Have been an optics snob for years but built so many past three years have had to explore mid-line and inexpensive optics. Never had a Leupold or American made Burris let me down. Now have four Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x and three of the 6.5-20x side focus plus purchased two more Sunday when Midway had their $100 off "sale" price and free shipping. The big suprise was got a used Sight Mark red dot in a trade. Decided to purposely break it and put on top of a 16" barrel FN FAL with modified short gas system use for suppressor and unsuppressed. Figured the little red dot wouldn't make it a month and over 1,000 rounds later of full battle rifle beating it is still working beautifully. Had been buying nothing but Leupold, Burris Fastfire and Trijicon reed dots till then. Purchased a few more for CQB in addition to scopes and for backups in case of scope failure. They recently discontinued the original cheap red dot and replaced with a $99 red/green dot. Started buying them on clearance for $34 to $39 then found a guy on fleabay selling for $24 with free shipping and purchased his last nine units. Have them on 5.56 SBR's with binary triggers, 6.8's with binary and even an AR 10 in 338 Federal run hard. Finished this build Sunday and it got one to back up the Nikon scope got in a trade. Every Nikon scope have ever bought has fallen apart. Have over $10,000 in Nikon camera lenses and can use to drive nails. When they came out with scopes figured would be tough as their camera gear. First pair of originals shook apart in under a year. Bought a pair of Gen 3 Nikon's and both failed. This is a Gen 7 30mm 2.5-10x and if not on a rifle traded for would not have purchased but going to see if it holds up on the 18" ARP build with SIG A2 carbon fiber stock on one of my last old stock Mag Tactical receiver sets. Turrets were too tall to mount over the scope on ring mounted picatinny rail rear or front so had to put on 45 degree mount tilted to side of scope. Very easy to tilt rifle and pick up dot and only sighted in and run enough rounds to choose buffer weight and adjust gas system plus sight in optics and is fine for needs.
Finished an upper Sunday after building the 18" rifle that will go on a Mag Tactical lower with collapsible stock. A 16" ARP Socom barrel and will be building a second of both rifles as have 6.8 barrels piled deep right now. Will have a NIB Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x and topped with a $24 Sight Mark red dot. Actually have one on a 7mm Practical bolt rifle use for deer out to 1,000 yards in south Georgia and does not have high round count but two seasons ago had a big buck run right by me while walking to stand and with 6-24x scope set on lowest power could not pick it up for a shot at close range and moving. All of my hunting rifles are getting red dots on top just or walking to stands, blinds and woods. Not one of my big 7mm's or 338's have broken a Sight Mark yet. Feel like a schlep putting a $24 red dot on top of an $800 scope and custom rifle but if it works can't argue with it.
The absolutely toughest red dot on the market IMHO is the C More with aluminum chassis and 4 MOA dot module. Have one on a IPSC unlimited major power factor 1911 that gets 300 plus rounds a week for three years now.
Have four of these Vortex Strike Fire red dots on mostly SBR's and other small AR's and all have been perfect.
This 22 Nosler also has one of the $24 clearance Sight Marks and is leaing the house every day now that its ground hog and crow season. Need the extra reach past 400 yards over a 5.56 and the Sight Mark is just in case had to use for fighting up close.
Here is the FN FAL short barrel/Short gas with the used and indestructible Sight Mark on top that started my foray into cheap red dots. The Elcan on the SCAR is the best fighting optic have picked up but at $2,000 it should be.
Original configuration on the FAL with total attempt to break it on purpose doing mag dumps and running it hard including running a can without turning down the gas and bending rims on cases.
Pair of 14.7" 6.8 spc II's with $99 Burris XTS-135's purchased several of when discontinued and were cheap. The Tiger Stripe is used weekly and carried daily and the Burris keeps on working. On original battery too.
Had a Bushnell on this M1a for a couple years without a hiccup. Its really a Sight Mark with Bushy logo.
have three rifles with Burris Fastfire II's and all are ~3 years old and holding up well with thousands of rounds through one of the rifles.
Below is the other of pair of White Oak 18" barrel Mk 12 Mod 1 clones with Leupold Firedot scope and Burris Fastfire. Have habit of building rifles in pairs. Also there is a Smith M&P 15 with another C More.
Only dot type optics were a pair of Eotechs in the recall lot that drifted off zero. Otherwise have not had any quality red dot die and the only inexpensive units I own are the dirt cheap Sight Marks and using them by the dozen now.