Best Red Dot Sights (Feb. 2018)- Buyer’s Guide

best red dot sights

Red dot sights are gun accessories for gun freaks looking for an excellent, very fast or close range shot and not accuracy. They are more or less one power or zero power—to mean the same thing. And that is to say; they don’t magnify. It is like the bigger the dot, the faster shooters spot and hit their target. The best red dot sights are mainly used by forces in their small arms because of a higher hit percentage than with iron sights.

Aggressive speed shooters prefer red dots on pistols for the same reason. But still, it serves the same for short gunners.

These sights are ideal for close hunting, playing trap, skeet and any other target games. Find below some of the benefits of red dots over all other sights.

Benefits Of A Red Dot Sight

  • Larger Field Of View

With red dot sights, you have a larger field of view on the target than many other tube sights. A wider field of view allows a close shot range.

  • Quick Acquisition Of Targets

You can easily acquire your target and have them at the center the red reticle; you can easily hit when you hire. No need to align sites and waste time aiming. This makes it more accurate when aiming at a moving target.

  • Works Correctly Under Low Light

Red dot sights can quickly aim at night or in the dark.

  • Limitless Eye Relief

It doesn’t matter how far the gunman’s eye is from the sight, unlike with other sights. This causes limited eye relief that in turn enhances faster spotting of your target. This is because it takes away the much straining placed upon shooter’s using other types of sights.

Now that you know why you need one, read below the review to help you choose one that matches your skills and use.

EotechEO Tech 512.A65 Tactical1,000 hrs at nominal settingyes/ up to 10 ftnoneCheck Price
VortexVortex Optics SPR-1301 Spitfire250 hrs max brightness/ 3,000 hrs minimum brightnessyes/ up to 15 ftnoneCheck Price
SigsauerSig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo540,000 hrs battery lifeyes/ up to 1 meteryesCheck Price
BushnellBushnell Trophy TRS-253,000 or more hrsyesnoneCheck Price
VortexVortex Optics Sparc 2500 hrs maximum brightness/ 5,000 hrs minimum brightnessyesnoneCheck Price
SightmarkSightmark Ultra Shot Pro180 hrsyesnoneCheck Price
BurrisBurris 300234 Fastfire III500 hrsyesnoneCheck Price


In-depth Review Of The Best Red Dot Sights

1. EO Tech 512.A65 Tactical HOLO graphic AA Batteries Weapon Sight – Quality On Its Finest

EO Tech 512.A65 Tactical HOLO graphic AA Batteries Weapon Sight ReviewThanks to EO Tech for perfecting the usability of red dots with their exceptional holographic technology. Also, we can’t forget to acknowledge that they have provided a larger window to give us a better view of near targets.


  • With the 512 you have 65 MOA circle which makes it a favorite toy for Special Forces for close quarter target shooting and at the center a 1 MOA dot for more clear-cut shots.
  • On top of that, its large circle dot design enhances precision making it an ideal rangefinder.
  • What’s more, the 512 has a unique field of view that’s fully passive, meaning no light is reflected to give away your position (this feature is not common with all red dots).
  • You’ll need a pair of AA batteries that will serve you 1,000 hours or even more on constant use.
  • Lithium batteries or alkaline batteries will go for or at least 600 hours. With a shut-down timer that’s programmable and ordinary batteries, isn’t it more convenient to use your power when you need a red dot most?


  • The EO Tech 512 uses up much space leaving no room for other attachments e.g. a night vision or magnifier.
  • You will realize that the length and control positions are not easily accessible.
  • The EO Tech 512 cannot be used in the night; it lacks a night vision element.


The 512 is ideal for those who want seamless close-quarters-combat versatility and speed. It has radical sighting setup based on sophisticated holographic tech. You can use it with laser light for illumination of a holographic pattern fixed in the viewing window. Overall, its holographic feature enhances target acquisition, boost up accuracy, and ensures control over any shooting environment.

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2. Vortex Optics SPR-1301 Spitfire 1x Prism Scope with DRT Reticle (MOA) – Great Optic For Its Price

Vortex Optics SPR-1301 Spitfire 1x Prism Scope with DRT Reticle (MOA) Review

The Spitfire AR 1X is built to make the most of the easy and quick handling features of AR- rifles. Its scope ensures great optical quality and swift functionality. And the reason the Vortex Optics SPR-1301 made it to this list is the no parallax-effect vision that ensures shooters focus on a target. This unique optics also enhances vision in high-stress situations.


  • Quite easy to operate with the lighting intensity and rear facing power controls strategically placed near shooting position but protected from accidental contact.
  • And to give everyone a clear view of all conditions, the Vortex Optics SPR-1301 has twelve levels of intensity.
  • The Dual Ring Tactical is fixed on the prism to allow steady point-of-aim all the time whether the illumination is in use or not.
  • You’ll need AAA battery to run your Vortex Optics SPR-1301.
  • An extra turret cap (market made) enables shooters to switch or replace the manufacture’s cap for swift dialing calculated distance shots over 700 yards.


  •  No much difference between the 3-4 Brightness levels.
  •  Level 5 light level makes a huge difference but can only be used for outdoor purposes. Though for indoors, 2-3 will work well under standard room lighting.
  • The Vortex Optics SPR-1301 is new in the market so there are only a few attachments you can add to it.


Designed purposely for the AR15s, the SPR-1301 Spitfire 1x Prism Scope with DRT Reticle (MOA) combines tough, high-performance and efficiency in a single package. Moreover, it is cost efficient and a great red dot for outdoors. Lastly, it has advanced features, as the compound prism-base structure allows for a more solid optical system and maximum quality.

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3. Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 Moa Red Dot Sight – Lightweight Yet Tough And Durable, Suitable For Battlefield Scenarios!

Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 Moa Review

If you are out to look for the sights that are lightweight yet sturdy and versatile, try the Sig Sauer SOR5201. It’s a durable solid aluminum red dot that can be attached to any platform.  The ROMEO5 MOTAC (Motion-Activated Illumination) boosts battery life by automatically shutting down the red dot sight when it is not in use. And when it senses motion or vibrations, it instantly activates the system. Furthermore, you expect nothing less than clear vision when in action.


  • The Romeo5 has a readily available CR2032 battery that’s purposefully side-loading to enable quick replacement of batteries. You don’t have to remove your site from the gun to swap batteries on the battlefield.
  • The sight has an incorporated M1913 Picatinny feature that provides great mounting options for various guns.
  • Another unique element is its reliable water and fog proof ability thanks to the IPX-7 known for full water immersion up to a meter) and fog-proof performance.
  • The ROMEO5 is a combination of top edge optical design and very sturdy, lightweight aluminum cover that ensures years of service without having to spend much on repairs.
  • To ensure a clear view in all light conditions, the ROMEO5 has a 2 MOA Red-Dot and 10 lighting level settings.


  • There are users that says that its battery life does not really last up to 40, 000 hrs. 


You can get into action SIG SAUER Romeo5 1 x 20 red dot to enjoy an ultra wide view of your target. What’s more you sure of a clear shot thanks to the lens coatings that are anti reflection for optimal light transmission. Additionally, you have the Motion-Activated Illumination technology that powers vision when it detects motion.

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4. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope– The Ultimate Sight For Distinguishing Between Two Similar Colors In The Forest!

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope Review

It’s special lens covering allow better performance and helps shooter make a distinction between two alike-looking colors e.g. green and brown in the jungle. This way you can easily tell the difference between a green tree and a brown deer. With 11 levels of illumination, you are sure of clear view in all conditions.

Again, it weighs less than ¼ of a pound and almost 2½” inches in length which makes it small and ideal for handguns and rifles. This in one the best sights with an adjustment control that’s rather stiff—it needs a little and of effort to turn. Shooters like this as it easy to set and stays at the correct setting once adjusted.

Also, for durability and versatility, the Trophy TRS-25 has a Solid Build – simple to use in rough terrain.


  • It has 1 x 25 Power, small and lightweight for easy manipulation.
  • You’ll need readily available standard AAA batteries to run your Trophy TRS-25.
  • Fast and simple to attach and to zero in.
  • Easy to remove and replace.
  • Long battery life lasting 3000 or more hours.
  • Clear optics with a red dot that’s easily visible in both dim and bright light situations.
  • The cost of maintenance is extremely low; it won’t rip you off.


  • It’s a bit light and small for use with rifles, it works best pistols (try a regular scope for rifles).
  • For beginners, the controls a bit stiff— don’t panic if controls for brightness, windage, and elevation are stiff. This design is to make it sturdier. But adapting to it may be difficult in the initial stages. However, they loosen overtime.


Just like we know it with Bushnells, nothing beats its precision in acquiring targets and giving perfect shots in dim conditions. Furthermore, it has multicoated optics that aids more in low-light conditions. It’s not too expensive to purchase, and other elements include; 100% water, shock, and fog proof build.

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5. Vortex Optics Sparc 2 Red Dot MOA (SPC-402)- Guarantee Of Precise Shots For First-Timers!

 Vortex Optics Sparc 2 Red Dot MOA (SPC-402) Review

If you are new to guns, here is the best red dot sight for you. Spot your target fast using the new SPARC II. This red dot sight is compact, lightweight and has a rugged single-piece structure made from airplane grade aluminum that’s O-ring protected for fog and waterproofing.

Also, it has advanced rear-facing controls to power on/off and adjusts its 2 MOA red dot brightness with daylight intensity levels from 1-10. The 1 and 2 brightness levels are night-vision attuned, and it automatically returns to previous intensity use when in action. Lastly, it’s multi-height mount feature makes it compatible with most firearms, AR-15s included.


  • Great product at low price.
  • Highly recommended for beginners.


  • Rough around the edges— not very crispy.
  • Not as tough as it looks appears, housing can easily bend just by a drop.
  • Brightness adjustment levels not ideal for indoor use or dim light environments, with the lowest setting producing blurs.
  • You won’t easily feel a click when adjusting.


Ultra-compact and light in weight, the Vortex Optics Sparc 2 Red Dot MOA (SPC-402) is good for both AR15s and shotguns. Its special digital controls are rear-faced. They allow for adjusting (in ten levels) the 2 MOA red dot brightness. Also, you spend less for a durable item.

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6. Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD– For Persons Looking To Enhance Their Shooting Experience!

Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD Review

If you have been working hard to get better at hitting targets, then the amazing Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro are the best for you. It will greatly enhance your shooting experience. Featuring a quick-detach mount for swift removal, the Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec allows shooters to adapt their guns for the situation at hand.


  • Equipped with a night-vision feature, you can attach at the front of a monocular (night vision) to have a dual riflescope set up.
  • It has four reticle patterns to allow maximum modification and accuracy in light or darkness.
  • Also, its double glass lens eliminates the parallax effect retaining precision when shot from the edge of the lens.
  • With the quick-detach mount, novices can quickly and easily adapt their gun to the present situation.
  • It has a special feature called The Interlok. The internal locking system holds the zero exceptionally well, so the user doesn’t have to keep re-adjusting the red dot for a better in view.


  • Short Battery Life- Users have complained of short battery life. At its minimum setting, it can only last up to 180 hours.
  • Not Fog-proof- Fog quickly penetrates through it, meaning that vision can get blurry if your shooting in a foggy situation.
  • No Night Vision Mode- best for use only during the day but in the dark, the Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD might not be very useful.


We can say the Sightmark Ultra Dual Shot Pro Spec NV Sight QD is a red dot that’s affordable but delivers top quality in the field. Also its durable and exceptional optical technology, you are sure of unwavering functionality. It confirms the statement that not everything cheap is second-rate in quality and usability.

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7. Burris 300234 Fastfire III with Picatinny Mount 3 MOA Sight– Ideally Suited For Use On Pistols And Rifles Where Fast Target Acquisition Is Required!

Burris 300234 Fastfire III with Picatinny Mount 3 MOA Sight Review

Burris FastFire III Red Dot Reflex ensures better accuracy and faster acquisition of target using your desired gun. No worries about sight alignment or spotting your target no more. Compact and lightweight, this red dot offers limitless eye relief, no-parallax magnification, and easy manipulation.

It boasts of upgraded elevation and windage adjustments a handy power button and three illumination levels.


  • Easy access to your battery— right on top of it allows easy replacement and the good thing you have a warning indicator on your screen to check your batter, a protective cap, and 8-hour automatic shut-off system.
  • You can use it with a pistol or an AR-15 for fast target acquisition but will prove handy for shotgunners and those who love lever guns.
  • Lightweight design won’t affect balance or handling of firearms.
  • 3 MOA sighting dot.
  • Has a rugged devise makes it moisture-impervious.


  • Well, this is one of the best red-dot sights, its maintenance costs beat its value. Even more worrying, it’s more fragile compared to red dots. While it can survive any recoil, if you dropped it, there’s a high chance you’ve lost it too.
  • Its tube design is bulky compared to Burris Fastfire II, and the projector block is positioned in the line of sight.


The next future of FastFire Red-Dot is here; the popular FastFire III comes with upgraded add-ons that include better windage and elevation tuning. The battery is mounted at the top for easier replacement. Additionally, it has three manual levels of brightness settings as well as automatic brightness with a low-battery indicator. Finally, you’ll love its Steel body that ensures maximum durability. The sight is perfect for pistols, shotguns, and rifles.

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The Buyers’ Guide- What To Look For?

Red Dot Sights

Red dot sights are no new gun upgrades.  It’s low cost and convenience makes it the first choice for many shooters.

On sight, Red Dot sights show a red/green dot (or any reticle patterns). Once this dot is on the target, you’re sure of a hit. The technology of Red dot sights has been evolving overtime, and now we can enjoy holographic reticles. And on top, the very useful fiber optics.

First, before you purchase a red dot, be sure to pick a dot shape and size that will best serve your use.

How To Position The Red Dot Sight?

First, you should know that the red dot does not always appear at the center of the glass. It is important you understand this when viewing your target. It may appear anywhere on the viewing area. Using larger lens displaces the red dot sight further from its center.

However, red dots often cause a tube effect. If you place it close to your eye, you will experience the tube effect. It is best to train yourself how to use it with the optic held far from the eye. If you shoot with all eyes open, you reduce the effects of the tube further.

If you bear this in mind, you will not miss your target. You will master your mark even in unconventional shooting positions.

I Need A Lens For Magnification, Should I Buy A Red Dot?

In most cases, beginners got for red dot optics as their first upgrade to AR15s. The main reason being the best red dot signs will enhance your shooting by ensuring visual aid faster than any iron sight would do without having to strain the eye. These red dots can have as much accuracy as iron sights within defensive ranges.

One main benefit of a red dot over a variable power optic is the cost. It’s better to have little zoom, but an excellence optic is way more costly that more than a great red dot. And it helps to know that red dot optics are lighter than low magnification scopes.

If you are looking for a 0-300 yard range of defense, a red dot is a right tool for the job. If you still wish to make it more versatile attach a magnifier to your red dot. But this can be done much later; it’s advisable to start with a red dot some magnification as time goes.

With such a setup you are on point, you only need a little skill to hit your target. Though not as clear as 1-4x variables, it can’t be lighter than a 4x ACOG system, but you have room for addition or removal of the magnification you require.

Don’t get it twisted; there’s no such thing as a perfect setup, it’s always a matter of balancing your shooting needs with a system that matches your goals.

Dot Size And Dot Pattern

While these two look insignificant, picking the wrong reticle size and shape may be a setback. Choosing the right dot size and shape depends on your use.

If the dot is too small, you won’t easily see it, again if it’s too large; it may block your target especially when shooting from long range. However, some red dot sights try to correct the issue by adding a large circle round the dot.

But first, decide on the right dot depending on your intended use. For standard rifles, you can use a simple 4 MOA dot. Its small size allows precision at close to medium range distances, yet your eye won’t miss it either.

Estimating Your Shot Range With Red Dot Sights

A red dot is useful for having a rough estimation of range. Picking a red dot of the right size can help with distance and holdover estimates. This is a bit trickier than just selecting a dot. When you have the correct distance and holdover estimate you can hit targets even as a far as 400 yards.


Types Of Red Dot Sight

Electronic Red Dot Sight And Non-Electronic Red Dot Sight

These are two types of red dots that function in different ways. Since the recent technological improvements, the electronic red dot type is becoming the shooter’s favorite.

The Aimpoint CompM4 is an electronic device that can last for up to eight years of regular use. Other devices have short power durability. Some may only last for a year while others for months. Electronic red dots are often reliable. And furthermore, the Fiber optic technology is a great move in improving the efficiency of electronic red dot sights.

Battery-free or non-electronic red dot sights are also good for use. You may have heard of them from SHTF scenarios.

Novice Red DotsMicro Red DotsLarge Sized Red Dots

Since the industry has been enjoying an influx of the reflex sights with improved performance yet pocket-friendly and long lasting, you have a list to select from.

Let’s go through some of the quality products on a small budget for shooters looking to spend some dollars on an aim point. Primary Arms and Anibal are two gun manufacturers that offer reasonably priced red dot sights. Most are durable even with AR15, and the good thing they sell for  $150 or cheaper.

You can have Optics in this price bracket from well-known companies that’s why it’s important to research. However both the above have some of the best for beginners.

Currently small sized red dot sights are trending courtesy of TI, and Aimpoint H1 who have been the cream of the crop in micro red dots since their kickoff. But lately, Trijicon has been threatening to take over the market with the equally striking Trijicon MRO.

If you wish to try a smaller yet very efficient red dot with coin-sized batteries, search the market for micro red dots. The lighter weight and small structure reduces bulk and increases precision

And this is another scenario where you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, so small they are,  yet so long are their battery life that may go up to five years. They work just like larger red dots.

EO tech’s MRDS and Trijicon’s RMR are also great models to consider.

Shooters who have tried a large size Aimpoint COMP-M4 and tested the new smaller red dots can confirm that micro red dots are rapidly improving in both sturdiness and functionality as their large size matching parts.

However, if you wish to buy the COMP-M4 because it’s your personal favorite, but why not? Get it! Only be ready to spend not less $800. And on careful analysis, the cost to value ratio is not worth the investment.

A money-saving and efficient dot is the Aimpoint Pro which is the large size a more pleasant at $400, but the hype is on red dots that are smaller and lighter.


Final Words- Winding It Up

By now it’s clear that choosing one of these sights is the fastest and most efficient upgrade you can do to your gun.

And since your AR15 is a machine with precision, you want to spot and hit a target with your defensive rifle. Purchasing a red dot scope to boost your ability to instantly acquire and shoot the target is an upgrade that will improve your shooting experience.

While these sights were meant for military use, they are often used for leisure e.g. paintball and deer hunting. Also, the Red dot sights are common for aiming targets in motion, more so since this sight enables a shooter to stay in a line up with the target before taking a quick shot.

There are a variety of models, a fact that allows you to choose the one that supports you shooting goals. A top-rated red dot should give an accurate aiming point faster than all iron sights in the market.  Save money and pick up an excellence system that will make you happy on the field with its performance and durability.


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