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Last weekend, one of my friends came to me and asked if I could help him get a reflex sight for his firearm.
At first, I was really shocked to see a close friend of mine coming to me and asking for my expertise. I’m just not used to my close friends coming to me and ask for my help with firearm and scopes or sights.
Anyway, I told him about a few of the best reflex sights I know about and explained their advantages and disadvantages to him. After listening to me for almost an hour, he finally decided to open his mouth and asked me which one is the best cheap reflex among all of them.
I didn’t realize till that moment, I was doing the reviews only for professionals or enthusiasts who really care about precision. I didn’t think of someone who may want a sight just to go on a casual hunt, in other words, not professional.
My friend, clearly wasn’t a professional, which is why he asked for the best cheap reflex sight. I can’t blame him though. Who would want to spend $700 on a reflex sight, which will be used twice or thrice a year, that also for hunting. I mean, I wouldn’t buy a Batman action figure worth $1000 because I’m not into collecting action figures. But there are some who would do whatever it takes to get their hands on that $1000 action figure. But not me.
The same goes for gun sights. A non-professional like my friend would definitely want to look for the best cheap reflex sight rather than spending a fortune on an expensive and professional one. That’s why I decided to talk about cheap Reflex sights for amateur firearm owners.
What is the Best Cheap Reflex Sight?
Before we get into this, let’s divide the “best cheap reflex sight” into two different parts.
- Cheap reflex sight
- Best reflex sight
These two parts make two different conditions that need to be fulfilled by a reflex sight to become the “best cheap reflex sight” of all.
If only a cheap reflex sight can be good or a good reflex sight can be cheap, we would call it the best cheap reflex sight for non-professionals.
But how can a cheap reflex sight be best or the other way around?
If we try to think of the two conditions, which are (1) cheap reflex sight and (2) best reflex sight separately, we would be able to reach a conclusion. We will have to tone down our expectations.
First of all, if we want to look for the best cheap reflex sight, we will have to avoid thinking super cheap. The best thing will be to think of the average price. You will have also have to tone down the expectation in the “quality” part.
You definitely won’t have the same performance and quality of a $150 reflex sight and a $700 reflex sight. But the fact is – a non-professional won’t even need the performance and quality of a $700 reflex sight.
Now that we are on the same page, let me tell you about how to move further to find the best cheap reflex sight of all.
What makes the best cheap reflex sight?
In this part, I’ll be telling you what expectations you should have or what should be your scale to compare when you look for the best cheap reflex sight in the market.
Magnification: If you are not into sights and scopes then let me tell you that reflex sights don’t come with any magnification built-in.
However, additional magnifiers can be added to the sight if you are a fan of magnification. But beware, once you add the magnifier, it will become heavier than even a rifle scope.
As we are talking about the best cheap reflex sight, we would not want the magnification for specifically 2 reasons.
The first reason is that the magnifier will cost extra, which doesn’t go with what we are trying to do today. We are looking for an inexpensive option.
So we should not look for an additional magnifier. The second reason we don’t want the magnifier is we don’t want to make our arm heavier than it already is because our target is to look for cheap yet good reflex sight which is suitable for non-professionals.
And as far as I can assume, non-professionals wouldn’t be so comfortable with the additional weight.
Battery: Battery life is a major consideration while buying any sight whether it is a reflex sight or holographic sight. With a $500+ reflex sight, you might get even up to 80,000 of battery life.
But expecting the same feat from a $200 reflex sight would be illogical. Even though the battery life greatly depends on the model and how it works, you can definitely expect 1000 hours to 20,000 hours depending on the battery type and power consumption.
Field of view: Field of view is actually how much can you see through a sight. It actually depends on the sight construction rather than the cost.
Usually, square-shaped ones have a larger field of view. So, if you could get a square-shaped one within your budget, grab the deal.
Reticle Brightness: I cannot deny the fact that cheaper reflex sights don’t really have a good brightness for the reticle.
However, we are talking about a non-professional who would never cross the border and get between war at night. That’s why a super bright reticle can be compromised for a reticle with decent brightness.
Reticle Shape and Size: Reticle’s shape and size don’t have a lot to do with the price. Even the most expensive ones can have a cross-shaped reticle like the cheapest one. Also, the size of the reticle doesn’t depend on the price either.
Construction: Usually, the contractions, size, and shape of the sight are neutral to the price, However, the material and finishing may vary depending on the brand and price.
Also, square filed view ones are slightly more expensive than cylindrical ones. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get one within your budget.
No matter what I have explained to you so far, the decision to choose the best cheap reflex sight will fall into the individual who will be using it because the term cheap differs from person to person.
Besides, there could be some preferences that you’d have, which you won’t compromise for the price. For instance, you can spare a $50 for the additional magnifier and others may not. So, eventually, the decision comes down to you.