After 13 years of shooting experience, I've narrowed down the 8 best red dot sights for AR15 based on key criteria such zero retention, reticle size, battery life, durability, and cost.

Best AR15 Red Dot Sights 2024

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Product

Details

  • Top Tier
  • Best Overall
  • Best Value
  • Best Electronics
  • Best For PDW
  • Best For Range
  • Best Passive Aiming
  • Best Aimpoint For Value

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Aimpoint Micro - Top Tier

ar 15 red dot

As an avid user and enthusiast, I must say that the Aimpoint Micro is still the top red dot sights that other brands are actively competing with. Its remarkable strength-to-weight ratio body makes it a bombproof red dot sight for AR15 rifles. 

The Aimpoint Micro also offers an array of brightness settings, including 8 daylight settings and 4 night vision compatible settings, catering to a wide range of light conditions. This flexibility is vital for various shooting environments.

aimpoint micro 2 moa

Even though it can cost up to almost $900. Overall, this is a buy once cry once type of purchase, and I highly recommend it for serious shooters seeking a reliable, high-performance optic for their AR15.

  • 2 MOA or 4 MOA dot
  • 50K hrs
  • 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • 4.1 oz (Optic only
  • 0.5 MOA / click
  • Aimpoint Micro Footprint

Holosun 515GM - Best Overall

holosun 515gm ar15

The Holosun 515GM offers a budget-friendly alternative for those seeking a good AR15 red dot sight comparable to the Aimpoint Micro for just under $500. Boasting mil-spec grade construction, this top-tier product from Holosun delivers quality and performance on par with the renowned Aimpoint Micro.

In terms of durability, the HS515GM boasts a 7075 T6 aluminum body that meets mil-spec standards. It shares the same mounting footprint as the Aimpoint Micro, allowing for the use of the same mount.

hs515gm vs aimpoint micro

Additionally, the HS515GM is equipped with a 65 MOA ring and a center dot, which facilitates quicker close-quarters combat target acquisition compared to a standalone 2 MOA dot. Users can also switch to a 2 MOA dot for reduced reticle obstruction by holding the "-" button for 3 seconds, and revert back in the same manner.

  • 2 MOA + 65 MOA Ring (red or green)
  • 50K hrs
  • 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • 3.74 oz 
  • 0.5 MOA / click
  • Aimpoint Micro Footprint

Holosun 510C - Best For Range

ar 15 optics

From my experience, the Holosun 510C stands out as the best red dot sight for AR15s, especially considering its price point of under $300. It's not just the affordability that impresses me; the 510C offers a large field of view, essential for fast target acquisition in both practice and competition settings.

One of the most significant advantages of the Holosun 510C is its large lens window. This feature facilitates faster shooting by allowing for easy aiming with both eyes open, which is crucial when moving or transitioning between targets. 

holosun 510c solar panels

The large CQB 65 MOA reticle circle is perfect for range estimation and quick close-range holdovers, making it an invaluable tool in various shooting scenarios.

One of my favorite features of the Holosun 510C is its Solar Fail Safe technology. The integrated solar panel serves as a backup, kicking in if the battery dies while in the field. 

holosun 510c overall impression

At this price point, this is one of the hottest selling red dot sights that most new shooters are buying.

  • 2 MOA + 65 MOA Ring (red or green)
  • 50K hrs
  • 4.94 oz
  • Aluminum + Titanium Hood
  • 0.5 MOA / click

Read in-depth 510C review here

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Aimpoint Pro - Best Value Aimpoint

ar15 red dot

I recently decided to purchase the Aimpoint Pro for my AR15, and I must say, it's been an excellent red dot sight for AR15. Priced at under $480, this classic 30mm tube style red dot sight not only fits my budget but also includes a mount, which makes it an incredible value.

While there are newer models like the Aimpoint Comp5 available, I found that the Aimpoint Pro offers outstanding performance at a very reasonable price. For anyone in need of a reliable and affordable red dot sight, I'd highly recommend the Aimpoint Pro.

One of the features I particularly appreciate is its precise aiming reticle. The 2 MOA dot size is standard for mid-range and CQB, offering the accuracy and versatility needed for various shooting scenarios. This precision has significantly improved my shooting experience.

Another aspect that stands out is its 'Always Ready & Always On' capability. The sight stays on continuously, running on a single 3V type 2L76 or DL1/3N battery. Remarkably, this battery lasts over three years, which means I don't have to worry about it dying at a critical moment.

  • 2 MOA
  • 50K hrs
  • 6.8 oz (optic only)
  • Aluminum + Titanium Hood
  • 0.5 MOA / click

Holosun AEMS - Best Lightweight

holosun aems ar15

I recently got my hands on Holosun's latest AEMS red dot sight for the AR15, and it's been a great optic upgrade for my small PDW AR15 setup. 

The smaller profile of the AEMS is something I really appreciate. It gives the feel of a 509T but with a significantly larger viewing area, enhancing my field of view during shooting, and there is no large optic frame obstructing the view.

holosun aems review

The 7075 T6 model is the best model they offer. The sight is fully protected with recessed buttons, making it robust enough to survive harsh field conditions. It's IPX8 rated, and while the AEMS Core version comes with standard non mil-spec aluminum housing at $100 less, it still offers great durability.

What stands out the most is that the optic can run on its solar failsafe with the super capacitor to run indefinitely without a battery installed.

  • 2 MOA (red or green)
  • 50K hrs
  • 3.9 oz 
  • 7075 T6 forged aluminum
  • 0.5 MOA / click

Holosun 507C - Best Offset Red Dot

best red dot for ar15


More Cost Effective Than Trijicon RMR - The Holosun 507C is a great Trijicon RMR alternative for its durability and overall performance.

Low profile optic setup - Mount it on any offset red dot mount while using the same Trijicon RMR footprint. 

Cost Effective - One thing people love about the Holosun 507C is it's much cheaper than an RMR and it does the same thing.

holosun 507c red dot pov

Solar Panel Power - When the battery finally dies, the solar panel power will kick on and functions like a fiber optic sight under ambient lights

Side Loading Battery - No sight removal is required for battery swap and re-zeroing. Access the battery from the side tray

Multi-Reticle - Switch between

  • 2 MOA Center dot
  • 32 MOA circle
  • 32 MOA circle + 2 MOA Dot

*Change by pressing the minus button for 3 seconds.

The 32 MOA circle helps significantly for picking up the sight faster because it's big and easier to see.

  • 2 MOA + 32 MOA Ring (red or green)
  • 50K hrs
  • 1.5 oz 
  • 7075 T6 forged aluminum
  • 1 MOA / click

Read in-depth 507C review here

Sig Sauer ROMEO 5 - Best For The Money

ar 15 red dot

I've been using the Sig Romeo 5 on my AR rifles and pistol carbines for a long time, and I'm thoroughly impressed with its performance, especially considering it's priced just under $150. It's a robust and compact 1X20mm red dot sight and is, in my opinion, one of the best value red dot sight available for AR15s.

The standard 2 MOA Dot for fast aiming is one of its standout features. This dot size is typical for most red dot optics and is ideal for fast target acquisition. Additionally, when paired with a magnifier, it allows for pin-point accurate shooting, a quality I find extremely useful in various shooting scenarios.

sig-romeo-5-pov-rainsig-romeo-5-pov-rain

Another great feature is its compatibility with Aimpoint mounts. Being able to use any Aimpoint Micro mounts available on the market offers a lot of flexibility and convenience for customization.

The extended battery life of the Sig Romeo 5 is another reason I highly recommend it. It runs up to 50,000 hours of battery life without the need to turn it off, which is incredibly efficient and reduces the hassle of frequent battery changes.

  • 2 MOA
  • 50K hrs
  • 5.1 oz 
  • 6061 T6 aluminum
  • 0.5 MOA / click

Sig Sauer Romeo 5 review

Trybe Optics 1X - Best Budget Option For Beginners

ar 15 red dot

The Trybe Optics 1X red dot sight serves as an excellent entry-level option, with an initial build quality that surpasses competitors like the Sig Sauer ROMEO 5.

Featuring a 3 MOA dot, this sight is ideal for pistol caliber carbines AR15, and can be particularly beneficial for users with mild astigmatism.

After testing with 100 rounds and swapping the factory optic mount, the Trybe Optics sight demonstrated its ability to maintain zero and withstand drops. The overall quality might suggest a price tag of $350 based on first impressions; however, its 1000-hour battery life, 1 MOA per click turret, 6061 T6 aluminum body, and IPX67 rating make it an outstanding value at just $60.

  • 3 MOA
  • 1000 hrs
  • 3.68 oz 
  • 6061 T6 aluminum
  • 1 MOA / click

AR15 Red Dot Sights FAQ

How We Pick Red Dot Sights

do red dot work at night

There are tons of red dot sight products available, and you maybe overwhelmed by them. We picked these red dot sights for AR15 mostly based on zero retention, durability and price point

While the common denominators for a red dot sight now days are pretty much the same. Most of them have 50k hours battery life, 2 MOA dot, 0.5 MOA / click turret, multi coated lens and they retain zero fairly well. The biggest price difference.

In today's economy, buying something over $800 can be hard on the wallet for many new red dot sight users. Fortunately, there are more affordable options from companies like Sig Sauer and Holosun.

Is 2 MOA or 4 MOA Better?

2 MOA dot is the most common red dot reticle size for AR 15 rifles. It's small enough for long range aim, and big enough to see for close to medium range shots.

4 MOA red dot sights are rare these days, but they are much better for users with astigmatism and they are better suited for close range applications.

How Accurate Is The Red Dot On An AR-15?

sig sauer romeo 5

A red dot sight on an AR15 can be as accurate as sub MOA at 100 yards. The key is to zero the red dot properly as the first step, and use a rock solid red dot sight mount to retain zero.

A red dot magnifier scope is very helpful when it comes to zeroing a 1 or 2 MOA  red dot if the shooter's eyesight isn't 20/20.

What Is The Best Red Dot For Coyote Hunting

Most red dot sights recommended in this guide are good for coyote hunting. However, red dot sights without lens tint are the best option because it doesn't obscure the field of view.