With the rising popularity of shooting sports, firearms, and accessories for them, the market has fulfilled itself with lots of dedicated products. Besides the easier access to attractive parts, the market competition became a real thing. There are no longer only top tier producers, like the Trijicon, Aimpoint or EOTech – now we have a cheaper (but still premium) accessories from Vortex, Bushnell or Holosun. But that’s still not all! Nowadays the east producers are aware of the users’ needs for durable and fair priced products for the firearms, so we’re no longer limited to use only the real deal products versus the cheap Airsoft knock-offs. The firearm dedicated optics are a little more pricy than the cheapest knock-offs, however, they offer greater durability, better glass, and a more functional crosshair. To show you the main differences between the products, I’ll use my 3 different optics: the Vortex Crossfire, Vector Optics Maverick, and Chinese EOTech EXPS knock-off. The first two are dedicated to working with real firearms, while the last one is just an airsoft product, mainly for looks.
Who’s in the airsoft already for a while, probably have noticed that the quality has its costs and there are no exceptions. In most cases, optics for firearms are made better than the typical fake red dot sights. However, they cost more. On the other hand, there won’t be any crooked nor dark glass, strange defects or the infamous EOTech clones reticle ghost effect.
The optics are made with the gun recoil in mind. They’ll also perform better in the harsh weather conditions. It is worth investing the money, especially if you’re a GBBR user or owner of one of the modern blow back AEGs like the Recoil Shock, LCT EBB AKs or the Bolt Airsoft. These replicas can destroy the cheaper models of optics, and if not – they won’t hold the zero for long.
Glass, parallax effect and the reticle
As I said before, the “firearms” red dots usually have better and brighter glass. It doesn’t fog, it doesn’t scratch easily, and there is no mirror effect.
The reticle itself is a dot, not a line, and has better brightness adjustment. There is no ghost effect – a shadow of the second reticle at the highest brightness.
What more the firearms dedicated red dots often have a smaller parallax effect. I’m not a scientist so there will be no physics explanation, however, I’ll say it most simply. The parallax effect is noticeable when you’re looking at the dot from different angles. It moves with every change of the angle. The correct way is to keep the dot on the target despite the angle of aiming.
Firearm red dot sights – there have to be some disadvantages!
I can point out two. The first one is the price. The second one is the fact that it’s not “kosher”. There are no desirable markings, so the optics don’t look exactly like the top products used in real warfare. This can be an issue for some of the reenactors. You’ll need to get over the fact that you’re using civilian accessories ;).
But they’re so expensive! I won’t use pricey accessories on a plastic blaster!
Of course, these accessories are more expensive, due to the more durable materials and electronics. However, is it that bad to pay a little more to get far more? Let’s look at the Buckler offer. They have models that look like the popular Micro T1, some 1-4x scopes and regular scopes. All firearms dedicated, but still affordable.
If we go a little higher in the price limit, there is Vortex with their lifetime warranty. If something breaks (probably, you’ll break something), just bring the optic to the shop and replace it with a new one. This also applies to mechanical issues like broken glass. Sometimes it’s more economic to pay 100$ more and have a lifetime warranty than to break a few 50$ sights and pay for a new one each time.
More airsoft tips here. Let us know, what’s your opinion on that topic. What are your airsoft optics of choice?