Review: Barska AC11428 Red Dot Scope

This is the second in a series of reviews of red-dot scopes for Bullseye. The review of the Holosun red dot scope is here.

Highlights

  • Low Cost.
  • Similar size and weight to Aimpoint.

Lowlights

  • Sight adjustment ‘clicks’ not well defined.
  • No end stop on sight adjusters.
  • Poor quality o-rings do not bode well for protection against weather.

Conclusion

This is a cheap copy of the Aimpoint, barely suitable for precision pistol use. I am dubious that it will stand up to long term use.

The Konus and Barska scopes are probably made by the same manufacturer. They appear to be identical. The only differences I can see are the coating of the front glass and the Konus has a different style of mounting cross bolt and both red or green dots available. All observations for one are applicable to the other except as noted in the text. See images below, Barska on left and Konus on right.

Barska on left, Konus on Right

Image Quality

Reflections

The anti-reflective coatings are only fair, better than an Ultra-Dot but not nearly as good as the Holosun or Aimpoint. Reflections are visible with a slight blue-purple tint. I tried my best to capture reflections in the images below.

Reflections L to R Holosun, Aimpoint, Barska, Match-Dot

Obstructions

The internal electronics are visible at the bottom of the ring. They stand out more than an Aimpoint, but in a different location. See the images below from left to right Holosun, Aimpoint, Barska, Match-Dot.

Sight Pictures L to R Holosun, Aimpoint, Barska, Match-Dot

Magnification / Distortionbarska-distortion

There is no magnification of the image. There appears to be very slight waviness in places if I look really closely, but I have to really look for it and I doubt it would affect my shooting.

Filtering

The image through the scope is a little darker than an Aimpoint, Holosun or Ultra-Dot with a green tint.

Dot Quality

Brightness

The sight has 11 brightness settings, but there is not a huge difference between the lowest and highest settings. The lowest setting is quite bright, about equal to 7 or 8 on the Aimpoint. The brightest setting is about equal 9 or 10 on the Aimpoint. The lowest setting was a little brighter than I wanted when shooting indoors at a well lit range with flood lights on the targets and fluorescent lights over the firing position, but I prefer a fairly dim dot. The steps between brightness settings are small and appear to be fairly linear, but I can’t always see a difference in brightness between settings. The Konus has about the same min and max brightness, but it only has 5 settings.

Brightness Control

Brightness is controlled by rotating the dial rheostat on the side of the scope. The dial can rotate continuously.

Shape

The dot is round, but I see some flaring off of the dot. It is not as clear and crisp a dot as the Holosun, Aimpoint or most Ultra-Dots.

Size

The dot size is 2MOA and looks about the same, or maybe slightly bigger than the Aimpoint dot.

On/Off Control

The scope is turned on and off using the brightness control dial rheostat. The dial does not stop when it gets to off, it can rotate continuously.

Sight Adjustments

I was disappointed in the group size shooting my old Hammerli 208 International with Aguilla Pistol Match. I was only shooting at 50 feet and expected better. I may take the time to repeat the test using a better gun/ammo combination.

Linearitybarska-sight-box

I am not sure about the sight adjustment linearity. I think it is acceptable, but it was often difficult to feel the clicks so I may have mis-counted. The shots on the left center are out of line with everything else and the final shots are not in the same location as the starting shots. The “sight box” in the image at right is +/-20 clicks plus 10 clicks in the cardinal directions. The shots move the same distance regardless of direction except for the left center and final as mentioned.

Elevation / Windage Independence

I don’t see any significant interaction between elevation and windage adjustments. If this was present the box would lean or not be square.

Click Quality

I really don’t like the feel of the ‘clicks’ especially in the CW direction. I am not sure why it would be different as there is a ball in the screw and slots are machined in the turret wall so it should be the same in either direction, but both the Konus and Barska had acceptable clicks in the CCW direction and terrible clicks in the CW direction. They are definitely worse than Holosun, Aimpoint or any of my Ultra-Dots.

End Stopskonus-with-windage-screw-removed-3

There is no stop at the CCW end, in fact the adjustment screw will fall out of the sight. The picture at right is of the Konus, but the Barska did the same thing. The stop at the CW end of travel is mushy and soft, so finding a solid stop to count clicks from would be approximate at best.

Resolution

The sight adjustment is claimed to be 1.18″, which I assume is the movement at 100 yards which means 1 MOA per click. My testing measured about 7 3/4″ for 40 clicks or 0.19″ per click at 50 feet, which is 1.1 MOA for elevation and about 7 3/8″ for 40 clicks or 0.184″ per click at 50 feet, which is 1.05 MOA for windage. There are 40 clicks per revolution.

Range of Travel

My example has about 400 clicks of adjustment from end to end for both windage and elevation, though it is difficult to determine the exact end point as mentioned above.

Sight Adjustment Tool & Caps

barska-sight-adjustments

Barska Sight Adjusters

The sight adjuster has a very wide screwdriver slot. My widest screwdriver bit fits loosely in the slot and wants to ride up out of the slot due to the poor machining and flash in the slot. The slot is the same as the Konus. The caps are unmarked and flat. The direction of adjustment is not marked on the dial, cap or scope, but I found them to be the normal “right-hand-rule” of CW Left and Down.

 

Weatherproof

barska-oring-bulging

Barska O-Ring Bulging Out

I could find no claims for weatherproof or water resistance from Barska. The o-rings around the battery compartment and sight adjusters appear to be put in with no design thought. There is no track or slot for the o-ring. The sight adjuster o-ring appears to be too large and the o-ring around the battery compartment appears to be too small. Both will “squeeze out” if the caps are tightened too much. I tried to capture this in the picture at right. This does not happen on Holosun, Aimpoint of Ultra-Dots.

Mounting

The mount is machined into the housing. It is not removeable like the Aimpoint or Holosun. The mount works the same as an Aimpoint, using the cross-bolt to prevent recoil movement.

Sun Shades

There are no built in sun shades. The front and back glass is barely recessed from the housing, the same as the Aimpoint. The round protrusions at the front and rear of the housing are similar, but a few thousandths smaller than the Aimpoint so aftermarket, press-fit, sun shade tubes would need adjustment to fit.

Disclosure & Attribution

All scopes mentioned in this post were purchased by the author. The Holosun, Konus and Barska scopes were purchased from OpticsPlanet.com in August 2016. Aimpoint and Ultra-Dot scopes were purchased from various sources between 2001 and about 2010.

All pictures taken by the author.

 

 

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