A red dot sight can make your shooting easier and more precise with any firearm. It eliminates everything from alignment to a simple dot where you need to aim. It’s a pretty versatile optic that works with just any firearm.
The red dot topic is hot right now, drawing criticism and praise at the same time. Do you even need a red dot sight?
Every gun needs a way to aim for precision shooting. From scopes, iron sights to red dot sights, these optics are crucial. Red dots are super awesome for precision shooting.
The military has been using them since the 90s. For most people, the decision on the best red dot is a big challenge. How do you go about choosing a suitable and matching red dot for your gun?
Join me below as I give you a comprehensive buying guide and reviews of the best red dot sights.
Some red dot sight models are best suited for pistols, while others work for rifles. We also have model-specific red dots that work for specific guns.
For example, the SIG AIR only works with the P320 Range. This just goes to show the need to take time and choose your red dot sight carefully. Some red dots offer flexibility and can be used on multiple guns.
What about features, price, etc.? Below, I’ll dig deep and discuss the various types of red dot sights and the factors to consider when buying one.
- Types of Red Dot Sights
- Red Dot Sights Buying Guide
- The pros and cons of red dot sights
- Pistol Red Dot Sights – Our Recommendations
- Shotgun Red Dot Sights – Our Recommendations
- AR-15 Red Dot Sights – Our Recommendation
Types of Red Dot Sights
Full-Sized Red Dot Sights
Full-size red dots are big red dots measuring at least 25mm or more. They are the least common red dot sights and falling out of place. Their bigger size makes them incredibly durable.
In addition, they offer a wide field of view. However, they are too bulky and commonly used in shooting sports.
Compact Red Dot Sights
These are red dot sights with 18 to 25mm objective lenses or windows. These are pretty versatile sights. They are commonly used with night vision and magnifier devices.
Most are enclosed and come in rectangular or tubular shapes. They are a little smaller and lighter, making them great alternatives to full-size red dots.
Miniature and Macro Red Dot Sights
These are pretty small sights that work best on pistols. They have very small windows and are exclusively used on pistols. They are used for two-eyed and open-style shooting.
Macro red dots work as they come and will not pair with magnifiers.
Red dot sights can also be classified differently, giving us holographic sights, prismatic sights, and reflex sights. Reflex sights are the most common and feature a LED dot projection.
Red Dot Sights Buying Guide
Before choosing a red dot sight, below are some of the main factors and features to consider.
Well, reticles on red dot sights are the red dots. It’s a pretty simple thing but one to take into consideration. When deciding on the reticle, you need to decide on the reticle size.
Smaller dots are recommended for precision shooting. When using rifles like AR-15, bigger dots are ideal and easier to see. But big dots are not precise for long-range shooting. They are ideal for handguns, pistols, and shotguns.
In addition, most modern red dot sights feature reticles with extra features. Fot example, most come with a large circle with a dot at the center. So be sure t check out the reticle before buying.
Brightness is crucial, especially when shooting during the day. You need to be able to adjust the brightness to match the light from the sun. Such sights also allow lowering the brightness for night use.
While night vision is more associated with professionals, it’s becoming common in civilian shootings.
The red dot sight controls are also important for easier operation. You need ergonomic controls to easily adjust the brightness and zero in. Do you go for wheels or buttons?
Buttons are easy to adjust and offer quick operation. But recessed turrets are also pretty fine. They offer users an easier way to zero on the target.
Furthermore, recessed turrets are pretty solid and won’t slip even when bumped.
Red dot sights feature built-in batteries that provide red dot illumination. You need to choose models with long-lasting batteries for extended use.
In addition, consider red dot sights that feature motion detection to help save on battery power. Such models turn off after a period of inactivity.
You might also consider red dot sights that are widely compatible with many firearms. This is important, especially when dealing with different firearms. Such red dot sights come with multiple mounting plates.
Field of View (FOV)
Consider sights with a wider field of view as they give a better view of the target.
Budget and pricing are also crucial as you cannot buy a red dot sight that you cannot afford. Red dot prices vary from as little as $100 to as high as $500 or even more.
You can choose from budget-friendly red dot sights to duty-grade sights that cost more than $500. As you can see, your budget can go a long way in determining the red dot sight you buy.
We also have mid-tier red dot sights that range prices from $200 to $500. They feature more quality construction than budget options but are not the best for extreme conditions.
But mid-tier red dot sights are the most common and widely used in hunting, competition, and home defense.
Some models might come with a solar panel backup for use when the battery dies. It’s a great feature to consider if you use the sights frequently.
Dot color modes
What is the color of the dot? Most sights feature a red color. However, you can consider models that allow color changes from red to blue or green.
With all these considerations in place, it becomes a lot easier to narrow down to suitable red dot sights.
The pros and cons of red dot sights
- Speed: Zeroing is quite easy on a red dot sight. You just need the dot on the target to pull. It is a lot faster to zero and shoots with a red dot sight than an iron sight. This is why they are widely preferred by professionals.
- Versatility: Red dot sights are incredibly versatile. You can use them on almost any gun with the right mounting gear. In addition, they feature a very small dot that cannot obscure targets. The sights can fit on tactical guns, competition guns, hunting guns, etc.
- Accuracy: Red dot sights are pretty accurate because of the small reticle that will not obscure targets. While iron sights are accurate, they can easily obscure targets and require focusing. With a red dot, shooters can easily target and e sure precision shooting.
- Highly visible in low light: Most red dots allow for brightness adjustment. This ensures excellent visibility in low light conditions.
- Intuitive: Shooting with a red dot is more intuitive and thrilling.
- Battery-Powered: They are battery-powered and can run out of power. If you spend a lot of time shooting, then consider a solar backup.
- Can lose zero: Red dots can lose zero and have you shooting at the wrong target.
- Expensive: High-quality red dot sights are expensive and can cost more than $500.
- Hard to carry: They feature an unstreamlined design, which gives them a bulky look. This makes it difficult to carry them.
Pistol Red Dot Sights – Our Recommendations
1. Trijicon RM06-C-700672 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight
The Trijicon red dot is one of the best red dots for pistol. It is a top-quality sight with a 3.25 MOA adjustable LED. The sight also features adjustable brightness modes for use at different times. Brightness is easy to adjust with easy button pressing.
This is a dependable electronic design sight with a rugged battery contact. It’s one sight that can withstand harsh climates. This is a clear sight with a glass reticle. The reticle features multi-coating and true color for enhanced background clarity.
Overall, this is a small dot red sight with greater accuracy. It also features a uniquely patented housing shape that diverts impacts away from the lens. The sight is also durable and long-lasting with a battery conservation mode.
Go ahead and give it a try today.
2. Crimson Trace CTS-1550 Ultra Compact Open Reflex Pistol Sight
The Crimson is another reliable red dot for a pistol with pretty good accuracy. It’s an extremely lightweight reflex pistol sight to carry and use anywhere with ease. The sight is also versatile and can fit most pistols.
It’s a long-lasting battery lifespan sight that can serve you for years. The sight battery can last for up to 20,000 hours which is enough to give you two years of service.
This is a versatile red dot sight with the industry-leading J-Point mounting interface. It’s pretty easy to install and can save you time.
The red dot also features a small 3.5MOA dot for added accuracy. You can be sure of added confidence when shooting.
3. Burris FastFire
The Burris FastFire iron sight is another excellent choice sight for a pistol. It’s a lightweight sight with pinpoint accuracy. The sight features a lightweight construction and can easily be paired with existing optics.
It boasts a remarkable 3.5 MOA red dot offering the highest accuracies. The sight gives shooters advantages of speed and accuracy.
In addition, it’s extremely versatile with an automatic brightness sensor. The sight will adjust brightness accordingly to match the environment. This sight is suitable for short ranges and fast acquisition of targets.
It also works with virtually all optic-ready firearms making it a great buy. You can be sure of enjoying good value for money.
Shotgun Red Dot Sights – Our Recommendations
4. Trijicon RM07-C-700679 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight
This is a sturdy and reliable red dot sight for shotguns and a decent choice on the list. It’s a proven shotgun that can meet all your needs. The sight features a 6.5 MOA red dot and automatic brightness adjustment.
It’s a solid design red dot sight with housing that absorbs impact. The sight housing is patented with forged military-grade aluminum alloy that keeps impacts away from the lens.
The sight is also easy to mount on multiple shotguns. There is a further button lockout to prevent accidental adjustments.
Overall, this is a dependable red dot sight with a rugged battery contact to ensure survival in the harshest environments. There is a further battery-saving feature to ensure long-lasting use.
You can order the sight without any doubts. It’s a proven performer that offers excellent value for money.
5. Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 Moa Red Dot Sight
The Sig Saucer is a budget-friendly red dot sight and one to consider when tight on money. Despite the low prices, the Sig competes with the best, ensuring high accuracy and good speeds.
This is a 2-MOA reticle red dot with ten brightness settings. It’s a versatile design sight that allows for use in different lighting conditions. There is a further motion-activation that shuts it down during inactivity saving the battery.
Mounting the sight is also pretty easy because of the standard Picatinny interface. The sight can easily fit a wide range of shotguns, making it a decent purchase. There is a further co-witness 1.41in the riser mount and low mount riser.
It’s one red dot sight that you’ll love and enjoy using.
6. Sig Sauer SORJ43111 Romeo4H Red Dot Sight, Ballistic Circle Dot
The Sig Sauer is another excellent shotgun red dot sight and one to seriously consider buying. It’s a versatile red dot sight designed for shotguns and semi-automatic pistols.
This is a standard quality red dot with a see-through lens cover and ballistic circle. There is a further quick release for easy mounting and removal.
What’s more, the red dot reticle gives users reticle options. You can choose up to four different reticle options dot, dot-circle, dot with holds, and a circle dot with holds.
In addition, the sight offers unlimited eye relief making target acquisition and shooting faster and safer. It’s a lightweight design red dot sight to consider buying right away.
AR-15 Red Dot Sights – Our Recommendation
7. Bushnell Optics TRS-25 Hirise 1x25mm Red Dot
The Sig Sauer Romea5 is a suitable choice of red dot sight for AR-15. It is a lightweight design sight with 100% other fiber construction. The sight offers high accuracy with a 2-MOA red dot reticle.
It also comes with 8 brightness settings for use in all visibility conditions. The sight works well and provides an extended battery lifespan. The battery features a motion-activated sensor for the automatic shutdown when not in use.
A further integrated M1913 Picatinny interface allows for easy standard industry mounting.
Overall, this is a tested and proven red dot sight with solid construction to order right away. It’s highly dependable and a decent choice on the list. The sight also comes with bikini ens covers for added lens protection.
8. Trijicon MRO-C-2200003 1x25mm Miniature Rifle Optic
The Trijicon MRO-C red dot sight is another exceptional choice for AR-15 with a large viewing area. It is a decent sight that allows for very fast target acquisition. The sight also features a reduced tape effect that allows waterproof capabilities up to 100 feet.
There are also 8 adjustable brightness settings to ensure efficient use in all light conditions. The sight is easy to use with simple reticle adjustments. It also features a superior quality glass lens for excellent target clarity.
Overall, this is a solid sight with aircraft-grade quality housing to ensure impact resistance. The sight also features a long battery lifespan for an extended use period.
The sight also comes with a factory mount option for added versatility.
9. Bushnell TRS-26 1×26 Red Dot Scope, Reflex Red Dot Sight
The Bushnell is another premium red dot sight with a bigger objective lens and a long-lasting battery life. It’s one of the best AR-15 red dot sights around for precise shooting and faster acquisition.
It features an automatic selective timer for versatile use in defensive applications. You can easily decide to use the time or leave it. This is a reliable 3 MOA dot reticle with an easy button-press operation.
The red dot sight is also versatile and can work with multiple AR-15 rifles. The large 26mm objective lens allows for huge light gathering and clear target images. It features one of the best LED lamps that provides light energy adapting to different parts.
Overall, this is a quality red dot sight with good ratings and recommendations to order right away. The sight is pretty solid and completely sealed to prevent moisture entry.
There you go! Choosing and buying the best red dot sight for your firearm should not be difficult. Our comprehensive buying guide and red dot sight reviews help you narrow down everything.
Make sure you understand the purpose of your red dot sight and choose accordingly. The sights are the best for the different weapon categories making your purchase a lot easier.
Go right ahead and analyze each sight carefully before deciding on one. You can be sure of picking a quality sight from the choices above.
Travis Mike is a firearm enthusiast and author passionate about all things guns. With 10 years of experience in the industry, Travis Mike has gained a wealth of knowledge on the subject. He is skilled in gunsmithing and tactical training. In addition to professional experience, Travis Mike is an avid hunter and shooter, regularly participating in local shooting ranges and hunting trips.