Just gonna talk about red dots because I'm bored
So you want to buy a red dot... Specifically an Aimpoint Micro-ish red dot? Well heres the run down of them all
The TRS-25 is a entry level red dot sight by Bushnell. It's actually a really well made sight that is well worth the money. It's not indestructible or bomb proof, but from sometimes as low as 50 fucking dollars, it's a great range toy
-Decently made, may possibly fail on you but has Bushnell warranty
-Decent adjustment and clicks
-3 MOA dot is not too big, not too small
-Literally exactly what you expect from Bushnell
-Has an irreplaceable screw mount, has to use riser to get co witness
-As a result of screw mount, no QD options
-Glass is super, super tinted blue
-No night vision compatibility, combination of brightness settings and tinted glass may make it harder to use in low light
-Battery life is kinda shit
-Basically a range toy only because of above issues
Primary Arms dots cover two different price points - a few in the cheap 80 dollar range, and a single the 160 dollar range.
The cheap 80 dollar sights have a lowered battery life, less durability and some have T-1 compatible mounts and one does not. They are activated by a turning dial similar to a T-1 micro and the placement can be on the side (T1 compatible mount), or the top (non changeable mount) which makes ambidex access super easy. Review the options for the cheap one, but really, the only one worth buying out of the two is the T-1 compatible
The Primary Arms advanced is roughly twice the price. It has improved battery life, improved durability, and is the Micro Red dot sight you see all the torture tests on. These are quality optics that basically win the range toy MVP award for the last few years. Brightness settings are adjusted with push buttons on top.
-Well priced dots with a few options in mounting and switching methodology
-Youtube Approved testing and destruction, fairly durable optic given the price
-Crisp dot with crisp, clear glass.
-Battery life on the advanced dot that can rival Aimpoint, cheap options still get good battery life
-Makes you think its the quality of a T-1 Micro
-All Night Vision compatible
-Is still not as durable as a T-1 Micro, despite what memes may lead you to believe
-Can easily google people who have had the red dot fail on them
-Warranty is amazing to the point where the owner of Primary Arms will come into your Arfcom thread and send you a return shipping label for free, but the fact you can find various examples of this across the internet means isn't really a good sign on the overall durability
-Confirmed OEM'd by Holosun by the owner of the company himself, which may or may not have a higher QC than Holosun, but may also share some of the same problems as Holosun
Holosun has a number of different T-1 Micro sights. Some have T-1 compatible mounts, some have Holosun only mounts. Some have solar power, some have push buttons on top. They all have the same model name basically, with only a change in a letter at the end. This is the first gripe you have with the Holosun dot - making sure you buy the right one. You really have to read what you are buying.
But lets say you didn't fuck up and bought the HS403G because you want the no bullshit dot at a reasonable price. What you will get is a T-1 style red dot with a crisp dot, clear glass and a fairly decent build all things considered. You get that 50,000 hour battery life and night vision compatibility as well as the ability to take any T-1 mount. If it's working it seems like a GREAT dot at a great value.
But you have posts on the internet with constant visibility of them failing. You have Canadian meme blogger TV-PressPass having the 3 Holosuns he interacted with suffering electronics failures at some point from the automatic turn on failing, to optics straight up dying. One of his mounts mushroomed under reasonable torque, although he is an idiot who didn't use locktite. Warranty work was great, but that is really the issue - A great warranty is a curse in and of itself because if you have a lot of people telling your their stories of how their warranty replacement was painless, it means you have a lot of stories of optics dying.
-Basically a nice looking red dot that will also trick you into thinking it's a T-1 Micro
-Tons of potential features you can buy in the different sights, such as solar powered dots
-Basically most of the same pros as the Primary Arms, since they literally manufacture the Primary Arms dots
-Somehow more expensive than the Primary Arms dots, and either has the exact same QC or worse craftsmanship as the Primary Arms dots
-The non T-1 mount Holosuns have the battery sealed in on the bottom of the unit between the optic and the mount, you will lose your zero every time you charge the battery and reapplying torque to small screws you can potentially strip when trying to ensure good battery seal
-Fairly visible issues with Holosuns online
-Complicated electronics that introduce more failure points, which make up a fair number of the complaints online, for features nobody really cares about
-Seriously, instead of spending the time making a solar paneled dot that can otherwise run for 3 years off a dollar store battery, just make one really good dot that is amazing
-In short, if you are going to buy a Holosun buy a Primary Arms instead
>Vortex Sparc II
The Vortex Sparc II probably makes the best dot in the mid price range category. Sparc II, as in 2. If you somehow got a Sparc 1, you fucked up. It's shit for various reasons you found in every review. However Vortex listened and fixed it in the Sparc II
With the Sparc II what you get is, as the theme of this thread goes, a T-1 styled red dot with great glass, a crisp dot and a low price. The Sparc takes T1 standard mounts as well as a 2032. Vortex also has a no questions asked "VIP" Warranty, in which they will replace your shit for basically any reason. Even if you fucked it up yourself. Dropped it on a rock and the glass shattered? You'll get a brand new one, no worries.
-Same price as Primary / Holosun, made by company who makes mid range and high end optics that can compete with the best
-T1 mounts, NV Compatible, 2032 battery, all the features you need
-Amazing feedback on zero turrets, audible and feelable clicks when adjusting the sight
-Really, really nice glass
-Comes with a variety of low profile and cowitness (both absolute and lower 1/3) out of the box with a variety of screws, riser blocks and other options so you are good to go even if you don't upgrade mounts
-Battery life isn't on par with the big dogs, 300 hrs at max, 5000 at lowest (Compensates with 12 hour automatic shut off to conserve battery life)
-Still Chink mfgr'd sight, so still not 100% indestructible but seems to be a bit more durable than the other competitors in the price range
-More expensive than Primary Arms and Holosun
-Ugliest looking out of them all
-Push button brightness setting extends off the left side, which can needlessly obstruct some of your view. Piece is made out of rubber plastic which is not alluminum like the rest of the sight
-Vortex branding and logos all the fuck over this sight on basically every single surface including the scope covers, so people know you are rocking a Vortex without even having to talk with you
Picture of power control panel on left side of optic.
Optic came out of left field by Trijicon. Their first red dot / reflex sight that doesn't suck absolute balls.
In short, the optic features Trijicon Durability with Aimpoint features. If you drop it on a rock, you will break the rock before you break the optic. A Youtube torture test had the MRO, while attached to the rifle, drop from a >20 foot drop test directly onto the MRO. The MRO survived, however the fall broke the upper receiver of the gun.
-Price is less than an Aimpoint T1 Micro, where some guys have even got it for around the 400-450 mark
-2 MOA dot and NV Compatibility
-Great switching methodology with ambidext controls and recessed zero turrets
-2032 with great battery life "The MRO™ battery should last for 5 years of continual use at setting “3” (5 of 8)."
-Large window that gives you great picture
-Trijicon name, reliability and immortality
-Optic is somewhat magnified as a result of the large glass, can be unnerving or distracting
-Does not use T1 standard mounts, for some reason, but tons of mounts now available on the marker (but $$$$$)
-Costs more than an Aimpoint PRO
Entry level aimpoint in the 400-450 range
The Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) is Aimpoints lowest that is worth looking at. It is a standard 30mm tube so any upgraded mounts you might want you can just slap right on. However the Aimpoint PRO's mount has a torque limiter that eliminates risk of stripping and can also allegedly, return to zero since it ensures identical torque every time you mount it (however if QD is a must, you should probably just go Larue)
The Aimpoint PRO has a cheaper version, named the Aimpoint ACO. The ACO is, roughly, 50 dollars cheaper and doesn't feature any NV Compatibility and doesn't have the nice torque limiting mount nor any of the scope covers. You can sometimes find Aimpoint PRO's for the same price as an ACO or just 20 bucks more which is well worth the upgrade given the mount + scope covers
-2 MOA Dot, good glass, good dot, nv compatible
-Literally Aimpoint quality, amazing optic at, if you shop for deals, only twice the price of a Holosun
-Like, how else do I say this? It's Aimpoint.
-Aimpoint PRO pretty much makes more expensive Comp M4/S type units at twice the price unless you really, really want to use an AA battery
-30,000-50,000 hour battery life
-UNBEATABLE package at it's price point
-Uses the unquestionably gayest battery on Earth, a 1/3N
-Price is more than the other dots in this thread so far, so if it's just a range toy it may be a little overkill. If you need to trust your life to it, probably best bang for buck
-Not a micro style red dot, so heaviest dot in this thread
>Aimpoint T1 / T2 Micro
Best Red Dot you will ever own. It's light weight, uses standard CR2032 batteries, has 50,000 hour battery life. It is the standard in which all other optics are measured.
The highest, highest end you can possibly go without just wasting money on bullshit like the Leupold LCO for no reason.
The Aimpoint T1 and T2 are the same optic. The T2 has slightly clearer glass than the T1 and the housing shields the adjustment turrets. If you don't have one and were looking to buy a Micro, buy the T2. If you already have a T1, it's not worth selling and upgrading.
-Indestructible Aimpoint name.
-The highest quality, best red dot on the market
-Good glass, good dot
-You get what you pay for
-What you pay for is absurdly expensive red dot that will never, ever fail on you.
-Literally over 700 dollars for a dot with a not bullshit mount
-And you have to buy a not bullshit mount like Larue or something else, because you aren't going to spend 650+ dollars on an Aimpoint and not buy a good mount
-Your wallet weeps
They work like any other sight. It projects a small dot onto the glass which floats in the middle of the optic when looking through it.
You zero it like any other sight.
It's not rocket science.
Yes, red dot's don't lose zero because it got warm outside, unlike eotech
The primary advantage of holographic sights was eotech could get a 1 MOA dot, as well as have their 65 MOA circle for fast acquisition in CQB / spray spread for LMG's. It allowed them to make more complicated patterns than a simple dot that were reliable and relatively parallax free. The holographic sight also "appears" to float out in front of your gun, moreso than just a dot floating inside of the sight itself.
The biggest advantage to holographic sights are the lack of any coated glass what so ever. Red dots need tinted glass to reflect the dot back, even if it's minor tint. Eotechs are just pure, clear glass.
The main downsides to an eotech are battery life and the host of problems they have had throughout their life cycle, including the most recent DOD Lawsuit and mass exodus of the firearms community
Eotech is the only company that makes holographic sights. All other sights on the market, even if they have a fake pattern reticle, are red dots or red dot type technology
I have $200 to put a red dot on my SBR'd M92 PAP. What is the best option? I just returned my MD-ADS due to it shutting off when I shot. I was going to buy another and hope that it was a lemon. I like the 50,000 hour battery life and its size, which are the top reasons I opted for that anyway.
If you only have 200 hours to go, you are limited to pretty much Primary Arms and Vortex.
Marshall of PA is great to work with and will make sure, as a customer, you are taken care of if your optic fails in the future.
However the Sparc 2 is also a good buy by a company with a good brand name, and the best warranty in the industry.
I would rule out Holosun and the Bushnell
Should I cover micro red dots another night?
I'm supposed to be getting a Docter from a buddy of mine for a good deal. I don't have a use for it, but the price was too good to pass up.
I don't know much about them, do they have the same mounting pattern as an RMR? I am going to put it on a SCAR with an ACOG TA11 on it, and thought about piggybacking it on top of the ACOG. Will the TA31 Docter mounts work on the TA11?
Doctor Sights use, for the most part, an industry standard mount. They were basically the ones that set the standard. While the Insight MRDS and Burris FastFire actually use a Doctor style mounting base, the Trijicon RMR does not (even though it looks very similar) because Trijicon likes to fuck you in the ass on occasion. RMR's require their own mounts.
The Vortex Razor micro red dot apparently requires it's own mount, but the Vortex Venom is Doctor mount compatible.
>Will the TA31 Docter mounts work on the TA11
Honestly I couldn't tell you. I have no experience in this particular instance.
Sights that did not make the cut / you shouldn't buy and why:
Anything NCstar is out. It's all fucking trash Airsoft china shit. They charge you basically what you can get a Bushnell for, and Bushnell is fudd approved good quality kit. You would have to be mentally ill to buy NCStar unless you are shooting BB's out of your gat
>Lucid M7 Micro
Reasonable small dot using a AAA battery. However it is discontinued and no longer being made / sold by Lucid.
Looks like some bastardized wannabe ACOG. Given it has a pretty much proprietary mounting system and is priced in the range where you'd be better off getting PA / Vortex. No real reason to even look at it.
>Trijicon Reflex Series
Massive MOA Triangle powered by fiber optics and tritium. The tritium will run out in less than five years leaving you with a sight that only works in the day time. You will pay good money for shitty mounting options that weren't even fashionable for hitting up Fallujah.
This hot garbage is an over engineered waste of your time and money. It has a solar panel which doesn't function if there is no battery installed in the unit. The massive sight window sounds good, until you find out you get massive glare issues inside the sight if you are facing the vague, general direction of the Sun. Your dot pretty much fucks off or gets a ton of reflected electronics in the sight picture.
Pic is the Trijicon SRS "high end failure" optic, AFTER being repaired and fixed by Trijicon. Picture is from Military Arms Channel's blog "The Bang Switch"
Current POI Shift issues from the DOD Lawsuit writes this off as a serious optic, but if you can get them at a good price (I bought an old 552 for 200 bucks), they make great range toys and look good on rifles. The clear glass is addictive. No reason to buy brand new right now given the refund exodus going on. Likely going to be a flood of refurbs on the market soon as well.
Thanks for taking the time to do this great writeup, somebody should copy and paste this for future threads.
However I don't think EOTechs should be written off so easily. Yeah they have serious POI shift issues reminiscent of much, much cheaper optics, but they DO have an extensive reputation of being just as every bit durable and reliable as their Aimpoint counterparts on the battlefield.
Also in terms of short-range rapid-fire competition shooting, the holographic reticle and ginormous window also give it a few advantages over an Aimpoint (unless you have astigmatism of course).
>There's red dots that also offer MOA dots within circles though.
You literally do not know what you're talking about.
Name me any other red dot with a 1 MOA dot within a circle.
Also Eotechs are literally the only holographic sights on the market.
I think the mindset right now is there is no way to "justify" buying an eotech EXPS 3 right now, given how everyone is scrambling to return them. Either eotech will push out a fix on a new generation, or update their marketing to say "Don't zero the sight in Arizona and then expect it to hold zero in the arctic circle"
Eotech remains a good sight, I've defended it previously, but right now we are in this weird twilight zone where unless you are getting one offered to you at a really good price? There is no reason grab it. You will have zero resale value and there is a risk of a better, fixed version potentially coming out or prices coming down.
Best action is to wait it out and see what happens.
Personally if you are in need of it for home / personal defense, go with good quality fiber optic ones. I'm personally super against tritium given it's life span that makes it only usable for a few years.
If you are just looking to have a coolish toy to use in lower light shooting, I know a guy who used glow in the dark paint on his sights. Just filled in the white dots with it and bam, he could shoot with the lights off and have the glow last for a few hours.
>there is a risk of a better, fixed version potentially coming out or prices coming down.
With Eotech honoring all returns for full retail and simultaneously paying out the ass for the lawsuit, I doubt the former is happening anytime soon.
Also strangely everywhere I look prices have literally not changed from before the panic. This being retail prices of course, used prices have gone up even due to the return policy.
So one of these things could happen. Or both. Or neither. I'd say if you've got the money to burn some Eotech models are still pretty god for the price. You could wait but if there's anything I've learned from life it's that good things rarely come to those who wait.
Yes, and thanks for the guide OP, you're a gentleman.
>there is a risk of a better, fixed version potentially coming out
I dunno if a new "fixed" model will be coming out, but Eotech is working with a company called OptiFlow Inc to develop laser diodes/components immune to thermal drift issues.
So my guess is they will have some sort of recall program to retrofit existing models with fixed components.
Or they might come out with a new model, Eotechs had a few more problems apart from the thermal drift like leaking nitrogen.
Here's my mini review:
$99 PA MD-AD vs. $80 TRS-25
The PA has been on for 4 months with the same battery on setting 4. The TRS-25 died after a little over two weeks on setting 4. Fuck the TRS-25. 3,000 hours battery life my ass, it'll stay on my .22.
>I'm personally super against tritium given it's life span that makes it only usable for a few years.
Literally what the fuck are you talking about
Tritium in Trijicon's shit is all warrantied for a longass time.
12 years for handgun night sights, 15 years for ACOGs. And after that time you send it back and they'll replace it for free. Keep in mind these are functional lifetimes, so brightness is guaranteed to remain within operational parameters for these periods. Shit doesn't ust go out like a candle after that, it's just slightly dimmer than what is ideal. Tritium will keep glowing long after you're dead.
If you're a burger, go with the PA MD or Vortex SPARC II.
If you're a yuropoor, PA MD's aren't available and TRS-25 costs almost as much as the best Holosun. My advice is go for the Holosun 403G (T1 mount compatible, 50'000 hours battery life, quality 100% equivalent to PA MD). Avoid the Holosun 403A due to its stupid battery placement.
>Tritium in Trijicon's shit is all warrantied for a longass time.
And unless the tritium fails the brightness test Trijicon puts it through, they won't replace it for free. Plenty of people getting charged to replace the tritium before they are supposed to
>12 years for handgun night sights, 15 years for acog
That's to reach half life, but you see guys report noticeable degradation in brightness even after a few years. I've seen reports of some pistol tritiums lasting 10 years and still glowing vibrantly, whereas the same person had one lose functional brightness after 3 years, and then again after 5.
The tritium sights as is only really become visible around the threshold where your normal white dots would stop being visible - meaning the second the tritium begins to decay there is going to be some illumination levels where it might not function well
I've handled a ACOG that has 7 years right now and it's chevron glow I wouldn't necessarily call acceptable, especially when you compare it to a brand new one. If you can afford to replace tritium early and pay the money, sure, cool. Go ahead. In case you haven't realized tho, this thread is more about budget optics and people making the best cost:value purchase
Anyways it's a bullshit discussion because you should be putting illumination on target before pulling the trigger 100% of the time. In that instance for HD fiber would be fine. Fiber is cheaper, so fiber basically wins out here.
I don't think he meant that tritium sights are bad. I can kind of see his point versus fiber optics, though.
I have an XDm with trijicons, a G19 with Meprolights, and my Ruger Match Champion has a fiber optic front.
Honestly, the worst sights of the three are the Trijicons. They don't have anything to them aside from the tritium tubes. They work OK in low light, but in the day or brighter rooms they aren't so good.
Meprolight sights are better, the tritium seems a bit brighter, and they have white rings around them so you can actually pick them up in daytime. Ameriglo has this as well, but all the sights I saw in person looked terrible. The rings were painted on, and it wasn't the best paint job, and looked like it could/would flake off.
The fiber optic front sight on my Match Champion is really nice, but it doesn't really work in the dark, but performs well in very low light to bright light. I suppose you could argue that if it is too dark to see your fiber optics, then you should question your ability to acquire targets, too.
When the tritium goes out on my night sights, I would seriously consider changing to fiber optics.
You can Ctrl S the thread and save it as HTML. Should save the text.
Otherwise CTRL A, CTRL C and then CTRL V into note pad or wordpad to save the important bits. Text is what you want
Because the SPARC II is smaller and more rugged. Also, if you're an AK operating yuropoor intending to mount the red dot on an Ultimak, the TRS-25 and 403G are your only budget options.
>red dot that will never, ever fail on you
Nigga, hope you ain't serious. If it's made by anything other than a divine being it WILL eventually fail. Aimpoint and back up irons is where it's at. And yes the aimpoint micros are nearly indestructible but I would never fully trust my life on a piece of equipment. Always have backups and train for if and when it fails.
TRS25 has goop on the emitter that totally fucks with lower third cowitness... It's pretty good otherwise.
>all these cheap nigger shit piece of shit red dots that are far shittier less accurate and less reliable than the stock rifle sights for a quick aquisition need that no shooters even require because if they didn't they couldn't afford to buy cheap bullcrap and would rather use the sights
Improvised magnification device.
So its basically shit then?
No offense to Holosun, but they should really just make a Dot that can compare to Aimpoint before making 50 different dots of primary arms quality or worse.
Nope. I have mine on a cheap-o UTG mount. It has stayed zeroed for two deer seasons of knocking around innawoods. My SBR is NFA but is anything but a safe queen. I don't care if it gets beat up and scratched and shit. The mount hasn't failed, yet. Pic related.
Are there different kinds of rails? I just bought an AK, after only ever having pistols and shotguns with nothing attached for years.
My vision isn't very good, I can manage short ranged with handguns and stuff, but a 50 yard target is barely visible to me, so I need some sort of sight to help me out a bit. I'm afraid I'm going to end up getting some obscure rail that nothing compatible with waste time/money.
Is there something I should be looking for specifically?
Well if you have poor eyesight and cant see distance things very well, you are probably looking at getting a magnified scope vs a red dot (which has no magnification)
One thing you have to do is figure out what mounting options your AK has to begin with. If your AK comes with a side mount attached to the receiver, you are set. You simply buy an attachment for it and can slap a scope on.
And to answer your question as long as you get 1913 rails, which the vast majority of rail systems are, you are fine.
My issues with that article is, whole the internals of the dot are clearly amazing, the point everyone expected a failure on, the plastic cover holding the button controls, failed early on. While it still continues to shine, I don't doubt a random twig snagging on the exposed board or wires wouldn't rip it the fuck out.
It's an amazing dot, and you wouldn't be absolutely fucked if you found yourself with it in a warzone, but for HD and range stuff its pretty good.
If Vortex revises the SPARC III to remove that board entirely? It'll be GOAT
>all these cheap nigger shit piece of shit red dots that are far shittier less accurate and less reliable than the stock rifle sights for a quick aquisition need that no shooters even require
ITT I learned that no military ever issued red dots, ever, and they wouldn't ever need to anyways
rs products 301-303 for a mount. Hands down the best mounting solution for an ak next to an ultimak