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Old March 19, 2018, 08:53 AM   #1
mrdaputer
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Choosing a AR red dot

I just picked up a Ar. After I shoot a few hundred rounds I would like to get a red dot. My eye sight is not as good as it was years ago. My price range is up to $250.00 right now I am looking at the Vortex Optics Sparc AR Red Dot and the Vortex Spitfire 1x-AR Prism Scope. Does anyone have any pros or cons to either one? Is there another one I should take a look at? My distance shooting would be no more than 100 yards.
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Old March 19, 2018, 09:38 AM   #2
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I like my Sparc AR for its quality and ergonomic features. If you have a possible astigmatism, you might be better served with a prism-style with which you might experience less aberrations. I'm considering the Spitfire AR for a future build. Either one is fine in my opinion.
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Old March 19, 2018, 09:56 AM   #3
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I have been very pleased with the Vortex Strikefire dot sight
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Old March 19, 2018, 09:57 AM   #4
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Old March 19, 2018, 12:41 PM   #5
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If you do not have an astigmatism...

If not my suggestion for a red dot is the Primary Arms Advanced red dot. Their newest model uses a rotary dial for brightness rather than push buttons, it has a lifetime warranty, and 50000 hours of battery life. Over 5 years of contstant on use. Great for home defense if you ever decide to use your AR in that role. With thier AR lower 1/3 mount option, it's around $175.

Vortex red dots are nice, but I like the long battery life of the PA option.


If you have an astigmatism, a red dot will look blurry, smeared, or like a starburst.

Then I suggest a prism scope. 1x and possibly up to 2x is good for HD use, but if that isn't a role you care about, 3x and 4x are nice as well.

Several manufacturers have prism scopes. Vortex and Primary arms have good ones. Primary arms does not have a 1x currently, but have one coming soon. I suggest vortex and Primary arms for price and good warranty.

Last edited by marine6680; March 19, 2018 at 12:54 PM.
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Old March 20, 2018, 10:20 AM   #6
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Thank you for your help guys. I will be running a few hundred rounds through it first.
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Old March 20, 2018, 10:42 AM   #7
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#3 for the win.
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Old March 20, 2018, 11:50 AM   #8
DukeConnor
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I have an aimpoint 450, vortex venom 220 and bought recently bought a trs-25 because i couldn't pass up the price. Around 50 bucks.

I am actually liking the trs-25 the best. Simple controls and has held zero perfectly through about 500 rds from a 45 acp carbine.

The vortex is my least favorite because the controls Are sort of funky.
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Old March 20, 2018, 05:34 PM   #9
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Have a look at the Holosun HS503C... Great battery life, solar power, and a circle dot reticle which I find is easier for my eye to pick up...

I like Holosuns because I own a couple of them and they've never given me any problems. They're right in your price range too.
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Old March 20, 2018, 08:45 PM   #10
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I have a 503C and it does well. I just find it too busy. The auto-mode is about worthless if the shooter is in lighting condition A and target in Z. I like Holosun quality but keep it simple. Though I was buying the original G-model but screwed up somehow.
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Old March 21, 2018, 08:54 AM   #11
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If you are willing to up your budget up another $150, you can get an Aimpoint PRO. It is a drastically better red dot than the Vortex options.

I know because I own both.
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Old March 21, 2018, 09:29 AM   #12
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You can find used aimpoints in the 300-350 range used.
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Old March 21, 2018, 02:53 PM   #13
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I will add another recommendation for the Aimpoint PRO. When people tell me their budget for a red dot is up to $300, I tell them to save up a little more and get the Aimpoint PRO. For a bit over $400, you get an optic which I believe is much better than any of the options at $300.

In the $250 price range, it is a bit tougher. The Aimpoint is a bit far off from that price, and I can't say that everyone should go way over budget to get one. I have a Primary Arms sight that is quite satisfactory, and you can get a Primary Arms sight with a solid mount for under $250. I have also heard good things about the Holosun sights that are very similar to the Primary Arms.
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Old March 22, 2018, 10:36 AM   #14
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I have a sparc and a Burris fast fire 3. I like both.
I have used my friend's Aimpoint and I liked that as well, but there's a bit more investment $ involved.
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Old March 22, 2018, 10:58 AM   #15
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All great choices so far. Vortex, Holosun, Sig, Primary Arms all have great red dots that run under $200. I have a Vortex and Holosun and love them both. I even sold my EoTech. Battery life on the Holosun, Sig and Primary Arms are all comparable at 40K+ hours. I went with the Holosun between those three because it had an FDE model, which matched my AR with FDE furniture.
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Old March 22, 2018, 03:48 PM   #16
EMB135Driver
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Keep an eye on specials at Palmetto State Armory.....they recently had 10 PMags, and a Vortex Sparc for $179, with free shipping. Too good to pass up
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Old March 22, 2018, 04:34 PM   #17
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Primary Arms MD-RB-AD.

2 MOA dot. 50K hour "always-on" battery life. Lifetime warranty. With the mount. $150.

You're welcome.
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Old March 22, 2018, 05:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Primary Arms MD-RB-AD.

2 MOA dot. 50K hour "always-on" battery life. Lifetime warranty. With the mount. $150.
+1...Plus they use the same mount as the Aimpoint T1/T2 and Vortex Sparc meaning there are a ton of extremely high quality mount options available should you want to upgrade the mount down the road. They're a lot of bang for buck when you're on a budget.
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Old March 22, 2018, 08:19 PM   #19
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I just ordered a Holosun 510C for my new Kel-Tec RDB. I can't say I've heard of a bad review on this sight or company yet. I've generally used Aimpoints like the old M68 or their Pro model and I can't complain about them either. I do tend to avoid EOTech like the plague though because of their lack of integrity but also because of their abysmal battery life and thermal drift issues. I have 2, one an N-cell and the other a AA night vision model and the N-cell version has just quit working and the AA model works when I run tin foil through the springs of the battery compartment. No more EO Trash for me here though.
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Old March 22, 2018, 09:34 PM   #20
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Optics are one of those things that really comes down to personal likes/needs. What I like and need may not work at all for someone else.

I'm too old to run and gun and bang my rifle against the trees as I pass, so the price for the utmost ruggedness is money wasted for me. Itty-bitty dots don't get along well with my older eyes either.

Based on my likes/needs, I sold my Aimpoint PRO and now use Vortex Spitfire, 1x prism sights.

My eyes like the circle/dot reticle much better and who cares about battery life when it works fine in OFFicial mode?

If you do want/need illumination, it offers two colors of that as well. Good luck in figuring out what works best for you. There are only a gazillion choices.

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Old March 22, 2018, 10:21 PM   #21
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I have the Vortex Spitfire Prism 3X. The reticle is etched and you can choose to use it without illumination during the day and in low light conditions has a dual color green or red with 5 setting for illumination. I have the bullet drop compensator calibrated to 600 yards with a 200 yard zero, but have only taken it out to 500 yards. I love this red dot.
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Old March 28, 2018, 03:51 AM   #22
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I have two rifles. One is a Colt 6920 with an AimPoint PRO on it. It is my duty rifle...in Alaska. Great rifle, great optic...but heavy and "old school". I am replacing it with a 14.7 Pencil Build, 10.5" Free Float Rail, with a Sig Romeo 4 Optic. I am currently testing the rifle before I commit it to duty use. The Romeo 4's dot is just a good as the PRO. I see no visible differences. The glass is very clear in the Romeo. The Romeo is smaller and lighter. The PRO is heavier and has longer battery life. The Sig was $200, the PRO was 425.
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Old March 28, 2018, 08:24 AM   #23
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I do not mean to criticize any other sight, but I don't think you can visually compare other sights to an Aimpoint to make a comparison. A lot of Aimpoint's reputation comes from their long term use on Military and duty rifles. Aimpoints have held up very well when used under very tough conditions. There may be other sights that will do just as well, but it will take some time to tell.
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Old March 30, 2018, 02:18 AM   #24
ms6852
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightshooterjake View Post
I do not mean to criticize any other sight, but I don't think you can visually compare other sights to an Aimpoint to make a comparison. A lot of Aimpoint's reputation comes from their long term use on Military and duty rifles. Aimpoints have held up very well when used under very tough conditions. There may be other sights that will do just as well, but it will take some time to tell.
Agree with you but his budget is only $250 and you will not find an Aim Pro at that price.
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Old March 30, 2018, 09:21 AM   #25
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IMO, have basically 3 levels of rds by non-sale price:

$100 and under - mostly junk. Sure, they might work for a bit, but expect challenges with basic stuff like clear sight picture, sighting in and riser height for AR. Bushnell TRS is the only one I might try.

$100-$350 - Vortex, Primary Arms, Sig all compete here. I like the Vortex and PA rds that I have. No complaints. Not sure what else I could want.....maybe a slightly clearer optic and hammer tough durability.

$350+ - EO Tech, Aimpoint, Trijicon. All best quality, all clear, basically hammer tough. I would choose the Aimpoint if buying today because they do it all just a bit better, except they only have 1 dot.
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