The last decade has shown us the rise of the red dot optic, this rise was born at the heart of the Global War on Terror. The close range fighting in places like Iraq and Kandahar proved that a red dot was much faster than iron sights in combat. The police and the civilian market often closely follows the military realm, so the same red dots being used in Fallujah found themselves being used in Florida, on America’s most popular rifle, the AR 15.
With the rise of the red dot, it was nice seeing Aimpoint’s available to civilians, but the eight hundred dollar price tag isn’t budget friendly for most. In all honestly not every rifle needs an eight hundred red dot, and not every red dot is designed, or purpose built to go to war.
This is where we come across red dots like the UTG brands of simple, fun red dots. The UTG ITA CQB dot is a perfect example of a fun red dot. It’s very simple, very cheap, and comes with both a red and green dot option for the reticle.
The UTG ITA CQB is packaged simply in a standard cardboard box, and mine came with a small Allen wrench, the battery, lens cloth lens covers, and instructions. The UTG feels solid in the hand and has some heft behind. It really doesn’t feel cheap, it doesn’t feel like an Aimpoint, but it’s solid.
The optic is circular, like a traditional red dot optic, and isn’t like an Eotech. The sight itself has a sunshade built into the front edge of the optic and is a nice touch.
Mount & Adapter
The UTG comes mounted on a riser that is ready to mount on a Picatinny rail. Included with the red dot is a quick detach mount, and what UTG calls a smart adapter. The Smart adapter is a crane that holds the optic above the rail a bit, and this does provide for more room to mount other accessories.
The on/off switch is a single turret that turns the open on and off, changes its brightness level, and reticle color. What’s handy is that one-half of the turret has a red overlay, and the other half a green overlay. This lets you know which color the reticle is in action. Turning this on and off dial is difficult, the dial is quite stiff, but I predict it will loosen up over time.
The dot is nice and bright on it’s highest setting, but there is a noticeable washout. This can be expected with such an affordable optic. As you adjust to higher brightness levels the dot loses uniformity and tends to grow in size. The dot is reportedly a 4 MOA dot, which it is on all but the highest settings. The quick detach mount is nice, and my preferred mount for testing, and in general. I did confirm that with the QD mount the optic witnesses with standard AR iron sights.
The optic is also compatible with a UTG magnifier, which is pretty cool for anyone looking to go full red dot. I can appreciate the usefulness of the compatibility, but I’m not reviewing the adapter, just the optic. Looking through the UTG gives you a somewhat green lens coating. This is an emerald coat and is supposedly used to reduce and eliminate glare. I never experienced any glare with the optic, so I reckon it works.
UTG ITA Range Test Time
Before we get to the range first things first. I wanted to approach this review with the idea that this was a hobby, for a fun optic. I did not expect a 47 dollar red dot to compete with an Aimpoint or an Eotech. This red dot is not designed for combat and isn’t even designed for home defense. This optic is just for fun, if you use it for home defense it is your choice, but I wouldn’t risk my life with it. With all that being said I am pleasantly surprised the optic worked so well.
The optic came at the tight time as Palmetto State Armory just had a sale and I finished a new build. This specific build had a 22 conversion kit made by CMMG taking the place of the bolt until I got my new bolt in. The 22 LR and rifles built around the diminutive rimfire are excellent choices for a fun hobby sight like this. I had a standard A2 front sight and a Magpul MBUS rear sight. They co-witnessed perfectly.
When dialing in the scope I was surprised to see the turrets actually locked down, which is rather nice on such an affordable optic. The adjustments are ½ MOA, so it’s quick to get the red dot on sight.
A fun gun needs fun targets, so we set up a basic spinning dueling tree made for rimfire rounds:
At 15 and 25 yards we were making it dance for the entire magazine.
At fifty yards the small spinning plates were too small to see due to the red dot, so we moved to clay pigeons. Setting strings of pigeons on the berm we transferred from target to target with ease, and had a blast turning them into little orange pieces. The optic held zero for over 30 rounds without any shift.
The only real criticisms I have is the washout at higher brightness levels. Here in Florida, the sun is awfully bright in the middle of Spring so I had to turn the brightness level up.
The UTG ITA CQB would be perfect optic on a 22 AR, a Ruger 10/22, and any other gun that is intended to be fun.