Is the Ameriglo Haven a Good Red Dot?

When my awesome wife got me a Walther PDP Compact for Christmas, the gun shipped with an Ameriglo Haven red dot sight (RDS). Ameriglo is well-known for its higher visibility pistol sights, but this was their first venture into electro-optics. I didn’t know a whole lot about the sight, but I figured this was a good time to test it out. At the time of writing, I have about 700 rounds through this RDS and here are some thoughts on it.

The Spec Stuff

The Ameriglo Haven is a full-size red dot that uses the common RMR footprint for mounting. It is an aluminum housing with a large window. The company says it’s “aircraft grade” aluminum but doesn’t specify a type. There are two large brightness buttons on one side and a battery tray on the other. It is powered by the common CR2032 battery. Windage and elevation adjustment screws are in the normal places. Ameriglo says the optic is waterproof to 1 meter for 30 mins.

Ameriglo lists two dot sizes, 5 MOA and 3.5 MOA on their website. The dealer that sold mine was listing it as a 3 MOA. I can’t tell that .5 MOA difference, so I’m guessing mine is really a 3.5 MOA version.  The company claims a 1-year battery life on a constant mid/high setting and a 3-year life on the low setting. That’s a little on the low side compared to my other optics.

Ameriglo Haven Red Dot

First Impressions

Taking the optic out of the box, I saw a good finish on the aluminum. No defects. The large window has a bit of a blue tint to it. It’s not as noticeable as some, but not as clear as my Eotech EFLX either. The brightness adjustment buttons are large and easy to reach.

Once I got the plate I needed from Walther, the optic mounted pretty easily. Zeroing it took only a few adjustments. While adjusting, I noticed that the dials had a good audible click. The big, bright window made it easy to pick up the dot, which was nice since the PDP was still a newish gun to me at that point. Ameriglo says there are 11 brightness settings on this optic, including 2 night vision settings.

There is a white line on the rear of the sight to aid in aiming. However, with the height of the sight, a mounting plate and the depth of the Walther optics cut, the line was really not helpful. It was too tall for standard sights. Ameriglo does sell a combo for Glock users that add in a set if suppressor height sights that will allow you to easily co-witness.

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Shooting the Ameriglo Haven

When I zeroed the optic, I did it at an indoor range. I put the dot on one of the lower settings and went to work. As I mentioned earlier, it only took a few adjustments to get it dialed in. I put about 100 rounds or so through it that day and it did just fine. I did like the large window. It is very forgiving, and I can see it being a good RDS to learn on.

The next trip was outdoors. The blazing Florida sun required me to bump that brightness button up significantly. That was when I started to notice that the adjustment buttons didn’t seem as responsive as some of the other red dots I own. But eventually, I found a setting I liked and went to work. Again, the dot held zero and was easy to see in the large window.

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The brightness buttons weren’t always responsive. There were times I needed to push a couple of times to get an adjustment. Also, there were a couple of times when it didn’t turn on quickly and took a couple of pushes. It could be just mine, but a quick trip down the Reddit rabbit hole found that others had experienced the same thing. There were also times when I could detect a flicker on the dot. Not every time, but sometimes.

Adjustments and Brightness

Because I didn’t read the instructions at first, I was unaware of the “Power Protect” feature of the Ameriglo Haven. The idea is to have a 12-hour runtime and a 12-hour, motion-activated auto-on feature. The unusual part is that after 12 hours in the auto-on status, the optic goes to sleep. To wake it up, you have to press both brightness adjustment buttons.

I’m honestly a little puzzled by this one. If you have auto-on (shake awake) technology, why not just have it shut off after a few minutes and then wake up when moved? That would extend the lower-end-of-the-scale battery life on the Haven and be more convenient. I’ve never been able to “sneak up” on my Sig or Holosun optics and not have the dot come on faster than I can get the gun up. But the idea of putting my gun down with the optic on and then grabbing it in a hurry only to find out I need to press 2 buttons isn’t my favorite.

I became aware of the feature when I was trying to get the optic to turn on after sitting for a couple of days. While reading the manual, I found out it had another feature called “Carry-loc”. Essentially, what this does is keep your optic from changing brightness or being turned off when those big adjustment buttons get bumped. You pick your brightness and lock it in. In theory, this sounds like a good idea. I do question the practical application of it though. The brightness I need in a dimly lit restaurant versus the parking lot at noon is quite different. Having to “unlock” the adjustment buttons to make a hasty change just seems like something I won’t remember to do under stress.

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Other Observations

While the Ameriglo Haven didn’t perform poorly, I feel like the $190 price for a 5 MOA version is a little high. (MSRP is $379).  That’s double the price of the Riton X3 Tactix MPRD 2 that I tested. For just a little less, I can get a Swampfox Justice with an equally big window and a proven track record.

I also admit I am a little amused by the night vision settings. I simply can’t see picking this optic as what I’m going to use with night vision.

Pros:

  • Mounts easily
  • Adjustments dials are audible and tactile
  • Big window without a heavy tint
  • Large brightness adjustment buttons.

Cons:

  • Brightness adjustment buttons weren’t always responsive.
  • A little on the tall side
  • Price

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Ameriglo Haven Red dot

The Verdict

The Ameriglo Haven isn’t a bad choice for someone just getting into the red dot game or that is looking for a big window for competition shooting on a budget. I can see this being a good platform to learn red dot basics on.

Would I use this on a defensive firearm? Not if I had other choices. It didn’t suck, but between the sluggish buttons and adjustments, I just don’t feel confident with it. Will I leave it on my PDP for range use? Yes, until I have something else to test or want to start carrying the PDP as a defensive gun.

Overall, it’s a solid Meh to me. It didn’t suck, but it’s not something I want to buy another one of. This is just my opinion, based on a sample size of one. I could be wrong.

If you want to buy an Ameriglo Haven, click here for the 3.5 MOA version or here for the 5 MOA version.

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