I recently tested Redfield’s CounterStrike, a tactical red/green dot sight with an integrated 5mw red laser. It turned out to be a pretty quick reflex sight — definitely suitable for duty use, and priced for wide adoption.
The CounterStrike optic projects a 4MOA dot on target using a 150x30mm (approx.) main tube with an integrated mount.
Clicking a sealed pushbutton on the left side plate of the CounterStrike powers the reticle. You turn the unit off by holding this switch down for two seconds. The reticle intensity is controlled by a separate set of nearby switches, which are easily found by the fingertips. The reticle maintains its last intensity adjustment when powered off/on.
The laser is independent of the optic and fires from the MIL STD 1913/Picatinny rail base. Windage and elevation adjustments for the laser are also separate. A single CR 123 battery powers the entire unit. Although I’ve been testing this unit for several months, I’m still on the first cell.
Most of the unit is made up of machined aluminum. The turrets and battery compartment have machined caps and o ring seals. The turret caps are tethered. This ruggedized, nitrogen-filled optic is completely waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof.
A Positive Influence
While Redfield has been around since 1959, its reputation for outstanding value didn’t take hold until optics legend Leupold acquired them in 2008. Shortly after this acquisition, I was getting a tour of the Leupold headquarters in Beaverton (Ore.), and I asked the obvious.
“Where are the Redfield products going to be manufactured?”
“Here,” was the reply.
“In the same state?”
My tour guide pointed at various machining areas on their manufacturing floor. By that time, I’d been testing firearms products for almost a couple of decades. I commented that Redfield customers were about to receive the greatest bargains in firearms history.
Fast-forward a few years. Redfield’s premium products — like the Revolution Series, a fair percentage of their line — are still built in Oregon.
The CounterStrike rail and crossbolt mount didn’t allow any play in the unit. It also indexed well after remounting, which was easily confirmed by a few well-placed rounds downrange. The settings were repeatable. The laser-lock screws and turret caps prevented any tampering with the settings.
The 5mw laser was daylight bright and served as a co-witness to my sighted-in optic. Since the reticle uses ½ MOA clicks, it was very easy to walk laser, reticle, and projectiles into the same place. There is a coin slot for windage adjustments for the laser.
I found the CounterStrike was well suited for quick, sub-100-yard engagements. I co-witnessed the laser and optic at 25 yards, which only took a half dozen rounds. For an entry optic, the CounterStrike laser switch is intuitive, but I would prefer a momentary switch option.
Target engagement is very quick with this product, and the superimposed sighting advantage will not be lost on tactical users.
I like being able to switch between red and green. The dot is bright and concentric, and there is no evidence of shift, even though two colors mean two different emitters. There is little spurious reflection inside the tube, and coatings allow for good light transmission.
Suitable for Patrol Use
The CounterStrike is a little heavy for an optic, but it is lighter than a separate optic and laser unit. Despite my abuse, it shrugged off shocks and bad weather. The glass is recessed enough that its protection could only be overcome by user error. I did not scratch the matte finish, even after re-mounting it on several different carbines.
I soundly beat this product up in my range bag, mounted it on several carbines, and in weather that allows me the whole range to myself. Redfield is here to stay, and it’s worthy of the name.
The bottom line: I found the CounterStrike to be a little heavy for a lightweight AR-15. It added a little to the midpoint of the carbine. For a mid-weight AR-15 (in the seven-pound area), though, this is an excellent choice. I anticipate its best application is for the marked patrol unit.
When agencies see the price point on the CounterStrike, I expect to see a lot of them around.