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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for a cheap red dot scope for an AR, and I thought I'd pick your brains. So anyone have experience with an inexpensive red dot scope with at least 1/2 moa adjustment (1/4 would be better), with a clear image, that holds its zero? I'd like to stay below $100.
 

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I know it's probably stupid, but have you checked Wally World?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cheap I can find, but that doesn't tell me how well a unit works. I was kind of hoping for some specific model recommendations from individuals with hands on experience. I guess what I'm looking for is what Consumer Reports would call a 'best buy.' :D
 

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I'm looking for a cheap red dot scope for an AR, and I thought I'd pick your brains. So anyone have experience with an inexpensive red dot scope with at least 1/2 moa adjustment (1/4 would be better), with a clear image, that holds its zero? I'd like to stay below $100.
I think you would have better luck finding the Holy Grail. The hundred dollar price range is filled with junk. If you do happen to find one that does what you ask, I hope it's going on a .22LR as I doubt it will last. The only steady good reviews I have seen of Chinoptics seem to be those from Primary Arms. I just saved up around $300 and found a sale on an Eotech 512. Save up and buy once is my advice.

PA's website just so you don't think I'm being a thread troll:

Primary Arms, Red Dot Sights, Holosights, Rifle Scopes, Sights and Accessories. More than 90 brands in stock! Trijicon, EOTECH, Magpul and More!
 

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I have a $30 Tasco Red Dot i bought from walmart last year for my HiPoint 9mm carbine, i check the zero every few range trips and haven't had to do any more than minor adjustments until i swapped it over to my Mossberg 500. Even on top of a short barreled 12 gauge it held it's zero out to 100 yards, and that was with only the rear screw holding it on the top of the Weaver rail i put on it. The front screw of the sight didn't reach back far enough to mount into that rail specifically because it only has 4 slots for optics, 2 in front and 2 in the back. Ended up putting it back on my 9mm though because i found a SightMark reflex sight for the Mossberg for $40 at Dunhams (.02 cents cheaper on CTD) that has 4 different appetures and holds it's zero out to 100 yards as well. It hangs just a bit over the safety switch, but not far enough to impede engaging or disengaging the switch. Great buys for the money IMO, and would work very well on an AR with either sight.
 

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All I will say about anything under $100...I wasted almost enough in that price range to pay for my $500 Eotec before I wised up. Just don't.

On a brighter note, I can recommend one you should be able to find for $150 - $200. I have this one on my 12 gauge, and it held up to a course where I shot almost 600 rounds in one day. Optic is clear, not as bright as an Aimpoint, but it's not $600 either.
iTac RDS1
 

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Just bought an Eotech 517 on Amazon for $390 for my Stag 8. I like this sight because adjustment buttons are on left side (not facing you). If you decide on a magnifier later, side buttons are handy.
 

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Vortex SPARC, I have it on my DPMS AP4 and it has a 2 MOA dot with 1/2 MOA adjustments. Comes with everything you need to mount at either 1/3 or absolute co-witness. A buddy and I were shooting at clay pigeons at ~150 meters the other day and having no issues shattering them. It has stayed zeroed in 500 rounds of 5.56 and upwards of 1200 rounds of .22lr via my conversion. I can't speak highly enough of the SPARC, also much like our taurus firearms they have a lifetime warranty! Price point is 199.99 though.

Another alternative is the Primary Arms Micro-dot, I have no personal experience with it, but have heard very good things.

Good luck on your search. I was informed that for my birthday my parents bought me a Vortex Crossfire 4-12x40mm variable scope and am very excited to give it a shot!
 

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I've used this one on my bolt action guns. No magnification, but it holds its zero pretty well. Long range will be completely dependent on your eyes. We don't have any long shots at our lease, so this was better for me. I've had it for about three years. Only malfunction is when I forget to turn it off. :eek:

Truglo Dual Color Open 4 Reticle Red Dot Sight - Black
 

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Discussion Starter #10
VTB Gunner kind of got my attention with the itac, and as I got looking around I found some mention that the Konus Pro Atomic is the same sight - but for about 1/2 the price of the itac. Anybody heard of or had experience with a Konus?
 

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Okay, let me ask you this - what are your feelings on dot size? I'm thinkin' smaller would be better, but I saw a Walther PS22 with a 5 moa dot and a 30mm tube that kind of got my attention. The reviews I'm reading on it are very good, and I like the mount. Has 11 intensity settings and comes with flip up lens caps and it's around $70. And it says Walther on the side - which used to mean something. Don't know if it still does, though. Here's a pic...

 

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My advice is pretty much the same as others.
I have always been enamored by optics or other aiming devices. I had a 3x9 on my pellet gun and bought the first laser sights that came out. I have wasted tons of money on cheap optics. I finally learned my lesson when I bought my first Aimpoint sight in 1991, a Aimpoint Comp pistol sight, it has been on many guns and I still use it.

I have heard it said to budget as much for optics as you spend on the gun and that is pretty much how I do it. It is expensive but I get a great optic and don't worry about them breaking or failing at the wrong time.

In fact most of my optics more expensive than the gun they are mounted on,

Trijicon TA11 ACOG on S&W M&P15 and Eotech 553 on Remington 870



another 553 on my M&P 15-22

 

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Okay, let me ask you this - what are your feelings on dot size? I'm thinkin' smaller would be better, but I saw a Walther PS22 with a 5 moa dot and a 30mm tube that kind of got my attention. The reviews I'm reading on it are very good, and I like the mount. Has 11 intensity settings and comes with flip up lens caps and it's around $70. And it says Walther on the side - which used to mean something. Don't know if it still does, though. Here's a pic...

For me dot size depends on what you want to do with it. At close range 50 yards or less I prefer a 5-8MOA dot, it is quicker to pick up and get your shot off. For anything longer range I prefer a small dot, 1-2MOA. At a hundred yard a 5MOA dot covers 5" so you cannot be as accurate. Of course my favorite is a reticle like Eotech uses, it has a 1MOA dot surrounded by a 65 MOA ring. Good for distance and close up!
 

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I have a Tasco (can't remember whether it was from WallyMart or Meijers) that cost $39. It has worked fine for the last year. It's mounted on a S&W M22A.
 

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I understand the buy once cry once mentality and agree with it almost as much as I agree with a bargain optic, but there's a fine line between bargain and junk!

Finding that fine line is a tricky road to go down and I won't do it again. I bought a forgery of an acog and an eotech, the acog forgery didn't have any magnification so I sent it back right away. The eotech forgery wouldn't hold a zero at all, it's in a junk pile in one of my tough boxes.

I thought the SPARC was a good tweener between tasco/truglo and aimpoint. I had an m68/comp m2 on my m4 overseas and I hated it, so it wasn't even in the thought process. You have to find that line for yourselves. I will try out one of the aimpoint micro's sometime, but for now the SPARC does everything I need it to do for half the price.
 

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As much as i agree with the sentiment "Spend as much on the optic as you did on the rifle". If it took me a year or more to save up for the rifle, I'd rather it not set around gathering dust for a year while I save for the high priced optic. That being said, while I am saving up money I usually use some budget or bargain optics for my rifles. Laugh all you want to but my 308 with an 3-9x40 NC Star took a buck at 200 yards this year and the buck didn't complain one bit about my cheap scope. And I didn't have to wait another year. BTW, I have had the scope for almost 4 years and it has never lost zero. It shoots around 100 rounds a year.

Back on topic. Budget red dot optics. I have three - 1. Sightmark Reflex Sight on a Ruger Charger .22 Good Optic, Hard to see on a bright day, Runs batteries down fast. 2. Tru-Glo Red Dot 30mm also Mounted on the Ruger Charger but now in storage, Didn't like it, just not clear enough and the dot was to big for targets at 25 yards or greater. 3. Bushnell Trophy Red Dot mounted on my AR-15 (3 years) Never lost zero, 1" groups at 100 yards all day long. Adjustable dot settings and option of red or green. Cons - Eats Batteries, Big and Heavy, Hard to mount BUIS.

I also have some high dollar optics but will not bash the budget optics until they give me reason to. My Kansar scope mounted on my Marlin model 60since 1978. Cheap but very accurate and obviously durable.
 

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You can easily find a decent four power scope for that price range and thats what is going on my S/W Sport.
 
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