I have found red dot scopes to be real helpful, and great for target shooting and plinking. The problem of course are the [button] batteries. I have a cheap red dot on one of my [Ruger] 10/22 fun plinking gun. Everyone loves it. However, too Many times I have left the sight turned on only to have a useless device atop my rifle. I have spent much money on the special “photo type” batteries for these illuminated scopes (with and without reticles). Those scopes that have a regular reticle and the option of illumination is not as catastrophic as a red dot with a dead battery and no quick back up iron sights. I have added Trijicon RMR Dual-Illuminated Sight (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex) to two of my survival rifles. The illumination of the dot is done with with ambient light and has tritium illumination for low light/night conditions. The great thing is the the ambient illumination will last forever. It is always there – no switches, no batteries, no problem. In a TEOTWAWKI situation this is what you want. If you are on watch at night or low light the tritium illumination is always there when you need it. Yes they are expensive ~$500, well worth the investment, they are built rugged and solidly reliable. This could be your life depending on this device, how much is that worth? Do you want to bet your life on a $39 piece of junk? You get what you pay for. Yes the tritium will degrade, that will be anywhere from 5 to 15 years depending on who you talk to and how good your eyes are. However the daytime function will always be there. The sights can always be returned Trijicon and the tritium replaced for a fee. the choice if color is amber or green – no red, I have no problem with the amber. As time goes on how much have you spent on these expensive batteries? Something to consider. I have no association with Trijicon or any financial interest, just a satisfied customer. – Richie in New York City
JWR Replies: Most people don’t realize it, but most disposable button batteries can be recharged. And even better for preppers, there are very compact photovoltaic button battery chargers available. Just be advised that these are not automatically regulated, so you have to keep track of the number of hours that they are charging in full sunlight.