Has anybody had a bad Red Dot sight?


May 25, 2003, 07:03 PM
As a sort of follow on to Skunk's question.
I've been doing some research myself and I haven't seen too many serious complaints about any model Red Dot sight. Are these things just inherently more durable than conventional optics?

What models should one just stay away from?

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May 25, 2003, 09:12 PM
Tasco Optima. I had to send one back. The elevation didn't work at all new. A friend of mine had the same problem too.

Docter, ATN, Hakko and Tasco ProPoint all worked fine for me.

May 25, 2003, 09:59 PM
I've got a Simmons that hasn't given me any problems yet.

May 25, 2003, 10:13 PM
I was listening to a radio show and an old man called in complaining about a blurry red dot. Come to find out his vision had changed. :cuss:


Johnny in Huntsville

May 25, 2003, 11:57 PM
I've had a Leupold/Gilmore on a pistol and a couple cheap Simmons, one one a S&W 22 pistol and the other I tried on a coupel rifles. Never had any problems.

May 26, 2003, 01:14 AM
Once you got the problem resolved, how did the Tasco Optima perform?

Have been thinking about using one on an M1 Garand, installing it where the rear sight is on the M1. This would give only about 1.5-2" eye relief. Tasco is out of business but they did not make the optima and original mfg. still making this sight.

What is your best guess as to how this would work? Would the 4 moa (IIRC) dot be too large to be effective @ normal rifle ranges.........100 - 400 yds?

I have a Millet mounted in conventional scope rings on a 10/22 and really like it. The Garand presents a problem in mounting due to top clip loading/ejection. The Millet is too long to give sufficient eye relief and clear clip path.

Thanks for your input.


May 26, 2003, 09:33 AM
I've used red dots for years, from the cheapest BSA's to the Leupolds. I've never had one go bad. I have a Simmons mounted on an Oly PCR2 now and it's a blast to shoot. No worry about eye relief, just put the dot on the target and squeeze.

May 26, 2003, 09:40 AM
I've got a Simmons, had a devil of a time getting it zeroed then discovered that the elevation adjustment was backwards, up was down.

May 26, 2003, 09:42 AM

It didn't. I never received another one. At that time, Tasco quit making them cause they were starting to have a lot of trouble with the Optima.

However, I had two, the first one still works fine. That's why I bought the second one which I sent back.

In place of the Optima, Tasco gave me 4 different choices/combination of scope, binocular and/or other model red dots to select from.

Soon after that, Tasco announced their impending closing. The remaining Optima works ok but I'm waiting for the day it bits the dust.

I discovered the Docter sight which I bought to put on my Miini-14. It's made a lot better but is slightly bigger so as the old Optima bases will NOT fit the Docter. Only down side is that it costs more and doesn't come with a base- that's extra.

May 26, 2003, 12:47 PM
Thanks for the benefit of your experience. I have been looking at the JB sight which resembles the Optima and was thinking about making a base that would replace the rear sight on my garand and would not require drilling/tapping. One concern I have is that with the sight mounted so close to the eye, the 4 moa dot would be too large to be effective???? The JB can be found @


I found a site for the Docter but couldn't find a size for their dot. I assume you mounted yours forward on the mini 14 receiver which would give you more eye relief. What size dot do you have? Docter info @:


Thanks again for the input.


May 26, 2003, 01:09 PM
Very interesting. Kind of makes one wonder if it's worth spending a lot of money on one of these things unless your paying for a specific feature.

May 26, 2003, 01:20 PM
I got the smaller dot so I can use it on either a handgun or rifle. Below is a pic of the Mini-14 with the Optima which has been replaced with the Docter sight.

The mount for the Mini-14 I made myself out of an old piece of aluminum.

May 26, 2003, 02:06 PM
That's great! Perzactly what I had in mind for the garand, which would mount the same way you did yours without any drilling on the receiver. Did you have to put a set screw through the base block to put upward tension on it in order to tighten base up or do the side screws hold it securely enough?

The JB is offered in 4 & 8 moa dot. Since the Docter is still mounted on the mini, I assume it is working for you.

Thanks for the help.


May 26, 2003, 04:19 PM
I have had a simmions and a BSA die on me. The simmons no longer will turn off or adjust illumination and the BSA will no longer stay on after a shot.

Ky Larry
May 26, 2003, 06:10 PM
I had a BSA on my S&W model 29. It died after 2 rounds. My dealer gave me another one. It died after 1 round. Got a Leupold Gilmore and never had another problem. I have a Millet on my S&W 686 that has never given me a problem.

May 26, 2003, 07:04 PM

I do have a screw in it where the old sight was. Tension is down onto the receiver.

Yes, the Docter works and just barely fits on the home made mount. The holding screws on the Docter are further apart than the Optima.

May 26, 2003, 08:04 PM
I dunno if I just got a crappy unit, or if all Bushnell Sportsman red dots have this problem, but mine would turn itself off after every shot fired. You had to twiddle with the on-off knob to make it turn back on. :barf:

May 26, 2003, 08:10 PM
Now that doesn't sound right. It shouldn't do that. Are you planning on returning it to the factory?

May 26, 2003, 08:43 PM
I have a couple of questions regarding the Docter sight and rather than monopolize this thread, sending you a PM. Sure appreciate your help so far, you've just about convinced me that the Docter is what I have been looking for.:)


May 27, 2003, 01:25 AM
hps 1:

You got incoming.

May 27, 2003, 04:10 AM
I have a Tasco ProPoint PDP3 red dot on a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. The dot generally goes out after a few shots. It comes back on later, but I haven't found a way to make it come back on right away. This makes it a pretty useless setup.


May 27, 2003, 08:33 AM
In later do you mean after you turn it off for awhile or it just comes back on magically? Have you replaced the batteries?

May 27, 2003, 11:44 AM
It's not a battery issue (I've tried replacing them on the spot without success, and the dot doesn't dim or fade - it goes from bright to nothing). "Later" is a little tough to define. Here's how it's gone: I shoot a few shots, suddenly the dot goes out right after a shot. I mess with the brightness adjustment, remove the battery cap, check the battery cover and contacts, bang it around, take a few shots, etc. but nothing brings it back on. I figure it's permanently broken and put it away. Then I try it again a few days later at home and it works again. I shake and bang it around a little and it seems solid. I take it shooting again, and the same thing happens. I shoot a little more after it goes out this time (with no usable sights or accuracy - I've learned that the tube sight is totally useless without the dot - even at close range). Suddenly the dot comes back on...for a few shots. Then it goes off again. Sometimes I can just switch to a different rifle when it goes out, and if I try it again 45 minutes later it may be working again. It is obviously recoil shock-related (it ONLY goes out when fired). I would love to know how to make it reliable, because it is otherwise a nice sight and works well with the rifle ("but other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"). I called about sending it in to the company that has taken over Tasco's service (it was still under warrannty), but they wanted something like $28 just to look at it, and since the only way I've found to make it fail is to attach it to a rifle and fire a few shots, I'm afraid they'll just say "its fine" and send it back. Tasco going out of business was definitely bad timing for me.


Navy joe
May 27, 2003, 12:53 PM
I tried to zero a BSA dot on a friend's 22A pistol only to find out its life on a .454 had knocked it permanently out of whack and no amount of mounting or adjusting would get it lined up. You usually get what you pay for with optics.

May 27, 2003, 12:57 PM

Sounds like a loose wire/contact point internally.
I'd check the battery compartment for any loose wires and/or contact points. Clean the contact points off with a pencil eraser.

If you have a volt/ohm meter, check for continuity.

It's no good the way it is but then you already knew that. Is it worth the $28 to send it back? Only if they fix it and if you decide not to sent it back- how much would another sight cost in comparison to the $28?

May 27, 2003, 01:36 PM
I paid about $100 for it (mail order). A black version would have been less, but I wanted "stainless" to match the rifle. I'd pay the $28 (grudginngly - not much of a warranty), if I were confiident they'd really fix it, but I suspect I'd just be "throwing good money after bad". As is, I'll probably tinker with it myself, and if that doesn't work, just eat the loss and get something else.

I'd be very cautious about buying any Tasco optic (especially old inventory).


May 27, 2003, 01:49 PM
I had 3 ProPoints and my son has 2 of them. Not any lick of trouble at all except battery failure.

I guess there's good and bad in all products.

May 27, 2003, 02:22 PM
I have a Leupold/Gilmore, a Tasco Pro-Point, and an Aimpoint ML2. I have never had any problem with them at all.

I have a friend that loves to buy junk. No matter how many times he has been burned, he still believes in the free lunch. He called me up and asked me what I thought about him mounting a BSA red dot on a 6" S&W revolver in .41 mag. The sight was on sale somewhere for $15. I told him what I always tell him; you are wasting your money and he did what he always does; buys it anyway. It just so happened that I was out at the local gun club shooting when he showed up at the range with his wife and son to sight in his new treasure. On about shot #3 the sight completely came apart. The internal parts were lying on the ground. I stood there biting my lip, turning the other way; everything I could think of but finally I couldn't stand it anymore. I laughed until I had to sit down to keep from falling down. It was funny enough to begin with but after the sight fell apart he got highly P.O. ed because he honestly though he could buy a precision optical instrument for $15 (and two or three people in the marketing chain were making a profit at that price).

May 27, 2003, 08:33 PM
I looked at two BSA big-can (35mm or bigger) red dots this weekend and passed. Parallax at the trees 150 yards away was more than a foot-'n-a-half when going off-center towards the side with the diode, and almost a foot at the most in an S-curve when going to the 90-degree sides closest to the diode.

How can you zero that?

Didn't bother to get the shop to put batteries in the 25 and 30-mm models on display, so I can't comment on those.

Which red-dot has the least "sunglasses" effect of really dimming the image? I've shot most with an ADCO Mirage with okay results on at .357. No problems, and groups are always tighter than with iron sights, when the ammo is at least as good as 2 inches at 25 yards. But the image is DIM!!!

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