PRODUCT REVIEW Reprinted from the Dec 2011 issue of GunNews.
by John Boch
(GunsSaveLife.com) – When you turn forty, the eyes just don’t work like they did when you were a teenager. Thankfully, technology in the form of reflex rifle sights have done wonders to help retain speed and accuracy for those of us with not-so-young eyeballs.
Now, I’ll be the first to advise against going “cheap” or Chinese on anything related to a weapons system that you might someday depend upon to defend your life.
However, some of the Chinese-made reflex sights can bring fun and performance together in non-critical applications. Better yet, they can do this at affordable prices.
Enter the made in China Sightmark Sure Shot Reflex Sight SM13003B. I ordered mine from the folks at Optics Planet in Northbrook, IL. It’s $49.xx plus tax, delivered.
It is a Chinese knockoff of the Adco tactical reflex sight.
I was pleased to find that no risers were necessary to mount it on the quad rail of my S&W AR-15/22 (a .22 rimfire rifle), and have it co-witness with the iron sights. I mounted it fairly far forward, “scout” style, for snap shooting and to lend some precision for Appleseeds.
Installation was a breeze. The sight offers seven brightness levels from very low to bright and four reticles to choose from. For accuracy work, I co-witness with the iron-sights and use the reflex innermost dot as the precise point of aim.
How does it work? I’ve had it since July and sighted it in at the NRA Youth Camp in August. Several students have used the rig at Appleseed shoots and one of our students ran it at our Urban Rifle class. All told, it has fired well over 2000 rounds.
Even after all those rounds and users, the sight has held zero well enough for me to shoot a Rifleman score and a near-Rifleman’s score (I blame that failure on me, not the equipment) on a couple of occasions at recent Appleseeds.
Two complaints: It is *very difficult* to see in bright sun when the target is also in bright sun, even at maximum brightness. Secondly, it eats batteries. You’ll need a new battery after 30-40 hours of daylight run-time to see the reticle in anything approaching sunny conditions. It can still be used for many additional hours in less-bright environments if you haven’t fetched a new 2032 battery. There’s also no “auto off” function. If you forget to turn it off, it’ll cost you a new battery.
I wouldn’t begin to warranty that it will play nicely with shotguns or center-fire firearms (because of the much more violent recoil). Given a few negative online reviews from shotgun and center-fire users about this sight failing to hold zero after firing a few strings, caveat emptor.
Overall, I believe this sight to be a decent value for recreational use on a rimfire rifle.
Addendum: I noticed that dealextreme.com has a knockoff of this Chinese knockoff for sale for about $25 delivered. It’s called the Metal Tactical 4-Reticle Sight Scope. Deal Extreme also has 2032 batteries uber-cheap as well. Just food for thought.