Review: Bushnell Enrage Red Dot

By Eve Flanigan published on in Optics, Reviews

My late summer range days have been spent, in part, behind a new red dot on the market, the Enrage by Bushnell. It’s one of a few red dot optics I’ve shot with. Once I checked the price, it became the first red dot I have gotten really excited about.

High mount base on the Bushnell Enrage red dot scope

The mount is high enough to co-witness with the flip-up iron sights on this rifle. Other mounting systems may be attached as well.

The Enrage is an upgrade of Bushnell’s previous designs, in that it’s claimed to have longer battery life than previous models. Bushnell doesn’t specify what that means, but in today’s red dot market, good battery life is a reasonable expectation. A 2032 battery is included, and the optic turned on instantly upon removal of the connection-blocking sticker. This optic’s branding states that it’s optimized for use with the Savage MSR, but it’s not clear what that means—other than the fact that Bushnell and Savage are owned by the same parent company.

Very handy is the high mount that comes pre-installed on the Enrage. Its bracket bottom attaches to a Picatinny rail with a single wing nut-and-screw assembly. It installs in seconds. Of course, regular checking to be sure the attachment remains tight is a good idea, as is a Loctite treatment if the optic is going to “live” on a single firearm. This one was destined to move around between testers’ and students’ guns, so we skipped that step in favor of modular use.

Out of the box on a typical AR-15, the optic was about 45 MOA low; windage was close to perfect. The screw-on turret covers have angular edges for easy use with gloves. The half-MOA click value was well marked and turned with palpable precision using a coin. Adjustments on the dial tracked in accordance with what was predicted based on the target. It only took a trio of three-round test groups to get to our desired 50-yard zero.

½-MOA click value scope turrets

½-MOA click value turrets can be turned with a coin. So far, the optic has tracked and held zero well.

Looking through the lens, there’s a single dot—no reticle or other visual accoutrements. Brightness of the 2 MOA dot can be adjusted to the user’s choice of eight settings. Unlike some other well-known red dots, brightness can be set at a preferred level, and the user can go directly to that level after turning the unit off. That’s done with the left-hand knob, which has “off” settings between every brightness level. It’s a handy feature for turning the unit on or off. When choosing a brightness level in a rushed situation, it does require twice the number of clicks, which can consume precious seconds.

Daylight Testing

Testing the Enrage in bright daytime conditions, I found the dot to be crystal-clear to my vision to about 75 yards. Beyond that distance, the dot, made smaller at brightness level 3—to remain visible at high center mass of a torso-size target—began to appear oval-shaped to my eyes. Perhaps it was just my vision, but a colleague who checked out the optic had the same experience. The distortion isn’t enough to affect accuracy. The dot is solid during and after firing; meaning recoil doesn’t take it noticeably off center.

Low-Light Testing

In dim light, the Enrage continued to be easy to use. Brightness adjustments that seem useless in the day are just right for darkened conditions. Bushnell got the brightness choices just right.

Bushnell Enrage Red Dot scope rear

Eight brightness settings are easy to adjust without breaking a cheek or shoulder weld. Between each brightness setting is the “off” position, making it easy to set the optic for any given session without the need to click up from “off” at every use.

Specifications

The Enrage is 4.75 inches long and, as close as I can tell, occupies 2.5 inches at the widest part of its profile. The outer rim of the lens is 1.75 inches in diameter, with the viewable surface 1.25 inches across. It invites fast target acquisition with minimal bulk, especially when compared to certain other brands. The bore/reticle offset is 3.0 inches by my measurements. It easily accommodates a co-witness with iron sights.

Detracting from the slim lines of the optic itself, and the light weight (about three ounces) is the mounting nut. While its high-leverage design makes it easy to install and remove, it makes it equally easy to catch on chest-borne gear. Its hard plastic knob has shown no weakness thus far, but it does feel as though it could easily break under pressure.

Conclusion

The Enrage first struck me as an optic that would be a great choice for range practice or home defense. The protruding attachment knob needs space that might make it a less satisfactory choice for a run-and-gun or truck gun optic. However, when I looked at retail prices, which are around $150 in most outlets for the optic and mount, and considering the ease of mounting, it seems a great choice for the new modern sporting rifle owner of any kind—so long as they have two inches of rail to spare. It’s an optic that’s sturdy and adaptable enough to serve the new to intermediate carbine user, and will leave money in the bank for ammo or other accessories.

What use would you say the Enrage is best suited for—truck gun, home defense, run-and-gun? Share your answer in the comment section.

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Comments (6)

  • Indianasteve

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    So, compare it to something, like maybe a Vortex Strikefire.

    Reply

  • MacII

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    Eve,

    Good article. One other consideration. I am 75 and closer to 76 than 75. Years ago, I noticed a change in my eyes. Formerly, I had used scope sights to good effect on game. But, as my eyes changed, my shooting accuracy deteriorated. This was in the 1970’s.

    A friend now long dead who was a gunsmith and IPSC competitor suggested I try a “red dot” sight, which some pistol competitors were beginning to use in competition. He mounted a PDP2 made by Tasco on my favorite ’06. Suddenly the world was good again and I was killing deer just like before. If memory serves, it had a 4 MOA dot, adjustable for brightness and zero magnification.

    I shot with both eyes open and running game was again duck soup. My beaters (aka my 3 sons who clawed and crawled through the western Oregon sopping wet black berry brambles to root out black tail deer for me to shoot) suddenly stopped complaining about all the effort “just so Dad could miss again”.

    I hunted that way for several years before discovering that it was forbidden by Oregon game regulations. I became part of a group that pressured the Oregon Legislature and the rule making authorities that laws needed to be changed. That resulted in a change to the regulations that allowed lighted dot sights that did not project outside the housing of the sighting device — ie, no lasers.

    After switching to the dot sights, I made some spectacular shots But, the credit was all due to the sight itself and not a huge skill increase in my shooting skills.

    I also discovered that out to about 400 yards, I had no need for magnification. I just put the dot on the running critter and it fell down after the shot. I had no business shooting more than 400 yards anyway, and no need to do so for that matter. We killed our limit of deer every year without pricey and high powered “glass” on the rifle.

    I was a far better and more deadly shot with no magnification, shooting both eyes open, then before with magnification and problems between one eye’s vision magnified and one eye without. Brain just could not adjust to the great difference in image size and field of view.

    Later, I guess our special operations troops made the same discovery. I imagine that hurts the business marketing of the big name scope makers but, for me, no more expensive glass ever. I do not need it for any practical range I will ever shoot. Besides, I liked bragging about all the spectacular shots made on running game, for which I took personal credit rather than attribute the remarkable skill to the real responsible party — the red dot sight. My reputation among family and friends grew as a great tyro of the rifle for the cost of a $75.00 lighted dot sight.

    I used the red dot sight in Alaska on moose and bear, and in Oregon on deer (black tail and muley’s) and elk. Never had a bad experience but always kept a couple of back up spare batteries taped with duct tape to the stock of my rifle just in case. Never needed them but their presence always gave me peace of mind.

    Reply

  • George Dean

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    Replace the T nut with a hex cap fastener, apply blue Loctite, torque it down and you’re good to go. The price is right, compared to others in its class. I like the fact that the ocular lens is nominally 30mm. Other red dots in this price range may only be 20mm. This would make a great gift for my son & gransson’s ARs. The 50-200 zero is an all around good choice for the average shooter who understands the bullet performance from up close to 300 yds. Holds are easy to guestimate. My ARs have dedicated drop tables for their twists and loads, on the left side of each receiver. I also like the 2MOA dot. I two EOTECHs, a Vortex SPARC, Vortex AR SPARC & Bushnell TRS-25 for my Ruger MKIII. I’d definitely consider the Enrage for another rifle.

    Reply

  • Arthur L. Brown Sr.

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    It would be nice to include the MSRP But I’ll do that my self>

    Reply

    • Eve

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      Bushnell doesn’t publish MSRPs. The more useful, real-world price range is in the article.

      Reply

    • Arthur L. Brown Sr.

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      I didn’t see it at the time I read the article, on reading this reply I went back and found it THANKS for the reply.
      Also I contacted Bushnell and they advised (after I questioned about recoil) that they are rated to “.375 H&H Mag”.

      Reply

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