Whether you’re replacing your old one or looking for a new one, red dot sight is the must-have new accessory for your firearm collection.
The red dot sight keeps your aiming point and eyesight on the same optical plane, allowing faster target acquisition. Previously used only for combat purposes, it is now widely marketed for civilian use. You just might end up upgrading each of your firearms with a red dot sight. Depending on your use case, the red dots below could be used on pistols, shotguns, or rifles.
We’ve done the research, and here is a list of the best red dot sights available as of Q3 2022.
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The red dot sight uses LEDs to project a red dot towards a coated lens. This lens will then reflect the light towards the shooter’s eye, allowing the red dot to be used as an aiming reticle.
Some of the advantages that come with a red dot sight include…
A red dot is a great option for new shooters. Position the red dot on the target and simply pull the trigger. This is a great learning tool, and it allows shooters to keep both eyes open when aiming, which is better than limiting your field of view: no hassle and no squinting one eye to focus.
Especially useful for moving targets, a red dot lets you move between multiple targets more quickly and efficiently. A red dot has been deemed the fastest and most efficient reticle for civilian use.
When dealing with environments that have dim lighting or very low light altogether, the red dot sight is the best choice. A red dot that’s illuminated is easier to see in dim lighting than other optics such as a green dot or iron sights. The alternatives can’t offer the most visible aim point; the red dot illuminated by the LED is the clear cut winner.
The short answer: They all serve the same purpose, but they are constructed differently, and certain shooters better utilize different red dots.
Perhaps you’re a seasoned shooter looking for a more advanced red dot sight, and you don’t mind spending a little more for quality.
Or, maybe you’re new to firearms, and you’d like to use the low and slow method of getting a lower-priced red dot sight so that you can get the hang of it before upgrading.
Other factors such as the particular firearm that you possess, the external scope build and size, the battery life, the durability, and a few other components are essential considerations.
All red dot sights aren’t created equal, so you want to make sure that you assess the following four features when you make your purchase.
Your reticle, or aim point, is created when the glass reflects the LED’s light; it’s vital that your glass is clear for a good vision of the target. You should also be able to adjust the reticle size depending on your needs. Avoid fancy styles; you want a clean, bright red dot, that’s it. The colored coating on the lens helps the light penetrate so that the red dot is visible to you but not the target.
Simply put, you want to be sure that the red dot sight stands up to the test of time and moderate use. Ideally, you should select a red dot sight that is waterproof, scratch-resistant, and shockproof. This way, if you drop it or it gets knocked around, it will still be in good shape. No one wants to spend money on a product that needs to be replaced too quickly.
As it implies, the life of the battery means how long your battery will last. This is very important because you need to know that your reticle is ready if you need it. If you get a sight with short battery life, the red dot could go away as you’re aiming at your target. A good battery has about 1000 hrs of usage before it starts to decline.
We’ve highlighted the pros and cons and outlined what other consumers say. If you want to get a quality red dot sight, please take a look at our top picks.
Most buyers reported that this red dot sight is exceptionally lightweight, excellent quality for the price, and easy to use.
It comes with a battery, lens cloth, screws, and other tools that can be used for mounting. Overall, the consumer experience is very positive, and buyers pointed out that customer service was spectacular.
The Vortex Venom also has additional features that made us choose this sight as one of the best.
The premium wide-view lens means that you have a wider range of view than some other sights. It also has a top mounting battery, so you don’t have to remove your sight to swap out batteries.
This sight is shockproof and can withstand long term use, recoil, and harsh environmental conditions. The Venom offers great versatility and can be used with a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. It also has the lowest profile with a Picatinny rail.
Essentially, this is a great value red dot sight if you’re on a budget, without compromising quality. You can use this red dot with various platforms, and it comes with a 3 MOA or a 6 MOA dot for a clear, crisp vision of the reticle.
The lowest and smallest sight on the list, the Vortex Venom is lightweight, durable, and has a wide-view lens that makes it one of the best-rated red dot sights available.
The Burris Fastfire 3 has been rated as the most reasonably priced by consumers. Buyers reported that it was best used with their handguns, and it can be used as the primary sight or mounted upon an existing sight.
It’s compact, lightweight, and buyers say it increased their speed and accuracy when firing.
The automatic brightness sensor adjusts itself according to the detected environmental conditions, which helps new shooters who are learning where their comfort levels are.
It comes with a 3 MOA or an 8 MOA dot, which is great because it means that this red dot sight is also useful in long-range shooting.
This is a unique feature because most red dots are suited towards close to mid-range shooting. Also, having battery access on top of the sight makes it easy to change your battery without removing the sight.
Overall, this is the most budget-friendly red dot sight, and it’s our pick for a handgun such as a pistol.
You get 5,000 hours of battery life, optimal target acquisition, and easy to use functions on the sight to control brightness and focus.
The 3 MOA and 8 MOA inclusion give you the option for close or long-range shooting, unique to this particular red dot sight. The Burris FastFire 3 is of excellent quality, according to buyers.
Buyers reported that they enjoyed using this red dot sight because it gave a clear picture of the dot, increasing their accuracy when shooting.
They did note that they felt the glass could be a little more durable, but users report that they didn’t have much trouble mounting the sight onto various firearms.
Most buyers praised the Vortex Viper for its easy-to-use design when mounting, thanks to the low profile. The Viper is not preferred over the Vortex Venom but is still preferred against other brands.
We have selected the Viper to add to our list because Vortex is a trusted company amongst firearm owners and has produced quality accessories over the years.
Additionally, this particular red dot sight is great for rifle owners, and the multi-coated lens allows for maximum clarity and precision when aiming. Coupled with the 20,000-hour battery life and durable finish, the Vortex Viper is a great match to an AR15.
The Viper is a reliable red dot sight that you can count on to last you for years to come. It’s easy to use, gives you a clear vision of your target, can be used alongside another sight for reinforced accuracy, and is resistant to damage.
If you like Vortex products, you should definitely give this one a try.
Many recent buyers feel that the Trijicon RMR Type 2 has the best red dot size because it’s small enough to achieve pinpoint accuracy still while also big enough to locate.
This red dot is always on and ready for your next mission. Users appreciated switching between automatic and manual modes to avoid confusion during use or accidental changing.
On the pricier side, those who invested in this red dot seemed to be more experienced. The reviews also reflected that buyers liked the variety of brightness settings, especially for night vision.
This is the only other red dot sight on the list capable of night vision, and it has the most versatile red dot size as well.
Understanding that some are willing to pay a little more for a broader range of capabilities is an incredibly dependable red dot sight.
The Trijicon RMR Type 2 is battle-tested by many and has many features such as the distinct shape and aluminum fishing that make it a must-have for professionals.
This Trijicon red dot sight has four years of battery life, is capable of night vision, 8 brightness settings, and a specially patented housing shape to prevent your high optic lens from getting damaged.
This model is trusted by professional officers and competitors for micro-dot precision and is the most versatile red dot sight in that regard, though it costs more than the others.
Buyers have reported that the dial to adjust the brightness is incredibly tight and hard to turn, but not a deal-breaker given the Sig Sauer Romeo-MSR red dot’s excellent quality.
The lens has a special coating on it that is anti-glare and ensures you get your target’s best view. Buyers also enjoyed the durability of the red dot sight and claimed that they’d dropped it while hunting multiple times, and it still works like new.
This red dot sight is specially designed for modern sporting rifle platforms, and it offers excellent precision at close and mid-range.
Having such special capabilities like the broad range of brightness levels, including two night time options, makes this red sight one of the best on the list. The 2 MOA lens is great for a small dot that’s big enough for the shooter to see on the target.
Costing a bit more than the others, this specialized red dot sight is high-quality and very durable.
This is a red dot sight for hunters and those who own an MSR. The coating is excellent for a crisp view of a moving target, and it can endure very harsh weather conditions.
The Sig Sauer Romeo model is night vision capable and only requires one battery to be powered. This is a high performing and wonderful red dot sight for professional and aspiring hunters.
We’ve selected durable models from reputable companies based on actual consumer experience. While some features stand out most with each red dot sight, four factors have been consistent.
Each of these products offers the following:
Whether you require a microdot, long-range capabilities, night vision, or a waterproof red dot sight, there’s a suitable device for you.
Easy to use and simple to learn, a red dot sight is worth investing in. You can obtain an optic that balances speedy target acquisition alongside precision to ensure comfortable and efficient shooting.
You are guaranteed quality, no matter which option you select. Remember to choose the best red dot sight for your particular firearm and needs.
These are a couple of the most frequently asked questions regarding red dots, and we’ve summarized the answers here below.
Red dot sights are easy to use and offer advantages over traditional sights because they’re more accurate, versatile, and great for speed shooting and moving targets.
Many red dots are explicitly created for use at night. There are also red dots that are equipped with night vision, and you have the option to adjust the brightness as needed.