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I went to Big 5 Sporting Goods to take a look at two red dot scopes in the $40 range. It was a choice between the Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope and the BSA 30mm Red, Green, and Blue Dot Scope. Both of them were in similar configurations: 1) scope tube; 2) big adjustment knobs; 3) 30mm objective lens. But I came home with the Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope, instead of the BSA 30mm Red, Green, and Blue Dot Scope.
This article will focus on reviewing the Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope with a small comparison section for the BSA 30mm Red, Green, and Blue Dot Scope.
The Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope comes in a rectangular box. It has a nice design pattern on it.
Barska provide specification on the outside of the box.
The waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof got me excited. Maybe this is one red dot sight that will stand up to the abuse of being hit by airsoft BB's.
The package contains the red dot scope, front and rear protective lens caps, a cleaning cloth, instruction sheet, warranty information, and product registration card.
Note that the protective lens caps are made out of transparent plastic. They are perfect for protection against airsoft BB's. They are not quite as clear as glass, but they posed no problem with our aim. And if these plastic lenses get shot out, it will be possible to glue glass microscope slides onto the plastic rims, as explained in the "Protecting the Optical Sight on Airsoft Guns" article.
Much like many other red dot sights on the market, the Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope uses a single 2032 button cell battery for power. And like many other red dot sights, the button cell is under an screw cap on the brightness knob at the top of the scope.
Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope comes with mounting adapters for both Picatinny weaver rail and dovetail rail. You simply flip the two mounting brackets from one side to another to switch. The mount is extremely sturdy. In the photo below, the Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope is mounted to the two top rails on the APS ASR107 M4 URX Raptor airsoft rifle, stabilizing both top rails. This configuration provides an extremely rigid airsoft gun.
The Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope sits quite low on top of the gun. With your cheek on the shoulder stock, you'd have to work at lowering your head to see there dot. With an full face mask, you pretty much can't see it unless you put your face mask behind the shoulder stock. A high rail riser may help both situation.
The Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope provide both elevation and windage adjustments. When you rotate the adjustment dials, they provide positive clicks. The elevation adjustment is under the black cap at the top of the scope (see photo below). When you rotate the adjustment screw in the "up" direction, it moves your target upward in the scope.
The windage adjustment is under the black cap on the right side of the scope (see photo below). When you rotate the adjustment screw in the "right" direction, it moves your target toward the right within the scope.
The adjustment caps are weather sealed with o-rings. When you screw the caps on, screw them on just tight enough to seal with the or-rings. Don't tighten the caps to the point of no more turns, or you'll squeeze the o-rings out of place.
The Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope's eleven position brightness knob allows you to suit the scope for many indoor and dim situations. However, we have found that when the target is under bright sunlight, even the the brightest setting is washed out.
That is most like because the reflective lens does not have a mirror coating on it. If you look through the scope from the front, you'll see the front lens is quite clear. It should be mirror like and filter out the red color in order for the red dot to stand out. We test it with a red laser and see that it has no red light filtration whatsoever.
The DBPower BCE0137 Red Dot Scope is very similar to the Barska scope, but have a very nice reflective coating. Take a look at our "DBPower BCE0137 Red Dot Sight Review" article.
So this sight is practically unusable during the daylight, but it is an excellent candidate for night operation. Why? Because it is inherently compatible with night vision (NV) equipment. The red reflective coating blocks the red spectrum that is extremely important to nightvision light gathering. Mounting a night vision monoscope behind other red dot sights means you can barely see anything. But mounting a night vision monoscope behind the Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope, the world is still clear.
Typically, a red dot sight that is compatible with night vision equipment costs hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. That makes Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope the most inexpensive NV compatible red dot sight on the market. I will keep my fingers crossed that Barska doesn't wise up and put a strong reflective coating on this scope.
This scope, with its protective lenses is perfect for indoor airsoft battles or night MilSim operations. But if you play outside during the day, you will need something better.
The BSA 30mm Red, Green, and Blue Dot Scope has some neat features. It has three colored dots as its name shown. You can use different color to bring out the highest contrast in different lighting conditions. How well it actually work in direct sunlight is hard to say, because I have only tested it indoors at night. The BSA 30mm Red, Green, and Blue Dot Scope has a built in lens hood to shade against glare of the sun. The reflective mirror has a mirror like surface, which may filter out the three dot color that it supports. Rubber lens protector also comes with the scope.
However, I decided not to purchase the BSA 30mm Red, Green, and Blue Dot Scope because its aiming dot is huge, blurry, and not exactly round. Even in the lowest intensity setting, the dot is still huge and bright. Based on my naked eye testing, I don't believe this scope will provide the accuracy and precision I am looking for in a 1x red dot sight.
In addition, the lens hood on the BSA 30mm Red, Green, and Blue Dot Scope causes the front of the scope to be an awkward shape, preventing circular accessories to be attached to it; such as an airsoft lens protector. The Barska 30mm Red Dot Scope, on the other hand, comes with transparent lens protectors, which is perfect for airsoft use.