Vortex Strikefire vs Bushnell TRS 25


June 28, 2012, 09:20 AM
After seeing the thread for "any good red dots under $100?" I got real tempted to order a TRS 25 for my flat top AR. Amazon had them for $90 which seemed about the going rate. Of course it requires the use of a riser which is another $12.

PSA has the Vortex Strikefire for $120. (red/green dot) and the higher mount for cowitnessing on the AR. Free shipping.

This will just be for fun plinking and maybe some informal courses I set up myself. I don't need any eotech and don't plan to "run it hard" per se, so optic snobs need not chime in with how I should save up a mere $300 more and get a "real" sight.

Thoughts? Also if you know of anywhere that has these sights cheaper let me know. I have looked at the usual suspects...MidwayUSA, Amazon, Opticsworld, etc. Thanks!

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June 28, 2012, 10:31 AM
First, let me say that I'm a pretty big fan of the little Bushnell. I have a few, and usually keep one in my shooting box just in case I need it. With my failing eye sight, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to shoot irons and using a red dot makes most shooting more enjoyable. What I really like about the little Bushnell is that it lends itself well to a broad range of applications.

Still, that having been said, I'd opt for the Vortex if it's going on top of an AR. My reasons are:

1. My subjective impression is that the Vortex looks like it's built better. I've never torture tested one, but many have. I wouldn't venture to say that it's as good as an Aimpoint, but lots of guys over at AR15.com and other places tested them by submerging them in water, freezing them, etc. If anything fails, Vortex will stand behind it too.

2. More and better mounting options. Unless I'm mistaken, you can use anything that would be appropriate for an Aimpoint. With the Bushnell, you're pretty limited. I tried putting a Bushnell on an AR once. Maybe I just didn't find the right hardware, but I couldn't quite get it high enough.

3. Lens caps. You can have them with the Vortex. With the Bushnell, you may be able to use some sort of bikini covers, but those still aren't as nice a good set of flip ups.

My reasons are more based on ergonomics. I wouldn't say that one is any faster than the other. They are just red dots after all.

June 28, 2012, 11:02 AM

Thanks for the reply. UTG and a couple other companies sell riser mounts to get little red dots up high enough to cowitness, but I agree they don't give me much confidence. It is just introducing another potential spot to get loose and lose zero.

I haven't really heard anyone say bad things about the TRS 25, but usually it is qualified with the statement of "for the money..." etc. At a mere $20 difference in price point, it seems the poll definitely favors the Vortex.

June 28, 2012, 12:33 PM
Not the Strikefire, but the Vortex SPARC is the only red dot I've found that actually worked. I've tried seveal ranging in price between $30-$90. None perfomed and were eventually trashed. Based on my experience with the SPARC and other Vortex products I'd go that way.

June 28, 2012, 01:14 PM
I have both.

Have the TRS-25 mounted to a Smith & Wesson M&P MOE and the Strikfire mounted to a Palmetto State Armory PA-15. I voted for the Strikefire for a number of reasons:

- I like the green dot better. It is much better defined and doesn't bloom as much as a red reticle does, at least for me. Let me qualify that by saying that I have had cataract surgery and ALL lights produce some glare in my "shooting eye" but the negative effect is much more pronounced with the red dot vs the green dot. All of which may not the fault of the optic (in this case the TRS-25), but I'll never know for certain if it IS my eye or the dot in the Bushnell. I suppose I need to have someone else use it and tell me if the dot is well defined or not. I do know for certain that I see the green dot of the Vortex much more clearly.

- I shoot much smaller groups with the Vortex. Note that I am sighting my rifles at 50 yards, which is the longest local range for me. Again, my better accuracy with the green dot may be a factor of me seeing the green dot more clearly (see above). Or maybe the rifle???

- Battery life is longer on the Vortex.

- As someone else pointed out, the Vortex has flip-up covers, the Bushnell comes with a bikini. Not really a deal-breaker for me but worth noting.

June 28, 2012, 02:56 PM
Just to stir the pot...I love my primary arms optic on my dedicated 22 upper. It is in the same price range.



June 28, 2012, 03:47 PM
Me too.


The Vortex is a large sight while the Bushnell is a small sight. Hard to compare against each other. Both nice, but suited for different needs IMO.

June 28, 2012, 04:18 PM
Another vote for the Strikefire.

I got one along with a DelTon flat top recently and I'm very pleased with it overall.

Cons first:
- I'd like a smaller dot size than 4 MOA for longer range targets.
- The flip up caps can be a bit finicky when closing.
- The power 0n/Off should either be recessed on the side where it is or it should be on the rear. It can be activated by accident a little too easily.
- Conversely, I'd prefer easier access/manipulation for the windage and elevation than the screw on caps and coin slot.

- The green dot is a nice option. Less 'bloom' (as mentioned in post above) and easier to see.
- Very lightweight but Solid construction.
- It came with elevated rail mounts for use with irons.
- Solid backing from the manufacturer. I can just run down to the LGS where I got it if I have a problem and they'll make good on it.
- Most important, since sighting it in, it hasn't budged from zero.

I can't comment on battery life. Haven't had it long enough yet.

Bottom line:
- A Very good buy for the price ! Most effective use will be shorter range. i.e. Defense and targets out to 100yds or less as Walkalong hinted at above.

June 28, 2012, 04:23 PM
FWIW I bought my Primary Arms piece after several fellow shooters on another board recommended it for some serious plinking usage. They are using it on AK's and 5.56 AR's, so it should withstand the small beating it takes on my AR-22 pretty well. It survived getting bounced around in the back of the truck pretty well.

Lloyd Smale
June 29, 2012, 06:56 AM
I voted strikefire but with a twist. I had a red green model and the dot wasnt bright enough for daytime in the sun shooting. I sent it back and they sent a red only unit and that unit works much better. Heck of a sight for the money. Id say its everything my aimpoints are with the exception of battery life and i dont care for the auto shut off.

June 29, 2012, 04:15 PM
I put a Strikefire Vortex Red/Green on my AR. Hence my vote, and the SPARC is next. For being under $200, the bang for buck complete with my purposes for the rifle align very well.

June 29, 2012, 04:41 PM
Another plus for the primary arms optic...I picked mine up on sale for $150 and it came with an American Defense qd mount that I can reuse on a real aimpoint.

June 29, 2012, 04:44 PM
Bushnell. The Vortex is parallax free after 50 yards, the TRS has NO parallax.
It weighs less, smaller profile, clearER glass. I have (soon to be had) both, and I find the Bushnell to be more simple, more beginner friendly, and I've yet to use the Strikefires screw in magnifier. They're both good, IMO the TRS is BETTER.


June 29, 2012, 05:04 PM
They're all good. I like the idea of a primary arms in front of a magnifier

June 29, 2012, 05:06 PM
My Vortex Strikefire is pretty nice mounted to my Daniel Defense M4V1. I like it. I also found customer service an absolute pleasure when the place I bought it from had left out the mounting ring. They rush delivered me a new ring free and the lady was really friendly.

Single downside is that my lens caps will not stay on totally reliably. Kinda a smushy, loose fit.

Really nice dot though, lined up with my back up front iron, makes shooting on target a breeze.

I'd love an EOTech XPS or Aimpoint T-1 Micro, but those are way, way more.

July 1, 2012, 12:35 AM
I have the Vortex Strikefire, and my brother owns the TRS-25. I prefer the Vortex, but the TRS-25 definitely is a nice little sight. The Vortex has flip-up lens caps, night vision compatibility, and comes with the AR-15 mount. Perfect for my needs. The TRS-25 doesn't have as many features, but is cheaper. I voted for the Vortex.

Either way, you can't go wrong.

July 1, 2012, 05:36 PM
I have the TRS-25 mounted on a couple of ARs and one of my Glocks. Hard to beat, and they come with a lifetime warranty.

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