- 1 Types of Red Dot Sights
- 2 Best Red Dot Sights of 2021 [Top 13 Reviews]
- 2.1 #1 – Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
- 2.2 #2 – Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope
- 2.3 #3 – C – MORE Systems Railway Red Dot Sight
- 2.4 #4 – Sig Sauer SOR52001
- 2.5 #5 – AT3 Tactical RD-50 Red Dot Sight
- 2.6 #6 – EOTech G33.STS.BLK G33 Magnifier with Switch to Side Mount
- 2.7 #7 – Burris 300235 Fastfire III No Mount 3 MOA Sight
- 2.8 #8 – EO518 EOTECH 518 W/68/1 MOA QD Mount blk
- 2.9 #9 – Primary Arms Advanced 30mm 2 MOA Red Dot
- 2.10 #10 – Leupold New, DeltaPoint Pro-Matte 7.5 MOA
- 2.11 #11 – TRUGLO Tru-Tec Tactical 20mm Red-Dot Sight
- 2.12 #12 – Trijicon RM06-C-700216
- 2.13 #13 – Feyachi Reflex Sight
- 3 Advantages of Red Dot Sights
- 4 Projection Type and Electronic vs Battery Powered Sights
- 5 A Note About Pricing
- 6 Bottom Line
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
Using a single red dot as an aiming reticle has several benefits over traditional iron sights and magnified scopes.
Since there is only one point used to aim, it is much faster to acquire targets and parallax is all be eliminated which creates more consistent shot placement, even with varying cheek-to-stock welds and shooting positions.
Optics provide exceptional benefits to shooters and hunters alike. Without their help, constantly shifting focus between your target and the front sight of your weapon can be extremely taxing. Even many experienced shooters rely on a red dot sight to achieve accurate hits.
Our list of the Top 13 Red Dot Sights will help you identify which is best for the specific type of hunting or shooting you intend to do. Our Buyer’s Guide will also provide additional information about the most important factors to consider when shopping for a red dot sight.
Types of Red Dot Sights
Clearly, technology makes many things possible. For firearms, advances in electronics and optics have helped shooters move beyond standard iron sight systems and riflescopes can be extended, and further into electronic sighting systems.
Among the most popular options on the market, today are “red dot” sights; Typically small, electronic sight systems that produce a dot-shaped reticle – often in red – that serve as the designer where your rounds should land.
However, the “red dot” is used as a blanket term to describe a plethora of sight systems, which, generally speaking, produces a similar effect – projecting that (oftentimes) red reticle on your target through the field of view.
The truth is that these different types of sights work in different ways, using distinct operating systems to achieve the goal that the shooter must achieve. Many sights on the market today fit into one of three types: reflex, prismatic and holographic locations.
- The first type is a prism sight. Prism sights are very small and utilize a prism to focus the image you see down the scope, rather than the traditional series of lenses. They are commonly called “red dot sights” because of the illuminated reticle they commonly have. Generally speaking, they offer a small magnification.
- Reflex sights are the most common type of red dot sights. The exposed reflex sights have a target point that is projected from the rear of the sight onto one single aiming window. They are extremely small, as they have only a small window. When you think of “red dot sight”, odds are you are thinking of an exposed reflex sight. The internal reflex sights have two lenses, and the one behind is the aiming point onto the forward lens. They are a tube shape.
- Holographic sights are similar in appearance to exposed reflex sights. They differ in that they essentially use a picture of a reticle sandwiched between glass layers. EOTech owns the patent on holographic sights.
Best Red Dot Sights of 2021 [Top 13 Reviews]
Here are 13 of the best red dot sights on the market right now (chosen from each category).
Let’s delve into the red dot sights review one by one.
The Aimpoint name stands for high quality, well made, functional red dot optics. It’s always on, and it’ll last up to three years on a single battery. It eliminates the need to fumble with an On/Off switch prior to use and it’s powered by one 3V lithium battery.
It offers 1x optical magnification and a 2 MOA aiming dot size. It was designed with input from a distinguished group of current and former professionals, which makes it the ideal sight for the challenging conditions faced by modern law enforcement.
- Compatible with night sight devices
- Robust build quality
- Always on
- Front and rear flip covers
- Long Battery life/Good illumination
We Don’t Like
- Starting to get expensive for the field
- A bit bulkier than other offerings
This is possibly the best tactical red dot sight available on the market based on the track record.
The red dot reticle is 2 MOA and incredibly clean and precise.
The Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic offers a long battery life with very good illumination at all times.
The 3x Spitfire combines an impressive array of high-performance features in a rugged, ultra-compact package.
When rapid target acquisition is a priority in near-to-medium shooting applications, Spitfire excels.
It is a quality company, with good reliability and is very well built for the price point.
- Adjustable Brightness
- Great Versatility
- Red/Green Reticle Option
- 3x Zoom capability
- 250-3000 hours of battery life
We Don’t Like
- Focusing is slightly slower than unmagnified optics at distance
The Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Fogproof Scope comes with a prism-based design that provides a more compact optical system and still retains optical quality.
This Vortex Spitfire prism scope uses a fast-focus eyepiece designed to quickly and easily provide a sharply focused reticle. To adjust the reticle focus:
The unit is very well built for the price point and offers excellent variability on ranges from 0-500 yards.
The C -MORE Railway is a red dot optic, more aptly described as a holographic sight, and is designed for tactical and competitive applications.
The durability is good, and the system is built to live with a set of innovative features as a standard offering.
- Good mounting options
- Vastly increased shooting accuracy
- A great heads up display
- Durability offered by the aluminum body
We Don’t Like
- Slightly limited without another optic option
The C MORE Railway fits onto any flat-top upper receiver for an AR or shotgun.
The C MORE performs like any professional optic would, precise, capable, and easy to use.
The quality is excellent for the money, and the quick response time that we expect from an electronic point of view is what makes it the best.
#4 – Sig Sauer SOR52001
It offers a lot for the money and is compact and avoids dangerous damage scenarios because of this.
Picatinny interface for standard mounting options and waterproof/fog-proof performance. Uses a CR2 battery.
- Dependable waterproof and fog-proof
- Motion activation red dot
- Versatile performance
- The good price point for the feature set
- Co-witness riser and integrated mount
We Don’t Like
- Somewhat limited use case
A good quality device that supports a major firearm manufacturer. It is a no-nonsense Red dot sight that provides 10 illumination settings with a 2 MOA red dot.
I’d recommend this optic for enthusiasts, home defenders, or hunters as the battery life and water resistance built into this red dot sight will serve the user well at a budget-friendly price point.
Featuring a crisp 2 MOA red dot reticle, waterproof housing with shockproof internals, with included riser mount and rubberized armor, the AT3 RD-50 PRO Red Dot sight is ideal for modern firearms with a flat-top Picatinny rail.
That said, you get a lot for the money and if you’re searching for a market segment, this is a very good entry point that will help you understand the need for a better device to start with. No one will be spoiled.
- Brightness settings
- Lightweight Cantilever Mount
- Co-witness riser and integrated mount
- Multi-coated lens for Enhanced image clarity
We Don’t Like
- Not the highest quality or the most robust feature set
- No night sight compatible
It’s an awesome optic for domestic use and this is a great optic to have on a backup gun, training gun.
Despite being exceptionally well built considering the price point, it is not on the same level as other more expensive options on this list.
The AT3 Tactical RD-50 Red Dot Sight is cheap in terms of value for money.
Precision, accuracy, durability, and dependability are the correct words to describe this EOTech G33STS scope.
This model can magnify the object 3 times
EO-Tech is like a godfather in the market segment that incorporates electronic optics.
- Very accurate and consistent (maintains zero well)
- Looks very good
- A top tier producer
- Gives you that good old EOTech durability
We Don’t Like
- The illuminated reticle has a blurry halo-like distortion, irrespective of the brightness you set it to
This is a great design that makes for an incredible one-stop-shop for those who need a multipurpose tool from their optic choice
EO-Tech is one of the original producers and innovators in the market segment and as such, they offer a lot for the money.
The EOTech G33.STS.BLK is an important price point, but one that is a very well-balanced value for the feature sets.
The Burris 300235 Fastfire III No Mount 3 MOA Sight offers a very simple profile very simple to operate that gives you a lot of versatility. It provides a convenient power button and three levels of brightness that can be changed to clearly display the red dot in all lighting conditions.
It boasts a 3 MOA dot reticle and tool-less windage and elevation adjustment. This site also features top-of-sight battery access and a low battery warning indicator.
- Three manual brightness settings
- Simple heads up display
- Pinpoint accuracy
We Don’t Like
- Not as durable as some other options
The Burris Fastfire lll Sight is perfect for mounting to your favorite handgun, shotgun or hunting rifle for greater accuracy and faster aiming.
For those who want an ultra-fast, ultra-lightweight heads-up display with 3MOA, there are few options better than this.
The brand name quality and quality of this unit are very high, although it is slightly less durable than some other options.
This 518 model reticle pattern is a 68 MOA ring with 1 MOA dot.
The EO518 EOTECH is a top tier device and they have had years of innovation and are one of the more credible options on the market.
- Adjustable Brightness
- Sturdy and well built
- Side Button Operation
- Great innovation from the company
We Don’t Like
The company is one of the oldest producers of this type of optic, and they really know what they are doing when it comes to producing high-availability, high-versatility heads up optics.
The 1MOA dot on the 68 MOA ring provides excellent contrast and near-instant detection on the optic target. The EO518 EOTECH is a legitimately great piece of hardware.
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.
It 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.
- Windage adjust
- Brightness control
- Lifetime warranty
- True 2 eyes open sighting
- Elevation adjust
- Low Price point
We Don’t Like
Primary weapons make good equipment and have a very good optics program. Long battery life and good exterior paint for most tactical builds.
However, this may at times seem cheap due to the incorporation of the polymer and the finish quality is slightly less compelling than the company or other inventory.
- Eye relief
- The mid-range price point for a nice feature set
- Ultra-Lightweight Design
- Great quality
We Don’t Like
- Despite the nice quality, the build can still feel a bit cheap
That isn’t to take anything away from their nice feature set, because, for the money, this is an impressive offering.
- Quick touch power
- Good reviews
- Enhanced clarity and contrast
- Long battery life
We Don’t Like
- More complex to adjust
- Not as high a quality as might be needed for most users
This is a solid choice for those who are wading into the market for red dot or electronic sights.
#12 – Trijicon RM06-C-700216
Trijicon is another brand that has a history of successfully fulfilling military contracts.
It is a proven design with a great reputation and unmatched durability which means you can actually get in the mix and in the most extreme scenarios imaginable.
The RMR uses a 3.25 MOA red dot to help the shooter by presenting an easy to acquire reticle, but still remaining precise enough to help achieve a level of precision few can reach with iron sights alone.
- Easy push buttons
- One of the originals
- Manual and automatic brightness adjustment
- Super durable
- Tried and true technology
We Don’t Like
- The technology is getting older as newer companies come into the market with different innovation
Features include windage and elevation adjusters with audio clicks, 8 available brightness settings and a manually adjustable reticle.
#13 – Feyachi Reflex Sight
This multi-faceted reflex sight is designed to offer four sights in one. It offers a 33-millimeter sighting system for fast target acquisition and it also has an open design to allow shooters to remain aware of their surroundings. It’s a great sight for mounting to either your rifle or shotgun
This is a lot of value for money, but ultimately in electronic optics, you get what you pay for, so tread lightly.
- Ultralight, waterproof and shockproof
We Don’t Like
- Not durable
- A novelty really
- No real feature set
Despite it being so cheap and limited in its operation, the Feyachi reflex site is still quite suitable for the time and money in which you invest.
Advantages of Red Dot Sights
The major benefit of choosing a red dot sight over other types of optical scopes is the good performance it offers at a comparatively lower price. What many people may not know is that red-dot sights are also safer than sights like those that use holographic technology (holographic sights). If a holographic sight’s lens cracks, for example, your eye might come into direct exposure to the laser and this can cause permanent damage.
Red dot sights also enjoy the collective benefit of their ever-decreasing weight, with the best sights optimized for weight via the aluminum or aluminum alloy used in their construction.
The ultimate benefit of having a red dot sight though is that of being able to acquire targets very quickly, using a scope that fits well with a wide range of firearms and ideally viewing your target accurately with both eyes open (the natural way).
Projection Type and Electronic vs Battery Powered Sights
Red dot sights include both holographic and reflex sights. With a holographic projection, sight is illuminated from the front of the lens and a laser diode light is projected onto the viewing window to create a holographic red dot to aid in aiming at a target.
The projection-type essentially comes down to two concepts: electronically approximated and published by Tritium/others.
Let’s talk about some of the basics:
The aiming point is projected forward onto a lens, which reflects it back and allows you to see the red dot.
Reflex sights are also generally somewhat cheaper than prism sights. Another pro of a reflex sight is the fact that some are available for battery-free use. The one downfall of the reflex sight is that they aren’t magnified; however, some reflex sights are sold with a paired scope that doesn’t have an aiming point.
A holographic sight essentially uses a picture of a reticle that is in between glass layers.
These types of sights are rarer than prism and reflex sight. Moreover, since EoTech has a patent on holographic sights, they are the only company that makes them. Similar to the other two types of red dot sights, holographic sights are easy to use.
A tritium-based reticle is lit by a living nuclear radioactive isotope that provides light to the reticle/image. It is less effective in low light conditions than a battery-based device.
A battery-operated sight will have a battery to feed a laser or other projection device that will provide the light source for the projected image whether it is a red dot or a reticle or other image. The first generation of these devices has dramatically improved battery life and power/power management preservation.
A reflective sight or reflex sight is an optical device that allows the user to see through a partially reflective glass element and to see an illuminated projection of the aiming point or any other image superimposed on the field of view.
First and foremost, the fact that some objects are green in color and some in red can greatly impact your personal choice and the way you use your device due to the human eye. Green-light becomes more easily identifiable in high brightness applications, as the human eye develops to take that spectrum of light colour.
There are many different reticle types; some of the most popular are as follows:
- Mil-dot; which references adjustments for point of aim to point of impact
- Star; which is a combination of a bullseye with extensions to show the crosshair’s legs also
- Triangle; which places a triangle’s uppermost tip directly beneath your point of impact
- Bullseys; which features a circle around a dot
- Straight red dot and green dot
- Cross; which is like a standard old scope crosshair
There are other versions, but they are depending on the manufacturer, generally, and the applications.
The style of the reticle may also incorporate a difference in sizing like a 2 MOA or a 4 MOA size. MOA is the minute of angle, which roughly equates to 1 inch at 100 yards. So a 2MOA is equivalent to 2” at 100 yards 4MOA is 4 inches at 100 yards, and so on.
This grows as you move out further. A 1 MOA at 1000yards is going to be 10 inches. Not that you’ll be shooting with an electronic or red dot sight at 1000 yards, but for comparative purposes, the sizing grows the further out you go to accommodate for the angular direction.
A red dot sight is an accessory to your rifle that will help you accurately hit your target. It shoots out a red dot light that will help guide you in hunting. When hunting one-shot is important since the sound of a gun will disturb all the animals in the surrounding. If you can’t hit the target once, you will lose the opportunity to kill your target and may need to wait for many hours or even days to be able to see another target because they will scatter and hide. Having a red dot sight will help you not to lose this opportunity because it can accurately pinpoint your target before shooting.
One of the key components of a good performance in the shooting is by figuring out the ideal spot to place your sight on the rail of the air rifle. To achieve this the first thing you must do is to find the best location for you that is not too far and too near, somewhere which is best for you for aiming perfectly.
If you must take time to adjust the relief of your eyes by finding the distance to the position of your head, you will not be able to make near-instantaneous decisions when you pull the trigger. You should work to use a red dot or similar-looking device as a “two-eye-opening” sight.
To do this, you will probably move it to the forward position, as you are used to set scope or sights. This is not true of the more elongated telescopic type of red dots but is for reflexes, holographic, and other open areas of visual sites.
Field of View
The field of view is roughly equal to the amount of target you can see in relation to the breadth of the site you have. For Scope, this is the sight you are viewing through a scope to be. For shooting two eyes open, this may be more part of a moot discussion.
Eye relief is the amount of distance between the starting point and your eye, and the optics of a device tube means how close your eye is to the start of the ocular lens in order to use optically correctly.
The red dots (and largely similar scenes that fall under this umbrella in this article) remain unaffected by eye relief, as they are made for both eyes and typically provide open architecture.
A Note About Pricing
Buying cheap red dot/electronic sights is not a horrible idea, but it is also not a great idea. The only real reason for buying an inexpensive unit is to test your desire to actually use one over the long term and determine what features you need when you leave more money on a unit.
Otherwise, it makes little sense to buy a cheaper unit, because these units, while they can enjoy good reviews and have a great feature set, are less accurate, less robust, less useful than any of the moderately or high-priced models. Electronic sight making technology is still expensive; it is not yet a cheap item. Therefore, you will not see premium quality units for cheap as you can see with slings or glass-based optics.
A good general rule of thumb is at the $190 + mark in USD. At this level of cost (while not foolish) it usually separates good quality, long-lasting units from novelty items that are not a very good decision to purchase. You actually get what you pay for the most part when purchasing red dot/electronic sights.
The types of concerns you have with affordable units are as follows:
- Poor quality altogether
- Cheap, non-calibrated adjustment
- Poor fit and finish/attention to detail
- Not made well enough to withstand environmental aspects/normal use
- Lack of ruggedization
- Plastic optics that scratch easily
- Bad material choices that lead to easily breaking the unit
- Bad battery life/expensive batteries/drains batteries
- Weak housings that allow misalignments to occur
This is mostly due to the quality of the materials and the longevity of the components used in the construction of the units. However, we will recognize that it may be most prudent to experiment with a lower-priced unit to determine if you really want to make the big purchase later.
It is very difficult to choose the best red dot sight because most of the measures of a fine choice are subjective or physical to the individual.
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 you’re 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.
If you’re looking to improve speed and accuracy, it’s tough to argue against the benefits of a red dot sight for competitive shooters, hunters, and military or law enforcement officials alike. We hope that you’ve found this review of the Top 13 Red Dot Sights useful and we wish you the best of luck finding the sight that fits your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q- What is a good factor for red dot sights?
Its good factor is speed. Red dot sights provide more clarity. Most of the shooters are can take the benefits from red dot.
Q- What does the MOA mean for red dot sights?
The red dot sights are basically measured in the MOA.MOA stands by “Minute of angle” its 1 inches is up to 100 yards and 1 & ½ inches is up to 50 yards or its 2 inches is 200 yards
Q- What red dot does the United States Military Use?
Yes, the red dot sights are used in every single M4 in OIF & OEF is the M68/ Aim point. US Army uses the 90% red dots.
Q- Holographic vs. Red dot, which is better?
A holographic sight uses the strongest laser which bounces all over for producing the holographic pictures of the reticle. But red dots is low-power LED so it creates the reticle.
That’s why both factors are considering when you choose the battery life of sight.