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Best AR red dot for the money

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

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  1. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

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    I know a lot of people that put the TRS-25 on shotguns, so it will hold up to a 308
     
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The SPARC from Vorex is hard to beat. It has 2 MOA dot vs 5 MOA on most which helps a bit with precision at ranges beyond 50 yards or so.
     
  3. YZ

    YZ member

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    Another caveat. The dot size especially in MOA is hard to verify. I think it predictably varies among the Chinese made sights for any given number. One has to take the manufacturer's or vendor's word. In the end, holding up zero matters more, and that is an article of faith too. You know the sin of assumption? You assume everything is correct. I committed it several times with budget optics before seeing the light. I would still buy a Sightmark and such, but only over the counter.
     
  4. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

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    It is funny no matter what a guy says he has to spend even if it is 50,000 a few guys will say save up another 10,000 and get x brand lol
     
  5. ObsceneJesster

    ObsceneJesster Member

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    Don't make the mistake I did. Just buy the Aimpoint or Eotech in the beginning and that will save you money and headaches over the long run. I just found a Aimpoint PRO for $360 shipped. There's no reason not to save another $160 for a RDS you know will last the rest of your life.

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  6. gotigers

    gotigers Member

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    The Aimpoint PRO is the best value, if you can be patient and save a little more. They can regularly be found under $400. While saving/waiting shoot more with irons. See how good you can shoot with irons. Otherwise, under $200, Vortex is a good starting point.
     
  7. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    Buy cheap and buy twice!

    Save up for awhile longer and buy the Aimpoint. You will not regret it. I have dabbled in lower end products and ended up wasting time with warranty work, running to the range to double check the zero, and so forth. It's just not worth all the extra energy, time and money.
     
  8. Beentown

    Beentown Member

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    I have both the Aimpoint Pro and Vortex SPARC. I have no idea what the extra $200 is for. Well, besides just to say you have an Aimpoint. Both are quality optics but I would rather have two SPARC's.
     
  9. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Thanks for that, Basicblur. I never heard of the TRS-25 HiRise version but it would get around having UTG on your AR! (I blacked that out on my riser...)

    From the single review on Amazon it sounds like you get lower 1/3 cowitness. Is that correct? I use the tall 1" UTG riser to get lower 1/3.
     
  10. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    I "think" that's correct - I played with the Bushnell riser for only a few minutes before I mounted it on my 1 o'clock Weaver offset.

    Reading riser specs, it appears folks are measuring from different points when they publish height (is that saddle height or total height?).

    Bushnell OEM HiRise mount: 1 1/4" tall / 1" saddle height
    Leapers should be the same as the Bushnell, as Leapers drawings at the site measure saddle height, NOT total height.
    http://www.leapers.com/prod_detail....op_Mount&itemno=MNT-RS10S3&status=&mtrack=1m2

    I didn't particularly care for the looks of that screw on the Leapers, so I got this one, which says 1" height, but apparently that's TOTAL height - the saddle measures 3/4" in height, which will probably give me absolute co-witness:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1&tag=viglink128630-20

    Not a bad thing (if I was using it on the 15-22), as it is the first AR I've had with a folding front sight - all my big ARs have fixed front sights.
    Since the 15-22 has a folding front sight, I think I would rather have absolute co-witness rather than lower 1/3? Since the BUIS are folded, they don't interfere with the optic. If the optic goes down, flip the front sight up, and I can shoot with the same cheek weld as with the red dot.

    On my big ARs, with lower 1/3 co-witness, if the optic goes down, I'll have to scrunch slightly to pick up the BUIS at the lower height.

    Don't know if you have a folding front sight or not - if so, you might prefer absolute co-witness?
     
  11. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    Primary Arms.
     
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I cannot verify the 2 MOA dot on the SPARC is actually 2 MOA. But the one I own is certainly smaller than any others I've tried. Accurate shooting is quite possible out to at least 200 yards.

    I haven't tried the high end stuff, but have been burned a couple of times with some cheaper stuff. Some not that cheap. The SPARC is the only thing I've tried that works. It was easy to zero, others I've tried did not have predictable adjustments and I chased bullet holes all over the target because of it. It has maintained zero for 3 years no with no issues. An Aimpoint is no doubt better. But for $200 the SPARC does what I need done.
     
  13. ObsceneJesster

    ObsceneJesster Member

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    You obviously never went to turn on your Sparc only to find the battery dead because it turned itself on while in storage. You obviously never ran your Sparc through a carbine course and fired 800 rounds in a weekend. You obviously never beat your carbine up. Lastly, you obviously don't plan on trusting your life on your carbine. If you did, you would appreciate the track record Aimpoint has built for itself and the fact that it's battle tested.

    Maybe you should sell me your Aimpoint and buy 2 or 3 more SPARC's.

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  14. YZ

    YZ member

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    How exactly do you trust your life on your carbine equipped with an Aimpoint?
     
  15. Beentown

    Beentown Member

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    Obviously you like the word obviously (I bet you use the words epic and amazing a lot). What a load you've posted with assumptions pulled from thin air. I am sure you haven't tried a SPARC and swear by the Aimpoint Pro because all the operators on ARFCOM (actually seems more like a M4Carbine.net comment) and Pirate4x4 said it was the absolute best (insert currently cool, Armed Forces slang here instead of absolute best).

    My SPARC has been through two courses. One wasn't strictly carbine but it still had 600 rounds shot from the rifle wearing it. The other course was just short of 1000 rounds in two days. No failures of both I have owned (sold one with a YHM carbine).

    Nope, I don't pick fights with my rifles. Nor do I treat them easily (at least the ones I consider just tools).

    I would have no issue using the SPARC on a defensive weapon. But I believe in redundancy so I have BUIS (and know how to use them) on all my semi autos. One is none....

    Aimpoints are great RDS's but they have proven no better than the SPARCS. Only thing I would change on the SPARCS would be battery type and positioning of the power switch. And the switch change around would be just for those who can't figure out that the stove is hot but complains to everyone that it was hot...

    I shoot approximately 9,000 rounds a year between three AR's (was 5 but sold 2 during the insanity, most of the rounds through two because one is a long range plinker/yote rifle). One wears a SPARC and no failures just like the one before it.

    I know others shoot more than me but with my volume the SPARCS have proven reliable and a GREAT value.

    Now go complain about all those non-Milspec carbines in the world...
     
  16. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    Beentown,

    I tend to agree with the others here that the aimpoint is better but here are the real reasons and some of these you may not care about.

    Lens clarity - the aimpoint is a lot less blue then the sparc
    Battery life - the aimpoint's is measured in years lol kind of hard to beat.
    Ruggedness - the cases I would call equal but it's the electronic components inside that make the aimpoint (or any other high end dot sight) able to take a lot of abuse.
    Controls - the aimpoint control nob is pretty much the best in the industry IMO

    Basically it's like asking the difference between a hi point and a glock, the devil is in the details. But will a hi point shoot, yes will a vortex sparc work yes. Now Jennings and ncstar is a totally different story. Lol
     
  17. fragout

    fragout Member

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    The Vortex SPARC is an outstanding little red dot from my experience with one, and will hold zero without issue.

    Since I have had mine, it has held zero on several different long guns.

    M14S with ARMS mount
    M1A-A1 with Bassett mount
    M1A Socom 16 with Ultimak M8 HG mount
    SnW MP15
    M121 Bennelli 12GA semiautomatic shotgun shooting slugs
    M1 Carbine with Ultimak HG mount
    WASR 10-63
    And a 10-22 TD

    Havent managed to break it yet.

    Comes with 3 different hiegth mounts out the box if memeory serves. (Let my oldest boy borrow it, and havent got it back yet....lol)

    Paid $200 exact for it.

    2MOA dot as advertised.

    NV setting does work with PVS14's.

    Works just as well as the M68's at work do, and in any kind of light compared..... although it is much more compact and lighter in weight vs the more expensive Aimpoint.

    Used it in inclement weather, and it held up fine. Snow and rain.

    Only thing I dont like about the whole thing is the little 2x magnifier that comes with it. Worthless IMO, and would have rather received an ARD instead, as the sight glows red from lookin at it from the front of the rifle while the sun is a bright out.

    Would rather have 2 of them vs one Aimpoint, as they want more for one than I'm willing to give.
     
  18. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Thanks again, basicblur! My ARs do have a fixed front sight so like you I use lower 1/3 cowitness. With the rear sight folded down it's much less "busy" than absolute.
     
  19. ObsceneJesster

    ObsceneJesster Member

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    @Beentown.....I've had a Comp M4 since 2008. I just changed its battery a few months ago. Not because it was dead but because it sits on my home defense carbine. I keep it turned on at all times because I don't feel like fiddling with a power button in the middle of the night.

    Being a self proclaimed Doomsday Prepper, I mount an Aimpoint on every rifle I prepare to bug out with. Each Aimpoint has a few spare batteries in the stock or grip of each rifle their mounted to. This ensures me a working optic whether I live for 30 days or 30 years. I understand this reason why I choose Aimpoint may be silly to you or others but it is what it is.

    Lastly, are you actually being serious when you say Aimpoints have proven no better than Sparcs? Please tell me you started typing without thinking. I'm not even going to waste my time debating all of the things wrong with this comment. I'll just leave it at this. Vortex makes great Optics and they are a good company but even they wouldn't think their Sparc is on the same level as a military grade optic.

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  20. ObsceneJesster

    ObsceneJesster Member

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    @Fragout, what Aimpoint are you comparing the Sparc to when you say it weighs less? The Pro or the T1? I'm assuming the Pro.

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  21. fragout

    fragout Member

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    The M68 CCO is what I was refferring to. Aimpoint makes them for my employer.

    No hands on here with the other dot sights that Aimpoint sells, but understand that they produce a dot sight in similar size to the SPARC.

    Cant remember what the civilian version is called, but it looks very much like the Vortex Strike fire in size and weight.


    No 1st hand experience personally with the Strike fire either, so cant give an opinion on them in comparison to the M68 CCO.

    FWIW, the M68 can take a huge amount of punishment and still function. I have used them on various work related "outings" in extreme conditions, and they make for a very solid optic. ( To date, I havent put the SPARC under the same conditions as the M68, but to be honest, I dought I ever will)
    They work fine for shooting out to 300meters, and co=witness, so it's easy to "lolly pop" the dot off of properly zeroed iron sights..... confirm poi at the zero range....then move on over to the qual range.
    If the civilian version is built to the same standard, then I can see why you like them. I like um too, but not enough to fork over the $$ for one.

    EDIT: Here is a link to the type of Aimpoint I am refferring to......
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/97...1x-2-moa-dot-with-picatinny-style-mount-matte
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  22. Chunky

    Chunky Member

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    I've got a Strikefire, used it on my shotgun with no issues.
    At work we have trijicon RMR mounted on top of the ACOG, fantastic kit, but hardly a budget option.
    Have to say though that I do prefer the open style of the RMR over the tube style
     
  23. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    Here's another option if you already have a TRS-25 and need a tall riser, but don't want a UTG billboard on the side?

    I just found out the guy over on Amazon I bought the low and medium risers from also has a tall riser. Not a biggie, but I don't like the thumbscrew on the tall riser, which is different than your normal AR type thumbscrew. I don't know why they have a different style screw on the tall unit?
    I e-mailed him and asked about it - he says the picture is correct - for some reason the tall riser has a different screw.
    Tall Riser
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HKNPV6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A31CY69PC1LQYS
    Medium Riser
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HKL6L2/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Low Riser
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HKHMNI/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Be aware, that this guy lists his heights as total height, not saddle height (Leapers uses saddle height).

    You can't beat the price on optics-store, but you can probably guess where these things are made? (It doesn't say where on the box). Doesn't bother me at the moment, as they're only going on a 15-22, are for experimenting, and they do appear identical in appearance to the OEM riser that comes with the Bushnell TRS-25 HiRise.

    BTW - the Bushnell mount ain't bad in appearance, except for the darn screw and the clamping rail. They could have done a better job with the appearance of the screw (if that's important to ya), but for some reason the moveable part of the clamp system is not full length as most all risers are. Being just a short clamp, when you loosen the screw, the darn clamp wants to flop around, unlike full length clamps, which pretty much hold their position until you can tighten.
     
  24. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

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    the UTG medium riser will give you perfect co witness to your sites. I would rather buy 4 TRS-25's then one aimpoint not that there is anything wrong with the aimpoint it is great
     
  25. bigalexe

    bigalexe Member

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    The best value you are going to find in RD/Holo sights is going to be the Aimpoint or Eotech. Trijicon is absolutely awesome but I'd argue against value because well... they charge you too much like Snap-On Tools IMHO. Now a number of people are going to disagree but I just put a SightMark brand Reflex on my AR. It's an Eotech Clone that ran me $120 but I paid full price due to wanting it right now and I've seen them on sale for as low as $80. I've heard people whine that it's cheap and whatever and it's going to break. At the same time what I haven't found is complaints from actual owners. It seems like an optic where everyone assumes it's cheap until they buy one and 6000 rounds later it's still holding zero. If you really are on a budget I suggest giving the SightMark a chance.
     
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