AT3 RD-50 Red Dot Sight Review
So like most gun owners (or at least this gun owner) I have a budget build AR-15 that travels around with me. Yes, it’s the family truck gun so it’s cheap. I spent a grand total of $400 on the bloody thing during a time when AR-15 parts were being cranked out faster than when you were cranking it out after discovering Hentai as a young man. It throws lead down range with a 2 moa group at 300 yards along with extensively eating the cheapest Russian steel case ammo I throw into it. As such when it came to upgrading from the A2 front post and UTG backup sights, I wanted a red dot. Now that being said I was not going to throw an EOTech, Aimpoint, Holosun or even low-end Primary Arms on the rails. I wanted something cheap just to get the job done at close to mid-range, minute of bad guy style.
While looking for a cheap, quality red dot, the Bushnell TRS-25 kept coming up. However, having seen several returned to my place of employment I decided to spend money elsewhere. Unlike most reviews, I like to do full disclosure on how I came to the decision to buy certain pieces of gear. During my search, I ran across a video by 704Tactical (I’ll link to him down below) who reviewed this budget red dot that I was willing to try. Enter the AT3 Tactical RD-50 Micro Red dot,
“Data Points” without the 40min rambling video
I purchased it during AT3 Tactical’s Fourth of July sale for the grand total of $83 USD along with a .83” co-witness riser and within a few days it was in my hands. Just out of the box I was impressed with the looks of the optic and just handling it I could tell it was a step above the TRS-25. Inside the box is what I am starting to call the “standard red dot accessories”, those being the sight itself, the rubber bikini cover everyone throws away, instruction manual, riser mount, a lens cloth to add to the collection, and finally a cheap allen wrench.
It does boast of some rather impressive specs. it’s a 2 MOA red dot, “Parallax free design” (more on that in a moment), fully waterproof, shockproof, with a 50k hour battery life. It also has eleven brightness settings, and nitrogen filled to prevent fogging. For all of you Night Vision elitists, no, it’s not compatible with your NVGs. This, in addition to this AT3 has a lifetime warranty on their products, and with the way I handle this truck gun, it’s going to need it.
Please bear with the gunfire
It’s ok to have lovely words said on the side of the box but the real deal comes from shooting the bloody thing to see if it works properly. So as per the standard for most of my close to mid-range rifles I set my zero at 50 yards. The ammunition I used for sighting in is Hornady manufacturing frontier ammo, .223 55g FMJ, along with some leftover American Eagle .223 55g FMJ, and Monarch .223 55g FMJ steel cased ammo. I did break up my range sessions during this time and unfortunately did not pack my camera equipment due to time restraints. Life happens.
While shooting the RD-50 I found the dot to be crisp and clear on a bright sunny day, with little of that star bursting effect you find on budget optics. You can see in the picture below how clear the dot was on a bright sunny day. I had the optic set to its max setting of eleven. I did find some issues with parallax despite the manufacture’s claim. When I got off my proper cheek rest I did see a quarter inch shift in point of impact. While this is disappointing, for the gun I am using I’m actually alright with it, as it’s not as bad as the parallax I have experienced with other budget optics. CoughSightmarkCough.
Once the zero was established I decided to subject the rifle to various ammunition loads over a four week period with a grand total of about 500 rounds put through the gun. While to some this may not be much of a test, I do have a budget to work under. I did subject the optic to a bit of abuse, being thrown in the trunk of my car and getting rattled around for a few weeks. I tested the waterproof theory by pouring a gallon of water over the thing, I got a better test when I went shooting out in the rain. Guess what I was surprised to find that the optic did not fog up, and I did not get any water inside of the optic despite my best efforts. So if you happen to be running around in odd weather such as I do in summertime in coastal Texas, it’s going to work for you.
Is this a combat optic that you can go trekking through some unnamed Middle Eastern Country? Hell no, is it a great optic to have on a backup gun, training gun, or in my case a truck gun? Yes, its well worth the price. I’m not going to lie, it’s an awesome optic for domestic use. I got some rather unparalleled quality for the amount of money I spent, so much so I am actually looking at the 3x magnifier they offer to make the red dot even better. So if you’re a /k/ommando on a budget consider throwing the cash down for an AT3 Tactical RD-50.
Truck Gun Specs
Cheesy Ebay Four Prong Muzzle Break- seriously I need to get rid of this strike industries here I come