I put a cheap Simmons red dot on the butchered M44 I call my "Rain Rifle." Now, I have discovered that the thing is almost useless in low light conditions. As a matter of fact, I performed a side-by-side low light comparison of most all of my scout scopes and pistol scopes. Just before dark, I turned off my living room lights and aimed through the front door glass and the screen door behind it and out across my front yard to my mailbox, some 75 yards away.
My new Leupold 2.5x28 IER won hands down. I could almost read the letters on the side of the mailbox. With an old 2x20 and an old 3x20 I could tell I was aiming at a mailbox, and that's about all. With the red dot, I couldn't even tell it was a mailbox.
Compared to the others, the Leupold 2.5x28 was like someone had turned on a big light outside, it was that much better at gathering light.
Buying another Leupold 2.5x28 seems the logical choice for my M44 rain rifle. But I'd rather put a modified Firesight on the front and a peep on the rear, mounted on the cocking piece if possible. If I were hunting in a downpour--which I did once this year with the rain rifle--I'd have to cover the ocular lens of a scope, and quickly release the cover if I saw a deer. With a peep sight, I'd just aim and shoot. If ol' Mossy Horns was standing there looking at me, the less I had to think about the better.
I could also just use the Leupold and forget a lens cover. It's 100% waterproof, the brochure says. Opinions, please.