Monday, November 14, 2011

Bushnell Red Zoom Dot Sight Scope Review

Bushnell Red Zoom Dot Sight Scope Review

For over fifty years, Bushnell has been one of the leaders in the optics industry.  Even as a kid we had a set of Bushnell binoculars that went everywhere on the farm and took a beating and still performed.  Today Bushnell is still famous for delivering top quality optics and innovation.  One of those innovative sights is the Bushnell Red Dot Zoom Dot Sight primarily used on AR15 style rifles.  This unique and versatile design has been adopted by the military, law enforcement, and security contractors around the world due to its simplicity, rugged durability, and features.
FIT & FEEL
Bushnell products are typically pretty heavy duty, however the Zoom Dot is build for very hard use with a hefty feel and construction at 8 oz.  The control knob moves smoothly and easily even with gloves. Beefy comes to mind when handling the Bushnell Zoom Dot.
FEATURES
No longer do you need to play around with the dot intensity as you transition from low to full light shooting situations as the Zoom Dot is equipped with an automatic dot intensity adjustment. Ambient light at the target is sensed by the electronic circuit and the the dot intensity is automatically adjusted.


The Zoom Dot’s primary feature is that its reticle dot can be varied in size from 1 to 10 MOA.  This feature provides the ability for the dot to be configured in a small dot for precision shooting all the way up to a 10 MOA dot for tight close range shooting.  Generally only the intensity can be varied on other red dot sights however with the Zoom Dot the size of the dot is the option that can be tuned.
The Scope mounts with the supplied single oversized 30mm ring mount.  I was initially concerned over the single ring mount, however due to the size and length of the ring mount, the sight is more than secure with the single mount once tightened down with a hex wrench.

Front and rear integrated lock open weatherproof caps are very handy and a well thought out extra that can be turned to your choice of "open" direction/size.  These caps are heavy rubber and will not only protect the scope from weather and dust but also provide a permanent bumper effect at each end of the scope which I believe would significantly enhance durability.
FUNCTIONS
I found the large 10 MOA Zoom Dot reticle very quick especially at shorter tactical distances and a twist to the huge knob shrank the dot size for the longer shots at snarler targets quickly.   The big knob is quit a bit faster than ratcheting up and down through brightness settings with a button.

I found the automatic dot intensity adjustment worked perfectly even in full sunlight shooting.  Closing the lens covers drops the intensity to a nearly off state and greatly extends battery life to thousands of hours. Adjustment of the windage and elevation is via the supplied torq wrench which prevents accidental zeroing changes.  Because of the size of the mount, the the windage adjustment hole needs to be perfectly centered between the ring split or the wrench cannot access the hole.  This is an initial setup issue and not an ongoing issue.  

The other observation was that the rings supplied with the Zoom Dot are low height and when mounted provide a very restricted top ⅓ co-witness with iron sights.  This of course is not an issue if you have front and rear flip down sights and provides a lower more compact sight tool.  Personal preference and your rifle’s setup will dictate whether you like the provided ring height when mounted on an AR15 rifle.  As the pictures show to the right, I used my Spikes Tactical Mid-Length ST15 for testing and I found that a taller Millet ring provided a more practical field of vision and brought my front fixed iron sight in the lower ⅓ of the scope.

I tested the Bushnell Zoom Dot on a number of ARs including the Spikes Tactical AR shown and even after repeated moves and re-mounts, it retained perfect zero.  In my testing, optics are frequently moved around a lot and the single mount made it very convenient and quick.

FINAL THOUGHTS
In the sea of red dot sights the Bushnell Zoom Dot is a very unique option for AR or other Picatinny railed firearms.  With your iron sights co-witnessing through the Zoom Dot it provides an very fast sighting picture that dots the front sight and still provides a wide field of vision and a dot intensity you don't have to keep tinkering with.  The ability to increase the dot size from small for precision shooting to a large 10MOA dot to aid in faster target acquisition is a unique flexibility that makes the Zoom Dot useful in a variety of situations.  As 10MOA equal 10” at 100 yards, centering the big bot on the torso of standard silhouette target at 100 yards will net a very quick hit vs attempting to place a small dot.  I have to say for fast shooting the big dot works very well and I found myself leaving it set on the largest dot adjustment.  The Bushnell Zoom Dot is a flexible red dot sight which provides the user a lot of options in one very tough little optic.

SPECS

  • Power / Obj Lens 1 x 30mm
  • Finish Matte Length (in / mm) 5.5 / 139.7
  • Reticle Variable Dot Size 1 to 10 MOA dot size adjustability
  • Weight (oz. / g) 8 / 227
  • Exit Pupil (mm) 30
  • Eye Relief (in / mm) Unlimited
  • Fully waterproof
  • Design currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • 30mm tube with ring mount included
  • Compatible with Weaver style and Picatinny rails
  • Model 730001  
SOURCES
Bushnell Optics
http://www.bushnell.com
http://www.bushnell.com/products/scopes/riflescopes/reddot/

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