You know what we’re talking about. Scrolling through Amazon late at night, you notice a red dot, scope, or weapons light and do a double-take: “Twenty bucks and free two-day shipping? Is that right?”
Then you see the average customer rating: “Four-point-five out of five stars with 167 reviews!? Maybe I should give it a shot…”
Your sense of patriotism probably keeps you from purchasing. These products are made in China for pennies on the dollar, and we’re in a trade war, after all!
Still, you’re curious how a $40 Chinese red dot might perform on your rifle, which is exactly why you’re here.
We were approached by a representative from one of these companies (Feyachi) who initially asked us to write an Amazon review in return for the free product (this is sometimes how Amazon companies net those high ratings). After we explained who we are and what we do, he/she agreed to send us one anyway.
Never one to pass up an opportunity to break something (on purpose or otherwise), I volunteered to put the Feyachi Reflex Sight through its paces. It goes without saying that I wouldn’t put this thing on anything that might need to save my life. But I still wanted to know – could the Feyachi sight serve as a viable tool at the range or a good option for a young shooter? Believe it or not, I think it can.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The Feyachi Reflex Sight ain’t exactly hand-crafted. Both mounting screws are off-center, and the cover between the sight and the rails isn’t flush with the bottom of the sight. I can actually see one of the circuit boards underneath. It’s safe to say this isn’t waterproof (Feyachi doesn’t claim it is), but that gap could also let in dirt and dust that might interfere with the optics functions. I threw it in the dirt and didn’t notice any ill effects, but I can’t speak for how an exposed circuit board might perform long-term.
The windage and elevation adjustments present a more immediate and frustrating problem. I honestly can’t tell whether or not they’re supposed to click or just rotate with resistance. Sometimes they do one, sometimes the other, which makes it impossible to tell how far you’ve actually moved the red dot. The adjustment screws do function—I used the Feyachi to sight in two separate rifles—but the process takes much longer than usual.
One final annoyance before I get to a few positives: the unit automatically shuts off after only about an hour (the instructions don’t give an exact time). This is well within the time frame most folks spend at the range, so be prepared to switch the sight back on every so often.
There are a few good things to say about the Feyachi Reflex Sight. The unit includes four different reticles in both red and green as well as nine different brightness settings. Users control the brightness using two buttons on the right and left side (left for red, right for green), and the reticle style can be changed with a rotating switch on the back of the sight. These buttons worked exactly as advertised, even after a fairly thorough beating.
The unit runs on three LR44/AG13 batteries inserted into a compartment on the front of the sight. It comes with six batteries, and more can be purchased inexpensively.
Bottom line? The thing is a headache to sight in, and you’ll want to avoid dirt and water, but once you get it set up, it works just fine. While the mounting system looks janky, it held the sight securely on both AR-type rifles I tried it on and never lost its zero.
I tried to design this test in accordance with the limitations of the sight and the real-world situations it might encounter. In other words, I didn’t run it over with a truck or throw it in a swamp because a) Feyachi doesn’t say it’s waterproof and b) most users aren’t likely to bring this sight to Vietnam. The folks who purchase the Feyachi Reflex Sight might drop it at the range, or it might get bounced around in the bed of a truck, but that’s about it.
I started by dropping it on the grass ten times. This isn’t a perfect real-world simulation, as the sight wasn’t attached to a rifle when I dropped it, but I didn’t feel like bringing any of my rifles along for this ride. Plus, a direct hit on the sight with the full weight of the rifle behind it seems unlikely.
I honestly half-expected the Feyachi to break after the first grass drop. But it survived, so I moved on to another ten drops on a piece of wood. Amazingly, the Feyachi survived these drops as well. The concrete was the next and final test (10 drops), and I’ll be darned if the thing didn’t keep working.
The Feyachi almost didn’t survive the initial concrete test. I know this because the glass window had developed a small crack in the top left corner and the aluminum body was chipped and scuffed. But I also wanted to see how long the Feyachi would keep ticking, so I kept dropping it until (two drops later) the protective cover on the rear of the sight finally popped off.
The sight was still working, but the cover that came off protects a small window that reflects the reticle onto the larger glass viewing screen. One direct hit on that piece and the Feyachi is toast. I stopped there because I figured I could glue the cover back on and keep using it. No sense letting a good piece of Chinese workmanship go to waste.
Some of you are going to ask the (fair) question, “Why don’t you just cough up another $20 and get one of those cheap Bushnell sights?”
If you can afford the slightly-more-expensive-but-still-made-in-China-but-made-by-a-MUCH-more-reputable-company Bushnell TRS-25, that’s probably a good move. Still, some gun owners can’t afford an extra $20. Living paycheck to paycheck, $20 might be the difference between a full tank of gas and walking to work.
If the Feyachi—or a similar Amazon optic—is all you can afford right now, it’s definitely better than nothing. Get it zeroed in and leave it alone, and it’ll work well enough for range trips. It may even take more of a beating than you expect.