Fighting father time: best mini-reflex sites for the money


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Arizona_Mike
February 8, 2014, 11:37 PM
Reflex and hoolgraphic sights project the aimpoint or reticle to infinity. This is a godsend for presbyopia (the inability to change focal length with advancing age).

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/49/Specrx-accom.png

I love the Burris Fast Fire III and I own 4 of them but they are too expensive to keep multiple units sighted in on multiple guns/uppers. What other options are out there that won't break the bank to buy a half dozen of them?

Mike

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Inebriated
February 9, 2014, 12:36 AM
Primary Arms.

Mike1234567
February 9, 2014, 12:02 PM
I don't understand. Any scope with an AO is easy for even the most presbyopic sufferers. First adjust the focus of the reticle then adjust the AO to the shooting distance. That focuses both the reticle and target the same to our eyes. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding the question... that does happen a lot these days.:)

rgwalt
February 9, 2014, 01:46 PM
Agreed on Primary Arms. I like their microdot. For $100 each, they are a good value.

R.W.Dale
February 9, 2014, 01:53 PM
Used trijicon rx30 reflex sights can be had pretty reasonable and can be an EXCELLENT option.

Best of all no batteries

Inebriated
February 9, 2014, 01:55 PM
I don't understand. Any scope with an AO is easy for even the most presbyopic sufferers. First adjust the focus of the reticle then adjust the AO to the shooting distance. That focuses both the reticle and target the same to our eyes. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding the question... that does happen a lot these days.
Besides the fact that he just asked for mini dots, I would have still recommended a dot-type optic (whether it be a 1x, or something like a Mueller 1-4x with a simple dot, or a Leupold Fire Dot, etc). If he can see and focus on his target, the dot will just be "seen" on top of it.

Mike1234567
February 9, 2014, 02:00 PM
I know he asked about red dots but it isn't clear whether he's interested in them because he prefers them or because he's unaware of how to adjust a standard scope.:)

Inebriated
February 9, 2014, 02:06 PM
Valid point!

R.W.Dale
February 9, 2014, 02:08 PM
I know he asked about red dots but it isn't clear whether he's interested in them because he prefers them or because he's unaware of how to adjust a standard scope.:)


So much snark of one "helpful" post.

Perhaps...just perhaps the OP occasionally shoots at targets not courteous enough to stand still and wait for him to "adjust a standard scope" for their range

Mike1234567
February 9, 2014, 02:18 PM
What did I write that was snarky?:confused:

R.W.Dale
February 9, 2014, 02:20 PM
Snark? What did I write that was snarky?:confused:


How you just assume the OP doesn't know how to adjust a scope based on nothing more than him asking about reflex sights.

Mike1234567
February 9, 2014, 02:22 PM
Well, I didn't mean anything I wrote to be snarky. I'm sorry if it seemed that way. I wasn't implying anything negative at all. Some folks really don't know how to adjust a scope. Nothing wrong with that. I was just trying to offer an alternative to red dots that the OP may not have realized is feasible for his needs.

Arizona_Mike
February 9, 2014, 06:52 PM
When somone asks a question or makes a statement it is customary to interperate it in a way that makes sense. Although I am pretty sure I have never dated a man I have a strange feeling that I may have dated the other Mike.

I have several scopes and know perfectly well how to use them. You only need to set focus once on a scope once because the reticle is at the focal point which is optically equivilent to being at infinity. Some also have a parralex adjustment as well but this has nothing to do with focal distance.

I am looking for recomendatons for micro red-dots for applications where I would have used iron sights when younger such as on handguns and light carbines/SBRs. Applications where a scope or my EOTech would be too heavy/bulky.

Specifically I am looking for open "screen type" units and not Aimpoint-like "tube" units.

The Fastfire is a great unit. Unfortunately it is becoming annoying moving mine from gun to gun and re zeroing. I use the 3 MOA version on carbines and handguns and the 8 MOA on shotguns. In theory the 8 MOA would be great for handguns but in practice it is much brighter than the 3 MOA model and there is annoying glare reflected from the edges of the glass. These are shielded from the eye when close but an issue when held at handgun distance.

I have several guns where the huge recoil tolorance of the Burris is not needed. Also, some of my guns are only for target use and the 4-year on battery life is not needed. Ae the $89 or even $49 units any good?

Mike

Arizona_Mike
February 9, 2014, 07:01 PM
Well, I didn't mean anything I wrote to be snarky. I'm sorry if it seemed that way. I wasn't implying anything negative at all. Some folks really don't know how to adjust a scope. Nothing wrong with that. I was just trying to offer an alternative to red dots that the OP may not have realized is feasible for his needs.
I'm not offended but I have no idea why you would go off on that tangent to begin with. Is it because I mentioned I have 4 reflex sights? I was actually wrong, I have 5 reflex sights, one holographic sight, 1 magnifier, and 11 conventional scopes (not counting spotting scopes).

Mike

Mike1234567
February 9, 2014, 07:29 PM
I'm not offended but I have no idea why you would go off on that tangent to begin with. Is it because I mentioned I have 4 reflex sights? I was actually wrong, I have 5 reflex sights, one holographic sight, 1 magnifier, and 11 conventional scopes (not counting spotting scopes).

Mike
No, it's because it wasn't clear that you are "only" interested in red dots. The original post can easily be interpreted that you believed a reflex or holo sight are your "only" alternatives. I was only trying to offer you another choice. I intended no offense and wasn't trying to derail your thread.

Arizona_Mike
February 9, 2014, 07:39 PM
Here are some in the price range I am looking for (100 or under) I am interested in from low to high:
NcStar Tactical (or Zombie or Rogue)
Firefield
AIM Sports (mult models)
Browning Buckmark
Sightmark Sureshot
Pentax Gameseeker
American Tactical
TrueGlo
BSA
Barska
Weaver
Swift Optics
Osprey
Leatherwood
Sun Optics
Mueller Optical

I would prefer to buy multiple units of one model that meets my needs due to familiarity and single battery type.

Mike

Arizona_Mike
February 9, 2014, 07:42 PM
No, it's because it wasn't clear that you are "only" interested in red dots. The original post can easily be interpreted that you believed a reflex or holo sight are your "only" alternatives. I was only trying to offer you another choice. I intended no offense and wasn't trying to derail your thread.
Now I'm sure we've dated, possibly in a prior life!

Mike

Mike1234567
February 9, 2014, 07:46 PM
Now I'm sure we've dated, possibly in a prior life!

Mike
You're really confusing me, Mike. I can say with absolute certainty that I've never dated a another man no matter how many previous lives I may have had. I'm far too phobic.

mes228
February 10, 2014, 09:06 AM
I have a Trijicon RMR, J-Point, Aim Point, Pentax. These all work well. Of all these the Trijicon is by far the best. I also currently have a NC Star and another brand (name escapes me and I don't feel like going to the safe). That are fairly useless.

I have tried probably 10 cheap micro Red Dot sights. It's total hit or miss with most of them working properly. Most have so much "slack" in the sighting machinery that movements are erratic. Thus extremely hard to sight in. This varies from unit to unit in the same brand. On one brand I purchased/traded for 3 and only one was acceptable. On the Pentax I purchased one and it worked OK. However I gave another new one to a friend for a gift and it did not work at all.

Also, one of the biggest problems I have had is dot flare. Many of the cheap ones are USELESS for precision shooting at any distance. They are just too bright and have way too much flare. I just purchased an NC Star and it has so much flare and is so bright it's pitiful. For precision shooting you need a dim, precise, dot. The Pentax is infinitely adjustable for brightness and works well - if it works. They are large though (but not heavy).

Conclusion. I TOO AM LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO RECOMMEND A RED DOT THAT'S CHEAP AND WORKS.

Outlaw Man
February 10, 2014, 09:30 AM
I know how a lot of (most?) people feel about it, but the last Recoil magazine had a pretty decent comparison of mini-dots. Most of them were probably higher on the price scale than what you're looking for, but from what I remember, there were some less expensive models as well. It might give you a good comparison of features you're looking for.

I think the heavy favorite for the $100 range is the Primary Arms. There are some others mentioned that are pretty good for the price.

You probably know, but stay as far away as possible from NC STAR. You might as well put a bead on the muzzle and aim your rifle like a shotgun.

Arizona_Mike
February 10, 2014, 01:25 PM
I'm taking a good hard look at the Primary Arms MD series. Does anyone have experience with those (MD-06, MD-06L, MD-08, MD-FBGII)?

Mike

Inebriated
February 10, 2014, 05:26 PM
TON'S of fantastic reviews about the PA micro's. Browse around some AR forums, a lot of guys use them because they use Aimpoint T1/H1 mounts, and because PA has excellent customer service.

Lloyd Smale
February 12, 2014, 08:16 AM
just bought one of the new bushnells. It looks the exact same as a primary arms one my buddy has and cost about the same too so im guess there probably made on the same assembly line.

TAKtical
February 12, 2014, 12:28 PM
Bushnell Trs-25

Arizona_Mike
February 19, 2014, 05:59 PM
I got an in stock notification from Primary Arms last friday and ordered a sample.

Mike

Arizona_Mike
February 19, 2014, 06:43 PM
I got an in stock notification from Primary Arms last friday and ordered a sample.

Mike

basicblur
February 19, 2014, 08:12 PM
The Bushnell TRS-25 gets no love, but so far I (and a friend) are happy with ours on 22ARs.

Got a shotgun coming in tomorrow - thinking about putting one on it, probably just to play with and see if it will hold up to the recoil.
Far as I can tell, general consensus on the 'Net from folks running them on shotguns seems to be thumbs up!?

Arizona_Mike
February 19, 2014, 09:45 PM
I picked up a Bushnell TRS-25 at a retail store today too and will compare it to the Primary Arms when it comes. While there I looked at the Bushnell First Strike and was impressed by the dot sharpness and glass clarity although it looked like it lacked ARC. The retail price on that one was not competitive with internet and I had not yet odne any research so I demurred for now.

Mike

stressed
February 19, 2014, 10:27 PM
Hmm. I posted this exact same thread question and got 1 response. So I shall post in here.

Can I get a decent reflex sight for around 100? I just got a $120 sight mark pro that was complete junk. For the pattern in had double crosshairs in it, literally. Which one do you zero in? They overlapped each other. Brightness settings 5 and 6 didn't work either. Laser which I never intended on using didn't work. It was much bigger then I wanted as well, I want a mini reflex pistol sized.

basicblur
February 19, 2014, 11:26 PM
I see the TRS-25 is currently going for $84.97 (http://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Trophy-TRS-25-Reticle-Riflescope/dp/B00200E0HM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392864796&sr=8-1&keywords=TRS-25).

I ordered the HiRise version - like the muted logo better (silver/grey instead of gold), although the riser included with the HiRise version is pretty cheesy.
It's currently going for $106.93 (http://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Optics-TRS-25-HiRise-Riflescope/dp/B00ABP8YCA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1392864796&sr=8-3&keywords=TRS-25).

FWIW, I think these are the guys that did a comparison of $100 red dots a while back that I posted - can't find that video - looks like they've expanded - way too many videos and too long. I skipped thru 'em - I think the TRS-25 came in 2nd in their testing, but darn if I know what came in first - Bresser?

Drop test, dunk test, among others, although it is a bit of a crap shoot.
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheTAGReviews/videos

stressed
February 20, 2014, 12:41 AM
Basicblur, if I was gonna get a tube style I'd get the $200 vortex one. I want a reflex style, with just the window. I would pay $200 as well possibly more for decent reflex style.

basicblur
February 20, 2014, 09:57 AM
Basicblur, if I was gonna get a tube style I'd get the $200 vortex one. I want a reflex style, with just the window. I would pay $200 as well possibly more for decent reflex style.
My bad - I tend to throw all red dots in the same category.

I was also in the market for a reflex type site (setting my 15-22 up like a poor man's 3-gun rig) but it looked like you were going to have to pay about double what the TRS-25 went for to get into decent reflex sights, so I "settled" on the TRS-25.

Bushnell had a lower priced reflex sight, but it had no on/off switch - it was controlled by a photoeye - take the cover off the sight and it turned on (wouldn't want to use that sucker for SD at night!).

I've got a few EOTechs and SRSes - I know it probably ain't near as tough, but darn if that little TRS-25 doesn't put 'em on target and hold zero as well as the high priced spread.

Just to throw something else into the mix, 'specially if he's going to have to spend more money to get a decent reflex, he might also check out the Bushnell Throw Down PCL (http://www.bushnell.com/tactical/rifle-scopes/ar-optics/1-4x-24mm-throw-down-pcl)?
I got one of them - a few friends (and gun shop employees) were impressed enough with it that they also bought one. I think they can now be had for under $250 delivered?

armoredman
February 20, 2014, 12:42 PM
I have a TRS-25 on my SA vz-58, and it works just fine.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/vz-58%20targets%20and%20pics/vz58sightininTRS25.jpg (http://s16.photobucket.com/user/armoredman/media/vz-58%20targets%20and%20pics/vz58sightininTRS25.jpg.html)

Too bad I didn't get on this earlier, AZMike - I'd have let you shoot mine to see if you like it, but I think you will, as I am quite happy with mine. Disclaimer - I don't plan on going into combat in the 'stan with this gear, and I am not a ground pounder by trade or service, (Navy), so I base my gear off what works for me in my budget, and with my limited experience, this works very well.

Arizona_Mike
February 20, 2014, 12:50 PM
I was not looking for a scope for this application but I use a Burris TAC-30 for other applications and will look into the Bushnell.

I think some engineer at Bushnell was a Spinal Tap fan :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xgx4k83zzc

Mike

Arizona_Mike
February 20, 2014, 03:56 PM
Just got a delivery notice for the Primary Arms, so I will be able to compare the two tonight if it doesn't get stolen from my front door by the time I get home from work . . .

Mike

armoredman
February 20, 2014, 06:02 PM
Very nice, and yes on Spinal Tap...

Arizona_Mike
February 20, 2014, 09:29 PM
Both are obviously made by the same folks in China. On balance I prefer the Bushnell.

Info:
Std AR-15 sight height: 42mm (1.65")
Low profile/lower 1/3: 36mm (1.42)"

TRS-25:
Price with riser: $109.97 (Walmart) seen about $4 cheaper on Amazon
Weight (without riser): 89g (3.14 oz)
Length: 2.39"
Height without riser: 16mm (0.63")
Height with riser: 42mm (1.65")--Std AR15 height).

Primary Arms MD-08:
Price with QD riser: $118.99 ($99.99 with tumbscrew riser)
Weight (without riser): 126g (4.45oz), 131gr wth killflash installed.
Length: 2.66" (3.01" with killflash installed).
Height (without riser): 24.9mm (0.98")
Height (with riser): 1.59" (Primary arms claims this is lower 1/3 cowitness). It is clear that the length woud be the same without the killflash adapter threads.

Height: Advantage Bushnell
Bushnell is lower without riser which may be good for some applications including shotgun and pistol.
Bushnell is std AR15 height witth standard riser.
Using a 20mm riser (UTG makes a nice QD model--MAD0340), the Bushnell comes exactly to low profile/lower 1/3 cowitness height. The Primary would overshoot this a bit with a 0.5" riser. A 1" QD riser on the Bushnell will take you to std height.

Weight: Advantage Bushnell
Bushnell 1 1/3oz lighter
The controlls and optics look identical. But the Primary Arms seems to be a bit more robust in the housing.

Dot position brightnes and clarity: Slight Advantage Bushnell
The Primary LED is at 4:30, the Bushnell at 6:00 and seemed to intrude a little less into the field of view. The horizontally symmetric view looks better to me for eye centering. Primary Arms claims their position is better for cowitness but it looks to me like there is plenty of room below center in the Bushnell.
The Primary Arms is a little brighter. With the shipped batteries, the Primary was as bright at 7 as the Bushnell at 11. Swapping batteries it was 9 vs. 11. Taking the average to exlude battery drainage (8 v 11), the Primary is about 1/3 brighter. Both are plenty bright.
At the same approximate brightness, the Bushnell had a sharper rounder dot. It was a very nice dot even compared to my $250+ Burris Fastfire III units.

Features: Wash
Bushnell brightness knob at 1:30 vs. 3:00 on the Primary. The Bushnell should be more accessable when mounted low on a gun. Primary has a hard stop while the Bushnel lets you turn between 0 and 11. You can turn of the Primary without looking but may have to turn it more to turn it off.
Eye-side lens is flush/slightly proud of the surface while slightly recessed on the Primary. Easier to clean vs slightly less prone to damage.
QD mount on the Primary is very nice. The Bushnell Picatinny base attaches to the riser directly. For the Primary, you need to remove the Picatinny base to attach the Aimpoint-type riser with 4 screws. There is a provided T10 wrench for these 4 screws but no privided wrench for the T16 Picatinny Base. The Bushnell used a hex Allen wrench (provided).
Honestly, I don't like/desite the kill flashand find the "insect vision" annoying. It may have some tactical application but not for the secondary lower priced optic role this thread is about.

I suspect the Primary MD-FBGII may be as low as the Bushnell (and $10 cheeper) and is nitrogen purged. The Bushnell says "fogproof" which I suspect is the same thing. Primary does not list other models as nitrogen purged. Given that I do not like the Flash Kill and still wanted to go with the Primary, I would save $10 and get the MD-06 instead of the MD-08. It is also half an oz lighter.

On Balance, I think I will be buying more Bushnells without the base for $89 and using someone else's 20mm and 26mm/1" QD risers. The Bushnell Riser is not worth the additional $15-$20.


Mike

basicblur
February 20, 2014, 11:18 PM
Both are obviously made by the same folks in China. On balance I prefer the Bushnell.
We're all waiting for the results of your drop test, dunk test, etc.

We'll wait... :D

Water-Man
February 21, 2014, 02:03 AM
Bushnell TRS-25

Arizona_Mike
February 21, 2014, 02:30 AM
We're all waiting for the results of your drop test, dunk test, etc.

We'll wait... :D
Don't wait I won't be doing those tests.

Mike

Arizona_Mike
February 26, 2014, 07:43 PM
I just bought 3 open box factory demo TRS-25s (opened by Bushnell or Optics Planet but never sold) for $71.99 ea and then used an additional today only 10% off coupon code.

This gives me 4 TRS-25s + an MD08 along with the 5 Fastfire III's I own. Add to that a few scopes and I am close to having all of my guns covered.

Mike

Edit: Optics Planet called me today and appologised for listing the factory demos when they have already sold their current batch. They gave me a small discount on the sealed box model. Counting coupons and free shipping I could have probably paid about the same total for the Primary Arms MD-06 but the almost 1oz lighter weight and lower profile for the Bushnell as well as the ability to read the adjustment knob from behind the gun rather than over the gun won me out.

armoredman
February 27, 2014, 09:52 PM
Ask me sometime why I will never, ever deal with Optics Planet again...:mad:

Lloyd Smale
March 1, 2014, 08:29 AM
heres my take on one for a handgun. I have a fast fire on a shotgun and like it. Its set so that if i cheak up the gun the dots right where it should be. I bought the bushnell version of that sight that just came out. I mounted it on a 22lr handgun i want to put my silencer on and it just doesnt work as well there. When i point the gun at something i have to search around till the dot appears in the sight. theres no solid way with a handgun to stick it out in front of you the exact right way to get the dot in the field of view. I think for a handgun a tube type sight like the bushnell 25, aimpoint micro or vortex sparc would be much better. With them you have a tube like a scope that will aid you in pointing the gun properly to get the dot centered in your view. Im having a bit of trouble finding the exact way to describe this but that new bushnell is going on one of my 1022s and ill probably pick up a sparc for the handgun.

Arizona_Mike
March 3, 2014, 02:16 PM
Lloyd, what you say makes sense. You don't have a cheek weld as a reference. You can use the bold white sighting line on the Burris Fastfire III as a reference.

http://cdn2.armslist.com/sites/armslist/uploads/posts/2013/06/25/1806648_03_burris_fastfire_iii_with_picat_640.jpg

Mike

Inebriated
March 3, 2014, 02:37 PM
When you use a dot on a handgun, you need the dot to cowitness your irons for the best results. It'll be as low as possible, so your presentation doesn't change much, if at all. Your presentation is your cheekweld with a handgun, its where your consistency comes from. Practice that and it doesn't matter what sight system you're using. With a properly mounted dot, all you're changing is focus from the front sight to the target.

Lloyd Smale
March 7, 2014, 08:35 AM
problem with that is ive shot handguns for 30 years and any dot sight sits at least a 1/2 inch higher then the open sights do. I havent seen one that co withnesses with open sights unless the dot is right at the bottom of the view and its just natural to try to find the center of the view. Im sure with practice you could overcome it but would it come at the cost of an unnatural hold on your other handguns and slow you down with them. I think something like a tube type dot like an aimpoint or a sparc would at least have a longer tube that you would instinctively line up on the target like you would a scope. Dont know but this sight has to go as im just way to slow with it. Id honestly be much faster with open sights but they wont work with my can.

Arizona_Mike
March 13, 2014, 02:59 AM
Update: the white label TRS-25 which comes with the riser has the LED at 6:00. The yellow label version of the TRS-25 has the LED at 4:30 like the Primary Arms.

Mike

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