By Kevin Mazza
USA -(Ammoland.com)- Sightmark is an American optics and accessory manufacturer that started in 2007.
Their goals were to make firearms as versatile and accurate as possible via optics. Sightmark’s most popular products are red dot sights, scopes and laser bore sights. Innovation has brought several patents and awards to Sightmark. They market products in 40 different countries around the world.
Frankly, I never heard of Sightmark until I started looking for a red dot sight for my AK-47. My eyes are not as good as they used to be and iron sights are getting more difficult for me to use. A red dot makes it so much easier to shoot accurately and quickly acquire a target. I looked at the world famous and well renowned EOTech sights. I heard they are some of the best, but $400 is just too much for me. I settled on the Sightmark Ultra Shot QD after reading reviews on Amazon.com. It was in the price range that I wanted and reviews were great.
I think I bought it for around $85.00. What a bargain…if it works well right?
Sightmark Ultra Shot First Impressions
Two days later I had the Sightmark Ultra Shot QD (quick detach) at my doorstep. Opening the Ultra Shot box revealed a hefty feeling sight. It had a good feel as far as weight (7.6 oz) goes even though it’s made from aluminum. Some sights are super light and feel really cheap but not the Sightmark.
It mounts on any rail via a clamp lever which makes this sight quick detachable in case you need to switch to iron sights. The finish on the Ultra Shot QD is a matte or nonreflective coating.
A polished or shiny finish is not what you want on a self defense or combat type weapon. The Sightmark is quite compact in size which is ideal for my AK-47 or any combat/assault type weapon.
I didn’t want something long and bulky mounted on top of the AK. So far I’m super pleased with my initial impression of the Ultra Shot.
I had a feeling one aspect of a digital sight would be difficult and that would be the batteries. Most optics requiring batteries present a problem, either removing or installing them. The batteries are typically tiny and difficult to handle. Well, I was right. Getting 3 batteries into the small, spring-loaded compartment and facing the right direction was challenging as hell. Three AG5 batteries were required. What a pain!
Sightmark Ultra Shot QD Sight Specifications
The Sightmark Ultra Shot sight has 1x magnification, so it’s designed for close quarters combat type scenarios. Exactly what I wanted. The eye relief is infinite. So you can adjust your cheek to wherever you want and still maintain focus on the red dot. There are 4 pattern reticles. I prefer the simple dot. It’s easy to see and quick on target. You can also control the brightness of the red dot. There are 5 brightness settings. Brighter settings are for daylight while lower settings are great for dusk or indoor shooting. I used the lower settings at my indoor shooting range. I tested the brightest setting outside at midday and it was easy to see.
Mounting and Sighting In the Sightmark
The Sightmark Ultra Shot sight mounts easily to my AK side rail mount, or any rail mount for that matter, and once adjusted and tightened is very secure. The sight is mounted slightly higher than the iron sights on my AK-47 but still aligns with my eyes when the gun is shoulder mounted. A lower AK side rail mount would be ideal but this one works fine. Now lets get to the range and sight it in.
I did not perform any type of boresighting before heading to the shooting range. I typically shoot at a close range target (5 yards) and adjust the sight from there. It’s pretty easy and does not take long to get everything aligned. I hung a full silhouette target at the indoor range and sent it out to 5 yards. I shot 5 rounds to see where it’s shooting. From 5 yards, you’re almost guaranteed to hit the paper.
Adjustments are easily made with the supplied hex key/allen wrench. I had to move it up about 2” and to the left about an inch. 4 or 5 clicks up and 3 to the left. I shot 5 more shots. Still a little low. I did a few more clicks up and then moved the target out to 15 yards. 5 more shots and then more adjustments. Eventually the range is 25 yards and my shots are 1” high. This gives me “point blank” impacts from 0 – 50 yards.
Perfecto! It was now easy to get 30 rounds in a 4” group at 25 yards.
The Sightmark Ultra Shot QD sight is no EOTech nor is it a Fisher Price. It is however an inexpensive, quality red dot sight. The reticle adjustments are positive and easy to click. The clarity, brightness and reticle are very good.The feel and construction of the sight are excellent.
It mounts easily and securely. It never moved during my 200 round shoot. I removed the sight and remounted it without any changes in impact. It is easy to turn on and off…just press a button.
I only had one functional issue with this sight. It turned off by itself once when at the range. I pushed the button and it came back on. Not a big deal for me but not the best situation for combat although other sights can have issues too. The batteries are a real pain but they should last 100 hours or so depending on how much I use the sight. Replacing the batteries in the field under adverse conditions would be a challenge.
If you’re looking for an affordable (<$100) red dot sight that is easy to use for close quarter engagements, then the Sightmark Ultra Shot QD sight is a good choice. I will definitely buy another for my Hi Point 4095 TS carbine.
Kevin Mazza is a NRA member, experienced hunter, shooter and reloader and has written hundreds of firearm related articles and reviews. Kevin is the owner and editor of Pellet Guns 1.com.