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View Full Version : Best Sub $200 Red Dot Sight


RCJeeper
04-15-2012, 8:52 AM
I like the Aimpoint. I really like the Trigicon, but dang . . . they are expensive.

So are the imports any good? Since I'm not shipping off to Iraq anytime soon I don't think I need a GTW quality sight while on a budget. I shot a buddy's AK with an import RDS and wow what a difference over irons. Target aquisition just seems remarkably fast.

I looked briefly at the Bushnell TRS and Vortex SPARC. Is there a consensus on import optics? I'd like something on the lighter side. I don't like adding weight unnessasarily to the AR.

mrc44
04-15-2012, 8:59 AM
Primary Arms Microdot. you will not notice a $400 difference between it and the aimpoint micro. Plus, the guys at Primary Arms are the sh**, My qd riser mount had a problem and they sent me a whole new mout plus told me to keep the old one for parts.

FX-05 Xiuhcoatl
04-15-2012, 9:07 AM
vortex is one of the best budget red dot scope you can buy, I shoot alot better with vortex than with my aimpoint micro t-1, yes aimpoint it's top notch and the glass is clear but lets get real odds are I will never use it to save my life, unless that hell breaks lose then I will mount the aimpoint "lil tank"

mutiny5050
04-15-2012, 9:12 AM
I own a Lucid picked it up for 200$ online. 4 adjustable sights. stays zero. Its a quality sight IMO. I love mine.
Adj. Click Value 1/2 MOA
Power Supply 1 x AAA (not included)
Battery Lifetime Aprox. 1000 hours
Reticle 2 MOA Dot,
2 MOA Dot with Outer Circle,
Circle with Crosshairs,
Crosshairs
Reticle Brightness Modes Manual, Auto-Brightness
Waterproof / Fogproof / Shockproof Yes
Weight, oz 13.0


http://webyshops.com/ns/images/Lucid/LUCID-HD7-Red-Dot-Sight-HD7-Pic1.jpg

G-Solutions
04-15-2012, 9:15 AM
The only one I've got experience with is the Bushnell TRS-25

http://images.cabelas.com/is/image/cabelas/s7_713198_999_01?rgn=0,0,889,794&scl=2.3394736842105264&fmt=jpeg&id=0VNI8quof58SsAOPRkyWkE

I currently have two of them: one for my fighting lever gun, the other one on a Rifle Dynamics AK.

The one on the Levergun has been through it's paces including the filming of a DVD with Infidel Media (http://www.onesourcetactical.com/leveractionriflegunfightingdvd.aspx#.T4sA_5XqWPI).
http://gebhardsolutions.com/images/2010-06-05_levergun01.jpg

This little red dot sight has held up to everything I put it through. During the work on the DVD and teaching with this rifle, it has been through a lot of transitions to pistol, moving in and out of positions quickly and similar handling that can be somewhat rough on the sight. It never lost zero or showed any signs of functional problems.

It is not as rugged as an Aimpoint H-1/T-1, but it absent of abusive applications, this sight works really well.

Prc329
04-15-2012, 9:15 AM
Primary Arms Micro Dot. While I wouldn't drop it from a helicopter it has served me very well. I really like it.

zfields
04-15-2012, 9:22 AM
Been running my Primary Arms m3 multi recticle for quite a while now.

zfields
04-15-2012, 9:23 AM
The only one I've got experience with is the Bushnell TRS-25

[IMG]

I currently have two of them: one for my fighting lever gun, the other one on a Rifle Dynamics AK.

The one on the Levergun has been through it's paces including the filming of a

This little red dot sight has held up to everything I put it through. During the work on the DVD and teaching with this rifle, it has been through a lot of transitions to pistol, moving in and out of positions quickly and similar handling that can be somewhat rough on the sight. It never lost zero or showed any signs of functional problems.

It is not as rugged as an Aimpoint H-1/T-1, but it absent of abusive applications, this sight works really well.


Uli,

Is that a 45 degree mount?

ChaneRZ
04-15-2012, 9:30 AM
I have the TRS and Sparc. I prefer the sparc because it has 2 moa.

G-Solutions
04-15-2012, 10:00 AM
Uli,

Is that a 45 degree mount?

No, the RDS is mounted on a XS-Systems Lever Scout rail. It may appear to be at an angle due to the Rheostat being located at 45 degrees. It is actually in-line with the sights. XS makes a set of replacement sights that should be tall enough to be co-witnessed through the RDS.

Not to hijack this thread, but I have a Marlin 1894c on order that will have a longer rail with Ghost ring rear and taller front sight. I'll put that one up in a separate thread when I finally get my busy hands on it... :cool:

Edited to add: OP - the aimpoints are more expensive because they are built to withstand a lot more abuse than the Bushnell and others. I've seen rifles getting dropped and an H-1 being the first point of impact on packed ground. It functioned/retained zero.... I would would not expect the TRS-25 to fare nearly as well.

zfields
04-15-2012, 10:09 AM
No, the RDS is mounted on a XS-Systems Lever Scout rail. It may appear to be at an angle due to the Rheostat being located at 45 degrees. It is actually in-line with the sights. XS makes a set of replacement sights that should be tall enough to be co-witnessed through the RDS.

Not to hijack this thread, but I have a Marlin 1894c on order that will have a longer rail with Ghost ring rear and taller front sight. I'll put that one up in a separate thread when I finally get my busy hands on it... :cool:

Yea it looked like it. Ive been eyeing the XS fullsize rail/site combo for my 1895gbl 45/70

G-Solutions
04-15-2012, 10:14 AM
Yea it looked like it. Ive been eyeing the XS fullsize rail/site combo for my 1895gbl 45/70

OK - brief thread hijack here... the 1895 is an outstanding rifle. It fires a powerful round, is accurate and having optics on it enhances its capabilities quite a bit.
The only downside is the price of the ammo - however, if you reload that's not that big of an issue.

zfields
04-15-2012, 10:24 AM
OK - brief thread hijack here... the 1895 is an outstanding rifle. It fires a powerful round, is accurate and having optics on it enhances its capabilities quite a bit.
The only downside is the price of the ammo - however, if you reload that's not that big of an issue.

Just finished loading some actually.

I wish they made the pistol calibers with the pistol grip stocks like the GBL/SBL model. The straight stock like on the win 92/94 and more traditional 1895 and 94 models isnt as natural feeling for me, but work great either way.

Peter.Steele
04-15-2012, 10:40 AM
+1 for Primary Arms.

xmattedgex
04-15-2012, 10:51 AM
Primary arms all day!! Not only a fantastic product at an affordable price, but their customer service is top notch!

G-Solutions
04-15-2012, 10:52 AM
Just finished loading some actually.

I wish they made the pistol calibers with the pistol grip stocks like the GBL/SBL model. The straight stock like on the win 92/94 and more traditional 1895 and 94 models isnt as natural feeling for me, but work great either way.

I just started a new thread about lever actions here (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=560697).

brassburnz
04-15-2012, 11:24 AM
Ultradot. Bullseye shooters have been using them for years. Lifetime warranty. I have one mounted to the slide of my 1911 .45 acp. The slide and scope are under recoil for every shot and the scope has not shot loose yet. They have models under and over $200.

http://www.ultradotusa.com/ultradotdist2010_002.htm

DirtyLaundry
04-15-2012, 12:10 PM
Primary Arms makes a great sight.

I would recommend a PA dot over an Aimpoint of Eotech any day of the week for 99% of people looking for an unmagnified optic. (and even magnifiers, I've heard good things about the PA magnifiers, I have never used one however)

Unless you're actually, literally, going to war. There is practically nothing an Aimpoint will do that a PA dot won't except very specific cases.

For instance in snow and high glare the Aimpoints can go a bit brighter increasing their useability in such environments. The durability issue is a non-issue IMO, PA dots are plenty tough and ride on the same mounts as the equivalent aimpoint. Unless you regularly drop your rifle+optic on concrete optic first from 4+feet you'll likely never see any difference in durability (LINK (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMosefuud0I)). and aimpoints claim longer battery life, but batteries are cheap and with several months worth of constant on from the PA optics I'd say this is also a non-issue for the majority of us that are not going to war regardless of the choice.

norcal240
04-15-2012, 12:38 PM
Vortex strikefire. I love mine

http://images.cabelas.com/is/image/cabelas/s7_713518_101_alt01_01?rgn=0,0,2000,1844&scl=3.8095238095238093&fmt=jpeg&id=3F9bUu-xixBdKjEyheAweB

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Vortex174-StrikeFire-RedGreen-Dot-Scope/753526.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3D searchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProduc ts%26Ntt%3Dstrikefire%26x%3D0%26y%3D0%26WTz_l%3DHe ader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=strikefire&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products

amd64
04-15-2012, 12:48 PM
Vortex Strikefire. Red dot only (not the green/red).

G-Solutions
04-15-2012, 1:20 PM
I've seen a Vortex red-dot fail during a rifle course, halfway through day one of a two day class. The student running it was, shall we say, not quite enthused about the lack of quality...

tdyoung1958
04-15-2012, 1:31 PM
Ultradot. Bullseye shooters have been using them for years. Lifetime warranty. I have one mounted to the slide of my 1911 .45 acp. The slide and scope are under recoil for every shot and the scope has not shot loose yet. They have models under and over $200.

http://www.ultradotusa.com/ultradotdist2010_002.htm

Yes, very nice sights, had one on my AR for a long time until I swapped it out to a 1-4x30

jj805
04-15-2012, 1:39 PM
Primary Arms Micro Dot.

MrPlink
04-15-2012, 2:03 PM
you will not notice a $400 difference between it and the aimpoint micro.

ha really now?
How about the blue tint of a primary arms vs the perfectly clear aimpoint?

Im a fan of PA, esp given the price they are an excellent value.

There are definitely differences, and ultimately you will get what you pay for.

That said, under 200 Im voting vortex SPARC

roushstage2
04-15-2012, 2:14 PM
My Primary Arms Micro Dot is pretty sweet. Picked up a second for a future gun (got a good deal, and why not?).

gemini1
04-15-2012, 2:45 PM
another vote for the PA micro!

cayotehunter
04-15-2012, 3:38 PM
primary arms micro dot is the bomb!

pyro3k2
04-15-2012, 3:43 PM
Bushnell TRS-25 has my vote and if you are willing to go just a little over 200 the Burris Fast Fire ii

The War Wagon
04-15-2012, 3:43 PM
I like the Aimpoint. I really like the Trigicon, but dang . . . they are expensive.

That's because you GET what you PAY for. :oji:

I gave $250 once, for a used Comp M2, with flashkill, rubber armor, and QRP mount. I put it in an ADM68 mount, but otherwise am still using it. That's about as cheap as you're going to get. Got it off a gunforum's "for sale" board. Keep scouring the ads, is all I can tell ya'.

SacTown
04-15-2012, 3:52 PM
My Bushnell TRS-25 has worked perfectly fine. Then again I haven't abused it. If you just want a cheap red dot that works and holds zero, and you aren't planning on running it through multiple carbine courses then get one. I got mine a while back when Cabela's was running a sale and Bushnell had a rebate going at the same time. Paid 39.99 for mine after the rebate. I should have bought like 5 of them.

ericneth63
04-15-2012, 3:53 PM
PA Micro Dot! Just put one on my AR and zero was super easy! I echo everyone on PA's customer service - Top Notch!

MrPlink
04-15-2012, 3:54 PM
That's because you GET what you PAY for. :oji:

I gave $250 once, for a used Comp M2, with flashkill, rubber armor, and QRP mount. I put it in an ADM68 mount, but otherwise am still using it. That's about as cheap as you're going to get. Got it off a gunforum's "for sale" board. Keep scouring the ads, is all I can tell ya'.

very good advice, Ive done the same. Maybe we should keep this a secret though, because the good deals will just become harder to find.

Legasat
04-15-2012, 4:42 PM
I have the Vortex SPARC. It works great, holds zero, does everything I want when shooting. But...even when turned off it sucks the battery dry.

I can use it for days and days on a new battery, but when I turn it off, and don't use it for a month, when I go use it again, it is always dead. New battery AGAIN! That is my only complaint.

billetmann
04-15-2012, 5:01 PM
+1 for the lucid

xpbprox
04-15-2012, 5:08 PM
Lucid
or
Strike Fire (i really like mine and i only paid like $120 brand new, and its got a lifetime warranty I believe)

cantcme
04-15-2012, 7:17 PM
My strikefire works great and it holds zero when i take it off and put it back on

ExtremeX
04-15-2012, 7:48 PM
Primary Arms and Vortex gets my vote.

If you can save up to get an Aimpoint or Trijicon product, do it.

h0use
04-15-2012, 8:35 PM
+1 for the vortex sparc

Dark Mod
04-15-2012, 8:52 PM
Just bought a primary arms micro-dot based on what ive read on forums. If it works out, its cheap enough that i can get one for each of my guns

BradleyAbrams
04-15-2012, 10:44 PM
Ultradot. Bullseye shooters have been using them for years. Lifetime warranty. I have one mounted to the slide of my 1911 .45 acp. The slide and scope are under recoil for every shot and the scope has not shot loose yet. They have models under and over $200.



+1 on the Ultradot..


-

antmarc217
04-15-2012, 11:58 PM
+1
Lucid hd7. Great rds. The only thing I don't like is the size.

I'm leaning towards a primary arms micro for a new set up.

Kelster1574
04-16-2012, 8:59 AM
I have (3) Primary Arms Micro's - 10/22, Saiga 7.62x39 and AR 5.56 - GREAT RDS's I also have a Vortex Strikeforce with Vortex Magnifier. Can't go wrong with either one, if you want small go with the PA if you want a fullsize go with the Vortex.

Lugiahua
04-16-2012, 10:49 AM
I use a Bushnell Trophy hunting sight on my SU-16
It was originally a shotgun sight, so I believe it has no problem on a 5.56, even has a backup sight on top
(why would hunting sight needs back up? or maybe bushnell considered it as a weapon sight?)