1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Best AR red dot for the money

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Sky Dog, Jun 21, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Sky Dog

    Sky Dog Well-Known Member

    I want to put an optic on a DPMS Panther carbine. It has to hold zero.
    $200.00 max. Suggestions?
  2. Beentown

    Beentown Well-Known Member

    $80 Bushnell TRS -25
    $160 Vortex Strikefire
    $199 Vortex SPARC
  3. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Well-Known Member

    I was all ready to say "Aimpoint" with the masses until I saw your price point.

    I'd look at those Vortex options listed. I haven't looked at either of those personally, but I've been pleasantly surprised with Vortex's offerings in that price range. Should be a decent optic.
  4. gpjoe

    gpjoe Well-Known Member

    I had both the TRS25 and Strikefire. Sold the TRS25 and kept the Vortex. It seemed more accurate for me, and I prefer the green dot. YMMV.
  5. Bentley4700

    Bentley4700 Well-Known Member

    Primary Arms.
  6. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Well-Known Member

    Primary Arms.

    I stripped out a screw thread on one of the PA Aimpoint Micro klones. Totally my own fault.

    They any me a new one w/o any issues.

  7. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Well-Known Member

    Primary Arms offers popular models. I like the StrikeFire vortex. I wanted to like the Bushnell, it was just too green/blue.
  8. gotigers

    gotigers Well-Known Member

    Primary Arms
  9. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    The best red dot for the money is an Aimpoint PRO. If you can save up another $200, you'll be doing yourself a big favor.

    Of the options you've listed, the Vortex red dots are decent. I have a StrikeFire. Aside from the terribly-positioned power button it works great for plinking. No comparison to the PRO, though.
  10. chicharrones

    chicharrones Well-Known Member

    As a somewhat non-satisfied/satisfied user of a couple of inexpensive red dots, would you mind telling me what makes the Aimpoint that much better? Is it parallax, or dot visibility?
  11. YZ

    YZ member

    There is no final answer Cosmoline but opinions do exist. I had a chance to compare a genuine Aimpoint and a $120 Sightmark on the same AR15. Both held zero which is #1. The Aimpoint had a red dot with no blur, even at the brightest setting. The Sightmark has so little blur that I could only tell after looking through the A point. The A point has an integral mount ratcheting torque-limiting screw. The Sightmark's integral mount is conventional but just as secure (and I am not afraid to replace the screw one day). Both have glass encased in a metal frame. Granted both were tested not on the shores of tripoli but in the midwestern boondocks. Bottom line: No rational reason to pay x4 for a Ferrari if your goal is getting home faster; or for an Aimpoint to shoot better in our neck of the woods.
  12. G.barnes

    G.barnes Well-Known Member

    I've had a few cheap red dots including a sig st-081 the biggest problem is if your shooting on a bright sunny day the sun overrides the dot even at max level. I'd get either the aimpoint pro or a used eotech or aimpoint. I spent as much trying to get a cheap red dot that was good as I would have spent if I just bought the better sight in the first place. Plus aimpoints and eotech a hold their value very well. The aimpoint is designed for military use so it will take more abuse and not lose zero and they are waterproof if you shoot in the rain.
  13. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

    No doubt there are much better optics but for me, the best RDS for $80 is the Bushnell TRS-25 (Aimpoint Micro knockoff). I gambled on one, had no problems so got a second. I really have no complaints using them on a couple 5.56 ARs over the last two years but don't know if it would handle .308 recoil though.
  14. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

    I got many red dots from cheap to expensive and you can easily see the red dot on a cheap one in the daylight. I got a leapers and put it on an air spring rifle and it has held up to the brutal recoil for 1000s of pellets
  15. blueskyjaunte

    blueskyjaunte Well-Known Member

    I've been through an endless list of jun... excuse me, budget red dot sights. Konus, Bushnell, Primary, Vortex Sparc (that one was particularly disappointing), TruGlo, and some no-name brands. I finally bit the bullet and bought an EOTech 512.

    Best purchase I've made in years and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    Buy once, cry once.
  16. wnycollector

    wnycollector Well-Known Member

    Let me start by saying that I have an Aimpoint PRO on my BCM middy that I use for HD. If your rifle is going to be used for serious purposes the PRO runs $400 and is a top tier RDS.

    That being said, I have had a Bushnell TRS-25 for several years. It's been on two different AR and now resides on my 7.62x39 Saiga. It has never lost zero or had a single issue in thousands of rounds. Another RDS that I'm really enamored with the Lucid HD-7. This thing is built like a tank, and takes plain Jane AA batteries.
  17. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

    the trs-25 is the cheapest best red dot out there with 3000 hrs battery life.. if you have too much money and want to get rid of it you can spend more .I would buy 4 TRS-25's before a an aimpoint pro
  18. needmorecowbell

    needmorecowbell Well-Known Member

    Lucid HD7 is best bang for the buck at around $200
  19. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member


    To make things simple, I'll compare it to my $160 Vortex StrikeFire, which is a fine red dot in it's own right. However the $400 Aimpoint PRO is better in every single respect.

    The Aimpoint's glass is MUCH clearer and brighter, the dot is crisper, the controls are vastly better (big rotating knob versus fiddly buttons that like to turn on and run down the batteries), the included mount (quick-detach QRP2) is vastly better, and the covers work better.

    The single greatest benefit, though, is the immense battery life. The battery life of most red dots is measured in hours. The battery life of an Aimpoint is measured in YEARS. I turned my PRO on the day I bought it almost 2 1/2 years ago, and haven't turned it off yet (technically, you can't turn off most Aimpoints - turning the knob to the lowest setting just puts you in a NVG mode). It's as simple to use as any iron sights. You just pick up the rifle and you are ready to go. No buttons to fumble with.
  20. FrankCastleThePunisher

    FrankCastleThePunisher Well-Known Member

    Vortex Sparc and Lucid HD7 are hard to beat RD's.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page