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What Red Dots do you own that work and are cheap?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Sky, Aug 13, 2011.

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  1. Sky

    Sky Member

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    Ok everyone knows the Red Dots that cost over $400 work and work well. Some have batteries that last 8 years etc etc. The purpose of this thread is to speak to those who have spent a lot less for a Red Dot and have been satisfied with their function.

    Myself I use red dots for hunting in brush or non-open fields of fire where if I see a target I just bring the gun up as my eyes follow the target until the dot is in a place on said target I want to hit. I do like the ability to follow a fast moving Pig or critter with my eyes until the dot matches where I want to shoot.

    I have used an Aimpoint, Vortex Strikefire, Vortex Sparc ( have not hunted with it yet..just got it) and am thinking about maybe purchasing the TSR-25. I much prefer a dot that is 3 MOA or less but that is my choice for hunting.

    I know there are guys/gals around here that have had (less expensive) Red Dots mounted on their weapons for a while and have experienced no (NONE) problems with their units. I was thinking it would be nice to hear from those folks instead of the Aimpoint, Eotech, Trijicon, high end guys/gals.

    If you post let us know how long you have had the sight and the caliber or rifle/handgun it is mounted on. The good, the bad, and the sucks from you point of view about the Sight.

    Have thought about picking up a http://www.opticsplanet.net/leatherwood-hi-lux-optics-1x30mm-red-dot-tactical-sight-es1x30tp.html...$74 3 and 5 MOA dot. Have never looked at one except on youtube.

    or a http://www.opticsplanet.net/bushnell-1x25-trophy-series-riflescope-trs-25-red-dot-731303.html $95 with 3 MOA dot... youtube mounted on an AK

    I own a Vortex Strikefire.$150ish..mounted on AR 5.56/223
    never had a problem but wish the dot were smaller it is 4 MOA..http://www.opticsplanet.net/vortex-strikefire-red-dot-scopes-ar15-hunt.html

    Aimpoint came with a rifle and I sold the Aimpoint. Great scope from what I could tell but never went hunting with it.. Sold for $340 http://www.opticsplanet.net/aimpoint-9000sc-red-dot-sight.html

    The Vortex Sparc has a very nice 2 MOA dot and is a small little optic. The different mounts that come with the Sparc make it easy to get a co-witness with iron sights. http://www.opticsplanet.net/vortex-sparc-red-dot-sight-sprc.html It is presently mounted on an AR .22 upper until my 7.62x39 upper gets here.

    My usage is for hunting (usually for pigs with occasion Jack Rabbit thrown in) so my requirements are for stuff I can use and if it fails get it worked on by warranty (can't beat Vortex warranty) or just toss it; either way no big deal. If I knew the dreaded Zombie Armageddon attack was coming without resupply or air support then I would probably go see if I can get the Aimpoint back!

    There are probably better prices to be found than where I have provided the links to but for ease of posting I used Opticsplanet. Usually they do have fairly competitive pricing.:scrutiny:
     
  2. G27RR

    G27RR Member

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    Burris FastFire II, well under $200 usually, which is getting pricier but not too far off the Vortex. Had mine quite a while in a 1 o'clock mount on a LaRue OBR 5.56mm as a backup/CQB type optic to go with a 3-10x40 Weaver mildot. Only complaint is the metal on the head of the mounting screw is a little soft.

    IMG_2980.jpg

    IMG_2977.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  3. acmax95

    acmax95 Member

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    I currently own two red dots. I like both of them quite a bit.

    I have a cheap Tasco from Wal-Mart on my Ruger MKII 10" and it works quite well. I bought another for use on an SKS and it didn't seem to be as good as the first I bought. I ended up selling it at a flea market. These run around $35.

    I have a Primary Arms Micro Dot on my new AR-15 and it is a great optic. It is much better quality than the Tasco and is much easier to shoot with. These cost about $80 plus whichever mounting option you go with. I like this red dot but I probably should have went with one of their larger offerings for my AR.
     
  4. AEA

    AEA Member

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    Aimpoint CompM4
     
  5. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    I use a BSA red dot on my 5.56mm AR. I haven't had any problems with it losing zero or anything and battery life is as advertised (about 80-90 hrs on time). It has even held zero through several hundred rounds fired using a slide fire SSAR-15 stock (which subjects the entire upper to a fair bit of back and forth shaking). It cost me $20
     
  6. willymc

    willymc Member

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    I've got a BSA RD30 on my TC Contender chambered for the .35 remington. Works great!
     
  7. mmitch

    mmitch Member

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    Had a Hakko on my Bushie, 'til Mr. EO Tech came along. I don't know what they sell for, now but I paid a C-note for it in '04. Good low-end Holographic with 4 reticle choices.

    Mike
     
  8. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    I have several red dot sights but the only one I could recommend is the Bushnell Trophy Red Dot. I paid almost $200 for it maybe 7 years ago. They are under a hundred now. I've had it on several rifles, including a .357 carbine with +P loads. I've had no problems, and I don't have any complaints. However the next time I will look for something with a bigger lens.
     
  9. Sky

    Sky Member

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    Gosh I like happy endings that only cost $20!! I would never have thought it would hold up under those conditions.
     
  10. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    I have EO Techs on my guns that could be called upon for serious use but I picked up a BSA 30mm red dot for a range toy. I was surprised how well it held up (about 3 years). When the battery died I went to change it and somehow the dot intensity knob got loose with no way I could figure out to tighten it (BSA support said just replace it). I picked up another one recently and after one mag on a 9mm carbine it started acting up, and not staying on unless it was between intensities (like it would be off for 9 or 10 but put the knob inbetween them and it would stay on). I sent it back to Midway and got a replacement that is working fine so far.
    If I get another 3 years out of it I think it's worth the $30 they cost.
    My next likely purchase is a midwest industries mount with the primary arms aimpoint micro clone to put on an AK.
    I'd love to outfit everything with aimpoints/eo techs/ and ACOGs but I don't have the income to do that so I have to prioritize what gets what.
     
  11. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I have a couple dozen $30 BSA Red Dot sights on everything from 22 pistols to 12 ga shotguns. I also have a couple old Aimpoint and Tasco Red Dot sights.
    I don't like to keep swapping sights so for some years when I need a Red Dot sight I just buy another one. As it turned out the inexpensive BSA worked well and gave good service so I just kept buying them.
    The dot isn't as sharp as a expensive sight but it's good enough.
    BSA on a Ruger Charger 22LR.
    Ruger1022pistol50ydtarget.gif

    Over the years I've had a couple BSA go bad but they are so cheap I don't even bother with the warranty. Just throw them away and buy another one.

    Just yesterday I was shooting a BSA equipped 12 ga loaded with a very hot Buck and Ball load. Frankly I've been surprised that a $30 sight will hold up under such punishment.
    ShotgunCenturianBB.gif

    A few BSA Red Dots.
    AKpistolandYugo.gif

    UZIBSARedDot.gif

    PLRCarbinesling-1.gif

    SWMPwBSA.gif

    IthacawithTLR2andBSA.gif

    M4withStreamlight.gif

    SIG522.gif
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  12. Sky

    Sky Member

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    M2 Carbine 30 bucks for something you are obvisously sold on is one heck of a good deal.
     
  13. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    Yes I'm glad when I started using Red Dot sights, years ago, I ran across the BSA. I had bought a couple Aimpoints, good sights but expensive. Tried a couple $70 Tasco. These also worked good. I tried a couple others, including the BSA. The BSA isn't a Aim point but for $30 I didn't expect it to be. As I equipped more guns with the BSA and the sight worked fine, it became apparent that the cheap sight was the way to go.

    I'm sure there are a number of good to excellent sights in the $100 to $200 range. I just haven't had any need to look for them.:)


    BTW,
    BSA has a three color $30 sight. Don't buy it. I bought three and didn't get around to using one until last week. The dots are too big, badly blurred and too bright. Kind of like a teardrop shape. Precision shooting is out of the question.
    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemDetail.aspx?sku=SCP-509




    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  14. gbran

    gbran Member

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    JPoint, Tru-Glo and Millett. No problems.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  15. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Confession:
    M2 Carbine was my motivation to go with a BSA. I needed a red dot for my PLR-16 and his seemed to be holding up fine and looked good on the little blasters so I went with that. I don't regret it, they are fine optics for the price!
     
  16. heron

    heron Member

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    I have a Sightmark (http://www.opticsplanet.net/yukon-sightmark-reflex-sight-sm13003b.html) that works great, 3MOA dot, holds zero. It's a genuine pain to sight in, but once there, it's good. Reticle image is crisp; four choices of reticle.

    I also have a BSA red-blue-green 1x30 that is a piece of junk; the reticle images quickly became smeared and the control switch broke.
     
  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Well I have 3 BSA's, 2 Millett's, and a Tasco. They all work OK but the Tasco does not hold well sometimes. I bought a couple of the $10 cheapie specials and lets say they will cease to function after a couple shots with a .22 rifle. No I did not shoot holes in them!! The BSA has held up on my 500S&W HandiRifle for 4 years of heavy target shooting so far.:D I like the Millett with a B-Square clamp on mount on my Ruger MK II 10" target pistols due to them all being stainless/aluminum to coordinate color.
     
  18. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    I hope this thread receives tons of responses. I'm also very interested in finding fair-priced red dot and reflex sites. I know they're out there but it would be very nice to know which ones are durable and long-lasting and which ones to avoid.
     
  19. Sky

    Sky Member

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    Me to Mike.
     
  20. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I have 1" UltraDots on all three of my bullseye guns. I've never seen anything work better for that purpose.
     
  21. Ruddie

    Ruddie Member

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    Oddly enough I just bought a UTG red dot. The only reason I spent $30 on it was I had just got through watching a UTG rep do a true torture test on one and it survived.
    He submerged it, dropped it, kicked it around and actually beat it with a freaking hammer. It still shot true after all of that.
    As rough as I am on things I was shocked at how well this guy was trying to break it. It still freakin worked.
    I figure for $30 I could have a "live and learn" moment... I plan on giving it my own personal torture test before I decide to mount it in something important...
     
  22. Sky

    Sky Member

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    The only draw back for me is the 4 MOA dot. They have got to be good if they survive mounted on top the slider of an auto!

    Dot size for pistols at close range is not as big a deal as it is with rifles. .22lr popping squirrels (small varmints) at 50 to 75 yards I would much rather see the varmint than have it covered by the dot. I might get flamed for that but that is my thinking on dot size. CQC some of the guys are using 4 to 7 MOA dots for quicker shots but for me I want a pin prick of red/green or whatever on the target. The Vortex Strikefire is great for popping pigs with it's 4 MOA dot size. But at a range over say 50 yards the dot will hide a small refined target.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  23. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    A lot of this all depends on use too.

    "Cheap" is sort of a deceiving term. Cheap isnt always "cheap", in the long run.

    If youre a recreational shooter, and "use" is taking the gun from the rack or safe, and going to the range, firing a few rounds, and back home again, your likely to have different results than someone who stores and uses the gun as a working type gun.

    Early on, I went through a bunch of both cheap, and not so cheap red dots on a couple of AK's, AR's, and a few other things, with not great success. BSA, Tasco, Bushnell, and a few others. With "moderate" use, none held up. Some wouldnt hold zero, some worked intermittently, some quit working altogether, all had a battery life on them that was miserably short, and had to be constantly replaced.


    I bought my first Aimpoint, a Comp M2, back when they first came out. Still have it, and its still on the same gun. It has more than a few thousands of rounds under its belt, and I change the battery once a year (its on 24/7/365), whether it needs it or not.

    I also have five other guns some with M2's, others with ML2's mounted on them, all with the same results.

    Just in batteries alone, Ive saved a bunch of money. What I spend a year for batteries on all the Aimpoints, is less that what Id spend in a month on one of the cheaper sights, if I was shooting it a lot, and/or forgot to turn it off when put away. Bear in mind now too, these are "older" Aimpoint units, the newer models run 9+ years on one battery now.

    If you dial in time and use into the equation, "cheap" can take on a slightly different meaning. Over time, my "expensive" Aimpoints really only cost me about $60 a year, and it keeps going down. My $200 Bushnell didnt even make it a year. Which is "cheaper"?

    I just wish I had back the money I spent early on for the "cheaper" sights and their batteries. I could have bought a couple more Aimpoints.
     
  24. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    While I think I'd want an Aimpoint or something similar for serious work, I've had very good experience with Millett red dots for plinking and other casual use. I've not used a red dot for hunting, but think the Millett would be the lowest quality I would use for that application.
     
  25. Sky

    Sky Member

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    I think we all agree the Aimpoints are fantastic, well made, long lived and will keep on dotting for a very long time with a single charge of battery. Tis true over time a break even point is reached with cost analysis.

    The problem is we have many who have a very hard time with affording a 3 or 4 hundred dollar weapon and then ammo much less a $400 Red Dot and then purchasing the mount for another $?? they may not be satisfied or able to use effectively. It is amazing already in this thread just how cheap and satisfied some are with their purchases.

    I would like to have purchased the same scopes for my long shooters; but I did not do because there were deals on other brands that worked just fine for my purposes. If all my collection had Red Dots ( I hate to swap optics) it would be nice to have the same make and model...but alas some will have El cheapo (for .22lrs) and some will have a more robust longer lived super duper dotagusmaximous on others.
     
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