All shooters want dependable optics without breaking their budget. Shooting enthusiasts who want a reasonably priced reflex sight will find that in the Sightmark Ultra Shot line of sights. It offers you a range of price options and features to meet any budget and shooting needs. In this article, we will examine each of Sightmark’s Ultra Shot reflex sights to help you make your decision.
I first became aware of Sightmark products when they came to ShotShow in 2007. I wasn’t in attendance in person, but I followed the show extensively online. I remember that a new company was getting a lot of attention from the reporters and the attendees. Sightmark was that company. It got my attention on several levels, not the least of which was that they were a Texas company.
When I opened my retail gun store in 2010, one of the first product lines I acquired was Sightmark. I met James Sellers, the founder and CEO Of SellMark Corporation at Shotshow in January 2011. James explained then that Sightmark wasn’t competing directly with products like Trijicon or Vortex. He explained that the goal of Sightmark was to provide the average shooter with an above-average optic at a budget-conscious price.
In my opinion, Sightmark has more than met that goal in its product lines. In particular, the Sightmark Ultra Shot line of reflex red dot sights epitomizes the concept of value vs. price. Sightmark products certainly aren’t for everyone. However, if you are an average shooter, you can have an above-average optic by choosing a sight from Sightmark.
In this article, we’re breaking down:
- Sightmark’s Ultra Shot Reflex Sight models.
- Which features you need, depending on your unique shooting expectations.
- Why Sightmark is the perfect median between super expensive sights and cheaply made products that aren’t worth your time.
The Sightmark Ultra Shot Reflex Red Dot Sight
The Sightmark Ultra Shot line of reflex red dot sights offers something for everyone. There is a package with the features you need, from the basic Sightmark Ultra Shot R-Mark to the Sightmark Ultra Shot M-Spec LQD Reflex Sight.
Across the Sighmark Ultra Shot line, you get features like:
- Sightmark’s lifetime warranty
- Each package includes adjustment tools
- MOA windage and elevation adjustments
- A CR123A battery
If you are shopping for a reflex sight, the Sightmark Ultra Shot line of optics deserves a serious look. There is Sightmark Ultra Shot sight to fit almost any average shooter’s need. The Ultra Shot Reflex Red Dot sights include the following products:
Sightmark Ultra Shot R-Spec Reflex Sight
I suppose you would call this the entry-level Sightmark Ultra Shot optic. Available from many retailers for under $100, this is an incredible value. You can buy much more expensive sights, but even the most expensive will be hard-pressed to provide the ratio of features to price. I always counsel anyone to look at the specifications and the features before making judgments. Looking at the Sightmark Ultra Shot R-Spec optic features gives you a good idea of what to expect in the other red dot optics in the Ultra Shot Line.
- Lightweight but tough aluminum alloy housing
- Full protected glass with a wrap-around aluminum shield
- Mounts to any standard Picatinny rail with a secure quick-detach Picatinny mount
- An extra-wide lens means quick target acquisition
- Slotted windage and elevation adjustments allow precise adjustments
- A choice of red or green reticle illumination
- Ten levels of reticle illumination intensity for any light condition
- An easy-to-see low-battery indicator
- Digital switch controls give you positive control
- A one-hour auto shut off to conserve battery life
- A variety of reticle options to give you the best targeting options
- All lenses are fully coated for protection and glare reduction
- Interlock internal locking adjustment system
This list of features is for the most basic model of a Sightmark Ultra Shot Reflex Red Dot Sight. Getting these features on a sub-one hundred dollar reflex sight is extraordinary in itself.
- Four Pattern Reticle includes a 5 MOA (Minute of Angle) dot, 3 MOA dot with 50 MOA circle, 3 MOA dot with 50 MOA crosshair, and a 3 MOA dot with both crosshair and circle.
- Red or green reticle
- Objective lens size = 33 x 24 mm
- Elevation adjustments in MOA – 120
- Windage elevation in MOA – 120
- 1 MOA per-adjustment click
- Parallax set to 25 yards
- Battery type – CR123A
- Battery life in hours – 200 – 2,000 hours depending on the intensity setting
- Dimensions in inches – 4.33×1.96×2.28
- Total Weight – 10.7 ounces
Light weight, compact size, and a wealth of options and adjustments make the Sightmark Ultra Shot R-Spec reflex sight a definite contender in the reflex sight market. Consider this sight if you need a solid performing, feature-rich reflex red dot sight but don’t want to invest more than you spend on a budget AR.
The Pros and Cons of the R-Spec Ultra Shot Reflex Sight
- The large glass aperture makes target acquisition fast and easy.
- Lightweight design keeps the center of gravity of your rifle relatively unchanged
- The multiple patterns of reticle give shooters options without extra cost
- The mount is secure and holds zero well even after mounting and dismounting
- The cost is excellent concerning the quality and the features
- If you need a different height than an absolute co-witness with iron sights, you must change your iron sights for foldable versions.
- An Allen wrench is necessary to use the windage and elevation adjustments. A lack of an adjustment tool can create problems in the field if adjustment tools are handy.
There have been millions of low-cost AR-15s sold in the past few years. It is hard to justify putting a $500 sight on a $400 budget rifle. On the other hand, mounting a Sightmark Ultra Shot R-Spec sight has advantages beyond the cost.
What Users Say About the R-Spec Reflex Sight
By and large, purchasers of the R-Spec reflex sight from Sightmark are positive in their reviews. Typically, the comments from users of this optic fall into the following categories:
- Users find the Sightmark R-SPec red dot sight accurate and easy to zero. The need for an Allen wrench to make adjustments does seem to be an issue for some users.
- The generous aiming window receives almost universally positive comments.
- Many users appreciate the option to select a reticle based on the shooting they are performing. Some users report that they needed to re-zero the sight if they changed the reticle type.
- The wide sight window allows ultra-fast target acquisition, making it great for competition shooting.
The Sightmark Ultra Shot R-Spec reflex sight is what it is: a low-cost red dot sight made in China. Sightmark Ultra Shot sights aren’t an optic that I would recommend for anyone who shoots serious competition or depends on their rifle in life-and-death situations. However, for the average AR-15 shooter, this sight is a great option as a beginning point.
- Rugged 6061-T6 Aluminum Body And Protective Shield
- Advanced Optical Coatings, Scratch Resistant Lens System
Last update on 2023-12-01 at 17:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Sightmark Ultra Shot A-Spec Reflex Sight
Sit a Sightmark A-Spec reflex sight on a table next to an R-Spec model, and it is almost impossible to tell the difference if you can’t read the labels. That shouldn’t come as a surprise as the major difference between these two Sightmark sights is the one important feature for many shooters. Nothing on the outside gives a hint to these important additional capabilities.
Purchase an A-Spec Sightmark reflex sight, and you get everything that an R-Spec reflex sight delivers. However, understanding the need to improve constantly, Sightmark has added some new features to the already impressive features of the R-Spec line of reflex sights. These additional features include:
- Compatibility with the XT-3 Magnifier to give you up to 3X magnification.
- Recoil rating up to .50 caliber BMG rounds
- Night vision system capability
- Advanced AR coatings on the scratch-resistant lens ensure a crisp and error-free view
If you are a night hunter and routinely use night vision equipment, the Sightmark Ultra Shot A-Spec reflex sight may be exactly what you need. The night vision compatible modes feature 6 NV settings to the ten brightness intensity settings on the 4-choice reticle. Strap on those goggles and take control of the night.
The Sightmark A-Spec Ultra Shot reflex sight is identical externally to the R-Spec model. The internal specifications differ in a few places to accommodate the night vision compatibility. We have highlighted the differences in bold font below:
- 4 Position reticle selection just like the R-SPec model
- The reticle color is only available in red. The NV setting takes the place of the green illumination setting.
- Ten intensity level settings on the red illumination plus the NV settings
- Objective aperture – 33 x 24 mm
- Unlimited eye relief
- Elevation travel adjustment – 120 MOA
- Windage travel adjustment – 120 MOA
- Adjustment per click – 1 MOA
- Parallax setting – 10 yards
- Battery type – CR123A
- Battery life – 200 – 2000 hours depending on brightness settings
- Lens Coating – AR Red
Opting to mount a Sightmark Ultra Shot A-Spec model rather than an R-SPec is purely a personal choice. However, if you don’t use night vision equipment, the extra cost of the A-Spec model doesn’t get you any advantages over the R-Spec reflex sight.
What Users Say About the A-Spec Reflex Sight
There aren’t as many purchasers and users of the A-Spec reflex sight. Fewer users probably stem from the lack of shooters who routinely use night vision equipment and need a compatible reflex sight. However, those who purchase the A-Spec Ultra Shot sight consistently give it high marks. Comments tend to fall into these categories:
- For what it costs, the A-Spec reflex sight exceeds expectations. The sight picture is clear and crisp, the controls are easy to manipulate, and the night vision compatible settings work as advertised.
- Users find that these Sightmark sights are rugged and durable.
- Many users have seen a remarkable difference from previous red dot sights while night hunting with night vision goggles and the Sightmark A-SPec reflex sight.
Many shooters have no need for night vision capabilities on a reflex rifle sight. Some shooters argue that those than can afford NV gear can afford any night vision capable reflex sight on the market. I tend to disagree, since NV gear has been steadily decreasing in price. More and more hunters are now enjoying the challenge of varmint shooting in the dark.
- Sport Type: Hunting
- Advanced anti-reflective coated, scratch resistant lens system
Last update on 2023-12-01 at 20:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Sightmark Ultra Shot M-Spec Reflex Sight
Sightmark upped the game by introducing the M-Spec version of the Ultra Shot reflex sight. Building on the R-Spec reflex sight foundation, the M-Spec brings a whole new array of features to the table. The Sightmark M-Spec line takes the concept of durability to a new level.
The M-spec series of reflex sights from Sightmark features two versions, the M-Spec LQD and the M-Spec FMS. The difference between these two models is the mounting system. The LQD model utilizes the Sightmark locking quick detach (LQD) mount. The FMS models incorporate a more traditional mount that uses screws to attach the optic to the firearm’s receiver. There are other new and upgraded features on the M-Spec series of reflex optics.
Sightmark is consistent in keeping features that work for users while intending to upgrade for better performance constantly. New features are always on the drawing board to further enhance the value. The M-SPec line of reflex optics is no different. The enhanced and new features in the M-Spec line include the following items:
- Each M-SPec Ultra Shot reflex sight now includes a patented integrated sunshade.
- Unlimited eye relief allows mounting this optic on various rifles with ease.
- An advanced AR-coated scratch-resistance lens system enhances the light-transmitting performance of the optic. This anti-reflective red coating protects the lens and ensures great light transmission.
- The M-Spec reflex sights now incorporate a motion-sensing system that sleeps the illuminated reticle until it is needed and then powers it up almost instantaneously. This system allows a seriously long battery life.
- The M-SPec reflex sight provides a 65-MOA circle and dot reticle with ten illumination settings and an NV compatibility mode.
- Sightmark has tested the M-Spec reflex sights to IP55 weather resistance
If you find yourself in extreme conditions while hunting or shooting, the M-Spec line of Ultra Shot reflex sights may be a good option. Sightmark understands the needs of hunters and competition shooters who are often at the mercy of the elements and need a reflex sight that can take what comes.
What Users Say About the Sightmark Ultra Shot M-Spec Reflex Sight
Surveying the comments from users and purchasers of the Sightmark Ultra Shot M-Spec doesn’t reveal many surprises. The vast majority of these comments are positive and tend to group in categories similar to these:
- The Sightmark M-Spec sight performs like more expensive red dot sights.
- The sunshade is a handy addition to the reflex sight. In areas where the sun can be intense, the shade provided by the sunshade kills a lot of the glare.
- Users find that the field of view of the M-Spec sight is phenomenal. It is much bigger than many other reflex sights, and users were pleasantly surprised by the price difference.
The Sightmark Ultra Shot M-Spec reflex sight may not be your idea of an entry-level red dot optic. However, for this sight’s features, the going price is a bargain. Sightmark has designed and built the M-Spec Ultra Shot reflex sight to be a rugged and reliable working sight for almost any shooter.
- Rugged 6061-T6 aluminum body and protective shield plus a Patented integrated sunshade
- Advanced anti-reflective coating, scratch resistant lens system
Last update on 2023-12-01 at 20:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
To put it plainly, I like Sightmark products. As long as you understand what they are and set your expectations correctly, you won’t be disappointed. Sightmark reflex sights are robust field equipment that is built tough. They will perform for most shooters during range time, competitions, or in the field for years.
I hope that this Sightmark Ultra Shot Review answers some of your questions and gives you a better understanding of what you can expect if you continue shopping for a Sightmark Ultra Shot Reflex Sight. Good Luck and Good Shooting.