Bushnell First Strike Review – 2021 Guide

| Last Updated: June 27, 2021

Red dot sights have been an important and sometimes necessary addition to rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Especially when tactical close quarter applications are concerned.

A very deserving candidate from the crowded market of red dot sights is the Bushnell First Strike. With its 50,000 hours battery life and being one of the favorite sights of 6-time world speed shooting champion KC Eusebio. The First Strike 2.0 has a lot to offer. 

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 4 MOA dot and over 50,000 hours of battery life
  • Comes with both high and low rise picatinny mounts
  • 12 brightness settings and IPX7 waterproof rated
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Bushnell AR Optics First Strike 2.0 AR71XRS

Pros

  • Everything’s included in the package
  • Bright red dot with brightness settings
  • Large lens, good battery life, and ergonomics
  • Durable shock-resistant and waterproof design

Cons

  • Sight lacks a power on/off button
  • Limited parallax setting of 50 yards

Bushnell First Strike Specs 

  • Eye Relief: Unlimited

  • Adjustment Options (Parallax, windage, elevation): W/E - 110 MOA (1 MOA clicks). Parallax - 50 yards

  • Type of Reticle: 3 MOA dot

  • Image of Reticle

  • Magnification: 1 x

  • Focal Plane: SFP

  • Objective Lens:  23 mm

  • Field of View: Unlimited

Pros

The First Strike 2.0 is the improved version of the First Strike red dot sight. The improvements are significant and stout enough to call it a top-class red dot. Let’s find out the pros it has to offer. 

Bright Red Dot With Brightness Settings

The basic expectation from a reflex sight is to present a crisp and clear dot that can be differentiated from the visual clutter in all circumstances. The First Strike 2.0 gets a big check on that. Plus, it offers 12 brightness settings to choose from, using two push buttons placed right beneath the lens. 

The number of brightness setting levels is enough to use it in different lighting situations and also be cowitnessing. 

Durable Shock-Resistant and Waterproof Design

The 2.0 is a multipurpose sight that was designed to be mounted to rifles, shotguns, and pistols. When we say shotguns, it has to be obvious that the sight was designed to withstand recoil. This sight can handle rifle recoils up to 30-06 and shotgun recoils all the way up to 12 gauge 3-inch shells. 

The lens housing is O ring sealed and IPX7 rated waterproof. No inclement weather condition will hamper this sight from delivering optimal performance. 

Large Lens, Good Battery Life, and Ergonomics

The First Strike 2.0 sight has a big 23mm aperture, which coupled with a large dot helps with quick target acquisition. The sight boasts of a long 50,000 hours of battery life that’s generally found on high-end reflex sights like Aimpoints

Accessing the battery compartment is very easy and doesn’t require the user to dismount the optic. Just slide the drawer tray from the side, switch the battery and you're good to go. Additionally, the sight also has a compact design to take up the least rail space. 

Everything’s Included in the Package

The First Strike 2.0 comes with a complete package that includes low mount, high rise spacer, Bushnell multitool, Allen wrench, adjustment wrench, 2 short screws, 2 long screws, SPUDZ cloth, and instruction sheet. Plus, it mounts quickly and easily to Picatinny and Weaver rails.  

Cons

The First Strike 2.0 is a great reflex sight. But still lacks a few features to prevent it from being called perfect. Let’s take a look at some cons of this sight and find out if they can hamper its use in any manner. 

Sight Lacks a Power on/off Button

It may not matter much since the sight already has a battery life of 50,000 hours. But having an on/off switch is preferable for some users. There are two ways this sight will turn off: First is the auto-shutoff feature that kills power after 8 hours of inoperation. The other method is to remove the battery from the compartment. 

Limited Parallax Setting of 50 Yards

The First Strike 2.0 has parallax set to 50 yards. This means that you can wobble your head as much as you like when shooting within that distance. However, obtaining very fine accuracy beyond 50 or 75 yards can be a bit difficult for two reasons. One is the size of the dot and the other is the parallax. 

But, this sight offers exceptional tracking and has been the medium for a fast shooting world record. 

Best Uses For the Bushnell First Strike

The First Strike 2.0 was designed for quick acquisition and fast shooting. That opens up a lot of possibilities for using this sight. 

First of all, this sight can be used with most rifles and handguns. Which clearly expands the horizon of its use. This sight is a great addition to prove your mettle in 3 gun or USPSA competitions. Where speed and accuracy is the key to winning a match. 

The 3 MOA dot offers better acquisition and brightness settings to help with adjusting the sight to almost any lighting condition. Making it perfect for close quarter turkey hunts, waterfowling, or even those dark night home defense encounters. 

The totally waterproof IPX7 rated and O-ring sealed construction allows the sight to be used in unforgiving hunting conditions where water, fog, snow, and mud can be your hurdles. 

Many users also use it or keep it as an offset sight with their scope mounted rifles. When looking at their price, these sights seem to be just the perfect offset or backup sights for your rifle. 

The fact that this sight can handle the recoil of a shotgun and can be used with one. Expands its area of application significantly. 

Is the Bushnell First Strike Compatible With Any Rifle?

The Bushnell First Strike 2.0 is compatible with rifles, handguns, and shotguns. So practically it can be mounted on most handheld firearms being sold on the civilian market. It can suffice with your AR-15 or AK-47. It can also be mounted to a pistol length carbine, a full-sized handgun with appropriate mounting hardware, and also on 12 gauge shotgun chambered up to 3-inch shells. 

What Do I Need to Know About Mounting the Bushnell First Strike?

There’s nothing much that has to be discussed mounting the Bushnell First Strike. It is a simple optic that includes a mount and all the necessary hardware required for installation.

The package includes a low mount and a riser to help you adjust the sight. Cowitnessing is not a problem most of the time. But you can always use your own mount or riser. 

The brightness is adjusted using two push buttons on top of the flat base. One is for increasing and the other for decreasing brightness. Not as quick as a rotary dial knob. But more secure and low profile. 

The battery compartment is located on the side and can be slid out easily to replace the battery. Elevation and windage adjustments can be made using the tool included in the package. 

The sight also comes with two long and two short screws for more mounting options. The included riser is amazing and also allows you to see through.

What Makes the Bushnell First Strike Stand Out From the Competition?

Bushnell First Strike 2.0 offers an exceptionally quick acquisition of your targets to improve your response time. It is probably the best quick sight on the market in its class. 

The construction is very rugged and the sight is also waterproof. Plus its compact design and the capability to be mounted on handguns, rifles or shotguns is another good and value for money feature. 

The First Strike 2.0 has been built to last and has better durability and resistance to recoil than most other optics priced the same. 

Comparison Overview 

As we have been praising the Bushnell First Strike sight for a few minutes now. The best overview of this sight will be to compare with some other well-known and widely appreciated optics on the market. 

Bushnell First Strike vs Burris Fastfire 

The First Strike and Fastfire are very closely comparable in design and performance. But upon taking a close look at their features. You’ll certainly find some big differences. The First Strike 2.0 offers a battery life of 50,000 hours compared to only 5,000 by the Fastfire 3. The former uses a CR2032 battery and the latter uses a CR1632. 

The First Strike offers 110 MOA of turret adjustments compared to only 90 MOA by Fastfire 3. Both of these sights offer good durability. However, the Fastfire is smaller in size and more lightweight than the First Strike. 

Apart from all this, the First Strike costs about $100 less than the Burris and has more inclusions in the package. 

Bushnell First Strike vs TRS 25

The First Strike is an open lens sight whereas the TRS-25 is a close lens. The differences in design are evident and simply clear by just taking a look. The First Strike offers better and quicker acquisition, has more brightness settings, longer battery life, and also a more compact profile, and a large range of turret adjustments. The TRS-25 however, wins on price. But certainly not on value. 

Conclusion

The Bushnell First Strike is certainly the red dot sight that can offer the performance and battery life you expect for more expensive sights. Featuring a battery life of 50,000 hours, an easy-access battery compartment, a large aperture, and a durable shockproof body. The First Strike 2.0 is the best red dot reflex sight you can find under $200. 

People Also Ask

Let’s find out the answers to some common queries about the Bushnell First Strike 2.0. It is a new version of the First Strike designed to compete with more complex and expensive sights on the market.

What Kind of Warranty Does the Bushnell First Strike Come With?

The Bushnell First Strike 2.0 is covered by the Bushnell Ironclad Warranty that covers all manufacturing and workmanship defects along with unintentional damage against normal use. The term lifetime here refers to a period of 1 to 30 years. Depending upon the type of product. 

How Much Does the Bushnell First Strike Weigh?

The Bushnell First Strike 2.0 weighs 3.445 ounces or 0.2 pounds or 90 grams. That’s a tad more than some other sights comparable in size and design.

Can You Use Bushnell First Strike in Low Light?

Yes. The Bushnell First Strike can be used effectively in low light conditions. Thanks to the big red dot and 12 brightness settings that make the dot easily visible. It can also be used for tactical operations and home defense applications. 

How Long Does the Battery Last on the Bushnell First Strike?

The Bushnell First Strike 2.0 claims a battery life of 50,000 hours. The sight has an auto-shutoff feature that turns off after 8 hours. Additionally, the actual battery life will fluctuate depending upon the brightness setting the list is used at. 

How to Replace Battery Bushnell First Strike

The First Strike 2.0 uses a CR2032 battery. The battery compartment entry is located on the side. It is a slip in/out drawer style compartment. Pull it out, replace the battery and press it back again. It doesn’t require any tools. 

How Many MM is Bushnell First Strike Lens

The Bushnell First Strike 2.0’s lens is 23 mm or 0.9 inches in size. It is a large aperture and helps with quick target acquisition.



Ankit has been a writer for almost a decade now and has developed a diverse portfolio. His love for writing led him to turn down his lavish and lucrative career as a software engineer, twisting the reins of his life towards being a full-time writer. He only does what he loves. His hobbies include gardening, reading, shooting, and most of all - learning new things in every context (hence why he chose to be a writer). His whimsical nature and love for writing fosters creativity in all of his work