Barska Electro Sight 1x40mm

Review: Barska Electro Sight 1×40 ION reflex sight

The 40mm Barska Electro Scope reflex sight suits both rifles and shotguns if you’re looking for a non-magnifying optic for fast, close-range shooting, and its four reticles provide additional versatility.

For this test I fitted it first to a repeating shotgun, the Axor Bushpig XT, where its performance was fantastic, elevating the instinctive shooting of the scattergun to another level.

Barska Electro Sight 1x40mm
The Barska’s clamp is securely locked down and fits Picatinny and Weaver bases

Afterwards I tried it on a lever-action rimfire, the Derya TM22, and then a Lithgow LA102 Outback centrefire rifle. In each case, the benefits in terms of fast target acquisition were obvious. 

Shooting with both eyes open through a non-magnifying sight is a revelation if you haven’t done it before. You can be surprisingly accurate, particularly on moving targets, and the situational awareness of having the maximum possible field of view with both eyes makes you a better and safer hunter: more able to detect potential danger and capable of planning ahead to your next target while aiming at the current one. 

That is, of course, in the nature of any red-dot or reflex sight but the Barska has features that give it advantages.

Its relatively large size, with 40mm lens, allows more latitude for your head position — you can more easily find the reticle floating on the screen than on smaller ones. It’s a particularly critical thing for a reflex sight; in small lenses, it can be very hard sometimes to line up your eye and the reticle.

Barska Electro Sight 1x40mm
Aiming with the Barska is as instinctive as it comes, especially with the right gun fit

By the time I’d adjusted the combs on the firearms I used in this test (all of them had height adjustment), the big Barska always lined up right.

When I call it big, that’s relative. This is still a compact optic and it weighs just 170g with battery and mount.

Of the four reticles, I settled on the circle-dot for the shotgun, simply because it approximated the pattern of shot; and I found I preferred the cross-dot over the plain dot for the rifles, probably because the dot is a small one and didn’t show up as quickly or clearly as the crossed dot. 

There’s also a combined cross-circle-dot — or star, as Barska calls it — and its arguably the best for rifle shooting across a range of dynamic situations. 

Barska Electro Sight 1x40mm
The four reticles of the Barska are all easily selected and found in the large screen

Changing reticles is a very simple matter of sliding the selector left or right, while altering brightness is done by pressing a button on the left to step through the six settings. 

In bright sunlight with a pale background, the reticle can be difficult to distinguish even on its brightest setting, but I can’t see this being too much of a hassle unless you’re on a range with light, bright surroundings or maybe hunting albino deer on a beach — neither of which is all that common!

The mount is a good one that fits both Picatinny and Weaver sized rails. Swinging a lever clamps it on or releases it, and the lever has a locking button so you’ll never lose the sight. 

Aiming adjustments are made by slotting an Allen key into the windage and elevation screws. Turning the key results in very tactile clicks each representing a 1 MOA shift in point of impact, which is fine enough for this kind of sight. 

Barska Electro Sight 1x40mm
Battery is under the cap at the front; brightness and on/off button is on the side; windage and elevation adjustments require an Allen key

Parallax error is negligible to zero from around 15m out to 100m, the typical range you’d intend to shoot using a reflex sight. If your eye is misaligned to the point where the reticle is near the top or sides of the frame you’ll see some distortion but I was only ever conscious of this when examining the scope in a static position and looking for it; it was never a factor when hunting.

The Electro Sight uses a little LR44 battery. There were two in the box with the Barska I tested. 

Quality appears good and the Barska looks strongly built with a tough alloy housing. 

For around $250, the 1x40mm Barska Electro Sight gives you speed, accuracy and suitability for various types of firearms.

Barska Electro Sight 1x40mm
The four reticles are selected with the rotating dial at the back of the sight


  • Type: Reflex sight
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Lens: 40mm, fully multicoated
  • Reticles: Star, cross, bullseye, dot; red
  • Adjustments: 1 MOA per click
  • Brightness: 6 levels
  • Length: 92mm
  • Weight: 170g
  • Price: $249.95
  • Distributors: Spencer Imports and Eagleye Hunting Gear




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.