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Old September 24, 2012, 09:31 PM   #1
checkmyswag
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Good budget Red Dots

Decided I need to accept the M4 for what it is. It's not a long range gun.

So going with a red dot instead of a 1-4 scope. Personal preference, if you like a scope, rock on.

Between the Vortex Strikefire or Vortex Sparc, Bushnell, Ultradot or Primary Arms which optic do you prefer and why?

Any similar priced, quality red dots? (under $200)
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Last edited by checkmyswag; September 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM.
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Old September 24, 2012, 09:59 PM   #2
ripnbst
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Vortex SPARC is nice and the PA RDS is nice too. No experience with the Vortex firsthand. I am waiting for the Primary Arms to come back in stock and buying one of theirs. Only because they are so dang cheap. I may buy two!
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Old September 24, 2012, 10:05 PM   #3
Ronbo1
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Bushnell TRS-25 nice compact one.
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Old September 25, 2012, 05:23 AM   #4
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I like my PA micro. I've been using gallon milk jugs filled with water as reactive targets and the micro scores to 200 meters.

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Old September 25, 2012, 07:23 PM   #5
wnycollector
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I have a Bushnell TRS-25 on my converted Saiga 7.62x39. It has been there for about a year (previously it was on one of my AR's for a year also). It holds zero and has no issues.

I have a Primary Arms RDS on a .22 upper, again no issues, but for the same money I would buy the TRS-25.

My favorite low budget but quality RDS is the Lucid HD7. It's very well built, has several different recticles and the optics are clear and bright. It was on my home defense AR until I picked up an Aimpoint PRO. The lucid is now seeing duty on my teenage sons AR. Search plouffedaddy's review of the Lucid.
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Old September 25, 2012, 07:32 PM   #6
jmr40
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I like my SPARC. Unlike many the dot can be adjusted down to 2 MOA. Many are only 5 MOA or more. It makes it possible to actually shoot with some accuracy at longer ranges.

Compared to many others I've tried the adjustments work properly. Some I've tried were challenging to zero. Move their adjustment knob 3 clicks right and it moves your POI 6" right. Move it 3 clicks left and this time it only changes POI by 1". The SPARC was consisent and easy to zero.
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Old September 25, 2012, 08:25 PM   #7
checkmyswag
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I know mounting on the flat top is preferred...but how about mounting these small optics on the carry handle?

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Old September 25, 2012, 09:03 PM   #8
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One more to add to the list: http://www.burrisoptics.com/fastfire.html
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Old September 25, 2012, 09:32 PM   #9
MarkDozier
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I just put a BSA red dot on my ruger charger. $ different reticles to choose from a 3 MOA dot. Very nice
I am just bought a millet red dot. again a 3 MOA dot. both where in the 88-90 dollar range. maybe better for a rifle especially if co-witnessing with your irons.
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:03 AM   #10
shrewd
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I too enjoy the Sparc. It's held zero through thousands of rounds and some hard use carbine courses.
Also. As mentioned above I prefer the small 2moa dot. Awhile ago at a local match I was ringing steel and 300 and 400 yards with it.
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:30 AM   #11
Woody55
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@checkmyswag said,
Quote:
I know mounting on the flat top is preferred...but how about mounting these small optics on the carry handle?
I think you'll find the sight so high that your cheek won't touch the stock. That may or may not be ok with you.
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:37 AM   #12
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Another vote for SPARC.
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Old September 26, 2012, 10:20 AM   #13
checkmyswag
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I need to stop doing this my way. I really want to make mounting on the carry handle work, but it sounds like for the vast majority it isn't preferred.

Need to commit to the red dot, mounted on the flat top, with a BUIS. Also need to not try and make my carbine into a long range gun with a 4x scope. That's the other thing I've been kicking around.
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Old September 26, 2012, 03:07 PM   #14
Woody55
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I don't know how long range you think the thing should be. I have an out of the box carbine type AR-15 with an EOTECH on it. I can hit a man sized target 70% of the time at 500 m with it from the prone position. I consider myself average.

How much more range do you need?
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Old September 26, 2012, 06:25 PM   #15
Picher
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Quote:
Bushnell TRS-25 nice compact one.
I love mine, but it's on a Ruger Bull-Barreled MKII. I could appreciate it being on a rifle or shotgun.
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Old September 26, 2012, 07:20 PM   #16
checkmyswag
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Id like to be very accurate out to 300...not necessarily just a longer range. Ive only shot out to 500 w machine guns...not much sport in that.
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Old September 27, 2012, 06:45 PM   #17
BlackJackID
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I would suggest checking out the Vortex Strikefire...I have one on my m4gery and its a wonderful sight..Except the magnifier that comes with it is a little awkward for me.
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Old September 30, 2012, 01:45 PM   #18
Lloyd Smale
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I agree with the strikefire recomendation. There not an aimpoint but at a 1/3 the price theres not a better bang for the buck.
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Old October 1, 2012, 07:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Id like to be very accurate out to 300...not necessarily just a longer range.
That will be up to you.

A reflex sight will be no more "accurate" than iron sights, usually less so.

Red dots are faster, easier to use and better in low light than iron sights, but they won't make you "accurate".

What size target are you wanting to be able to hit at 300 yards?

Can you resolve the target that you want to shoot at that range with an un aided eye?

Remember, a red dot is just the reflection of a light on an angled lense of glass. Don't get your expections set too high.

The only thing that I have experience with is Aimpoint and Primary Arms. There is no comparison between them, the Aimpoint is leaps and bounds ahead of the Primary Arms in performance and durability. But the Primary Arms is good for the price.

It is a great way to try out a Red Dot without spending a lot of money. It will let you try it out and if you like it, eventually when you buy a good quality Aimpoint, you can move the PA sight to the M&P 15-22 that you will invariably buy as a .22 LR training/practice rifle.

(When you do, I can give you pointers on how to get a lower 1/3 cowitness to match a Larue optical height.)
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Good luck.
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Old October 1, 2012, 08:27 AM   #20
mnhntr
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I own 3 TR-25s from Bushnell and they work great.
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:26 AM   #21
MikeGunz
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+1 Bushnell Trs-25 is an awesome little site
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Old October 2, 2012, 03:23 PM   #22
checkmyswag
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How about mounting the Bushnell TRS 25 on a carry handle? I looked at a rifle with a small trijicon red dot (small acog? Im not super familiar with the versions) and I liked it a lot. I didn't feel that my "cheek weld" was insufficient. Then I could just drop down and use the irons as needed. I can see where you wouldn't want a big scope on the carry handle. One of my goals with the AR is to keep it relatively simple.
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Old October 2, 2012, 03:53 PM   #23
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The problem will be consistency.

Everytime you pull the rifle up to your shoulder, without an index point (cheek weld), you may have to move your head around to find the dot or use a chin weld.

While it might work okay while standing on your back legs, when you are prone or other position it will likely be a real pain to get a good sight picture.

I assume you have a removeable carry handle?

Just get it and try it. If it works for you, drive on. (It probably won't though)

If it doesn't work, worst case you will have to get a spacer to raise it up to your sight line. (I used UTG spacers for my PA M4 to make it like a LT659 mount)

But you will be out the cost of the carry handle mount adapter and it will be hard to sell because not many people want their heads floating in space behind their sight.

If it is because you don't want to buy back up iron sights, just take a dremel and cut the front off the carry handle and voila, you have a home made LMT rear sight and mount the dot in front of the rear sight.

Don't worry about the front sight/rear sight being in the way, they won't be. You won't even be able to see them if you are using the red dot with both eyes open and focusing on the target.
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Good luck.
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Old October 2, 2012, 04:11 PM   #24
checkmyswag
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Ugh.

Hate having to take good advice. I have a strong tendency that is thankfully reducing with age of doing things my own way...then eventually taking the advice I was first given.

Think I need to get a back up rear sight before the optic. That way I can get this silly carry handle mount idea out of my head.

The Vortex Strikefire is much bigger than the Bushnell. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a larger vs smaller red dot?

I would think the larger one would be faster to use but don't know what other differences would be.
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Old October 2, 2012, 06:06 PM   #25
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+1 to the Vortex Strikefire. I have one on my Smith and Wesson 15-22 and have shot 100s of rounds with it. It has held 0 and it is clear and the red dot itself is good, not spectacular. For $169 it was a good investment.
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