There was a buzz in the gun community a few years back. Sales dropped, bad reviews cropped up, and it sufficed to say that a lot of buyers were disappointed. It dealt a heavy blow to Bushnell’s reputation as a top tier quality optics manufacturer.

Bushnell had been in the business of optics for over half a century. You wouldn’t think that a company with a long history would have a hiccup, and yet Bushnell did get one around mid-2016 to early 2017. But before we get into the meat of the situation, let’s take a look at the center of this controversy: the Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Sight, or more commonly known as the Bushnell TRS-25.


The Bushnell TRS-25 has quite a few key features. It has 3 MOA red dot reticle and unlimited eye relief. It is made waterproof by the presence of O-rings.

It boasts of a shockproof construction meant to withstand the harsh elements and conditions of the field. Finally, the scope is Nitrogen-purged, ensuring that the multi-coated glass will not fog up because of humidity or sudden weather changes.

It has adjustable brightness from 1 to 11. Finally, it is battery-operated, using CR2032, and although it is guaranteed to extend battery life, it does not have an automatic shut-off.

White VS Yellow

Now, let’s talk about the mystery surrounding the white v yellow debate. For this, I relied heavily on an Amazon review and an archived Reddit thread for information, although they essentially say the same thing. There was a bad batch of Bushnell TRS-25 that was shipped out.

The Amazon review enumerated the different defects of the batch. The emitter of the dot, which is inside the scope, of the new batch was at 6 o’clock instead of the usual 4 o’clock. The diode housing was boxier when it should have been two bars. The red dot allegedly disappeared in the upper quarter of the window and was less bright. Finally, the knob next to the brightness level was mushy, too easy to turn, and would not click in place. The reviewer, Adam B., chalked it up to a defective batch that came along with the changes in the production of the TRS-25.

On the other hand, the archived Reddit thread was posted by a certain Al Flahertys, having lost a sale over the difference in the gold and white lettering of the TRS-25. He did some digging and found a Youtube video discussing the situation.

The video on Channel Cat Chaser’s account showed how much brighter the dot in the yellow-lettered one was compared to the white-lettered TRS-25. The white-lettered one’s dot, which was set at the maximum setting of 11, was more translucent than it should have been. The man in the video then referenced another Youtube channel, Texan Pistolero, and his video on the differences between the white and yellow TRS-25.

The Texan Pistolero was either Adam B’s source or vice versa, or they could have made their reviews independently. Whatever the case, one interesting thing that the Texan Pistolero said was that Bushnell personnel were not doing anything about the defective batch, at least not at the time of his filming.

In The Present

It is important to note that these events happened four years ago as of this writing. More recent reviews under the official Bushnell page and several other online stores, particularly Amazon, have praised the Bushnell TRS-25, though it is not clear whether they ordered the yellow-lettered or white-lettered TRS-25. 

On the official website, the photos used to showcase the TR-25 are both white and yellow letters.

Norman Turner, who wrote a review for the Bushnell TRS-25, posted photos showing the scope with yellow letters on its side. Surprisingly, he listed the disappearing red dot as a con for the particular model that he reviewed.

Another interesting thing he listed is the fact that the dot can be turned off to save the battery, but is countered by some complaints that the dot automatically turns off after every shot and thus making it a hassle to use. 

Editor-in-Chief Mark Simmons of Gun Advice called the TRS-25 as “absolutely one of the best scopes you can find under $100.” It is important to note that the article posted photos of both the white and yellow TRS-25. It may be taken as there isn’t any difference between the white and yellow letterings, or the author is unaware of the debate surrounding the color of the lettering. Either way, the article is a good read and cements the fact that Bushnell TRS-25 is a top-quality scope.


This article just proved that there are things we can’t avoid. There will always be defective batches and bad reviews. But that didn’t stop Bushnell from manufacturing top-quality optics, and it did not stop people from buying their products.

Buyers have to be aware of this situation so that they won’t get confused when purchasing the Bushnell TRS-25. It is also useful to know where to buy so that the fake ones that have saturated the market do not see the light of day.

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