Gun Gear

The Best Tactical Sight for Under $50

Recently, I had a chance to look at the Leapers UTG Gen 4 Red/Green Dot Sight. A friend at the range recently purchased a used Smith & Wesson Performance Center .44 Magnum Hunter revolver and the sight was mounted on it. A sub $50 sight on a $1250 magnum? This was a test I had to experience. After all, if the UTG sight could survive the abuse from a .44 mag., imagine how safe it would be atop an AR-15.

Leapers UTG 1×30 Tactical Dot Sight

Key Features

  • Quick-aim electronic dot sight with red and green dual illumination
  • 38mm tube
  • Emerald lens coating for maximum brightness and clarity
  • Coin-adjustable windage and elevation knobs with 1/2 MOA per click increments
  • Allen wrench required to unlock adjustment feature
  • 4.0 MOA Dot
  • Adjustable brightness settings
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Includes Weaver mounting deck
  • Flip-open lens caps

Black, compact red and green dot sight with flip-up lens caps made by Leapers UTG
The first thing you are likely to notice when looking through the optic is the intensity of the dot and the clarity of the glass—impressive for an optic in this price range.
The sight body has an integral Weaver rail mount. The cross bolts are both full diameter and are spaced to match standard Picatinny rails. The front and rear lens caps are interchangeable. They are spring loaded and open easily with a slight push.

The clamp bar is also spring loaded. This allows it to remain open when installing the sight, which makes mounting a breeze.  The thumbscrews are also staked to avoid unscrewing them and dropping or losing small parts. This is a great feature and worthy of note for those who would consider an extra sight or two for the shelf or SHTF kit.

Once the aluminum turret covers are removed, you’ll notice the adjustment knobs feature setscrews. The setscrew allows you to lock the turret at your desired zero. This is ideal for guns with enhanced recoil, but also an awesome feature for a truck gun that may be banged around or for someone depending on a constant zero in a bug-out situation.

The shooter can set the illuminated dot to either red or green. UTG has designed the unit with five different illumination intensities for each color. The adjustment has appropriate markings to indicate the settings.

One look and you will notice that the dot is rather bright, even for old eyes. We were standing in the shade under a canopy, but in the bright sun, the variable settings came into play. However, I would image the norm would be to leave the unit on its lowest setting for general use—a smart design for maximum battery efficiency.

The UTG Gen 4 red/green dot sight runs on two CR2032 batteries. The battery is common and cheap, making it ideal for the regular shooter or prepper. The cover is easily removed with a coin and features a rubber O-ring to seal the compartment from the elements.

The first thing you are likely to notice when looking through the optic is the intensity of the dot and the clarity of the glass—impressive for an optic in this price range.

At the range, zeroing the sight was a standard task without any surprises. The sight proved intuitive and at reasonable distances, putting the dot on the target with proper trigger manipulation scored acceptable combat hits (center of man) with ease. For target shooting or a hunting scenario, more care would be necessary to center the dot in the sight and to avoid parallax issues. This provides accuracy at longer ranges and Close Quarters Battle (CQB) accuracy when necessary.

The dot is 4 MOA. This is likely a bit bigger than you may be used to in an optic. For precision target shooting this may be an issue. Having used concentric circles for aiming in target archery for years, I adjusted easily.

For the new shooter or anyone demanding quality on a shoestring budget, UTG’s Gen 4 red/green dot sight is unbeatable. Either way, for $34.97 it is such a great deal that everyone should have at least one for backup or just to keep on the shelf for those times when you a need a scope quick.Click Here to Start Shopping Online at Cheaper Than Dirt


 Magnification: 1.00X Tube Diameter: 38mm Objective Diameter: 30mm Field of View @ 100 yards: 16.5 feet Eye Relief: Flexible Exit Pupil: 25.0mm Click Adjustment @100 yards: 0.5-inch Length: 95mm Weight: 7.4 ounces Batteries: Two CR2032 3V

Have you had a chance to shoot using the Leapers’ UTG 1×30 Tactical Dot Sight? Give us your impression in the comment section.

[dave] [price]

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog. "The Shooter's Log", is to provide information - not opinions - to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decicions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (22)

  1. Good olÔÇÖ iron sights may do an okay job, but they can hardly do what a sight does. For anyone who owns a gun and does the shooting and target practicing, nothing beats a red dot sight. These tiny things are every shooters best bet to hit the bulls-eye each time.

  2. To turn it on or off you simply need to twist the color selector to any number one thru 5. A single notch from either R or G to number one or five will activate the red or green dot. Takes a second.

  3. UTG products are actually surprisingly good quality. I used a UTG tac vest for 2 of my 2 1/2 years in Iraq, and found it actually to be superior to the Blackhawk vest I was issued by one employer for 6 months.

    In general, I find UTG products to be very good quality for the price. Of course, it isn’t an Eotech, but then it’s about $400 cheaper too.

  4. What about battery life? I assume you leave this turned off until ready to use? I would like to have something like this for a home defense shotgun, but I wouldn’t want to have to fiddle around trying to turn it on in the middle of the night if the bad guys are breaking in. I guess batteries would run down pretty quickly if you left it turned on.

    1. I have dot sights on several of our HD guns, and i leave them all off until needed. With a little practice, it becomes muscle memory to turn it on to the lower brightness setting for use in a dark hallway.

    2. I think you’d have to step up to the next level to get auto shut-off. My Lucid HD7 (Gen 1) has a two hour shut off rated at 1000 hrs/AAA battery @ $200 range. And it has that 4 reticle option. Vortex Strikefire @ $200 has a 12 hour shut off on CR2 battery with just a dot reticle. None of my Leapers/UTG has that circuitry. But for the price, once again . . . keep extra batteries. Advanced circuitry, pay more.

  5. i had the Leapers’ UTG 1×30 Red Dot now for 3 years and have on my A15. Cannot say enough about the quality, durability, UTG Customer Service and ease of use with this product! Quickly can acquire my target. I shoot a 12″ x 12″ steel plate at 300yrds and can easily ding it 7 out of 10 times. Have shot out to 400yrds at video shows, but eyes strain a bit at that yardage to pick up target. At 200yds, scope can keep a nice 6 inch group w/ quality 223/556 ammo! Scope holds zero all day long once sighted in. W/o a doubt, the best value out there today in red dot scopes. Hinge cover broke off rear cover, called UTG, they sent not 1 but 4 replacement rear covers w/in a few days!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit exceeded. Please click the reload button and complete the captcha once again.

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.