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ZeroTech Thrive HD red dot sight review

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Who the heck is ZeroTech? That’s what I asked when I first got the offer to review their red dots. I’ve reviewed American optics, Japanese optics, and optics made in China, but ZeroTech offered me an option from Australia.

Australia isn’t well known for its arms or arms adjacent technology, but there are plenty of Australians who still appreciate firearms, even though their government isn’t exactly freedom friendly. Today we are looking at the ZeroTech Thrive HD red dot with the high mount.

If presentation matters, then ZeroTech does a great job of presenting its optic. The packaging is great, and the foam cuts provide good protection. The optic comes with a battery, a lens cover, and two wrenches. One is to attach the optic to the rail and the other to make adjustments. It’s simple, but there’s no instruction manual included. You have to scan a QD code to get it which I should have done before going to the range.

Specs and Features

By high mount, I mean AR high. The optic also comes with a low mount if you want to take it that route. You can also remove the optic and — with it’s Trijicon RMR footprint — mount it directly to a handgun, or 45-degree offset mount.

ZeroTech Thrive HD red dot sight review
The ZeroTech wears a Trijicon RMR footprint (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The reticle is a 3 MOA red dot, and the window is listed as 28x20mm, but the height of the optic is also listed at 28mm, so the window is a little smaller than that. It’s large, but 28x20mm makes it larger than the DeltaPoint Pro, and it’s not quite that large. It’s a fairly nice-sized window, and big windows are just more forgiving.

ZeroTech Thrive HD red dot sight review
A good presentation is nice (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The optic weighs a little over three ounces with the mount, and that’s fairly lightweight. The Thrive uses a CR2032 battery with a battery and is rated at 50,000 hours of runtime. That’s almost five year and with the Thrive’s shake awake feature, you’ll be good to go for the foreseeable future. ZeroTech wisely went with side loading of the battery to eliminate the need for dismounting the optic when it’s time to swap it out.

Keeping It Clear

The ZeroTech Thrive HD provides a nice clear view, and the HD in the name means high dispersion. Looking through the optic reveals just the slightest hint of a blue tint. It’s so slight I found myself questioning whether I could actually see it or if I was just think I see it. Overall the optic scores high in the clarity department. There’s no noticeable distortion, and from edge to edge, the optic doesn’t disappoint.

ZeroTech Thrive HD red dot sight review
The dot is clear and crisp, as are the lenses (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Another really nice feature is how freaking crisp and round the red dot is. This isn’t just like crisp and clear for the price, but outstandingly crisp and clear…period. We are talking Aimpoint quality in an optic that’s about half the price of the ACRO series.

ZeroTech Thrive HD red dot sight review
A side laoding battery is always appreciated (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Shooters get 11 brightness levels with the Thrive HD, and halfway through, I can look at the sky and see the dot. It’s plenty bright for dealing with the brightest and clearest of days. The dot captures your eye, and that’s what matters. There is a minimalist nature to the sides of the optic, and that gives you that big wide field of view we also love with two-eyed open shooting styles.

At the Range

The windage and elevation adjustments require an included small star-shaped style wrench. If you lose it, you likely won’t have a replacement in your range bag, so be cautious. The adjustments are 1 MOA, which is nice and broad for a red dot. The adjustments are very tactile and click-y. It’s nice compared to my recent experience with the Riton optic.

ZeroTech Thrive HD red dot sight review
The mount sits nice and high for shooting with an AR (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Zeroing was super quick on my CMMG MkGs. Six rounds later, the gun was right on target and locked down. The 3 MOA dot is crystal clear and easy to see with a target focus. With the weapon and the Thrive HD zeroed, it was time to have a little fun.

I started at 100 yards and walked round after round into a steel IPSC target. At 50 yards, I tried to keep a 10-inch gong swinging, and if I was a better shot, I might have done that. I kept it mostly swinging.

At 50 yards on in, it was all about moving from big targets to small ones and chasing a mix of dings and bings from gongs and poppers. The little red dot makes fast shooting easy. There was no loss of zero, so I tried to induce it.

ZeroTech Thrive HD red dot sight review
The buttons are nice and tactile (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I tossed the ZeroTech Thrive HD on my ASP red gun and gave it a couple of drops, some falls, and a few spills. Seeing as how I made my optic grungy, dropping it into the dirt, I sprayed it with a hose. The optic never flickered or failed, and I reattached the dot from where I removed it and saw no noticeable loss of zero.

Up From Down Under

I don’t know much about Australian arms technology other than I’ve always wanted to fire an Owen SMG, but the ZeroTech Thrive HD red dot is a simple, well-made red dot for your rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

Specifications

Length – 45mm
Height – 28mm
Weight – 3.10 ounces
Battery – 2032
Run Time – 50K Hours
Brightness Settings – 11
MSRP – $349 ($289 street price)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * * *
The dot held up under more abuse than was necessary. It’s been dropped, sprayed, and shot with plenty. No problems were found.

Ease of Use * * * * *
Let’s see…side-loading battery, easy mounting, easy-to-use buttons, and a bright and clear lens. Don’t forget the nice tactile and audible click 1 MOA adjustments when zeroing.

Clarity * * * * *
Red dots are easy to score high in the clarity department, but the dot and glass of the Thrive HD stand out from the crowd.

Overall * * * * *
ZeroTech might be new to America, but they have made a good first impression as far as I’m concerned. The Thrive HD is a solid micro red dot at a great price in an admittedly crowded market.

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