Bushnell TRS-25 Review

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Bushnell TRS-25 Review - Featured

If you’ve shopped for red dots for your rifle, pistol-caliber carbine, or shotgun, you’ve probably come across the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 a time or two. You may have passed it over because it was priced so low, and you felt it wouldn’t hold up to heavy use. I’m here to explain why you should give the TRS 25 another look and why it might be the best budget red dot on the market.

History of Bushnell and the TRS-25

Bushnell has been in the optics and outdoors equipment manufacturing world for over 75 years. The company was founded by David Bushnell in 1948 and started off primarily selling binoculars. Over time, the company would shift ownership and focus more on firearm optics. Bushnell has long been known for creating quality rifle scopes and spotting scopes at an affordable price.

The Trophy TRS-25 was one of Bushnell’s first red dot sights, released in 2013. Since then, very little has changed except for the Bushnell logo on the side, which switched from gold to white. There was some speculation that once the logo changed, the new red dots were not made as well and had some quality control issues. That either has been worked out or never was the case, as the TRS-25 has maintained its position as one of the best budget red dots on the market. I’ve owned a couple of each version and have never had an issue with any of them.

Bushnell TRS-25 and Box
Bushnell TRS-25 red dot next to box which displays the older version with yellow/gold logo
Sale
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black
  • 3 MOA dot
  • 11 brightness settings
  • Up to 5,000 hours, on mid-brightness setting
  • Durable 7075 T6 aluminum housing
  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof
  • Fog-proof

  • Bushnell TRS-25 Features and Specs

    We’ll go over some of the top features of the TRS 25. It’s important to remember that this is a budget red dot, so you won’t get all of the bells and whistles you would find in some of the more expensive red dots. If features like Shake Awake, auto-off, and multi-reticle systems are important to you, you might want to consider spending more for your red dot.

    Reticle

    The Bushnell TRS 25 features a 3 MOA reticle perfect for more precise shooting. The smaller the dot, the less it will cover your target, particularly at farther distances. Most of my red dots are 2-3 MOA, as I prefer the smaller dot. That said, some competition shooters prefer a larger dot that is more easily picked up. The goal in competitions like IDPA and USPSA is to shoot quickly and simply stay on target, as opposed to trying to hit bullseyes.

    Bushnell TRS-25 with 3 MOA Reticle
    Looking through the TRS-25 showing 3 MOA dot

    Battery

    The TRS 25 uses a CR2032 battery. Bushnell claims that the battery life of the TRS-25 is 5,000 hours on a mid-brightness setting, 5 or 6. While 5,000 hours might sound low to some, especially when some optics manufacturers claim 10x that amount, I’ve had one TRS-25 for over two years and never changed the battery. Granted, I don’t take that firearm to the range often, and I am always careful to ensure the red dot is off before I put it away. Regardless, 5,000 hours can get you by for quite some time. Just be sure to check or change your batteries at least once a year, and you should be just fine.

    The battery can be accessed from the top of the red dot by unscrewing a cap; the optic does not need to be removed to change it.

    Bushnell TRS-25 Battery
    The CR2032 batter is accessed by unscrewing the top of the brightness adjustment knob

    Adjustment

    The Bushnell TRS-25 offers 11 brightness settings. This gives you excellent control over your reticle in various lighting environments. If I had to pick one thing I don’t love about the TRS 25, I feel the lowest brightness setting could be slightly lower. I would not call it the perfect setting for night vision, and it is a bit brighter than I prefer in total darkness. That said, the highest setting is plenty bright for even the sunniest days.

    The elevation and windage adjustment is done in 1 MOA increments, which is standard for many red dots. It has a total adjustment range of 75 MOA. I zero many of my rifles and PCCs between 25 and 50 yards, and I’ve always been able to dial the TRS 25 in perfectly.

    Construction

    The construction of the TRS-25 is incredible, considering the price paid for this red dot. It’s made of durable 7075 T6 aluminum and features nitrogen-purged housing to prevent fog from building up. On top of that, this red dot has o-ring-sealed glass to prevent water intrusion. This makes the TRS 25 waterproof, even when fully submerged.

    Bushnell also made this red dot to be shock-proof, giving it the ability to withstand heavy recoil. I can attest to this, as I’ve had the TRS-25 on AKs and shotguns without any issue at all.

    Mounting Options

    The Bushnell TRS-25 is offered in the low-mount option, with integrated female pic rail, and the high-rise mount option with a riser. If you’re mounting this red dot on a shotgun or AK, you definitely want to use the standard low mount. If you’re mountain the TRS 25 on an AR-15, you’ll likely opt for the high-mount option to clear your MBUS sights.

    Some have even put the TRS-25 on pistols, though you’ll either need an integrated picatinny rail or have the option to add a pic rail. This red dot does not mount to modern pistol slide cut footprints like many micro red dots on the market.

    Ability to Hold Zero

    I’ve had four TRS-25s over the last few years, and I have never had one not hold zero. They keep their point of aim/point of impact, even through heavier recoil. That can’t be said for many cheap, no-name red dots. I’ve tested my share of $30-$40 red dots, and they are incredibly frustrating when it comes to keeping their zero.

    Bushnell TRS-25 Price

    The standard low-mount TRS-25 comes in right around $60, whereas the high-mount option runs closer to $75. From my personal testing, this is the lowest-priced option for a dependable red dot that should last you for years. Sure, there are cheaper options out there, but I’ve found these red dots to be unreliable, and most of them will never hold zero.

    Sale
    Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black
  • 3 MOA dot
  • 11 brightness settings
  • Up to 5,000 hours, on mid-brightness setting
  • Durable 7075 T6 aluminum housing
  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof
  • Fog-proof

  • Bushnell TRS-25 Problems

    While there might always be an occasional lemon, the most common “problem” of the TRS-25 is actually not a problem at all. Many people complain that the front lens is tilted. While it may look a bit out of the ordinary, this is intentional. Bushnell designed the red dot this way because the tilted front lens reflects the light generated by the LED, which is projected at an angle, back to your eye(s), thus forming the dot.

    A couple of consumers have complained about the front lens popping out completely, but this seems to be very rare and isolated to a couple of cases.

    Conclusion

    Considering the reasonable battery life, durability, and brand reputation, I think the Bushnell TRS-25 is one of the best budget red dots on the market today. I’ve been incredibly happy with mine over the years and wouldn’t hesitate to buy another.

    If your red dot budget is limited and you’re looking for a solid optic that keeps zero and won’t let you down, you can’t go wrong with this red dot. While I wouldn’t consider it battle-ready, it’s certainly going to hold up just fine to average range or field use, even in harsh environmental conditions.

    FAQ

    The TRS-25 is made in China.

    That will depend on what you’re mounting it to. You want as low a mount as possible for some firearms, like AKs and shotguns. If you plan to mount it on an AR-15, consider getting the option with the riser.

    At this time, there is no green reticle available, only red.

    The best way to sight in your red dot is to use a bore sight. This will allow you to get very close to a perfect zero before you even take it to the range. In turn, that will save you money on ammo and should only require some fine-tuning at the range.

    No, the TRS-25 is a 1x red dot and offers no magnification. If you’d like to pair your red dot with a magnifier, Bushnell offers a 3x magnifier that mounts behind the red dot.

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