Truglo 1X30mm 5 MOA Red Dot — A Great Deal for a Great Price?

As I have said before, it’s not really fair to compare a budget optic with a higher-end unit. Big names like Trijicon, Leupold, Vortex, and other brands run in the hundreds or even thousands. If you have many guns at all, you may not always want to spend more on the optic than you did on the gun. However, buying a budget optic can be sketchy at times. If it breaks, you will also hear a voice on your shoulder whisper “you get what you pay for.”

Truglo, however, has been doing great at keeping its quality above its price point. If you want a simple optic for self-defense, hunting, or range day, you could do much worse. I have reviewed several Truglo optics and keep an eye on the newer products they release. From what I can tell, a large part of their cost-saving method is in their finish. Keeping reading to see what I found with the Truglo 1x30mm 5 MOA red dot sight, after putting it through some stress tests.

Truglo 5 MOA Red Dot
The Truglo 5 MOA Red Dot is a medium size 1X30mm optic that works great on AR-15 style rifles and shotguns.

Shower Test

This is not listed as being waterproof or water resistant. But if I am going to have an optic on my gun, I want it to at least survive some rain and condensation. If an optic is not listed as being waterproof, I test it by putting it in the shower for ten minutes and then letting it sit for another ten minutes before drying it off. By simulating a heavy rain, I am able to see if it can withstand what I would call “normal” wear. Everyone gets rained on at some point.

I tested the Truglo the next morning and it functioned just fine. And, when I removed the battery to check for condensation it was dry. So far so good.

Truglo red dot sight, wet
To test for standard weather, I gave the Truglo a 10-minute shower. Fortunately, it did not melt when it got wet.

Drop Test

Just like with the water, I wanted to give the Truglo a standard test. This optic can be purchased in the $50 range so I’m not going to throw it out the window or drive over it in a semi. But I do want to know if it will hold up under normal conditions. I have never accidentally driven over my optic in a car, but I have dropped them from time to time. For this test, I raised the optic to shoulder height and dropped it on a wood floor. I repeated this process four times and dropped it from the front and back allowing it to fall on each end of the lens. The tempered glass did not break, and the dot continued to function.

Freeze Test

I don’t live in the desert, so I wasn’t very concerned about the optic getting too hot to function, but I was concerned about the cold. I do not live at the north pole, but it can fall below zero degrees during the winter months. For this test, I placed the Truglo in the freezer and let it sit overnight. I didn’t use a bag or a lens cover. I wanted to see how it would hold up if left in the car during the winter. The 5 MOA uses a smaller 3V CR2032 battery, so the red dot was a little weaker on the brightest setting when taken out of the freezer. It has 11 brightness settings and I had to turn it up to 7 before I could see the red dot. Before freezing, I could see it in daylight at 5. The Truglo did go back to normal after a few hours of thawing.

I placed the Truglo 5 MOA next to some cuts of beef in the freezer and let it sit at -13 for the night. 

On the Range

Once I felt confident the Truglo would hold up to normal conditions, I headed out to the range. I mounted it on an AR-15 rifle and sighted it in at 75 yards. It held good groups and the red dot was easy to see on the 9th brightness setting.

After I put a few mags through it, I took it off and did four more drop tests from shoulder height. I remounted it to the same place and continued to fire down range. The shot placement did not change and no adjustments were needed. I then placed the red dot on a 12 gauge and put some bird shot, buckshot, and a few slugs down range. I put it back on the AR and fired the third mag at a new target. The Truglo was still shooting on point and didn’t need any adjustments.

Truglo red dot on AR-15
The Truglo red dot held up well on the range after being removed and remounted multiple times.

The rotating wheel for on/off and the 11 different brightness settings are on the left side of the optic, which I like. This allows me to adjust with my support hand while leaving the optic on target. The windage and elevation adjustments have screw-on caps that are attached with rubber flaps so they can’t get lost (and I always lose them).

Is the Truglo 5 MOA worth the money?

I didn’t take a torch to the Truglo or smash it in a vice, but for a low-budget optic, I think it held up great to some simple stress tests. I would feel comfortable saying it can withstand getting wet and will not break if it is dropped. A larger battery would have been nice, but for the price, I won’t complain too much.

It paired well with both the AR-15 and 12 gauge shotgun and didn’t need any re-adjusting after being removed and remounted to the rifle. The medium-rise mount allowed co-witnessing with my low-profile iron sights. This would be a great optic for beginners, or anyone looking for a good red dot at an extremely low price point.

Truglo 1x30mm 5MOA red dot sight with flip-up lense covers
The Truglo 5 MOA comes with flip-up lens covers that can be removed if desired. The elevation and windage settings are covered by screw-on caps that are attached to the housing unit to keep them from getting lost.

Truglo 5 MOA 1X30mm Red Dot specs

  • CNC-machined aluminum construction
  • Tempered glass lenses
  • Rheostat-controlled brightness settings
  • Up to 100-hour battery life
  • Compatible with weaver and 1913 Picatinny rails
  • Lifetime Warranty
Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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