It is time to tell you about the Styrka S3 Red Dot sight. The S3 Red Dot is your somewhat standard tube style sight. Styrka is a relative new optics manufacturer. The offer a vast selection of shooting and hunting optics in just about any ones price range. 

  After receiving the S3 Red Dot, I first mounted it on an AR15. The S3 comes with a riser mount just for this. The riser is pretty nice looking by itself. But when mounted with the red dot, it leaves a few oddities. One is that the riser is shorter in length than the integrated rail mount on the S3 (see pictures to get a better idea). Also when looking down the sight, you notice that the riser doesn't blend in with the S3's mounting. This is all cosmetic, as the riser mount works well, and the Red Dot mounts snugly to the top of the riser. One nice thing about both the riser and the Red Dot are that they use a torx screw to tighten them to the rails so that there is nothing sticking out the side, like on some mounts with a nut or thumbscrew. Also included is a honeycomb anti glare filter that screws on the front. I can see this helping if hunting animals that might get spooked by glare off of the sight. A neoprene cover and lens cleaning cloth come standard also.

  The S3 Red Dot that I was sent has a 2.5 MOA dot. This size dot works better for more accurate shooting. Styrka also offers a 5 MOA red dot, or a 5 MOA green dot. I like the smaller dot size personally, but a larger dot is also easier to pick up for some people. The dot is adjustable for 6 different brightness levels. To turn on the S3, just push either one of the "+" or "-" buttons, and it will turn on to the last brightness setting. So, of course, to increase or decrease the brightness, just push the appropriate button. One can also hold down the button and it will cycle through the settings until the lowest or brightest setting is reached. To turn the sight off, just hold down both of the buttons for about 3 seconds. If you forget to turn the sight off, don't worry, it will automatically turn off after 1 hour. I would really like this feature, but I envision the sight turning off right before I need to use it. Either while hunting and waiting for game, or while shooting a competition that has different stages. I wouldn't think that setting the auto off at a much higher time, would drastically reduce battery life. Speaking of the battery, it uses a CR2032 and mounts on top of the red dot. The adjustment knobs are covered, and the covers double as an adjustment screw for windage and elevation, both of which are 1 MOA per click.

  Now that the somewhat technical stuff is out of the way, it's on to how it performed. After having it mounted to an AR for awhile, I took it off and mounted it on a 9mm submachine gun. I put around 500 full auto rounds on the S3. It stills adjusts fine and has no adverse problems because of it. When looking through the red dot, the glass is really clear. I say this because on some optics, the coatings tend to tint the colors, but this is not the case with the Styrka. The dot shows up crystal clear, but is a little hard to see in bright sunlight. This only seemed to get worse with the honeycomb filter on. This is strictly a brightness issue, not an optical clarity issue. Another thing to note is that the LED housing is noticeable when looking through the optic. It shows up as a flat in the lower right hand field of view. I only mention it because it was a little distracting. 

  The Styrka Red Dot would probably best be used on something in the "range toy" category due to its auto off function. It does however have some nice features. It holds zero even when getting abused with full auto and has really good clarity. It even comes with a anti-glare filter. However, I feel that it could use a few refinements. Styrka has some really nice products available, all of which have their lifetime warranty and free tune ups and cleaning once a year. 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Tube style red dot

Target Market:

Anyone looking for a red dot sight

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 6 brightness adjustments

  • 2.5 MOA Dot size

  • 21mm Objective lens

  • Integrated turret adjustment caps

  • Parallax Free

  • Unlimited eye relief

  • Waterproof

  • Auto Shut Off

  • 1 MOA adjustments

  • Lifetime Warranty w/free tune ups

  • Last setting Brightness return

  • Honeycomb filter

  • Neoprene cover

  • Riser Mount

  • Weighs 5.8 ounces

  • LxWxH in inches -  3.27x1.84x2.11

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

5 MOA dot

5 MOA green dot

What others are saying?:

Michael C. 5/5 stars @ Optics Planet

Awesome Red Dot

This rivals any of its contemporaries in this price range. At 5.3 ounces, it weighs less than other similar options without losing any functionality. The 2.5 MOA version is ideal for close to long range shooting. The dot is crisp and easy for your eye to catch. The glass is ultra clear and just about not there in your sight picture. The sight comes standard with a low mount to mount to your shotgun or "regular" rifle and it also comes with a riser so you can get the correct mounting height for an AR. A lot of red dots come with one mounting height, with risers or rings necessary but this will have everything you need. When using the riser, you don't need to switch out any parts or mounts. You simply mount your sight to the picatinny top of the riser, then the riser to your rifle. The standout feature for this sight is the brightness control. They're large push buttons and are located on the side of the optic instead of a turn knob or depressed buttons. These will be ideal for winter shooting when wearing gloves and just for general ease of use. If you're looking for an affordable, easy to use, quality red dot with all the bells and whistles you'll need, this is the way to go.

Link to other reviews:

Predator Extreme

Price point:

(MSRP versus actual retail)

MSRP = $299.95

Retail = $249.00 @ Styrka

             $249.00 @ Optics Planet

I need it now! Availability:

Styrka or Optics Planet

Our Rating:


  • Comes with honeycomb glare filter
  • Includes high mount
  • Neoprene cover
  • 2.5 MOA dot
  • Clear Dot
  • Clear glass
  • Lifetime warranty and tune ups


  • Poor brightness in full sun
  • LED housing is noticeable
  • 1 hour auto off
  • High mount doesn't line up

Score: 6.0 Okay


Chad's Favorite Link: Veterans FOB



   There is a new optics manufacturer, that should be on your watch list. It is called Styrka, pronounced Steer-Ka. Being new to the market, I had not heard of them until a few months ago. They offer riflescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, and red-dots. They sent me a riflescope and a reddot, today we will discuss the S7 2.5-15x50 riflescope. 

Tree at about 400 yds

  When I first received the scope, I noticed all the nice little extras that came with it. Probably my favorite accessory is the scope cover that is in the box. The neoprene scope cover does a nice job protecting the optic when it isn't being used. Also included is a lens cloth, one of the nice ones that you shove back in its holder when not using it. A battery is also supplied for the illuminated reticle, it's a CR2032, so pretty standard.

  I mounted the Styrka on my Savage that is mounted in the MDT chassis reviewed earlier. This scope has really clear glass. Styrka states that the S7 has blackened edges on the lenses to reduce glare and enhance image contrast. Images come through clear with no distortion around the edges, so I guess it works as advertised. The S7 is their "top of the line" scope and has Styrka's SXL-MAX optics coating to reduce glare, add light and color transmission, and give optimum clarity. I used it in low light and some pouring down rain. The scope remained clear out to about 400 yards during this, probably farther, but I couldn't test any farther where I was at. It is also waterproof, fog proof, etc. 

  The S7 2.5-15x50 they sent has an illuminated mil-dot reticle. The illumination is the typical red offered by just about everyone. Styrka also offers this scope in an illuminated duplex reticle, and a non illuminated BDC reticle. Even in all but the brightest days, the illumination is visible. The illumination has 6 brightness settings with an off position between each setting. I really like this feature for the simple fact that it only takes one click to get you to the brightness that one usually uses. The brightness knob is located on the left side, on the end of the parallax adjustment knob, along with the battery compartment. This makes the combination stick out farther then some other scopes, just something to note. The adjustment turrets are capped. Since the S7 is a hunting style scope, this made perfect sense. However, under the caps are some fairly nice target style turrets. These use the standard 1/4 MOA click adjustments. The turrets also can be reset to zero after you have sighted the rifle in. To do this, just loosen the top of the adjustment with a coin, pull the knob up, set to zero, push knob down, and tighten the screw. The turret clicks are extremely crisp and clean, which is a nice touch. 

  One thing I noticed about the S7 is the length. It is longer than I expected for a scope in this zoom range. It is not a problem, just something to consider if mounting it on a short rifle. The scope has a second focal plain reticle, so in order to use the mil-dot, you must turn the zoom all the way to max power, in this case 15x. Don't worry, the scope is quite clear at the full setting. I was really hoping for a first focal plane, but you can't have everything. 

  I really like this range of this scope. At 2.5x, it is low enough magnification to take shots extremely close. Then at 15x, it can still take long shots. I am really glad that Styrka let me try this S7 out. It is extremely clear, easy to adjust, has a lifetime warranty, and you can send it back every year for a free tune up. Give Styrka a look if you are in the market for a nice hunting scope. 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Hunting scope with Illuminated Mil-dot reticle

Target Market:

Hunters, Target shooters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • SXL-MAX Fully Multi-Coated Optics
  • 30mm 6061-T6 Aircraft-Grade Aluminum Tube
  • Side Focus Parallax Adjustment
  • Illuminated Reticle
  • Blackened Lens Edges
  • 100% Waterproof
  • Nitrogen Purged
  • Fast Focus Eyepiece
  • 50mm Objective Lens
  • 3.94" Eye Relief
  • Weight of 23.7 ounces
  • (LxWxH) in inches 13.69x3.09x2.37
  • Lifetime Warranty

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Standard Illuminated Plex Reticle

Ballistic Drop Reticle (BDC)

What others are saying?:

5/5 stars @ OpticsPlanet

Above and Beyond

This scope has performed beyond my expectations. Everything seems well thought out. Love the simple reticle. Holds zero flawlessly and turrets are silky smooth. Well worth the cost of admission. Feels like some of the much more expensive European scopes.

5/5 stars @ Amazon

Outstanding Glass

When delivered, mounted on a S& W M&P 10 .308 with Burris high rings.
Using a laser boresight at 30 yards, scope was within 1/2 inch horizontally and one inch low vertically. Closest I have ever had one from the factory. Glass is clear, adjustments are precise and accurate, and above all east to work with, especially parallax adjustment.
Have fired at ranges to 200 yards, so far, with no loss of accuracy after 400 rounds.
Highly recommend it for a mid priced scope.
Will purchase another for a 5.56.

Link to other reviews:

None to be found

Price point:

MSRP = $814.95

Retail = $679.00 @ Shop Styrka

             $679.00 @ Amazon

I need it now! Availability:

Styrka or Amazon

Our Rating:


  • Extremely clear for the price

  • Precise turret clicks

  • Reset to zero turrets

  • Turret caps

  • Illuminated reticle

  • Off setting between each illumination setting

  • Neoprene scope cover included

  • Warranty


  • 2nd Focal Plane Reticle

  • Parallax and brightness knob stick out pretty far

  • Poor battery life (Battery died after 1 month of being left on brightness position #4)

  • Length of entire scope is almost 14"

Score: 8.00 Great


Chad's Favorite Link: Veterans FOB