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Old April 14, 2000, 08:30 AM   #1
Greg G
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I have a S&W Model 41 pistol that I shoot occasionally at the indoor range I belong to. The lighting is a little dim there and that combined with my needing reading glasses to see up close, I can't shoot very accurately with the iron sights that came on my pistol. I thought maybe if I got a red dot scope for it I could do better and enjoy shooting more. I did a search on red dot scopes and turned up the names Aimpoint and Ultradot. I was hoping someone could recommend one that would not cost too much, $200-$300, and be reliable. Thanks.
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Old April 14, 2000, 10:05 AM   #2
Bill Hebert
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I was interested in a red dot scope for my S&W 686. A friend suggested the Tasco with the adjustable MOA and reticles from Natchez Shooters. When I received it, it did not have a circular dot, but instead had what I describe as a "flare" off the dot at the 5 oclock position. Called Natchez, they said to send it back. I figured the Burris speed dot would be better (cost more and Burris reputation). It was worse than the Tasco -very irregular outline for the dot. Sent it back also. My friend has a Leopold/Gilmore
and it's a beauty. But anyway, after talking to lots of shooters the consensus is the $30-$40 red dots work just as well as the "fancy" ones. If you need the fancy features - then go for it. Otherwise save your $ and put a $30 Tasco on the gun. Godd luck..Bill
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Old April 14, 2000, 10:48 AM   #3
Greg G
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Bill,
Thanks for your input. I don't want to spend a lot of money as this is just for Sat. afternoon entertainment. There is a gun show in town this weekend and I wanted to have some knowledge about these things before I made a purchase.
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Old April 14, 2000, 12:52 PM   #4
LongDuck
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As the owner of both an Ultra-dot in 5MOA and also one of the 42mm tube, $60 'cheapie' models, I can say that the money is well spent on the Ultra-dot brand, same goes for AimPoint.

The quality of the sight has more to do with impact resistance, water proof, nitrogen filled, fog proof, steel body vs. aluminum, dot clarity, compact design, dot intensity settings, and manufactured tolerances than $$$ alone.

I've resigned the cheapie red-dot to duty on airguns and only consider my Ultra-dot to be viable on a defensive weapon. Since you mention this is for target shooting, only, you may be well served by the less expensive sight and then take the money you saved and buy a good sight mount bracket, YMMV. The quality of the dot makes a big difference, particularly for target shooting, and expect to see a 'flare' on the dot as pointed out earlier. This is created by the hole drilled in the machining process to allow ample light emission by the red LED.

You really do get what you pay for,
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Old April 14, 2000, 01:14 PM   #5
Greg G
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Thanks, Longduck. I will check out the Ultra-Dots as well as the Tascos. A friend had a Hi-Pont carbine that came with a scope and that one would not only have a flare, after a shot the dot would sometimes split into 3 dots and then go back together again after another shot. I'm willing to pay enough to avoid those kinds of problems.
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Old April 14, 2000, 03:00 PM   #6
3 gun
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You may want to checkout the Millett Redot SP-1. 3 moa dot,1" tube,parallax free,11 brightness settings and not too costly. I paid just under $100,money well spent. http://www.millettsights.com

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Old April 14, 2000, 03:08 PM   #7
Greg G
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Thanks, 3 gun
I will add the Millett SP-1 3moa sight to my list. $100 is within my budget.
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Old April 14, 2000, 08:00 PM   #8
ArmySon
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If you want a highly quality red dot scope, go for the Aimpoint. Very very nicely built. Bright red dot and can take a beating. You get what you pay for.

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Old April 15, 2000, 07:18 AM   #9
Greg G
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Thanks, Son

I'll add Aimpoint to my list.
I am going to a gunshow this morning and they usually have vendors that carry several brands. I have a good list of candidates now to check out.
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Old April 15, 2000, 08:18 PM   #10
ThomasH
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Greg,

I would actually watch out for Tasco. The have a reputation for very poor quality control, and low quality in general, and lousy customer service. You could search these threads and find a few complaints, I'm sure. The "weaver mount" rings they sent me with my PDP-3 were the some of the worst crap I've ever seen made from metal. Some seem to have gotten them that wre made better, but I'd be leary.

I got some Millet rings for mine and _they_ were _Excellent_, so if they make a red-dot I might look at it. And I've always "heard" that Aimpoints were good as well. Good luck!

Oh, and I'd go for a small dot, 3 MOA or even smaller! 5 MOA dots and larger seem _way_ too big, for me at least.

Enjoy!
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Old April 16, 2000, 12:30 AM   #11
WalterGAII
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I've used a Tasco PDP3 for several years. I also went with the Millet steel rings. I used it for a couple of years on my Mod. 29 Smith. It's now hanging on my Bush Shorty carbine. If you use the polarizing attachment, you'll get rid of some of that "flare" that you've read about.
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Old April 16, 2000, 03:49 PM   #12
Greg G
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Well guys, in case you're interested:
I went to a gunshow on sat. and the only red dots I saw were Tascos. Nothing against Tasco but I want to look at others also. There is a bigger show scheduled in two weeks and there will be some vendors there that carry a lot of brands so I will wait until then. Thanks again for your replys.
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Old April 17, 2000, 07:54 AM   #13
quadcab
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Greg; Ultra-Dot is the way to go. They go for $115 at LARRYS GUNS (www.larrysguns.com). The ULTRA-DOT comes complete with battery,scope rings,polaraizing lens,extension tube,rubber eye-piece hood and allen wrench. QUADCAB
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Old April 17, 2000, 07:57 AM   #14
quadcab
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Greg; I forgot to add that LARRY'S Team Ultra-Dot usually wins or places high at CAMP PERRY.
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Old April 17, 2000, 09:58 AM   #15
Kernel
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I put a Millett 30mm Redot on a Super Blackhawk Hunter last December for deer hunting - where it saw rain, snow, and cold weather. I love the thing, it's great for "both eyes open" shooting, and it's been durable with my full power .44 Mag hunting loads. Battery is good for 20 - 30 hours depending on how you use it. I paid $99 from Natchez. The dot is very round and well defined, only the tiniest bit of flare when cranked to the highest setting. Much, much, better than a Tasco Acudot I use to own. I'm planing to buy two more Redots: one for an AR, and one for a Ruger MkII pistol. Millett Redots come with a 5 year warranty, rings, battery, etc. Tasco only has a one year warranty. Leupold - 3yrs on dot sights. The $40 BSA dot sights look like a real POS, but at that price they might fill a niche, wouldn't expect it to hold up very well in the field or any kind of factory service. -- Kernel



[This message has been edited by Kernel (edited April 17, 2000).]
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Old April 17, 2000, 07:29 PM   #16
Greg G
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quadcab: I checked out the Ultra Dots at Larry's and they seem impressive, lifetime warranty and trade up program.
3 gun and Kernal: I checked out the Millett page and those look good, too.

I have a question on scope mounts, Do they come with the scopes? Also, are mounts that do not require any additional drilling and tapping available for my model 41? It already has 4 holes pre-drilled and tapped on top of the barrel. Just when I thought I knew something about guns, I stepped off into an area where I don't know squat.
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Old April 17, 2000, 08:02 PM   #17
Kernel
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Brownells has a S&W M-41 base by LSP. You might call and see if they have a Weaver or B-Square base. -- Kernel
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Old April 17, 2000, 08:11 PM   #18
Greg G
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Thanks, Kernel
I'll check their catalog. I just got a new one in the mail the other day.
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Old April 18, 2000, 08:20 AM   #19
fal308
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I've got a Millet on one of my ARs. Seems to work well for me so far. I've never had to run the dot over 7 or 8 in bright sunlight. usually run in around 3 or so indoors. At higher power I've noticed the dot really blurs though.
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Old April 18, 2000, 01:23 PM   #20
Rome
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Dear Greg,
Thanks for posting this question as I'm was also looking for info about red dot sites.

As for you reading glasses, I, too, am on the other side of 40 and found that I need reading glasses of about 1.50 power. I finally had an actual perscription made for me with plain glass on top and a bifocal below. The difficulty I found is that when I hold my pistol out as if to fire, the sites were still blurry as the bifocal was too low and pushing the glasses up made me look dumber than I actually am. So, I decided to find some glasses that provided a "full view" 1.50 reading power which I only use for shooting. Now, when I hold my pistol in front of me to shoot, the precise focal point is 29-30 inches from my nose or at the sites! This made a HUGE difference in my shooting scores. I had another perscription made in saftey glasses which I only use for shooting so I don't have to wear goggles over my glasses. If you're going to ask if the target is in focus, the answer is no. But, it doesn't make any difference. I can see it well enough at 25 yards to group my .45 shots around 4" consistantly. I'll get better with more practice. The most important part of aiming is your sites, not the target, so having the sites in perfect focus is most important imho. I found that these glasses also work just fine with my rifles, too.

Just go so a store that sells reading glasses in full glass, not half glasses or bifocals. Put on a pair and hold your thumb out at arms length. If your eyes can see that dirty thumbnail without any strain at all then you've found your glasses. Now go have a pair made out of safety glass with side shields.

Hope this helps a little. Glasses are a pain but you have to wear them at the range anyway so you might as well get ones that will help you see your gun.

Rome

[This message has been edited by Rome (edited April 18, 2000).]
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Old April 18, 2000, 07:11 PM   #21
Greg G
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Rome,
Thanks for your suggestion. My prescription is also 150. I have some of those vinyl stick-on bifocals you buy at the drugstore mounted on my sunglasses and they work very well for me while driving say if I need to read something in the car. I tried them on my shooting glasses with a similar result as you had. I would raise and lower my head looking at the sights, then target etc.. I usually just got a blurry sight picture. Of course, without the reading glasses I see two front dots on my pistols. The safety glasses sound like a good idea. I will look into getting a pair.
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Old April 18, 2000, 09:53 PM   #22
quadcab
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Greg; If your Mod.41 barrel is factory drilled and tapped, a WEAVER brand base mount #62 will fit it perfectly. You should be able to get this base mount for no more than $7-$8.00 and possibly less. QUADCAB
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Old April 19, 2000, 07:41 AM   #23
Greg G
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quadcab:
Thanks for the info on the Weaver base mount.
Knowing the part number and price range will especially be helpful if I decide to order a mount.
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Old April 20, 2000, 02:01 PM   #24
BadShot
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I've been fighting the over 40 problem for a while myself. I have to use 1.75 correction for my reading glasses. I had my eye doctor make me a pair of reading glasses with progessive lenses(no line) that are clear on the top. The transition from no correction to full correction for reading is gradual. They work very well at our inside range up to the 25 yard distance. I also tried 1 of the Merit disks that stick to your glasses, it also helps quite a bit.

I also have an UltraDot scope that I sometimes use on our MKII and our S&W model 66. I works flawlessly, although I feel like I'm cheating when I use it.

Good luck...
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Old April 20, 2000, 02:49 PM   #25
Greg G
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BadShot,
Those progressive lenses sound good but I'll bet they are expensive. As far as the scope on the pistol, I know what you mean about feeling like you are cheating. If you are shooting for fun I don't see the harm. If you were involved in some kind of competition and the other folks weren't using them, then I would feel like I was cheating.
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