Shooters always look forward to upgrading their rifle. They constantly seek changes that lead to tighter shot groupings, better accuracy, and quicker target acquisition. A red dot sight allows the shooter to look through an optical window for an image of the reticle superimposed over your view of the field. This equipment is mounted on a gun rail and provides a non-magnifying illuminated sight.
Red dot sights have become nearly a standard inclusion to any rifle system due to the clear advantages they provide. They have also become ubiquitous in the issued weapons for law enforcement and the military. Civilian use of the red dot sights have also increased.
How to Find the Best Red Dot Sights
There are a handful of key factors to consider when comparing dot sights. While most red dot sights offer the same basic functionality, the best model should have the right combination of features that will meet your specific shooting requirements.
Red dot sights come in two classifications: reflex and holographic. The objective lens in a reflex sight serves as a partial mirror that reflects light from the LED sources into the shooter’s eye. However, it only reflects at the LED’s wavelength and allows all other wavelengths to pass through.
Meanwhile, a holographic sight is illuminated from the lens and produces laser diode light through the viewing window to light up a holographic reticle. Such sights are produced by only a couple of manufacturers, and are often used by the law enforcement and the military.
The reticle is an aim point that is projected into the objective lens to line up the gun with the target. All red dot sights are illuminated, which is why they are perfect for low light conditions. However, their size and shape can vary.
Reticles are measured in minutes-of-angle, or MOA. The classic reticle has a single red dot that spans 3 to 5 MOA in the center of the field of view. Reticles, however, are not always red or even in dots. Some can be in a ring pattern, and their color can be green. Each retical shape offers an advantage for different shooting situations.
The two common housing configurations are open and tubed. Open sights, which may also be called “mini red dots,” operate by removing all the elements except the illumination source and objective window. Such design offers a smaller profile than tubed sights, but does not handle filters or any other accessories.
Tubed sights have a similar appearance with the typical scopes. They have a cylindrical casing that holds all the components in. Such style allows the shooter to add interchangeable filters. Tubed sights also provides good sunshade, allowing the reticle to be visible in bright light conditions. In addition, protective covers can be used in this housing configuration.
Battery life is crucial in any red dot sight. Without power to generate the light, there will also be no reticle. This means you should resort to using iron sights.
It should be noted, however, that LEDs being used to illuminate the reticle consumes very minimal amount of power. Sights typically last for around 1,000 hours before you will need to swap the battery. There is also a slight difference between the consumption rates between reflex and holographic sights, with the latter requiring more power.
Best Red Dot Sights on The Market
If you are still wondering which red dot sight to mount on your rifle, check out some of the best red dot sights available in the market.
This sight was designed based on Mil-Spec standards. It is used in daily combat actions across the globe. The United States military continues to invest in such sights as their features have been proven reliable. The EOTech XPS2 holographic sight uses an internal laser diode to illuminate the reticle with 1 MOA centered in a 65 MOA ring within the viewing window. In addition, its optical design provides shooters eye relief and allows them to keep both eyes open when shooting.
This EOTech sight is also waterproof, fog proof, and durable.
The TRS25 has received positive online reviews for its performance, quality materials, and reliability. This sight can be mounted to any Picitinny or Weaver rail. It also has a 3 MOA red dot point, and a 25mm objective lens to allow for low profile sighting.
In addition, the Bushnell TRS25 features Amber-Bright lens coating for a high-contrast viewing that discriminates the target from the background. This sight is lightweight and compact, weighing 3.7oz and measuring 2.4 inches.
Truglo Red Dot
This red dot sight was made to be shock-resistant, fog- and water-proof. It can hold its zero through each round at the range. U.S. manufacturer TruGlo designed this model with an integrated Weaver mount, so it will be compatible with most rifles. In addition, shooters will experience a wider FOV due to this model’s 30mm front objective diameter. It is powered by a 3V lithium battery, meaning it can keep running for up to 6,000 hours.
The TruGlo Red Dot features a 4-inch tube length, and weighs 4.5 ounces. With a 5 MOA reticle, shooters will enjoy taking close range shots from 25 to 50 yards and get decent groupings at about 100 yards.
Leapers Golden Image
The Leapers Golden Image reflex sight has a tube length of 4.7 inches and only weighs 7.4 ounces. Featuring a 30mm objective lens, this sight is perfect for any AR style rifle or those used in close-mid range combat. Its 4 MOA reticle can be adjusted from red to green using the sight’s top control knob.
Shooters can use its flip-open covers to protect the optics when not in use. The Leapers Golden Image sight can last up to 6,000 hours due to its 3V battery. Its manufacturer offers a two-year warranty for this sight.
Burris FastFire II
The FastFire II red dot reflex sight can improve your shooting accuracy and speed. Featuring simplified aiming, this sight eliminates the need to align the front and rear sights, and target. The FastFire II is also durable with its waterproof steel body.
The sight’s lens is multi-coated and allows for easy viewing. This model, however, does not have turrets. It only has two small adjustment screws for you to move the windage and the impact point. The FastFire II offers a 4 MOA reticle dot and weighs only 1.6 ounces.
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