Quantcast
  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 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    199
    I want to put an optic on a DPMS Panther carbine. It has to hold zero.
    $200.00 max. Suggestions?
     
  2. Beentown

    Beentown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    468
    $80 Bushnell TRS -25
    $160 Vortex Strikefire
    $199 Vortex SPARC
     
  3. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,870
    Location:
    Cleaning my guns.
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    226
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Messages:
    157
    Location:
    Colorado
    Primary Arms.
     
  6. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,088
    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.

    BSW
     
  7. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,424
    Sparc
    Strikefire
    Primary Arms
     
  9. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,039
    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
    • Contributing Member

    chicharrones needs more ammo

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,433
    Location:
    Galveston Bay is an Hour Away ©
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,066
    Location:
    Midwest
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    355
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,826
    Location:
    NorthWest USA
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,489
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    112
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,117
    Location:
    Western NY
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,489
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    364
    Location:
    Dublin, OH
    Lucid HD7 is best bang for the buck at around $200
     
  19. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,039
    Everything.

    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 Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    South
    Vortex Sparc and Lucid HD7 are hard to beat RD's.
     
  21. wbrown609

    wbrown609 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    26
    I have the trs-25 as well. It is not a 400-600 dollar optic, but it is a whole lot better than it should be for 80-90 bucks.
     
  22. basicblur

    basicblur Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    2,650
    Location:
    VA
    Man on a budget, eh? I understand! :D

    I just installed a Bushnell TRS-25 on my 15-22 - have EOTechs/ACOGs on the big toys, but I was trying to put together a (3-Gun style) budget plinker, and the more I read about the TRS-25, the more impressive it sounded, 'specially at $110 (for the HiRise version).

    Impressed with the optic, not so much the HiRise mount - they could have made the mounting screw / clamp a little nicer, but once you have it installed, it gets the job done. I picked up a couple of highly rated, inexpensive risers of varying heights to play with.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HKL6L2/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HKHMNI/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The regular TRS-25 can be had for around $89, but I went with the HiRise for the muted Bushnell logo (gold on the regular TRS-25, silver / gray on the HiRise) and the riser.

    Yeah, I know the TRS-25 and mount probably ain't Aimpoint / EOTech / Trijicon tough, but for the money?

    I've got a friend that has been piggybacking on my research on building a budget 3-Gun practice rig on a 15-22, and he also got the TRS-25 HiRise. He's an Aimpoint owner, and so far, he says he's pleasantly surprised with the TRS-25.
     
  23. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    416
    Spend the extra money and buy an aimpoint PRO, right at $400 it's not the most expensive but it is as nice as $800-$1000 optics, the vortex optics are ok, but are kind of like looking through sunglasses.

    I've owned everything from a ncstar to an acog that was a couple grand, out of all of these I still own an aimpoint pro and a trs 25. Honestly if its a defensive rifle and you don't have $400 then buy a set of trijicon night sights for the AR15 should be $75-$90.

    This all IMHO but I think mine is a pretty darn informed one.
     
  24. Sapper771

    Sapper771 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,266
    Location:
    11 up and 3 down
    I will echo the Aimpoint PRO. I have one on an AR and it is an excellent red dot sight.

    IME, I would stay away from sightmark. I have had several friends buy them and then return them the next business day. One would turn off under recoil. The same one would also suffer from wandering zero and would require constant re-zeroing(often in the same range trip). Another one wouldn't zero at all. A third sightmark had dot issues like fading and blinking, even after having a fresh battery installed. This third sightmark also would not hold its zero.

    Most seem satisfied with the Vortex RDS offerings. I was able to test fire a rifle that had a SPARC on it. It was a pretty nice, but I guess I am just spoiled by my Aimpoints and EoTech.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  25. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,489
    I have an acog knockoff I got for $65 and it has fiber optics and a green dot and it works battery free for 95% of the time. it has a button you push when you want to use the battery backup. an optics guy took it apart and said their fiber optic system is being copied. imagine copying a knockoff. it is all metal frame. I still like the TRS-25 being it is much smaller
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page