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Best Red Dot Scope | Best Red Dot Sight For Hunting & Shooting

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Looking for the best red dot scope for hunting and shooting? You’ve come to the right place! We are counting down eight of our favorite options!

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Benefits of Using the Best Red Dot Scope

best red dot scopeGun enthusiasts have access to a number of different scopes and sights to attach to their firearm.  Some people prefer the traditional “iron” sites while others seek sophisticated sights utilizing various forms of technology.  

The best red dot scopes have been adopted by many firearm users as some see them as a hybrid between the traditional iron sights and the sophisticated long-range scopes.  They are becoming increasingly popular in the firearm community and it’s easy to see why. The list below exhibits benefits users may experience when using one of the best red dot scopes for ar15 or another firearm.

  • The most obvious benefit to using a red dot scope is the quickness it allows the user to bring up and put the sight onto the target.  For traditional iron sights, the user must take the time to not only align one sight on target but the second sight as well. Trying to use just one of the two iron sights will result in a shot that is either too high or too low.  Long-range scopes take an even longer amount of time as the user must first locate the target through the lens and then find and align the cross-hairs. Using a red dot scope is easy as bringing the firearm up into firing position and then putting the dot over the top of the target.  It’s as easy as that.
  • The best red dot sights are also effective at allowing the user to increase accuracy when lighting is dim.  This will come in handy during dawn, dusk, or other times when lighting may be impeded. Both traditional iron sights and scopes do not provide any compensation to overcome limited lighting; rather, they just rely on the user to use an educated guess.
  • For persons with poor eyesight, a red dot sight is an obvious choice.  People who have vision problems experience frustration with iron sights due to alignment problems and staring through a scope may further complicate an issue of trying to focus.
  • Finally, utilizing one of the best red dot scopes allows the user to aim while keeping both eyes open.  Most people have to close one eye, especially with iron sights, to bring them into focus on the target.

Red dot scopes are also ideal for new and young shooters looking to get into firearms.  They are simple and easy to understand and do not overburden the shooter with intricate details associated with iron sights or scopes.  For instance, persons using iron sights must incorporate three separate objects, all at different distances, into focus. This does put pressure on inexperienced shooters as they have not yet developed that skill level due to lack of experience.

The shooter has to focus on the front sight, rear sight, and the target.  Usually, one of the three points of focus will become blurred, typically the rear site.  Fortunately, the red dot scope eliminates all the problems just mentioned. Pull the firearm up, place the dot over the target, and pull the trigger.  It does not get any easier.

Recommendations for using a red dot sight:

  • The most important aspect, regardless of the sight you intend to use, is to be knowledgeable and comfortable with your gun.  Before you install the red dot sight onto the firearm take some time to shoot it with just traditional iron sights. This will provide you an opportunity to gauge its weight, recoil, and other parameters firearms users study.  If you are not comfortable with, or are scared of your firearm, you will not succeed in your shooting no matter what sight you install.
  • You’ve read and heard plenty about how quick a person can aim and shoot.  However, don’t let this go to your head. You still need to train and get acclimated using the best red dot scope.  If you think you can break record speed the first few times you shoot with a red dot you’re mistaken. Fortunately, with time and practice using the red dot scope you will come to realize that you can aim and shoot quicker with this than any other type of sight.
  • Make sure to keep both eyes open at all times when locating and bringing the firearm into focus on the target.  When you move the firearm to aim you should never lose view and focus on the target.
  • Always bring the target into the view of the lens first.  Don’t focus on staring at the red dot and moving it to the target.

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What to consider when shopping for the best red dot sight?

As with any accessory, there is not a “one size fits all” answer to this question.  Additionally, what may be your preference, a fellow shoot may not like at all. This is only normal.  Don’t rush to buy the first red dot sight just because someone else has told you they have had a good experience with it.  

While it may have proved beneficial for them it may not fit your needs and/or preferences.  While not exhaustive, the list below may invoke thought one should consider when they are in the market for the best red dot sight.

  • Think about what your ultimate goal is regarding your shooting habit, or more particularly the use for a particular firearm you intend to equip with a red dot sight.  If precision or extremely long distances are goals then you need to steer clear of a red dot sight.  Rather, choose a red dot sight if you value speed or will be shooting targets at rather close ranges.  A red dot sight is often the choice for competitive shooters due to being able to aim rapidly in close ranges. 
  • Red dot sights come in various sizes so make sure to read the specifications of both the sight and your firearm.  Additionally, red dot sights may be that in just a red dot or they can be crosshairs or other shapes.  Make sure to carefully read what type of “dot sight” will actually be featured when you turn it on. You don’t want to purchase a sight thinking there will be a simple red dot but then you turn it on and it has cross-hairs instead.
  • Just in case you’re not aware, red dot sights are powered by batteries.  While most of the best red dot sights available in today’s market have an extensive life, make sure to read about the life of the batteries as well as the type and amount they require.  A side tip- it’s good practice to always keep a spare set of batteries for your red dot scope in your firearm case. You never know when you may have forgotten to turn it off after your last shoot or hunt and now the batteries have been depleted.
  • If you have never used a red dot sight before, you may have heard others mention “co-witnessing”.  Basically, co-witnessing is the ability to use the red dot sight you added to your firearm in tandem with the firearm’s original iron sights.  The important thing to keep in mind is that not every red dot scope can co-witness with every gun. Make sure you thoroughly research prior to the purchase of a red dot scope that it has the capacity to co-witness with your firearm as you may have to separately purchase a rise or spacer.  The importance of being able to co-witness is to be able to effectively use the iron sights in the case of your red dot scope malfunctioning or battery dying. Sometimes electronics fail us, it just happens. Don’t waste an entire day in the field or on the range because you couldn’t use your iron sights due to your red dot scope failing.

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8 of The Best Red Dot Scopes

 

1. Vortex Optics Sparc II Red Dot Sight- 2 MOA Dot

 

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This red dot sight is very compact and features a modular three-piece base which allows for four separate mounting heights depending upon user preference and firearm needs.  A high base and shim plate offer a 1/3 co-witness for mounting. Additionally, there is a low base which allows for use on handguns and shotguns.

The lens is multi-coated which allows for a clear field view and unlimited eye relief.  The turnets for elevation and windage adjust the point of impact in any direction. Finally, the power controls are on the rear of the sight allowing for the ease by the user to adjust the brightness of 10 separate levels.  The two lowest illumination setters are night-vision compatible.

General overview:

  • The ability to zero in the sight on a new firearm is quick and easy.  It only takes a matter of minutes and the controls make it relatively easy to make such adjustments.
  • The control buttons change the level of brightness and are located in a convenient location to adjust with just a push of a button.
  • The dot is extremely sharp for one of the best red dot scopes at this price.  Many people commented about how the dot is “fuzzy” like some other similarly-priced red dot scopes.

2. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic

 

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The battery life of this unit is unbelievable.  You can turn the red dot sight on the first day you have it and it will last up to three years with one single battery.  No more worries about the battery going dead on you while in the field or on the range. The red dot scope takes one 3V lithium battery.

This sight is compatible with most generations of night vision devices allowing you to hunt and shoot in the early, late, or night hours.  Additionally, if you plan to trek through any water, such as creeks or streams, you’ll be glad to know that it is waterproof up to 150 feet.  

Each of the flip covers allows for the use of the sight (both eyes open) even with them closed, because they are transparent.  It is great to have that capacity in case of an emergency.

General overview:

  • Users appreciate the battery life that keeps this best red dot going and going. 
  • People are pleasantly surprised regarding how easy it is to zero-in the sights – taking some users as little as under 10 shots.
  • While the price may seem initially high, red dot sights are products which fall under the “you get what you pay for” category.  In general, people are pleased with this purchase because in return for the price you get quality and efficiency. 

3. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x25mm, Black

 

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This is yet another of the best red scopes for ar15. It is matte black with a 3 MOA dot offering 11 different brightness settings.  It has been designed to mount on a lot of Picatinny rails and is even able to be mounted on a variety of pistols, shotguns, rifles, and muzzleloaders.  The sight has been created with the rugged hunter in mind as it is shockproof where it can withstand drops and bumps.

Even better is that it has nitrogen purged fog-proofing, meaning that the interior optical surfaces won’t fog; giving you the ability to hunt and shoot in foggy and wet conditions.  Where some red dot sights utilize buttons to adjust the dot’s brightness, this sight allows you to adjust the dot’s brightness with a dial. Plus, you can tune it to your specific preference.

General overview:

  • This is one of the best red dot sights because it is a low price and yet it is able to withstand harsh recoil from stronger firearms.  Other sights tend to diminish in quality over time due to excessive recoil, while this one does not. 
  • Not only is this product able to withstand harsh recoil but it is able to stay in zero over hundreds of rounds.
  • If you are on a tight budget yet looking for an effective red dot scope, then you won’t find anything better for this price.  I would put it up against any other more expensive red dot sight.

4. Burris Fastfire III with Picatinny Mount

 

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This sight comes in a variety of options such as a 3 MOA or 8 MOA and whether or not you need a Picatinny mount.  For those who value quickness for short distances, the 8 MOA is an excellent option.  

A sensor is included which will automatically adjust the needed brightness to match the environment and/or conditions.  However, you always have the option of choosing three separate brightness levels at your own choosing.  

Also, don’t worry about having to bring any tools to the range or field with you as this sight does not require any tools to adjust windage and elevation.  Finally, it does come standard with a low battery warning indicator. This will give you adequate warning to replace batteries before it’s too late. 

General overview:

  • Users are pleased and surprised by how simple and fast it is to actually mount this best red dot sight.
  • You can see through the site really well, even if your eyesight isn’t the best.  
  • Customers are overall pleased of how well it maintains its accuracy even after hundreds of rounds have been fired.  This is a rarity to find a sight that holds so well at such a great price.

5. Holosun HS403A Micro Red Dot Sight (2 MOA)

 

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This best red dot sight offers an incredible battery life of approximately 50,000 hours!  Once you put the battery in it will activate. Then, once the rifle/sight is stationary for more than eight hours it will automatically shut off.  Additionally, the batter is hidden away from sight at the base which decreases the probability of it distracting your vision.  

In addition, it is parallax-free, which means when the red dot has been placed over the target ten you are ready to fire.  The lens is clear and crisp offering a terrific vision to the shooter.

If you accidentally drop your gun in the water with this sight on, you can count on the sight being protected up to 100 feet below water.  This sight has been designed for both day and night use, with 12 levels of brightness, two of which are night vision settings.

General overview:

  • Users enjoy the way the sight automatically activates once it is picked up.  Plus, the very long battery life makes this one of the best red dots.
  • This is a great and cost-effective alternative to the very expensive red dot scopes on the market.  The quality of this sight may make you rethink ever again purchasing the more expensive brands that are highly marketed.
  • The brightness levels work great at all levels; depending on the need of your shooting environment.

6. Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sights

 

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Number six on our list of the best red dot scopes, this sight is very lightweight yet is made of aluminum which will withstand the elements and the occasional drops you’re sure to have.  The power and dot intensity controls are located on the left side where you may choose up to 10 distinct brightness levels. Additionally, the sight does have an auto-brightness feature which will adjust the brightness for you if you so choose.  This really depends on the preference of the shooter.  

If the user sets the sight at the brightest setting, they can expect approximately 150 hours of battery life. However, if put on the lowest it may be up to 30,000.

There is a 1 MOA windage and elevation available.  This significantly aids in sighting. As this feature may be overlooked by some, the place to replace the battery is located at the top of the sight. That means you do not have to actually remove it from your firearm.

General overview:

  • This sight is nearly the perfect combination of both price and quality.  Many customers say they would buy it again over other similar brands.
  • I have installed this exact red dot sight on two separate 9mm handguns.  Both have more than 3,000 rounds fired on them and neither has had to be zeroed-in again.
  • It does come with a rail mount and will easily attach to a shotgun.  It not only looks nice but performs to standard as well.

7. EOTECH EXPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight

 

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These sights are targeted to military and combat users; however, they by far exceed the standards for your standard recreational shooter and hunter.  This sight has a non-reflective window and holographic reticle which is only visible to the shooter. This makes it one of the best red sights for hunting in low lighting.

The red dot does not expand with magnification.  This provides its precision when the target is magnified but the point of aim is not.  This is very important to all shooters. The features of this sight are endless which include, but are not limited to:

  • 20 manual daylight settings
  • 10 optional settings for night vision
  • Notification when the battery is low
  • The sight will automatically turn off active after being still for four or eight hours – you decide. 
  • Has anti-reflective coating on its external surfaces.

General overview:

  • This red dot sight is great for people with an astigmatism.  
  • Customers are very loyal to the EOTECH brand.  They have purchased numerous of their sights before, including this one, and have yet to be disappointed.
  • Red dot sights are products that follow the rule of “you get what you pay for”.  While this sight may seem at first pricey, the user will reap the benefits it provides.

8. Holosun HS510C 2 MOA Dot or A 65 MOA Ring Open Reflex Circle Dot Solar Power Holographic Red Dot Sight

 

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This best red dot sight is unique in that it has the ability to be powered by batteries or solar.  The sight is initially powered by solar cells but can be supplemented by the battery if or when needed.  If the battery is used, it will last up to 50,000 hours. The sight has an open frame that allows for a wide sight picture.  The sight also has a feature that will turn itself completely off after being motionless for a period of time, then, when moved it will come back on.

General overview:

  • Users enjoy the solar energy component as most shooting is done in the daylight and this helps conserve the battery life.
  • This red dot sight is tough and rugged

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