first published on August 25, 2021 by Josh Brooks[mashshare]
So, you’re looking for a budget red dot optic that won’t let you down your first day on the range. Well, good news. We might have just the thing you’re looking for. The TRS-26 Red Dot Optic from Bushnell was recently put into my hands, and I’ve had a bit of time behind it now. It’s a budget friendly, durable optic, that is completely capable of accomplishing most missions you might have for it.
In this article I’m going to cover why you should trust your money with Bushnell. I’m also going to introduce you to the TRS-26 Red Dot Optic and tell you about it’s features and specifications. Then, we’ll dig down to the brass tacks and discuss how I feel the optic performed. For the purpose of this review, I used the TRS-26 on an SDS Imports BLP M12AB shotgun, and a Savage Arms MSR15. I fired on known distance targets from 0-50 yards, and also on unknown distance targets out to 300 yards.
Use the table of contents below to skip to the parts of the article you find the most helpful.
Bushnell has been in the industry of optics for over 65 years. In that time, they have learned and improved the optics game step by step, always raising the bar one innovation at a time. The company themselves are known for packing durability into solid budget products, and they are also well known for their innovations in the laser range-finder space. The products of Bushnell continue, year after year, to make waves throughout the optics industry and they have consistently won design and performance awards for their work.
Are there better companies out there? Probably. Are there better products out there? Probably. Can you find a company with a reputation for well-priced optics as strong as Bushnell’s anywhere else in the industry? I don’t think so. If you’re looking to save money, but still want to have relevant and reliable products to guide your rifles and bows, you really don’t need to look much further than Bushnell. If you see a Bushnell logo on your optic, you’re good to go. And, if the product fails you, you’ll find that Bushnell has some of the strongest customer service in the industry. They will get your sorted and make the problem right.
In short, Bushnell is a solid company that you can trust with your money. They know what they’re doing, and when they make a mistake, they also make it right by the customer.
The TRS-26 Red Dot Optic is the younger brother of the TRS-25. Being the newest addition to the family, Bushnell has outfitted it with a host of upgrades from its predecessor. These upgrades include a larger objective lens which makes the red dot easy to acquire. They also include a much longer battery life of 50,000 hours, and a much sharper 3 MOA dot that operates through easy to access push-buttons.
Coming in at $139.99 MSRP, the Bushnell TRS-26 Red Dot Optic is a solid choice that fits almost every budget. Here’s the specifications, and a video review from Life’s Short, Live Free for those of you who prefer your reviews in video format. The review is also a second opinion from another shooter who is independent of this blog.
As stated back in the introduction, for the purpose of this review we tested the TRS-26 Red Dot Optic on the SDS Imports BLP M12AB shotgun, and a Savage Arms MSR15. The optic was run from 0 to 300 yards on targets that were both known and unknown distance ranges from the shooter. We also briefly tested the optic out shooting clays. Our testing location was at the Silver Spur Ranch in Wyoming, on their clay pigeon range, 50 yard range, and their unknown distance range.
Getting the TRS-26 zeroed in was a simple process. Like most red dot optics, it’s extremely easy to adjust the dot to get the proper point-of-aim, point-of-impact. It also comes with the proper tools to make this process simple. If you’ve ever zeroed a red dot optic before, than the TRS-26 is old-hat by now and you’ll get it done in less than half of a magazine from your rifle. In the event you have never zeroed a red dot optic before, than the TRS-26 is a great place to learn. Just follow the instructions listed in the manual of the optic and you’ll be grouping your shots down range in no time at all.
Shooting with the TRS-26 was much like shooting with any of the higher-budget red dot optics out there. The similarities to items like the Aimpoint Micro T1 were very noticeable. Also worth noting is the ease in which you can adjust the intensity of the actual dot itself, allowing you to get the perfect setting depending on the intensity of light you are in. This is a must in red dot optics now, and Bushnell nailed it here.
I want to talk about my two favorite things about the TRS-26 real quick, with a close third being the price-point. First and foremost, I have to hand kudos to Bushnell on this red dot. When you get your hands on a sub $150 red dot optic, you generally don’t expect much out of it. Higher-end red dot optics can run between $400 and $800 dollars, and I’m not kidding you when I say the TRS-26 truly can hang with some of the biggest and baddest of them all.
The TRS-26 is a maneuverable and easy to acquire dot. Within ten minutes, I was able to strip the 26 off of the Savage Arms MSR15 we initially had it mounted on, and move it to a bullpup shotgun. Within one five-round magazine through the shotgun, we had it re-zeroed, and were pegging clays with it. Shotguns and budget red dots aren’t something you normally put together. The recoil of the higher gauged shotguns can sometimes cause the dots to lose their zero, or break all together. We put some serious rounds down range with the SDS Imports BLP M12AB shotgun with the TRS-26 on the top of it, and it almost seemed like the 26 was made for the task.
Also, let’s take quick note of that easy to acquire dot part. The TRS-26 is insanely easily to acquire. In fact, after the first magazine with the shotgun, I felt like I had been shooting with, and acquiring targets through it all day. It’s a simple and intuitive design with crystal clear glass and an easily distinguishable dot that makes this possible. I cannot give Bushnell enough props on how well done this simple budget friendly red dot optic is.
If you’re in the market for a budget friendly red dot optic, this one is for you. The TRS-26 can be the perfect hold-over red dot for your new rifle, or it can be a permanent fixture that you use for years. I firmly believe that Bushnell did a fantastic job here. I am incredibly happy with how the TRS-26 performed, not only on an AR platform, but also on the SDS Imports BLP M12AB. Buy in confidence if you’re eyeballing a TRS-26. I don’t think you’ll be dissapointed.
That’s just the opinion of one gun writer on the internet though. Let me know down in the comments section if you have a different opinion of the TRS-26. We do our best to go through all of our comments, and respond to as many of them as we can. Do you have a favorite budget red dot optic? Share it down there as well with us. As a community we can always come together to make the best decisions. Helping each other out is what all of this is about.