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Old July 31, 2014, 11:18 PM   #1
Gabe1972
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Red Dot Sights: Open or Tube Style?

I'm looking to get a red dot sight for my Savage Axis .223. I have never bought or used one before, so this is totally new to me. Do you guys prefer the open style or tube style? I'm going to get a cheap one first to see what I think of them before I go spending a good deal of money on one. I am looking at an AIM Sports RT4-01, an open one which seems to have good reviews, or the Leapers SCP-RD40RGW, a tube style which also seems to have good reviews, but seems to not be able to decide who is manufacturing them for the company. They are both sub $40.

Amazon.com either way. I'm also getting a different scope rail, as it is needed, but I've already decided on that.

Thanks for the help.

Also, the reason I am going with a red dot is because it is the closest I can get to iron sights without having them installed by a gunsmith. I don't like scopes and never have.

Last edited by Gabe1972; July 31, 2014 at 11:31 PM.
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Old August 1, 2014, 01:21 AM   #2
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Over the years I have had a few, did not like them much, and can't remember much, but the two I have now that I like are:

Bushnell TRS-25
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00200E0HM/

Leupold Prismatic 1X14
http://swfa.com/Leupold-1x14-Tactica...ope-P7487.aspx

The second one does not magnify, but it can focus, so Mr. Magoo and myself can see what we are shooting.
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Old August 1, 2014, 01:33 AM   #3
Gabe1972
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Thank you Clark. The Bushnell, even though is a little more than I was planning on spending for an experimentation red dot, it's very nice and it's an idea.

Although the Leupold is very nice, it's $210 more than my gun was. LOL. It's superb, I'm sure, and I wish I had that sort of money to spend on a sight. Of course, if I did, I probably would have bought something better than a Savage Axis. More like an AR15 that is also rated to shoot 5.56, being that I see a ton of that around and almost no .223 in FMJ, except for the bi-metal junk. Of course, if I bought the AR15, I wouldn't need the red dot, as it has built in sights. I remember the good ole days when almost all rifles came with iron sights, no matter what the caliber.

Thanks for the ideas.
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Old August 1, 2014, 07:14 AM   #4
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Gabe, this is a no win situation. Both are cheap quality Chinese knock offs.

Depending on how far you plan on shooting, I would suggest looking at the cheap 3-9 40 mm or a fixed 4 power scopes instead. Yes, I know you don't like scopes, but until you can afford to have a gunsmith put irons on that rifle, it would be your best solution.

Of the two you mentioned, I have both in similar configuration, the AIM will give you a better (wider) field of view. I do not like the large tube type (38mm) on a rifle it is just out of place. I have a tube type on my shot gun but I believe it is a 28 MM one and I do not use it for anything over 50 yards.

Again, please look at one of these

http://www.cdnnsports.com/3x9x40-cam...l#.U9uDgvldUWY

Jim

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Last edited by Jim243; August 1, 2014 at 07:20 AM.
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Old August 1, 2014, 07:37 AM   #5
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I forgot to mention that the Savage Axis is built on a "Long Action" receiver and not the short action one normal for a 223. Mounting a red dot on it will be a problem without using a rail instead of normal mounts.

Jim
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Old August 1, 2014, 07:57 AM   #6
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The advantage of the tube type of red dot is that they can still serve as an aiming device if they quit working, by centering the target in the tube.
And there's less reflection from bright sun.
All red dots take some getting used to.
If the gun and scope aren't aimed very close to the target, the dot can disappear out of view.
In a way they help develop good gun handling.
Get sloppy with mounting the rifle and the dot is no where to be seen.
There are also regular optic scopes with illuminated reticles, that can be used kind of like a red dot, for the best of both worlds.
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Old August 1, 2014, 02:53 PM   #7
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You can get the SPARC II from http://www.3riversprecision.com and use code Sootch00 at checkout for an additional 10% discount. That's $179 for a great red dot.
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Old August 1, 2014, 07:29 PM   #8
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The most natural way of aiming a firearms.

I have owned various RedDots, for many years now and for starters, it's the most natural way of aiming a firearms. Just keep both eyes open, superimpose the dot over your point of impact and it's yours. It really is that simple and natural. .....

To answer your primary question; I prefer the closed tube types on my hunters because of the environment, they might encounter. Take a handful of snow and prop it on both and you will see what I mean. For range handgun, I prefer the open. I guess you will have to make your own measure of this. ...

Go for it and;
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Old August 1, 2014, 08:00 PM   #9
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Jim, I presently have three scopes. An old (probably older than me at 42) Bushnell that is very solid, but I don't know the model as I can't even find it on it. A Tasco that I got for a BSA Supersport airgun a while back. And then a cheap tasco scope that came with a .22 I bought years ago. I can't stand any of them. It's not the cost or the kind of scope...I just can't stand scopes. I don't like having to look through a long tube to be able to hit what I want when I love open sights. A cheap, expensive, or world class scope isn't going to make a difference as I wouldn't use them anyway. And I know they are cheap red dots, but I want to go cheap to see what I like before I spend the money on something that's worth the money, if you know what I mean.

Also, I have already ordered the full length rail, specifically for the Axis, as this thing has that two piece deal that is pretty much worthless for anything other than full length scopes.

g.willikers, I've read that before about still being able to use it as an aiming device if it quits working, and about the sun reflection. I've also read that the tube type are more sturdy against accidental damage.

pturner67, That's a little too much at this point, but again, this is just to test the waters, so to speak. A better one will come later. I've actually contemplated buying one of each type of the cheaper ones to decide then getting a better one of the type I like.

Pahoo, I've read that the open type are the quickest type to get onto target. I've also read about keeping both eyes open and it would be something I would have to practice, but also read about to see what the advantages are to doing it this way. In iron sights I've never done this. Just squint and go, so to speak...LOL.

Thanks for all of the advice folks, I surely appreciate it. It gives me more to think about for sure.
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Old August 1, 2014, 08:23 PM   #10
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How is squinting not keeping both eyes open ??

Quote:
In iron sights I've never done this. Just squint and go, so to speak...LOL.
Squinting is still keeping both eyes open. It's just that you are concentrating more with your dominant eye. ...

Quote:
I've read that the open type are the quickest type to get onto target.
I'll have to agree !! ....

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Old August 4, 2014, 01:33 PM   #11
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The style isn't as important as the quality.

That Leupold Prismatic rocks because it can still be used if your batteries go TU. But the tradeoff is that it doesn't have unlimited ER like most ESDs.

Try for Trijicon or Zeiss. If you can't make that, go for Aimpoint or Leupold. If you can't make that, go for Eotech. If you can't make that, go for Burris, Bushnell TLR-25, or Vortex Strikefire... in my belief. I've left some out, but that's a pretty decent general take on it. It's all about budget. Tube or panoramic or otherwise matters not. Quality does.
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Old August 4, 2014, 08:08 PM   #12
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Unlicensed Dremel, I did look at the Bushnell before, only it was the TRS-25. I couldn't find a TLR-25, so I'm assuming that is the one you are talking about. It's got a lot of great reviews on Amazon. I did end up purchasing the AIM Sports RT4-01, which had some halfway decent reviews on Amazon, but also in an article that compared four low cost red dot sights. Again, this is just to check them out and will probably not be the end result. I just didn't want to spend a lot of money (and no, the Bushnell is not a lot of money, but this one was under 30) before I knew if I really liked them or not. I still may also buy and inexpensive tube style to do the same thing. I appreciate your suggestions. I know Bushnell is a good name, and that one would be more in the price range I would probably end up using for this particular rifle. If it was a more expensive rifle, then I would most likely eventually get a more expensive sight for it. Although, if it was a more expensive gun, I may even fork over the money to have iron sights installed by a good gunsmith. I figured the installation of iron sights might cost as much as this rifle did, and to me, it's not worth that.

I won't be shooting nearly as much as most of you. Just a box or two here and there. Nothing serious. My left hand tremors to the point that I will never be a serious shooter. Ten years ago, maybe, but not today.
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Old August 8, 2014, 10:34 PM   #13
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I got the AIM Sports RT4-01 in today and installed it, along with the new rail. This is exactly what I was looking for. Can't wait to try it out. I have it sighted in at approximately 100 yards using a SightMark Laser Bore Sight, although I know I will still have to fine tune it. So much better than the scope I had on it. This will make the rifle much more enjoyable, and of course, if I like it as much as I think I will, I will definitely spend a bit more to get a better one.
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Old August 9, 2014, 09:34 AM   #14
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Aimpoints and Eotechs have parts made in the same Chinese plant as the less priced ones. So, the rule is, you get what you pay for, and it also underlines that when you do, unless it's manufactured under contract to the US Gov, there is NO guarantee you will get "made in the US quality."

The Chinese are making qualiity, you just have to pay for it, like all the rest.

The biggest difference in open and closed tube styles is the reflecting plane and where you can see it. Secondly, the emitter and whether it can be affected by the environment.

With a closed tube, the viewing lens at the back forces you to focus a bit more narrowly to see down it at the front lens. That might require a more consistent cheek weld, but it would also likely increase overall accuracy, too. The open version may allow some less well placed view of the front lens, but since the dot moves to compensate, accuracy is less affected.

How the emitter handles dust, snow, or rain is another issue. Along with that would be the lenses being contaminated, too, disturbing the view. Both would need covers to prevent that anyway.

A closed tube is inherently stronger by design, so that the lens mounts are more likely to endure shock better, but none yet use a break resistant glass. The open design only has one lens to break, and if you can see thru either the picture frame is still a open sighting plane of some worth even without the dot. Some deliberately practice that way.

In the lower end price range, I'd worry less about open or closed, and concentrate on having an integral mount and a commonly available battery replacement. Adding the price of a riser and hunting down an obscure, expensive battery makes it a lot more expensive and less fun.
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Old August 9, 2014, 10:16 AM   #15
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It will become second nature !!!

Quote:
With a closed tube, the viewing lens at the back forces you to focus a bit more narrowly to see down it at the front lens. That might require a more consistent cheek weld, but it would also likely increase overall accuracy,
On either type, there is no focusing to be done. At first, you may have to concentrate and practice, until you give your brain some time to get programmed into it's use. You will be surprised as to how quickly this happens and soon becomes an extension of many of your body parts. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 9, 2014, 03:03 PM   #16
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Red dot on a bolt gun is almost sacrilegious. Get a nice rear aperature sight and barrel band front from Brownells. If it was bigger than a poodle shooter I would say express flip rear with a barrel band sling mount and front sight.
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Old August 9, 2014, 03:59 PM   #17
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A time and place !!

For early Squirrel season, I have a tube type, dedicated RedDot on my 10/22 hunter. I hunt mostly river bottom and the cover is thick. Most of the shootable squirrels, are very close and most optics are a handicap. I don't trust my eyes with open sights so the RedDot fits the bill perfectly. Later in the season, I switch to a scope and life is good. ....
Quote:
Red dot on a bolt gun is almost sacrilegious.
There are always exception but for the most part, I understand what you are saying. Now then RedDot on a SideLock M/L is much worse. ....

Be Safe !!
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Last edited by Pahoo; August 9, 2014 at 06:30 PM.
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Old August 9, 2014, 06:12 PM   #18
Gabe1972
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvymax
Red dot on a bolt gun is almost sacrilegious. Get a nice rear aperature sight and barrel band front from Brownells. If it was bigger than a poodle shooter I would say express flip rear with a barrel band sling mount and front sight.
hvymax, I love iron sights/open sights. I can't stand scopes. You could pretty much say I loathe them. I did look at having iron sights put on this gun, but it's too expensive for me to do so at this point. I wanted a .223, but I knew that no bolt action .223s come with iron sights, and I didn't, for right now, want anything more than something very inexpensive. I will eventually have it done. But for right now, this will have to do.

As I said, I hate scopes. I have nothing against them for other people, but I just hate them, myself. It has nothing to do with the price, name, accuracy, or style of the scope. I just do not like them. I know it doesn't make much sense to buy a bolt action .223 and not want to use a scope, but I have always been a little odd when it comes to some things. LOL. That's sort of another reason why I went with the open rather than tube style, as again, the tube style reminds me of a scope. I'm not looking to be the most accurate shooter in the world, just something I can enjoy, and the way I have it right now, I think I will be able to accomplish that.

If someone made a bolt action .223 with iron sights, I would be pleased as punch.
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Old August 9, 2014, 06:13 PM   #19
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tirod, I know it's cheap, but it will do for now.
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Old August 9, 2014, 06:17 PM   #20
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Pahoo, I hunt mostly pieces of paper with circles on them, and the occasional Hughesnet satellite dish. They don't tend to move much or anything, so I'm hoping this will be just find for now. That is unless the Majestik Moose wanders into my yard. If he does, he's a goner, but I haven't seen him in years. J/K.
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Old August 9, 2014, 11:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvymax
Get a nice rear aperature sight and barrel band front from Brownells. If it was bigger than a poodle shooter I would say express flip rear with a barrel band sling mount and front sight.
hvymax, is this something that I can do relatively easily? I was thinking about doing this even before buying the gun, as I knew that no .223 bolt actions came with sights. It would have to be something that isn't permanent. I'm not familiar with a barrel band and don't even know what that is. What I envisioned was a front sight that basically came in two pieces and went around the barrel, while tightening it together would be what held it in place. Then, for a rear sight, something that would mount on a rail so that I wouldn't have to have any holes drilled or anything that really altered the gun itself. Are there things out there like this, and something that I could install myself and be able to properly align myself?

Nothing real expensive either. I would be perfectly happy with very basic sights like I have on my Marlin 25N bolt action .22LR. A blade front sight and a ramp type rear sight. The hard part would be making sure they were installed in correct alignment. Thanks for the help.
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Old August 10, 2014, 08:51 AM   #22
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I have done it with basic hand tools. Go the Brownells site and check your options. You can braze or setscrew the band's with a little care it is not too difficult and the adjustable rear sight can deal with any slight errors in front sight alignment. I am a believer in making your guns your own. There should be aperature options that will work with the existing holes but drilling and tapping are not rocket surgery. You could get a clamp on rail for the barrel and get a set of back up irons to clamp on simply enough. You obviously didn't look too far or wide for a 223 with sights. The Mossberg MVP has iron sights and uses AR mags. It sounds like it would be your dream gun. To your original post the open ones seem like they would be hard to clear if a bunch of crap, rain or snow would get into them. A tube type can be wiped with a shirt sleeve.

Last edited by hvymax; August 10, 2014 at 08:58 AM.
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Old August 10, 2014, 07:57 PM   #23
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hvymax, the gun that you listed is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I scoured so many sites looking for a bolt action gun with iron sights and never saw this. Yes, this is definitely my dream gun and I wish a few more manufacturers made similar guns.

As for the sight problem, I looked on Brownells and I am completely lost. I'm going to have to consult a gunsmith. I don't even know how any of these things mount. I imagine some of the rear ones can mount on my existing scope rail, as I now have a Weaver style (I know Picatinny is the better choice) rail that is approx 7" long with notches all the way down it. I needed that for the red dot sight as the rail that it came with was one of those two piece jobs with only one notch on each. Although it may have worked with the way the red dot attaches, but it would have hung off of the end of the rail.

As for the front, again, I am completely lost. Nothing looks like what I had in mind, and I don't understand why they don't make something of that nature. A sight that is either in two halves and locks around the barrel, or one that slides up the barrel and tightens on to it. I don't see anything like that.

The sad thing is, by the time I am done with this, I will have spent as much, if not more, than what the Mossberg MVP Patrol costs. And at least with the Mossberg I could use the 5.56 ammo as well.

Such is life. Again, I don't think the sight thing is something I can do myself.
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Old August 11, 2014, 12:33 AM   #24
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The only moderately priced reddot that I recommend is the Vortex SPARC II, but for that that rifle I'd go with a good quality scope instead. Either a Weaver V3 or V10 would get you into good glass for less than $200.

Weaver V3 1-3x20

Weaver V10 2-10x38
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