Review: Bushnell Incinerate Red Dot

posted on December 26, 2017

Red-dot sights are inherently good options. They are easy to use, require no focusing, are parallax-free, use very little battery power and can be made quite rugged. Thus, Bushnell had its work cut out for it when attempting to introduce new and genuinely useful features to such a device—yet it managed to do just that in the Bushnell Incinerate red dot.

The new Bushnell Incinerate—part of its AR Optics line—is a red-dot scope with all the virtues of most other red-dots with a couple of extra benefits thrown in. It incorporates fully coated optics for a bright, clear image, and the reticle is a 2-MOA dot surrounded by a 25-MOA segmented circle. The rheostat offers eight brightness settings with an “off” position between each of the numbered settings. The reticle is, of course, adjustable for windage and elevation, with adjustment turret caps and rheostat wheel containing crenulated rather than knurled caps. In practice, the crenulation is easier to gain good purchase (and looks better, to boot). Windage and elevation are click-adjustable using either a flat-head screwdriver or a coin.

(l.) With a riser for fixed-sight ARs, the mount is solid and easily removed. (ctr.) A short overall length means the Incinerate can be mounted on any AR. (r.) Both turrets can be adjusted using a flat-head screwdriver or a coin if needed.

The Bushnell Incinerate comes complete with Bushnell’s “hi-rise” mount, which readily aligns the scope with the shooter’s eye. It installs quickly on a Picatinny rail with one captive cross screw. The winged screw allows it to be installed with finger pressure, but is slotted if you’d like to use a coin or screwdriver for greater torque.

We liked the size of the Incinerate. It’s neither large nor overly small. We may have reached the point of diminishing returns on small red-dot scopes. The smallest ones now are light and compact, but might any smaller risk fragility or have controls that were difficult to operate? Everything on the Incinerate is sizable, sturdy-looking and easy to manipulate.

Among the noteworthy enhancements of the Incinerate are the metallic sights atop the scope body. The front is a thick post with a single, small white dot that aligns with the dual white dots of the rear sight. The mere presence of these sights means that the gun can be employed quickly should combat suddenly become close-quarters combat. It also provides a backup means of sighting that’s already up and ready should the red dot fail to function. To make the system even sweeter, the dovetail cut for the rear sight is the same as that used by Glock, meaning any rear sight designed for the uber-popular Austrian pistol can be installed on the Bushnell Incinerate. 

The reticle is a further added value to the optic. As we noted above, it’s described by Bushnell as having a 2-MOA dot.  However, it looks much smaller than that through the scope. It would, in fact, be difficult to find without the 25-MOA circle. The combination allows very fine tuning of windage and elevation and very precise placement of the dot on the target while the circle promotes greater speed.

(l. & ctr.) Interchangeable with a variety of rear-sight options, the standard two-white-dot unit works in conjunction with the single dot of the front to offer a backup that is always at the ready. (r.) “Off” positions are located in between the different power levels, making it simple to turn the Incinerate off at the level you prefer.

The brightness range is considerable. On the first setting, the reticle is visible only against a black background. In bright light, the reticle at the lowest settings is invisible, but crank up the brightness and it reappears. When the correct level of brightness is achieved, the Bushnell Incinerate offers a clear, sharp, subtle reticle without glare that allows you to concentrate on the target with no distraction.

The last virtue that the Bushnell Incinerate brings to the table is value. This full-featured red-dot scope with backup sights has a street price less than $200. Not too long ago, such features and red-dot technology rivaled the price of a gun, but that is no longer the case and optics companies are unveiling new products every year that seemed unimaginable a few short years ago. There are, consequently, a slew of decent, affordable red-dots on the market, but not too many that offer this much at this price from a well-regarded, major manufacturer. The Bushnell Incinerate is a solid choice for those who desire a red-dot optic on their AR.


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