In the last article, I reviewed a PSA AR-15 pistol that cost me $328. I wanted to find a budget optic for a budget gun, so I went with the Bushnell TRS-25 red dot. When I look for budget guns and accessories, I want to find the best quality for that particular price range. It wouldn’t be fair to compare a $100 optic to a Trijicon or Eotech. I want to see if the optic is worth the money and how well it functions on the range.
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Bushnell has been around for some time (65 years to be exact) and they are known for their affordable optics like scopes, binoculars, range finders, etc… They are not as well known for their red dots, but they have the knowledge and the ability to make an affordable red dot.
TRS-25 Electro Optics
The TRS-25 Red Dot is a 3 MOA Dot reticle with 11 brightness settings. It has a dial for on/off and brightness settings. I like this because it allows me to glance at the optic and see that it is turned off. I’m one of those guys that bump mine and turn it on as I’m putting it away!
Specs from the company
- Matte black featuring a 3 MOA Dot reticle with 11 brightness settings
- Mounts easily on most Picatinny rails and is compatible with pistols, shotguns, rifles, and muzzleloaders
- Waterproof construction: O ring sealed optics stay dry inside, even when totally immersed in water. Parallax – 50
- Shockproof construction: Built to withstand bumps, bangs, drops, and the rough and tumble environment of the field
- Nitrogen purged fog proofing: Nitrogen inside the scope ensures interior optical surfaces won’t fog due to humidity or rapid temperature change.
What’s in the box?
If you hear Brad Pit’s voice saying, “what’s in the box,” I’m not sure I would look. But if you are opening a Bushnell box, well that’s a different story. The packaging an item comes in normally means very little to me as long as it protects the item inside.
If I were to make a comment on the Bushnell box, I would say it had a high-end look. It reminded me of opening an iPhone, but with an orange box. But this is what impressed me: Under the instructional booklet was a folded-up page with the website for registering the red dot, and a complete address and phone number for their customer service department in Overland Park, KS. This means a great deal to me as some companies are nearly impossible to get ahold of.
The instructional booklet is easy to read and gets right to the point. It covers battery replacement, standard operation, zeroing in, and how to care for the equipment in extreme climates.
The Bushnell comes with a small Allen Key for mounting the optic. Like many red dots, it also has rubber lens covers that I will lose after I have had them off the optic for more than five minutes. But that is just user error, I guess. I do like it when the optic covers are the flipped-up style and not removable.
On the Range
After attaching the red dot to my new AR-15 pistol with a 7” barrel, I headed to the range. I zeroed in the optic at 50 yards since I was using an AR pistol. The Bushnell had two removable caps to access the elevation and windage adjustments. I used my handy Sig-sight key (that I always take to the range) to adjust the optic. With this, I was easily able to zero the optic.
Once I had it sighted in, I could start running some drills and having some fun. I did opt to purchase the low-profile optic for this gun since I would not be using any iron backup sights. While this didn’t give me any trouble, it took some getting used to. The TRS-25 also comes in a high-rise mount, which would normally be ideal for AR platforms. After a while, I got used to the lower-mounted optic and it performed as well as any other optic I have.
During my time on the range with the Bushnell, I fired a little over 400 rounds through the AR pistol. Once it was zeroed in, I did not have any issues with staying on center. When I was done, I took the gun home to clean. After reassembly and some time in my car, I took it back to the range to see how the optic held up. I was still able to hit some pop cans at 50 yards with ease, which satisfied my skepticism of this type of dot staying zeroed in. Whether it would hold up to some extreme abuse is still to be seen.
I can’t say there is anything I have to complain about with this optic. While I have not tried calling their customer service, I like that it came with their information. The Picatinny rail mount was easy to install and I was able to access the battery quickly for changes when needed.
As I said before, red dots can be very expensive. This one has the feel and function of a higher-end optic making it well worth the money. For someone looking to spend around $100 on a red dot, this would be a great option for any AR Rifle, pistol, or shot—gun.