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 competition 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 ton 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.
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- 1 10 Best Red Dot Sights 2017 – Reviews and Guide
- 1.1 1. Bushnell Trophy Red Dot TRS-25 3 MOA Red Dot Sight
- 1.2 2. Sig Sauer Romeo5 Red Dot Sight – Best for Warranty
- 1.3 3. Tasco 5 MOA Red Dot Riflescope – Best for Minute of Angle MOA
- 1.4 4. EOTech 552 Holographic Weapon Sight Matte – Best High-End Choice
- 1.5 5. Burris FastFire Red-Dot Reflex Sight
- 1.6 6. Burris AR-332 Prism Sight – Best for Warranty
- 1.7 7. Sightmark Wolverine Red Dot 2 MOA – Best for Medium Price
- 1.8 8. Primary Arms Advanced Micro-Dot – Best Red Dot Sight for the Money
- 1.9 9. Field Sport Red and Green Micro Dot Sight – Good Cheap Red Dot Sight
- 1.10 10. Dagger Defense DDHB Red Dot Reflex Sight – Best Budget Red Dot Sight
- 2 What is a Red Dot Sight, How Does It Work?
- 3 How to Choose the Best Red Dot Sight
- 4 Tips on Using a Red Dot Sight
- 5 Conclusion
10 Best Red Dot Sights 2017 – Reviews and Guide
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 sight 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 break point. You can get a suitable red dot sight under $100 and you’ll take your target shooting to the next level when you get beyond that point.
Start your search for a reliable red dot sight with a company like Bushnell and you’ll be off to a good beginning. This is a mid-price product with a one-year warranty marketed as 3 MOA for easy target acquisition. You’ll be working with an amber-bright, high-contrast lens coating.
The red-dot light source is held inside the scope with adhesive. The Bushnell 3 MOA is made with 100-percent waterproof, shockproof and fog-proof construction. Uses a CR2032 battery.
2. Sig Sauer Romeo5 Red Dot Sight – Best for Warranty
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.
3. Tasco 5 MOA Red Dot Riflescope – Best for Minute of Angle MOA
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.
4. EOTech 552 Holographic Weapon Sight Matte – Best High-End Choice
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.
6. Burris AR-332 Prism Sight – Best for Warranty
Lifetime product warranty is certain to capture the shooter’s attention with the Burris AR332. It features a unique ballistic/CQ lighted operation that can be adjusted to match lighting conditions, day or night.
This unit is also waterproof and delivers multi-coated lenses for glare reduction and bright images. It’s compact and easy to carry, using a Picatinny rail mounting bracket. Use with an AR carry handle as well.
7. Sightmark Wolverine Red Dot 2 MOA – Best for Medium Price
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.
8. Primary Arms Advanced Micro-Dot – Best Red Dot Sight for the Money
This unit from Primary Arms comes in at 2 MOA, with excellent waterproof performance in the field. It also has 12 brightness settings and comes with a one-year warranty. The company provides good mounting directions and the necessary tools for that process.
Should work well with AR mounting and you’ll benefit from the push-button operation. Strong battery life is a key selling point as well.
9. Field Sport Red and Green Micro Dot Sight – Good Cheap Red Dot Sight
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.
10. Dagger Defense DDHB Red Dot Reflex Sight – Best Budget Red Dot Sight
This is another very serviceable, inexpensive choice for the AR-15 enthusiast. The styling and durable construction are good, and it delivers both red and green dots.
It’s great for casual hunting and shooting, though you may not want to invade a country while relying on this one. It offers a 291-degree field of view. A good choice for the budget conscious.
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 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.