Bushnell TRS 25 Review, Is it the best red dot sight for the money —
Cheap Optics. Two words that when put together make me cringe, especially when it comes to cheap red dot optics. Most are junk, better suited for Airsoft guns than actual firearms. I don’t think anyone serious about self-defense should rely on cheap junk that could break when you need it most.
However, I’m a big proponent of hobby grade optics for hobby grade guns. I’ll never say you need an Aimpoint, Eotech, or Trijicon for every gun you have because some guns are just made for fun and affordable optics.
Knowing which of the more affordable optics to purchase is important, though, because most of them are not good.
There are tons of optics made from cheap materials coming out of China that are going to fall apart very quickly and be a total waste of money. These optics shouldn’t even be put on your plinking-only guns.
Though I have found one sub 100 dollar optic that isn’t hot garbage that has stood up to my beating, and that’s the Bushnell TRS 25. It’s a serious contender for the title: best red dot sight for the money.
The TRS 25 is a compact red dot optic designed to be lightweight and easy to use. We recommend not buying the one sold on Amazon because chances are good that it is a knockoff.
Instead, buy direct from Bushnell, here.
The TRS-25 has been around for a while now, and it used to be priced right around a hundred bucks. I was timid then, but the price dropped to about $80 on their website, and much cheaper than that on Amazon but those tend to be fake TRS-25 optics.
To gear up for my TRS-25 review, I tossed it on a few different guns, to include an AR-15 pistol and the pictured CZ Scorpion. To date I’ve been utterly impressed by how well it has held up to the beating I’ve thrown at it and it still works the way it did when I first got it.
TRS 25 – What’s in the Box
The optic comes with a built-in Picatinny mount that is very low which is why it swapped from my AR to my Scorpion. Higher mounts are available, but the Scorpion needed an optic anyway.
The 25mm objective lens is well suited for smaller guns but is big enough to be quick to get on target. The Bushnell TRS 25 has a 3 MOA red dot, and 11 brightness levels. The dot is crisp at most intensity levels, but from 9 to 11 the dot begins to have some blur to it and loses that crispness.
The optic weighs only 3.7 ounces, is 2.4 inches long, and will fit on the most compact of guns. The lens has a slight, bluish tint to it but is not darkened in any way. You also get a battery, an Allen wrench, lens covers, and a lens cloth.
How Does it Hold Up?
The TRS 25 is not trying to be anything other than a simple, reliable, cheap red dot. It’s not a duty grade sight, and it’s not designed to be used for any kind of combat role.
It’s a solid little tool meant for the range, for training, and maybe even for hunting. In those roles, it won’t disappoint. Just don’t expect it to help you take Fallujah.
As a red dot sight, it is faster and easier to use than iron sights. Zeroing it is a quick and easy affair and you’ll be ringing steel before you know it.
The dot allows you to quickly transition between targets and to get on target with some blazing speed. Out to 150 yards I could see and hit a steel USPSA target with my AR pistol. The dot is plenty sharp for engagements out to 200 yards and beyond.
The Dot is rather dim on any setting below 7, with 7 and 8 seeming to be the sweet spot for bright days. As an added benefit they don’t compromise the dot’s sharpness.
The view through the optic is nice and clear, especially for this price range. There doesn’t seem to be distortion around the edges. It’s not Aimpoint clear, but it’s clear enough for the money.
It’s held zero with both 5.56 and 9mm without issue. Could it be used for larger calibers? For sure, but I didn’t have anything crazy to test it on. The biggest downside is the battery life. It advertises 3k hours, but that’s optimistic.
That would be 125 days continuous use and I’ve already swapped batteries once in 4 months. I also don’t leave the optic on constantly.
If you need a hobby grade optic for plinking then go for it. The TRS 25 works wonders in that category. Stop buying absolute trash optics and spend a hair more for the TRS 25.