A red dot sight is one of those items you never knew you needed until you try it out and then you wonder how you ever fired your rifle before. The reflex scope, as they are commonly called, is an incredibly powerful accessory to any rifle build and one that can enhance your shooting ability and accuracy 10-fold.
There are so many new brands available since they first hit the market, and we welcome the competition as it leads to more innovation, but sometimes it can be difficult choosing the best red dot sight for your AR, especially if you’re trying to do it online. For those looking to make their rifle standout among the rest we’ve compiled our list of the top 13 red dot sights available, in no particular order.
If you’re still having trouble deciding, keep scrolling through our buyers guide below. Happy Shooting!
The Best Red Dot Sights
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25Editors Choice
Pros: 100% Waterproof, Fogproof, & Shockproof
Cons: Drains the Batteries Fast
Bushnell is synonymous with optics. Chances are if you’re shopping for optics, a Bushnell brand will be in your top 2, and for good reason they are made incredibly well. The Bushnell TRS-25 red dot sight is no exception to this rule. This scope features Amber-Bright optics which helps you to quickly discern between light colored optics, and because of the multicoated lenses, hunters can use this scope in low light conditions, making this the ideal red dot sight for hunting during the twilight hours. You can use this scope with both eyes open, providing you better awareness of your surroundings with faster target acquisition to boot. Not only are the guts top of the line, the housing of the sight is made to take a beating. The sight is waterproof, fogproof, and shock proof, so it can take on any of the environments you throw at it. Batteries Included, Camo Option Available.
Pros: Flush Mount to Rail, 550 Hours of Life
Cons: No Color or Dot Style Adjustable, No Riser Included
The Venom red dot sight will turn your AR, pistol, shotgun, or hunting rifle even more deadly. The exterior of the Vortex Venom is constructed of multi-layered heavy duty machined aluminum ensuring that it will stand up to anything you can throw at it. One of this scopes coolest features is that the battery swap location is on the top of the sight itself making changing the battery a breeze. However, you probably won’t need to go through that exercise as the battery boasts 550 hours of use, and the sight features a 14-hour auto shutoff just in case you forget to turn it off. Looking through the lens of this scopes sight allows for rapid target acquisition as it carries a 100% field of vision, meaning you can use both eyes at all times. If you’re on the fence between this and another purely reflex styled sight, pick this one.
Feyachi Xwin Tactical Sight
Pros: 4 Different Options for the Sight
Cons: Have to Clean lens regularly
Xwin is far from a household name, but that shouldn’t deter you from considering this sight for your rifle. The biggest selling point of this red dot sight is that, ironically, it features more than just a red dot. The Xwin reflex sight features 4 different sight settings, which makes it an excellent versatile option for all types up hunting. (You can see each on the product review page). Not only are there different styles of dot, but you can adjust the color of the red dot to turn your scope into a green dot sight. So, with all the different combinations this is really like getting 8-Sights-in-One! The sight mounts secure to either the picatinny rail system or the weaver rail system. Don’t let the price of this sight fool you, although it is one of the most inexpensive, it really is a great option for you when choosing a new sight for your gun.
Dagger Defense DDHB
Pros: Sleek Design, Highly Adjustable, 4 Different Sight Settings
Cons: Not fully water proof
Dagger Defense is building a name for itself in the tactical optics marketplace. With a cool name and sweet designs the Dagger Defense DDHB is another top tier choice for your AR, Shotgun or any other type of rifle. Like most top of the line red dot sights, you have the ability to toggle through different sight settings and colors making the sight fully customizable for your environment and your target. This sight by Dagger Defense features a more elongated design, almost like a hybrid between traditional scopes and the screens you see other red dot sights having. The adjustment knob mounted to the side of the scope allows the hunter to dial in precisely where he wants it, in a matter of minutes. The sight is built to take a beating, although not completely water proof it is considered highly water resistant and a great pick for your next sight as long as you’re not planning on going swimming with it.
Leupold Delta Point Pro
Pros: Extremely Durable, Scratch Resistant Lens
Cons: Normally more expensive than others
Leupold (Leupold and Stevens) is a fifth-generation company that designs precise optics for over 100 years. With that type of pedigree, it’s no doubt that their 119688 is a contender for the best red dot sight this year. Leopold’s attention to detail and manufacturing prowess are apparent as soon as you try out the delta point. The style of this sight is very similar to many competitors but what sets this sight apart is the DiamondCoat technology on their lens. Both sides of their lenses are scratch resistant yet still maintain some of the highest and brightest resolutions available on a red dot sight. The scope has 100% eye relief meaning that you don’t have to close one eye to center the red dot on the target. The edges of the lenses have been blackened to reduce reactional glare in bright environments and is waterproof up to 33 ft. Not many targets 33 feet deep, but it’s good to know that if left outside damage to the sight is the least of your worries.
Ozark Ornament Rhino
Pros: Rugged Scope that Does what it says, every time
Cons: Not many settings to adjust
The Ozark Ornament Rhino Tactical Red Dot sight is a mouthful to say, but once you unbox the sight, it will speak for itself. This, as the company calls it, a no-frills red dot scope, and we agree but we mean it affectionately. This sight is made to do just at it says, provide the shooter with the red dot, quickly and accurately. The sight is built with those two things in mind and they really limited the number of moving parts, they could create a sight that can withstand even the harshest of environments. The scope has two plastic attached lens covers which we love so you don’t have to worry about keeping up with another accessory. Because of its 5 different light level settings it will adapt to your surroundings as they change throughout the day. The scope is backed by a 100% no questions asked guarantee from the manufacturer, so with a motto like that you know it’s an excellent contender for your rifle.
Ohuhu Reflex Sight
Cons: Takes Several Adjustments to Get Sighted
Ohuhu sounds more like a belly laugh but when you open the box you’ll know that this sight means business. The Ohuhu Red and Green Reflex sight features the popular tubeless design with a 33mm reflex lens providing a wide range of view making it the hunters choice for rapid firing situations. The sight boasts 4 different sight patterns, 4 different sizes, and 2 different colors, providing you with an impressive 32 different configuration options on a small little sight. The sight isn’t going to add any excessive weight to your gun making it a great option for those trekking across areas, because as they say: every ounce counts. Because of the tubeless design the sight is waterproof making it ideal for hunters out in the elements on a regular basis, and even if you’re not, the peace of mind knowing it’s virtually indestructible. The sight comes in two different color options, tan and black.
Pros: Amazingly bright, excellent viewing in low light
Cons: No Green Dot Option
The compact, low profile, design of the FieldSport Red Dot Sight makes this an awesome choice when choosing between scopes. It measures approximately 4” in length and fits perfectly on any picatinny or weaver rail system. Because of the size it may be a good idea to grab a small riser, but it’s not necessary. While the size is compact, it doesn’t lack in its usefulness in low light environments. The adjustable knob on the side allows you to toggle through 10 different light settings making it perfect for hunting at night. Some might be afraid to turn it up too high in fear of draining the battery, but you can leave it on a mid-ranged setting (4-6) and the light should last several days of continuous use. In some of the pictures the sight almost looks like a deep-hunter green, but rest assured that it arrives out of the box black as your assault rifle.
Vortex Strikefire II
Pros: 100% Eye Relief
Cons: No Alternate Dot Style Options
When the Vortex Optics Strikefire II arrives you better not have any other things to do, because as soon as you open it up you almost must put it on. This sight functions just as well as it looks. The sleek tube-style design of this red dot sight will make your AR the envy of all your friends. The Strikefire scope was conceived to eliminate the narrow field of view that some tube-styled sights have, while keeping the accuracy and adjustability they provide. Per Vortex Manual, the light will last 400 hours at its maximum brightness setting, and can easily be extended to around 7000 hours if kept at its minimum brightness. The guys at vortex take accuracy seriously as the sight ships with a 1/3 cowitness mount before the scope to ensure that you’re dialed in from any distance you require. We love not only the look of this scope but we know you won’t be disappointed with the functionality, this thing is built to last.
Pros: 100% Eye Relief
Cons: No Alternate Dot Style Options
To put it plainly, the Holosun Paralow is a beast. This red dot sight is made from the rail up to live outdoors, and thank God because where else would you be using it. We couldn’t test the hours of battery life on the thing, and it’s not because we’re lazy, but because it’s rated to run 5 SOLID YEARS of continuous use. Even if it we’re 1/5th of that, it would put some of the other red dot sights to shame. It also comes equipped with a motion awake sensor, similar to smartphones, so it doesn’t just run continually when you’re not needing it. The outside is constructed of high strength aluminum, with a mao finish, and the quality of the image you see through the site puts this scope into the top tier of red dot sights. The Paralow lens is considered anti-glare, and the sight itself meets IP67 standards. For all you non-nerds that means you can submerge the thing up to 1 meter for 30 minutes and it still runs fine. So even if your weapon fails you, the Holosun paralow will not.
SVBONY Red Dot Sight
Pros: Sleek look and reliable functionality
Cons: Allen Wrench Adjustment Required
The Svbony red dot sight by VITE is a rising star in the optics industry. VITE lenses are featured in telescopes, binoculars, monoculars, night vision scopes, and of course reflex sights. The VITE sight is connected to any picatinny or weaver rail system by a collimation mechanism to ensure a stable and accurate shot. This sight is constructed of a metallic-fiber, and features adjustability options to customize it to your shooting style. The centered knob allows for 5 different levels of brightness, while you can also switch between a red dot and a greed dot sight colors. The sight comes with a lens cover as well as a cleaning cloth making sure the care of your scope is a breeze. VITE knows that every AR is different which is why they offer their sight in 3 different color options: Black, Matte Black, and Sand. While all the features make this an excellent choice for your assault rifle, the lifetime guarantee makes this a no-brainer purchase.
AT3 Tactical Sight
Pros: Rugged Tubed Design
Cons: Allen Wrench Adjustment Required
The guys at AT3 Tactical are turning out a ton of great quality outdoor products, but we think this red dot sight is not only one of the best things they make, but one of the best sights available on the market, possibly ever. The sight allows for both-eyes-open shooting (100% relief) and allows the shooter to change between a massive 11 brightness settings. This tube styled sight is filled with nitrogen, and is rated as 100% water proof so a little weather won’t do a thing to it. The noticeable thing about this sight is the size of the knob on the side of the sight. While it’s not over sized in terms of the shooters hand, it’s large compared to the overall size of the red dot sight itself making it an awesome option for adjusting your light settings on the fly. The Guys AT3 recommend installing the .83 riser mount that is also shipped in the box to ensure the perfect accuracy settings.
Pinty Holographic Sight
Now that you’ve made it to number 13 on our list you’re probably pretty used to seeing either a tube style or a reflex style red dot sight. The Pinty holographic site is about as much as a hybrid as you’re going to get. The sweeping tapered look of the sight sets it apart from all the other sights, but looks are just a byproduct of an awesomely engineered sight. You’ll notice right out of the box the weight of this sight is heavier than most, and that’s because it’s made of an airplane grade aluminum alloy; that’s just a fancy way of saying, it’s as durable as steel but not as heavy. The reflex styled lens is set back inside a half-tubed style scope which keeps more light than any other regular reflex styled sights. Like all durable sights, this one is completely weather resistant and very easy to clean thoroughly.
Red Dot Sight Buying Guide
After looking through several red dot sight product descriptions and trying to read countless reviews, you can become cross-eyed with all the information out there. Which mount type is right? Do I need a Riser? If So What Height? What Features are Most Important? With the amount of red dot sights available for your rifle, the buying process can be somewhat overwhelming.
Below are what we feel are the most important attributes to consider when choosing your scope. If you’re stuck deciding between one or two of the above red dot sights, use this guide to help make your purchase easier. Not only will you come away with the best sight for you, you’ll be super knowledgeable about what to look for in red dot sights.
Who Needs a Red Dot Scope
Red dot sights are an excellent choice of any hunter or outdoorsman who are looking for a way to fire rapidly without sacrificing accuracy. This is especially important if you’re trying to tackle multiple targets at once, or you’re just plan tired of squinting down the scope of your current rifle. Typically, red or green colored dot sights are purchased for assault rifles, but they can typically be mounted on any modern rifle, shotgun, or even handgun.
Types of Red Dot Sights
All red dot sight scopes are considered reflective, or more commonly known as reflex. Reflex sights, or reflective sights, allow the shooter to look through a reflective glass element to see an illuminated dot in their field of view. The way these work is the sight by light manipulation by using a clear curved glass reflector
The two common types of red dot sight scopes available today come in either a tubeless or a tubed style. Each have their own respective qualities and picking between them just depends on how you’ll be using your weapon.
Tubed Sight – These types of reflective red dot sights look and feel just like a regular rifle scope. difference becomes apparent when you look down the sights. The higher quality versions of these scopes are made water proof by their design, and are oftentimes filled with nitrogen to prevent any moisture from building up.
Tubeless Sight – These tubeless sights are very common as well and typically, not always, less expensive than their tubed counterparts. It’s just less moving parts. These sights are great at providing an ultra-wide field of view making rapid firing situations more accurate for the shooter.
When choosing between a few sights one of the most important factors is the material used. We’re not just talking the lens itself, but the housing of the sight should be able to take a beating.
Try to avoid picking a sight with any plastic on the outside. It’s understandable if the adjustable knob cap is made from plastic but the housing around the lens itself needs to be made of some heavy-duty aluminum or another metal alloy. This will ensure you get the most life out of your scope.
Just as every weapon is different so is every shooter. When it comes to picking a red dot, sight try and find one that has highly adjustable features such as a brightness dial, dot color and style choices, and rail height adjustment to name a few.
This is especially true if you’ve never owned a red dot sight before and want to test out all the different functions, buying one that is more universal is never a bad choice.
Unfortunately, we still live in a day that we’re only as mobile as long as our battery stays charged, and when it comes to your dot scope that still rings true. There is a myriad of choices of sights available and some work in better light conditions than others, but the typically the higher caliber sights warrant more battery juice.
Most sights, especially the tube style, have brightness settings that can help you adjust to any environment, but you want to make sure that the sight has good quality, preferably lithium, batteries to keep it running. We recommend if you’re going to be using the sight in low light conditions to get a scope with a very high rated battery, and one that has an auto-shutoff feature to make sure it doesn’t run when you’re not using it.
Picking a sight based on its weather resistance is going to depend a lot on your environment. Most scopes come rated with at least a water-resistant rating and for 90% of you that should be more than adequate. For the other 10% of you who are going to be using your rifle around water, it may be a good idea to go with a water proof tube style reflex scope. We say tube style as its less likely for water to pool up on the lens in a downpour and they’re easier to cover quickly, as most come with retractable lens covers.
Care and Maintenance
Buying a red dot sight is an investment into your protection and safety and to keep that investment in good shape there are a few things you can do to prolong the life of your tool.
Be sure to clean your sight at least after every time you use it. Getting into the creases of the lens will prevent buildup of dust particles and keeping the lens clean will prevent you from having to use chemicals to clean it. Also, it’s a good idea every so often to detach the red dot sight from your AR rail to make sure there isn’t any moisture in there.
When you’re not using your rifle, it’s a good idea to cover the scope itself with its protective case. Some manufactures send a protective case with your sight, but if yours doesn’t there are several aftermarket ones available as well.
Red Dot Sight Accessories
Riser– most of the sights will come with a riser for your picatinny or weaver rail system but in the chance they didn’t, or you don’t like the one they sent you can always get one for inexpensive.
Cleaning Cloth – This is essential in keeping your sight clean and ready for firing. We suggest stocking up on a microfiber cleaning cloth like the ones used to clean sunglass lenses. Nothing too harsh.
Scope Cover – If your sight didn’t ship with one don’t sweat it there are plenty to choose from. You may not even need one if you’re going to use this sight as your primary scope, but if you’re planning on switching them out it’s a great idea to have a spare to put it in.
Originally posted 2017-02-08 21:21:55.