Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Review
10/19/10

I'm always looking for a scope that provides a good balance of features, quality and price.  As I look through each months new batch of shooting catalogs like Sportsman's Guide, Cheaper Than Dirt and Cabela's, I'm always drawn to the optics product.  The other day I was checking Cabela's Bargain Cave and found they had the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Scope on sale for $99.99 so I decided it was time to make a purchase.  I was looking for an inexpensive red dot scope to mount on a Ruger 22 Charger Pistol and thought this would be the perfect time to try it out.  Below in italics are the features and specifications from the Bushnell website and listed on the side of the box.

  • Multi-coated optics
  • Amber-Bright™ high contrast lens coating
  • 100% waterproof / fog proof to 10 feet
  • Shockproof construction
  • Dry-nitrogen filled
  • CR2032 battery
  • Extra-long (3000+ hour) battery life)
  • Power / Objective Lens: 1 x 25mm
  • Finish: Matte
  • Length (in): 2.4
  • Reticle: 3 MOA Red Dot
  • Field of View (ft./@100ft): Unlimited
  • Adjustment Range (in@100yds): 70
  • Weight (oz.): 3.7
  • Exit Pupil (mm): 22
  • Eye Relief (in): Unlimited
  • Mounting Length (in): 1.1
  • Model: 731303
  • Click Value (in@100yds): 0.5
  • 11 Position Rheostat

The Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Scope comes packaged as shown below.  Not that it really matters, but Bushnell did a good job on the packaging for the scope.  Throughout this review, you can bring up a higher resolution of most photos by clicking on the photo.

Figure 1
Bushnell TRS-25 Review: Box

The next couple of photos show the sides of the box which state the general features of the scope and the bottom of the box showing various other pieces of information.

Figure 2
Bushnell TRS-25 Review: Box End

Figure 3
Bushnell TRS-25 Review: Box Bottom

The photo below show all items inside the box; red dot, lens cover, Allen wrench, lens cloth, Product Registration card, and Owners Manual.  Also included was one CR2032 battery which came already installed.

Figure 4
Bushnell TRS-25 Review: Inside The Box

The next photo shows the scope with the lens cover removed.  According to the Owner's Manual, the lens cover should be removed downwards and the rubber string will then grab around the sight and base.  Honestly I'm not a big fan of lens covers and found that removing this one like the manual said to be awkward.

Figure 5
Bushnell TRS-25 Review: Scope and Lens Cover

The next several photos show the scope from different perspectives so you can get a good ideal of the construction of the scope.  Overall I would say that the exterior of the scope is compact and rugged and should be able to handle some abuse.

Figure 6
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

Figure 7
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

Figure 8
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

Figure 9
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

Figure 10
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

Figure 11
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

Figure 12
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

The scope weighed in at 3.80 ounces and the lens cover at 0.20 ounces.  The 3.80 ounces is slightly over the 3.7 advertised, but the advertised weight could have been without a battery.  Overall, the weight is close enough to the specification.

Figure 13
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

Next I installed the Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot on a Ruger 22 Charger.  It installed easily with the Allen wrench provided in the packaging.  You can see this makes a compact light weight sight solution for this pistol.

Figure 14
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

Figure 15
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

Figure 16
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

The photo below shows the scope with the turret caps and battery cap removed.  The battery came pre-installed and is held in place by the O-ring band pressing against the retaining tabs.  Also notice that O-rings are located on each turret for waterproofing.  While zeroing the scope, I found the windage and elevation adjustment to be firm and could detect positive click positions.

Figure 17
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

The battery cap has the O-ring around the threaded area.

Figure 18
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

The turret caps are knurled and made of aluminum.

Figure 19
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

These next four photos show the illumination levels of the red dot at the 1, 4, 7 and 11 power setting.  It was very difficult taking these photos and I was never real happy with the clarity of the red dot in the photos.  It appears that the camera did pickup a little more red haze around the dot than was detectable to the eye, yet there was some slight haze.  For example, the dot at the "1" power had a very crisp look and the photo below makes it look more blurry which is not true.  Although the dot at the "11" power clearly had a red haze as shown below, but not quite to the extent shown.  While shooting indoors I used the 1 power setting and found that outdoors the 4 power setting worked well against the backdrop of most targets.  I cannot imagine a situation where using 11 would be needed, but this may also vary as battery life starts to deplete.  Also I want to point out that when on the higher power settings, you also get red light dispersion reflected off the inside of the tube of the scope.  You can see this slightly in the 11 Power photo below.

Figure 20
1 Power                         4 Power                          7 Power                         11 Power
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot ReviewBushnell TRS-25 Red Dot ReviewBushnell TRS-25 Red Dot ReviewBushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

I also want to point out that the front lens is mounted at a slight angle as seen below.  If you read on the web, you will find that this is by design.  I have not found a final official answer, but it may be related to the fact that the dot is being projected from the side of the scope and the angle is needed to properly reflect the image back to your eyes.  It may also be related to reducing the reflection off the front of the lens.

Figure 21
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

The real question is how does the Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot perform during shooting.  I shot the following nine 3-shot groups from a bench at a distance of 13 yards. While shooting, I was tweaking the scope zero to achieve a better zero.  Also throughout shooting, I had the illumination of the red dot set on the "1" power, which was perfect for the indoor shooting light conditions.  When you consider that I was shooting a .22 caliber bullet, I don't feel too bad about my groups.  I would not consider a red dot to be an optimal target sight solution because in my case the red dot covered the entire black dot on my target, although I was pleased with the results.  Clearly this accuracy will take care of dispatching many squirrels and aluminum cans.

Figure 22
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

I also did some free hand shooting at both cans and paper targets.  I tried making quick shots to see how hard it would be to acquire the correct sight picture for the scope.  In the beginning, it took a little practice to quickly throw the pistol up and be looking through the scope such that you can see the red dot.  The 25mm objective lens on the scope makes this a fairly tight angle of alignment to see through the scope and have the dot within the viewing area.  One of the pros on this sight is that it is small and compact, this in turn creates a tight sight picture.  One thing I really liked was the unlimited eye relief you get from this 1x power scope.  My previous scope on this pistol was variable power with a fine reticle, which was great for accuracy, but the eye relief was in a non-natural shooting range for my arm length.  The unlimited eye relief on the Bushnell TRS-25 allows any shooter to achieve a natural shooting position.

 

Bottom Line:

At this point, I have fired several hundred rounds while using the Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Scope and I'm overall pleased with the quality of the scope.  When you consider the $100 sale price and consider that 99.999% of my intended use will not be in a life defending situation, I consider it to be a good value scope for my use.  Also, when Bushnell backs this product by a two-year limited warranty, this scope becomes an even better deal.


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