Red Dot

Swampfox Kingslayer

Swampfox Optics is a new optics manufacturer. They seem to be doing some good things, like the Kingslayer. The Kingslayer is a micro red dot. When I first heard about these, I ask for a review one. They shipped one right out and here we are.

  The Kingslayer micro red dot is your typical reflex sight. It mounts using the industry standard RMR footprint. A huge plus when mounting it on a pistol slide. It also comes with a picatinny mount. As one can expect, it is fairly small at 1”w x 1”h x 1.8”l. The size gives it a 22mm window to look through. I found the 3 MOA dot to be very useful. Not too small, but not too large, kind of in the easy to pick up and see category. Weighing in at 1 ounce, it is very light.

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  Function of the Kingslayer is pretty self explanatory. There is an up and down arrow button on the side. This increases and decreases the brightness. The up arrow also turns the sight on when pushed. The down arrow will turn the sight of after holding it down for about 3-5 seconds. Also the Kingslayer has an auto off after 4 hours of button inactivity. Now comes one of the deal breakers for me, the battery life. The kingslayer uses a CR1632 battery. It’s smaller than your normal CR2032. Battery life is stated at 200 hrs on the high setting, and 3000 hrs on the lowest. The one saving grace to the battery life is the fact that the battery tray is on the side of the unit. No taking it off to change the battery.

  After receiving the Kingslayer, I mounted up on my Grey Ghost slide. Partly because it has an RMR cut-out. No problems with mounting. I then zeroed it. It has tiny screws for windage and elevation. The screws are snug and take a little bit of force to turn. A good thing since they are not “click” adjustable. Then I preceded to……..break it. While moving stuff around on a tall bench, the pistol fell onto concrete, on the Kingslayer. The fall was from 4 feet. The glass in the Kingslayer cracked, ugh! I could still see the dot, and it held zero, so I shot it a little bit. When I contacted Swampfox, they immediately sent me a call tag and replaced it with a new one. I’ve been a little more careful with this one. 

  Besides my self induced problems, the Kingslayer has worked well. It’s held zero, even after taking it off and installing it on a different slide, and then back. The side battery tray is a nice feature. The 3 MOA dot is easily picked up, but not as well as some . I attribute this to the 22mm window size. It is noticeably smaller than some of the other micro red dots I’ve used. It could just be the shape. For a fairly reasonable priced micro red dot, it seems to perform as advertised.

  If your in the market for a slide mounted red dot, the Kingslayer might just be the ticket. At around $200, it is a good way to try out using a slide mounted red dot. If you then decide to upgrade to a “name”, you can put it on something else with the picatinny mount. Go check out Swampfox Optics, they seem to be doing some decent stuff.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Micro Red Dot on RMR footprint

Target Market:

Those wanting a Micro Red Dot

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 3 MOA dot

  • 10  Illumination settings

  • IPX7 waterproof to 1 meter

  • Shockproof to 800G’s

  • CR 1632 battery

  • 1500 hr battery life

  • 1,8”(length) * 1” (width) * 1.0”(height)/ 1.4"(height) with mount

  • 1 oz without mount / 1.3 oz with mount

  • Multi coated lens MOA windage and elevation adjustments

  • 4 hr auto off after button inactivity

  • Side battery tray

  • 50,000 round guaranty

  • 22mm lens diameter

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Red or Green Circle dot

What others are saying?:

Doug on Swampfoxoptics 5/5 stars

Ok sooo a long story... I bought a Kingslayer off of eBay from an armed forces officer that had bought two. I’m a special operations officer and deal with very expensive equipment. The good: the product is solid, crystal clear glass and great concise dot. 

The bad: the thing drained batteries like nobody’s business even in the off position. 

The amazing: I contacted Swampfox via email even though I didn’t purchase it from them. In a matter of minutes I was contacted back and advised that they would honor their warranty and would ship a replacement and mailing slip right out. I received it only to find it had the same issue. Once again I contacted Swampfox and again I was immediately contacted back. This time they were not so fast to just send a replacement, Robert and Chris worked with me hand and hand for days trying to find the glitch. At no time in this process was I ever degraded, ignored or told it was operator error. We never could quite figure out the issue so I kinda just called it a wash for buying something second hand. About a month after our last conversation I was contacted by Robert and Chris who stated that they had found a virus in the tiny circuit board and had fixed all the issues and that they were sending me a brand new redesigned model and a postage paid slip for my return as well as everyone that owned a Kingslayer! This was a long process and my optics have to work every single time they are asked to or they cannot be used due to what I do. I have waited -on purpose - to write this review so that I can state with confidence that the optic is reliable. The Kingslayer is amazing crystal clear glass that rivals optics I run that cost HUNDREDS more. I have run the optic on a pistol, ar, and mp5 with zero malfunctions. But more impressive than the optic is the company. The team at Swampfox could have easily denied my claim due to me purchasing second hand and that is even stated in the fine print of their warranty. Swampfox never batted an eye at my claims, never tried to cover up a problem and never tried to sidestep my communication. The optic I received is still on the original battery, has been used extensively and has held zero on whatever I mounted it on. For the price I believe this is one of the best red dots on the market and the company service is second to none.

Link to other reviews:

Pew Pew Tactical

Price point:

MSRP = $219.99

Retail = $170.99 at OpticsPlanet

I need it now! Availability:

SwampFox or Optics Planet

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Price

  • Clear dot

  • RMR pattern mount

  • 3 MOA dot

  • Side mount battery

Cons:

  • Window size

  • Battery Life

  • Battery size

Score: 6.50 Okay

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Favorite Link:  Freedom Flag Products


STYRKA S3 RED DOT

  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:

Pros: 

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

Cons:

  • 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

 

Holosun hs503c micro red dot/circle dot

  Holosun has been around for a while now. Some of their products are innovative in the red dot market. Lets take the HS503C for example. It starts as a red dot, adds in a circle dot option, and then adds in solar power to increase battery life. I contacted Holosun to get one in for review, and they graciously complied. 

  I was intrigued by the 503C's solar power. I will do my best to explain it. The solar panel sits on top of the optic and does not charge the battery. Don't be disappointed though, it runs the circle dot very well. In fact it will actually run the circle dot in daylight, without the battery! When talking with Holosun, they mentioned that the 403C even works better with solar power, and probably would run without a battery in pretty low light, but it is a red dot only. However, when running the 503C on the solar setting, only the circle dot works. The option of having a red dot or circle dot reticle only works on battery power, which was kind of disappointing. When using the battery power, one can switch between the dot or circle dot by holding down the "-" button. To switch between solar and battery, and vis-versa, hold down the "+" button. 

  The HS503C comes with everything you need. When you first open the box, you notice that the red dot is already attached to a riser mount. This gives you a lower 1/3 co-witness with an AR rifle's iron sights. You can remove the riser and put on the supplied low mount if you are mounting it to something that doesn't need the extra height. Also in the box are tools to mount and adjust the sight, a screwdriver to remove and install the battery, a cleaning cloth, and a set of rubber caps. I mounted this one on an AR. One of the big downfalls of this sight are the teeny screws that hold the battery in, make sure you use the proper phillips head screwdriver so as to not strip them out. The HS503C has an industry standard T1 mounting size, so any aftermarket Aimpoint T1 mounts should work, but I would try it beforehand, just in case.

Circle Dot Reticle

Battery Tray partially open

  Now on to some specs. The HS503C has a 2moa dot or a 65moa circle with a central 2moa dot. The adjustments are 1/2 moa with the caps serving as the adjustment screwdriver. Also inside the cap are the markings for up/down and left/right. On the right side is the battery tray, it is held in by 2 screws. Also on the right side is the brightness and on/off buttons. To turn the sight on, push the "+" button, to turn it off, hold down both buttons. In the battery only mode, you can adjust brightness by pushing the "+" or "-" buttons. In solar mode the dot will auto adjust for brightness. There are 9 daylight brightness settings and 2 night vision ones. Holosun states 50,000 hours of runtime with the dot at the 6 setting and 20,000 with the circle dot, so on par with other brands. 

  I have been using the HS503C for some time now. The sight is very clear. The 2moa dot allows for precise engagements. Having the 65moa circle dot is a nice option, and it really shines when shooting up close. But my favorite part is probably the self adjusting solar setting. Even in direct bright sun light, the circle dot was easily visible on the solar setting, the same in low light. I haven't treated the Holosun very nice either, it has been thrown in the back of a pickup a few times, dropped on the ground, and it has held zero. 

  People sometimes ask if I would recommend certain products. The Holosun is on that list. It has done everything I could ask it to do. If your looking for a good mid priced red dot, check them out. 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Solar and battery powered Micro red dot or circle dot

Target Market:

Anyone wanting a quality combination red dot or circle dot reticle 

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 2 MOA dot or 65 MOA Circle Dot

  • 20,000 hr battery life with Circle Dot

  • 50,000 hr battery life with 2 MOA dot

  • 9 Daylight and 2 Night Vision brightness settings

  • Waterproof to 1 meter

  • Weighs 4.4 ounces with tall mount

  • 2.6" Tall x 2.5" Long x 1.4 "Wide with tall mount

  • 0.5 MOA adjustments

  • Uses 1 CR2032 battery

  • Operating Temp: 14F to 122F

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Red dot only (HS403C) 

Protected adjustment knobs (HS503CU)

What others are saying?:

4/5 stars on Amazon

PRICE is awesome for what you get

Let's start with the positives, PRICE is awesome for what you get!!! The glass is really clear and the dot / circle dot are just about perfect. Easy to sight in and it works just as advertised. Best buy for the money hands down. Now there are a couple of fustrating things about it. The battery tray screws trust me these things are tiny and a Philips head to boot put down a white towel when the come loose and hit the ground they disappear. Ask me how I know. A torx bit or hex head would make installation much better. The dot adjustment buttons are smallish and are much easier to use using your trigger hand if you are right handed. This doesn't sound too bad until you try it. I also feel that I'd you like to shoot wearing gloves the size of the pads are just too small. Now that being said I still am extremely happy with this purchase and would and will buy it again.

5/5 Stars on OpticsPlanet

Great little optic

HS503C... Buy it you wont regret it! After looking around and doing research for an optic for my new lightweight AR build I decided to go with the holosun and man I'm glad I did. The HS503C has a Crisp circle reticle and dot amazingly cleaner than the EO tech. I love the option of being able to switch between the 65 MOA circle with a 2 MOA dot and the single red dot. It's easy to zero and function, the solar option is a great feature but the battery life is even better. Bang for buck you can't beat it!

Link to other reviews:

The Truth About Guns

Price point:

MSRP = $282.34 @ Holosun

Retail = $239.99 @ Brownells

             $239.00 @ Amazon

I need it now! Availability:

Holosun, Brownells, or Amazon

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • 65 MOA circle dot

  • 2 MOA dot

  • Lightweight

  • Everything needed comes in the box

  • Good Daylight visibility, even when on Solar power

  • Solar and Battery powered

  • Turret caps double as adjusters for windage and elevation

Cons:

  • Battery Tray screws

  • Operating Temperature seems low

  • 65 MOA circle dot only in solar mode

 

Score:  7.5 Good

 

Chads Favorite Link of the Day: AR-15 Podcast

 

 

Warne R.A.M.P. Scope Mount Review

warne1 The Warne R.A.M.P mount is a 1 piece scope mount for AR-15 style rifles, or any rifle that has a picatinny rail and needs a forward mounted optic.  R.A.M.P stands for Rapid Acquisition Multi-Sight Platform. It gets the multi-sight part because besides having built in rings, it also has 2 45degree angled mounts.  These mounts allow you to install a small red dot sight on one of the canted rails.  One could mount Iron sights on these also, but would then need the optional mount for the front sight to attach on.  The RAMP mount comes in three sizes for most needs: 1inch, 30mm, and 34mm.  I have the 1" version, but they are all essentially the same.

The 45 degree mounts are really what sets this mount ahead of its competition.  With the ability to mount something small on either the left or right side of the scope, it will appeal to both left and right hand shooters.  If you decide not to use one side or the other, or neither, the angled mounts are removable with 2 socket head screws on each.  Because of the added mounts, and space to attach the mounts, it is not the lightest mount out on the market.

Another nice feature on the RAMP mount is the 1/2" hex screws on the mounting base.  They are to be torqued to no more than 65in/lbs.  Also a torx style allen wrench is supplied to tighten down the top of the scope rings. There are 2 T-15 torx screws per side and should be tightened in an x pattern.

I really like the RAMP mount.  It puts the scope at the correct height and the proper eye relief.  With the option of adding a small red dot if one desires. The only negative I can see with the mount is the weight, but it is a very sturdy mount.  If you are in the market for this style mount, you cant go wrong with the Warne RAMP.

warne2

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: 1 piece scope mount with angled side mounts for AR-15 style rifles

Target Market: 3-gun

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 1 piece scope mount
  • Proper eye relief distance on AR pattern rifles
  • Solid aluminum construction
  • 45 degree mounts for red-dot sights
  • Available for just about any scope diameter
  • Lots of color options from boring to flashy

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? Black, Zombie green, Red, OD green, Dark Earth, and Blue

What others are saying?:

Alex on Amazon 5/5 stars. Best AR mount anywhere.

Bought one of these for my RRA LAR 15 to use with a Leupold Mark AR on top and a Leupold Deltapoint on the side. Got it, opened it, and could not have been more impressed with the build of this mount! Rock solid craftsmanship. Placed it on my AR and it holds tight and sits perfectly. Take it off...no problem. Put it back on....exact return to scope zero. Just bought another one for my RRA LAR-8! Get one, or two, you will not ever want any other mount!

Jkrispies on Brownells 5/5 stars. Great mount for a 45 secondary mount.

A little heavy (even with the side mounts removed) if you're not going to use the 45 degree option, otherwise typical Warne quality, which is the best I've found out there. Only warning I'd give is to do some research before buying this-- will your Mini-Red Dod Sight clear the bell of your primary scope? Ironically, I think the perfect use of this scope with a 45 degree mount would be on a monolithic receiver (think SCAR) and the mount backwards. Height is perfect. If you don't foresee yourself ever using the side mounts, I would recommend going with the Warne SKEL mount, which is the same mount as this minus the extra attachments, thus reducing weight significantly.

Price point:

MSRP = $195.49

Retail = $121.20 on Amazon  $169.99 on Brownells

I need it now! Availability: Amazon and Brownells

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Proper eye relief
  • Removable 45 degree angled mounts
  • 1 piece optics mount
  • Multitude of color options
  • Available for 1", 30mm, & 34mm scopes
  • Made in U.S.A.
  • Rugged
  • Returns to zero

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • No quick detach

Score: 8.50 Great85

 

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Albany Rifle and Pistol Club

Tasco .22 Rimfire Red Dot Riflescope

IMG_9353IMG_0635It wasn't long ago that red dot sights were rare and expensive pieces of equipment, which were all but unattainable for most shooting enthusiasts. But, over the past decade or so, they've gained tremendous popularity, as the number of options on the market have increased and prices have decreased. It's now possible to purchase a functional red dot sight for less money than a used copy of Call of Duty. This is fantastic news for the frugal gun owner, but the options can be overwhelming. With all of the inexpensive options on the market, how do you know what's worth buying? I found myself in just such a dilemma when I decided I wanted a red dot sight for my newly purchased Ruger 10/22 Carbine. If you spend any time on the internet, you'll quickly realize that most of the commonly recommended red dot sights are more expensive than the 10/22 itself (often they're many times more expensive). Most owners of .22lr rifles are just looking to do some cheap plinking, and would rather buy a few thousand rounds of quality ammunition than a red dot sight designed for military use.

That's where the Tasco BKRD3022 comes in: it's an inexpensive red dot sight designed for use on rimfire rifles. It doesn't offer any frills or a plethora of features - it's just a basic red dot sight meant for plinking. There are only three controls on the entire unit: elevation adjustment, windage adjustment, and power/brightness adjustment.

Elevation and windage can be adjusted in .5 MOA (1/2" at 100 yards) increments. The adjustment knobs are concealed underneath threaded dust caps, and a screw driver or coin is needed to turn them. Each click of the adjustment knob is satisfying, crisp, and light. Make sure you don't lose those dust caps, otherwise you'll likely end up accidentally turning the knobs all the time.

Power and dot brightness are controlled via a large knob located on top of the unit, which gives you 11 different brightness settings. On the lowest settings, battery life is claimed to be 6,000+ hours (250 days) of continuous use. However, the brightness knob ended up being the only thing I didn't like about the Tasco BKRD3022, as I felt it was too difficult to turn. Sure, this will keep you from unintentionally turning it, but it becomes difficult to turn if it's wet from rain or sweat.

So, how does it actually perform? For a red dot sight that can usually be found for about $30, the Tasco BKRD3022 feels and performs very well! The construction is surprisingly solid and durable, and it manages to feel hefty without being heavy (it weighs just 6 ounces). The 1x30mm glass is nice and clear, and the lens coating works well without being too obtrusive.

IMG_9355

With it's 5 MOA dot, it's obvious that this wasn't intended to be used for any kind of serious target shooting (but then again, what red dot sight is?). But, I found it to be more than adequate for my uses. Once zeroed, it was easy to keep 3" groups at 50 yards from my completely stock 10/22 Carbine (and I'm no crack shot). I found the maximum brightness to be suitable for broad daylight, and the lower settings were useful indoors. And, other than one minor mishap, it had no problem staying zeroed.

"What was the mishap?" I'm sure you're asking. A pretty silly mistake on my part: I forgot to put Loctite on the screws for my 10/22 Weaver mount. So, after ~500 rounds or so it started to come lose. The BKRD3022 itself stayed securely fastened to the weaver mount though (because I did remember to use Loctite on that). Obviously, this is not the fault of Tasco, I'm just bringing it up to remind you to always use Loctite! Make sure to use the Blue 242 variety of Loctite, as if you use the green, it will require heat and heavy force to remove and you would risk damaging your gun, sight, or both.

All in all, I've been very satisfied with the Tasco BKRD3022. For the price (which really is "bargain basement"), I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better red dot sight. In fact, I think you could spend 2 or 3 times as much and still not find anything better.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The price

Target Market: .22lr rifle plinkers

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Low cost
  • Brightness Adjustability
  • Battery life
  • Easy mounting

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The Tasco 22 Rimfire Red Dot Riflescope is only available in black.

What are others saying?: 

  • "The Tasco Red Dot sight is the company’s basic entrant in the red dot sight competition, and is a pretty good choice for desert- and snow-dwelling target shooters, or anyone operating under heavy glare" - RedDotSights
  • "The Tasco Red Dot feels nice and sturdy, I dont expect it to break on me anytime soon. I've bumped it into a few things over the months that I've owned it and haven't seen a loss in accuracy, nor have I had to re-zero it." The XtremeConditioning Blog

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Amazon

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Very low price
  • Solid construction
  • Good performance

Cons:

  • Brightness knob is hard to adjust
  • Need coin/screwdriver for elevation and windage adjustment
  • Loctite is basically a necessity

Score: 7.5 Good75

 

Cameron's links:

Serial Hobbyism

CCOP USA 1-6X30 Tactical Rifle Scope with Illuminated Reticle Review

1624i_1Allow me to let you into a little industry insider secret. Everyone walking the SHOT show has a shopping list.  It doesn't matter if you are from the media, a retailer, manufacturer, owner or representative, we all walk around the grounds of SHOT with an item in mind we want to checkout/try/asses for the purposes of buying it later.  I’m no different, one of my top items in mind while I was wondering the endless halls of the 2014 SHOT show was a variance 1-4X or 1-6X tactical scope for my favorite AR15.  Don’t get me wrong. ACOGs are great and so are EOTechs but they are very specialized and wonderfully engineered tools that will execute the task they were built for flawlessly while burning a very big hole in your pocket… I was on a task to find a good quality glass that will give me both the CQB red-dot reflex sight capabilities but will also give me some magnification capabilities for the 75-200 yard range where a red dot sight starts to be more of a guess and less of a precision tool.  I could, I suppose, go for an EOTech with a magnifier, but there are 2 things I didn’t like about this combo: first, the logistics of mounting/un-mounting and the need to carry the magnifier somewhere while it’s not mounted was a little too annoying for me. Second was the painful $1000 price tag (on the low end!)  All of the above made the variance scopes very popular recently with the tactical shooting community, particularly the AR15 and AK47 owners.

So, I’ve set a goal to find something good for a sub $300 budget.  Now don’t get me wrong, I checked, felt and drooled over ALL the optics in the 1-4X/1-6X categories. I’ve been to every optics vendor from Sun Optics to NightForce. I checked the offering from Vortex, US Optics, Leupold, and many other vendors I can’t remember their names (so, so many…)  After 3 loooooonnnnnggg days of wondering the grounds, in a dark corner of the basement level, I ran into a small booth of a company called CCOP-USA. A new(ish) Chinese manufacturer that I haven’t seen before that offers all kinds of optics and optics accessories. Tired and disappointed that I couldn't find what I was looking for, I had no big expectations for their product and figured they’d be low quality as most of the other no-name eastern manufacturers I saw so far.

1624i_6Boy was I wrong. First, they had both 1-4x AND 1-6X options. The first thing you notice when you look through the glass is how clear it is and how much light goes through it. This is probably due to the 30mm tube (most other 1-4X optics have a 24mm tube which let less light through.The Illuminated reticle and the big diameter make it feel like a red-dot reflex sight. Having the reticle backed by the black reticle and lines guarantee that even if the battery runs out you can still use the optics (point down for EOTech on this one).  One huge compliment for these guys is that their 1X is the closest 1X I’ve seen in any of these 1-4X/1-6X optics. Including some of the expensive brands!

1624i_3A twist of the ring and you get up to 6X magnification. Considering most “budget” scopes are 3-9X this covers a very good distance.  So, getting one is a little slow (about 7-10 days to get it) but when I got it, I couldn't wait to mount it and head to the range.

I had it mounted on my PS90 with a one piece scope mount that also positioned the optics high enough at my eyes level.

1624i_2

Zeroing was real easy thanks to the “clicks” adjustment mechanism on the scope (which usually only exist on the more expensive scopes).1624i_4

I had it zero at 25 yards and then switched to 50 yards, 75 yards and 100 yards. I had no problem staying on target and hitting every time.  SO, to the question you’re probably asking yourself by now, what’s the cost?  Well, this is one of the coolest thing about this scope. MSRP is only $310 and you can find retail in the $190-$250 range.  I gave this product a score of 8.0.  The only reason I didn’t score it higher is because I don’t have it long enough to testify to its long term usage durability but I promise I’ll have a follow up review in a few months.

I guess SHOT was successful after all…

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Best Bang for your buck in the variance range tactical scopes

Target Market: Tactical shooters / AR15 and AK47 owners that look for a budget aware alternative

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Model: SCP-1624i
  • Magnification: 1X-6X
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Objective Diameter: 24mm
  • Field of view @100yards: 115-19.2ft
  • Eye Relief: 4.5"-4"  
  • Exit Pupil: 10-4mm  
  • Click Value: 1/2"  
  • Length: 265mm  
  • Weight: 508g
  • Reticle: CQB
  • Illumination: Red / Green
  • W/E: ≥40'  

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Comes with a soft elastic scope cover

What others are saying?: Their eBay store has over 3700 reviews with a positive percentage of 99.7%

Price Point:

MSRP = $310 Retail = $225

I need it now! Availability: CCOP USA 1-6X30 Tactical Rifle Scope is available here.

Our Rating:

+ Easy on the budget + A twofer: you get a CQB sight and a 6X scope in one package + Zero adjustment is easy with no tools required + Shock proof + Water proof + Fog proof + Illuminated reticle + Black reticle marking to backup in case of dead battery

- New/unfamiliar manufacturer with no history or long term reviews. - Shipping could take up to 10-15 business days

Score: 8.0 Great80

 

 

Joseph's Featured Link:

Big D Armory

BigDArmory

SightMark UltraShot Pro Spec NV QD Reflex Sight Review

Sightmark By Warner Peredes

The SightMark Pro Spec NV QD is a entry level reflex sight with the makings to be a viable option on your AR or other modern sporting rifle. This is a well-built reflex sight with the AR red coated lens surrounded by aluminum construction similar to much more expensive EOTechs. The glass itself is dual layered and durable with torture testing SightMark2 videos posted on YouTube from the company itself! This model comes with a quick detach mount, NV compatible (3 settings), 4 pattern reticles, and 3 brightness settings. The reticles are extremely clear and visible during daytime operations and better at night. I have used this sight in Belgium and it held up with no problem. On a side note, during a trek through thorn bushes the QD mount lever snagged on some vines and ripped the optic off my rifle. This is not the optics fault, but a reason to keep in mind why some mounts are better fixed and not QD. Came with manual, cloth, wrench, and battery.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: If you are not deploying or using this as your only survival rifle optic, this is an affordable choice to have on multiple AR uppers or other rifles. The company states clearly that this is tested to withstand calibers up to .50 caliber! The Pro Spec runs around $120.00 with sales taking it down to almost $80.00 at certain times of the year.

Target Market: This is an awesome range time or even good enough to take to a rifle class. The best way to test its performance is taking it out and testing it. The company does not advocate using it in wet conditions! Its water-resistant, not water-proof.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Magnification: x1
  • Objective: 30x24mm
  • View: 36meters@100 yards
  • Eye Relief: unlimited
  • Coating: AR red
  • Reticle: 4 patterns
  • MOA:1"
  • Battery:CR1632 (20hrs on high)
  • Battery Settings: 1-3, NV1-NV2
  • Temp:-10-50(c)
  • Weight:7.7 oz

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The SightMark UltraShot Pro Spec NV QD Reflex Sight is only available in black.

What others are saying?: “Have owned 2 of these for over a year. Both have held up wonderfully. I found out the hard way that they are waterproof and VERY shock resistant. I've dropped mine and it held zero like a champ.

This is not meant to compete with the EOtech or Aimpoint units; however, it does. The only downside is the low battery life (only 2-2.5 hours of actual operation time on high power). I usually take a couple of extra batteries with me anytime I go on a trip.

If you plan on using a zoom behind this unit, you'll want to get one that mounts low or get a riser for the sight (they don't line up very well).

Best $100 I ever spent!” - Amazon Customer Review

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: This reflex sight is available from multiple retailers, including Amazon, Optics Planet, and directly from SightMark.

Our Rating:

+ Cheap + Well-built + NV compatible + Bright

- QD mount needed tweaking to stay super tight on 1913 rails (electrical tape)

 Score: 8.585

Vortex Strikefire

This review is by Lance Chaar, Instructor at Chaar Tactical

vortex-strikefire

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Shockproof red dot optic, rated for low to high calibers.

Target Market:  Entry level users, novice rifle/AR-15 owners for short distance and close quarters.

FNBs:  (Features and Benefits of this product)

  • Increased light transmission
  • Optic is sealed to prevent moisture & dust
  • Rated for high recoil - factory tests with .375 H&H Magnum for 1000 rounds.
  • Temperature rated from -22 to +140 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Night Vision mode
  • Vortex Warranty

 What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?  black only, comes in red, green, or red/green dot models.

What others are saying? "I think the StrikeFire is a good deal for the price. It never lost zero, was easy to mount and sight in, and the dot never flickered or lost brightness. Do I want my son to use it in Afghanistan? No, that's why the 82nd gave him an M68 CCO. But for the average recreational shooter it's fine. I have enough confidence in it to leave it on our home defense shotgun.  The 2X doubler didn't impress me much, although I can see it's value for some purchasers. I'd rather see Vortex dump the doubler and put the money into better glass. " - AR15.com review - user firedog55

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Check your local gun stores. Online at www.brownells.com

Our Rating:

+ 4 MOA dot is clear and bright + Ghost ring rear iron sight detachable on 1913 rail (factory installed) + Works well with iron sights (absolute cowitness) - Placement and sensitivity of power button may cause optic to stay on when compressed in a hard case - 2x Magnifier extension causes a "fish-eye" effect and reduced objective width, prefer not to use. - Model purchased only came with one mounting ring option.

Score: 5.5 Mediocre

55

 

 

 

Works as advertised however overall impression is average.  Looking forward to Gen II version and upgrades to body and control placement.

Aimpoint Micro T-1 (2 moa)

Aimpoint T-1 2moa

 By Agent95

For all the readers that own an AR-15, I am sure you will agree that “we all need a run and gun AR”.  As for me, I made sure I had one for myself and one for my wife.  I've spent money on cheap optics in the past and realized that I needed something reliable.  As I searched for a new optic, the Aimpoint Micro T-1 started to get my attention.  This optic had many reviews which raved about its reliability, so I thought I’d give it a try.  The box arrived at my doorstep and I couldn't wait to have this little guy installed to go shooting with.  I wanted a lower 1/3 cowitness but the T-1 did not come with the mount I needed for my AR.  As such, I ended up purchasing a Larue mount which was perfect.  Once everything was set up, I paid the local outdoor range a visit.  The Aimpoint is very, Aimpoint T-1 (2 moa)very, and I mean VERY LIGHT weight! Only weighing in at 3 oz  (red-dot only), I knew my go to AR would be a lightweight rifle.  The T-1 has 4 night vision settings along with 8 daylight settings, which go from dim to very bright.  Each brightness setting was perfect for any type scenario.  The one thing that I absolutely love about this red-dot is the battery life.  The red-dot may stay on a constant “on” for a minimum of 50,000 hours.  That is over 5 years on a single watch battery setting “9”, which is bright enough for most situations.  This gives me the opportunity to leave the red-dot on and not worry about fumbling to turn it on during a high stress situation.  The T-1 is also fully waterproof up to 80 feet.  I heard that you can put a bullet through it and it will still be 100% fully functional for duty. Maybe I’ll do a torture test like it in the future.  One thing I didn't like too much are the rubber bikini covers.  They seemed a bit weak and I will most likely lose them in the near future.  The windage and elevation adjustments are located under 2 small caps, which can be hard to adjust but it didn't bother me too much.  Once I had it dialed for 50 yards, it was perfect.  Overall, this is an amazing red-dot and I can confidently say that it will stay in the family for a long long time.  Is it worth the money?  I would say yes.  It is expensive, but you can never put a price on something you can depend your life on.  Its lightweight, its reliable and it will never break on you.  Who wouldn't want that?

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Reliability, battery life, lightweight design.

Target Market:  Military, law enforcement and civilian.

FNBs:  (Features & Benefits of this product)

  • Windage and elevation
  • A lot of support in mounts and covers
  • Hard anodized, non-reflective finish
  • Available in 2 and 4 moa
  • 12 brightness settings
  • Lightweight
  • Very durable

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Black

What others are saying?:  Ammo Land

Price point:

MSRP = $678.99  Aim Point Retail  = $649.99  Primary Arms

I need it now! Availability:  You can easily find this product readily available at Brownells or Primary Arms.

Our Rating:

+ Small and lightweight + Durable + 12 light settings. Bright for indoors and outdoors + Long lasting battery

Score: 9.5Amazing

Firefield Micro Reflex Sight FF26001

Untitled By Ryan Cross

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame  Most compact, lightweight reflex sight in Firefield line

Target Market Target shooters, hunters, home defense/self defense

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product) 3 MOA dot reticle (red) Unlimited Eye relief 1 MOA adjustment (continuous)Untitled Compact size Uses 2032 Lithium batteries (included)

What others are saying?Does it come in black? Black Only

Wayfair

Price point (MSRP versus actual retail) MSRP =  $59.99 Firefield Retail = $50.67 Wayfair

I need it now! Availability Firefield Wayfair

Our Rating (What we say about it) + 2 brightness settings (Full, and Dim) + Economical- much cheaper than comparable models from trijicon or burris + Low Profile design, reticle is closer to bore than other red dot styles. + Includes tools for adjusting windage/elevation, plus hard plastic cover. -  No direction of adjustment printed/engraved on sight near either adjustment screws, must refer to owner's manual -  Mounted using single large knob/ thumb screw instead of Hex or Allen key screws. -  Made in China

Score:   6.5 Okay65

 

Featured FFL

Ryan Cross prefers Promised Land Firearms for all his FFL needs.

 

Ryan Cross Blog

 

What you you think?

I was in need of a low-profile red dot sight to mount to a .22lr pistol.  I did not want to enter the price points of Trijicon, RMR, Burris FastFire, etc.  It comes with a small screwdriver for adjusting, and a wheel that shows direction or rotation for adjustment of windage and elevation.  It appeared to be designed to slip over the screwdriver tool as a rotation guide, but did not fit well.  This sight did get sent back to manufacturer after it failed during initial sight-in.  Under warranty, it was replaced within 1.5 months.  The replacement has faired much better and has held zero after 200+ rounds of 22lr.  I've seen others mount onto 12 gauge shotguns, but I do not yet have the confidence it will withstand the recoil forces beyond the .22 family.