Not long ago, iron sights were still the standard when it came to sighting systems on a rifle. In fact, I knew an instructor only three years ago who wouldn’t let us use red dots because they were “cheating”. Well, the future is now, old man. Red dot sights are the new standard. Optics like the Aimpoint T1 changed the industry. However, that sight retails for close to $700, which is more than some shooters spend on their entire rifle. As technology has improved, manufacturing red dots has become less expensive, and that savings has been passed onto the customer in the form of budget-friendly options. Today, we’re going to explore one of these options and see if it performs in a meaningful way. Well-known for their red handguards and constant push for innovation, this is the first electronic optic from Strike Industries. Welcome to the TFB review of the Strike Industries SIOPTO SCOUTER red dot.
The Strike Industries SIOPTO SCOUTER: Specifications
- Length: 3.12”
- Width: 1.78”
- Height: 1.52”
- Height with mount: 1.78”
- Weight with battery and mount: 6.30 oz
- Reticle: 2 MOA red dot
- MSRP: $249.95
Opening The Box
What stood out to me first was how much stuff was in the box. There was the optic itself, a cleaning cloth, product manual, battery, battery cover plate, mount, thread locker, hex keys, screws, and one of those delicious freshness packets. I was satisfied that I was given everything I was going to need to get going.
The optic felt strong and the controls made a lot of sense just by looking at it. The glass at the rear of the sight was clear, but the forward glass had a slight red tint. This tint is added in order to optimize the SIOPTO SCOUTER for reflecting the red dot itself. The one thing that raised concern for me was the size of the ocular lens. The objective is 20mm, and the eyepiece appears to be the same size. However, there’s a narrowing within the tube where the emitter is. This means a pretty substantial loss of field of view. We’ll see if it causes any problems.
Let’s Run This Thing
The end goal for this optic is to be used to hunt grouse and rabbit. Yes, you can run it on your carbine, but I wanted to try something new. Red dots can lead to some pretty impressive accuracy, and where better to test that than on a tiny animal? For this article, the purpose of this rifle/optic combo will be to dispatch small critters. I mounted the SIOPTO SCOUTER on a Ruger American Rimfire .22 LR. I’ll be taking this setup on an actual hunt. Keep an eye out for that on OutdoorHub.
Red dots are known for being fast, so I wanted to see how fast I could get accurate hits with my bolt .22 at varying distances. To do this, I hit up my usual shooting buddy, Dave from MODTAC Training Group.
Knowing that I’m going to be using this on grouse and rabbit, I zeroed at 50 yards. After zeroing, I wanted to have some fun. If you saw my Athlon Optics Talos BTR 1-4×24 LPVO review on AllOutdoor, you know that I like to get a little creative. So, I drew a rabbit to shoot.
I engaged the rabbit with one round from the standing, kneeling, and prone positions from 50 yards. I did the drill three times. These are my results:
Time: 9.2 seconds
One dead center, one ear piercing, and one in the foot.
Time: 9.8 seconds
An ouchie in the chin, belly shave, and a hard miss. Not the best string.
Time: 13.1 seconds
Two hits to the body and one…um…warning shot.
The SIOPTO SCOUTER: Final Thoughts
The SIOPTO SCOUTER from Strike Industries is a red dot. There you have it. It doesn’t blow my mind and it doesn’t disappoint. Ultimately, it did exactly what it’s supposed to do, which is the goal. I don’t mean that as a dig. If I wanted all sorts of fancy features, I could spend three times the cost of the SCOUTER and get 1.5x the capability. If you want an optic that will put a dot on a target and hit where you pointed it, but you don’t want to drop your whole paycheck, I recommend taking a look at this optic. If you’re all about looks, this red dot has some cool, strong-lined aesthetics.
Including an auto-off and shake awake is huge at this price point. These are the kinds of features that other companies will exclude in order to bring the price down. The thing does what it’s supposed to and is clearly kept to a quality standard that Ford could learn from. The actual viewing size of the window kind of bummed me out, but it didn’t affect my shooting in a negative way. The battery compartment is a bit large in comparison to the rest of the unit, but didn’t stand out once I got running. I actually came to really like it. I think it looks cool and the four screws make it strong.
Is it the smallest? No. Is it going to get you all the likes on Instagram? Maybe. Is it going to put a hole where you tell it to and turn on when you need it to? 100%. I think this is a high-value product that many shooters will appreciate. If you want one, head to the Strike Industries website. Be sure to follow SI on all of their social pages. You can find Strike Industries on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Keep training, run what you can afford, and be damn good with your gear!