There are lots of reasons why red dot optics are continuing to rise in popularity among shooting enthusiasts. In this review, we will delve into some of these factors and take a comprehensive look at the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25, a red dot optic that surely has to be classed as one of the very best in its class.
The real aim of our Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 review is quite straightforward. We intend to explain why this stylish optic works for so many shooters, and why it could very well work for you.
So, let’s get sighted in by clearing up some straightforward terminology and how a red dot optic works and is measured.
Without wishing to split hairs, let’s first clear up some terminology.
You may often see red dot optics termed as red dot scopes, but ‘optic’ is the correct term. This is because red (or green!) dot optics are 1x optics. They do not have a built-in magnification feature, so they should not really be classed as scopes.Having said this, it is common to see red dot optic devices termed as red dot scopes. So, when you see either term being used, it is referring to the same accessory.
For clarification, throughout this article, we will refer to them as red dots or red dot optics.
How Does a Red Dot Optic Work?
The design is quite straightforward. It is an optic that uses a red dot as its reticle. This design makes it very easy to use and become acquainted with. This should be seen as an instant benefit for those new to the sport of shooting.
Red dot optics have been around for over 40 years now, but it is really in the last decade where serious advancements have been made in their:
- Battery Life.
A prime example here is ‘Size.’ You can now get a high-quality red dot optic to fit any weapon from a handgun to a full-sized rifle.
They operate by utilizing a light and plates of glass. A red dot optic consists of a spherical mirror that has been specially coated to only reflect red light. This special coating prevents any other light from affecting the reticle. The ‘mirror’ then reflects light emitted from a Light Emitting Diode (LED) of its axis focus.
Put another way; an LED produces a beam of light onto a slightly angled, specially coated piece of glass. This glass reflects the LED light onto it and creates the reticle.
How is a Red Dot Measured?
It’s all about MOA (Minute of Angle). The red dot size is measured in MOA. This size is dependent upon the aperture hole at the front of the LED.
- Bigger dots allow for faster target acquisition.
- Smaller dots are more effective when shooting at medium/moderate distances.
- For longer ranges, the dot is so designed that it covers less of your target. This makes sighting and hitting your target considerably easier.
Why Bother with a Red Dot Optic?
Before getting into our Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 review, here are the major reasons why red dot optics are worthy accessories.
1. Shooters of every level can benefit
This is the first reason to mention in relation to the rise of red dot optic use and popularity. They serve a purpose for shooters right across the experience range. No matter what level of shooter you are, they can add to your firepower.
This is regardless of whether you:
- Are a beginner and new to the exhilarating sport of shooting.
- You are gradually gaining shooting experience.
- You are a weather-worn, experienced hunter.
- Target marksmanship is your ‘game.’
- Your main use is for home defense purposes.
- A good quality red dot scope will enhance and improve your shooting experience.
2. Speed of use and accuracy is increased
Two other major factors of reliable red dot sights must be mentioned. They afford the shooter greater accuracy and increase the speed of target acquisition.
In these terms, they are seen to be superior to iron sights, and many firearm enthusiasts who use red dots feel that they actually outperform magnified optics.
The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Review
We will now take an in-depth look at the TRS-25 red dot optic from Bushnell’s ‘Trophy’ range. Once this review is complete, we will give a variety of reasons as to why this accessory really is a worthy addition to your armory.
So, let’s break it down into bite-sized chunks and start with:
The company has been in existence for around 70 years now. They are seen as a leader in the world of optics. Although the focus of our article is a review of the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25, it is just one of the many products the company supplies. They also provide items such as high quality, very popular riflescopes, spotting scopes, night vision optics, binoculars, and a whole lot more.
It is roundly agreed that Bushnell’s have worked hard to build their name on supplying quality optics at fair prices.
What’s in the model name?
The Bushnell trophy TRS-25 red dot optic draws its name from the size of its objective lens. This is 25mm and should be classed in the small (but not micro) optic lens category. It has a compact, lightweight design coming in at just 3.7 ounces in weight and 2.4” in length. This means the optic takes up very little space when mounted on your weapon.
Rail space and eye relief are yours
While Picatinny rail space is not such an issue for AR15 owners, it can affect those who use AK’s, MP5’s, and other firearms that do not offer a great amount of Picatinny. An example here is AK and AR pistol versions. Because of its compact size, the TRS-25 red dot optic is ideal for this type of weapon.
You can mount it well forward of where a typical scope is placed and unlimited, 2-eye relief is yours.
Important note: This optic is ready to mount on any Picatinny rail. However, it is recommended that those using an AR type rifle will need to use a medium/high riser. This is necessary in order to co-witness with iron sights. However, it is also the case that even if you are not using iron sights, you will need a riser.
One with 3-5 rails will suffice, and the quick detach models available will certainly do the job. They are easy to use, convenient, and are cheap to purchase.
Quality optics, robust build
We are very keen to point out just how much value you are getting for the price paid.
The fully multi-coated optics use an amber bright design. This affords clarity for any shooter. As well as enabling you to quickly distinguish your target, this optic is effective in bright sunlight or low-light conditions.
As for robustness, you will certainly not be disappointed. The TRS-25 is:
- Waterproof: The optics are O-ring sealed, which means they will stay dry inside. This stands even when the unit is totally immersed in water. It will withstand being submerged up to 10 feet.
- Shockproof: The TRS-25 has been built to withstand drops, bumps, and bangs. It can handle the rough and tumble associated with hunting, even in the thickest of wooded areas.
- Fog proofing: It has been constructed to withstand humidity or rapid temperature change. The optic is nitrogen purged to ensure the interior optical surfaces do not fog.
- Lens protector: A rubber scope cover is included to protect the lens.
A final point on the robustness of this highly durable red dot optic relates to recoil.
Many red dots out there fail too early. The TRS-25 will withstand heavy recoil. A prime example is that you can have it attached while running several 1000’s of rounds through your AK weapon. It will continue to maintain its stability and reliability.
A good choice of brightness settings
The TRS-25 comes with a 3 MOA reticle and offers 11 brightness settings. This allows you a good choice of clear viewing settings dependent upon the conditions you are using it in.
Simplicity of use is also yours. There are just 3 ‘controls’:
- On/Off adjustment wheel.
- Elevation control.
- Windage control.
Windage and Elevation adjustments are carried out using a coin or screwdriver. Each click = 0.5 MOA.
The TRS-25 runs on an included CR2032 battery, and Bushnell’s claim you will get 3,000 hours or one year of use from one battery. But, to be on the safe side, we would recommend that you purchase an additional, good quality battery as a spare. These are not expensive, so buying cheap is not the way to go. Purchasing a good quality spare battery will give you peace of mind as back-up while not hurting your wallet.
Versatility is yours
The TRS-25 red dot optic has been designed for multiple use. This gives you versatility no matter what your shooting activity of the day is.
It can be used effectively for:
- When you spend a day at the range.
- Anyone who is shooting competitively.
- Those whose enjoyment is covering wide open spaces (and thick, wooded areas!) while hunting prey.
When using the TRS-25, you can expect excellent accuracy up to around 100 yards. This optic really does give you a huge advantage over iron sights. If beginners or those wanting to improve their accuracy need encouragement, then this optic will provide it.
Granted, there are higher specification red optic devices out there. Ones that offer more features. But, in terms of price over value, the TRS-25 red dot optic rates very highly in our book.
Pros and Cons
- Very good value for money.
- Acceptably small and compact optic.
- Can be used on any weapon with a Picatinny rail.
- Robust – Water, Shock, and Fogproof.
- Built to withstand heavy recoil time and again.
- The 3 MOA dot is sharp and well-defined.
- Dot can be turned off – This will extend battery life.
- Additional riser purchase may be necessary if this optic mounts too low.
- Red dot can seem to disappear at the lens edge.
- As your target gets further from the center, the dot may travel off target.
- It has been reported that on some units, the red dot turns off after each shot*.
- It has been reported that factory glue is present on some delivered units*.
*In both these cases, simply contact Bushnell customer service to arrange a replacement.
Why a red dot optic is a worthy addition to your armory?
Before we conclude our review of the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25, let’s reiterate some of the major reasons as to why red dot optics, and this model, in particular, will be a very worthy addition to your armory.
1. Simplicity of use
Everything about a quality red dot optic is simple yet effective. This includes the fact that they:
- Could not be easier to mount and dismount.
- Can be used on a wide range of weapons.
- Once your target is acquired, it will easily stay on it.
2. Ideal for those new to the sport of shooting
Confidence is a huge part of shooting.
Although this statement rings true, it is also true that those new to the sport are often short on confidence. There is nothing whatsoever with this, and it should be seen as quite natural. Experienced shooters know the importance of mastering iron sights and using them proficiently.
However, these are much harder to master in the beginning, than a good quality red dot optic.
If you are teaching or training someone new to shooting, the use of a reliable, zeroed-in red dot optic can really help. This aid will really boost their initial confidence. Let’s face it; beginners have enough to think about as it is. By advising them to sight the red dot on whatever they are looking to hit will reap rewards.
The fact is that they will likely hit their sighted target, and this will make them feel good. The knock-on effect is that with practice and solid teaching, they will be able to build on that all-important confidence factor.
In terms of acquiring your target and pulling off shots, red dots are far quicker to use than iron sights.
Those who purchase a red dot and are looking for proof of this should try a quick test. Use your iron sights and then go with your red dot. The latter will be far faster. Why? Because correct alignment is required when using iron sights, and this takes time.
4. Speed and competition shooting
Continuing on the theme of speed, you will find that red dot optics dominate speed-based shooting competitions. Why? Because they are so incredibly fast to use. This is due to the inherent simplicity of just a single aim point that is on the same visual plane as your target.
Competition shooters understand quickly that with a red dot optic, they can put the dot on the target and press the trigger.
These non-magnified optics also allow for ‘both eyes’ open use. When this is possible, the competition shooter can rapidly acquire their target. This factor is of particular advantage when they are in a competition that involves transitioning between multiple targets.
5. Different angles of shooting
Another benefit is that a red dot will allow you to peer through the optic at angles that are not perfect. It is sometimes the case that you will need to take a shot in a hurry.
In these instances, it is true that you may not have perfect alignment. Indeed, it is unlikely you will be spot on behind the red dot. But, as long as you can see the dot, the chances are you will hit the target you are aiming for.
6. Endless eye relief – a feature not to be overlooked!
Eye relief relates to the functional distance that a scope, sight, or optic can be placed away from your eye when shooting.
Non-magnified red dot optics afford unlimited eye relief. This means they can be mounted on your firearm as far forward as you wish. This gives two immediate advantages:
- It eliminates any possibility that the scope will impact on your eye/face during recoil.
- It affords the shooter greater peripheral vision. This often leads to a quicker set-up when acquiring your target.
7. Weapon Versatility
Those who purchase a red dot optic are buying into versatility. These accessories are easily switched from weapon to weapon. This means that you are purchasing a multi-purpose optic for the price of one.
Although you must be more than impressed with the Trophy TRS-25, we most certainly are, there are, of course, other red dot options. If you’re interested in any of them, it’s well worth checking out our in-depth reviews of the Best Red Dot for Shotguns and the Best Scopes Red Dot Sights AK 47 currently available.
If you may also be interested in a lower-powered scope, then take a look at our Best 3-9×40 Scope reviews, our Best Slug Gun Scope, and the Best Varmint Scopes on the market.
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Review Conclusion
Hopefully, our review of the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 has shown why this red dot optic is a very worthy addition to any shooter’s armory.
This is regardless of whether you are a beginner, highly experienced, or anything in between.
Its simple design allows for ease of attachment and detachment on a variety of weapons you may own. Use is simplicity itself. It is also compact, lightweight, and easy to transport. Add into this mix its durability. You are buying into an optic that is water, fog, and drop-proof.
One that is robust and will stand up to wear and tear in whatever conditions you use it in.