A red dot sight is a non-magnifying reflecting device which is mounted on guns for accuracy in aiming targets. The red dot sight gives the user an aiming point in the form of an illuminated red laser beam. Usually, a red dot sight comprises a red colored light emitting diode (LED) which generates a red colored pinpoint when observed from the eyepiece. Since the red dot sight is fixed on the weapon, the aiming point moves with the weapon, making it easier for users to aim at their target.
Red dot sight devices find its use in many areas like hunting, shooting, military etc. Besides its application for the weapons, red dot sight devices are also used for observation purposes by mounting them on cameras, because of which the users are entitled to click photographs easily. Red dot sights also find their use in telescopes, where they are used as a secondary scope for finding and observing objects located far away.
How to choose a Red Dot Sight?
There are a few factors which help in deciding the quality of any red dot sight. These factors have been discussed in detail in the following sections.
Reticle size is found by the thickness of the red dot as visible to the user. This thickness is dependent upon the maximum possible distance for which the red dot sight is being used, i.e. longer the range, more will be the thickness of the red dot.
Being measured in minutes of arc or minutes of angle (moa), it is very crucial that the red dot appears accurate to the user, irrespective of the environmental conditions. The reason we are mentioning the environmental conditions is that, for some of the laser-based red dot sights, the device fails to operate at low temperatures, due to which there are chances that the dot may appear blurred to the user, resulting in inaccuracy while aiming at the targets.
The smallest thickness of dot achieved till date is 1 moa, which is certainly a disruptive achievement considering the fact that most of the red dot sights have a reticle size of approximately 4 moas.
There can be many variations possible while manufacturing a red dot sight device. For example, there are red dot sight devices available in the market in which the users are able to vary the thickness of the red dot, depending upon the aiming distance. Also, there are some products having crosshairs for the user to aim easily and accurately.
Hence, with so many variations in reticle size available in red dot sight devices, it can be considered as a crucial factor while purchasing the red dot sights.
The provision of battery backup in red dot sight devices is a very important factor in determining the quality of a red dot sight. If your red dot device is not powered, the user will not be able to see the dot.
Drainage level of red dot sight batteries depends largely upon the environmental conditions. For example, the moist and cold atmosphere of forests leads to rapid battery consumption. Varying from one product to another, the battery life can also vary. But in order to ensure longer life of the red dot sight, it is suggested to switch off the red dot sight when not in use. This helps in improving the life of the red dot sight while maintaining the beam strength. So, while buying a red dot sight, choosing a product with longer battery life is a must.
Co-witnessing is another important factor which is widely applied to red dot sights meant to be used for military purposes. Co-witnessing is a feature which allows the user to visualize both the red dot sight as well as the iron sight. Iron sights are considered as a backup vision in situations when the red dot sight goes out of order.
There are red dot sight products available in the market which are compatible for functioning in dim lighting levels. In such cases, all the user needs to do is to fix a night vision riflescope or monocular before the red dot sight. This allows the user to use red dot sights during low lighting levels.
The reason why a riflescope or monocular is used is that any source of light, when viewed through the monocular will magnify multiple times, and can lead to vision blindness to the user. In order to avoid this situation, the night vision compatible red dot sights are used, which enables the user to see the dot at very low brightness level in darkness.
So, co-witnessing is an important factor to be considered while purchasing any red dot sight device.
Recoil Load bearing tendency
Since all red dot sights are reflex vision devices, it is very critical to ensure that the red dot sight equipped on the firearm is capable of handling the recoil force generated due to heavy loads, especially in case of a shotgun.
When the recoil is generated by the weapon, the user has to ensure that the electronic circuitry of the red dot sight does not get damaged and that it functions properly even after bearing the recoil. There are chances that the calibration of the red dot sight may get disturbed, or it may malfunction as well.
Hence, the durability of the red dot sight, and its ability to easily bear recoil force produced due to heavy loads being fired play an important role in describing the quality of the red dot sight product.
One of the major objectives of any red dot sight product is to enable the user get a sharp sight of the dot, as well as the target. This requirement is to be fulfilled even under low lighting conditions, specifically for night vision compatible red dot sights.
Therefore, lenses which allow maximum light transmission through them, while being resistant to damages like scratches and abrasion are highly preferred. Due to this reason, lenses form another important factor in deciding the overall performance and quality of the red dot sight product.
As we discussed moa above, it is very important to achieve the desired measure of the angle. Usually, all the red dot sight devices are designed and manufactured to give the users maximum possible aiming over a distance of 100 yards.
Therefore, having a 1X sight while keeping both the eyes open is a major requirement. This is especially critical for shotgun sights used on tactical rifles.
Purpose of Use
While purchasing a red dot sight, it is very critical that you understand the purpose of buying the product. Usually, dot sight products priced below USD 50 are not resistant to large recoil forces, and hence are suitable only for lighter firearms like pistols etc.
Red dot sight products priced above USD 100 are considered to be good in quality and durability and are ideal for use with shotguns. So, this factor greatly solves the confusion regarding the ideal red dot sight for a shotgun or any other firearm.
Now that we have discussed the factors affecting the quality and performance of red dot sight devices, we shall now discuss the top rated products on the internet along with their pros and cons.
Top 7 Best Red Dot Sights for Shotgun 2018
1. Field Sport Red and Green Reflex Sight
This product by Field Sport is best suited for applications such as shooting and hunting. The sighting device is extremely helpful in targeting rapidly moving targets. Its 4 reticle pattern allows the users to aim at their targets easily with minimal strain on their eyes. This product by Field Sport removes the errors due to parallax by a great extent, because of which the users are able to see a sharp and accurate red dot sight through the lens.
The users of this product can easily adjust the brightness level of the dot sight by means of the dual red, dual green reticles, and 3 red and 3 green brightness levels.
Discussing its strength and durability, the product is made up of high-quality aircraft grade aluminum. This feature makes the product lighter in weight and resistant to shocks, water and fog, irrespective of being used under all sorts of climatic conditions. Due to this, the overall performance of the product is greatly improved, providing it with an edge over other products.
The product also consists of a multi-coated lens with an objective diameter of 24×34 mm. This gives the user up to 1x magnification.
An allen head screw type windage along with elevation click mechanism facilitates the users to adjust the red dot sight according to their convenience, and a locking screw firmly holds the red dot sight in its position.
There is even a built-in Picatinny mounting base consisting of rails. This facilitates the shifting of red dot sight along the Picatinny so as to achieve an easy sight remounting. The product users can easily obtain a sharp sight of the target by adjusting the distance and focus according to the brightness levels. In this way, a clear and sharp reticle can be seen through the dot sight device while aiming the targets.
The product can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00457SRBI/?tag=thegunzone-20#HLCXComparisonWidget_feature_div .
2. BSA 30mm Red Dot Scope
The red dot sight device by BSA comprises of a 5 moa reticle, which allows for accurate and easy targeting of targets, especially those located at a position equivalent to quarter to medium range targets. One of the best features of this product is that it is suitable for firearms of smaller calibers, and it is also compatible for use by firearms of large calibers.
The perfect mounting range of 5/8 to 3/8 enables the users to easily mount the red dot sight product for firearms like Shotguns, Rifles, Pistols, Bows, and Crossbows. The product even comes with a 3-volt lithium ion battery, which serves as a good battery backup source for the product.
The brightness of the red dot sight can be adjusted according to the lighting conditions of the surrounding areas. Another merit of using this product is that the correct eye relief distance can be easily achieved by moving the sight back and forth along its mount.
In case the dot appears to be a halo or out of focus, then through proper adjustments in the brightness levels of the red dot sight device, clear and sharp red dot can be achieved easily. The product even comes with a one year warranty and can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000N8MZOI/?tag=thegunzone-20 .
3. Truglo Red Dot 30 mm Dual Color Sight
While providing a 5 moa reticle to the users, this product by Truglo greatly improves aiming and quick acquisition of targets. The reticle can be illuminated in both red and green colored beams, depending upon the lighting conditions. The product even comes with a rheostat capable of controlling the brightness levels of the product irrespective of the climatic conditions.
The optics utilized in this product gives its users immense relief to the eyes along with a wide field of view. In order to protect the lens from any sort of damage, there are even flip-up rubber lens caps provided along with the product.
The easy to mount multi-coated lens produces more than 95 percent of transmission of light through it, and the special anti-reflective interior coating helps in eliminating any plausible stray light sources.
The body of Truglo’s Red Dot Sight product is designed and manufactured so as to allow it to withstand shock resistance up to 1000 grams while being waterproof and fog proof at the same time. Along with this, the clicking and elevation adjustments prevent the loss of screw-down windage.
The product is even made compatible to the integrated Weaver-style mounting system, and a 3-volt battery included as part of the product makes it the ideal choice for using with firearms such as Shotguns, Handguns, Rifles, and Muzzleloaders etc. All these features allow the user to aim at the target using an accurate and dependable red dot sight product.
The merits of this product are that it is extremely shock resistant, acquires the target very quickly, holds the calibration to zero very well, and is available at affordable prices on the internet. The con of using this product is that the user may find it hard to calibrate the red dot sight device to zero.
It can be found online at:
4. Rhino Tactical Green & Red Dot Sight
One of the best features of the product is that its manufacturing is done under extremely rugged environment, which makes the product resistant to rough conditions.
With an objective lens diameter of 35 mm and 5 different brightness levels, the dot sight device by Rhino allows the users to aim at their targets easily under all sorts of atmospheric lighting conditions. This is made possible through the use of red and green dot sights, which have a reticle size of 4 moas to allow accurate aiming.
The product even offers co-witnessing feature with standard height AR pattern iron sights. It can be mounted quickly and securely with the cantilever mount provided along with the product and comes with a 1-year warranty for the performance of the product. A battery backup makes this product distinguishable from other products.
Due to its features, the product finds its compatibility with a variety of firearms such as Shotguns and Rifles. It can be found online at:
5. Aimpro Red/Green Dot Sight
Featuring a 3 moa reticle size in both red and green color dots, the product uses an in-built laser for providing the dot sight rather than the traditionally used light emitting diodes. Due to the reticle size, this red/ green dot sight product is most suitable for both close-range as well as long-range distance shooting.
The dot sight enabled by a W/E adjustable red laser, giving an output power of fewer than 5 milliWatts. With a wide field of view provided to the user, this product by Aimpro gives relief to the eyes to a great extent.
Along with this, the lightweight, durable and all aluminum construction makes this product highly reliable among its users, thereby increasing its mechanical life. Due to its design and build, the product by Aimpro is highly resistant to water, fog, and mechanical shocks.
The product even supports co-witnessing feature with standard iron sight for quick and easy target acquisition. It can be found at:
6. EasyHit PX-S1000 Red Dot Sight
This product comes with a revolutionary design in the sense that it uses a patented fiber optic sight system, which uses the ambient light to generate the red dot. With a reticle size of 20 moas, the product generates 3 3moa red dot at a range of 27 yards, and can easily fit any Shotgun rib.
Mounting the red dot sight device on any Shotgun can be achieved easily by means of the tools provided with the device. In case of a rifle, the dot sight can be mounted with the rail attachment provided. Hence, any shotgun rib of width between 5 to 10 mm can be used to mount this dot sight device. The width of the unit is 150 mm and lens diameter is 33 mm.
Along with this, the product even has a state-of-the-art lens mirror paired with the fiber optics. This gives a sight free from parallax errors and which is highly accurate and sharp.
The product makes it easy to aim and shoot with both of our eyes open, and the best part is that there are no chances of failure of dot sight or any battery. The fiber optics used in this product are highly durable, ensuring the long life of the product. This, in turn, ensures the extraordinary performance of the product with no calibration and night vision required.
The product can be found online at https://www.amazon.com/EasyHit-PX-S1000-Shotguns-Wingshooter-Waterfowl/dp/B0799NNXQZ/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?s=sports-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1521655852&sr=1-2-spons&keywords=red+dot+sight+for+shotgun+deer+hunting&psc=1 .
7. Aimpro Micro T-2 Sight
The 2 moa reticle size combined with the cutting edge lens coatings greatly helps in improving the shape and clarity of the dot sight. The sight housing consists of advanced optical lenses which contribute to improving the quality and sharpness of dot sight when used in an accessory magnifier.
The unique coating provided on the front lens of the dot sight reflects the dots at around 100 percent efficiency so as to enable the user to witness the highest possible dot brightness while utilizing minimal energy for the same.
There are a total of 4-night vision compatible brightness levels along with 8 different daylight settings and extra bright settings. This allows the product to be used in almost all sorts of environments.
The design and physical build of the product provide it ruggedness while being lighter in weight gives it an advantage of being used with firearms possessing large recoil forces. Due to its small size, the product can even be installed atop the magnifying scopes, night vision optics, and thermal imaging optics.
The product holds excellent night vision compatibility, making it ideal for use by hunters and sports shooters. The performance of this product is even improved further by making it compatible for use along with other night vision devices, especially the 3rd generation night vision technology. The advanced level optics deployed as part of the product gives the clearest, brightest and most accurate image when used along with a night vision device.
The product can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SD89ZKC/?tag=thegunzone-20#HLCXComparisonWidget_feature_div.
Now that we have discussed the different factors responsible for deciding the quality of red dot sights, and have also reviewed some of the top rated products available on the internet, we believe that the Aimpro Micro T-2 Sight is the most satisfying product out of the ones we have reviewed, along with EasyHit PX-S1000 Red Dot Sight. The reason we prefer going for these two products is that the former covers a wide range of features as required by different types of users while the latter is preferred because of its innovative technology and the fact that it operates without any battery to provide a sharp dot sight.
So depending on your area of usage, we hope that you were able to figure out the best red dot sight for your Shotgun if you want to go deer hunting or turkey hunting. Happy hunting with the red dot sight!