The Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus reflex sight is a modestly priced alternative to popular sights like the Holosun line of reflex sights or the industry benchmark EOTECH holographic sights. Although it may be inexpensive in comparison, it gives up little in the way of features and is a great value for shooters on a budget.
What’s a reflex sight?
Reflex sights (usually synonymous with “red dot” or “green dot” sights) are un-magnified sights that rely upon a light emitting diode (LED) to generate and reflect a dot of light (or lighted reticle pattern) off the surface of a specially treated lens to your eye. The sight image through the site lens then shows the dot or reticle superimposed on your target. This type of sight picture is extremely quick to acquire and is accurate for most distances from close in to moderate distances out past 100 yards depending on how good your eyesight is.
Because of the unmagnified sight picture presented to your eye it is easy and comfortable to shoot with both eyes open. Sights like the Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus reflex sight offer infinite eye relief so the distance from the sight to your eye is not critical. In addition, reflex sights are nearly parallax free. In other words, even you move your head (and eye) up or down or side to side, the dot or reticle will be stable in relation to your target and your intended point of impact. That’s a pretty neat trick.
The downside of reflex sights is they do require a battery in order to operate. If the battery dies or the electronics fail, you are basically just looking through an unmagnified pane of glass. Luckily, LEDs are extremely energy efficient. The Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus reflex sight uses one CR123A battery which will last up to 2000 hours if used on lower brightness settings. That’s an awful lot of shooting but if this is used in a critical application, a set of flip-up backup sights (BUIS) would be a great idea. It’s never a bad idea to keep a spare battery in your range bag as well.
What’s in the box?
We unpacked the Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus reflex sight and took inventory. Inside the padded box you will find the sight enclosed in a zippered protective case reminiscent of the cover for my golf putter. It’s a nice accessory to have for storage but I really wish it was an elastic cover that was convenient to use while the sight is mounted on your rifle. You also get a lens cleaning cloth, an Allen wrench in a plastic sleeve and a stamped metal “wrench” used to adjust the width of the mounting base jaws if necessary.
The Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus reflex sight feels solid in your hand. The outer body is a heavy gauge, powder coated aluminum shell with an attractive matte black finish and the Sightmark logo. There is some steel in the mounting bracket and a plastic cover over the LED projection component. The quick disconnect cam lever is aluminum as is the reticle pattern selector. The on/off/color selector switch and brightness switch are enclosed in rubber to keep dirt and water out and the screw-off battery cover has a small wire lanyard to keep it from wandering off when you’re changing he battery. The Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus reflex sight is rated IPX4 which means it will resist rain or splashed water but won’t handle being submerged. The windage and elevation adjustments are Allen screws.
We removed the plastic battery protector it shipped with and turned the Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus on and stepped through the options. The rubber covered power button also functions to toggle between a red dot picture or a green dot picture. Yes, you get both in this sight so if you’re looking for an inexpensive red dot sight or an inexpensive green dot sight you get two for one! Under the rear of the sight there is a horizontal lever that selects between the available dots or reticle patterns projected to your eye. This gives you eight possible color and dot options on the Sightmark so it’s extremely flexible. These options are:
- Green: 5 MOA Dot
- Green: 3 MOA Dot with 50 MOA Circle
- Green: 3 MOA Dot with 50 MOA Crosshairs
- Green: 3 MOA Dot with 50 MOA Circle + Crosshairs
- Red: 5 MOA Dot
- Red: 3 MOA Dot with 50 MOA Circle
- Red: 3 MOA Dot with 50 MOA Crosshairs
- Red: 3 MOA Dot with 50 MOA Circle + Crosshairs
Kicking the tires.
Mounting the sight on our rifle was a snap with the lever operated quick-disconnect. We just chose a spot in front of the already mounted backup rear sight on the Picatinny rail, turned the disconnect lever in and boom – it was mounted! Out of the box the Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus reflex sight base was adjusted for the proper width rail so no further adjustment was needed. It’s a bright sunny but cold day so it’s off to the range to test.
Now, in normal circumstances it would be best to get your sight in the ballpark with a boresight before heading out to the range but of course, we didn’t do that. In retrospect that was a mistake. Out of the box the Sightmark was off, way off. But that’s not the sight’s fault, it just means we had some work to do to get it zeroed. The first thing noticed after a couple of test shots was the mounting, which had seemed tight as first, was now noticeably wobbly. That’s where that little wrench comes in. About one full turn on the adjusting nut let the quick disconnect lever snug the sight in tight and there it stayed for the rest of the session.
In the bright sunlight we chose the green 3 MOA dot with crosshairs to do our first testing. Even with snow on the ground and a lot of glare the sight was super bright and easily visible. In dim light you would have to dial it down quite a bit as it is very bright and in low light that would be overpowering. Too much brightness and the reflected image begins to glare and lose definition.
It seemed to take agonizingly long to get the Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus reflex sight dialed in to zero. Part of that may have been the fact that it was hovering around 30 degrees at the range but not entirely. The Sightmark is supposed to adjust in 1 MOA clicks for windage and elevation (1” at 100 yards) but it seems like it’s a little loose out of the box and takes a bit to dial in. The adjustments do “click” but it’s not a very obvious detent, at least when you’re outdoors in the cold. In the shop that may be easier to discern.
Once we got the sight dialed in for 50 yards with our test rifle, we ran through 180 rounds to confirm it held zero consistently and then shot 10 rounds more for our reference target. We then removed the sight from the rifle with the quick disconnect, toggled the lever back and then re-attached the sight and tightened the lever to test its ability to hold zero when remounted. We then shot another ten rounds on our target for comparison. As you can see from the target picture, the Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus held zero nicely without any additional tweaking (and yes, we changed our point of aim ;).
Sightmark backs up their products with a limited lifetime warranty and you should expect it to stand up to a steady diet of most any caliber shooting without issues. With an MSRP of $119.00 and a street price commonly under $100 it’s a value that’s hard to beat.