Bushnell RXS-250 Review: A New Age of Red Dot Optics?

By Michael Mills
Posted in #Gear
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Bushnell RXS-250 Review: A New Age of Red Dot Optics?

April 9th, 2023

5:44 runtime

Today, Mike Mills gives us his review of the Bushnell RXS-250. New reflex optics incorporate updated technology, improved electronics and more rugged housings. How does the new Bushnell red dot perform? That’s what we find out.

If you have wondered whether optics are here to stay for pistols, I will answer the questions as simply “yes”!

review of the bushnell rxs-250
The new Bushnell RXS-250 incorporates all of the latest technologies developed for red dot sights. The author got one on the range to see if it lives up to the hype.

For a variety of reasons, including speed and accuracy — especially to shooters with aging eyes — optics are just the way to go. Even if you have been pushing off upgrading to a red dot, thinking you are just fine with iron sights, why not see if you can level up without breaking the bank.

Let’s talk about the Bushnell RXS-250 miniature red dot.

Maximizing Performance

Even though we have lightly touched on a few of the benefits that red dot sights offer, there is a deeper level of understanding we need once we have chosen to put the Bushnell RXS-250 on our pistol or rifle. Yes, I said rifle, because offset red dots on rifles are the perfect backup to your magnified LPVO-style scope for up-close targets.

mounting a bushnell rxs-250 on an ar-15
Miniature reflex sights like this one from Bushnell can complement a scoped rifle set up for personal defense or law enforcement duties.

For me, the main advantage of a red dot on a pistol is target focus. Let me say again, target focus. The reason I said it twice is because you have all probably heard the phrase “front sight focus” thousands of times on the range when we are talking about pistol shooting.

There are several reasons we want a target focus, the most important of which is positive target identification. You don’t want to endanger anyone that isn’t a threat. The target-focus nature of the red dot sight improves your ability to make a proper identification.

bushnell rxs-250 munted on springfield armory xd-m elite tactical osp 9mm
The Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Tactical OSP 9mm is ideal for use with a red dot sight. It made for the perfect testing platform.

Another advantage of target focus is speed. And this speed not only comes from instantly seeing your red dot on the target, but also because your eyes are not bouncing back and forth from different focal planes.

Think about it this way. If you are using iron sights, you have to see the target, align your sights and then focus on the front sight then break the shot. With a red-dot sight on a pistol, your eyes stay at the same focus distance from target identification to breaking the shot. It may only be a tenth of a second, but that is enough to win at your local Tuesday night steel match.

Bushnell RXS-250 Features

All red dots are definitely not the same. And there are some big differences in the robust design of the Bushnell RXS-250. This dot was designed for hard use in any condition.

adjustment controls on the bushnell rxs-250
In addition to the normal windage and elevation adjustments, the RXS-250 has 10 brightness settings including low settings for excellent nighttime use. It is also night vision compatible.

I spoke with an engineer at Bushnell who took the time to walk me through the improved design of this optic. The primary changes have been in the carriage. The carriage is the housing within the optic that holds the LED emitter and allows it to be adjusted via the windage and elevation adjustments. Bushnell has beefed up this portion of the internal mechanism because this is the main failure point on other optics. This ensures you are not going to have failures or wandering zero, even under hard use.

The new RXS-250 micro red dot also has all of the much-desired attributes we want from modern optics. With its durable aluminum housing design, it has been tested and proven to survive the United States Military Standard 810H specifications. The housing has been specifically designed to give maximum window view without sacrificing durability.

When it comes to the glass, there is no blue hue here. Bushnell has used their proprietary multi-coating process for true tone colors when looking through the glass with an impressive 86% average light pass through.

The clear 4 MOA dot is very crisp, with 10 brightness settings so you can use it in any brightness setting. Settings range from bright daylight to low settings that are night vision compatible. You get an estimated 50,000 hours of battery life on setting #5 from the top-loaded CR2032 battery. This suggests you won’t have to re-zero after you change your battery every few years. And if you are one to work in those wet or dusty conditions, it just so happens the RXS-250 is IP67 dust and waterproof-rated, so it can be submerged without damage.

close up of the bushnell red dot sight for pistols
The default auto-off timer will power down the LED after 12 hours of no button activity.

Bushnell packs other great features in this sight, including a user-selectable auto-off timer that will turn off the emitter after 12 hours of no button presses. If the user prefers to disable this for full manual control, it’s a simple process of pressing and holding both buttons for 4 seconds until the LED flashes to let you know the change was accepted. Turning the timer back on is the same process.

You also get recessed rubberized adjustment buttons on the left and right for brightness. When you go to zero, your adjustments for windage and elevation will be a familiar 1 MOA per click. The sight uses a DeltaPoint Pro footprint, and it can also be used on an optics-ready rifle with the included Picatinny mount. In the box, you will get a Bushnell multi-tool, lens cloth, battery, screws and an optic cover mount. When you read the included pamphlets, you will also see it is covered by Bushnell’s Ironclad Warranty

Putting the Red-Dot Sight To Work

For the range work, I put it on what I have affectionately named the “big monster.” That gun is better known as the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Tactical OSP Threaded model. This 9mm handgun gives you all the options you could want, from the tall sights, optics ready, META Trigger, ambidextrous controls and that threaded barrel.

testing the bushnell rxs-250 on the range
The author spent time on the range with the optic to ensure it was durable enough for defensive use.

Hitting the range, I instantly noticed how clear the glass was with great clarity all the way to the corners of the glass. The 4 MOA dot is very clear, even with my slight astigmatism. There were no blinking or refresh rate issues with the LED emitter when transitioning fast from one target to the next.

The squared-off housing design makes bringing the optic into your eye-line easy and instantly aligning it to a target with precise dot placement. The Bushnell units provide a large field of view without any issues with the housing interfering with the sight picture. It fits all modern optic-ready holsters like the Comp-Tac I was using that day on the range.

bushnell rxs-250 mounted as a backup on a rifle
On both pistols and rifles, the Bushnell optic proved itself to be reliable. It withstood the use and continued to offer a crisp, clear dot for accurate shooting.

The brightness adjustments were easy to use with the tactile feel of the rubberized buttons that are sub-flush of the housing to avoid snags. The buttons had a positive snap feel when activated, so you know by feel how many adjustments you have made. The smooth design lends itself to quick draws from a duty holster without worrying about snags or hang-ups. And the recessed design of the glass ensures that even if you use the sight to rack the slide, you won’t damage the glass.


Ultimately Bushnell’s RXS-250 gave me all of the options I would want in a miniature red dot from durability to auto-sensing technology for a great price of $249.99 MSRP. It performed admirably throughout my testing and the rugged cast aluminum housing was tough enough for daily carry. As a bonus, the sight’s rounded edges prevent snags on clothing. It’s a great reflex sight and worth your consideration.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

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Michael Mills

Michael Mills

Michael Mills created www.tacticalconsiderations.com as a way to help spread good information, shed positive light on the gun community and to have fun. He has always loved teaching and helping others, especially when it comes to gun rights. This passion was further ingrained during his service in U.S. Army Special Operations, and he is a Use of Force Instructor, Defensive Tactics instructor, DEA Firearms Instructor and Police Academy instructor. He also has 15 years of law enforcement experience from patrol to supervision.

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