Best Red Dot Sights 2017

Last update February 22, 2017
Thousands of special troops, military marksmen, target shooters and wildlife hunters have already installed the red dot sights on

their rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Join the ranks! Buy one of the best red dot sights carefully selected by our experts.

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BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
MOA & Dots
Controls
Mounting
Durability
Special Features
Power
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS
The sight features extra-strong construction, is protected from any external impacts, has simple controls and a variety of settings.
CONS
It is not convenient for long-distance shots due to the 4 MOA dot.
OUR VERDICT
The StrikeFire sight is the ideal choice for those who are looking for a high-quality sight for a rifle. It will help show the perfect result when shooting both at short and long distances.
detailed parameters
Type
Closed/Active
MOA & Dots
Red/Green Dot Sight; 4 MOA Dot
Controls

Adjustable dot intensity, 10 brightness settings, Click value 1/2 MOA

Mounting
Cantilever ring mount
Durability
Waterproof, Fogproof, Shockproof, Hard anodized finish
Special Features
Unlimited eye relief, Fully multi-coated lens, Night vision mode
Power
CR2 battery, 300 hours at maximum brightness and 6000 hours at minimum brightness setting
Weight
7.2 ounces
Warranty
VIP unconditional lifetime warranty
PROS

This is one of the most energy-efficient red dot optics that you could use for several years easily without replacing the battery.

CONS

The mount system could've had a higher quality. 

OUR VERDICT

The Primary Arms Advanced micro red dot sight is a universal optic that could be used by both hunters and shooters due to its bundle of brightness settings and functionality.  

detailed parameters
Type

Closed/Active

MOA & Dots

2 MOA Red Dot

Controls

12 brightness settings

Mounting

Micro mount system

Durability

Waterproof

Special Features

Rubber “bikini” lens cover included, Night vision compatible

Power

CR2032 battery, 50 000 hours

Weight

3.9 ounces

Warranty

3 years

PROS
It is sufficiently autonomous in operation. This red dot may work up to 2,000 hours on a single battery and has a very reliable construction.
CONS
The dents of a control dial are not sufficiently deep in touch; don't tighten the dial too hard.
OUR VERDICT
It is the reliable red-dot sight made by the trusted US manufacturer. The Bushnell sight is a simple and powerful accessory for any shotgun or rifle.
detailed parameters
Type
Closed/Active
MOA & Dots
3 MOA Dot reticle
Controls
Click value 1/2 MOA
Mounting
Picatinny/Weaver
Durability
Waterproof, Fogproof, Shockproof
Special Features
Multi-coated optics, Amber-Bright high contrast lens coating, Realtree APG camo
Power
CR2032 battery, 2000-hour battery life
Weight
3.7 ounces
Warranty
Lifetime warranty
PROS

In spite of lightweight design, this red dot sight by Burris offers quality, convenience of use and practicality for a great number of users. 

CONS

In some situations, the highest level of brightness might be insufficient.

OUR VERDICT

This collimating optics will perfectly fit any gun keeping the field of view clear for a user. The light weight of the construction won't make it more weighty either, ensuring the comfort of use when you're aiming or shooting.

detailed parameters
Type

Open/Active

MOA & Dots

3 MOA Dot Reticle

Controls

Click value 1 MOA, Manual push button, Automatic brightness adjustment, 3 manual brightness settings

Mounting

Weaver

Durability

Water-resistant, Shockproof

Special Features

Low battery warning indicator, Top of sight battery access, Tool-less windage and elevation adjustment

Power

CR1632 battery, 5000 hours battery life

Weight

0.9 ounce

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

PROS
This compact sight can save you the rail space on your weapon. It is ideal for mounting on handguns or rifles.
CONS
The sight seems to consume some excessive power.
OUR VERDICT
If you want to improve your shooting sharpness and save money at the same time, the Dagger Defense sight is the right one for you.
detailed parameters
Type
Holographic/Active
MOA & Dots
4 MOA, Red and Green Dot Sight
Controls
Click value 10 MOA, Equipped with four reticles
Mounting
Picatinny
Durability
Rugged and durable aircraft alunimum
Special Features
Ergonomic space-saving design
Power
CR2032 battery, 7-hour battery life
Weight
10 ounces
Warranty
Limited 1-year money back guarantee

What Is It

Every shooter would like to improve the accuracy and grouping of shooting and acquire targets faster. The red dot sights were designed specifically to address these purposes. Everyone can shoot with the perfect accuracy and acquire targets as fast as possible with a red dot sight. It is true regardless of professional skills and marksman’s experience. You can judge for yourself: the speed of target acquisition with the red-dot sight increases almost thrice compared to the traditional open mechanic sights and by up to 8 times in comparison to the optical accessories. A red dot sight helps shoot by 80% more accurately! The shooter has the only task to control the trigger.

Any hunter or range shooter may also benefit from the purchase of another optical accessory like a spotting scope. You can find some latest market proposals in our recent review.

What To Look For

Type and MOA

When choosing a red dot sight, you should, first of all, learn the differences between three types of these devices. Each of them has its own advantages and limitations. The first type is an open sight. It has a relatively small body and can perfectly fit any handgun both regular and air-powered. Also, it can be mounted on shotguns and rifles. The second type is a closed sight. The closed red dot sights are durable low-power scopes highly shockproof and resistant to temperature changes. The third type is a holographic sight. It is a kind of the open sight featuring a laser transmission hologram of a reticle image as the part of an optical viewing window. The sight uses a holography grating that disperses the laser light. The main advantage of this construction is the absence of image distortion. The red dot sights are also divided into active and passive by their operating mode. The active sights are battery-powered devices that can be used any time of the day. The passive sights have no batteries and can be used only in the day time. The most important feature of a sight is its MOA that means the Minutes of Arc. The minute of arc is a unit of the angular measurement equal to 1/60 of one degree. It is a relationship between the shooting range and the size of a target. The sights relieve the shooters from the need to compute this relationship. The most common sights have the reticles with dots of 1, 2, 3, 7 and 10 MOA. The larger the target is, the bigger the dot size is. 

Adjustment and Mounting Options

Another important issue is the compatibility of red dot sights with various rails of weapons. The majority of sights have the bases compatible only with specific rail types. The red dot sight with a Weaver base can also be mounted on the Picatinny rail, though a Picatinny base is not always compatible with the Weaver rails. It is necessary to take into the account the adjustment options of the sight depending on its potential use. There are two main adjustments. They include a zero point setting and a brightness level. The brightness should be adjusted depending on the ambient light. The bright sun requires setting the brightness to the maximum level, and in the dim conditions, the brightness should be turned to the minimum in order to avoid the spoiling of the aiming. Some sights allow you to change the dot color, too.

Usability and Reliability

It is also necessary to assess the time the sight can work on one battery charge. We have already mentioned that there are active and passive red dot sights. Evidently, the battery life is important for the active sights only. You should clarify, which battery is used in the sight and how long it can function off that battery. Note that many manufacturers also offer some extra features to add appeal to their red-dot sights. They can impact the reliability and durability of the devices. Some have durable waterproof bodies, while others feature the night vision or other options. So, if you want to obtain something really special, compare several sights and choose the best fit for you.

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Review of Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 Red/Green Dot Sight

Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 Red/Green Dot Sight

Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 Red/Green Dot Sight

Reliable Upgrade for a Rifle

With the length of only 5.6 inches and the weight making 7.2 ounces, the StrikeFire 2 red dot sight is a superior option for the improvement of target acquisition speed and aiming accuracy. Let’s see what exactly makes it so good. We would like to start with its design and leave the optics aside for a while. This red dot sight is of the closed-type devices, i.e. the lenses and other components are safely hidden in a solid tube. The body is shockproof and waterproof, besides it is sealed and filled with the dry nitrogen to avoid fogging of the lenses in case of temperature fluctuations. The sight is reliable in use under any weather conditions and in any humidity. We must also mention the StrikeFire sight’s superb resistance to temperature changes allowing you to use it any time of the year. This Vortex product reliably performs in the range from -22 degrees to +140 degrees Fahrenheit. The Cantilever ring mount allows installing the sight on almost every gun, though it is particularly designed to fit AR-platform rifles.

Review of Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 Red/Green Dot Sight

Bright Features

The StrikeFire 2 sight of Vortex will surely make you excited by its reliability and optics. It is one of the best products of its type available on the market. The sight features the multi-layer antireflection lenses that let through the maximum amount of ambient light, making the target clearly visible and distinguishable. The scope has 30 mm diameter and 1x magnifier with an amazing lens aperture. It allows you to shoot day and night. The 10-level brightness adjustment includes 2 lower brightness levels compatible with the night vision. Moreover, you can switch from the red dot to the green dot and back again if the color melts into the background. Another advantage of the StrikeFire 2 is its stability. You do not need to adjust settings even after shooting 100 rounds. It will keep the aim fixed. The sight is ultimately autonomous in operation, its auto-shutdown feature allows using it with one CR2 battery for 300 hours with the maximum brightness and up to 6,000 hours with the minimum brightness.

Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 Red/Green Dot Sight in the use

Interesting Fact

The shooting team of the Lord of War movie starring Nickolas Cage had to purchase 3,000 Czech assault rifles CZ SA Vz.58 to feature fake Kalashnikovs because it was cheaper to buy real weapons than to order fake guns.

More Products to Consider

A useful accessory, which will be enjoyed by any owner of a gun is Voodoo Tactical Men's Padded Weapons Case.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Vortex StrikeFire Gen 2 Red/Green Dot Sight with VMX-3T Magnifier Review
Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 Red/Green Dot Sight
Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 Red/Green Dot Sight
 
Review of Primary Arms Advanced Micro Red Dot Sight

Primary Arms Advanced Micro Red Dot Sight

Primary Arms Advanced Micro Red Dot Sight

Get This For Your Gun

It doesn’t matter whether weapon is only your hobby or you take it pretty seriously, you won’t do without collimating optics that allows for much more precise aiming and consequently shooting. The red dot sight by Primary Arms can be a good deal. At a price a little bit higher than hundred bucks it can be applicable in many different venues and for many different purposes, including taking photography from a distance. What we like more, however, is that regardless its low price, the device boasts pretty high quality. Being enclosed in a waterproof heavy-duty casing and with the caps on lens, it’s not as much prone to damage and can serve you for years. The device works off a single CR2032 battery and can operate for around up to 50 000 hours in save mode. Impressive, isn’t it?

Review of Primary Arms Advanced Micro Red Dot Sight

Great functionality under different conditions

The functionality of red dot sight is yet a much more important aspect to consider since this is what we actually buy it for. Not only should it have a quality build, it’s also expected to serve its main purpose which is to help us aim at different objects with higher precision and accuracy. In this sense, the Primary Arms Advanced red dot sight isn’t a bad option too, for it allows almost total customization to a user’s needs under different lighting conditions owing to 12 light modes. With it, you can regulate light intensity depending on how bright the light you need. This is especially handy when for example aiming at moving objects in the dark time. The option to pair it with a night vision device is also a pleasant bonus.

Primary Arms Advanced Micro Red Dot Sight in the use

A necessary part of your fit-out

For consumers buying a red dot sight for hunting purposes, we’d also recommend equipping with a rangefinder, a great device used to determine and calculate the precise distance to the target.

Additional Info

User Manual


Primary Arms Advanced Micro Red Dot Sight
Primary Arms Advanced Micro Red Dot Sight
 
Review of Bushnell Trophy TRS-25  Red Dot Sight

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

Simple and Durable

The great Einstein has rightfully said once: “Everything should be made as simple as possible!”. This may be applied to the Bushnell TR-25 red dot sight. The main reason to buy this device is its design and top quality guaranteed by the world’s leading brand. You can see it yourself, in more than 70 years of the Bushnell’s history, the company has become the global leader in manufacturing optics and other accessories for active sports and hunting. The Trophy TRS-25 sight is one of their masterpieces which combines the best time-proven achievements. Let us take a closer look at this red dot. It is only 2.4 inches long and has the weight of 3.7 ounces, though it delivers the full-size performance. You will always see the target clearly and sharply. The 25 mm lens with 1x magnification features the AmberBright optics that focuses your view to 22 mm exit pupil and provides the maximum accurate picture of the target. It should be mentioned that the optics is multicoated allowing you to acquire the target in low-light conditions. The fragile interior is securely protected by the shockproof casing. You should take into the account that this red dot is an active sight, though it consumes relatively low power. To make it really weatherproof and durable, the Bushnell designers made it 100% sealed and filled it with the dry nitrogen to prevent fogging. One more proof of Bushnell’s readiness to accept the full responsibility for the quality of its products is the peerless No Questions Asked Lifetime Warranty, provided for this red dot sight.

Review of Bushnell Trophy TRS-25  Red Dot Sight

Interesting Facts

Actually, the red dot sights were invented by Aimpoint from Sweden. The first red dot sight Aimpoint Electronic became known as the smallest and quickest aiming system available in 1975. The famous red dot became a recognized term for the collimator sights popular among the military and hunters. The holographic sights were introduced later by EOTech as a new innovative type of the red dot sights. Initially, these sights were accepted by the US special troops like Delta and SOCOM, and as soon as the tests ended with the success, even by the FBI .

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25  Red Dot Sight in the use

More Products to Consider

Everyone who's keen on target shooting, especially at large distances, will give justice to using Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder, Realtree Xtra Camo, that allows making not only quick but incredibly accurate shots. 

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Bushnell TRS-25 Review
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25  Red Dot Sight
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight
 
Review of Burris 300235  Fastfire Red Dot Sight

Burris 300235 Fastfire Red Dot Sight

Burris 300235 Fastfire Red Dot Sight

Small Size As a Practical Feature

The beauty about the Burris 300235 collimating optics is its small, miniature size that allows its mounting on any weapon with the Weaver Qwik-Point and doesn’t block the field of view for a user. You wouldn’t use it for long-distance aiming, yet, it would suit great for most other tasks when you need to keep focused on some objects in front of you. The device is made of lightweight material sealed from all sides to not let the moisture in and backed up with Burris Forever Warranty that proves to show the quality build of the device.

Review of Burris 300235  Fastfire Red Dot Sight

No Worries About The Settings

What we liked about the Burris 300235 is that it doesn’t require manual configuration and can automatically optimize the settings on finding the target, giving you more time to focus instead of playing with the menu. Yet, if you needed, you could obviously select the brightness yourself choosing from 3 available modes. The dot size of the optics makes it an appropriate tool for aiming and shooting at short to moderate distances. The Burris 300235 comes with a battery in the set so you wouldn’t need to shop for anything else on the delivery. Unless it was only the red dot optics you’d been looking for, you could take with you and use on the word go.  

Burris 300235  Fastfire Red Dot Sight in the use

One More Optic You Could Have

Before you do go out to try your new equipment, we’d like to emphasize on such a nice additional accessory as binoculars with which you could not only track your target but also see how successful or not the shot has been.

Detailed review of Burris 300235  Fastfire Red Dot Sight

Additional Info

User Manual


Burris 300235  Fastfire Red Dot Sight
Burris 300235 Fastfire Red Dot Sight
 
Review of Dagger Defense DDHB  Red Dot Reflex sight

Dagger Defense DDHB Red Dot Reflex sight

Dagger Defense DDHB Red Dot Reflex sight

Affordable Sight for a Short Range

Probably, you would like to improve the quality of your shooting and the target acquisition speed in particular. But if you want to save some costs, the Dagger Defense DDHB sight is the best choice for you. Besides its affordability, it has some advantages that you will definitely like. Its body is made of the aircraft-grade aluminum making it extra durable and lightweight. This red dot sight features a wide vision range (16 x 100 yards) that is very useful for tracking a moving target. The sight allows you to adjust the windage and elevation. The shooter can choose among the red and green dot options; both dot colors have two reticles with four different designs. Note that you can switch from the dot to the crosshair if you want. The sight has the base compatible with the Picatinny rails and its ergonomic body is so small that you can easily mount an additional magnifying optic. It is designed as an open holographic device. The sharp dot of the holographic sight made by the reflected laser beam is clearly visible under any conditions of the ambient light right in the center of the reticle and it moves with the motion of your eye. Yet it does not overlap with the target and distract the shooter. The beam is visible only to a shooter and can not be detected even by night visors.

Review of Dagger Defense DDHB  Red Dot Reflex sight

Interesting Facts

The Israeli Cornershot Co has designed a new gun allowing you to aim from the corner. The weapon consists of two parts, one of which is an automatic handgun with a mounted color video camera moving on hinges horizontally, and the second part is the butt with the trigger and the screen. According to the Maariv newspaper, now this machinegun is passing tests but it is already demanded by special force troops all over the world. It allows shooting from a shelter being out of the range of back shots.

Dagger Defense DDHB  Red Dot Reflex sight in the use

More Products to Consider

To carry your gun and transport it comfortably, you will need to get a separate case for it. 

Detailed review of Dagger Defense DDHB  Red Dot Reflex sight

Additional Info

User Manual


VIDEO
Dagger Defense DDHB Red Dot Reflex Sight
Dagger Defense DDHB  Red Dot Reflex sight
Dagger Defense DDHB Red Dot Reflex sight
 

SOURCES:

1. Mark Griffin Why Use Red Dot Sights Over Traditional Open Sights? Articlesbase. April 14, 2104.

2. Nick Leghorn Ask Foghorn: Why Red Dots and Red Lasers and Not Green? TTAG. March 7, 2012.

3. Fredd Bergman How to Use Red Dot Sight, eHow.

4. Red dot sights vs. laser grips for target shooting, Smith-Wesson Forum.

5. Steven L How to Choose a Red Dot Sight, OpticsPlanet. July 13, 2016.

6. Tom McHale Best AR 15 Scopes – How & What To Choose, AmmoLand. August 15, 2015.

7. HOW TO CHOOSE AN OPTIC - RED DOT SIGHT OR MAGNIFIER, Airsoft Megastore.

8. Max Prasac Handgun Hunting: Choosing Scopes and Sights, GunDigest. August 17, 2012.