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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Atibal MRD

Atibal has made some interesting sights and scopes, which have been turning some heads,  so when they offered to try out one of their new offerings, their Mini Red Dot or MRD, we were all ears.

The MRD is deigned to do a lot for a little. With a retail price of around $120, the MRD comes in significantly under the cost of many other mini dots on the market.  Atibal includes severam mounting options, a low-profile plate to mount on a handgun or on top of a dedicated sight, as well as a thumbscrew mount to attach it to Picitinny rail.

The specs from the company:

5 Reticle Brightness Settings
Parallax Corrected for Precision Accuracy
Wide Field of View
Low Power Consumption
Brightness Level Memory Function (sight will power on at the same setting it powered off at)

Magnification - 1x
Eye Relief - Unlimited
Dot Size - 3 MOA
Adjustment - 1 MOA
Reticle Color - Red
Reticle Brightness - 5 Settings
Objective Lens Size - 25x17mm
Parallax Setting - Parallax Free
Water resistant
Battery - 1x CR2032
Length 1.9 inches
Weight with mount 2.6 oz
Weight without mount 1.4 oz
Rail Type: Mount for 20mm rail

The MRD's brightness settings are effective for different lighting situations, and each setting is discrete and useful.  They didn't choose to give it 20 different settings where only three of them are useful, they picked five levels that worked well and went with them.  

The low settings are perfect for low/no light use, making the sight perfect for a nightstand gun.  At the high setting in the dark, the dot is blazing bright, too much so for precise shots in the dark, but great for picking the dot up quickly for point shooting.  As you dim down the dot in the dark, you get a much more refined sight picture.

Out in the sun, things are even better.  I expect a red dot to work well in the dark.  But when the sun is shining bright, a lot of dots get dim or wash out in the light and become useless.  The Atibal MRD does not disappoint.  

The brightest settings work well outside in direct sunlight, even on a light target with a light background, which can wash some lower-powered sights out.  I compared it to larger red dots from Primary Arms and Vortex, as well as my Burris 1-4X, and the MRD beats them hands down with a bright, easy to pick up dot.

The controls on the MRD are wonderfully simple.  Atibal decided on one button to rule them all, and it works great. There is a small rubberized button on the left side of the sight body that turns it on and off, as well as adjusts the brightness, one level per tap.  Hold the button for two seconds and the sight shuts off.  In my testing, I found that on rare occasions I turned the sight on when mounted on a handgun by laying it on the left (button) side, but never turned it off like that.  To save your batteries, Atibal includes a 1-hour auto shutoff. 

Shots Fired

Anytime a piece of gear hits the market and it costs less than a big-name brand, people question its reliability.  Realistically, everything made by man will break eventually.  The question is how long will it take?  Is it going to stand up to hard use, or will it fold?  To answer these questions and more, we began to abuse the MRD.  Which is the fun part of what we do.

The MRD has a simple thumbscrew mount for attaching it to rails, so I threw it on my Mossberg 500 and hit the range.  Once I got it dialed in so my slug shots were one ragged hole, I proceeded to fire 60 rounds of Herter's slugs at multiple targets downrange.  The MRD didn't miss a beat and kept me punching paper as fast as I could load and run the gun.

Satisfied with this, I dismounted the MRD and paired it with Strike Industries new GUM and mounted it on a Glock 17.  After sighting it in, thee gun became the go-to gun for red dot range time. I will admit that I'm quite new to red dots on pistols, and up close, I felt a bit slower with the dot than with iron sights.  Several of my trainers have mentioned that this is a common thing at first, and is a training issue that will be corrected over time with proper training.  Fair enough.

At longer ranges, the MRD really helped me connect.  Being able to place a dot on a distant target and not worry about my sight focus was great.  It feels liberating to get past the "sight race" focus trick my eyes play and just focus on running the gun.  After about 500 rounds of 9mm were expended over several range sessions, I dismounted the MRD for another round of shotgun fun.

Loading up my Mossberg with buckshot, I set out four targets spaced about ten feet apart from each other and proceeded to run the targets as fast as I could.  I typically love the bead sights on my shotguns, and I've gotten very accurate with them.  The problem arises when I try to speed up.  Then I find myself double checking if I have the proper sight picture on the bead, if my cheekweld is good and so on.  With the MRD, I was blasting the targets dead-on as soon as the dot was on them.  I ran the magazine tube empty in a couple of seconds and was rewarded with shredded targets downrange. I ran this drill several times,. and I can confirm that the MRD is fast, accurate and tough enough to handle a 12-gauge. 

Throughout my testing, the Atibal MRD was dropped, stepped on, knocked off tables, slammed into Kydex holsters, and used to charge the Glock karate-chop style with no ill effects.  If you have a gun or two in need of a tough, bright, and accurate red dot, you should check out the Atibal MRD.


  1. For the price and because of this review, I will try it out. the brand seems to be popping up a lot recently.

    1. Thanks for checking out the review Marc, tell 'em KCT sent ya!

  2. I'm looking to mount this Atibal MRD on a Midwest Indus. AK-47 handguard, what other mini red dots use the same mounting pattern (ie Burris Fast Fire I/II, Doctor, Leupold)?