The key factor to keep in mind when searching for the best red dot sight is this: These are tools designed for quick-shooting situations or close-shooting situations.
If you expect precision assistance and a sharp, focused dot you may be disappointed.
In addition, the majority of these sights do not magnify, which means they are rated at zero-power or perhaps 1x for magnification.
A competitive speed-shooter may use a red dot sight on a handgun to increase percentages. A 1x dot, being slightly larger, allows you to find the dot more quickly, so this may be a feature to look for. You may also find a red dot sight helpful for hunting deer or turkey with a shotgun, and for competitions such as skeet, trap, and sporting clays.
With this in mind, your shopping list should include such details as red dot size, adjustable size, how much room you have on your firearm, and if the sight also has crosshairs. Another element to consider is the difference between a reflex sight and a holographic sight, sometimes referred to as EOTech. In a reflex sight, the dot is not going to be as well-defined as with a true holographic product. This may differ slightly from sight to sight, so just use it as a general guideline.
Key feature: MOA means minute of angle. A 1 MOA means you’ll shoot a 1-inch group at 100 yards. A 2 MOA gives you a 2-inch group at 100 yards etc.
Click to View Post Navigation
- Top 3 Best Red Dot Sights (Summary)
- 7 Best Red Dot Sights – Reviews and Guide
- What is a Red Dot Sight, How Does It Work?
- How to Choose the Best Red Dot Sight
- Tips on Using a Red Dot Sight
Top 3 Best Red Dot Sights (Summary)
For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.
When you look at the best red dot sights, it’s always wise to remember you’re looking for the tool that works best for you. Pay particular attention to how the site performs, how it fits on your firearm, and to price, of course.
If you decide on one of the most inexpensive products, you should be fine as you knock a few aluminum cans off a fence rail (just passing time). Price will give you a good indication of quality, with some veterans using $50 as a breakpoint. You can get a suitable red dot sight for under $100 and you’ll take your target shooting to the next level when you get beyond that point.
7 Best Red Dot Sights – Reviews and Guide
Vortex Optics Red Dot Sight is highly durable and compact and it easily picks up target locations. It is designed for both close range and general shooting.
The 11 intensity levels of brightness make it easy to see targets regardless of lighting or weather conditions. This feature also makes it able to acquire targets at long distances.
It uses multi-coated lenses to increase light transmission during low light conditions. The lack of eye strain makes it easy to pick up targets.
The casing of this device is made of durable aluminum. It is shockproof and water-resistant.
- Ability to acquire targets in low lighting conditions
- Can be used for close range and general shooting
- Durable aluminum
- Battery might not provide a lot of runtime
Sig Sauer offers this red-dot tool with an “unlimited lifetime” warranty, which is outstanding for a mid-price sight. Rated at 2 MOA, the Romeo5 offers 10 illumination settings, motion-activated illumination powers up the unit when motion is sensed and powers it down when there is no motion.
Picatinny interface for standard mounting options and waterproof/fog-proof performance. Uses one CR2 battery.
Tasco is a recognizable name in this product area, and they get a lot of attention with 5 MOA performance.
This red-dot scope has a 57-foot field of view at 100 yards and features a fully coated lens that delivers 5 MOA. The 11-position rheostat controls a 38mm tube. Great zero-hold.
On the other end of the scale, the EOTech 552 uses heads-up design so you can view with both eyes for great peripheral vision. The open circle is 65 MOA, with a 1 MOA aiming dot in the center.
Uses AA batteries and has a toggle switch to lower light intensity quickly. Weaver-style mount and two-year factory warranty.
This high-quality red-dot offers 3 MOA and features windage and elevation adjustments, along with convenient battery access.
Three levels of brightness and the automatic brightness control make this a good tool for field use. It also includes a low-battery indicator.
Can be a good choice for the entry-level shooter because it’s pretty much ready to use right out of the package. Removable spacer lets it be used on AR and other firearms, with a good 2 MOA dot.
The Sightmark runs on a AA battery. Good zero hold through extended use makes this a popular choice for the active shooter. Waterproofing and submersible rating give this one a leg up as well.
If you want reliable performance at a low price, this may be what you’re looking for. It’s a good copy of a more well-known red-dot, but it also includes a green-dot option. Optics are not coated, as with some medium-priced dots it’s still excellent for casual shooting and hunting.
When you’re looking for a budget item in the AR pistol area, it would hard to miss the mark with this unit.
What is a Red Dot Sight, How Does It Work?
If you’re using an AR-15, you’ll need a reliable red-dot sight. This goes without saying. But, to put it in basic terms, a red-dot is not just a red-dot. There are many designs and styles, with different performance characteristics and a vast range of prices.
A red-dot sight uses a holographic dot to help you aim and hit a target. Again in basic terms, these units work on an illusion technique. An angled piece of glass reflects the from an LED, with enough brightness that you’ll see your dot even in bright surroundings. To put it simply, the dot really isn’t there but you benefit from it anyway.
How to Choose the Best Red Dot Sight
Choosing a red dot sight can be a relatively easy decision if you make your choice based on price alone. But even if you choose something in the lower-price range or mid-price range, you should make sure your getting the right tool for your firearm and for the type of shooting you’re going to do. Base your decision on other factors, such as red-dot size, adjustable size, type of firearm and the mounting room you’ll need, whether your unit also has crosshairs.
You’ll also need to choose between reflex sights and EOTech sights, the latter being true holographic models that will cost you more. With a reflex sight, don’t expect the dot to be sharp and well-defined. It doesn’t work that way, unless you have a real holographic sight.
To Repeat a Key Feature: MOA means minute of angle. A 1 MOA means you’ll shoot a 1-inch group at 100 yards. A 2 MOA gives you a 2-inch group at 100 yards etc. In addition, the majority of these sights do not magnify, which means they are rated at zero-power or perhaps 1x for magnification.
Tips on Using a Red Dot Sight
- Be completely comfortable with your firearm before you start using it with a red dot sight. Then practice a lot with the sight so you get the best results and stay safe.
- These units are designed for aim-and-shoot, but you’ll still need to get used to using the dot. Make sure you have an unobstructed view of the target, and keep both eyes on that target.
- When you’re confident and focused you should begin to see improvement. You’ll gradually become a faster, more-accurate shooter. But you must be patient during the learning process.
- As they say in racing, this is where the rubber meets the road. With red-dot shooting, this is where you lock on the target. Lower the firearm and keep both eyes on the target. Raise your firearm to aim without losing your view of the target.
- Keep your eyes positioned on the target and once you’re in focus you’ll see the red dot.
As mentioned earlier, the range of prices and features is wide. You will have to choose which elements are the most important to you. If it’s price, you should be able to get what you need to be a happy, casual shooter. If you want to get real serious about your shooting experience, you can spend more and have all the bells and whistles, so to speak.
Look for MOA, mounting capabilities, brightness levels, and ease of adjustment, as some of the major factors. As with any purchase, spend some time with reviews such as this so you become an educated consumer.
Go with EOTech if the price is not a concern. For low-end models, you might want to select the FieldSport or Dagger Defense. Tasco delivers great MOA for an attractive price. Bushnell is always a good bet and won’t cost you a lot of bucks. Burris and Sig Sauer for warranty are good selections, while Sightmark and Primary Arms fill the bill in the mid-price range.