Is a SPARC $100 better than a TRS-25?


July 18, 2013, 08:23 AM
I am looking at getting a red dot for a plinker 22. I think I have it narrowed down to the vortex SPARC or the Bushnell TRS-25. While I don't mind spending the extra $100 the vortex would cost me, I don't want to spend the $ if there isn't a benefit.

Your thoughts?

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July 19, 2013, 03:10 PM
I'd say no; TRS-25 or Primary Arms (identical unit) is fine. I have three of them, and no complaints.

July 19, 2013, 05:08 PM
I have experience with both of them and for your application I would personally lean toward the TRS-25. They are high quality scopes for the money. I have one on an AK47 that holds zero very well. I have $400 red dots but my personal favorite is the TRS-25. I bought two for $200, one as a backup in case my primary goes down. I have used a sparc that my neighbor owns and it is fine too but not worth the extra money in my opinion.

Lloyd Smale
July 20, 2013, 07:30 AM
no experience with either per say but have had bushnell red dots in the past and wasnt impressed but they were a bit cheaper. I havent used the sparc but do have two strikefires and they are real rugged optics. Again i have no clue as to the bushnell but the vortexs have great battery life. Not as good as an aimpoint but pretty darned good compared to the competition. My newest project is a supressed ruger 22 pistol and it will no doubt wear a sparc. IF its as good as the strikefires i have im sure it will be around for my grandchildren to inherit.

July 20, 2013, 10:39 AM
No experience with the Vortex, but I have a TRS-25 (mounted on a Weaver 1 0'clock offset, behind a Nikon P-22) - got a friend that has one using the factory HiRise mount - we've both been pleasantly surprised so far.

Both ours are mounted on 15-22s, but before buying, the more research I did, the more impressive it sounded - even found one review that dunked and slung 'em - the TRS-25 passed, many cheap red dots failed one or both tests.

A lot of folks are running 'em on larger caliber guns and shotguns with good reports AFA holding zero and durability.

If you get one, note they have the regular TRS-25 and the HiRise version ( - it comes with a riser which will raise it high enough to allow co-witnessing.

The manual says the TRS-25 battery (CR2032) is good for 3,000 hrs. - one fellow verified that he's used the heck out of his over the last year, and is still on the original battery.

Don't know if you've seen this (I have one on backorder), but my next experiment is going to be with one of the new Bushnell 1-4x Throwdown PCL ( scope.

First focal plane reticle, illuminated horseshoe / red dot reticle, and (non-illuminated) BDC, which does not change values since it's a first focal plane reticle.

$237 plus shipping from SWFA Outdoors, but they've not received their first shipment yet. I've seen (and handled) one in two Walmarts so far ($299).

July 23, 2013, 02:26 PM
never tried the sparc, though I have ben pleased with vortex scopes. I have the tr-25 and it works fine. Only issue I have with it is that the brightness dial is very very stiff. A child would not be able to turn it on. My buddy has one that is easier to turn. Your mileage may vary.

August 1, 2013, 07:31 PM
I have a SPARC and I like it a lot, but never used one of the Bushnells so I can't get give a comparison either.

Two notes though, I trust the SPARC, mine's endured a crapload of rounds from 7.62x39 to .223 and 9mm and is going strong and I've had it for around three years now I think, still the same battery.

On the downside and I think it's a fairly significant problem, it uses a battery that's hard to find. I ended up having to order some from an online vendor - I could not find one at any store in my area. Just something to consider.

August 4, 2013, 12:12 PM
I love my Sparc. It was well worth the extra money, and I couldn't be happier.

August 11, 2013, 08:05 PM
While shopping or my 2nd RDS a year ago I compared the Sparc with the TRS-25 and wound up with the TRS. Couldn't be happier with my choice.
I recently bought my 2nd TRS with the high rise factory mount for an AR. I think it (mount) is better suited for a weaver base but it did fine for me though it shot loose after 40 rounds of 5.56. More my fault I think and I have since remounted with lock tight. Should have known better.
The Sparc is nice but I can't see it worth twice the price. The TRS holds up well and holds zero like a boss and has excellent brightness settings. I have never found it lacking for my use and I'm still on the original battery in the 1st TRS without a single hint of trouble or loss of brightness. It's a robust no nonsense RDS of equal or better quality than most RDS sights I've tried.

August 11, 2013, 08:16 PM
I recently bought my 2nd TRS with the high rise factory mount for an AR. I think it (mount) is better suited for a weaver base but it did fine for me though it shot loose after 40 rounds of 5.56.
The OEM mount that comes with the HiRise is pretty sketchy - the moveable clamp part does not extend the entire length of the mount as on everything else I have (or the other side of the HiRise mount). It tends to flop around 'til you get it tightened down due to the clamp not being full length.

The tightening screw also looks butt ugly.

I'm not using it, as I have mine mounted on a Weaver Offset Mount.

If I was to mount the HiRise as is, I might give the mounts from optics-store over on Amazon a try. I have a few of his mounts in my spare parts box for possible future use (got the low, med, & high).
Optics Store Hi Profile Riser Mount with 3 Slots (
BTW - the tightening screw in the picture does not match the two I got from him - the screw looks like OEM AR type screws (as you see to mount carrying handles, etc).
Here's a more accurate picture:
Optics Store Med Profile Riser Mount with 3 Slots (

Can't vouch for the quality (they look fine) - if I use them, it will probably be on a 22.

August 11, 2013, 08:22 PM
Well if the OP hasn't bought yet, and was interested in the Bushnell Throw Down PCL for more flexiblity, here I sit with one in my lap! :banghead:

Had it on backorder for over a month, and nobody other than Walmart seems to have them in stock (or have received their first shipments). Got tired of waiting, so I brought one home with me from the local store tonight.

Initial eyeballing looks good - can't tell much 'til my Bobro mount arrives Wednesday (been waiting on it for a month also).

I installed the battery, adjusted focus, and it looks like it will work as a red dot just fine. The BDC marks on the reticle are so small that you can't see them when on 1x, but there they are when you crank it up.

And the most important part (to me) is it's a first focal plane reticle!

August 25, 2013, 08:40 PM
Basic blur got it right. Bushnell high rise is a bad design. Mine fell apart on the second outing mounted to an AR. 2nd time around after copious blue loctite.
Remounted on a 22 lr w/o the high rise and it's business as usual.
Gonna keep searching for an AR mount for the TRS. The sight is fine. It's the available mounts that cause concern.

August 26, 2013, 01:03 PM
I don't use the 2x magnifier that comes with the SPARC as much as I thought I would. If you think there might be night vision in your future, the SPARC is NV compatible.

I bought mine based in large part on this review over on

Mark H.

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