We have used many optics on different types of firearms. Do you know which are the best red dot sights for pistol?

This guide offers a carefully selected list of 7 products designed to save you time on research. The market overflows with red dot sights at different prices, giving consumers plenty of choices. We've bought and tested these on multiple firearms, discovering what works and what doesn't.

So let's check them out:

Top Rated Pistol Red Dot Sights

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Trijicon RMR Type 2 - Best Overall


The Trijicon RMR open emitter reflex sight is the gold standard for all micro red dot sights, and it's the go to pistol sighting system.

Increased Slug Accuracy - 3.25 MOA dot size or higher are great for acquiring the target fast and easier for shooting with both eyes open

Tighter Battery Grip - The battery grip is more secure than the Type 1 model, enhancing its ability to withstand recoil forces and maintain constant battery contact, ensuring the reticle stays on.

Works On Other Mounts - Mount the RMR on other firearm platforms as offset or primary optic


  • Magnification: 1X
  • Objective Lens: 0.9" x 0.6"
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Reticle Type: 6.5 MOA dot
  • Turret : 1 MOA / Click
  • Length: 1.8 inches
  • Weight: 1.2 oz
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Battery Life: 4 years 


  • Battle proven durability
  • Small and non snag
  • Much tighter battery grip than GEN 1 models
  • Co witness with iron sights
  • Cons

  • Open emitter attracts debris easily
  • Sight removal required for battery swap
  • Holosun 507C X2 - Best RMR Alternative

    shooting sig p320 with holosun 507c

    Why Use Holosun 507C - The Holosun 507C X2 is by far the best alternative to the Trijicon RMR and saves you a lots of money while the mounting footprint stays the same. (See more optics with the same RMR footprint not listed on this guide here)

    Solar Power BackUp - Solar fail-safe power kicks in immediately when the battery dies, so the optic will always remain on

    Side Battery Access - No sight removal required to swap battery. 

    2X More Battery life - The Shake Awake technology saves tons of battery life by deactivating the optic when at rest, then turns it back on upon movement. Up to 100,000 hours

    Multi Reticle System - Choose among 3 different reticles for different shooting applications

    holosun 507c acss reticle slow motion

    The new ACSS Vulcan reticle (Sold separately) features that ring to help guide the eye back to the center if needed


    • Magnification: 1X
    • Reticle: 1 MOA, 32 MOA ring, or combined
    • Turret Value: 1 MOA / Click
    • Field of View: 0.63" X 0.91"
    • Construction: 7075 T6 aluminum IP67 rated
    • Dimension: 1.78"X1.15"X1.15"
    • Weight: 1.5 oz
    • Battery Life: 3 - 4 years


  • Similar durability as Trijicon RMR
  • Side battery access tray
  • Same RMR footprint
  • Much more affordable
  • Works on 12 GA, carbines and pistols
  • Cons

    • Open emitter attracts dirt easily in CCW holster under clothing
    • Sight removal required for battery swap

    Trijicon SRO - Largest Field Of View


    Trijicon SRO is a large window red dot sight that allows faster dot tracking than any other standard size red dot sights. It's the evolved version of the RMR design for users having a hard time acquiring the dot.

    Unobstructed Field of View - Fast to get on target, fast follow up, and never lose the dot inside the window even if the eye is slightly off center

    Easier To Find The Dot - Slightly enlarged upper portion of the window significantly increase dot acquisition speed even if the grip angle was off

    Top Loading Battery Access - Access battery from the top without removing the sight or re-zero the sight 

    Lock-In & Lock Out Mode - Saves user chosen brightness setting indefinitely, Ideal for target shooting & competition without accidental button adjustment


    • Magnification: 1X
    • Reticle: 5 MOA option is the best
    • Turret Value: 1 MOA / Click
    • Field of View: Round 0.98" X 0.89"
    • Construction: 7075 T6 aluminum
    • Dimension: 2.2"X1.3"X1.4"
    • Weight: 1.6 oz
    • Battery Life: 3 - 4 years


    • Very large FOV for easier dot tracking
    • No zeroing or sight removal required for battery swap like the 507C
    • Same RMR footprint
    • Lockout mode


  • Not the same lens frame durability as RMR
  • A bit pricey
  • Not for CCW
  • Holosun 509T - Best Weatherproof

    FNX 45 tactical holosun 509T

    The Holosun 509T X2 is a closed emitter red dot designed to prevent debris from entering the optic or carrying concealed under clothing and for outdoor use.

    32 MOA Reticle + 2 MOA dot - Same reticle system as 507C, 508T and 507K

    Battery Lasts A Long Time – Just like the Holosun 507C recommended above. Long battery life + Solar Failsafe to keep the sighting system operational

    Clamp Mount - Tighter and much more secure mount like picatinny 

    Titanium Durability – Increased main body durability to handle heavy recoil impulses and rough slide racking against hard surfaces. 


    • Magnification - 1X
    • Reticle - 2 MOA + 32 MOA Ring, or 2 MOA dot
    • Adjustment - 1 MOA / Click
    • Brightness - 10 DL&2 NV (Features Lockout Mode)
    • Construction - Solid titanium body, IP67
    • Window Size - 0.63" X 0.91"
    • Body Dimension - 1.6" X 1.16" X 1.13"
    • Weight - 1.72 oz
    • Battery - CR1632
    • Battery Life - 50,000 hours + Solar


  • Closed emitter design to keep debris away
  • Strong lens frame from top to bottom
  • Built in motion sensor like the 507C
  • Much tighter mount platform
  • Cons

    • Requires special mounting plate
    • Has lens edge distortion

    Holosun EPS Carry - Best Weatherproof

    holosun eps carry

    The Holosun EPS Carry is much smaller and it's fully enclosed, and it uses the Holosun K mounting footprint (RMSc) for micro compact pistols.

    Closed Emitter - Fully weatherproof against dirt, water and other debris from entering the optic 

    Side Battery Access - Swap the battery without sight removal

    6 Reticle Systems - 2 MOA, 6 MOA or multi reticle system with 32 MOA ring (with solar failsafe). Sold separately


    • Magnification: 1X
    • Reticle: 2 MOA, 6 MOA or MRS
    • Turret Value: 1 MOA / Click
    • Window Size: 0.58" X 0.77"
    • Construction: 7075 T6 aluminum IPX8 rated
    • Dimension: 1.62" X 1.07" X 0.95"
    • Weight: 1 oz
    • Battery Life: 50,000 hours


    • Closed emitter design to keep debris away
    • Multiple reticle options
    • No lens distortion at all
    • Strong lens frame than the 507K design
    • Comes with insert mount plate with recoil lugs


    • Not much

    Holosun 507K X2 - Best For Subcompact Pistols

    holosun 507K x2 on hellcat pistol

    Holosun 507K is made for slim profile handgun that is compact and further reduce the size for conceal carry users.

    32 MOA Reticle + 2 MOA dot - Same reticle system as other Holosun red dot sights

    Battery Lasts A Long Time – Just like the Holosun 507C recommended above. Long battery life + Solar Failsafe to keep the sighting system operational

    Snag free holster draw performance - The rugged exterior housing to withstand wear against clothing and also provides snag-free draw performance out of IWB or OWB holsters.

    Clamp Mount - Tighter and much more secure mount like picatinny 

    Simple battery change without hassle - Access the battery from the side tray instead of the bottom to eliminate the need to remove the sight for battery swap.


    • Magnification: 1X
    • Reticle: 2 MOA dot, 32 MOA ring, or combined
    • Turret Value: 1 MOA / Click
    • Window Size: 0.58" X 0.77"
    • Construction: 7075 T6 aluminum IP67 rated
    • Dimension: 1.6" X 0.98" X 0.95"
    • Weight: 1 oz
    • Battery Life: 50,000 hours


    • Very durable for CCW use
    • Multi reticle system like 507C
    • RMSc footprint fits most MOS handguns on the market today


    • Open emitter design attracts dirt
    • Has lens distortion

    Cyelee BEAR - Affordable Enclosed Optic

    cyelee bear red dot sight

    The Cyelee BEAR sight is reliable, with a fully sealed housing that keeps all electronics safe inside. It's made of tough aircraft-grade aluminum with a matte-black finish, ready to handle recoil and maintain accuracy. Plus, it's fog-proof, thanks to nitrogen-purged internals.

    The BEAR is comparable to the Swampfox Kraken but at a better price and with superior specs. Cyelee backs it with a three-year warranty and has a history of quality in pistol optics. Despite being a Chinese brand, their quality control is reliable.

    The BEAR sight includes adapter plates for RMR and Glock MOS footprints.

    3 MOA dot - For precision, the BEAR sight offers a sharp 3 MOA red dot for accurate long-range shooting and has 10 brightness settings for any lighting. Its multi-coated, scratch-resistant amber lens ensures clear images.

    Battery Lasts A Long Time – With Shake Awake Technology, the Cyelee BEAR red dot sight is always mission-ready, powering up with movement and conserving energy when still. The battery lasts over 50,000 hours and uses a common CR2032 battery, which is easy to replace from the side.

    Works Under Bright Sunlight - The sight's raised button design makes adjusting through 10 brightness settings, including two for low light, effortless.

    Simple battery change without hassle - Access the battery from the side tray instead of the bottom to eliminate the need to remove the sight for battery swap.


    • Magnification: 1X
    • Reticle: 3 MOA dot
    • Turret Value: 1 MOA / Click
    • Window Size: 18mm
    • Construction: 7075 T6 aluminum IP6 rated
    • Weight: 1 oz
    • Battery Life: 50,000 hours


    • Fully enclosed for weatherproof
    • Lightweight
    • Rock solid mount
    • RMR and MOS adapter plates included


    • No lock out mode
    • No 6 MOA option 

    Handgun Red Dots Buying Guide

    Are Red Dots On Handguns Worth It

    Using a red dot sight on a handgun can provide significant benefits, particularly once the shooter becomes accustomed to it.

    The primary advantage of using a pistol red dot optic is the ability to keep both eyes open while remaining target-focused. Simply superimpose the dot over the target and shoot.

    This can be beneficial in a variety of shooting scenarios, including competition, defensive situations and for shooters with aging eyes.

    Check out our Red Dot Sight Shooting Guide. The guide goes over target acquisition, stance, dot brightness and recoil management beyond basic knowledge.

    How Far Is A Red Dot Effective

    walther pdp trijicon sro

    A red dot is effective as far as the shooter can hit where it was zeroed.

    The shooter must apply good shooting fundamentals such as grip, recoil control, breathing to be accurate. A red dot simply just provides the shooter the ability to aim faster.

    Low Bore Axis VS High Bore Axis Differences

    A low bore axis means the gun's barrel is closer to the shooter's hand top, which helps align the red dot sight with the target better and cuts down on muzzle lift. This makes it easier to keep the sight steady for follow-up shots.

    On the other hand, a high bore axis positions the barrel higher, which can lead to a more instinctive aiming and faster target locking when using a red dot sight.

    Lens Window Size Matters For Easier Dot Tracking

    holosun EPS vs EPS Carry field of view

    The size of the optic window matters because it gives you extra room to find the dot.

    Trijicon SRO's large window design makes a huge difference.

    Does The Weight of Optic Affect Slide Operation?

    Handgun optics are generally lightweight, around 2 oz, and do not affect slide operation. Removing material from the slide for optic mounting compensates for the added weight.

    The weight of the optic does not have a significant impact on performance, except for when mounting it on slides with lightening cuts or low recoil springs.

    Is Green or Red Dot Better

    Green dot reticle seems slightly easier to acquire in daylight.

    Recoils Resistant 

    These red dot sights are made to handle sharp recoil forces to retain zero for accuracy. Most high-quality handgun optics are built from the ground to handle loads like 40SW, 357 Sig and even 40mm.

    So they can handle a lot of G force when the slide cycles repeatedly.

    Repeated recoil only damage the optic's internals if you use low-quality optic.

    Handgun Slide Optic Compatibility

    fn509 ls edge optic ready slide cut

    Red dot sights fit many handgun slides, but not all. Striker-fired semi-auto pistols are their most common match.

     Leading gun makers, including Glock, FN, Springfield, and Smith & Wesson, provide pistols ready for optics, saving you milling costs.

    Your handgun optic usually includes the right mounting plates and screws for your gun. Brands like Glock, FN, Springfield, and Smith & Wesson offer pistols with built-in optic readiness, sparing you extra costs and time.

    When you buy a handgun optic, it comes with everything needed for mounting on your specific firearm, ensuring hassle-free setup.

    Adjusted Brightness Settings Control

    All of these optics offer favorable brightness settings that work well both indoors and outdoors, even in bright sunlight. It's important to note that the brightness of the dot and the size of the dot are not the same thing.

    Optic shooters should adjust the brightness level to match the environment to ensure the dot is neither too bright, obscuring the lens and target, nor too dim to see.

    Picking The Right MOA Reticle Size

    3 moa vs 6 moa dot sizes comparison

    Bigger dot for speed, smaller dot for accuracy.

    Users with aging eyes and astigmatism can benefit from using red dot sights to be target plane focused.

    Even though users with astigmatism sometimes have a hard time seeing the dot clearly. The 6 MOA is the best option.

    A smaller dot is great for fine aiming like the 1 MOA dot.

    Is Motion Activated Optic Feature Necessary?

    Motion activated red dot sights are getting popular. They can turns off to save battery if they are sitting in idle.

    It's a nice feature to have, but it's not necessary especially for a conceal carry optic that is constantly moving inside a holster.