Red dot sights are essentially mini reflex sights that greatly improve your targeting accuracy. That is to say, they are gun sights for pistols, which with some practice, will transform you from being a mediocre shooter to being an expert.
There are, however, a wide variety of red dot sights in the market that you can choose from. And without the necessary knowledge and information, there is a high chance that you will choose a dot sight which you won’t enjoy.
This article will help eliminate that uncertainty. On the one hand, you will have a review of 10 different high-quality red dot sights for accuracy improvement, and on the other is a comprehensive guide you can use to learn about everything you need to know about before buying a red dot sight.
You should understand that purchasing a red dot pistol sight doesn’t automatically make you adept at aiming. It will require some work on your part and some time in order to master how to utilize the tool effectively. That being said, here are the best ten good reflex sights for old eyes you will find around today.
Whether you are looking for something for pistols – you could be looking for something for Glocks (such as Glock 17, 19, 20, 22, 26, and so on) for Ruger firearms (such as Ruger Mark III, Ruger Mark IV, and/or Ruger 22/45), for your rimfire pistol, or any other type of pistol – for revolvers, or for whichever type of handgun you have, you will find something for yourself here.
10 Best Pistol Red Dot Sights Comparison Table
|Red Dot Sights
|Ade Advanced Optics RD3-009-2
|Up to 30,000 hours
|Check On Amazon
|Vortex Optics Venom
|Between 150 and 30,000 hours
|Check On Amazon
|Leupold DeltaPoint Pro
|Check On Amazon
|Burris Fastfire III
|Up to 10,000
|Check On Amazon
|Sig Sauer ROMEO5
|50,000 or more
|Check On Amazon
|Vortex Optics Viper
|150 to 30,000 hours
|Check On Amazon
|Dagger Defense DDHB
|Up to 50,000 hours
|Check On Amazon
|Over 30,000 hours
|Check On Amazon
|Trijicon RMR 3.25 MOA
|Over 30,000 hours
|Check On Amazon
|SVBONY Red and Green
|Up to 50,000 hours
|Check On Amazon
Best Pistol Red Dot Sights Reviews
The Advanced Optics RD3-009-2 is a red dot sight that provides your gun with an excellent reflect sight and still helps you save cost as it is quite affordable. The model features an aluminum casing that provides the lens with protection.
The casing is lightweight, weighing only about 2oz so as not to alter the balance of the pistol. It includes a 3MOA sight and offers five different illumination settings for you to choose from.
It can be adjusted to account for elevation and windage. It has a strong battery that can last up to a year, depending on the frequency with which you use it.
The Ade Advanced Optics is waterproof and also resistant to shock and fog. It is also durable enough to withstand recoil and hold zero. The lenses of this red dot sight are precision ground, and it has been engineered to eliminate parallax and produce a clear, sight picture.
The Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight is a 3MOAs dot sight that strives to enhance the speed and accuracy with which you hit your target, regardless of the background or lighting condition. It is made of a machined aluminum shell that is not only sturdy but also durable with the ability to withstand the occasional bumps and drops.
This model of red dot sight also features 10 brightness levels as well as an automatic mode that allows you to select the best brightness level considering the amount of lighting present in the environment in which you find yourself.
It makes use of a high-quality, multi-coated lens that produces a clean and crisp field of view. It also features a top-load system that renders it easy to change the battery, thereby eliminating the need to remove the sight when the battery requires replacement.
The controls of the power and dot intensity are positioned in a location that is easy and convenient for you to reach on the left side of the unit.
The Venom red dot sight features a Flush 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustments that make it easy to aim at a target, even in a breeze. The length of time in which the battery can last depends on the brightness setting.
When the sight is set to the highest brightness level, it can last for 150 hours, however, when it is used at lower settings, it lasts for up to 30,000 hours.
The Leopold DeltaPoint Pro is a small, lightweight red dot sight that is suitable for handguns, at least a vast majority of them. It features a motion sensor technology that makes it easy for you to acquire your target as quickly as possible.
It is enclosed in a rugged aluminum housing and a steel sheath which ensures that it can be used in all kinds of weather conditions. Despite its small frame, the red dot sight is very sturdy. It is built in such a way that it can withstand several drops and bumps without suffering any scratch.
This device was designed with the aim of making it easy to use; this is why the battery compartment is easy to access and located at the top. It is also why it uses click adjustments in order to achieve more precision.
The lens of this model comes with a slight blue coating that ensures the red dot sight is visible at all times, even under bright light conditions.
The red dot sight features an incredibly wide field-of-view, as well as a crystal-clear glass that enhances the users’ aim and, as such, greatly improves his accuracy.
Additionally, it is easy to adjust the windage and elevation of the red dot sight, which makes it easier to sight your target even in windy conditions. Also, it has an incredible battery lifespan, and a rubberized cover that protects it from scratches while in storage.
The Burris Fastfire 3 is one of the most popular red dot sights on the market today. It features a 3MOA dot reticle that makes it easy to sight your target under both low-light and bright conditions.
It was also designed to be sturdy and durable. Despite the small design of this model, it comes with a display that is large enough to enable you to find your target with ease.
And it provides parallax-free, 1X magnification that permits you to engage in both-eyes-open shooting, a shooting style that improves your awareness of your surroundings.
The compact and lightweight design of this model makes sure the balance of the gun, as well as the handling of the handgun, is constant while shooting. It is constructed with metal, which is responsible for its strength and durability. Also, the lenses of the sight are precision-ground and polished in order to provide a clear sight picture.
The Burros Fastfire III has a waterproof roof that helps to keep the glass of your sight clean and clear. It has an automatic brightness setting, as well as a three manual setting that makes it easy for you to adjust to varying lighting conditions. Also, it has a picatinny mount.
The Sig Sauer ROMEO5 is a motion-activated red dot pistol reflex sight. The motion-activated illumination helps to increase the battery life of the red dot sight by shutting down the system when it does not sense any motion.
It also turns on the system when it detects the slightest motion or vibration, such that your red dot sight will be up and ready whenever you are ready for action. Additionally, the ROMEO5 can be mounted on any platform.
It features a highly efficient, ultra-wide broadband and anti-reflection lens coating that helps to reduce the reflection on the surface of the red dot sight. It also maintains an extremely low level of reflection across the entire visible spectrum, and as such, provides for superior light transmission.
It has an extremely low parallax that ensures that the point of aim is the point of impact and that the red dot remains parallel to the point where your firearm bows to, irrespective of the viewing angle.
The unlimited eye relief of the red dot sight allows you to find your target point regardless of the position of your eye behind the sight. It features a readily available CR2032 battery that is located on the side, which facilitates quick battery replacement.
The battery life of the Sig Sauer ROMEO5 is about 50,000 hours or more. Finally, the reticle size is 2 MOA, and there are up to 10 alternative brightness settings that enhance visibility in all lighting conditions.
The Vortex Viper Red Dot has a super low mounting height that makes it suitable for handguns that have cutout slides. This red dot sight provides its users with simplicity, as well as speed advantage, which is crucial for a red dot sight to perform optimally. It has a 6 MOA diameter, which makes it easy to acquire close targets.
It features a fully multi-coated, and ultra-clear lens that provides a wide and unobstructed field of view. The power and illumination control of this device is located on its left side, and as such, is very accessible and can be easily manipulated.
The sight uses a recessed 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustments that are always ready, super clean, and protected from incidental contact. It also uses a CR2032 battery, which will last up to 150 hours, at its highest brightness setting, and up to 30,000 hours when used at the lowest setting.
The red dot sight was constructed to be both water and shockproof, which ensures that it is ready for use in all conditions. It features O-ring seals that help prevent debris, dust and moisture from penetrating into the sight, thereby resulting in a reliable performance across all weather situations. It also has an Amortek coating keeps the lens protected from scratches, oil and dirt; this ensures its durability.
The Dagger Defense red dot reflex sight is constructed using aircraft-grade aluminum and has an interesting ergonomic design that helps to save space on your gun rail for other accessories. This sight also has a hex wrench for use in adjusting both the windage and the elevation.
The elevation is essentially based on the target movement, so adjusting the wrench up will move the target up, and not the reticle. The windage also works in a manner that is similar to the elevation; it deals with the target, rather than the reticle. It, however, moves the target right or left.
This sight features a rotary knob that serves three functions; the selection of the reticle color (red or green), the adjustment of the brightness setting, and the battery compartment for the CR2032 battery.
It also has a rear switch that allows the user to choose between different patterns of the reticle, which can then be manipulated using the circular dial that is on the side on the sight.
The Bushnell TRS-25 red dot sight is a small, yet compact red dot sight that is enclosed in a durable metal housing. This endows the device with the ability to withstand the occasional drops and bumps and yet, perform at a high level.
It is relatively easy to mount this device and, it will work with a majority of Picatinny rails. This red dot sight is not only suitable for pistols but also for shotguns, rifles, muzzleloaders, and many more.
It features an easy adjustment dial that can be used to adjust the brightness of the red dot sight, that is, it allows you to tune the brightness of the design to your liking depending on the situation in which you find yourself.
This red dot sight can be used in a wide variety of activities, which include practicing your shooting skills at the range, hunting animals in the woods and shooting competitively. And its features help ensure that you can carry out these activities optimally.
Bushnell TRS-25 is engineered with amber-bright optics, which helps the user to quickly distinguish between a brown critter and a brown tree during hunting.
This amber-bright optics is the reason why trophy riflescopes are regarded as the ideal scope for hunting in autumn deer woods. This sight also has multi-coated optics that make it easy for you to see your targets in bright light conditions.
#9 Trijicon RMR 3.25 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight
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The Trijicon RMR can be mounted with both variable and fixed magnification optics. This provides the user with a quick and lightweight reflex option for use in close range scenarios, as well as the option to switch to a magnified optic for the purpose of taking long-range shots.
The red dot sight is a perfect fit for handguns and can either be milled directly to a handgun slide, installed on a mounting plate, or installed through a rail option, an example of which is the ALG 6-second mount.
The Trijicon RMR comes with a 3 MOA LED as well as adjustable brightness. The lighting can be controlled manually through the use of eight different adjustable settings, or it can simply be set to automatic.
The eight adjustable settings include 2 NV (night view) and a super bright setting. The adjustment buttons that control the brightness level are easily accessible and can be easily manipulated.
The red dot sight is enclosed in a unique patented housing shape that is made from 7075-T6 aircraft aluminum-alloy, which diverts the force of any impact coming to the lens. It also enhances the durability of the red dot sight.
The sight has a multi-coated lens that creates a wide-band light transmission, which causes a minimal change in the color of the target area. It has easily adjustable windage and elevation of 1 MOA per click.
The SVBONY Red and Green Dot sight feature a camera mount, as well as a specially customized interface that facilitates connection to an SLR camera.
It also features five-level brightness settings that provide different sight view experiences, as well as a wide range of brightness for different lighting situations. There is a built-in Picatinny mount for standard 20mm mount bases that make sight remounting easy.
It involves a tubeless design with a reflex lens aperture of 33mm, which provides a wide range of view, as well as several ranges of eye relief for facilitating rapid shooting.
It also has four different reticles that can be used for different targets and different occasions, such as during a sunny, soft air, or cloudy day, etc. It is made of solid aluminum alloy, which ensures it is durable and includes a cover that protects the lens.
It features elevation and windage adjustment, and this is achieved using an Allen wrench.
Best Pistol Red Dot Sights Buyer’s Guide
As you already know, sights are devices used to aim weapons (think of your Sig Romeo 1), surveying equipment, or illumination tools. They can be one of two things: markers that require alignment with the target, or optics that provide the person using it with a visually amplified image of said target. That being said, there are telescopic sights, iron sights, optics sights, laser sights, and so on.
While we have provided you with a list of the ten handgun sights for accuracy out there, from budget RMRs for budget handguns to more expensive red dot pistol optic sight (or RMR optics) for expensive RMR handguns – whether you need one for competition purposes or for self-defense purposes, we believe that an in-depth knowledge of how to identify and choose a red dot pistol handgun sight for yourself is essential in the event that something happens and you can’t find one of those we have provided.
The size of the red dot sight is a factor that you should consider before you buy one. Sights that have big sizes will interfere with holstering and might not fit with your gun rail. So, be sure to purchase a dot sight that fits your gun’s rail and is also compact.
When looking to buy a red dot sight, be sure to factor its make. All red dot sights are sturdy enough to withstand the recoil of a pistol, but not much more. If you will be using your gun in very rugged conditions and you expect it to drop quite often, you will do well to look for a sight made to withstand such rugged use.
The brightness of your reticle is important for basically two reasons which are; it influences how readily you will see the dot as well as how sharply and clearly the dot will appear. And you don’t need to be told that these two factors will then have a bearing on the accuracy of your shot.
When the dots are not bright enough, they tend to develop a softness around their edges, which renders it hard to make them out. And when they are too bright for the environment in which they are in, they will appear distorted, which will also result in poor targeting.
For this reason, it is important that you buy a dot sight whose reticle is of very high quality. Apart from buying a high-quality reticle, there are other avenues available by which you can also control the brightness of your reticle. These are;
#1 Automatic Brightness
Not all red dot sights have an automatic brightness feature. Those that do, however, come with a light sensor that detects how bright the ambient light is and can, based on that, adjust the reticle’s brightness accordingly to what it determines to be the best for proper targeting. Making use of the automatic brightness feature comes with both advantages and disadvantages.
Its advantage is that it makes aiming ridiculously easy, as you would not have to fiddle with the sight to adjust the brightness and can, therefore, focus all your attention on your target.
All you will be required to do is zero-in on your target, and you can rest assured that the reticle will be visible no matter its color. Apart from this, the automatic adjustment of the brightness will also help you conserve battery life and, thus, ensure its longevity.
The disadvantage to using the automatic brightness, however, is that you will not have a say on how bright the reticle is as the decision will be made for you. And if you are the type that prefers your reticle to be brighter or dimmer than normal, you might find using the automatic brightness feature a little problematic.
#2 Manual Brightness Adjustments
A lot of sights out there come equipped with a manual brightness adjustment. And while this might seem pesky, it is actually the option that most shooting experts prefer as it allows them to retain full control over the brightness settings. Different sights, however, come with different brightness intensities.
The least number of brightness intensities you should go if you are looking to buy a good sight is five (5). Some sights have more than 10 different brightness intensities, however, and this makes it even easier to find a brightness setting that you, the shooter, are comfortable with.
#3 Other Modes
Apart from the brightness mode, there are two other modes that, although uncommon, also come with gun sights. These are; night vision and extreme brightness.
The night vision mode is useful when shooting in extremely low-light, as well as no-light conditions, as they allow you to identify your target regardless.
The extreme brightness mode works in a manner that is opposite to that of the night vision mode. That is, it allows you to aim accurately even in extremely bright conditions, which you normally wouldn’t be able to do.
There are different shapes of reticles available for you to choose from. As such, it is essential that you consider which of them you are most comfortable with before purchasing a sight. If you are buying at a physical store, you might want to test a couple of the sights they have by looking through them before settling on the one that you feel the most comfortable with.
While this particular type of gun accessory is referred to as red dot sight, the truth is that it comes in two different colors. These two colors are green and red. The reticle color that you choose depends on your preference as well as on what you intend to use the gun for.
The green-colored reticle type of red dot sights (or green dot sight) is better for faster spotting of the dot as the human eye is more sensitive to the color green than it is to color red.
If you were making use of the pistol in an environment that contains a lot of the color green (such as an environment with plenty of foliage), you would be better off going with a sight whose reticle is colored red, as the contrast it will provide will help you identify your target faster. In every other scenario, however, you will be better off buying a sight that has a green colored reticle.
When we talk about reticles, we are referring to the aiming point of your red dot sight. That is to say, the crosshairs, which you use to aim at your intended target. It is made of thin lines which meet at the center of the red dot sight.
Different dot sights have different reticles that differ in a myriad number of ways. One of these ways is in their size.
Sometimes, you will come across red dot sight models that seem similar, only to find out that their reticles differ in size. When deciding on which dot sight to buy, it is essential that you base your choice on the size of the reticle size and whether or not it will serve your intended purposes. The unit of measurement of red dot reticle sizes is MOA, which stands for minutes of angle.
As such, a red dot with a small MOA dot size has a small reticle size, while one with a large MOA dot size has a big reticle size. Below are the different types of reticle sizes you will find and what each is best for.
#1 Small Reticle Size
Red dot sights that are considered small usually have an MOA of between 1 and 2. These small sizes allow a shooter to aim accurately over long distances and shoot accordingly.
Red dot sights with small reticle size are mostly for use on AR-15-sized pistols (they are often referred to as AR red dot sights), but then, variations exist that are suitable for use on a pistol.
When you use a small reticle sized red dot, you can rest assured that your aim will be sure even if the distance is long. However, you might find it hard to spot the red dot, especially when in an area where there is a lot of bright light.
#2 Medium Reticle Size
Medium-sized dots are dots that measure between 2 MOA and 4 MOA. These are easier to spot on a target, and they are suitable for aiming at targets that are either within close range or medium range.
This does not mean that medium-sized dots cannot be used to make long-range dots, no. Doing this will, however, require a large amount of skill, and it will definitely be more difficult than using a small-sized dot.
Asides being great for close to medium-range spots, medium-sized reticles are also recommended if you like fast target acquisitions.
#3 Large Reticle Sizes
If a reticle size measures more than 4 MOA, then it falls under the classification of a large-sized dot. Red dots with this kind of reticle size were designed and manufactured for the purpose of acquiring targets fast when shooting at targets that are within a close range. That is to say, when you aim at a target that is within a short distance to you with a large-sized dot, the red dot will instantly become visible.
This renders target acquisition very easy and greatly increases the chances of making accurate shots at close range. The problem with large sized reticles, however, is their size, which essentially occupies most of the space on the red dot sight’s display.
As such, shooting accurately at targets that are farther away, such as those that can be considered as being at a medium-and-long-range away, becomes very hard, if not impossible.
The reason for this is simple: the size of the dot results in most of the target (as well as its surroundings) being blocked. They are, however, perfect for making short-range shots, as already mentioned.
When buying a red dot sight for your angle, ensure you choose one that is lightweight. This is especially important if the pistol you will be using the dot sight with is compact. It is also essential if the pistol it will be used with is to be holstered.
The advice to use a lightweight red dot is not to discredit full-sized dots or to say that they won’t accomplish their purpose; it is simply that lightweight dots offer a bevy of benefits that full-sized dots don’t offer.
For instance, lightweight dots will not in any way influence or affect the balance of your handgun when in use, while full-sized dots are sure to affect the balance. And when your pistol isn’t balanced, you can be sure that your accuracy will be affected, and you will not be able to shoot as effectively as you could.
Yet another factor that deserves careful consideration when it comes to choosing which red dot sight to buy is the battery life of said dot. Over the past couple of years, advances in technology have led to great improvement over how long batteries last such that you can now expect some high-end products to run on the same battery for years as opposed to a couple of hours.
And while a red dot sight is not exactly the kind of product which you will expect to, or will be willing to pay for a battery that can last years for, it is necessary that it comes endowed with a battery that will last a good while.
You will find that most of the red dot sights around use the CR2032 battery type, as it seems to be the best battery type around for this purpose. The lifespan of this battery, however, varies as a result of a number of different factors. The following are ways by which you can ensure that your battery lasts as long as possible:
#1 Choosing The Automatic Brightness Setting
When you choose this setting, the brightness of your sight will automatically adjust in response to the ambient light at the location where you are situated. Choosing this option will help you conserve the dot’s battery, and it will also enhance its longevity.
As such, you will be able to get more use out of it than those who don’t take this precaution.
#2 Going With The Automatic Dimming Option
The automatic dimming option is another step you can take that will result in longer battery life. Activating this feature will result in your sight’s brightness being reduced when the place you are at is brighter than it initially was when you set the brightness level of the sight.
#3 Activating The Automatic Shut-Off Feature
The automatic shut-off feature is an advantageous feature, although it does have its own minor annoyance. This feature results in sight being shut down in the event that it has been on for a specific period of time, which would have been determined beforehand. This feature can also help prolong the life of your battery.
You have two options when it comes to the mode of changing the battery of your sight. You can either go with a sight that comes with a top-access battery hatch, which means that you do not remove the sight before changing the battery.
This has the advantage of ensuring that your sight is still zeroed in after replacing the battery. It, however, has a disadvantage, which is that there might be a problem with the battery fitting correctly or making the correct contact. As such, the red dot might fail at any time, including when you are making use of the pistol.
Alternatively, you have the option of going for a sight that comes with a bottom-access battery hatch, which will require that you remove the sight before you can replace the battery, after which you will then replace the sight and then re-zero it.
Apart from the inconvenience of having to remove, replace, and re-zero your sight, buying a sight with a bottom-access battery has no other disadvantages to point at. Besides, red dot sight batteries last for quite some time, which means that you won’t have to deal with such an inconvenience on a regular basis.
It is essential that you consider which of these two options you are most comfortable with before choosing which red dot sight to buy to avoid being frustrated with your choice in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you shoot with red dot sights while on the move?
Can you use red dot sights in low-light conditions?
Is it possible for a red dot sight to lose its zero?
Are red dot sights durable?
How accurate are red dot sights for long distance shooting?
In Conclusion To Pistol Red Dot Sights
Red dots are definitely essential for aiming accurately, especially for people whose sights are failing. And unless you are a professional shooter with hundreds or thousands of hours spent shooting, you will definitely experience a much-improved targeting when you use red dot sights. As you would have noticed while reading through this article, red dot sights vary based on a number of different features.
As such, the onus falls on you to figure out what your needs are and which features will best serve those needs. We have provided you with a comprehensive list of sights to choose from. They have been carefully selected after hours upon hours of research and using different criteria. As such, we can vouch for their quality.
In the event that you are not satisfied with our list, however, we have provided you with a guide on the features to consider and give thought to when buying a red dot sight, we cannot match them to and with your preferences. This is an undertaking that you will have to do by yourself.
It should be mentioned that getting a red dot sight doesn’t automatically improve your accuracy. Just like every other thing in life, it requires practice to master how to use it, as well as how to overcome its natural movement. So, give yourself some time to get accustomed to using it.