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Is this budget red dot worth your time and effort? Available at well below $100, this is a price which prompted the publication of this TRS-25 review so that you don’t fall into the trap of buying it just for experimentation purposes. If you do indeed go on to buy the TRS-25 just to experiment, your world might get opened up to a whole new side of red dot sights, with this particular sight’s tilted-lens design sending you on a wild goose hunt, looking for something better that turns out not to be available.
Design & Features
Let’s start with the implications of the tilted lens. Will the tilted lens deliver hindered sighting performance? Not necessarily, but this does raise questions about the implied long-term durability of the device. While red dot sights featuring a tilted front-lens are fundamentally designed that way for user safety (your eye would get directly exposed to the LED light source should the optic’s glass break), a tilted lens reflects the LED light source which simply means it can lose its calibration in one of two ways. It can get misaligned if the front lens comes loose or in fact if the laser light source housing itself comes loose. Zeroing and zero-maintenance can possibly be a nightmare as well in such an instance, but we’re pretty sure the manufacturers took that into account because the light source is indeed LED and not a laser, which comes together with the fact that the light source is held down with an adhesive. This does however eat into the field of view a bit.
So can I experiment with this Bushnell? You can if you’re dead set on doing so, but don’t let the budget price fool you. Once you start to get the hang of this Bushnell’s features in full use, you won’t be putting it through its paces with the view of testing its limits. You can get some very useful mileage out of the TRS-25, least of all which is some surprisingly great accuracy. It’ll also afford you a lot of shooting time; something indicative of its durability. In fact, it’s solidly-built enough to handle just about any firearm capable of producing the type of recoil synonymous with a 5.56mmx45mm ammo round. This also speaks volumes of its versatility.
You’ll have to make sure you get the brightness setting spot-on though because if you set higher than what the surrounding lighting conditions require, the dot will get distorted.
In a nutshell, it becomes increasingly apparent that this is quite a good sight, especially for its budget-price, so if you’re looking for a genuinely useful sight on a budget, you can play around with the setting a bit to mould it into something really useful.
The quality of the optics is good too and you’ll probably only have to re-zero after you remove the sight and mount it back again. Otherwise it holds zero well and doesn’t seem to suffer any impact-induced shifting.
The red dot is not the clearest you’ll find at some of the available intensity levels, but that’s probably the best feature of the sight to direct its “budget status” because you can still center your target with scientific-grade accuracy. The optic is also just the size to maintain a good balance between your peripheral view and field of view, leaving us wondering whether this was on purpose or an accidental discovery of some sighting performance gold.
It would have been nice for the sight to make better use of battery power though, not in the sense of wasting it, but rather in the sense of using it consistently. When the battery nears its life span, the sight’s illumination tends to dim a bit, whereas with a lot of other scopes it holds intensity levels well.
The brightness adjustment dial comes with some factory tightness, but gradually loosens up as you use it, so you might have to contend with temporarily surrendering your shooting position when adjusting the brightness settings. Compare this (budget) red-dot sight’s features to those in red-dots featured in our list of the best red dot sights for ar 15s.
- Very good price (maybe a little too good)
- Clear reticle at the right settings
- Good optics
- Dead accurate
- Handles recoil very well
- Zeroes (and holds) very well
This is a budget scope you could consider if you’re happy to sacrifice one or two features (which we’re yet to find in all honesty) otherwise offered by the Vortex SF-RG-501 Strikefire II red dot sight and even perhaps the Vortex Sparc 2 MOA Red Dot Sight.
- Ambient lighting conditions sort of limit the dot brightness levels
- Dot intensity setting sort of limited by how high you set it (distorts a bit and gets fuzzy)
- Budget price kind of suggests that you might discover some hidden flaw somewhere
While putting this TRS-25 review together we realized that some good sighting can be achieved on a budget, although we got the sense that the vendors of this Bushnell Trophy sight weren’t 100% sure how to price this sight. If you’re looking for good sighting on a budget, you’re very likely to count yourself lucky to come into some pre-purchase information regarding the TRS-25.