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Bushnell’s First Strike Reflex Red Dot

October 17, 2014
Bill Waugaman , Ohio Valley Outdoors

To test the accuracy of Smith & Wesson's M&P22 .22LR handgun, a suitable optic was needed. The optic had to be small, light weight and able to withstand the rigors of a semi-auto handgun. The optic chosen to fit these requirements was Bushnell's First Strike Reflex Red Dot (Model 73005).

Bushnell's First Strike is definitely small. It's less than 2" long, only 1 1/4" wide, under 1 1/2" tall, and weighs a mere 2.1 ounces (including the protective hood and CR2032 lithium battery). It is designed to mount on any weaver or picatinny rail without any blocks or brackets unless a riser is necessary for a particular application. Since the First Strike is shockproof, mounting it on the slide of the M&P22 would not be a problem.

The First Strike's red dot is 5 MOA making it easy to pick up the dot in the lens and not so large as to hinder shooting at shorter distances. Adjusting the dot to move the point of impact is easily done with a hex wrench that is included with the First Strike; the wrench is flat on one end for adjusting the windage and elevation, and a hex head on the other end for battery compartment access. Even though the hash mark indicators are at 6 MOA, the actual adjustment is 'non-clicking' giving you complete flexibility to fine tune the point of impact. The total adjustment range is 240 MOA.

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As for the optics, the 1X lens (no magnification) of the First Strike is slightly under 1" wide by 3/4" tall. The lens is multi-coated to minimize or eliminate glare and reflection. Since the lens is single layer, it can't fog up on the inside. The First Strike is also waterproof to prevent moisture from getting inside to the components.

One of the most interesting features of the First Strike Reflex Red Dot is the lack of an on-off switch. Power from the battery to the LED is controlled by a photocell on the front. When the protective hood is installed blocking light to the photocell, power is almost completely cut off to the LED. When the hood is removed, the amount of light picked up by the photocell automatically regulates the brightness of the LED. In bright light, the red dot is brighter making it easy to see; in low light, the red dot becomes dimmer so the view through the lens is not obscured.

The low power consumption design gives the First Strike an extended battery life that is measured in days, not hours. Bushnell estimates a fresh new battery (240mAh) will continuously power the LED for just under 2 days in bright light, 25 days in room light, and nearly 15 months with the photocell covered.

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Front View

While my original purpose for the First Strike was to evaluate the accuracy of a Smith & Wesson M&P22 handgun, the variety of uses for this reflex red dot became obvious. It is well suited for mounting on an AR-platform rifle or tactical shotgun; it will also stand up to the recoil on hunting shotguns when used with turkey, waterfowl or rifled slug loads.

The First Strike comes with an allen wrench for mounting, the hex wrench for battery compartment access and sight adjustment, a cleaning cloth, instruction manual, protective cover, battery (already installed) and a 1 year warranty.

The MSRP for Bushnell's First Strike Reflex Red Dot is $208.95; actual price can vary. For more information, check out the Bushnell website at:

Fact Box will also stand up to the recoil on hunting shotguns when used with turkey, waterfowl or rifled slug loads.



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