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What's wrong with a $30 red-dot sight?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Dmath, Apr 29, 2013.

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  1. Dmath

    Dmath Member

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    There appear to be two price levels for red-dot sights,$30 or (on sale) and $150and up. So what don't you get with the $30 variety?
     
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Quality, Accuracy, Battery Life, Dependability, ...

    Look through the threads in Accessories and you'll see those issues brought up over and over again.
     
  3. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Durability for one.
     
  4. Blackstone

    Blackstone Member

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    The cheap ones often can't stand up to the recoil for very long.
     
  5. akv3g4n

    akv3g4n Member

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  6. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

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    I have a leapers red dot for $30 I put on an airgun with brutal double recoil and it is going strong for over 1000 shots. battery life is not bad but not as good as an expensive one
     
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I've tried a couple of the budget dots. Neither could be zeroed and hold a zero even on a 22. I burned a box of 22's trying to get one zeroed, and this was closer to $100 than $30. I'd get a nice tight group 3" high, move the adjustment down a few clicks and the next group would be 6" left and 4" high. Move the adjustments right and down and get a group low and left. finally after about an hour of chasing groups all over the targets and not having the adjustments track properly I got it hitting where I pointed.

    Next range trip the 1st groups were off by several inches. I took it off and threw it as far into the woods as possible and swore off cheap dot sights.
     
  8. Mrdinks

    Mrdinks Member

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    You get what you pay for. Don't be fooled.

    I am the NRA, sent with Tapatalk 2
     
  9. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

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    I used to use red dots. Cheap ones and 200.00 ones. Got rid of them all!!!!!!! Your eye moves with the dot, you need to look down the tube straight, your eye won't line up to the red dot every time so your eye will wonder with the dot. I quit using them, and scoped everything.
     
  10. YZ

    YZ member

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    For deliberate shots nobody needs a red dot. It is for target acquisition in a hurry. It is, however, a smaller unit than a traditional scope and thus more convenient to some of us.

    Dmath: There is also a difference in the dot sharpness. A cheaper one is often blurry, sometimes like a blot. A higher quality unit will likely produce a crisp, well defined dot even at a fraction of MOA.
    Yet another variable is the glass-to-frame fit. Low quality seams may give up sooner, or start oozing glue.
    Of course high price is no guarantee, nothing is.
     
  11. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I wouldn't want to take one to war, but for everyday use they are fine.

    I have so many of the things, mostly BSA, that I do not know how many I have. About three dozen I guess. Bought two more last week.

    For example,

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    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  12. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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  13. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I agree with 45lcshooter, the dot wanders with my eye, and I guess I can never get the same hold on the gun or something because I am always an inch or 3 off when I next take the rifle out. But I have used cheap dots before. Generally they are a little bulkier, and the "5moa dot" is generally more of a 7 moa irregular blob with fuzzy edges. You can get into a decent bushnell tr-25 dot for close to $70, and they are much better in the dot and size category, but I would still prefer a 1-4x scope every time.
     
  14. 444

    444 Member

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    I posted this before years ago, but............

    I had a buddy that believed in the free lunch.
    He told me that he was going to buy a BSA brand red dot sight to mount on a .41 mag pistol. I did my best to talk him out of it. He didn't listen.

    By coincidence, I happened to be at the range when he showed up with his new rig. On the third shot, the sight completely disassembled itself with parts flying through the air. I wanted to laugh in the worst way, but he had his wife and kids there and I didn't want to show him up in front of his family.

    It's my opinion that you simply can not buy a quality, optical instrument for less than a couple hundred dollars. No matter what gun I am shooting, I make every attempt to shoot in accurately. There is never a time when I am shooting that I am not serious about hitting the target. There is also never a time when I am shooting that I want to be handicapped by my equipment.

    Buy good stuff and pay the money for it and cry once. Buy cheap stuff and cry as long as you own it. Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.

    Something I have read a thousand times on internet gun forums:
    I am not going to spend that much money on an optic for a .22
    If you think about it, what gun do you shoot the most ? For me I fire thousands of .22s for every centerfire rifle round I fire. Wouldn't it make sense that I would spend MORE money on a .22 optic than I would on a rifle I seldom fire ? Same logic even applies to air rifles. I frequently practice with an air rifle in the basement. I can shoot there year round, day or night, no matter the weather. It only makes sense for me to buy a good quality air rifle with a good quality optic since I use them all the time. If I divided up the price of the scope per round fired, the .22 wins every time. Same with the air rifle.

    The price of an optic has absolutely nothing to do with the price of the gun. Another thing I see frequently posted is: "I am not going to spend more on the optic than I paid for the gun". Why not ? What has one got to do with the other ? If I got a free rifle does that mean that I can't spend more than zero on the optic ? In the end you have a good rifle with a cheap scope.

    Just one man's opinion. I have been down this road a number of times and learned this lesson the hard way. There is no free lunch. You get what you pay for.
     
  15. Dmath

    Dmath Member

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    Well, thanks for all of the replies, guys. Thanks also for jolting me back into reality by pointing out that you don't get something for nothing.

    The main thing influencing me was that I bought a used, very nice Ruger .22 with a bull barrel 13 years ago that had something called an Oakshore Electronics Ultra Dot sight on it. It has served perfectly all these years, needing a new battery just once, and remaining dead accurate once I realized I had to Loctite the screws. Since I never heard of Oakshore Electronics, I assumed it wasn't a big major brand. It must be a big name I never heard of.

    So I guess it's the same old story, as so many of you said: You get what you pay for.
     
  16. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I don't know about oakshore, but there is a brand called ultradot, and they are really good red dots. maybe in the $200 range?
     
  17. YZ

    YZ member

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    If you have another Ruger Mark in mind life gets easier. You don't have to get a super tough red dot. The non reciprocating slide will not be pounding the red dot assembly on every shot or bolt release.

    Of the smaller lighter red dots, many tend to be too bright with only 2-3 position adjustment. From my experience, stay away from those that claim automatic brightness sensor. It is not an advanced feature. You will be happier choosing your own setting.
     
  18. 444

    444 Member

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    One thing that is for sure.
    If you own something and it works for you, then keep using it.

    I never heard of that company either, but it sounds like it was a good buy.
     
  19. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

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    My opinion, buy an optic based on what you will use it for.

    If I'm going to war or my life will depend on the rifle and optic, you bet I'm buying a Trijicon or Aimpoint.

    Now if you are just plinking your 22 rifle or pistol, there is nothing wrong with a $30 RDS. I've even used my $30 RDS on a AK pistol and it still holds zero after hundreds of rounds.

    Ideally if you can afford good quality optic, that is what you should do. but if you are on a budget, nothing wrong with sub-$100 RDS.
     
  20. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Tried an inexpensive one on my shotgun. I think it lasted about 30 rounds.
     
  21. shinyroks

    shinyroks Member

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    I tried a few cheap red dots, and an expensive one on a friend's gun. I went to 1-4x20 scopes instead, they live on 1x, never run out of battery or forget to switch it on, and are cheaper than the high-end red dots.
     
  22. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    In the post-apocalyptic wasteland--or a weekend on the mountain--a run to the battery store is not an option. I have used three red dot sights (the Aimpoint was best) but have since tended toward passive optical sights with iron sight backup.
     
  23. Beentown

    Beentown Member

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    There are some good mid priced dots. Bushnell TRS-25 and Primary Arms come to mind.
     
  24. Blackstone

    Blackstone Member

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    When people talk about their eyes wandering with the dot, is that the same as parallax errors? I thought red dots were designed so that you could look through the sights in any way, and the red dot will stay on the target.
     
  25. YZ

    YZ member

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    I too didn't quite get it. It is not parallax. The dot doesn't even have to be perfectly centered. Possibly they meant following the dot as opposed to following the target while taking aim.
     
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