The world of recreational shooting has changed a lot over the years, especially in the realm of firearm sights. The obvious benefits of red dot sights were long ignored and were rejected in favor of the less effective iron sights.
Opinions have changed in recent times, to the point where it’s almost impossible to find a rifle without a red dot sight festooned to it, and even harder to find one with an iron sight.
At the advent of this transition, there has been a wave of brands capitalizing on red dot sights, and many are now available to buy cheaply. However, given the price of some of them, alongside the varying characteristics of each, it can be difficult to know what one is best for your requirements.
Here we are going to take a comparative look at the best pistol red dot sights that you can get on the market to help you with your aim. So without further ado, let’s get to it!
Pistol Red Dot Sights Reviews
Athlon Optics Midas TSR3 Red Dot
This red dot sight from Athlon Optics belongs to the upper tier of sights due to its versatility. This includes being fully compatible with both pistols and rifles, its advanced motion sensor activator, and its extensive battery life.
This red dot sight produces a powerful light and can work in all types of environments. Priced roughly at $199, it is leaning towards the more expensive red dot sights. However, this price may be justifiable by its quality.
The main reason this red dot sight is a real cut above the rest is its battery, with over 50,000 hours of battery life guaranteed. This renders this red dot sight perfect for lengthy shooting trips and of the utmost reliability for competitions.
However, it is worth noting that this level of battery life is only guaranteed when the sight is at medium brightness and that it will not last as long at full power. This is a slight disadvantage when long-range shooting is required.
Long-lasting power is ensured by the device’s touch-sensitive sensors, which automatically puts it to sleep once inactivity has been detected for 5 minutes. This is also a positive because you don’t have to worry about turning it on and off, as it activates again as soon as motion is detected.
Motion sensor activation may take some getting used to, however, for people who are not used to it. Many other red dot sights on the market will only be singularly coated optics, whereas this one has been coated several times to ensure that reflected lights are kept to a minimum, which ultimately gives this sight a stronger beam than most.
Additionally, entering different lighting environments does not hamper this sight’s performance, as the light emitted is customizable, with 13 different illumination settings: 3 for night and 10 for daytime. This red dot sight is easy to mount and set up.
It also features a wide range view that is wide enough for users to feel comfortable having both eyes open while shooting, ensuring an overall better hunting experience. This sight is not, however, the cheapest on the market.
- Reliable, with 50,000 hours of battery life
- Touch sensors ensure power is saved
- Optic coated several times
- Strong light so performs in different lighting
- 13 illumination settings
- Easy set-up
- Can keep both eyes open
- Must be on medium brightness to last
- Price is quite high
- Touch sensor may be confusing
SIG Romeo MSR Red Dot Sight
This aluminum-made red dot sight from SIG Sauer firearms is a sturdy piece of kit, weighing 4 pounds. This item is not bulky, however, and packs a lot of power into a tight space. This sight boasts over 20,000 hours worth of battery life, 12 brightness settings, and a coated lens to ensure maximum brightness. This red dot sight is also water and fog-proof.
The Romeo MSR Red Dot Sight is highly recommended for first-time buyers of red dot sights; it’s very easy to set up and install and comes with handy tools to help you do so.
The sight offers 12 brightness settings – 2 for night vision and 10 for daytime. These are easily manipulated by the adjustment knob located on the side of the device, which, again, is great for first-time users, as it’s easy to tell exactly what setting you are on at all times.
This sight is very versatile and can be mounted comfortably on a variety of different rifles. The sight is also water and fog-proof, rendering it suitable for all types of weather.
This product offers a very accurate light, and once it has been mounted and set to your needs, it requires no further adjustments. The red dot can be zeroed in easily and stays exactly where you line it. It is, therefore, very straightforward and perfect for beginners.
This sight offers a dual witness feature, making it possible to see other sights in addition to the Romeo MSR without offsetting anything.
Although the battery life is good, at 20,000 hours of battery life, it is not as long-lasting as its competitors. Plus, the battery this sight needs, a CR1632, is not very common, which means you may struggle to find a replacement.
The battery cap can sometimes pop open, which affects the sight’s overall usage, as it will trigger the red dot to turn off and on intermittently. Make sure to utilize the tools the sight comes with in order to keep the cap fastened tightly.
There is also no on/off switch, which can become impractical at times.
- Easy to set up
- 12 brightness settings
- Water and fog-proof
- Good for beginners
- Shorter battery life
- Required batteries are uncommon
- No on/off switch
Trijicon SRO Red Dot Sight
This red dot sight from Trijicon offers a far-reaching light, with a dual witness feature allowing its compatibility with other sight devices. Producing a clear dot to ensure upmost accuracy is achieved, this device is also easy to manipulate and adjust. There is a knob located on its side which reduces the struggle of zeroing in. The knob controls the sight’s 8 brightness settings and 3 adjustment modes. This sight promises a 3-year battery life.
The field of view afforded by this red dot sight is one of the widest on the market, ensuring optimum shooting, no matter the activity. This makes finding the dot a lot easier, meaning the user can shoot at a quicker rate.
Both the screen and the dot itself are impeccably clear, making for comfortable shooting. The dot is easily adjustable, with 3 main sizes to choose from: 1.0 MOA, which works great for accuracy; 2.5 MOA; and 5.0 MOA, which is great for competitive shooting. This versatility is what makes this sight great.
The three-year battery life that comes with this sight is excellent value for money. However, this length of life is only achievable if the sight is kept at setting number 4.
On top of this, the screws provided with this sight may not fit on all types of guns and may require additional tweaking in order to get them to latch on. Sanding the screws to the required size is, at times, necessary.
This is one of the more expensive red dot sights on the market, so it may not be the best investment for beginners. The sight glass is encircled in a thick aluminum ring, which may appear a little clunky to some. This product also does not include a mount.
- Widefield view
- Clear screen and dot
- Easily adjustable
- Can be used for various activities
- 3-year battery life
- Screws may not fit
- May appear clunky
Tasco brings its binocular expertise over to this red dot rifle sight, and it certainly shows. The Propoint is recommended mostly for hunting, with its far-reaching light. Built with aluminum to withstand all kinds of weather and rifle recoil, the Propoint is seriously rugged. It can easily be mounted onto a variety of different guns and features two different mounting base settings. This red dot rifle is recommended for beginners.
This red dot rifle sight from Tasco is highly recommended for beginners. At an unbelievably low price, it is great for people not yet fully committed to the sport but are interested in trying it out with the aid of a high-quality sight.
This sight also provides unbeatable long-distance vision, which is expected from a company specializing in telescopes. Given this specialty, the Propoint specializes almost exclusively in hunting. This means, however, that the Propoint may not be the best option for other shooting sports.
On the other hand, the Propoint is versatile when it comes to what guns it can be mounted to, as it can be latched on to pistols, MSRs, and shotguns. It is aided in this by its two mounting base settings.
Featuring 11 brightness settings, this rifle is perfect for all kinds of conditions and differing brightness levels. The optic has also been coated numerous times, ensuring a more direct and stronger beam of light. The Propoint is very durable and is designed for weather recoil.
- Perfect for beginners
- Very low price for a great product
- Long-distance vision
- Great for hunting
- 2 mounting base settings
- Limited to hunting
- Not good for close-range
Trijicon RMR Adjustable (LED) Sight
This sleek, LED red dot sight from Trijicon is one of the most lightweight on the market, at only 1.2 ounces with the battery included. Standing out from the competition also for its coyote brown design and LED illuminated dot, this product is also unique in comparison to its competitors. The comfortable buttons located on the side of the sight allow users to easily change the brightness of the dot and change between automatic and manual.
This sight is great for people unfamiliar with adjusting to different lightings and settings, with an auto-adjust feature built-in that is proven to be highly accurate and reliable. Plus, the option is there to switch this feature to manual for the more experienced shooter.
This product maintains Trijicon’s quality guarantee and allows for incredibly accurate shooting. So accurate, in fact, that this pistol helps sharpen the user’s eye and will help to refine free-hand shooting.
The different sized dots available make the product easily adjustable depending on the type of shooting being carried out, with the dot itself being very easy to spot through the lens.
With a four-year battery life, this is one of the more durable red dot sights on the market. The buttons on the side, used to both adjust brightness and switch between automatic and manual, are easily manipulated and comfortable to use.
The color and overall design make this sight really stand out, particularly when attached to a handgun. However, the coyote brown design may not be for everyone, and your gun may not even suit the color scheme.
The windage of this sight is also backward, which may take some getting used to for those with experience using other red dot sights. This product does not easily mount on to all types of guns and may require an RMR Glock Mounting kit, particularly if the gun in question features a Glock MOS slide.
- Auto adjust for easy use
- Good for under experienced users
- Great for free-hand practice
- Easily adjustable thanks to its unique style
- 4-year battery life is very impressive
- Automatic and manual options
- Design may not suit everyone
- Backward windage
- May not mount
Given how vastly each of these red dot sights differs from one another, it is imaginably still very difficult to settle on what one to buy – particularly when you involve some of the more expensive ones in your decision making!
With this difficulty in mind, we’d recommend the Trijicon SRO Red Dot Sight for its impressively wide-field view, its versatility, and its battery life. Trijicon may be on the more expensive side; however, they’re one of the most respected brands in the world of gun equipment, and this particular offering appears to be their best in terms of pistol red dot sights.