If you’re in the market for a reflex sight that featured unlimited eye relief, built-in mount, motion-sensing auto-on capability, water resistance and a snazzy carbon-fiber finish, you might expect it to be a pricey sight indeed. The Sightmark Ultra Shot M-Spec FMS reflex sight, though, offers all this in an affordable package as a special edition, 10th anniversary model. MSRP is $299.95, with “street” pricing somewhere in the $250 mark. If you can live without the carbon-fiber outer housing, the standard polymer version runs about $225 from online retailers.
Earlier this year, we ran a round-up of red-dot sights under $250, and Sightmark’s Wolverine red-dot sight was part of that round-up. All sights were tested to see how they would hold zero after a moderate amount of shooting, and the Wolverine passed the test handily. Sightmark’s quality certainly seems to be on par with that of other red-dot manufacturers, and this has (so far) translated in our experience with the Ultra Shot reflex sight. Mounting the Ultra Shot was a simple task (once we realized there were two screws, not one, ahem…) and zeroing it was equally trouble-free. Once a few bugs are worked out of our upcoming AR pistol build, we’ll subject the pistol and the scope to the same testing protocol as the red dot sights and report our findings. We expect the Ultra Shot to pass the test with equal aplomb.
Checking out the particulars, the Sightmark Ultra Shot M-Spec FMS sight uses four-button operation: On/Off, brightness up, brightness down and night-vision compatible. The battery—a CR2—can be replaced without removing the unit from the firearm, although you won’t have to do it very often. While battery life is listed at 1,000 hours, the Ultra Shot has an accelerometer that turns the unit off after 5 minutes of inactivity—so the 1,000 hours is actual-use time. Leave it on as long as you want; it’ll only use power 5 minutes at a time.
Looking through the 1.2 by 1 inch window, we see a 65-MOA ring surrounding a 2-MOA dot, a familiar sight picture indeed. Eight brightness settings (and two night-vision-compatible ones) allow control for ambient light levels, and we had no trouble discerning the circle/dot arrangement in bright sunlight. When grams make ounces and ounces make pounds, the extra half-ounce of weight savings from the carbon-fiber housing might be worth the slight addition in cost. And, it looks pretty cool, especially if you have carbon-fiber furniture on your AR. Accessories have to match, you know!
At the end of the day, though, the Sightmark Ultra Shot M-Spec FMS optic is a standard reflex sight at a reasonable price. If, as we stated in our red-dot roundup, you’re looking for a casual plinker or as an optic for a backup rifle, the Ultra Shot is definitely worth a look, especially if your main defensive carbine wears a reflex sight. We’ve been impressed with the reliability of the Wolverine and expect the Ultra Shot to perform similarly well—and will update once testing is complete.
Battery Life: 90-1000 Battery Type: CR2 Body Material: Magnesium alloy Dimension, Window (inches): 1.2 x .94 Elevation Range of Adjustment: 120 MOA Eye Relief: Unlimited Field of view, ft @100yd: 105 Finish/Color: Matte black Fog Proof: No Height (inches): 2.4 IP Rating (waterproof): IP68-Submergible to 40ft Length (inches): 4 Magnification: 1x Window Material: Glass Maximum Recoil: up to .50 cal MOA Adjustment: 1 Mount Type: Weaver/Picatinny Operating temperature: -22 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit Reticle Color: Red Reticle Type: 65 MOA Circle Dot Crosshair ( 60 MOA circle w/ 5 MOA subtension, 2 MOA central dot) Setting, Brightness: Off,1-8, NV1-NV6 Shockproof: Yes Weight (ounces): 7.1 Width (inches): 1.9 Windage Range of Adjustment: 120 MOA MSRP: $299.95