Best Red Dot Sight: Zero in on Your Target
Without proper aim, your firearm becomes almost useless. A red dot sight is an affordable, practical and convenient way of helping you aim better and of becoming a better shooter. But there are literally thousands of different choices on the market, making finding the best red dot sight an incredible challenge.
So we set out to make it easier for you. By sorting through the countless options on the market, we have been able to determine the best red dot sight. We’ve read hundreds of reviews, compared countless specifications and even tested out a few on our own. This detailed review process has led us to the Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight.
It is built to last and to resist the elements, it features a 6.5 MOA reticle to help you gauge distances, it has a crystal clear field of view, it’s suitable for use at night and it is compatible with a wide range of firearms. This sight offers everything you would expect from the best red dot sight on the market.
To take advantage of all this scope has to offer and to become a better shooter, get the Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight now.
- Why You Should Trust Us
- Why Choose a Red Dot Sight
- How We Conducted Our Review: Finding the Best Red Dot Sight
- Testing Results
- Best Red Dot Sight
Why You Should Trust Us
One of the things I love most about hunting and shooting is the joy that comes from a well-placed shot. A lot has to happen before you hit the target. You need to account for distance and movement, you need to control your breathing, you need to steady the gun and, of course, you need to pull the trigger.
I, and the rest of us at Cicero Magazine, started reviewing and recommending products because we wanted others to experience small (or large) joys like this. We want you to share in the pleasure we get from these sports. This is why we dedicate so much time and energy to finding the best products. And because of how much we love this stuff, you can be sure that we are only recommending that which we would use ourselves.
But you don’t need to rely on just this. We have also created a detailed testing methodology we use for all of our reviews. It is designed to help us narrow the large list of available options down to only the best.
We read hundreds of reviews, compare even more specifications and test out those that make the final cut. This process of elimination allows us to systematically narrow down the available options, and it leads us straight to the best, which we then recommend to you.
Why Choose a Red Dot Sight
Red dot sights aren’t the only available aid on the market. There are other scopes you could buy. So you might be wondering why you should buy a red dot sight. Well, there are a few different reasons for this, such as:
- Red dot sights offer a wider field of view. Because red dot sights are not magnified, they do not alter your field of vision. This allows you to scan the area as you normally would, but then you can use the red dot to zero in on a specific target.
- Red dot sights can be used in low light. Unlike other sights, the illumination provided by red dot sights can be used when the light outside isn’t very strong. Our choice for the best red dot sight comes with night vision capabilities, so it can be used at any time. But this is something you will not find on other scopes.
- Red dot sights have less of a tube effect. With magnified scopes, you can get what is called a parallax, or tube, effect. This occurs when the light that enters the scope diverts before it reaches your eye. The more expensive scopes will counteract this, but because of the way they are built, this is not generally an issue with red dot sights.
- Red dot sights tend to be cheaper. While this isn’t always true, because these products don’t use expensive lenses, they tend to cost a bit less than other scopes. The best red dot sight will cost less than the best magnified scope simply because of the technology each one uses. This doesn’t mean they are cheap, though. The saying, “you get what you pay for” still applies.
How We Conducted Our Review: Finding the Best Red Dot Sight
The first step in all of our reviews is to take a look at what others are saying. If we see products getting consistently bad reviews, we do some investigating on our own. And we often end up eliminating these products.
Then, we come up with a list of criteria we would like to see in the best red dot sight. Using this, we went through and eliminated some of the top options on the market. This brought our list down to a manageable ten, which we tested ourselves. This led us straight to our recommendation for the best red dot sight.
Here are the criteria we used to conduct our review:
One of the first things you need to look for is how the sight is built. For this, you really have two options: tube vs. open.
Tube sights are good because they protect the sight from light. They also allow you to apply filters so that you can enhance the viewing image. However, if you’re not careful, they can create the tube effect we talked about earlier. This can greatly distort the image and affect your aim at the target.
Open sights don’t offer the same protection, but they give you a much wider viewing angle. You also can’t apply filters, but if you find the right scope, you don’t need to worry about this as much.
If you take the time to find the best red dot sight, you will likely find that open sights are a bit better, as you can find ones that compensate for what the tube would provide. However, there is a degree of personal preference involved, so that may be what sways you one way or another.
A key component of your red dot sight is its dot pattern or reticle. This is the design of the dot, and it is what you will use to size up your target. Different reticles do different things. Some are just a simple red dot, while others feature crosshairs. The question you need to ask yourself is how much help you need with distance calculation, as some reticles, such as the BDC reticles, do a much better job of this.
A somewhat complicated geometrical concept, minute of angle (MOA) is a way of understanding how to compensate for elevation and windage. It makes it easier for you to aim at far away targets, as it shows you how high above the target you need to aim to still hit it.
In terms of scopes, the higher the MOA rating, the more MOA groups you can aim at with your scope. Most sights have around 4 MOA, with each click of the scope equaling ¼ or ½ MOA, although 1/8 MOA is becoming more popular.
In general, if you are someone who plans to aim at distant targets, having a scope with greater MOA capability is more desirable.
Electronic or standard
This is a question that used to be a bigger deal. Some scopes are electronic, meaning they use a battery to generate the light and the red dot. The downside to this is that, of course, the battery could die, leaving you without a working scope at a time when you may need it most.
However, the chances of this happening are pretty slim. Scopes these days are so efficient many of them can last for some 50,000 hours before dying. Chances are you will never even see the day when you need to replace the batteries. And if you do, it’s a minor inconvenience.
Size and weight
The real thing to remember here is that your scope is supposed to be a useful addition to your gun. If you use something that is bulky and heavy, you are limiting the functionality of your firearm. Of course, you want something that will stand up to wear and tear and that doesn’t look or feel cheap, but lightweight options are always preferred.
Lastly, a good thing to look for is compatibility. While you may only have one or a few guns now, you may purchase different ones in the future. To get the most for your money, it is a good idea to have a scope that can be used on several different firearms. Luckily things like the Weaver system and the Picatinny rail, along with Allen screws, help make scopes compattible with multiple guns. Not having this type of compatibility is a real deal breaker.
To begin our review, we started looking at some existing reviews of the available options. Those that had less than a 3.5-star rating on Amazon for legitimate reasons were thrown out right away.
Then, we started to go through the remaining choices, applying our criteria to help us narrow down the list even further.
This brought our choices down to ten, and we tested these options ourselves to trim the list even further and to lead us to the best red dot sight.
Here are the results of our initial elimination rounds:
Elimination Round 1—Poor Build Quality
The first thing we did to try and get our list down was throw out sights that aren’t built well. These things are going to be out in the elements with you, and they will be subjected to recoil and vibration. We want to see sights made of durable stainless steels or aluminums.
Composite plastics screwed together traditionally do not perform well in these environments. To prevent you from having to buy a new sight a year down the road because it’s broken, we eliminated these options right away. Examples of those tossed from the running because of this are the Electro DOT Sight and the AT3 Tactical RD-50 Red Dot Sight.
Elimination Round 2—Poor Reticle/ MOA
To further reduce the size of our list, we eliminated some sights because of their poor reticle or because their MOA rating wasn’t sufficient. Since these scopes do not feature any magnification, reticle quality and MOA adjustments are your only hope for an accurate shot. Anything that is less than adequate in this area simply isn’t good enough to be considered the best red dot sight.
Some of those we threw out because of the reticle were the Terminus Optics Toc1 and the Holosun Micro Red Dot Sight.
Elimination Round 3—Compatibility
Lastly, we removed some choices from the running because they weren’t sufficiently compatible with enough firearms. You may be able to mount them onto different weapons, but they way in which they are built makes them suitable for only certain platforms, such as AR.
Two of the top options we threw out because they weren’t versatile enough were the Vortex Optics SPR-1303 and the Bushnell AR Optics TRS-25.
Best Red Dot Sight
After this process of elimination, we narrowed our list down to ten different scopes. We then tested these out ourselves, and this allowed us to clearly determine which one deserves the title of best red dot sight.
Here are the results:
96/100—Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight—Best Red Dot Sight
The Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight is really top notch. It features a crystal clear LED red dot, 6.5 MOA, 8 adjustable settings, including two for night vision, and an aircraft-grade aluminum build. This combines to make it far and away the best red dot sight on the market.
Here is some more information about what makes this sight the best:
The best thing about this scope is how versatile it is. First, it features a 6.5 MOA red dot, allowing you to have remarkable accuracy when going after targets more than 600 yards away. Also, it has eight different brightness settings, including two for night vision and one super bright mode. This helps to overcome some of the lighting effects that might come from an open housing.
It is also compatible with a large number of firearms. It is small and compact, so you can easily attach it to a handgun or glock, but it can also be attached to rifles and shotguns and will still provide the same level of accuracy.
Another thing to love about this sight is its build quality. It is forged from aircraft-grade aluminum, making it capable of standing up to even the harshest elements, as well as vibration and recoil. Since it is all forged into one piece, you don’t need to worry about slipping screws or other damage.
This sight is electronic, but the battery is made to last for over four years of continuous use. You should not run into any issues with the battery on this scope.
Lastly, at eight ounces, this thing is plenty lightweight. It is strong and durable, but you don’t need to worry about it weighing down your firearm.
Probably the biggest downside to this sight is its price tag. Most places have it listed for between $400-500. While this might seem like a lot, you need to consider what you are paying for. With this sight you will be getting top of the line accuracy and durability—it’s quite likely you’ll never really need to buy another one in your life.
The adjustments on this sight are made in one MOA. A lot of other sights do less than this, but they usually feature less MOA in total. But you can easily make these adjustments yourself. And this extra effort is well-worth the expanded capability of this sight’s 6.5 MOA red dot.
If you are looking for the best red dot sight you can get for your money so that you can become a more accurate shooter and a better hunter, get the Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight now.
84/100—Vortex Optics SF-RG-501 StrikeFire II Red/Green Dot Scope (Best Budget Red Dot Sight)
Our choice for the best red dot sight might be a bit expensive for some people. If this is the case, there are still plenty of solid options out there that won’t breaking the bank. The Vortex Optics SF-RG-501 StrikeFire II Red/Green Dot Scope is decently versatile, durable, accurate and affordable.
Here is some more information about why we like this sight so much:
For being a budget option, this scope is surprisingly versatile. It features ten different brightness settings, including one for night vision. It’s also mountable on virtually any firearm.
It features a 4 MOA red dot sight, which will help you size up targets around 400 yards away.
This sight is also built to withstand dust and water, helping make it more durable against the elements and longer-lasting. Nitrogen purging helps keep the lens from fogging.
Despite a tube housing, it has been designed nicely to eliminate the parallax effect. You should have no problem shooting with both eyes open.
And lastly, it costs less than $150. The quality it provides for this price tag is rather surprising and helps this sight stand out against the competition.
One downside to this sight is the actual red dot. As you click it up, it becomes less and less clear. On some rare occasions, it might even show up almost as two dots. You can work around this, and it isn’t a huge pain, but it is definitely an issue you won’t see in higher-end sights.
Additionally, the material on this sight is a bit suspect. It feels strong and sturdy. But it’s tough to expect the three screws on the top withstanding repeated vibration and recoil for long periods of time. You shouldn’t expect this thing to break immediatley, but it isn’t going to last you the rest of your life.
If you are looking for a great scope that will help make you a more accurate shooter but that will allow you to save a little money, get the Vortex Optics SF-RG-501 StrikeFire II Red/Green Dot Scope now.
As you can see, finding the best red dot sight is not a simple task. But once you do, this addition to your firearm stands to help you dramatically improve your skills as a shooter. This is why we spent so much time with this review. We want you to have the best so that you can be the best.
Our rigorous review process has led us to the Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight. It is durable, versatile, adjustable and effective, allowing it to stand out against the competition..
To buy the best red dot sight on today’s market, get the Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight now.