A Detailed Test & Evaluation of the SIMMONSModel #51105 Red-Dot Sighting
For those first time visitor's to the J.P.F.O. website, I would suggest
that you read a previous article that I did on the SAIGA-12
Self-Loading Shotgun. In part of that report I mentioned that
we had mounted an ADCO VANTAGE, model #V-1 red-dot onto the shotgun
during most of our field testing. The bottomline was, and still is,
that we could highly recommend the #V-1 sighting system. For a retail
price of about $130.00, the #V-1 took a lot of 12GA recoil and very
severe weather conditions without a problem.
During our recent Y2K training season, we thought we would test one of the
lower priced (less than $90.00 retail) red-dot systems, which some of you may
be thinking about buying.
Since the product and trade name are common throughout the USA, we decided to
test the SIMMONS model #51105 red-dot sighting system. As with may things these
days, the SIMMONS product line is made in Communist China (ChiCom), and is
quite cheap in price.
The general appearance of the SIMMONS was good, with a fairly dull black finish
over all major components. With regard to overall dimensions: The tube length
without the provided sun hood is about 5-inches. Overall length with the sun
hood is about 6 1/4-inches. The outside diameter of the front and rear optical
tubes measure at 25-mm.
As with the majority of red-dot systems, our test unit does not magnify the
field view. Also, like the majority of red-dot sight systems, the shooter can
vary the brightness of the red-dot, but cannot change the diameter of the
red-dot for different situations. Example: On the model #51105 SIMMONS, you
cannot change the 'dot' from it's factory diameter of 4-Minutes of Angle
(4MOA), to say 12-MOA for a different tactical situation.
Mechanically, the test unit was 'user friendly', with the "ON-OFF" brightness
control knob being large enough so that you could make adjustments with a
gloved hand. By the same token, the numbered brightness control settings are
easy to see and understand. As with most other red-dots, the -0- setting is
also the power "OFF" position. Like other red-dot systems, our test SIMMONS
also came with a 3V, pancake type Lithium battery (ChiCom), which was very easy
to install within the main brightness control knob assembly.
The Windage/Elevation (W/E) control knobs are also easy to access and clearly
marked regarding direction of adjustment. However, the W/E adjustment scales do
not have any type of positive 'click' index system, ergo, you have to
'guesstimate' your adjustments during the boresite/zeroing process. Example:
Remember your first .22LR rifle scope when you were a kid? It's just like that.
From what we could determine each marked index represents a movement of
approximately 3/4-MOA at 50-meters. We are also fairly certain that, once
'set', the red-dot maintained its zero during firing test.
Though our SIMMONS red-dot was listed as being suitable for either pistol,
rifle, or shotgun, we thought it best to start testing on a low recoil firearm,
ie; an HKMP5 9x19-mm SMG. After 21-rounds of semi-auto fire, our red-dot died.
The ChiCom battery? Not even the Energizer Bunny could revive our dead red-dot.
Maybe we bought a 'lemon'? We ordered another SIMMONS model #51105 red-dot and
mounted it onto the same HKMP5 9x19-mm SMG. After 120-rounds of both semi-auto
and full-auto firing, our replacement red-dot was still going strong. It was
time to move up the recoil ladder.
Since we were also field testing an after-market "BullPup" stock system for the
AK-47 SLR, we thought it would be interesting to test both at the same time.
Our Japanese Defense Force (JDF) student's found the 7.62x39-mm "BullPup" SLR
very easy to handle, and the SIMMONS red-dot very 'fast' in target acquisition.
They had few problems 'snap-shooting' bad guy bowling pins from 15 through
At approximately round 325, Kei, our Tokyo liaison, came over to me saying, "I
think we have a problem", as he dropped the entire red-dot brightness control
knob assembly into my hand. Although greatly streamlined in its appearance, our
second SIMMONS red-dot sight was just as dead as the first one we had attempted
to test. One 'lemon' maybe, but not two in a row. Obviously, the SIMMONS model
#51105 red-dot sighting system had a serious design and/or production problem!
A quick field inspection showed that all four of the tiny jeweler size
(#1-64TPI), primary mounting screws had come loose from the main body, ergo,
the "ON/OFF"/brightness control assembly fell off. Apparently, the ChiCom's
don't know about Loctite!
Later, a more detailed inspection proved my initial thinking to be short of the
mark. After taking the "ON/OFF"/brightness controll assembly to pieces, the
problem was more obvious. Due to recoil harmonics, all four of the tiny screws
had stripped out of their mounting holes within the central aluminum mounting
block. No, the tiny mounting screws were fine. The ChiCom aluminum was 'soft'
and totally unsuitable for firearms related applications.
You know our conclusions regarding the SIMMONS model #51105 red-dot sighting
system... THUMBS DOWN, do not waste your money...
Mr. Hohlfeld is the firearms instructor for Ranger Outreach Center. If youhave
comments you may write to:
PO Box 1164
Pecos, NM 87552
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