Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review (Updated 2018)
The Bushnell TRS 25 Red Dot Optic is one of the best budget AR15 optics you will ever find. Commonly found in stores for under $100, this optic is made by a high-quality brand and seems to hold up well under duress. It is also versatile. Of course, this is a very budget experience, so sacrifices were made.
But overall, if you are looking to get your SHTF Gun set up with an optic without breaking your bank or ticking your wife off, stick around, this Bushnell TRS 25 review is right up your alley.
Also, this optic is often called the Bushnell Trophy TRS 25. And it definitely makes our best red dot scope for an ar15 lineup.
(yes, get excited, you are about to like a cheap red dot)
I used the Bushnell TRS 25 on my AR-15, the red dot disappeared. I later discovered that the brightness control was loose.
That said, when I opened it, I noticed that it only came with four of the six needed screws and those four were loose. I had to rig a tool to tighten them.
It is great now, but this is something to look into if your red dot acts funny. My bet is it came loose. I can’t explain why Bushnell wouldn’t provide all six screws. I still consider this a great buy but wanted to make sure I was straight-forward.
Bushnell TRS 25 Brass Tacks
Here’s how your TRS 25 arrives.
Main points, features, contents…
- 3 MOA
- matte finish
- 100% waterproof optic and Fogproof via dry-nitrogen-filled housing
- uses a CR2032 battery, battery life claimed to be 3,000 hours
- 3.7 oz total weight
- 2.4 inches in length
- Comes with alan wrench for the riser screw
- Comes with lens wipe
- You will need your own penny, or screwdriver, to adjust windage and elevation
Bushnell TRS 25 Review
The Bushnell TRS 25 red dot exist in a budget environment. In other words, it doesn’t claim to be a Trijicon or even a Vortex red dot. The number one most pertinent aspect of this optic is the lower price point.
With the low price point considered, this is a really, really good buy. In fact, I’d say this is the #1 red dot optic for under $100.
First and foremost, there are two versions: The Bushnell TRS 25 low riser version and the Bushnell TRS 25 high riser version. There is a section below titled, Bushnell TRS 25 Hirise, I suggest you read that section if you don’t understand what you need.
Feels good in the hand, seems very durable to hold. Great size, especially considering some larger red dot optics like the Vortex Strikefire 2. It’s a snug, sturdy feeling red dot.
This is a 3 MOA optic, which is a huge luxury (scroll down for a better look at the red dot and glass). This means your red dot will cover a total of 3 inches when viewing a target sitting at 100 yards away. At 200 yards, that grows to 6 inches. By comparison, one of the top red dot optics on the market, the Vortex Strikefire 2, has an MOA of 4. To be clear, I’m not saying that the pricier Vortex Strikefire 2 is inferior to the Bushnell, I’m just pointing out one rather substantial benefit to the Bushnell TRS 25 red dot.
Bushnell TRS 25 | Inside The Glass
This is a look at the red dot turned up to 11 brightness, the highest the unit will go. To be fair, I have to do that in order to get a decent picture. You’d not need that brightness level for normal use. The red dot is a bit crystalized at any brightness, but its exasperated at the highest level of brightness.
Here’s the thing, you aren’t paying for Trijicon red dot sharpness, this is a budget red dot. Its looks very good and it will get the job done. If you turn it down to brightness 6, you can 100% pick up the dot in bright sun. If your target is super light, you may have issues. But greens and vegetations, you’re good to go.
As mentioned, the 3 MOA is a decent jump up from higher priced red dots that are typically 4 MOA. If MOA is your deal, the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 is the best in class at 2 MOA, but that’s roughly a $100 price jump, depending on where you buy it. An LED inside of the glass displays the red dot.
There are 11 different light intensity adjustments.
To adjust the elevation and windage, you need a screwdriver or even a small coin should do.
This is clear glass, no doubt about it. With clear glass and a 3 MOA, you should be able to hit extremely accurately at 100 yards from a rested position.
Bushnell TRS 25 | Versatility
The Bushnell TRS 25 is not only affordable, but it is extremely versatile. You can use this red dot on an AR-15, a handgun, a bolt action rifle, an AK47, and a shotgun. Yes, it holds up well via recoil on a shotgun or AK47, which is amazing considering the low price point.
Yes, it is very durable in terms of handling severe AK47 recoil, I can’t say that enough.
They use the same band covers that come with Sig’s Romeo 5. They are easy to remove and put back on. This is very good stuff.
Bushnell TRS 25 Range Results
First and foremost, I mounted it a 22 Magnum.
- No. 22 WMR 40 gr. (2.6 g) JHP, MARLIN 25M RIFLE,
- 1,875 ft/s (572 m/s)
- 22 Inch micro grove Barrel
Here are some pictures of that.
Now, here’s two different target results. Both are at 25 yards, but one is being held freely while the other is using a rest. Both are shot at an outdoor range. Both are shot using Level 4 brightness.
Here’s the rested version with a 3 shot group.
Freely Holding Without Rest
Both of these groups are as good as we’d expect with a red dot optic.
I don’t think its worth writing home about, most every red dot optic, no matter the price, should produce nice results. Clearly, a 22 magnum isn’t offering much recoil in the way of challenging the housing and its attachment to the gun. That’s where you learn more about a red dot’s inadequacies.
The point here is to show that the Bushnell TRS 25 is accurate, there are no initial fundamental flaws present. The bullet will end up darn close to where you aim it.
I’m not going to spend a ton of time on this, Bushnell is a great company that’s known for making outstanding optics at an affordable price. They also make great binoculars. Bushnell makes quality products and they sell enough volume that enables them to lower their price point, which explains a portion of the discounted buy.
Bushnell TRS 25 Battery Life
The manufacturer, Bushnell, claims 3,000 hours of battery life. Clearly, testing the optic against such a claim would be nearly impossible. It uses a CR2032 battery, which is cheap and you can stock up on them like a true prepper. Lighting is typically the biggest influencer or battery life. The Bushnell TRS 25 has 11 different lighting adjustments, so choosing the appropriate lighting setting can dramatically conserve battery life on this, or any optic.
Bushnell TRS 25 Hirise | You Need This For An AR15
If you look at the Bushnell TRS 25 optic, you will notice that there are a number of options. The options depend on what type of riser mount you want. These options vary in price with the high rise version costing about $10 more. You can also buy the Bushnell TRS 25 low riser version and purchase a UTG riser if you wish, but I’d recommend just buying it all in one fell swoop.
If you are new to AR15 optics, allow me to unconfuse you over this matter.
When you place the Bushnell TRS 25, or any red dot optic, on your AR15 rifle, the mount type will determine how high or low the optic sits. The issue here is your iron sights that likely come with your gun. If you have a carbine AR15, you have a front sight that’s hooked into the gas block. Meaning, you can’t just remove that front sight.
If your red dot optic is mounted low, you can’t “cowitness” your iron sights. When it’s mounted higher, you can cowitness between the red dot optic and the iron sights. This means you can look through the red dot optic, even if the red dot is turned off, and visually pick up your front and back iron sights and use them just as if there were no red dot attached.
This gives you back up, reliable sights that aren’t bound by any technology. We talk a lot about SHTF here, which is an event that could lead to a compromised power grid. During such an event, your battery life could run out and if you haven’t stocked batteries, your red dot could cease working. Additionally, things happen, technology fails, or you just flat run out of battery life while hunting or during a self-defense scenario.
Having back up iron sights are pretty essential stuff.
Now, the Bushnell TRS 25 can still be mounted with a low mount. But you’d need to remove it to properly revert back to iron sights. For mounting the Bushnell TRS 25 on a handgun such as a CZ PC-10 C, you need the low riser version.
Bushnell TRS 25 – The Parting Shot
The Bushnell TRS 25 is a great red dot optic option for those not looking to break the bank. Its high quality and can absorb the recoil of both shotguns and AK47s. With the riser version, you will have no issue cowitnessing iron sights on an AR-15. The 3 MOA red dot is a pretty awesome feature for a budget red dot optic experience. Nitrogen filled housing means no fogging up on humid days.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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