SCOPES

Best Red Dot Sight for AR-15: An Expert Guide to Your Top Choices

AR15 red dot sights
Nick Stucker
Written by Nick Stucker

Shooting a firearm without a sight or a scope is a disaster waiting to happen. Not only you will miss a target several feet away, you also give the target an opportunity to escape or react. And having a scope is a facilitating this by allowing for accurate hitting of the desired target.

Fortunately for you, the best red dot sight for AR-15 can solve your problems. The scopes are specifically designed to allow you increase your accuracy when sighting moving targets and acquire targets faster. The best thing about them is that they can be configured depending on your current situation or preference.

Red dot sights are not just a military type of sight anymore. These types of sights are often used for camping, recreational, paintball, and hunting.

If you are going to buy one, there are a variety of styles that you can choose from and there are many options that will confront you, with each manufacturer claiming to have the best model that is available in the market. This guide will help you in the right direction based on your needs and price range.

Product NameDimensions
Weight
Special FeaturesPrice
Vortex Optics StrikeFire7.3 x 3.7 x 2.8 in
7.2 oz
Flip – cap optic covers, unrestricted eye relief, fog-proof and waterproof, cantilever ring mount, shockproof constructionCheck price on Amazon
Rhino Tactical Sight for Rifles and Shotguns3.4 x 3.1 x 3.1 in
19 oz
Cantilever mount included 5 brightness levels for red and green Illumination, tough exterior finishCheck price on Amazon
Trijicon RMR6.5 MOA-Adjustable6.4 x 4.5 x 4.4 in
1.2 oz
6.5 MOA LED with adjustable brightness, unlimited eye relief, True-color multi-coated lens, unique patented housing shape, easy push buttonsCheck price on Amazon
C-MORE Systems Railway

4.8 x 1.2 x 2.3 in
5 oz
Glass lens, Submersible to 200M, Dual positive locking system, mounts to M1913/Weaver railsCheck price on Amazon
EOTECH Model 300 Blackout Holographic7.4 x 6.5 x 3.6 in
9 oz
Waterproof up to 33 feet, Mount 1” Weaver or MIL-STD 1913 rail, Power Source One 123 lithium battery,Check price on Amazon
Burris 300234 Fastfire III7.2 x 2.5 x 0.2 in
9 oz
Light-emitting diode, 3-MOA red aiming dot, Tool-less windage, and elevation adjustments, 1 MOA impact point correctionCheck price on Amazon
Dagger Defense DDHB Reflex
4.6 x 3.7 x 3 in
10.2 oz
Fits Most Standard Picatinny Rail Systems, green/red dot, four position reticulesCheck price on Amazon
Ohuhu4.5 x 3 x 2.8 in
4.5 oz
Parallax correction, four reticle patterns, Built – in Mount for standard bases, Low energy consumptionCheck price on Amazon
Belieshi Optics 4x32 Triple Illuminated Reticule4.5 x 3 x 2.8 in
9.6 oz



Easy installation, Fit all 20 mm Weaver and 3/8 inch dovetail rails, Standard ACOG CrossHair pattern target, Standard x-y Windage and Levitation click adjustmentCheck price on Amazon

Why do I need a Red Dot Sight?

A red dot sight is a common term used for a non-magnifying reflector scope used in conjunction with various devices that require aiming such as cameras and telescopes, but most popularly with firearms. This term is related to electronic aiming units that give the user an aim-point that appears as a reticule.

The reticule or “red dot” is created by a LED or a laser diode light that is projected or reflected into the field of view. The reticule is not always a dot. It can also be a cross, a circle dot, a circled cross, or a triangle.

The red-dot sight configuration is a tilted mirror reflector with an emitting diode, usually a LED light, at its off-axis focus. The size of the reticle generated by the LED is controlled by an aperture hole made from metal or coated glass which reflects against a small spherical mirror.

Red dot sight on rifle

The mirror focuses the dot onto a lens, which is what you see when you look through the sight. Using the LED as a reticule was an innovation that greatly improved the usefulness and reliability of the sight. When hunting, if you can’t hit the target on the first try, you will lose the chance to get your target. Getting a red dot sight will help you not to lose this chance because it can accurately pinpoint your target before shooting.

It shoots out a red dot light that will help guide you in hunting. Best practice is to place the optic further from the eye to mitigate the effect and shoot with both eyes open. A common mistake among some hunters is that they mount their optic almost at the rear end of the rifle which is a bit too close. Although this may work for some, it is not recommended because the sight will lose its zero faster due to the constant shifting that happens while shooting.

The location you choose for mounting the sight is very important. Quality red dots are parallax free after a specified distance which means the dot can be anywhere in the viewing area and your shots will still hit the desired target.

Razor Red Dot

The dot does not need to be centered in the glass. Having the red dot sight in its best position will help you hit your target and give you a clean shot of the target but a mistake in placing it in the wrong position will make you lose your target.

Advantages of a red dot sight

The red dot sight is a very functional gadget to have and use. The red dots sight delivers maximum performance at the minimum price. Here are some of the benefits which will surely persuade you to buy one.

  • Fast and accurate targeting – The red dot sight makes it easy to acquire your target in a snap. Once a target is acquired, it is easy to quickly center the reticule on the target and fire the gun. The red dot sights enable you to shoot fast at targets and get more efficient results, so no more excuses for missing your target. This is going to be highly beneficial for people that are just getting started with hunting/shooting.
  • Wide field of view– This is another benefit of red dot sight. With red dot scopes, you will be able to see a wider view of your target, making it easy to fire shots even if you are in longer distances but the scope does not magnify, so being reasonably close is still recommended.
  • Solves vision limitations– This feature allows fast targeting and provides vision correction. It gives you an idea of how close or how far you are from the target that you are aiming at, and also guarantees of being able to make you a better marksman.
  • Improves performance– This is probably one of the biggest advantages of using a red dot sight. It is extremely helpful if you are a beginner because it is pretty much understandable that you won’t be able to have some very impressive shooting performance. With the help of a red dot scope, you will have an easier focus on the target. This is exactly the reason why the red dot scope is highly recommended for those who are novices in the shooting.
  • Works well in low light conditions– It is going to be harder to see your target accurately if you are shooting in low lighting conditions. The black cross hairs of tube-style scopes cannot be seen, but you can use the open sights to properly align the target in low light shooting allowing you to have more accurate shooting results.

Razor Red Dot

Features to consider when making the choice

Just like with many other products, the red dot sight comes with a wide range of features. Since this can be quite confusing, we’ll help you understand these features so you’ll be able to make your own choice.

Electronic vs. Battery

The red dot sight has been a big help to shooters than other types of sights since it was discovered. Choosing between electronic and battery – free sights can be challenging.

  • Electronic red dot sight – The technology incorporated in this optic is relentlessly improving in durability and longevity. The power of this kind of scope depends on two things which are the capacity of the battery and the light source power consumption. Batteries are also built to last much longer; you’ll find different models available ranging from thousands upon thousands of hours of usage to hundreds. In fact, there’s an ongoing debate as to whether electronic red dot sights have become so reliable that they are starting to outweigh the benefits of fiber optic powered models.
  • Battery – free red dot sight – One advantage of using a battery – free red dot sight is that it has no electronic parts that are subjected to failure. More often than not, they are powered by solar energy or they are illuminated by tritium luminescent. The disadvantage of this kind of red dot sight is that it becomes a disappointment during low lighting conditions and you cannot manually increase the intensity of the scope. If you want to run a system without batteries, you must also consider setting up your weapon to accommodate the deficiencies.

Battery life

Most red dot sights today are powered by batteries, and without proper power supply, they won’t be usable. When considering a red dots sight, look for one that will be able to get through a thousand hours of usage before the battery life diminishes and make sure you save the battery life whenever possible by switching off the sight when it is not being used.

However, with the latest technology, red dots sights can last for years despite continuous usage and some models make use of new power sources like tritium beta lamps and fiber optics.

Weight

The weight of a red dot sight can also affect the accuracy of your shot. Make sure that the gun can still be handled effectively with the red dot sight attached to it and make sure that the accuracy of your aim is not diminished by the added weight on the gun. A heavier red dot sight would add issues with handling and grip of your weapon.

Razor Red Dot

Dot size

Choosing the right dot size and shape is important. If the dot is too small, your eyes may be unable to pick up the target quickly. On the other hand, overly large dot size can obscure the target when you’re shooting at greater distance. Some dots can even be adjusted. You should consider the size of your gun as well as how much space you have.

Pricing

The intended use of the red dot scope is the most important factor to consider when thinking about the budget you want to spend. For those who use their guns for plinking, less expensive ones will work out fine; while for people who use higher caliber guns, we recommend spending a bit more for a quality red dot sight.

Reticle type

All reticles are designed to be illuminated to make it easier to shoot in low lighting conditions, but they are not required to be red or to be a simple dot. Reticules can range from simple dots to having multiple aiming points.

Razor Red Dot

It is important to know what kind of reticule to choose for your application. Make sure the reticule is bright enough for you and matches your intended purpose. The size of the reticle can be adjusted on various models.

Top Products on the Market Today

We have made detailed reviews of the top red dot scopes for your AR-15 on the market today. We have compiled all the important details of the several chosen red dot scopes for AR – 15, so keep reading and by the end, we hope that you will be able to get to your decision about buying the best red dot scope for your needs.

Vortex Optics StrikeFire

Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2Price: Approx. $179

Dimensions: 7.3 x 3.7 x 2.8 in

Weight: 7.2 oz

Specific features: Flip – cap optic covers, unrestricted eye relief, fog-proof and waterproof, cantilever ring mount, shockproof construction

Best use: Hunting, target shooting

The Vortex Optics StrikeFire presents a great bargain for a quality red dot sight. The StrikeFire red dot scope lets you shoot quickly with both eyes open as it has unlimited eye relief and field of view.

Their optic comes in two available options: the first has a red and green reticule, selectable by the user according to surroundings and viewing conditions. The second option is a single bright red dot to simplify the design. Both are night vision compatible at the lowest settings.

The Vortex StrikeFire has fully multicoated optics for increased light transmission. It has 10 levels of brightness settings, which allow for use in different light conditions. It has the new parallax free performance, it is compact and lightweight.

This scope has O – ring seals that prevent dust and debris from entering, and protect it from water damage, so it can be used in very different weather conditions. It also has internal nitrogen atmosphere making it fog proof; the rugged construction makes it impact resistant; the housing is highly durable matte finish.

The battery life is 300 hours on maximum brightness, and up to 6000 work hours on minimum brightness. It also has auto – shutdown option.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Precise aim
  • Easy installation/adjustment
  • Red or green dot

CONS:

  • Relatively expensive
  • No magnification

Related: Along with the Vortex StrikeFire red dot sight, people frequently bought the Vortex VMX – 3T Magnifier with Flip Mount and a Vortex Optics Flip Cap Optics Cover. The Vortex VMX – 3T magnifier is a gadget that allows for quick 3x magnification of red dot sights. The body is made of aluminum, features fully multicoated optics and is easy to mount, is waterproof and easy to use. The Vortex Optics Flip Cap is a simple lens protection cap with flip cap cover. It fits any lens with 30 – 35 mm outside diameter and is a good option for keeping those nice lenses protected.

Check the price on Amazon

Rhino Tactical Dot Sight

Ozark Rhino Tactical SightPrice: Approx. $40

Dimensions: 3.4 x 3.1 x 3.1 in

Weight: 19 oz

Specific features: Cantilever mount included, 5 brightness levels for red and green Illumination, tough exterior finish

Best use: Hunting, shooting practice

The Rhino Tactical Dot Sight is designed to be used in tough conditions. It has the option for green or red dot with five levels of brightness, and it fits well on your weapon. It has 35mm lens with Iron Sights Coated optics.

It is able to easy fit any standard AR pattern, and with its 4 MOA dot, it is perfect for target acquiring. The optics is protected by flip – caps on both sides and it has very good eye relief. It comes in the black matte finish for nice blending with your weapon.

It is also available with a Picatinny Cantilever mount. Overall this is a good beginner’s choice. The battery is CR2032 that is included in the package, and it comes with a 1-year full warranty.

PROS:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to mount
  • Picatinny Cantilever mount
  • Red or green dot

CONS:

  • No magnification
  • No parallax adjustment

Related: Together with the Rhino Tactical Green/Red Dot sight, people bought Cvlife 6-9 Inch Tactical Rifle Bipod Stand. The bipod stand is an interesting addition to your gear, as it offers the adjustable height of the legs, is well made and not so heavy to carry with you. The rifle is attached/detached with an existing swivel stud and a mount adapter.

Check the price on Amazon

Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA

Trijicon RMR 6.5Price: Approx. $557

Dimensions: 6.4 x 4.5 x 4.4 in

Weight: 1.2 oz

Specific features: 6.5 MOA LED with adjustable brightness, unlimited eye relief, true-color multi-coated lens, unique patented housing shape, easy push buttons

Best use: Shooting practice, hunting, military

The Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA is the most rugged miniature sight available. It is extremely tough yet surprisingly lightweight. With eight available brightness settings, the reticle can be manually adjusted by pressing the plus or minus buttons on either side of the unit.

Simply press both buttons simultaneously and release, to switch to auto adjust mode. By pressing both buttons simultaneously and holding them for 3 seconds you turn off the optics in order to save the battery. The Trijicon Red Dot scope is developed to fit any style or caliber of weapons.

It is powered by a standard CR2032 battery that lasts a very long time. It has no magnification, the body is made from forged aluminum that protects the optics and electronics inside, and it fits almost any rifle. This scope also has the true – color multi-coated lens, and it can be very easily adjusted for windage and elevation.

PROS:

  • Small size and weight
  • Precise dot
  • Fits many rifles
  • Easy adjustment

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • No lens protection

Related: When buying this product, it is recommended to get the Trijicon Rmr Mount Sealing Plate. The Trijicon RMR Mount sealing plate allows for the RMR to be submerged in water up to 66 feet for up to an hour without water damage. The mount sealing plate is made from stainless steel, fits all Trijicon manufactured RMR Pistol mounts.

Check the price on Amazon

C-More Systems Railway Red Dot

C-More Systems Railway Red DotPrice: Approx. $300

Dimensions: 4.8 x 1.2 x 2.3 in

Weight: 5 oz

Specific features: Glass lens, submersible to 200m, dual positive locking system, mounts to m1913/weaver rails, one fixed cross bolt and one adjustable

Best use: Hunting, practice

The C-MORE Systems Railway Red Dot has proven tough enough to handle the hottest loads from large calibers and full auto. The C-MORE elevation and windage adjustments are built to hold zero in the toughest condition by making use of locking screws which lock the adjustment screws in position.

C-More Railway Sights have one adjustable and one fixed cross bolt, unlike other rail mounts with multiple cross slots, which allows the sight to be adjusted to fit most applications. The C-MORE Red Dot sight is easily adjusted to fit any type of rifle, shotgun, handgun, revolver and paintball guns.

There are several available models of the C-MORE Railway Red Dot sight, each with various adjustments that fit different needs and come in various finishes. The different models have different body materials, but all have the 8 MOA dot size, have very long battery life, and are submersible up to 200m.

They can be mounted by using the Weaver or Picatinny mounts.

PROS:

  • Dual positive locking system
  • Long battery life
  • Easy mounting on different style weapons
  • Small size and light weight

CONS:

  • No magnification
  • Relatively expensive
  • Uses specific battery

Related: One thing to consider when purchasing a scope like this is to look into a cover to keep it safe when not in use.  One great option is the Scapegoat Cover for C-More Scopes.

Check the price on Amazon

Eotech Model 300 Blackout

Eotech Model 300 XPS2-300Price: Approx. $459

Dimensions: 7.4 x 6.5 x 3.6 in

Weight: 9 oz

Specific features: Waterproof up to 33 feet, mount 1” weaver or mil-std 1913 rail, return to zero repeatable to within 1 moa after re-mounting

Best use: Hunting, shooting practice, military

The EOTech Model 300 Blackout is the shortest sights from EOTech leaving you with more rail space than other sights.  Its size and weight make it convenient for military, hunters and law enforcement officers to carry.

The XPS2-300 offers a 2-dot ballistic drop reticle that allows the shooter to zero either supersonic or subsonic rounds in the same reticle pattern.

The single-lithium-battery configuration permits more rail space, leaving more room for magnifiers, rear iron sights or a night vision mount but have issues with the sight shutting off during heavy shooting.

The optics is without magnification and has parallax free performance. The eye relief is unlimited, the battery lasts up to 600 work hours, and the body is made of aluminum and has a non-reflective black hard coat finish. The inside is fog proof, and it is completely sealed and waterproof up to 33 feet in depth.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to mount on different weapons
  • Long battery life
  • Easy adjustment

CONS:

  • No magnification
  • No night vision compatibility

Related: Pairing a riflescope with a spotting scope is always a good plan when shooting or hunting.  This gives you the ability to check the target area and have a view of the target. A great option would be the Emarth 20-60x60AE Spotting Scope.

Check the price on Amazon

Burris Fastfire III

Burris Fastfire IIIPrice: Approx. $210

Dimensions: 7.2 x 2.5 x 0.2 in

Weight: 9 oz

Specific features: Light-emitting diode, 3-moa red aiming dot, tool-less windage and elevation adjustments, 1 moa impact point correction, three brightness levels with auto mode

Best use: Hunting, shooting practice

The Burris Fastfire III offers unlimited eye relief and incredibly simple operation. This red dot sight is perfect for mounting to your favorite shotgun, handgun or hunting rifle for faster target acquisition and greater accuracy.

The sight is ruggedly designed, impervious to the elements and will hold up to years of punishing recoil. The sight has a low battery warning indicator so you won’t ever be stuck on a hunt with a dead battery. The battery is changed from the top of the sight, so no need for re – adjusting after changing the battery.

The wind ad elevation adjustments are very easy and require no additional tools. There are three levels of dot brightness available.

PROS:

  • Small and compact
  • Good price
  • Long battery life

CONS:

  • Small operating buttons
  • May be difficult to mount on different style weapons

Related: When considering buying the Burris 300234 FastFire III it is recommended that you get the Burris FastFire Mnt Picatinny Prtctr. This mounting/protective clip is made from high-quality materials, it protects the Burris Fastfire red dot sight, and it is very easy to install and fits all sort of weapons with a Picatinny mount rail.

Check the price on Amazon

Dagger Defense DDHB Reflex

Dagger Defense DDHB Reflex SightPrice: Approx. $55

Dimensions: 4.6 x 3.7 x 3 in

Weight: 10.2 oz

Specific features: Fits most standard picatinny rail systems, green/red dot, four position reticules, sleek space saving design for your tactical rifle

Best use: Hunting, target practice

The Dagger Defense Ddhb Reflex is a high-quality tactical reflex sight. The DDHB is constructed of highly durable aircraft grade aluminum for tough field use and it is perfect for your AR15, AR10, AK47, M4 and even airsoft rifles and airsoft sniper rifle.

The DDHB Reflex sight is equipped with both red and green dots and features four position reticules. The lens has a 33m diameter, and it comes with a CR2032 battery and Allen wrench for adjustment and lens cleaning cloth.

PROS:

  • Red or green dot option
  • Picatinny rail mount
  • Inexpensive

CONS:

  • No magnification
  • Not very good reticules

Related: People who bought the Dagger Defence DDHB Reflex sight recommend that you get a Cvlife 6-9 Inch Tactical Rifle Bipod Stand. The bipod stand is an interesting addition to your gear, is well made and lightweight.

Check the price on Amazon

Ohuhu Red Dot Sight Riflescope

Ohuhu Red Dot ScopePrice: Approx. $20

Dimensions: 4.5 x 3 x 2.8 in

Weight: 4.5 oz

Specific features: Parallax correction, four reticle patterns, built – in mount for standard bases, low energy consumption, red/green dual illumination

Best use: Hunting, practice

The Ohuhu Red Dot Sight Riflescope comes with an open design which increases eye relief ensuring long hours of comfortable shooting. The sight is run by a 3v battery and it produces four dot patterns. With the 4 different reticules, you can turn the selector knob to choose your desired setting for intensity.

The built in mount is made for the Weaver and Picatinny bases, which should fit most rifles. It is light weight, waterproof and shock-proof so it will stand up to even those harsher conditions.

The lens is coated with an anti – reflective coating for maximum light transmission and resistance to scratching. The adjustment of the red dot sight is fairly easy and with ten different brightness settings, it can be used in various conditions. The battery can last up to 2000 work hours under the lowest settings.

PROS:

  • Cheap
  • Easy mounting
  • Easy adjustment
  • Red or green dot

CONS:

  • Not recommended for high power weapons
  • Reticules may get blurry

Related: When getting the Ohuhu Red Dot Sight Riflescope it is recommended that you get a UTG Med – pro-Compact Riser Mount.

The riser mount is made from aircraft grade aluminum with the black matte anodized finish; it is 0.83 inches high and has a Picatinny rail with 3 slots. It also has a side plate with spring tension for easy installation.

Check the price on Amazon

Beileshi Optics

Beileshi Optics Triple Illuminated ReticlePrice: Approx. $55

Dimensions: 4.5 x 3 x 2.8 in

Weight:  9.6 oz

Specific features: Fits all 20 mm weaver and 3/8 inch dovetail rails, standard acog crosshair pattern target, standard x-y windage and levitation click adjustment

Best use: Hunting, target practice, military

The Beileshi Optics is a high-performance optical scope with fiber optic sight, Illuminated Red/Green/Blue Rapid Range Glass Etched Reticule, Manufactured Multi-coated optics. Built on the proven robust platform; fully sealed and nitrogen filled, fog proof, shockproof and rainproof.

Combat target acquisition glass reticle with range finding & ballistic, precise 1/4 MOA Click Value for elevation and windage adjustment, 4X magnification power and 32-millimeter objective lens, Crystal clear completely coated prism lens for best clarity and excellent light transmission.

The installation is very easy and simple, and if there are issues with the zeroing, it can be easily adjusted with the provided Allen key. The battery is included in the box, along with Allen wrenches and lens cleaning cloth.

PROS:

  • Windage/elevation knobs
  • Red/green/blue dots
  • 4x magnification power with 32 mm lens diameter
  • Easy installation/adjustment

CONS:

  • Small eye relief

Related: If you are thinking of getting the Beileshi Optics 4×32 Riflescope, it is recommended that you get a Utg Med – Pro-Compact Riser Mount. The riser mount is made from precision machined aluminum with the black matte anodized finish; it is 0.83 inches high and has a Picatinny rail with 3 slots. It is fast to attach/detach and it fits all rifles with Picatinny/Weaver rails. The riser mount can accommodate many different optical devices and is made with a sleek design and secure mounting system.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Thoughts

There are many available red dot sights on the market today. We hope that you have read and looked at all the mentioned factors, and we have helped you to bring the best decision for your next red dot sight purchase.

Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below if you’ve enjoyed using any of these products. We’d love to hear from you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Stucker
Nick Stucker

Nick is passionate about weapons. He likes history of companies like Colt or Lockheed Martin, but also latest scopes, binoculars and laser sighters on the market and everything in between. Nick writes about different gear that could be useful during hunting, astrophotography, night vision or just for self-defence.

  • Anton Pasenko

    I’m surprised to see EOTech Model 300 Blackout Holographic Sight listed as one of the best red dot sight, because I heard that its reticle is blurry. I’m confused, because there are a lot of 5 stars and 1 star reviews about this product. Is the hologram of EOTech Model 300 is fuzzy? Please advise me on the performance of this model.

  • Nick Stucker

    The EOTech Model 300 Blackout Holographic Sight is a good sight for tactical shooters. Well, not all users are actually happy with its performance, but it made our list simply because it offers reliable performance compared to competing models.

  • Nick Stucker

    Personally, I would advise you to buy the Vortex StrikeFire. Apart from being lightweight, it has a reliable battery life and rugged/durable construction for extreme conditions.

0
0
Total
0
Shares