8 Best Red Dot Sights 2021 

Showing up to the range with inferior optics or no optic at all on your rifle isn't cool or practical now days.

We have tested & used over 18 different types of optics based on durability, reticle, battery life and value for money.

Here are the 8 best red dot sights for modern handguns and long guns.

Don't spend hundreds of dollars on a cheap and inferior optics that will break on a real steel firearm just to save some money, stick with what the pros are using even if you have to save up for a few weeks.

Check them out below:

If you want slightly better than budget options without being expensive, please check out this guide instead

Best Red Dot Sights For Fighting Rifles

eotech exps3 on combat rifles

Disclosure: All products have affiliate links for earning commission to support the website when you purchase

PREVIEWvidFEATURESCHECK ON OP
HOTTEST SELLING

HOLOSUN 510C
kriss vector holosun 510c gif
  • Features:2 MOA dot, Motion activated, Both battery & solar, 3 Reticle options
  • Benefits:Lightweight, Fast on target, Power never dies, Similar to EOTech @ 1/2 the price
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BEST HOLOGRAPHIC SIGHT

EOTECH EXPS3-4 (HOLDOVER DOTS)
kriss-vector-eotech-gif
  • Features:68 MOA ring, 1 MOA dot, Side button OPS, 1/3 co-witness QD lever mount
  • Benefits:Fast CQB holdover reference, Precision dot for long distance engagement, Compact button design enable use of magnifier, Great optic height for KRISS VECTOR
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BEST BATTERY SAVING

LEUPOLD LCO
kriss vector with leipold lco
  • Features:1 MOA dot, Motion activated reticle, Lightweight, 
  • Benefits:Large FOV, Long-lasting battery (4 years), PCC Sub-gun optimal, Unique look on KRISS, Life-Time Warranty
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BEST BUDGET OPTION

SIG SAUER ROMEO 5
sig romeo 5 red dot sight
  • Features:MOTAC, 2 MOA dot, 40K hrs battery, 2 NV settings
  • Benefits:Huge battery savings with MOTAC technology, Low profile for PCC sub-gun, Aftermarket mounts accepted
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World's Toughest RDS

Aimpoint Micro H2
aimpoint micro on HK 416 full auto
  • Features: 2 MOA dot, 50K+ hrs battery, Protected lens included, Low profile optic
  • Benefits: Built like a tank with 7075 T-6 Aluminum, Super rugged, works well for high recoil impulse guns
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TOUGHEST MICRO RED DOT

Trijicon RMR Type 2
fnx 45 tactical with trijicon rmr
  • Features: 3.25 MOA dot, 50K+ hrs battery, Low profile optic, 1 MOA/ Click
  • Benefits: Built like a tank with 7075 T-6 Aluminum, Super rugged, works well for handguns, shotguns & rifle
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Largest FOV

Trijicon MRO
trijicon mro on ar15
  • Features: 2 MOA dot, Superior glass quality, Ambi brightness control
  • Benefits: Built like a tank with 7075 T-6 Aluminum, Fast TGT acquisition, Retains Zero, Minimized tube effect
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BEST RMR ALTERNATIVE

Holosun HS507C X2
holosun-508t-on-iwi-pistol
  • Features: 2 or 65 MOA dot, 100K+ hrs battery, Low profile optic, 1 MOA/ Click
  • Benefits: Built like a tank with 7075 T-6 Aluminum, Super rugged, works well for handguns, shotguns & rifle
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BEST FOR COMPETITION

Trijicon SRO 2.5 MOA
Sig-p320-X5-with-trijicon-sro-firing
  • Features: 1, 2.5 & 5 MOA dot, Same RMR mounting footprint, Enlarged window
  • Benefits: Find the dot much faster, Super rugged, works well for handguns, shotguns & rifle
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Aimpoint Micro H-1 - God Father Of Red Dot Sights [Best Overall]

SCAR-17-with-Aimpoint-Micro-and-magnifier

Referenced TREX ARMS

Why All Pros Use Aimpoint Micro - The Aimpoint Micro is the oldest kid on the block. It's tough, durable and many Tier 1 military units around the world use it.

This low profile Mil Spec red dot is the ultimate war proven optic for AR15, M4, AK, SCAR and other top tier fighting rifles, and it's regarded as the most trusted Aimpoint red dot sight.

Insane battery life - what the Aimpoint Micro is known for is its insane 50,000+ hours (~5 yrs) of battery life (1 CR2032), which means the user doesn't have to switch out the battery at all.

That means the optic will stay on and last even longer than the time you will spend getting a 4 year degree. You never have to worry about the battery running out, so you can keep it in your range bag or in the closet ready to go when you pick up.

Built like a tank - Having a tough external construction is important for an optic, the Micro series red dot sight is made from 7075 T6 aluminum - the industry's highest material tough standard for weapon parts for surviving physical abuse, recoil and retain zero.

Accepts various mounts - The Aimpoint micro can accept many different mounts from various companies to suit your tactical needs, having a optimized mount helps retain zero and reduce weight.

What guns people use it on - The Aimpoint Micro is the ultimate choice for pistol caliber carbine, fighting rifles and shotguns.

If you want the best, this is it. So be sure to get a discount deal for this expensive optic by going through our link below:

Trijicon MRO - Largest Field Of View

Trijicon-MRO-with-Magnifier

Why shooters love MRO - The Trijicon Miniature Rifle Optic has the largest field of view among other tube style red dot optics for max situational awareness.

One thing unique about the design is that the brightness adjustment is on the top of the optic, which eliminates view obstruction on the sides, and it also made it ergonomical for lefties and righties.

The tapered body design allows the tube to remain small while giving the shooter a wide view.

The optic is built with 7075 T6 aluminum body, the toughest material the industry has to offer, which can withstand a lot of rough handling especially if you like to run your gun hard.

What people think of the MRO - In the past, people if anything like this exist it will fly off the shelf almost immediately because Aimpoint Micro cornered the market.

For the price, the MRO is a better option for anyone just got started with shooting. If you're new and want something as tough as the Aimpoint but without spending over $800 please check the best price by clicking on the button below.

Leupold LCO  - Best Motion Sensor Feature

Ronin tactics Leupold LCO

Referenced Ronin Tactics

Why pick the LCO - The LCO is a great lightweight combat optic that's quite popular right now. Its futuristic looking body profile and it's new integrated circuit for battery saving are what make the Leupold LCO so great.

What people love about the LCO - The clean outter optic frame gives the shooter max peripheral vision free of knobs and dials, which is great for CQB indoor and outdoor.

In addition, the clean 1 MOA dot reticle is suited for long distance precision shots, and it can be adjusted between 16 brightness settings to match the lighting situation.

motion sensor leupold lco reticle

Motion Activated - The LCO has a built-in motion sensor that activates the reticle when the shooter picks up the gun, and it turns off when it's sitting still. This added feature helps save battery when using just 1 CR123A battery.

The optic comes with a built-in cantilever mounting system that can go on any mil-spec rail without any issue. Leupold recommends 60 in-pound when securing the optic on a rifle, and you can do that with a torque wrench.

If you're looking for something different than an Aimpoint or Eotech, the LCO is a great option to get.


CZ EVo3 with Kriss Vector

You can absolutely use those ones for AR15 on a PCC without any problem. However, typically people put a more expensive red dot on a centerfire rifle for home defense and to take to a carbine class.

Unless you really need to spend crazy amount of money for a bomb-proof optic, a budget option like the Holosun is just as good minus the mil-spec durability.

Pistol caliber rifles or sub-guns are generally used as a lightweight CQB home defense tool, USPSA competition and plinking.

Holosun optics are our best red dot for the money for anyone looking for durable and affordable red dot or reflex sights.

Holosun 510C - Best Budget Reflex Red Dot Sight

AK-with-TWS-rail-holosun-510c-and-streamlight-protac
HoloSun makes the best PCC reflex red dot sight for AR15 pistols and various sporting rifles on the market right now. 

From making 100,000 hours long-lasting sights to solar-powered optics. HoloSun is also creating innovative laser/IR technologies that benefit a wide range of shooting applications.
  • Use the Optic As Long As You Want – Power source is an important part of a high-quality optic for non-stop use, increase battery life with the new Solar Failsafe system to strengthened reliability and longevity
  • Multi-Purpose For Various Firearm Platforms – Use it on any firearm is a good indication of how useful the optic is, using the improved QD mount with an adjustable clamping force to go on any firearm including heavy caliber centerfire rifles
  • Large Lens Window For Faster Shooting – Lens size is an important spec of how fast you shoot and track the dot in a match, parallax-free holographic sight with unlimited eye relief with this large POV to instantly place the dot on the target while shooting on the move or transitioning with both eyes open


Primary Arms Red Dot Best For Beginner

Primary Arms red dot sight is affordable and performs well. It's one of the best red dot under $200, and new shooters can quickly get into shooting with a red dot without breaking the bank.

  • 50,000 Hours Battery  – Reliable and long battery life is one of the measurements of the quality of the optic, using only 1 CR2032 lithium battery to power the sight through 11 brightness settings without ever changing the battery
  • 11 Brightness Settings For Any Environment– Flexible options to adjust dot brightness for daytime use, increased versatility with additional 2-night vision settings for nighttime shooting
  • Shoot Accurately with It Longer  – Built material is an important aspect of a durable optic, increased ruggedness with 6061 T6 aluminum construction to ensure durability and maintain zero

Best Pistol Micro Optics

Trijicon RMR Type 2 - Toughest Micro Reflex Sight

Trijicon RMR on a fancy Glock Slide

The Trijicon RMR is the gold standard for micro pistol reflex sights. Still to this day, this optic is the go-to for handgun, rifle, and shotgun usage.

  • Same as the original - The RMR type 2 has improved its robust build quality to specifically handle handgun slide G force.
  • Improved battery compartment - More reliable by having a stronger battery retention to hold it in place without getting loose.

The optic is lightweight, robust and rugged, and it's the best to get.

Holosun 507C - Best Overall

holosun 508t on glock with surefire

HoloSun HE507C 2 MOA reflex sight is among one of their best high quality budget optics. This is the best alternative to a Trijicon RMR at 2/3 the price.

It uses the same mounting footprint as the RMR, so you can use it on any existing RMR mount. It's among one of the best red dot sights for shotguns, PCC and rifles with a minimalistic overall profile

What people love about it

  • Never Quit Working – Lasts over 100,000 hours plus solar power, Increased reliability with the Solar Failsafe feature to work continuously even if the battery fails to keep you in the fight longer
  • Center Dot + Ring - Switch between a precision dot & cicular reticle for CQB & distance shooting 
  • Motion Activated Reticle –  Increased battery life with HoloSun’s Shake Awake technology that activate the reticle with the last brightness setting recall to save battery

Leupold DeltaPoint Pro - Best For Competition

Leupold-DeltaPoint-Pro-Glock

DeltaPoint is the most popular micro reflex optic for competition. Similar to Trijicon RMR, but with a bigger window.

  • Optimized For Competition – Large FOV for fast target acquisition, helps shooter get on target fast and knock down targets to score big!
  • Top Loading Battery Access – Improved user experience, eliminated the need to remove sight for battery swap, retain zero without re-adjusting
  • Recoil proof– Increased durability & accuracy, full confidence when mounted on shotguns, handguns and rifles

Trijicon RMRcc - Best For CCW & Single Stack

RMR vs RMRcc

Why pick the NEW RMRcc - Built on the fundation of the original RMR, the RMRcc is thinner and more compact for micro sized single stack CCW pistols.

This is really the first time in history single stack CCW pistols like the G43X can mount a duty grade optic that people can trust to be rough handled & daily bumps and drops.

Even through the optic window is slightly smaller than the RMR, but target acquisition speed feels still the about same without any significant compromises.

Reduced 0.2" for slimmer profile - A slimmer optic width fits flush with popular slim profile single stack CCW pistols. The RMRcc is 0.2" slimmer in width than the Trijicon RMR without compromising original CR2032 battery dimension or functionality

No to accidental brightness adjustment - Accidental brightness adjustment is a problem when it's time to draw the gun either too dim or too bright. The new Button “LOCK-OUT” Mode secures the setting regardless of bumping or rubbing against clothing when concealed.

racking trijicon rmrcc on wood

Referenced PDN

Durable for single handed operation - In situation where the shooter has to operate the slide with just one hand, racking the slide against the optic on hard surfaces come into play. The 7075 T6 forged aluminum housing allows the user to go tough on the optic

No compromise in durability - Even though the sight is scaled down from the original RMR, the new RMRcc still uses the same grade material, circuitry, functionality and positive MOA adjustment control the RMR is known for

Upgraded electronics - Ruggedized battery contacts and electronics ensure performance and survivability in harsh environments, the tighter battery grip prevents the battery from getting lose due to drops, bumps or repeated recoils

6.5 or 3.25 MOA - Two MOA sizes to choose from, 6.5 MOA is preferred for fast eye focus for super close up target acquisition



What To Look For

Red Dot VS Reflex Differences

Most red dot sights fall into the reflex optics category, but not all reflex sights are red dot sights.

The differences are as follows:

Red Dot Sight uses a LED emitted diode and mirrors to project the reticle on the glass inside a tube style red dot sight for aiming.

Unlimited eye relief, zero parallax and aim with both eyes open

Reflex Sight works the same way as a red dot sight, but they are typically open emitter sights like Trijicon RMR, Holosun 510C where the LED emitter is exposed instead of a fully enclosed body design.

Red Dot Sight Effective Zeroing Range & Accuracy

Shooting-mk18-in-low-light
Referenced Trex Arms (Watch Here)

As long as you have an accurate rifle and caliber, adding a red dot sight to it makes it even better. A red dot sight cannot replace the inherent inaccurate barrel, bullet or shooting fundamentals.

Generally speaking, a good rifle set up with a red dot sight can reach 200 yards before needing some sort of magnification.

This is where the size of your MOA dot is very important.

Note: Whether you're using a reflex sight or a holographic sight, be sure to have 20/20 vision or wear glasses otherwise the reticle will look blurry since they're projected onto the lens that appears to be couple feet in front of your eye.

Importance of MOA Dot Size Selection

Red Dot Sight MOA Sizes

The size of the dot has a lot to do with aiming precision. The bigger the dot, the easier it is to pick up and superimpose it on the target at close range. The smaller the dot, the easier it is to aim precisely at a target far away without covering the target.

The most popular red dot size is 2 to 4 MOA on the market, which means a 2 MOA dot will cover 2 inches at 100 yards and 1 inch at 50 yards.

A 4 MOA dot will cover about 4 inches at 100 yards and 2 inches at 50 yards.

So if you want to reach a 12 inches wide human size target at 100 yards, a 2 MOA is a finer dot size that can get the job done. The further you shoot the smaller your want your dot size to be.

Learn more: How far to sight in a 223 rifle

Glass Quality

Most optics are made up of high quality glass that feature durable coating, optimal light emission angle, eye safety, and parallax-free.

One thing to look out for is to see how much glare there is when the user ups the reticle intensity, which can obscure the sight picture in low light. 

Long-Lasting Battery Life

50,000 hours of battery life is the industry standard for a red dot sight, and currently most red dot sights can last this long with a single CR123A battery via using advanced circuitry design that wasn't readily available in the past.

A long lasting battery life eliminates the need to replace the battery, and it can stay on and be ready for anything.

Unlimited Eye Relief & Parallax Free

Red dot sight has unlimited eye relief and parallax free, which allows the shooter to look through the sight without worrying about the eye box or eye shadow.

For target placed with in 7 - 100 yards away, the parallax-free reticle allows the dot to stay on target even if the shooter's head isn't completely align with the optic. This means shooting at various cheek position guarantee accuracy.

Faster Target Acquisition Speed

A sight with a wide field of view allows the shooter to quickly present the rifle and instantly transpose the red dot reticle on the target. 

Whether you're on the move or transitioning through corners. A reflex red dot sight is extremely fast for acquiring sight picture without using traditional iron sights.

High-Quality Red Dot Sight Mount 

Scalarworks Aimpoint Micro Red Dot Sight Mount POV

A good sight must go with a good mount for good zero retention and good cheek weld height.

There are many high-quality T6061 or T7075 aerospace-grade mounts available on the market that can withstand a lot of stress and also provide rock-solid clamp force on the rail system.

On average, they cost about $90 – 150 each for a good mount with good aesthetics and quality. Some of the best are made by:

  1. LaRue Tactical
  2. American Defense
  3. Geissele Super Precision
  4. Midwest Industries
  5. Scalarworks

Drop Proof

Referenced PewpewTactical

The toughest red dot sights are made to withstand normal roughing handling, recoil impluses and combat abuse.

High tensile strength prevents a lot of physical abuse before any deformation. The feel to those super expensive optics have one thing in common, they are nice and snug.

The only way it will break is if you damage the glass straight on with the significant amount of force. When someone says they have a battle-proven sight, It means it can take a lot of physical beating and maintain zero.

But the lens still remains a vulnerable spot.

Recoil Proof 

ak47-slow-motion-pistol-action

Recoil impulse travels down the gun if you ever have seen any slow-motion videos of a gun firing. Some guns kick a lot, and you can see the wave travel across the gun, and the optic kind of wiggles around.

This harmonic wave will affect optic accuracy.

Therefore any combat optic has to be able to handle that recoil without losing zero.

Those high-end optics paired up with rock-solid mount can withstand sharp recoil impulse and height drop. So that should give you enough confidence to least buy one already.


Gucci Optics Alternatives

Besides all the Chinese knock-off airsoft scopes, some companies are making WAY better red dot sights on a lower price range.

Holosun Optics, which has compeltely separated themselves among the packs and started pushing its limit for making very-high end mil-spec optics, some are getting close to Trijicon & Aimpoint.

Some optics companies focus on a wide range of optics, and some focus only on a few products to make them dominate the whole market.

Sig Sauer is now officially an optics manufacturers. They have a wide range of optic product from long-range to short-range combat. Their affordable Aimpoint-like sights such as the ROMEO series are great, but Holosun is our favorite.

If you want the high end optics without breaking the bank, we highly recommend HoloSun, Primary Arms and Vortex Optics

Who Uses Red Dot Sights?

Indestructible red dot sights are used all by hardcore gun owners, and by Law Enforcement units and Military units all around the world. You see EoTech, Aimpoint, Trijicon the top 3 brands among the gun communities.

Most of those companies offer law enforcement and military discount program or contract and making them as their top royal customers. When you hear those brands you know, they are getting the good shit.


Final Thoughts

I’m a firm believer in the “buy once cry once” mindset. At the beginning of the article I mentioned I own a lot of rifles, but not my all rifles are paired with a super expensive optics.

When you buy a red dot sight for home defense, you should go for quality that can save your life, and if you want to use your guns for plinking, then go with something around the $200-300 range as their qualities continue to increase and the prices are dropping.

In the past you can't get a budget red dot that performs like an Aimpoint, and now you can.

Overall, Aimpoint, Trijicon, EOTech and Steiner Optics are the top 4 players in the market currently.

For more please check out more content on our website.


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