Friday, November 12, 2010

New AR? Which Optic? : Red Dots

Eotech 512
Compiled by: Double Aught

Many people choose red dot sights because they are parallax-free and offer unlimited eye relief. Click on the hyper-links within the post to visit the sites to give you more information on each product. Optic links are directed to The sights that I have listed below are the non-NV (night vision) capable versions of many popular military sights. The reason being; the non-NV sights tend to be 60-100 dollars cheaper than NV capable sights and generally the average shooter is not going to utilize a night vision device.

A Sweden based company, Aimpoint is one of the biggest players in the world of electronic sights. Their sights are widely used by the U.S., French, Swedish, Italian, Danish, and Finnish armies. Aimpoint sights are renowned for their durability and battery life. Aimpoint sights can achieve their superb battery life through their propriety ACET technology.
  • COMP ML2 
    Aimpoint H1
    Battery/Life: 3Volt 2L76 or DL1/3N / 1,000-10.000 Hours
    Weight: 7.1 oz.
    Price: $445
  • Battery/Life: 3Volt DL1/3N / 50,000
    Weight: 7.8 oz.
    Price: $506

  • Battery/Life:  AA / 80,000 Hours
    Weight: 9.3 oz.
    Price: $699

  • Battery/Life: CR2032 / 43,000 Hours
    Weight: 3.7 oz.
    Price: $564
Pros:  Battery Life, Durability, Combat Tested
Cons: Expensive

A Michigan based company, Eotech has become popular for their line of holographic weapon sights. Their sights have become very popular amongst military and law enforcement professionals along with the everyday shooter. What is recognized most is Eotech's 'circle and dot' reticule. USSOCOM, 10th Mountain, Stryker Brigade, and 3rd Infantry have all chosen Eotechs for their primary combat optic.
  • 512
    Battery/Life: 2 AA / 1,000 Hours
    Weight: 11.8 oz.
    Price: $379
  • 553
    Eotech Reticule
    Battery/Life: 2 3V CR123 / 1,100 Hours
    Weight: 12.3 oz.
    Price: $609
  • Battery/Life: 3V CR123 / 600 Hours
    Weight: 8 oz.
    Price:  $429
Pros: Large Field of view, Durable, Price, Combat Tested
Cons: Low Battery Life, May be difficult to acquire targets at distance because of 'halo' effect caused by outer ring

A Kansas based company, Bushnell has been a trusted name in hunting optics for over 50 years. A few years ago they saw the advantage of using a red dot and developed a few of their own. These are red dots that are not as seasoned as other brands, but are economical and do work.
  • TRS-25 
    Battery/Life: CR2032 / Not Available
    Weight: 3.7 oz
    Price: $99
  • ZOOM DOT   
    Bushnell Zoom Dot
    Battery/Life: Not Available / Not Available
    Weight: 8 oz.
    Price: $230
  • Battery/Life: CR2032 / Not Available
    Weight: 15.6 oz.
    Price: $150
Pros: Economical
Cons: Not Combat Tested

Based in Middleton Wisconsin, Vortex Optics have been in the business since 1986. They have a couple of red dot optic stand outs that offer great performance at a reasonable price. Their VIP warranty is second to none and their 'About You' section says it all.
    Battery/Life: CR2 / 2,000 Hours
    Vortex Sparc
    Weight: 7.2 oz.                                            
    Price: $149

  • Battery/Life: CR2354 / 120 Hours
    Weight: 5.2 oz.
    Price: $199

Wixom, Michigan based Trijicon is one of the most successful manufactures of optics because of their 'no battery needed' aiming sights. They achieve this by using Tritium which is a self illuminating isotope of hydrogen and often times combining it with a fiber optic illumination system. Trijicon produces optics for military, law enforcement and civilian use.
    Battery/Life: Doesn't Need One / Tritium and Fiber Optic
    Weight: 8.2 oz.
    Price: $412

Pros:  Economical, No batteries needed ever, Combat Tested
Cons: Lens has a blue-ish tint some find distracting

This is not a complete list of all red dot sights. There are many other red dot sights out there that are defiantly worthy to be on any ones rifle. This is a quick list of some basic sights that should be on your short-list of optics to buy. This is just scratching the surface of many subjects involving red dot sights. If you have any questions please ask in the comments below or email them to

- Double Aught

THEN: Scopes

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