Best Red Dot Sights: 2021’s Buying Guide

Precision and accuracy are both key factors to consider when out in the wilderness hunting or even while practicing at the range. Many things play a role in this for gun owners. Of course, there is practice and familiarity with the weapon, but there is also a piece of equipment they can invest in to help them with shooting accurately.

Sights are incredibly helpful, and of the many different types, there is one that many choose above all others – the red dot sight. Adding this to your firearm will help with acquisition times and it will help make your shots far more accurate.

However, there are numerous models to look at when trying to find the right red dot sight, so to help you out a bit, we have compiled this comprehensive guide. Not only did we choose a few models that we feel are the best red dot sights out there, but we crafted a buyer’s guide to help you make your final decision.

Best Red Dot Sights Reviews

Sig Sauer SOR50000 Romeo5

The first sight comes from one of the big names in guns and offers x10 magnification, along with several other features that give it a leg up over the rest.

Product Highlights

Here are the main features of this red dot sight:

  • x10 illumination settings (2 NV + 8 day)
  • Built-in motion-activated illumination (MOTAC)
  • M1913 Picatinny railing
  • Fog/waterproof
  • Includes x2 mount risers (M1913 Picatinny/co-witness)
  • 20mm objective aperture
  • Elevation Adj. – +/- 40 MOA
  • Windage Adj. – +/- 40 MOA
  • 2 MOA red dot
  • x1 CR2032 battery

The Good

Sig Sauer is a name that almost everyone knows whether they are a gun owner or not, and that is because they deliver quality products. This sight is no different with its 10 different settings for brightness and its use of a standard Picatinny railing mount system. Plus, it is waterproof, and all of that combined makes this model a great investment.

The Bad

Now, there are some issues that we think may play a role in decision-making for consumers. First, the mount riser is standard and not very attractive. On top of that, the sight comes with no instructions. Both of these issues could be a problem for some, but neither affects the overall performance.

Pros

  • Fitted with 10 different illumination settings
  • Built-in Picatinny railing for standard mounting options
  • Designed with an IPX-7 waterproofing capability
  • Comes with a low mount and co-witness mount riser

Cons

  • Included mount riser is very basic
  • Lack of instructions may be a problem for some

Holosun HS510C 2

Our next red dot sight is an open reflex holographic model that incorporates a lot of modern tech aspects to deliver a top-notch sight that is sure to improve your accuracy and reaction time.

Product Highlights

Here are the main features of this red dot sight:

  • Micro Arc Oxidation coating
  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • Solar panel incorporated optic
  • x3 reticle selections
  • x12 brightness settings (10 day + 2 NV)
  • Autorun mode
  • Shake awake technology
  • Quick-release mounting system
  • Elevation Adj. – +/- 50
  • Windage Adj. – +/- 50
  • x1 CR2032 battery

The Good

One of the most important things when it comes to red dot sights is the battery life. This model comes with great battery life, plus so much more. You also get a large viewing window and a sight that can withstand the elements. That is all great, but what we love the most is the shake awake technology that is built-in. It also helps with that long battery life.

The Bad

Even with all that, though, there are still some things that could be improved upon. The first of these is that the unit is a bit heavy, which will affect the balance on the setup. Some may also feel that the price is a little steep for what you get.

Pros

  • Easily changed battery with excellent lifespan
  • Built-in shake awake technology for improved response time
  • Large viewing window for improved accuracy
  • IP67 waterproof rating and materials used provide durability

Cons

  • Some may find the weight of the unit a bit too much
  • Issues with the price being too high

Vortex Optics Crossfire Gen II

Our next red dot sight uses a 2 MOA dot and is an upgraded version of the previous Crossfire sight. Designed using high-quality materials and fitted with several important features, this sight is easily one of the best out there.

Product Highlights

Here are the main features of this red dot sight:

  • 1/3 co-witness mount
  • x11 brightness settings (9 day + 2 NV)
  • 22mm anti-reflective coated glass
  • Elevation adj. – +/-100
  • Windage adj. – +/-100
  • O-ring sealed for waterproofing
  • Anodized coating for corrosion and wear resistance
  • x1 CR2032 battery

The Good

The core component of any red dot sight is the optics. For this unit, the designers decided to go with a prime set of optics that offers zero parallaxes. The dot produced is also brighter than other models, which makes it much easier to see no matter the lighting situation. When it comes to controlling the settings of the sight, they are easy to use and get to, which is a nice touch.

The Bad

That being said, there are some problems that we need to address. Though the optics are robust, they don’t have a long-distance capability. This means that this unit will not be good with magnifiers. Along with this, the optics do not perform as well when it comes to nighttime situations, either.

Pros

  • Crafted with robust optics that offer zero parallax
  • Bright and clear for no loss of visibility in any light levels
  • Windage controls are easy to adjust and reach
  • Easy-to-use click dial for brightness levels

Cons

  • Short optic dimensions – not good with magnifiers
  • Optical configuration makes the sight not well suited for night vision scopes

Crimson Trace 2.0

If you are looking for a nice red dot sight for your rifle, then this compact, simply-designed tactical model from Crimson Trace may be a good choice.

Product Highlights

Here are the main features of this red dot sight:

  • 2 MOA red dot
  • M1913 Picatinny rail mount (co-witness height)
  • x10 brightness settings
  • Notch coating
  • Vibration resistance technology
  • Fog-resistant
  • High-grade LED laser
  • x1 CR2032 battery

The Good

Sometimes, simple is good, and when you are looking for that in a red dot sight, this model from Crimson Trace may be the best. Its simple design makes it easy to use and also leads to better battery life. This is because there are fewer features present to drain the battery. Simplicity also means a more budget-friendly price, which may make it the perfect choice for you.

The Bad

As much as it is a benefit, the simplicity can also lead to some issues. For instance, the unit is not suited for nighttime or even low-light shooting. The sight also does not come with a lens cap, and that means you will have to spend a little extra money on the side to protect your sight.

Pros

  • Designed with a simple build and layout for easier use
  • Requires minimal battery usage so batteries don’t need to be charged as often
  • Crafted with a water-resistant design for improved durability against wet conditions
  • Great for those with limited funds

Cons

  • Some issues with visibility in low light
  • Comes with no lens covers

EOTECH EXPS2

Our last entry is a holographic weapon sight that is simply designed and easy to use. Crafted with premium materials, the unit is also durable and perfect for use with many different guns.

Product Highlights

Here are the main features of this red dot sight:

  • Holographic sight
  • Side button control panel
  • Weaver/MIL-STD 1913 rail mounts
  • Water-resistant up to 10’
  • 1 MOA red dot
  • Anti-reflective coated lens
  • Elevation adj. – .5 MOA
  • Windage adj. – .5 MOA
  • x1 CR123 battery

The Good

From the materials used in its construction to the features included in its design, this red dot sight is a high-performance option for all gun enthusiasts out there. The design and optics leave the unit with no parallax, and on top of that, it is crafted with unlimited eye relief. All in all, the maker of this sight wanted to give its user a sight that they will be able to use for years to come.

The Bad

Though there are a lot of great things about this unit, it is in no way perfect. The sight doesn’t perform well in low light or darkness. For some people, this means that it may not be worth the amount of hard-earned money they would have to shell out for this model.

Pros

  • Crafted with features that elevate the user’s control
  • Constructed to be able to withstand whatever you throw at it
  • Has the ability to operate without parallax
  • Designed with unlimited eye relief for enhanced precision

Cons

  • Unable to be used in low light and darkness
  • Price versus value is not on par with its competition

Buyer’s Guide

The models we reviewed above were all chosen with care by using a carefully curated list of features. These features deliver high-level performance and durability when present in a red dot sight.

To help you sift through these and any other options you have been looking at, we thought we would take a look at just how and why these factors are so important to the efficiency and usability of a red dot sight.

Here are the features we considered:

Reticle Size

One of the most important factors to look at is the size of the dot. This is measured in MOA (minutes of angle). To get the best option, you will need to think about how you will be using the gun. Then, choose accordingly. There are three sizes of the reticle, and each has its strong suits.

Small

Typically these range from 1 MOA to 2 MOA. This size of this reticle is best for long-distance shooting that needs to be very accurate. Of course, it will take longer to locate the dot at longer distances because of how small it is. This makes it best for night shooting, as bright lights make it even harder to see the dot.

Medium

The size of this reticle usually measures from 2 MOA to 3.5 MOA. A reticle of this size offers a good middle ground where you can take advantage of the benefits of the smaller and larger options. The dots are easy to spot in different lighting situations and allow you to be more accurate. In the end, this reticle size is good for fast acquisition shooting.

Large

As you might have guessed, the larger reticle typically measures at 3.5 MOA. The size of this reticle was specifically crafted for fast acquisition at a close range. Because the dot is so large, it takes up a lot of your viewing window, which will make midrange target acquisition very difficult. This red dot size is good for home protection weapons.

Battery

The last thing you want is to get ready to take your shot, turn your sight on, and find out that it’s out of juice. That’s why you will want to pay attention to the battery life, as well as how easy it is to change them if needed.

Let’s start with the life of the battery. Most red dot sight batteries should last you thousands of hours. If you are careful with making sure to turn it off, this will mean you can get longer use of it.

As for changing out the batteries, you should look at where the hatch is located. Ones with a top hatch are by far easier to change, as you will not have to remove the sight from the mount. If the battery does go in under the sight, you will have to re-zero in the sight after changing the batteries.

Water Resistance

If you are going to be out in the wilderness, you will inevitably come across rain or a water source of some kind. Making sure that your sight is waterproof is important. However, if you are a range shooter, then this may not be as important as if you spend a lot of time out in the elements.

Night Vision Capability

If you are someone who likes to engage in nighttime shooting or hunting, then you will need to pay attention to the night vision capability. Most sights will come with at least 1 NV setting. The more options you have, the better accuracy you will have in low light settings, which may be an important feature for you.

Features and Accessories Included

There are a lot of features and accessories that can be talked about here, so we are going to focus on a few that we think would be great additions.

Brightness Modes

Some sights will come with preset modes for things like night vision and extreme brightness. These modes will help make it easier to get sighted in those lighting situations. The more mode settings you have, the more accurate you will be able to be with your firearm.

Auto Shut Off

Like with anything, this feature turns the light off automatically after a certain amount of time of being idle. This is a great feature to have that will help preserve battery life.

Shake Awake Technology

This is a vibration and shock technology that makes the sight turn itself on after feeling a shaking or vibration. Shake awake technology is another factor that helps with speed of acquisition and precisions.

Dimmer

This is a feature that helps with your sight’s ability to adjust to different brightness levels without you changing the setting. It dims the brightness of the dot when it senses a change in light. This can save you time, but it will eat up battery life.

Mounting Rails

There are a few different options, and finding a site that is compatible with multiple mounting railing systems is a nice feature to have. Along with that, it is even better if the sight comes with the mounting rails.

Lens Cap

You should also look for a sight that comes with a lens cap. This will help extend the life of the sight by protecting the most delicate part of the piece of equipment – the sight’s lens.

FAQs

With a look at some of the best red dot sights and how you can choose the one for you, we are sure there are still a few questions you may have. That is why we collected some of the most commonly asked questions and answered them for you below.

When Was The Red Dot Sight Invented?

The modern electric red dot sight was created by a Swedish sharpshooter in 1974, and it was marketed to the world in 1975 by Aimpoint AB. This company was founded by that sharpshooter and his financier, Gunnar Sandberg.

However, the original red dot sight was released in the early 1900s and was called the Weaver Qwik-Point sight. This site was created by filtering light through a plastic tube and focusing it on the sight. Of course, the lighting was not dependable, so these red dot sights were not very well-received.

Who Are The Most Known Red Dot Sight Manufacturers?

There are a lot of brands out there that craft decent red dot sights, but when you are looking to invest your money, you want the best. Here are some of the most known brands:

  • Aimpoint
  • Sig Sauer
  • Vortex Optics
  • Bushnell
  • Trijicon

Where To Mount A Red Dot Sight

In the end, this is a preferential thing, and as long as it is mounted on the receiver, the world is your oyster. There are several factors to consider when choosing the mounting location, such as whether or not you want to mount it all the way forward on the receiver or halfway down it. Here are a few of those:

  • Are you going to use a magnifier behind it? If yes, then, you will want to mount it further towards the end of the gun
  • Is it the speed of acquisition you are looking for? If so, then you may want to mount it further back and closer to your eye.
  • How about accuracy? Accuracy is best suited with the sight mounted further forward.
  • What weapon are you mounting it on? This is important to consider as you want to consider balance and weight.

How Far Can You Shoot With A Red Dot Sight?

Of course, they’ll still depend on the model, but on average, a red dot without any magnifications is good for shots up to 100 yards away.

How To Clean The Lens On A Red Dot Sight

You want to clean your lens very carefully. To do this, you will need a few supplies, and these will be used according to the type of dirt you are dealing with. Let us go through these one by one:

Dust

For this, the best tool is a camel hairbrush, one like photographers use on their cameras. You will want to gently move that brush across the lens back and forth until the dust is not visible anymore.

Water Spots/Fingerprints

If you have either of these two issues, you will want to dampen a lens paper with rubbing alcohol. Make sure it is just barely damp and then gently brush that cloth across the lens. Do not apply any pressure.

When you have made one pass over the lens, throw that paper away. If you still need to clean the lens more, use a new piece of paper every time. Once it is clean, let it sit to allow the alcohol to evaporate.

Mud

If you have dried or caked mud, then you will have to use a stronger tool. For this, a camel hair brush dampened with alcohol is what you will use. Then, you will softly use that brush to work off the splatters of mud.

Make sure to wash out the camel hair brush once you see some debris built up. Then, just like before, let the lens sit to allow evaporation of the alcohol.

{Note – if the dirt or smudges are on the inside, do not try to take the sight apart and clean it yourself. Instead, go to a professional or send it back to the manufacturer for cleaning.}

Final Thoughts

There you have it, that’s our comprehensive guide to choosing the best red dot sight for you. Hopefully, it has helped you out!

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