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Old 06-11-2012, 20:08   #1
plouffedaddy
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Bushnell First Strike Red Dot Review: Product Failure, CS Success

Sights, Optics and Lasers

Sights, Optics and Lasers

This optic was tested on my 870, but my ultimate plan was to put it on my Draco SBR once the stamp comes in (been 7 months now....) but I'm not so sure about that plan now, here's why:


This optic was tested on my 870, but my ultimate plan was to put it on my Draco SBR once the stamp comes in (been 7 months now....) but I'm not so sure about that plan now, here's why:

When I first saw that Bushnell released the First Strike at Shot Show, I was immediately intrigued. Red dot optics have improved by leaps and bounds in the past 10 years and this little optic looked very promising to me as it can be mounted on a rimfire pistol, AK, AR, shotgun, ect... I ordered one from Bushnell directly for $140 and it arrived in my mailbox in on Monday, I mounted it on my 870 Express Tactical, threw some rounds in my bag and I had it on the range on Saturday. I zeroed it in, had a little fun, then turned the camera on to begin the review.

Before I get in to what happened next, here are some specs for the First Strike:

5 MOA
Matte finish
Multi-coated optics
Self regulating brightness
Integrated mount
100% waterproof/fogproof/shockproof construction (that's the claim)
CR2032 battery
The optic automatically shuts off when the cover is applied (my favorite feature of the optic)


Once I turned the camera on, a small crack developed in the lower left part of the glass but I didn't immediately notice it when shooting (talk about tunnel vision!). After firing a few rounds of birdshot & buckshot mix with the camera on, I put about 50 rounds of Winchester Walmart special (a light load) through it. I noticed the right side crack as one of those rounds broke and pulled my head back to look at it and noticed the left side too! The dot was still working for what it's worth but the product was broken for sure.


I called Bushnell today and spoke with Tiffany who had never heard of this before so she put me on hold and got a technical supervisor. He too stated he had never heard this before and was very interested in what happened. Since this is a very new product that has generated a lot of buzz, they seemed particularly concerned if there was a "bad batch" that went out. They put me on hold to see when my particular unit was made, then got another tech supervisor who asked tons of questions. The seemed to be very perplexed with what I was telling them. I told them I had it on video and could send it to them since they were so interested and I'll email it to them tomorrow. The tech guys got done with their myriad of questions and handed me back over to Tiffany. She stated that they would pay shipping both ways and have a new one back to me in no time. The tech guys both assured me the optic should work on a 12 gauge with no issues and they seemed to believe my unit was probably made incorrectly (one tech said he was going to rip the unit apart to make sure the 'flaw' isn't going into the newly made units). Everyone at Bushnell was really professional, courteous, and seemed to be genuinely concerned with solving the problem and I hope they do.


Overall the product was a failure and I wouldn't recommend it at this point. But, great customer service will make me continue buying products from Bushnell. A company that stands behind their product is a company I will continue to do business with.


Here's the video:

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Last edited by plouffedaddy; 06-12-2012 at 04:35..
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Old 06-11-2012, 22:28   #2
NickC50310
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Dang! Thats the sight I was leaning towards on my AK! HMMMMMMM.....
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Old 06-11-2012, 22:34   #3
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howd you get it for $140 from them? Optics Planet has it for 140 but the Bushnell store has it for $208.
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Old 06-12-2012, 13:25   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickC50310 View Post
howd you get it for $140 from them? Optics Planet has it for 140 but the Bushnell store has it for $208.
I ordered it months ago, after Shot Show, but before they were out and they honored the price
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Old 06-12-2012, 16:30   #5
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Wow. Unreal
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Old 06-12-2012, 16:40   #6
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Yikes! I was also interested in this optic, tagged for updates and good luck.


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Old 06-12-2012, 16:43   #7
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I think I'd wait for reviews on a Burris Fastfire III (mine is waiting at home) or get a II.
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Old 06-12-2012, 17:03   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plouffedaddy View Post
I ordered it months ago, after Shot Show, but before they were out and they honored the price
Nice! At $140 its a decent deal (if it actually doesnt shatter!). For 208, I would get a fastfire instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMonkey View Post
I think I'd wait for reviews on a Burris Fastfire III (mine is waiting at home) or get a II.
With the mount the III is $250+. If I do go that route I will get a II for $190 with the mount. I cant see much difference between them?

With this revelation I am leaning towards the Burris....
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Old 06-12-2012, 17:04   #9
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Also, on the Bushnell sight the First Strike looks gorgeous. In the actual pics above, it looks cheap and cobbled together.
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Old 06-12-2012, 17:17   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickC50310 View Post
With the mount the III is $250+. If I do go that route I will get a II for $190 with the mount. I cant see much difference between them?

With this revelation I am leaning towards the Burris....
The III has a slide-out battery tray so you don't have to remove it to change batteries, and doesn't require a special tool for adjustments. Can't remember other differences.. not huge, but nice updates.
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Old 06-12-2012, 18:24   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMonkey View Post
The III has a slide-out battery tray so you don't have to remove it to change batteries, and doesn't require a special tool for adjustments. Can't remember other differences.. not huge, but nice updates.
They are nice updates. I like my FFII but will probably get a III one of these days too
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Old 06-13-2012, 20:55   #12
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SOB! Thats an NCSTAR rebranded! Thats pretty shifty there Bushnell!


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Old 06-14-2012, 09:21   #13
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Someone gave me a NC Star red dot once..

Believe me---the Bushnell is light years better than that thing; even with the failure.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:41   #14
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Look at the one i posted and the bushnell. Its the exact same thing. Even the notches at the bottom line up.

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Old 06-14-2012, 12:41   #15
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I don't know what to tell you but having both personally it's not the same thing. Same dimentions---perhaps. The Bushnell dot was much more crisp, didn't wash out, and the threading didn't strip by simply mounting it.

I'm not defending the Bushnell since it busted on me, but I'd still take it over a NC Star.
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Old 06-14-2012, 13:51   #16
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Interesting. Maybe the guts are different but the exterior is the same?

Either way i think i will probably go with a burris now.

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Old 06-15-2012, 10:38   #17
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Like others, I've been waiting for mine and was glad that it finally showed up yesterday. I've got it on my S&W 22A for use at the indoor range near the office. I'm sure I won't be stressing it with the 22LR rounds, so if mine cracks I'll be really shocked.

My question/concern is related to the photo-eye shut off feature when the cover is in place. I know that you said you liked this, and I agree that it will help save battery life (as long as you don't lose the cover). My issue is that this could never be a viable option for a home defense piece since it doesn't function in a dark house.

Am I off base here? Maybe I missed the feature that let's me force it on...?

I do appreciate the review, and I'll be interested to hear what happens next.

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Old 06-15-2012, 16:31   #18
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Thanks for reporting on this plouffedaddy. Its always good to have a mental running list of MRDs to stay away from when you are a fan like myself. Stay safe.
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Old 06-16-2012, 20:44   #19
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Quote:
My issue is that this could never be a viable option for a home defense piece since it doesn't function in a dark house.
The same thought popped in my head and I checked--it works in the dark.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:13   #20
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Quote:
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The same thought popped in my head and I checked--it works in the dark.
Then there's definitely something different between our optics. When I turn out the lights in an interior room and go completely dark; I can watch the dot dim until it disappears entirely and then when I turn the lights back on; it comes right back. This made sense to me because I couldn't figure out how it would turn off when the cover blocks the light from the sensor, but somehow work when there wasn't any light at all.
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