12 Best Red Dot Sights

As more and more red dot sights hit the market, there are plenty of advanced technologies introduced to civilian red dots. Some are expensive and some are just at the right price without compromising quality.

This guide features 12 best red dot sights for long gun and handgun use. Shooters trust these products for years, and they're great for both range training and daily concealed carry.

Buying expensive doesn't mean it's great, so this list include red dot sights at all price points.

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Best Red Dot Sights

Holosun 507C - Best Overall

holosun 507c

The Holosun 507C fits right into the RMR optic cut, so you don't need any extra pieces. One of the best parts is its big buttons. They're simple to use, even if you have big fingers, and you can see them in the dark.

The battery can work for up to 50,000 hours. And if it stops, there's a solar panel that keeps the sight going. You can switch out the battery easily from the side without having to remove the whole sight. Even if the battery stops, the sight won't turn off because of the solar backup. Right now, it's a great deal, making it as good of a choice as the Trijicon RMR.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Very long battery
  • Side loading battery
  • RMR footprint

Cons

  • Turret requires a very small tool to adjust

Holosun 509T - Best Weatherproof

holosun 509T

The Holosun 509T can handle any weather. It keeps out dirt, water, and other things you don't want interfering with the emitter screen. You can easily put this strong optic on any platform by using a RMR to 509T conversion mounting plate. 

Pros

  • Full weatherproof
  • Side loading battery
  • RMR footprint

Cons

  • Solar feature only works under strong ambient light

Trijicon SRO - Largest Sight Window

trijicon sro

The Trijicon SRO 5 MOA is perfect for competitive shooting and getting on target quickly especially with a longer sight radius. The SRO uses the same RMR base and has an impressive battery life that last more than 4 years, though it's not meant for heavy-duty use in the context of direct impact on the lens repeatedly.

With this sight, you can spot the dot faster and more reliably, even if your pistol draw is a bit off. It also offers automatic brightness settings. You can pick a brightness level and lock it, or let the surrounding light decide for you. A great feature is the top battery compartment.

You can change the battery from the top without removing the sight or resetting it. After each shot, you can spot the dot again quickly, so you don't waste time searching for it. Some people think you need to remove the sight to change the battery, With the SRO, battery changes are hassle-free right from the top without sight removal.

Pros

  • Large sight window 
  • Easier dot tracking
  • Faster sight acquisition

Cons

  • Lens not duty grade like the RMR
  • 6.5 MOA not offered, but a weird 5 MOA is
  • Turret clicks not audiable

Trijicon RMR Type 2 - Best Durability

trijicon rmr type 2 led

The Trijicon RMR Type 2 is the best RMR alternative for many years. It's designed with a better battery grip, ensuring the dot stays on without any hitches. This red dot sight is made from the super tough 7075 T6 aluminum material, so it can handle drops and other rough handling without breaking.

The Lock Mode on the Trijicon RMR automatically sets the brightness, making it great for concealed carry. It also has two modes that work well with night vision goggles. Its battery can last up to four years, but you should change it yearly. It offers red dot sizes from 1 MOA to 6.5 MOA.

For those with astigmatism, the 6.5 MOA dot is the best pick. Some people might think bigger dots are not precise, but in reality, the 6.5 MOA dot ensures faster target acquisition and a rounder dot.

Pros

  • The most durable on the market
  • Lens shape divert impact stress away from the glass
  • Very long battery life

Cons

  • Bottom battery loading
  • Not weatherproof

Trijicon RMR HD - 3rd Gen RMR

trijicon rmr HD

The Trijicon RMR HD has a big window, similar to the Trijicon SRO but featuring the original RMR durability that everyone has been begging to design.

This optic also has a special sensor in the front. This sensor changes the brightness of the dot based on the light around your target. So, if you're using a pistol light or if it's really sunny, the dot will always have the right brightness for shooting.

Ultimately, this is bridging the gap between the SRO and the RMR type 2.

Pros

  • SRO meeting RMR 
  • Auto brightness adjustment based on target brightness
  • Top loading battery door
  • Very long battery life

Cons

  • Overhangs may cause malfunction
  • Not weatherproof

Swampfox Justice - Best For The Money

swampfox liberty red dot sight

Most red dot sights differ from the Swampfox Justice red dot sight. The Swampfox Justice fits perfectly on any RMR optic cut slide because it uses the same RMR footprint. Its unique tapered sight design (1 X 27) makes the field of view seem larger, helping users quickly lock onto targets.

The Justice from Swampfox has a clearer sight picture compared to the Liberty. Like other red dot sights, it gives unlimited eye relief for fast target spotting. Its lightweight, skeletonized body fits most optic-ready holsters, including the ALS series duty holsters. A unique feature of the Justice is its "Shake Awake" technology, which is like the motion sensor in the Holosun 507C.

Pros

  • Unique sight window design
  • Top loading battery access
  • Responsive buttons

Cons

  • Tapered sight window still not big enough

For Long Guns

Holosun 515GM - Best Overall

The Holosun 515GM red dot sight is as tough as Aimpoint Micro series products. It's built to last and can handle rough conditions.

This sight for the AR-15 can stand up to water, dust, and other things nature throws at it. It usually has an IPX7 or IP67 rating, which means it can stay underwater for a while and still work. So, it's great for all kinds of weather, even heavy rain.

One of the best things about the Holosun 515GM is how long its battery lasts. Many Holosun red dot sights have batteries that last a really long time, longer than most others. This means you don't have to change the battery often, and it's dependable when you need it most.

Pros

  • Milspec durability
  • Lens cap & kill flash are included
  • Aimpoint Micro footprint

Cons

  • Not much

Aimpoint Micro T2 - Best Durability

The Aimpoint Micro red dot sight is a top choice for serious shooters because it's super tough and great for all weather. Made with strong 7075 T6 aluminum and a special surface, it can handle bad weather and strong gun recoil. It's a favorite for police, soldiers, and shooting fans.

Even though it costs over $780, there are good reasons for its price. It's built to last a long time and can handle rough use, saving money in the long run. It's sealed tight, so rain, mud, or even being underwater won't hurt it.

Plus, the Aimpoint Micro helps shooters be more accurate. It has clear optics and brightness levels for different times of day. And no matter how fast you shoot or how much the gun kicks, it keeps your aim right on target.

Pros

  • Unique sight window design
  • Top loading battery access
  • Responsive buttons

Cons

  • Tapered sight window still not big enough

Holosun 510C - Best For Plinking

holosun 510c fov

The HoloSun Open Reflex optic is a top red dot sight for AR15. It helps you quickly find targets with its big 65 MOA circle, making it great for close-up shots. It looks cool and is perfect for shooting with pistol and rifle setups.

One great thing about it is its long-lasting battery because of its solar technology. You won't have to replace the battery often. You can also switch between four different sights with just a button, without starting over.

It has a protective lens hood and a quick-release mount. But, it can collect dirt because of its open design, and it doesn't come with a taller mount. Still, it's a favorite for AR15 users who want a good sight for fun shooting and contests.

Pros

  • Durable lens hood
  • Long battery life + solar panel
  • Quick detach mount

Cons

  • Open emitter design attracts dirt

Sig Sauer ROMEO 5 - Best Value

The Sig Sauer ROMEO 5 is a small and the most affordable red dot sight, great for long gun users. Its best feature is the MOTAC system. This saves battery because it turns on only when you move it. It has a 2 MOA red dot and 10 settings for clear aiming, day or night. It's light, works with other Aimpoint Micro mounts, and is easy to use. It won't get water or fog inside, so you can trust it in any weather.

The MOTAC system in the ROMEO 5 saves battery. It turns off when you're not using it and turns on when you move it. With one CR2032 battery, it can last up to 40,000 hours. This means your sight is always ready.

This sight is light, only 5.1 ounces. It's great for people who want to move easily. It comes with a mount and fits other Aimpoint Micro mounts.

Pros

  • Very affordable & popular
  • Aimpoint micro footprint
  • No lens tint

Cons


Holosun AEMS - Best For Compact Guns

The Holosun AEMS is a small red dot sight made of 7075 Aluminum. It's new in the Holosun collection. It has a long battery life of 50,000 hours and is very light, weighing only 3.9 ounces. This sight is tinier than others like the EOTech XP2 and Holosun 512C, so it's easier to carry.

You can choose from three sight pictures: a single red dot, a dot inside a big circle, or just the big circle. If you want a taller mount, the scalarworks optic mount is the best choice for the AEMS. It uses a common CR2032 battery and can also work with sunlight. A cool feature is its Shake Awake function. The sight turns on when it senses motion.

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Compact design for compact rifle builds
  • IPX8 durability

Cons

  • Tube shadow effect reduces field of view

Trijicon MRO - Best Field Of View

The Trijicon MRO is a great red dot sight for AR15s, just like the Aimpoint Micro. But it's cheaper and has a special design that gives you a bigger view without the tube effect. It's made from strong 7075 T6 aluminum. Plus, its top turret design lets you see better on the sides. If you want a top-notch sight for your AR15, think about getting the Trijicon MRO.

Pros

  • Large field of view without tube effect
  • No FOV obstruction
  • Tons of aftermarket mounts available

Cons

  • Visible lens tint

Red Dot Sight Buyer's Guide

Dot Size

When selecting a dot size, there's a choice between 3 MOA and 6 MOA. Larger dots, like the 6 MOA, are quicker to spot and align with the target, beneficial for rapid targeting and for shooters with astigmatism who struggle with blurred reticles. Conversely, smaller dots, such as the 3 MOA, allow for more precise aiming at distant targets without obscuring them.

Battery Life

While most battery life for red dot sights are above 40,000 hours. It's the best technology we have so far. They remain on for the most time and they don't need any more technology to make it last longer. Most companies make motion sensor activated reticle to save more battery, and they are nice to have, but not necessary.

Parallax Shift

Regarding red dot parallax and eye relief, a major advantage is the elimination of the need for precise eye alignment. This feature allows focusing directly on the target without worrying about the distance between the eye and the optic, or the position of the cheek weld. 

No optic is 100% parallax free. While some optic has minimal parallax shift when aiming at targets further away. When bring the target closer, there is noticeable parallax shift due to the nature of reflex sights.

Mount Height

Mounting the red dot optic correctly is essential. Popular mounts, such as those compatible with the Aimpoint Micro footprint, ensure the sight remains accurate despite recoil. Mounts like the 1/3rd cowitness and 1.93" height are widely used to reduce 

Magnification

Extending the range of a red dot sight is possible with a magnifier scope. Magnifiers, available in 3X, 4X, and 6X, enhance the sight's range, with 3X being the most popular. They can be positioned behind the red dot and flipped aside when not needed.

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