Bushnell AR Optics Multi-reticle 1x28mm Red Dot Sight
Lewis Creek Shooting School 12.12.13
The last 10 years have produced a myriad of sighting options for shooters: reflex sights, red dots, illuminated scopes, and variable-magnification scopes with magnifications level far beyond anything I ever thought possible. Probably the most prolific category of these are the various red dot tube sights. These sights range from high-quality and rugged units that cost several c-notes to flimsy imitations that are cheap both in price and quality.
I’ve tested some of the cheaper versions and they are disappointing to say the least. Not only are they unreliable, they often have so much parallax as to render them useless for any kind of accuracy. My first experience was a cheap red dot on an AR-15. At 50 yards, the rifle wouldn’t hold a 10-inch group. I removed the sight and found the rifle shot adequately with the iron sights.
The Bushnell AR Optics Multi-reticle 1x28mm Red Dot Sight is a serious step up from cheaper dots, but for only a little more money. It features four reticle patterns: a 3 MOA dot, a 10 MOA dot, a crosshair, and a circle with 3 MOA dot. It also comes with lens caps and a set of high Weaver-style matte rings that are high enough to work well with AR-15 flattop rifles and carbines, but may be too high for other guns.
The unit I tested had both red and amber-colored reticles with five brightness settings for each and two “off” positions within the total rotation of the selector knob. You could also stop between detents and effectively turn the unit off, handy in hunting situations when you don’t want to click through three of four detents to get the desired setting. The unit uses an included CR 2032 battery and is waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-proof. It comes with a two-year warranty.
Windage and elevation adjustments are accomplished with turrets about half the size of normal scope turrets but adjustments are defined with clicks and the caps have serious threads that aren’t easily cross-threaded. The unit zeroed easily, often a pain with electronic sights, and stayed on zero through the test. I felt even the smallest dot was too coarse for precision shooting, but dot sights aren’t really intended for precision shooting. I liked the amber reticle color better than red, even in bright sunlight.
In all, this is a good sight option, though I prefer a conventional optical sight. It can be very fast when mounted close to the shooter’s eye. The trick to fast shooting is to leave both eyes open. The brain makes the correction and you can see right through the unit as if it’s semi-transparent. The AR Optics dot would work well for tactical shooting or hunting. I think it would make a dandy sight for turkey hunting.
The sight is well-made and works. The turret adjustments were consistent and repeatable, an indication of a quality build.
This was not an extended test but I see no reason to believe the AR Optics dot would be anything but reliable. My personal preference is for sights that don’t use batteries, but I suppose this is an indication of my age rather than my wisdom.
This is where the sight really shines. Retailing for around $100, it is a lot of sight for the money and would serve equally well for hunting or tactical applications.
Compared to other similar units, this is the first that has demonstrated proper parallax. Certainly much better than similar tube sights.