AR-15 Red Dot Sights

Burris Mil Dot reticle

We had a hard time choosing a winner between three scopes, but the $999 Bushnell Elite may be a bargain compared to Burris $1400 XTR and Trijicons $1275, AccuPoint.

When shopping for a rifle scope it is common to find a variety divided by purpose. Hunting scopes and tactical scopes are two popular categories. But should they really be listed so far apart? Just as the AR-15 platform continues to evolve as a hunting rifle, why shouldnt military-style optical scopes do the same? Tactical scopes are bred to provide an advantage over multiple targets at short to moderate distance, or an adversary at long range. For the hunter, this could translate to scenarios such as engaging rabbits in between their start and stop behavior or an elk standing far in the distance. Typically, the difference between tactical scopes is the reticle pattern and degree of magnification, depending on the application they were designed for. In this test we will favor the long-distance shooter and evaluate three Mil-Dot rifle scopes with variable power that tops out at 20X or above. They are the $1400 6-24X50mm Burris Xtreme Tactical Rifle scope No. 201934, the $999 6-21X50mm Bushnell Elite No. 42-6245T, and Trijicons $1275 TR23-2G 5-20X50mm AccuPoint scope.

Each scope was built on a 30mm-diameter tube with a 50mm objective lens and a reticle wherein the vertical and horizontal crosshairs were strung with evenly spaced dots (Mil-Dots). All three scopes showed reticles in the first focal plane, and the knobs offered .25-MOA click adjustment. We chose this format because the reticle pattern can actually be used to "range" the target at any level of magnification using the following equation:

Height or width of target in yards multiplied by 1000; divided by the apparent size of the target as measured against the Mil-Dot reticle, equaled distance.

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Sports (Bushnell)
  • Fully multi coated optics, 100% Waterproof/ fogproof
  • 3.5 eye relief, windage end elevation click value.25
  • Mil-dot-reticle, 30-800 yeards/ meter range
  • Standard and SCAN modes,
  • Operates on one 3-volt batter (5, fires)
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