Whether a high-powered optic for precision shooting, or a light, laser or reflex sight, the gear often added to an AR or other semi-automatic rifle can quickly become more expensive than the firearm itself. Getting rigged up can be a daunting task for shooters on a tight budget, but there are some value-conscious alternatives available today-such as those from BSA Optics.
The company’s TW30RDLL is a good example. It combines a 1X sight with a laser, light and pressure pad for only $140. The integral 5/8-inch Weaver-rail mount saves more cash and proved easy to use and effective for securing the sight onto several ARs.
The 1X scope has a 30 mm body with an identically sized objective. Parallax is set at 100 yards, although during testing objects as close as 10 feet seemed in focus. Light loss was slight, but noticeable, particularly after sunset. The field of view at 100 yards is just more than 19 feet.
A 1.2-inch diameter rheostat on the left side of the scope’s body activates the five-m.o.a. red-dot reticle. There are no “off” positions between each of the nine intensity settings. One position illuminates the integral laser, which cannot run concurrently with the reticle. A single CR2032 battery in the knob powers both sights.
Small (0.640 inch), captive caps at the right rear and top rear protect the reticle’s windage and elevation turrets, respectively. Adjustments are 1/4-m.o.a. per click and were positive, if gently turned, during testing. The scope walked the box well, responding to adjustments and coming back to zero predictably.
A knurled knob found up front and below the scope body adjusts laser elevation. Windage is altered using a small Allen wrench to adjust a screw housed in the same vicinity. There are no clicks to count, and no locking mechanism-but there were no problems during testing. The laser, however, is low enough that a folded front sight blocked it from painting the target, forcing the sight's temporary removal from the test rifle.
The scope body has a 3.3-inch section of rail on its top used to affix the flashlight. A provided mount is reversible for use on 3/8- or 5/8-inch rails, allowing it to mount elsewhere on railed rifles. An included hook-and-loop-fastened pressure switch can replace the flashlight’s tailcap for momentary activation.
The flashlight produces 140 lumens from a pair of CR123 batteries. Turning its LED housing changes beam diameter. After 12 hours in a freezer the scope and laser operated flawlessly, and it survived a lengthy water bath-despite no water-resistant or waterproof claims by BSA. It didn’t fog internally, either.
With the shorter of the two eyecups attached, the scope measures 6¾-inches long. The longer, bellows-like version increases that number to 8½ inches. Height above the rail mount is 2¾ inches. The optic weighs 12.75 ounces without the flashlight and with it 17.25 ounces.
Sure there are compromises, like the limited field of view for a 1X. But, if you’re looking for an optic that will survive routine range rigors, keep some coin in your pocket and fulfill the task-while offering the piece of mind of a one-year-limited warranty-the BSA Optics TW30RDLL is worthy of consideration.