, and I'm the Manager of Commercial Sales for Aimpoint, Inc., which is the USA subsidiary of Aimpoint AB in Sweden. I've been a member of AR15.com for some time, and I try to jump in when I find a question I can answer that isn't ancient by the time I read it. If you have any questions about our company or products, I will answer them as best I can and in as timely a manner as possible. If any of you see that I have missed a questuion in a post on any of these forums, please send me an e-mail asking me to check in and reply. My e-mail address is mike.kingston@aimpoint.com. Of course you may always feel free to call our office toll free at 877-AIMPOINT or send a question to our customer service department at info@aimpoint.com.

Thanks,

Mike.



Welcome
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:47:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/5/2004 8:50:48 AM EST by rbielak]

Originally Posted By rbielak:
Main Entry: optic
Function: noun
2 a : any of the elements (as lenses, mirrors, or light guides) of an optical instrument or system -- usually used in plural


Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:48:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By Aimpoint:
I began my career with Aimpoint as a factory service technician/customer service guy. I've built or fixed just about every model of Aimpoint sight ever made, and I've shot with alll of them over the years, so I guess I'd be qualified to answer most technical questions up to a point. I'm no engineer. However, if I can't answer a question about our products, I'll do my best to find the person who can.

Super! The key isn't necessarily HAVING all the answers, but knowing how to FIND them, right? :) Again, welcome (back).
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:54:48 AM EST
Having neither of the products that have been discussed here, I did not posts anything before this. I have read ALL of the subject matter and it has been very interesting to see the search for the truth.

TO AIMPOINT, at this time you have answered NO technical questions and have done nothing more than introduce yourself. Just your coming in here has been enough to convince me to look into this product. Thanks for coming here and being willing to invest your time in this discussion
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 8:55:19 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 9:01:32 AM EST
thank you for being here, i think it will do wonders for aimpoint to have a good strong tie to the gun community here on arfcom
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 9:02:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By hound:
TO AIMPOINT, at this time you have answered NO technical questions and have done nothing more than introduce yourself. Just your coming in here has been enough to convince me to look into this product. Thanks for coming here and being willing to invest your time in this discussion


I posted some technical test results (performed by Aimpoint on the Tacpoint) over here.
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 9:09:11 AM EST
RB, thanks, I didn't mean that as a slam or to be a shit-stirrer, I was just offering sincere thanks and giving the guy props for the simple effort of making himself available. Anybody that voluntarily steps into the shitstorm deserves respect whether he helps out or tries to sell us airsoft guns.
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 9:20:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By hound:
RB, thanks, I didn't mean that as a slam or to be a shit-stirrer, I was just offering sincere thanks and giving the guy props for the simple effort of making himself available. Anybody that voluntarily steps into the shitstorm deserves respect whether he helps out or tries to sell us airsoft guns.


I didn't think you were doing that. I was just pointing you to what you were asking for ! :)
Link Posted: 8/5/2004 12:21:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/5/2004 12:24:05 PM EST by ltmdpd]
Welcome Mike

I personally own Aimpoint and EOTech products and think they are both outstanding for slightly different purposes and reasons. Your interest and participation in this forum is appreciated. For the most part this is a very knowledgeable group, and I know they welcome factual information, which will surely further promote your fine product.

Edited for my terrible typing...
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 3:57:50 AM EST
I appreciate the welcom. Thanks!

Although I can't stay connected here all of the time I'll do my best to keep up with answering your questions as thoroughly as I can. I would like to say in advance that I don't have too much with other brands of sight, so if you can keep questions oriented to performance of Aimpoint sights I'd be grateful.

Mike.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 5:40:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By Aimpoint:
I appreciate the welcom. Thanks!

Although I can't stay connected here all of the time I'll do my best to keep up with answering your questions as thoroughly as I can. I would like to say in advance that I don't have too much with other brands of sight, so if you can keep questions oriented to performance of Aimpoint sights I'd be grateful.

Mike.




Don't waste this gentlemens time with questions about how the tacpoint compares to the Aimpoint (general statement and not ment towards anyone person here). If you have specific questions about the Aimpoint then great. If you want to know what Aimpoint thinks of the tacpoint, don't waste their time...


C4

www.gandrtactical.com

Link Posted: 8/6/2004 6:18:29 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 9:19:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/6/2004 5:05:43 PM EST by rbielak]

Originally Posted By C4iGrant:
Don't waste this gentlemens time with questions about how the tacpoint compares to the Aimpoint (general statement and not ment towards anyone person here). If you have specific questions about the Aimpoint then great. If you want to know what Aimpoint thinks of the tacpoint, don't waste their time...



(Edited)

There's no reason that any poster can't ask "Aimpoint" comparison questions between the Aimpoint and the Tacpoint. They, in fact, have already been testing the Tacpoint in Sweden.

Users: There's no reason to NOT ask a comparative question in this thread. If "Aimpoint" can't answer it, I will get it forwarded to those in Sweden who can. Thanks.
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 9:26:00 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/6/2004 9:31:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 9:26:32 PM EST
Sooooo is there gonna be a group buy, yes?
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 8:36:06 AM EST
People here and elsewhere will still consider buying a rip-off copy optic like Hakko.
Spend the extra bucks and get the real thing.
Slaves to the cheap mentality.
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 6:55:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By dadman:
People here and elsewhere will still consider buying a rip-off copy optic like Hakko.
Spend the extra bucks and get the real thing.
Slaves to the cheap mentality.




What about those of us who don't have 6 figure incomes? Are we allowed to buy less expensive optics or do we have to get the names to be uber-leet ARfers?
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