The Best Red Dot Sights for Your Next Hunting Trip
Sight picture is essential for accurately striking a target, no matter who uses a gun for target practice or hunting. Traditional iron sights may be utilized to achieve this aim; however, red dot sights allow you to aim quicker and shoot without missing more often.
The military used red dot sights, but now people use them for fun things like hunting and paintball. There are various brands known for producing quality firearms and red dot sights, including Sig Sauer and Aimpoint. They are popular because they help you aim quickly at moving targets. In this article, we will look at some of the best red dot sights on the market. We will also cover key features to look for and evaluate when purchasing a red dot sight.
What Is a Red Dot Sight?
A red dot sight is a vision distinct from other kinds of vision. It is illuminated and can be used on a shotgun, rifle, or handgun. The “red dot” in the reticle is created by a LED or laser diode light reflected or projected into the field of view. Once you’ve aligned the gun with the target, this “red dot” serves as your aiming mechanism.
Best Red Dot Sights
Athlon Optics Midas TSR2 Red Dot
Athlon is not the biggest name on the market, but they are one of the best. Their latest generation of products has been high performance and affordable. The Midas Red Dot series is a great option for anyone who needs a quality red dot. Its battery cap is one of its most outstanding qualities.
This Athlon sight says it has an incredible 50,000 hours of juice. It also features a built-in motion sensor that automatically turns the unit on and off. Plus, the glass is fully multi-coated, like other sights from Athlon. This sight has different versions, depending on how much power you need.
Vortex SPARC 2 Red Dot Sight
The Vortex SPARC 2 is a well-built and sturdy sight that provides great features at a really reasonable price. It is an upgrade to Vortex’s original SPARC and is built to impress. Many reviewers have not had problems standing up to the tests of time. At minimum brightness, the battery life of this Vortex red dot can last up to 5,000 hours.
This sight has a six-hour auto shut-off feature to save battery life. It also has a button that makes it easy to change the reticle’s color, shape, and brightness. The lens is fully multi-coated and waterproof. The Vortex optics is also parallax-free, so you can shoot more quickly with both eyes open.
Rifle Sight Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot
The Bushnell TRS 25 is a great sight that is incredibly durable and lightweight. The lens is multi-coated and has an amber bright, high contrast anti reflective coating to help you see your fast target acquisitions in any lighting. The parallax-free design means that the sight will adjust to your eyes so you can shoot quickly with both eyes open.
This sight can adjust the size and illumination of the reticle to three different levels. It also has a feature that preserves battery life. Another useful feature for accurate shooting excursions is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof.
Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
The Aimpoint PRO is a great site with new features that last for a long time. Without the need for a fresh battery, the sight can be turned on and left on for three years. It also has reminders to change the battery and service the sight, which will help you keep it in good condition.
This site includes a band-pass coating on the front lens and an Aimpoint micro footprint. This allows it to work with most types of night vision compatible devices. The front and rear lenses are also set back from the edge. This protects them from damage if something happens to the sight and keeps them from getting scratched or dirty. The Aimpoint PRO also has a riser mount that can be removed and a torque-limiting twist knob that ensures the sight is secure on the rail.
Sightmark’s Ultra Shot Pro NV QD Spec Sight
If you’re looking for a high-quality, low-cost sight, the Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD is a great choice. The double-pane lens helps eliminate parallax, a common feature among red dot scopes. You will also have the ability to mount the sight in front of a night vision monocular to create an absolute co witness sight setup.
This sight is fast and easy to use. You can attach it to a rail quickly, and it will stay in place. It also has a system that keeps the sight from moving, so you don’t have to keep adjusting it. This sight is also very durable. The shield is constructed of metal, and the frame is aluminum. That means it can handle different environments and situations.
Burris FastFire III with Picatinny Mount
The Burris FastFire III is a versatile sight that can be used in many situations. It can be adjusted to suit your needs. The sight also has upgrades available. It has a 3 MOA dot reticle that can be adjusted to three brightness settings. It also has an automatic brightness setting that adjusts to the current lighting conditions.
The battery is located on top of the sight, so it can be easily replaced. The low battery indicator will help you make sure you have a fully charged sight before your next adventure. The waterproof and shockproof qualities of the Burris FastFire III are also included.
Finding the right sight is important for any hunter or marksman. It is important to be comfortable using the sight to make accurate shots quickly. The key is to find a sight that you can use easily, especially if you are shooting at a moving target.
Red dot sights can be a great way to improve your aim, but it’s important to consider some key features before buying one. Just because sight is expensive doesn’t mean it’s high quality. The five sights listed here are all great choices, but keep reading to learn more about each one before deciding which one is right for you.
One of the most advanced commercial optics available is the Meprolight Foresight. This may be the proof of concept that propels red dot optics into the twenty-first century. The heads-up display has a digital compass, sight leveler, and shot counter, as well as five distinct reticles.
The Foresight links to Android and iOS operating systems through Bluetooth, allowing you to make adjustments with your smartphone. You can easily adjust the brightness knob and reticle and auto-zero the optic and save up to ten distinct weapon configurations.
You can fill the profiles with information such as the gun model, zero, load, and so on. For example, a shotgun zeroed for buckshot may be one of the profiles. The shotgun in the second profile has been zeroed for slugs. A suppressed AR zeroed for.300 Blackout subsonic loads could be the third option.
The other electrical elements are also beneficial. You have a lot of options when it comes to the reticle. While you can utilize up to five reticles, there are 20 distinct combinations to choose from. There are 2 MOA dots, crosshair, square, or circle to choose from. The compass in the top left corner gives you a precise degree scale for the direction you’re viewing.
The Foresight’s only flaw is that it isn’t the most compact or lightweight design available. It’s a full-size red dot, measuring 4.6 inches long and weighing 9.9 ounces. It’s also powered by a rechargeable battery, usually a bonus. Still, you’ll have to wait for it to recharge if it runs out of electricity.
Trijicon RMR Type 2
Trijicon’s RMR Type 2 is the current red dot pistol sight champion. It’s compact, tough, and dependable, and most armed professionals, including SOCOM, prefer it. RMR sights, or Ruggedized Miniature Reflex sights, were created for handguns with reciprocating slide recoil.
The Trijicon RMR Type 2 features three different dot sizes: 1 MOA, 3.25 MOA, and 6.5 MOA. Even though the most affordable red dot have a 2 MOA dot, many experienced pistol shooters prefer a bigger reticle.
They’re easier to see at close range, especially when aiming at a moving target. You’ll see a bright, sharp dot through the lens that doesn’t conceal the target.
The Trijicon RMR is only 1.2 ounces in weight, which is important because you don’t want a bulky handgun. And, despite its small weight, it’s hardly a featherweight. The red dot from Trijicon is as tough and dependable as they get. It’s made of forged aluminum and is waterproof to a depth of 20 meters. It’s the weapon of choice for armed professionals for a reason.
If you asked me to identify the best red dot sight on a budget, I’d answer the SIG ROMEO5. The no-frills red dot ticks all the boxes for a reliable red dot. It’s a straightforward, compact, and dependable design for a budget optics.
Tactile adjustment buttons toggle between the 10 lighting levels and elevation and windage sliders on the ROMEO5. Internally, instead of a holographic dot, you’ll see an LED dot, so you won’t have to worry about the dot changing as you change shooting positions.
SIG claims that the red dot design will fit most firearms, including AR platforms, shotguns, and even full-size pistols. It will mount to any Picatinny rail. It also comes with a high and low mount. You can make it O Ring sealed to ensure a perfect fit. If you wanted to co-witness your views, you’d choose the latter.
On the ROMEO5, the MOTAC (Motion Activated Illumination) shake awake illumination settings saves battery life. When the device detects motion, it powers up, and when it does not, it powers down. The ROMEO5 is also water-resistant to IPX7 standards, which means it may be submerged for up to half an hour at a depth of one meter. The ROMEO5 comes with a generous guarantee from SIG. For a low-cost lens, this is quite impressive.
Even though the Holosun 507C was designed for pistols, it’s become a very popular shotgun red dot sight. That’s because the low-profile design has a variety of reticle configurations and can maintain a zero across a variety of loads, from birdshot to buckshot, without flickering or fluttering.
The 507C is lightweight 7075 T6 aluminum with an anodized finish and is built to last. The durable optic is IP67 rated, which means it can be submerged in water for up to half an hour and still function.
Last but not least, it has been tested to endure vibrations of up to 5,000g (units of gravitational constant). That is, it will work after being violently rocked.
A circle dot, a 2 MOA dot, and a 32 MOA circle are all included in the 507C’s multi-reticle system. The last one, the 32 MOA circle, is ideal for shotgun shells because it indicates the point of impact and the pattern area. When you place the red dot in the circle on a target, you’ll have a frame of reference for how far the pellets will spread. They’ll stay within the circle as long as you’re within shotgun range.
The Holosun 507C also has solar power and battery (CR1632) power options, as well as:
- 12 adjustable brightness settings (10 days and two nights),
- shake awake technology (which turns on when it detects motion and turns off when it doesn’t).
- A lock mode (so you don’t lose your settings inadvertently) and various mounting options.
I would have chuckled if you had asked me a year ago to recommend a red dot for under a hundred dollars. There was no such thing, in my opinion, until I discovered the SIG MSR. Overall, it’s a no-frills design with straightforward controls that’s tough in almost every manner. I flung it, drenched it, blasted it with heat, froze it, and finally shot it. It worked regardless of what I did to it. The SIG MSR is all about simplicity. It’s nothing more than a well-crafted red dot devoid of any and all frills. You receive a simple 2 MOA red dot, a wheel to regulate the brightness level, and a bare-bones mounting method.
I have no reservations about utilizing the SIG MSR for hunting or self defense. Even if it isn’t exact, the small dot is simple to spot. It’s a little starburst, but it’s completely functional.
The SIG MSR is a low-cost AR-height optic with a straightforward mounting method. The optic measures 3.1 inches long, 1.5 inches broad, and 2.6 inches tall, with an objective lens of 20mm. It’s light, weighing only 4.9 ounces. The optic is a little long and odd in appearance, but appearances are unimportant in quality.
Surprisingly, the optic has 12 settings, two of which are suitable for night vision. I’m not sure your budget is if you have night vision and are using this optic. In any case, it’s a choice, and choices are always excellent.
The SIG MSR gets 20K hours of battery life from a single CR2032 battery, which isn’t bad for a budget optic. Is it flawless? No, but it’s as close to perfection as a lens that costs less than $100 can get. It’s a perfectly serviceable red dot that can take a hammering, and the optic has no reason to be as good as it is – and yet here we are.
Isn’t it true that miniguns require mini red dot sights? A red dot can help even the tiniest of pistols, and the industry has responded accordingly. The Holosun 507K is a compact and affordable red dot sight designed for concealed carry pistols such as the Sig P365, Walther PPS M2, Glock 48 and 43X MOS, and many others.
The 507K was created by shrinking the 507C. On top of that, you get the same toughness, aluminum construction, and recoil-proof design with a side-loading battery.
You have three reticle options, and the solar panel backup is the only thing you sacrifice by going this small. The glass clarity is excellent, with crisp dot and clear reticles that are simple to use.
Two adjustment buttons are included with the 507K. Most rivals just have a single button to cycle through the different brightness levels. Furthermore, the Shield footprint is used on the 507K, which is the industry-standard footprint for optics of this compact. It is, in my opinion, the most feature-rich, ergonomic, and trustworthy of the super small red dots.
The Holosun 507K’s micro-sized form implies it has a small window, but with a two-eyed, open design, the size doesn’t matter. You can choose from a small 2 MOA circle, a 32 MOA circle, or a mix of the two with the 507 K’s numerous reticles. The large reticles are perfect for concealed carry ranges.
The optic adds only a single ounce to your gun, allowing you to keep your compact pistol as small as possible. The Holosun 507K also includes an inbuilt rear pistol sight, allowing easy witnessing. The little optic is built of 7075 aluminum and can withstand the punishment that concealed carry may give out. The optic can be totally submerged in water for up to half an hour without problems.
You want a durable and dependable optic that will perform flawlessly after hundreds of rounds when it comes to concealed carry. The 507K is too fast for most tiny red dot sights. Although most are fragile, the 507K is ideal for concealed carry and provides all of the benefits of a red dot without the red dot’s size.
Primary Arms SLX Microdot
Primary Arms transformed the market for low-cost optics. Because of their rapid rise to fame, companies like Trijicon have adopted their always-awesome reticles. The Primary Arms SLX Microdot is a premium-grade red dot that is affordable.
The street price is roughly $190, but the red dot value is substantially greater. The reticle is an ACSS reticle from Primary Arms, specifically the ACSS-CQB. As a result, the ACSS-CQB enables you to fire rapid-fire bullets while also allowing you to slow down, elevate, and estimate for the ballistic drop.
It’s a fantastic reticle that’s ridiculously simple to use and ideal for various weapons. You’re covered for everything from shotgun slugs to 5.56. With a 25mm objective lens, the SLX Microdot offers an excellent, wide field of view. The reticle clarity is exceptional, and the image through the optic is sharp and clear.
Microdot is a strange way of referring to a full-sized red dot. Although small, the 25mm objective lens and 6.5-ounce weight keep it from falling into the Micro category. However, it’s still little, and I’m only splitting hairs about the weight. The SLX is a fantastic small optic with four different mounting height options to fit every pistol and sight height need.
The ACSS-CQB reticle is good for both close-range and long-range shooting. Primary Arms lists the holdover spots for different ranges for nine different rifle and shotgun setups. 5.56 caliber weapons, 9mm rifles,.308 rifles, 1-ounce slugs, and more are all included. It’s extremely adaptable and simple to use.
I had difficulty finding something under $200 that combines quality and originality with a lower price range. Although the Primary Arms SLX Microdot is new, it has already earned the Red Dot Optic of the Year award at the 2021 Industry Choice Awards. The National Tactical Officers Association awarded the SLX a Silver-tier grade after meeting all of the requirements. All of this, and it’s still under $200.
This suggestion comes from the SAS. A SAS commando assaulted a mall in Nairobi a few years ago. It killed terrorists using an M4 outfitted with a ROMEO4T red dot. As a result, I grabbed one and quickly realized it was the ideal optic for the ordinary AR-15 user. It’s a small, duty-grade red dot optic with many capabilities that elevate it much beyond its modest price tag.
First, you have four reticle options, with the ballistic circle red dot being ideal for AR-15 users. It has four dots, one for the primary aiming point and three for the ballistic drop.
This enables users to calculate their holdovers with their 5.56 rifle and correct for the ballistic drop in real-time. This optic becomes an extremely powerful and capable sight for carbine ranges when used in conjunction with magnification.
You also get a solar panel as a backup power source. When you combine the two, you get 100,000 hours of battery life. The ROMEO4T is IPX8-rated, which means it can withstand being submerged for up to a meter. The ROMEO4T has been tested to Mil-Spec 810G standards for submersion to a depth of 20 meters. The ROMEO4T is designed specifically for semi-aquatic AR-15s.
The ROMEO4T is unquestionably a professional-grade optic with a professional-grade price tag. For shooters who don’t want to go too big or too little, the ROMEO4T features a compact red dot. It’s the porridge of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Like the 20mm objective lens, the reticle works well with a magnifier.
The overall dimensions of the optic are 3.33 inches long, 1.92 inches wide, and 2.66 inches tall. The optic is 7.6 ounces in weight, which is heavy for its total size. It’s easy to see why the SAS chose it because of the IPX8 grade, which keeps the optic strong and durable.
Not to mention the 12 brightness options, which include 10 for daylight shooting and two for night vision. The settings are excellent, and the two large buttons are tactile and responsive.
That SAS operator was cool, but the ROMEO4T is a fantastic optic in its own right. The optic is perfect for AR-15 owners even without SAS certification. Bro’s The reticle is superb, the provided mount is ideal for an AR-15, and it is simply a rock solid design for AR-15s. Plus, for such a well-made optic, the same price range isn’t awful.
Types of Red Dot Sights
Miniature and Micro Red Dot Sight
Small red dot sights, such as miniature and micro red dot sight, are available. A miniature rifle optic like the RMR is ideal for pistols, magnified optics, and even primary optics on some long weapons. With pistols, micro red dot sights are very universally employed.
Because of the narrow window, these optics are best employed with a two-eyed, open shooting style. They frequently refuse to pair with magnifiers, so you get exactly what you see. Their primary advantages are their compact size and lightweight.
Compact Red Dots
Compact red dots have an objective lens or window that ranges from 18mm to 25mm in size. They’re compatible with magnifiers and night vision equipment. Compact red dots are tubular or square in shape and contain enclosed optics. These optics are dependable, and they’re a more compact and lighter option to long-range red dots.
Red Dots in Full Size
Red spots with a diameter of 25mm or more are common. Despite a modest decline in popularity, they still have a position in shooting sports. Red dots that are full-size provide a large window and a wide field of view. Plus, magnifiers and clip-on thermal or night vision glasses work well with them. Some glasses have a slight blue tint to give a clearer view. They’re ideal for duty rifles due to their extreme durability.
Distinct Characteristics Red Dot Sights
When choosing a reticle, the red dot seems relatively straightforward, right? The reticles are usually merely red dots; however, the size of the dot is something to consider. Smaller dots are preferable for precision weapons, such as rifles like the AR-15. Larger dots are more noticeable and allow you to get on target faster. Still, they lack precision for long-range use, making them ideal for shotguns, subguns, and handguns.
Additionally, the modern red dot might now include any reticle design. These reticles are fantastic and give your optic more versatility. Drop points, a big circle around the dot, and more options are available.
Levels of Brightness
A red dot must be visible on the high end during the brightest part of the day. The sun’s brilliance at high noon challenges some of the less expensive red dots. On the other hand, you might require a low enough setting and a medium setting to use night vision. Professional shooters used to be the only ones who needed to use night vision settings. However, because night vision has become ridiculously popular with civilian shooters, this function is more important than ever.
How can you get the optic to zero? How can you change the brightness of your screen? When purchasing a red dot, you should think about both. Buttons are frequently preferable to wheels. Recessed turrets provide a more straightforward way to get on target and stay there. Buttons make adjustments easy and rapid, and recessed turrets won’t slip and lose zero if bumped or spilled.
Benefits of a Red Dot Sight
Faster Targeting Capabilities
When you have a target in your sights, it is easy to quickly center the reticle on the target and fire the gun. There is no need to take time to align the sights and aim. This type of sight gives you a much greater accuracy rate when shooting at a moving target.
Greater Field of View
Most tube-style sights have a narrower field of view than red dot sights. This means you can see more when you look through the sight and shoot from a greater distance. However, it is still not magnified, so it is best to be close to your target.
Unrestricted Eye Relief
For most sights, the shooter’s eye needs to be close to the sight for it to work well. But with a red sight, the eye doesn’t need to be close and can be in any position. The unlimited eye relief makes it easier to aim quickly because there is less restraint.
Works Well with Low Light
In the dark, red dot sights are simple to aim at. The crosshairs of most sights become invisible in the dark, but the red dot is still visible.
Features For Red Dot Sights
Red dot sights come in two varieties: tube and open. The tube sight is more like a traditional sight. It is shaped like a tube, and this type of housing allows you to put filters on the lens to make the “red dot” easier to see in bright sunlight. Open sights do not have that shape. They just have a window so you can see through it and an object to shine a light on it. Since there is less space for decoration on open sights, filters cannot improve your view.
Type of Projection
Red dot sights can be either holographic or reflex sight. The sight is illuminated by a laser diode light transmission with a holographic sight. The projection of the red dot is seen through a viewing window. Reflex sights use an LED light positioned behind the lens to reflect into your line of sight.
Style of the Reticle
You utilize the reticle to point your gun at the target. They are designed to be lit up in low light conditions, but it is not required. Different red dot sights have different colors and patterns, so it is best to find one that you feel comfortable using.
There are different types of sights, and you can choose a sight with one dot, a crosshair, or even a bullseye. The color can be red or green. The size of the target can also be adjusted. Bigger targets mean that you can find the target faster. You should avoid choosing a fancy sight because it will make it harder to find the target quickly. It is essential to naturally align your eye with the center of the sight for faster target finding.
Battery Life of the Sight
Red dot sights need good battery life, so the reticle will be there when it is needed. If the battery life is short, the light might go out when shooting a target. This makes it harder to hit the target and causes you to miss.
Reflex sights that use LED lights to create the “red dot” use much less energy than holographic options. A good sight should get about 1,000 hours of usage before the battery life diminishes. Ensure great battery life whenever possible by turning the sight off when not being used. Shooting in cold weather can also be a factor in how long the battery life will last, so make sure to always carry a backup just in case.
Tips for Choosing a Red Dot Sight
Higher Price Does Not Mean Better Quality
Sometimes, spending more money on sight does not mean that the quality is better than cheap red dot sights. As a result of clever advertising, you may end up with a red dot sight technology that lacks several essential functions. Such as the option of altering the reticle’s shape or color to promote faster eye focus.
Compatible with Gun
Not all sights fit on all guns. Different sights are designed for different types of guns. Make sure the sight you want to buy is compatible with the gun you have or plan to have.
Comfortable Size and Weight
Ensure that the sight is the right size for your gun and where you will store it. The weight of the red dot sight impacts the gun’s overall weight. Ascertain that the gun can be handled successfully with the sight installed so that your aim is not compromised.
Mounting the Sight
Mounting the sight to the gun is a very important step. If the sight is not straight, your aim will be off. Make sure to take your time to mount it correctly and adjust it well. This will help you hit the target every time.
There are many features to think about when choosing a red dot sight. It is important to find a sight with all the features you need for recreational hunting or target shooting. This will help you improve your skills.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Red Dot
What Red Dot Does the Military Use?
The United States military typically uses the red dot sight is the M668CCO Close Combat Optic. Using an M16 rifle or M4 Carbine weapon, this optic choice is the most convenient and efficient target speed.
What Should I Look for in a Red Dot?
It is good to think about how big the target will be when firing your shot. This is measured in inches and yards. For example, a 1-inch red dot at 100 yards is perfect. A 2-inch diameter is good for 200 yards away or more shots. Make sure to choose the right size reticle for the shots you will be taking.
What’s Better Red Dot or Holographic?
The holographic sights use lasers to power their holograms, while red dots use power-saving LEDs. That’s how a couple of red dots may last up to 50,000 hours on a single charge. Compared to holographic sights, which typically have a battery life of 500 to 1,000 hours, red dots are the clear victors.
How Much Does a Good Red Dot Sight Cost?
Best budget red dot sights usually cost around $100. They are designed for personal use, like plinking and recreational shooting. But some people also use them for hunting or light competition.
Which is better, Aimpoint or EOTech?
Aimpoint is a good choice for shooters who want a lighter optic. If you have astigmatisms in your eyes, then EOTech will work better. Aimpoint also has 3X and 6X magnification options, while EOTech has 3X and 5X magnification options.
How Far Are Red Dot Sights Accurate?
With a red dot sight that doesn’t have magnification, you can easily aim 100 yards away or further target.
What Does MOA Stand for in Optics?
The minute hand on a 360-degree clock face is MOA, which stands for Minute of Angle. Each minute refers to 1/60th of a degree. Even a small angle can make you miss your target when shooting. So it is important to be precise and adjust your MOA to the correct angle or “minute.”
What Is the Best MOA for a Red Dot Sight?
The 6 MOA dot is the best choice for close targets that move quickly. The dot is big and easy to find, so you can quickly take aim and fire.
Is Red Dot Sight Visible at Night?
Red dot sights are good for seeing in the dark. They are illuminated, so you can see them better than other types of sights.