Educational Zone #80 – Inexpensive Red Dot Scopes

I had a friend on the Box O’Truth Discussion Forums that bought a cheap red dot scope and had some people tell them that such scopes were useless.

That has not been my experience and I thought I would share my experiences with you guys.

Tman and I both have an inexpensive red dot set-up on a rifle.

Here’s mine.

It is set up on an M-4 style carbine in Coyote Brown.

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The scope is a BSA 40mm Red Dot scope that I paid about $40 for several years ago.

Now, before anyone asks it, NO, I would not want to trust my life on a $40 scope.

But this scope is not for serious self defense, it is instead for plinking and target shooting and varmint shooting, if I get a chance.

I’m going to shoot it today at 50 yards, at a 1 ¼ inch bull, which is just about completely covered by the red dot at 50 yards.

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Here I am shooting.

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Now, a little surprise for both you and me.

I shot a group with Wolf ammo, to show how better ammo will usually shoot better groups.

But look at this group with the Wolf.

Wouldn’t you know it, the best group of the day.

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Here’s another group shot with Israeli ammunition, which usually is very accurate.

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And let’s finish up with some Guatemalan military surplus, which also shoots well.

Not bad for a cheap scope.

Continued below...

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Now let’s look at Tman’s scope.

Here it is.

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It is a SPOT (Superior Precision Optical Technology) scope.

It retails for $165, but he paid much less for his.

He has it mounted on the forearm with a Brownell’s MX Handguard Mount.

It is a nice looking scope and has a 3 MOA Dot.

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As you can see, a bright sunny day isn’t the best time to test one of these scopes.

The darker it is, the better you can see the red dot.

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We had not finalized the sighting-in for the scope, but fired a group.

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Here’s his group with Wolf, high and right.

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And here’s a group with the Israeli ammo.

We then adjusted the scope to bring the groups to point of aim.

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Conclusion:
1. Cheap doesn’t mean that they won’t work.

2. A red dot that covers the bull at 50 yards does not allow as precise aiming as a fine crosshair might.

3. Differences in ammo quality will sometimes make groups much better. And sometimes they will make you scratch your head.

4. Bright sun isn’t the best time to use these scopes.

5. Battery life can be a problem, as they use batteries up fairly quickly.

6. It’s fun to shoot stuff.

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