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Old October 3, 2013, 02:03 PM   #1
fender1974
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AR Optics (Red Dot)

I'm new to the AR world and recently purchased a Del-Ton Sport. It currently only has the front iron sight and I'm looking at two different sights to mount:
  • Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec NV Rifle Reflex Sight with QD mount
  • Bushnell TRS-25

My goal it to keep the price around $100. This will really only be used as a range gun (indoor). I may eventually find a place to shoot outdoors, but for now - indoors.

Any thoughts on one vs. the other or other suggestions for an inexpensive starter sight?

Thanks!
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Old October 3, 2013, 04:09 PM   #2
Palmetto-Pride
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Bushnell over the Sightmark, but when you are ready to step up to the big leagues Aimpoint PRO all the way.
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Old October 3, 2013, 04:41 PM   #3
Beretta686
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I'd save my pennies and avoid anything in the $100 price range. I've tried cheap optics in the past and I've always found they're penny wise and pound foolish. Even for guns that are just range toys.

You spent around $700 or so for the gun, so why go cheap on the optics?

I'd get a rear sight or carry handle for around $30-40 and then save until you can afford a real Aimpoint or EoTech for around $400. Then you'll have a quality optic that will last forever, instead of a cheapo optic you'll probably end up throwing away to get a quality one anyways. The ARs a great platform even with just iron sights.

Plus if you get a BUIS now, you'll have a gun that's very functional with a backup sight when you get a quality scope.
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Old October 3, 2013, 04:46 PM   #4
Fishbed77
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Just shoot your irons, save a little more money, and buy an Aimpoint PRO.

You can thank me later.
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Old October 3, 2013, 11:13 PM   #5
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...... on the other hand......

My shooting buddy has a cheap red dot (BSA I think?) on his AK-47. He got it about 10 years ago for $49. We always suspected it would be delicate, but here we are 10 years and many 1000's or rounds later, and it still works fine. It is his "woods gun" for white tail, and it has taken 2. A reflex sight is a pretty simple device. I am sure an Aim-point would be better, but a cheap red dot can get the job done.
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Old October 4, 2013, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Bushnell over the Sightmark, but when you are ready to step up to the big leagues Aimpoint PRO all the way.
Concur. For AR style rifles it does not usually work out to use cheap optics in my experience. EOTech or Aimpoint is the ticket.
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Old October 4, 2013, 09:30 AM   #7
Beretta686
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Quote:
My shooting buddy has a cheap red dot (BSA I think?) on his AK-47. He got it about 10 years ago for $49. We always suspected it would be delicate, but here we are 10 years and many 1000's or rounds later, and it still works fine. It is his "woods gun" for white tail, and it has taken 2. A reflex sight is a pretty simple device. I am sure an Aim-point would be better, but a cheap red dot can get the job done.
There are indeed some cheap optics that will work just fine and last forever. It's just like how I've seen some Hi-Point pistols that were really good performing guns which were accurate and reliably fed any ammo you put in it.

However, you're basically taking a crap shoot when you're going cheap, IMHO. You may get a real stud optic, but you're more likely to get a dud from what I've seen.

Just because you're not going to take your AR scuba diving and on a HALO jump, doesn't mean you don't want to get quality optics.
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Old October 4, 2013, 12:38 PM   #8
Palmetto-Pride
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I have gone the cheap route many times and I always regret it. I have a cheap BSA red dot and in bright daylight it doesn't compare to my Aimpoint PRO. Also forget to turn it off and it will be dead the next time out. Forgot to turn the PRO off and it still runs fine.
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Old October 4, 2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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Fender,

I don't disagree with anything that anyone has said so far but for what you are wanting and for your use, I think you'll be fine with a GOOD budget optic. You list a couple but I've had great luck with Primary Arms. Great optics for the money, great shipping and excellent customer service. Do your own research and I think you'll like what you see.

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Old October 4, 2013, 08:41 PM   #10
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Forgot to turn the PRO off and it still runs fine.
I haven't turned my PRO off in almost 3 years, and it's still running fine.
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Old October 4, 2013, 08:45 PM   #11
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Give a serious look at the Vortex Strikefire as well. Excellent red dot for the money!
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Old October 4, 2013, 08:55 PM   #12
ripnbst
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AR Optics (Red Dot)

Primary arms micro dot is what I would buy instead of either of those.

I'd also buy a magpul flip up rear sight. I like shooting irons when I get bored with the RDS. Makes it almost too easy.
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Old October 6, 2013, 08:25 AM   #13
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I agree with ripnbst choice, Primary Arms micro.
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Old October 6, 2013, 05:36 PM   #14
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No love for the Lucid HD7? I'm looking hard at that for my build.
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Old October 6, 2013, 05:52 PM   #15
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For the money - Primary Arms red dot over Bushnell
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Old October 6, 2013, 05:53 PM   #16
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I like my EOTech, It wasn't cheap but it seems to be a good choice.

I won't use a holographic or red dot sight that has a specific eye relief distance
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Old October 6, 2013, 07:24 PM   #17
mxsailor803
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i've had good luck with Primary Arms as well. I've also got a Vortex Strikefire that works very well.
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Old October 6, 2013, 07:28 PM   #18
ShipWreck
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I personally like my Mepro 21 Reflex sight on my SCAR. Tritium and fiber optics, and "Revision M" (newest version) eliminated many of the washout issues in the previous version.
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Old October 6, 2013, 07:58 PM   #19
Nathan
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I have used a basic truglo dual color on my deer shotgun and been happy enough with it. I think I would get the tactical with circle-dot reticle next time.

At a mid price, I like the Vortex Strikefire.

At high end is where I struggle....At the $300-$600 price, I want a lot. Small, light, 123 battery power, circle-dot reticle and 1+ year battery life. Who makes that?
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Old October 7, 2013, 06:40 AM   #20
Jmcdaniel0
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I have used this little cheapo for quite awhile not on several rifles of mine. no issues so far.

You do get what you pay for over time, but with that said, it holds zero and works just fine.

http://www.amazon.com/UTG-Green-Sigh...+red+dot+sight
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Old October 9, 2013, 10:07 AM   #21
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+1 for the Vortex Strikefire. It's designed to take away the more budget minded people who have their hearts set on the AimPoint. Very similar design and style and many say very similar performance too.

Things you need to know about a cheap red-dot... I've gone through these same woes of spending as much money as a high end red dot before just buying a high end red dot. And I'll explain why I finally broke down and saved up my dollars...

You're face will never land in the same place twice on your stock. For how accurate the ARs are you NEED a PARALLAX FREE red dot. Meaning subtle head movements won't totally throw off the placement of the dot. Also a high end red dot will last longer and go through many less batteries which is money saved in the long run. And, since you said AR... I say CO-WITNESS. I bought too many red dots that lacked all of these and finally decided that after about $400 worth of crappy red dots it was time to get the read deal and not buy a toy. I have the Vortex Strikefire on my AR and love it to death... SO the other thing to take home there is that you don't need to spend huge moneys for a great red dot, but you also can't settle for sub-$100 red dots either because you will be disappointed. Do some research, shop around, and get what is best for you and your budget. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY.
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Old October 9, 2013, 10:25 AM   #22
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You must consider how many MOA the dot covers
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Old October 9, 2013, 10:37 AM   #23
fender1974
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Vortex Strikefire

This has received a lot more attention than I had anticipated - thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share your thoughts. I would love an Aimpoint or Eotech, but know that I'll have a hard time spending $400+ on a sight for my first AR that will be used most likely 100% at the indoor range, 3 - 4 times a month. The Vortex Strikefire seems to be a nice compromise between the high-end (Aimpoint/Eotech) sights and the low-end (under $100) sights. Now I just need to find the best price.

Thanks again!
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Old October 9, 2013, 10:41 AM   #24
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Look at the Burris AR-132...or for a 4x, the Burris AR-332. The actual red dot of the Vortex Strikefire, in my opinion, sucks. The red dot of the Burris 132 is quite tight and circular. The Strikefire's dot looks like an amoeba. I also dislike how the Strikefire on/off button obstructs my field of view around the left side of it.
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Old October 9, 2013, 11:16 AM   #25
Fishbed77
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Quote:
+1 for the Vortex Strikefire. It's designed to take away the more budget minded people who have their hearts set on the AimPoint. Very similar design and style and many say very similar performance too.
I own a Vortex StrikeFire and an Aimpoint PRO. I can state for a fact that the performance of the StrikeFire does not hold a candle to the PRO.

The Aimpoint PRO is a vastly better red dot optic in almost all respects. The glass is much clearer, the dot is crisper, the controls are much better (the Strikefire's poorly located controls mean it is much too easily turned on - leading to battery drain, or bumped to its NV setting - meaning the dot disappers), and the battery life of the PRO is measured in YEARS, not hours. This means it can be turned on and left on (my PRO has been turned on constantly for almost 3 years now). In addition, the QRP2 quick-detach mount included with the PRO is much better than the non-quick detach mount included with the Strikefire, which has a way of working itself loose over time (even when lock-tited). The included lens caps are also lower in quality and harder to snap open and closed than the PRO's.

Literally, the only benefit the StrikeFire has is that it weighs less. But then again, that is because the PRO's construction is pretty much bomb-proof, so that is a trade-off I will take. Another advantage could be that it costs less, but the PRO still represents a much better value (even at a cost of ~$200 more), due to its performance.

That said, I still believe the StrikeFire is one of the best red dots available under the $200 mark, but if you can save up more for the PRO (I've seen them on sale for as little as $370), it is well worth the money.


.

Last edited by Fishbed77; October 10, 2013 at 10:50 AM.
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