13 Best Red Dot Sights 2022 [Gunfighter's Choice]
Here are the 13 best red dot sights for modern handguns and long guns that the pros are using.
We have tested & used over 18 different red dot optics and ranked them based on durability, reticle designs, battery life and cost.
Disclosure: All products have affiliate links for earning commission to support the website when you purchase
Aimpoint Micro H-1 - Best Overall
New Aimpoint RDS Duty Available Here
See More Optics For SCAR 17
Why All Pros Use Aimpoint Micro - The Aimpoint Micro is still the best red dot sight. It's tough, durable and many Tier 1 military units around the world trust and use it.
Insane battery life - The user doesn't have to switch out the battery at all for 4 years. You never have to worry about the battery running out, it's always ready.
Night Vision Compatible - 2 night vision settings available to use with NVG
Simple 2 MOA Dot - Uncluttered field of view for aiming the dot at night & doesn't obscure the target like the 68 MOA EOTECH ring reticle when the brightness is dialed up (See more 2 MOA red dot sights here)
Built like a tank - The Micro series red dot optics is made from 7075 T6 aluminum - the industry's highest optic material standard to hold zero
Accepts various mounts - It can accept many different mounts from various companies to align with absolute co witness or lower 1/3rd
What guns people use it on - The Aimpoint Micro is the ultimate choice for pistol caliber carbine, fighting rifles and shotguns.
- Tight turret tolerance
- Field grade durability for serious users
- Tons of aftermarket mounts available
- Low profile
- Very long battery life
- Use as offset red dot
EOTECH EXPS3-4 - Large FOV
Why Use The EOTech? This is a operator grade holographic sight that works for passive aiming. It's the go to optic for serious CQB shooters and home defenders within 50 yard distance.
Unobstructed FOV - Easily acquire the target while shooting on the move, shooting over barricade and around corners.
Fast Ranging BDC Reticle - Range a 5'8" tall human size target inside the 68 MOA reticle to quickly estimate relative target distance. In addition, use a magnifier behind the EXPS3 -4 to Engage up to 600 yards
Night Vision Compatible - Shoot in the dark with night vision goggles using the night vision mode. Not many sights out there have this feature.
CQB Holdover - Use the bottom of the 68 MOA ring for fast close range holdover to compensate CQB sight over bore offset.
Fine 1 MOA Dot - Increase AR15 accuracy for 300 yards with a tiny dot for much better sight picture
Shoot With Both Eyes Open - Widen your situational awareness and not miss anything in the corner of your eye
Vortex AMG UH-1 Gen 2 - Best EOTECH Alternative
Why Must Get The Vortex UH1 Gen 2 - This is by far the best EOTECH alternative with plenty of improvements from the Gen 1 model. And slightly cheaper!
Larger Viewing Window - HUD like aiming experience that many CQB shooters love. Rear window is larger than Gen 1.
New Aesthetics - For anything who wants a futuristic rifle setup different from anyone else. This is that optic
Clear Sight Picture - Very little lens tint to work under all light conditions
AMG CQB Reticle - Open section reticle is much better for visibility than EOTECH to avoid target obstruction down range.
- Less cluttered reticle design than EOTECH
- Great passive aiming like EOTECH
- Completely new look on M4 carbine
- Adjustable quick detach mount
Aimpoint Pro - Classic Tube Style RDS
Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic Is Very Hot Selling - The Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic comes with a QD mount, and its still by far the best old tube style red dot sights just under $480 with a great battery life performance.
Crisp Dot Reticle - Fast target acquisition up to 200 yards with a fast to pick up 2 MOA dot
Always Ready & Always On - It's always on just like other durable optic without ever turning it off
Even Survives Fire - Survives fires, drop, kick, bump and still turns on and retains zero
See Through Flip Covers - Comes with see through lens cover
Trijicon MRO - Tapered FOV Red Dot Sight
Why shooters love the Trijicon Miniature Rifle Optic - This large window red dot sight features reduced tube effect at the same price range as the Aimpoint Pro
Reduced Tube Effect - The tapered body design allows the tube to remain small while giving the shooter a wide view. Sight in for a 36 yard zero for the most combat effect zero
Reduced View Obstruction - Slim lateral body design and top brightness eliminates view obstruction for max situational awareness
Hardened Construction - 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 - If anything like this exist back then at this price point, it will fly off the shelf almost immediately
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.
- Bigger window
- No lateral FOV obstruction
- Wide field of view without tunnel effect
- Tons of aftermarket mounts available
- Long battery life like Aimpoint
Leupold LCO - Best FOV
Why pick the LCO - The LCO has the similar rectangle view window of the EOTECH, and it's a red dot sight without the ring reticle obscuring the sight picture
Widened Field Of View - Maximizes shooter's peripheral vision by eliminating the tube effect
Adjustable Brightness Settings - Adjust through 16 brightness settings for day and night usage.
Motion Activated To Save Battery - The sight instantly activates the sight upon motion, then it turns off when sitting at rest.
Built In Mount - Built-in cantilever mounting system to 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.
Leupold has discontinued making it
Click on the link below to see if you can still find one for a good price
- EOTECH alike FOV in a red dot sight
- Motion sensor saves battery juice
- Unique aesthetics
- Fixed optic height
Holosun 510C - Best For The Money
Use the Optic As Long As You Want – Increased battery life with the new Solar Failsafe system to to keep the optic working.
Solar Fail Safe - Solar panel extends the battery life longer to keep you in the red dot on longer even when the battery dies, and it also acts like a fiber optic that turn light exposure into battery power
Faster Transition – Instantly place the red dot on the target while shooting on the move or transitioning with both eyes open.
Quick Detach - Mount and de-mount the optic without any tools in the event of optic failure or swapping optic on the go.
Multi-Purpose For Various Firearm Platforms – Use it on any firearm including heavy caliber centerfire rifles
Read Detailed Holosun 510C Review Here
- Additional hood protection like EOTECH
- Solar panel power when battery dies
- Multi red dot reticle system for various applications
- Built in QD lever mount
Sig ROMEO 5 - Best Value
Why Use ROMEO5? - The Sig ROMEO5 1X20mm is an robust, compact and affordable red dot optic offering from Sig Sauer. It's the best red dot sight for the money for new shooters.
Motion Activated - The new MOTAC powers up the optic upon any motion, and it shuts down when sitting idle to save battery and last as long as up to 40K hours
2 MOA dot size - Just like the MRO and Aimpoint Micro.
Uses Aimpoint Mount - Any aftermarket Aimpoint footprint mount will work
Check Out More ROMEO5 Pics And Review
- Uses Aimpoint Micro footprint
- Best budget red dot sight for beginners
- Motion sensor saves battery
- Very pleasing aesthetics
- Reticle can be brighter for sunny day use
Trijicon RMR Type 2 - Toughest Micro Reflex Sight
The Trijicon RMR is the gold standard for mini red dot sights. If you want the best red dot sight for pistols, the RMR is the go-to product.
The optic is lightweight, robust and rugged, and it's the best to get.
Better 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.
Offers 6.5 MOA Dot (RM07) - Bigger the dot, the rounder it is, the more clear it is to shooters with poor vision, and less starburst overlapping the dot.
Check out more large dot size optic here
- Very durable built for serious users
- Small profile
- Tons of variations to choose from
- Tighter battery grip (Type 2 models)
- Open emitter attracts dirt
Holosun 507C X2 - Best RMR Alternative
HoloSun HE507C X2 2 MOA reflex sight is the best Trijicon RMR alternative at a good 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
Side Battery Access - Access the battery from the side. No sight removal is required nor re-zeroing
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
Conceal Carry Ready - Saves the last reticle brightness setting to prevent accidental button press
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
- Uses the same RMR footprint
- Small profile
- More affordable than RMR
- Multi reticle system
- Long battery life
- Open emitter attracts dirt like RMR
- Must remember programmed steps to adjust reticle modes
Vortex Venom - Lightest Weight
Compact Entry Level Sight – Recommend 6 MOA dot size for any pistol use
Very Low Profile Sight – It weighs only 1.1 oz
Top Loading Battery - Just like the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro and Trijicon SRO
Large Window – This is a small red dot with thin lens frame with unobstructive FOV
- Affordable for beginners
- Budget red dot sights
- Super small and lightweight
- Non-obstructive FOV
- Under 50K hours
Leupold DeltaPoint Pro - Best Lens Hood Durability
Leupold DeltaPoint Pro (DPP) is the most popular micro reflex optic for competition. Similar to Trijicon RMR, but slightly bigger window like the Trijicon SRO.
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
- Additional protection hood
- Motion activated illumination reticle
- Top loading battery design
- Large window like Trijicon SRO
- Now 6 MOA is available
- Open emitter attracts dirt like RMR
- Shorter battery than RMR for somehow
- Finger can block the reticle while adjusting
Trijicon RMRcc - Best For CCW & Single Stack
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.
Reduced 0.2" for slimmer profile - 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 - The new Button “LOCK-OUT” Mode secures the setting regardless of bumping or rubbing against clothing when concealed.
Durable for single handed operation - Racking the slide against the optic on hard surfaces for one handed operation. The 7075 T6 forged aluminum housing is super tough
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 - Tighten battery grip to prevent the battery from getting lose due to drops, bumps or repeated recoils to keep working in harsh environments,
6.5 or 3.25 MOA - 6.5 MOA is preferred for fast eye focus for super close up target acquisition and cleaner reticle for shooters with bad astigmatism
- The same ruggedness like RMR
- Unlimited eye relief
- Features lock out mode
- Minimized profile for CCW
- Great for subcompact pistols
- Bottom loading battery
- Not designed for most handguns machined for RMSc footprint
- Slide milling required
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.
Read more Enclosed Red Dot VS Open
Effective Zeroing Range & Accuracy
Different rifle has different range capability.
For the most part, red dot zeros between 25 and 100 yards are the most common. Learn to zero a red dot like a pro here
For a finer zero, use a magnifier scope to zoom in on the target and dial down the reticle brightness.
For a standard 55gr 5.56mm ball ammo, try the 36 yard zero
If you have a smaller dot like a 1 MOA or 2 MOA, it's absolutely important to get a good zero if the reticle looks blurry due to astigmatism or bad eye sight.
A red dot sight cannot replace fix inherent problems if you have an inaccurate barrel, poor bullet or poor shooting fundamentals.
Dot Size Selection & Astigmatism
The bigger the dot, the easier it is to pick up to superimpose it on the target for fast engagement.
The smaller the dot, the easier it is to aim precisely at a target far away without covering the target.
For shooters with astigmatism, if a big dot still look blurry please check out a prism sight or use a larger size MOA dot optic.
Be sure to also correct your vision or wear glasses
To learn more about prism vs red dot, please click here.
2 MOA dot will cover 2 inches at 100 yards and 1 inch at 50 yards.
4 MOA dot will cover about 4 inches at 100 yards and 2 inches at 50 yards.
To learn more on this topic, we have a 3 MOA VS 6 MOA article where we break down their differences beyond just the obvious specs.
Show Me More: Large MOA Optics
Most red dots are made up of high quality glass that feature durable coating, optimal light emission angle, eye safety, and parallax-free.
Some optics with poor coating can lead to dot washout and poor lens reflection, specially in direct sunlight.
Learn the 7 tips to combat sun glare when shooting in direct sunlight here
Long-Lasting Battery Life
50,000 hours of battery life is the industry standard for a red dot sight even for budget red dot sights.
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
The biggest benefit of a red dot is unlimited eye relief and parallax free, which allows the shooter focus on the target plane without:
- Aligning sights
- Eye box limitation
- Optic to eye distance
- Cheek weld position
Aim around corners, under the car, in tight spaces... super flexible!
You just can't do it with a magnified optic
For CQB targets, just place the parallax-free reticle on target even if the shooter's head isn't completely align with the optic.
The bullet will still hit where the dot is placed.
However, when optic is tilted like this:
The point of impact will shift slightly.
Learn more: Cant effect on point of impact shifts
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 and aim both eyes open.
Whether you're on the move or transitioning through corners. A red dot sight is extremely fast for acquiring sight picture without using traditional iron sights.
High-Quality Optic Mount
Use a good mount for good zero retention and good cheek weld height.
On average, they cost about $90 – 150 each for a good mount with good aesthetics and rock-solid rail clamp force. Some of the best are made by:
- LaRue Tactical
- American Defense
- Geissele Super Precision
- Midwest Industries
Check out our optic mount guide for more information
Check here to learn how to mount optic on rifles without rail This include great firearms like AK, M14, P90, MP5 and more.
Using An Red Dot With Fixed A2 Front Sight
Fixed A2 front sight is blocking the sight picture. Does it matter?
Not really! here is why.
It's about how you configure the rifle so you can use an red dot with fixed A2 front sight without it obscuring your sight picture.
Check out the hyperlink to learn the 4 ways to go about it.
The toughest red dot sights are made to withstand roughing handling, recoil impluses and combat field abuse.
Under normal use the shooter is not expected to beat the crap out of the optic for no reason, but when the unexpected happens, these high strength to weight ratio optic won't break.
Under normal use, these bad boys will last a long time!
But the lens still remains a vulnerable spot.
The only way it will break is if you damage the glass straight on with the significant amount of force.
Referenced Larry Vicker
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.
High End Optics Alternatives
Holosun Optics, which has compeltely separated themselves among the packs and started making very-high end mil-spec optics, and some are getting close to Trijicon & Aimpoint.
Sig Sauer also makes optics, and they have a wide range of optic product selections for budget and pro users.
Who Uses Red Dot Sights?
People use red dot sights for all types of shooting
- Home defenders
- Competition shooters
- Law Enforcement
Are red dot sights worth it?
Yes, they are for long guns and pistols for all the reasons we have discussed above.
For plinking and casual range uses, an good optic in the $200-300 range is as good as those $600 couple years back as their qualities continue to increase and the prices are dropping.
For more please check out more content on our website.