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 5 red dot sights available, in no particular order.
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25
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.
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25
- Beautiful design and durability built to last
- Black with 3 MOA Dot reticle
- High-Rise mount
- Waterproof Construction – O-ring sealed optics stay dry inside, even when totally immersed in water.
- Shockproof construction – Built to withstand bumps, bangs, drops and the rough-and-tumble environment of the field.
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.
- The Venom Red Dot Sight-3 MOA promotes rapid target acquisition while providing a precise point of aim; getting shots down range and on target fast.
- High quality, fully multi-coated lenses offer a clean, wide field of view. Power and dot intensity controls are conveniently located on the left side of the sight to choose between 10 brightness levels.
- The Venom also has an auto-brightness mode that uses an ambient light sensor to control dot intensity if the shooter prefers. Parallax Free
- The Venom Red Dot will fit well on your rifle or shotgun giving you optimal flexibility.O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust and debris from penetrating for reliable performance in all environments
Feyachi Xwin Tactical Sight
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.
Feyachi Xwin Tactical Sight
- Reticle allows for 4 different styles. Dot, Circle/Dot, Crosshair/Dot, Crosshair/Circle/Dot combinations. All in one sight!
- A 33mm lens provides quick target acquisition. Wide field of view to maintain situational awareness.
- Very sturdy and secure rail mounting system. Will not come loose, made to last.
- Parallax corrected & unlimited eye-relief, where the dot goes, so does the bullet!
- Ultralight, waterproof and shockproof – Powered one 3V lithium battery (included).
Dagger Defense DDHB
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.
Dagger Defense DDHB
- Both red and green dot, four position reticles
- Equipped with a locking set screw to stabilize your sighting adjustments (use only if needed and turn 1-2 times clockwise only)
- APERTURE：33mm LENGTH：82mm WEIGHT： 291g FIELD OF VIEW： 15.8m@100m
- 1x Type Red Dot & Green Dot Sight scope, CR2032 Battery- 1x Instruction Manual- 2x Allen Wrench- 1x Lens Cleaning Cloth
Leupold Delta Point Pro
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.
Leupold Delta Point Pro
- Superior Leupold ruggedness, precise 1 MOA adjustments, and top loading battery compartment put this red dot in a class of its own
- The huge field of view and crystal clean lens eliminate distortion and provide unmatched target acquisition
- Battery saving Motion Sensor Technology – Automatically deactivates illumination after 5 minutes of inactivity yet reacts instantly at the slightest movement
- Design, Machined and Assembled in the USA. 100% Waterproof, fogproof, shockproof, and backed by Leupold’s legendary customer care
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.