|1. Vortex Optics SPARC 2 MOA Red Dot Sight||2. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic||3. Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD|
One of the best ways of making the life of a shooter simpler is through the use of best red dot sights. A red dot sight is a non-magnified, illuminated sight for your gun that uses a red dot to aim at the target. This guide we will discuss some of the factors you need to look for before you buy the best red dot sights. Before that, I will briefly explain the composition and use of best red dot sights.
A red dot sight is a collective grouping for a type of non-magnifying reflector sight that is often found in firearms and in other devices which provide the user with an aim point in the form of an illumined, bright reticle, often in the form of a dot, that seeks to mark the target. A generic design makes use of a red LED which generates a red point that stays aligned with the weapon the sight is associated with, regardless of the eye position of the user, thus leading to nearly zero parallax error.
They are commonly used in firearms, hunting and in law enforcement. They are often used in cameras where they can be used to photograph distant objects in motion like airplanes and birds. Telescopes also have a narrow field of view and may be topped up with a secondary ‘finder scope’ and a red dot sight serves that purpose. Red dot sights have increased in popularity thanks to technology that enables faster target acquisition and accuracy of aim.
It takes the guesswork out of shooting by simply allowing the shooter to simply move the red dot to the target and pull the trigger, thus eliminating the need for the shooter to align sight of vision with the target. Apart from accuracy, the auto-correcting mechanism of the red dot sight is a viable and accessible option to significantly improve aim.
What to look for in a red dot sight?
Purchasing the best red dot sight can be made easy by weighing in on which factors relate most closely to what your needs are. Some of the important factors include:
Reticle Size and Pattern
Arguably, the most important thing you should look for is the type of reticle you require. The reticle is the aiming point that is projected onto the objective lens. It is illuminated and is responsible for the accuracy of aim and easy shooting. Reticles can vary widely. Some have bright dots while others have more complex designs.
Sights and scopes make use of minute of angle measurements. Reticle specifications use minute of angle to determine their size. The slighter the minute of angle, the tinier is the dot that it represents. Crosshairs and grid lines might also be included in the red dot sight. Higher end red dot sights may include different forms of the reticle that the user can switch between, depending on the situation.
Type of Reticle Projection
There are different ways through which a reticle is projected onto the image, that is then seen by user through the window. Red dot sights may be holographic or reflex. Reflex lenses are generally used for hunting purposes. The objective lens reflects the light into the user’s eye. Holographic sights are typically made for military use and law enforcement. These sights generally have more complex designs. The reticles often include more detail for strategic shooting.
Battery Life and Power
Battery life can be a vital factor to consider when buying a red dot sight. The battery is used to power the reticle illumination. Reflex sights that use LED illumination to have better battery lives than their holographic counterparts as LED lights typically require less power. Holographic sights on the other hand, use lasers, which require much more energy. Some sights also use fiber optics and tritium capsules for power.
However, many of these sights are known to appear dull or washed out in brighter locations. Battery life can significantly affect target acquisition, particularly in emergency situations. If your battery runs out in a critical environment, the loss of reticle illumination could be dangerous.
A typical red dot sight is made up of several smaller parts. These components may be enclosed in a tube or open.
The tube design is a better option for shooters who are looking for rugged use as their components are safely enclosed inside in a protective metal case. They are also better in terms of versatility and diversity of usage and environment. The tube helps to block out the sun, thus, making it ideal for sunny locations.
On the other hand, open sights are more compact and easy to carry. Popularly known as “mini red dots,” these sights lack unnecessary components. They have a minimalistic design, only containing the objective window and illumination source. The downside is that this design lacks compatibility with filter usage.
Size and Weight
Size and weight of your red dot sight can significantly impact the portability of your gun. Comfort is an important factor while buying a red dot sight. The user should be able to hold the gun comfortably with the sight mounted on it.
Here is a list of some of the best red dot sights available in the market currently.
Top 6 Best Red Dot Sights 2018
The Vortex Optics SPARC 2 MOA Red Dot Sight is an extremely sturdy and durable sight that has a well-built structure. This red dot sight provides an array of exceptional features at a pocket-friendly price. It is a lightweight model that can be easily mounted atop your gun without increasing its overall weight.
The biggest advantage of this red dot sight by Vortex Optics is its durability. This red dot sight has been built to impress and can last for a long period of time. You don’t need to worry about buying another sight for several years, to say the least. The battery life of this red dot sight has been known to last for a whopping 5000 hours at minimum brightness. It comes with a battery preservation feature is known as the six-hour auto shut down. This helps in prolonging the battery life.
The Vortex SPARC 2 MOA Red Dot Sight can be easily adjusted in terms of color, pattern, shape, and illumination of the reticle. It also employs fully multicoated lenses for a better optical performance. This red dot sight has waterproof optics to make it waterproof, dustproof and fog proof as well. Also, it is parallax free which makes for a much faster target acquisition and shooting process while using both your eyes.
- Easy Minute of Angle (MOA) adjustment
- 22 mm eye relief
- Extremely Durable
- Parallax Adjustment
- Not compatible with night vision
- Low performance in poor lighting
- Coating reduces brightness
The Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic is a new age red dot sight with a blend of modern technology and never before seen features incorporated into a single unit. This sight is built to maximize the optical performance and battery life while keeping the price affordable. This red dot sight is quite durable and requires a change of battery only after about 3-4 years which is proof of its longevity and durability.
The front lens of the Aimpoint PRO red dot sight includes a band-pass coating which ensures its compatibility with most of the night vision gear and allows it to be useful even in dark settings. It also comes with a torque-limiting twist knob that helps in optimizing the pressure places on the rail. It also has a mount with a removable spacer employed for the same purpose. Both the front and back lenses are set back slightly from the edge to safeguard the sight from scratches, fingerprints and impact damage.
This red dot sight is built with a 30 mm, hard, anodized tube for optimum efficiency. It also offers a two-minute red dot angle for accurate target engagement regardless of the distance.
- Extremely durable
- Compatible with night vision gear
- Exceptional low light performance
- Suitable for professional shooters
- Huge knob
The Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD is a high-end red dot sight with high-quality optical components in use. If you are looking for great optical performance at a cost-effective price, this sight is definitely the one for you. An important aspect is the double pane lens which is used to reduce the parallax. This red dot sight comes with four different reticle patterns which make this sight a highly customizable model. It also provides you with an exceptional option of mounting it in front of a night vision monocular to establish a co-witness sight setup.
This red dot sight includes a removable rail mounting system for faster target acquisition along with an internal interlocking system that reduces the need for frequent readjustments. This sight is surely a durable model and holds up pretty well in all kinds of situations and environments. To achieve this level of durability, it employs an aluminum frame with a metal shield. It can be considered as an aesthetically advanced product with a crisp and wide field of view, and exceptional recoil resistance.
- Exceptional optical performance
- Double pane lens for reduced parallax
- Aesthetically advanced with 4 reticle patterns
- Remarkably durable
- The integrated laser is unnecessary
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight is an extremely lightweight and durable sight that ensures great optical quality. It makes use of multicoated lenses wherein the coating has a high contrast and is quite bright to ensure that the target is isolated in any type of lighting. This red dot sight also incorporates a parallax free design which can adjust to your eyes so that you can easily aim and shoot with both eyes open.
This Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 sight also possesses the ability to adjust the size and illumination of the red dot reticle with three different patterns. It is also able to preserve the battery life and prolong it. Additionally, this sight is waterproof, fog proof, dust proof and shock proof which makes it ideal for all kinds of rugged and adventurous outdoor excursions.
- Clear reticle
- Great price
- Extremely accurate
- Good recoil tolerance
- Great optical performance
- Limited red dot brightness
- Limited dot intensity
The Burris Fastfire III is a lightweight miniature reflex sight compatible with different shooting applications. The picture clarity and ease of use make it perfect for competition shooters or for home defense purposes. It is durable and strong, thanks to a body made of stainless steel, bronze and aluminum. Its low magnification can provide a larger field of view to shooters. The durability and versatility of the product shoots up its value for money. It has a relatively simple interface which makes it much easier for inexperienced shooters. It also consists of a power button that allows the user to switch between three stages of auto-brightness and intensity settings.
- Good picture quality
- Simple interface
- Good value for money
- It takes some time getting used to the power switch settings
- Shade is oversized
The RMR 6.5 MOA has a different physical appearance thanks to its unique body shape. The inverted arc shape of the lens housing-unit increases the durability of the product and protects the inner parts from shock.
For practical reasons associated with the use of this red dot sight, keeping both eyes open will give you super-fast target locking, even in unpredictable situations such as having to move quickly from outdoors to indoors. Despite the fact that the battery doesn’t have a base cover, it’s quite secure. It is also ideal for heavy use. The parallax free nature of the product gives a good justification for its higher price.
- Auto brightness adjust feature
- Easy-to-adjust elevation which coincides with 1 MOA for each click (no need for specialized tools)
- Works extremely well in critical and intense environment situations
- Unique design that adds to its durability by smartly sidetracking impact forces away from the lens
- A 6.5 MOA, with eight brightness settings
- Includes a super-bright setting + 2 Night Vision modes
- Relatively expensive
- Needs re-sighting each time you change the battery
- Here is a list of some of the best and most popular red dot sights available in the market currently.
A red dot sight is a useful tool for every shooter, whether professional or amateur, as it provides that extra edge needed to hit the bullseye. An ideal red dot sight should be a combination of all the factors that you require and shouldn’t stretch your budget. Extra features may prove to be a hindrance if you’re just starting out. A good red dot sight acts as a perfect assistant to your shooting skills, not as a burden where you may waste a few precious minutes fiddling over features that you aren’t acquainted with.