So, do you think that a sight can definitely improve your shooting? Are you looking for the best equipment for your weapon arsenal? The best red dot sight for AR15 is the place to start.
If you’re an avid hunter or love target shooting, you know how important precision is. You need to have the right reticle to shoot your target, but you also need a quick mount and a perfect illumination system for dim light. Does all that sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not because we’ll help you find it.
In this article we’ll discuss the most important factors on how to choose the ideal sight for your AR15, depending on your purpose. We’ll also tackle some of the greatest sights we’ve found and review them in terms of your needs. And all that is summarized in this table below:
Our Top Picks
|Rhino Tactical Sight for Rifles||No||Yes||Cantilever||Check price on Amazon|
|Beileshi Optics Triple Illuminated Rapid Range Reticle||No||No||20 mm Weaver and 3/8 inch dovetail rails||Check price on Amazon|
|EOTech Model 300 Blackout Holographic Sight XPS2-300||Yes||No||1-inch Weaver or MIL-STD-1913 rails||Check price on Amazon|
|Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2||No||Yes||Cantilever||Check price on Amazon|
|Dagger Defense DDHB||Yes||No||Picatinny||Check price on Amazon|
|Bushnell Trophy TRS-25||No||No||None included||Check price on Amazon|
|HOLOSUN HS403A Micro||No||Yes||Micro mount||Check price on Amazon|
|Primary Arms Micro||No||No||Picatinny||Check price on Amazon|
Features to Consider Before Buying
The main things to consider are all linked to your purpose, and your budget. A qualitative item might be more expensive if it’s more versatile and allows different customizations. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a qualitative product at an affordable price, though it will meet just a basic function, and not at a pro level.
If you want a sight that really versatile, you should choose a 2MOA, otherwise, a 4MOA reticle is the most common for reflex sights. The reticle shape will also depend on your purpose, seeing as a ballistic reticle is great for tactical purposes and a crosshair for smaller targets.
If versatility is your top priority, you need multiple reticle patterns and colors. The various patterns will help you shoot at different distances and different game, while the colors will range depending on your light settings.
Consider if you want a holographic or a laser type of sight. The holographic ones can be better because they have no parallax, rendering a ghost-like image, hence their name. The laser sights might have some parallax, but they’re more advantageous in terms of accuracy.
Besides, some of the top LED laser sights have an outstanding battery life, which is always a plus if you’re out hunting a lot. It can also be a plus if you simply are a forgetful person and don’t want to be tied to your home.
The included co-witness guarantees you that you won’t have to stop your hunting or shooting practice even if you run out of battery. The co-witness consists out of an additional set of iron sights, which are great for still shooting a few rounds.
Even if your device doesn’t come with the included co-witness, you can still acquire one of your own, if the design of the sight allows it. Plenty of brands offer the co-witness for the specific sight as an extra they can get for a small price increase.
There are different mount-styles to choose from. The one-piece ones like the Cantilever or dovetails are sturdier, but they add to the overall weight. On the other hand, you can choose a mounting system with rings, which reduce the weight, but also the overall resistance.
You can also pick a sight that has a removable or very versatile mounting system. That means you can use it on different weapons, not just an AR15. However, for this specific model, we recommend a one-piece mount.
If you want to use this sight for an AR15, the first thing you should consider is its sturdiness. You need a robust sight, made from a strong material like metal. This sight should be shockproof, so it can resist bigger recoils.
We also recommend to check out features like the degree of waterproof and dustproof. For bright images, an O-ring seal that doesn’t allow the water and debris getting inside the sight is amazing. A nitrogen-purged device reduces the fog formation. You should also check the quality of the lens, which should be at least fully coated for bright images and minimal fog.
If you want to see all these characteristics at play, we recommend you at least browse the reviews below, so you can get a better grasp on how to make the right choice.
Best Products on Today’s Market
With all these characteristics to think of, let’s analyze a few products that might fit your needs. We’ve selected items with different designs, reticle types, and mounts, and at varied prices, so you can take your best pick.
Ozark Armament Rhino Tactical Sight
Weight: 16 ounces
Specific features: 1x 35 mm, coated optics, 4 MOA red, and green reticle, adjustable reticle brightness, co-witness, cantilever mount, metal body
Best use: Varmint hunting
The Ozark Armament Rhino Tactical Sight is a good reflex sight for varmint hunting at short distances. The main thing we love about it is its tough, solid build since its body is entirely made of metal, except the optics. On the other hand, that’s also what renders it pretty heavy.
For the relaxed price, the optics aren’t top notch, though. They’re simply coated, so the images you’ll get aren’t great, it might even fog up in bad weather. On the other hand, the large 35 mm objective is great for fast shots.
The 4 MOA red and green dot reticles have five different levels of brightness adjustment, so it can be useful in different lighting settings. However, its brightest setting makes the dot look more like a disco ball, which might inconvenience your aim.
But this sight can easily be mounted on most ARs, thanks to the built-in cantilever mount. And its co-witness goes well with the standard height.
- Rock solid
- Inner glare
- Dot looks like disco ball
- Might fog up in bad weather
Related: As this sight is particularly weighty, you can mount it on a tripod too. The CVLIFE 6- 9 Inches Tactical Rifle Bipod is affordable and has adjustable legs that support a stainless steel and aluminum body. So mounting the Rhino Tactical sight on this tripod might be a blessing for nature observation trips or bird watching expeditions.
Beileshi Triple Illuminated Rapid Range Reticle Rifle Scope
Weight: 16.4 ounces
Specific features: 4x 32 mm, dual-coated prism lens, fiber optic sight, red-green-blue crosshair reticle, glass etched, nitrogen filled, shockproof, recoil proof, 2-2.5 inches eye relief, 36 feet at 100 yards FOV, metal housing, 20 mm Weaver and 3/8 inch dovetail rails
Best use: Close quarter battles, medium-range hunting
The Beileshi Triple Illuminated Rapid Range Reticle Rifle Scope is great for medium-range hunting or close quarter battles because the reticle ranges to 600 yards. There are three different colors for the illuminated reticle: red, green and blue, so you can use this sight very well in different lights. Plus, the crosshair pattern helps with fast and accurate target acquisition.
The optics are dual-coated and prism-shaped for increased image brightness, and the 32 mm lens diameter is great for low light environments. The 4x is really something we love, it’s great for seeing minute details, especially up close. On the other hand, the corresponding field of view is pretty narrow, just 36 feet at 100 yards.
This sight is sturdily built, out of metal, which also renders it particularly heavy. But it’s resistant to weather, to shocks and recoils. It’s glass etched and nitrogen-filled, so it won’t fog up in bad weather. Plus, it’s versatile enough since it can fit 20 mm Weaver and 3/8 inch dovetail rails.
However, the eye relief is pretty small, just 2-2.5 inches, which might make it pretty uncomfortable for use. The click-adjustment windage and elevation might also be a little difficult, and it might mess with the precision of your shots.
- Multiple reticle colors
- 4x magnification
- Narrow FOV
- Small eye relief
Related: We love the ELENKER 223 REM Boresight Red Dot to go with this sight. It’s a laser unit cartridge that has a class 3A <5 mW laser which works for the longer range. The reason we recommend it is so you can make sure your 223 REM rifle holds the zero, without you firing it.
EOTech 300 Blackout Holographic Sight XPS2-300
Weight: 1.2 pounds
Specific features: 2-dot ballistic drop reticle, submersible to 10 feet, fits with 1-inch Weaver or MIL-STD-1913 rails, 1 MOA repeatable return to zero, CR123 lithium battery required
Best use: Tactical shooting
The EOTech 300 Blackout Holographic Sight XPS2-300 is at the other end of the price spectrum, but this price increase entails a quality increase too. That way, you can rely on its durability regardless of the weather, since it’s submersible to 10 feet. On the other hand, the buttons aren’t placed on its side, but at the back, which might affect your plan to use a magnifier for this sight.
It’s also great for tactical shooting thanks to its 2-dot ballistic drop reticle. However, the dot is fuzzier than for the other EOTech models which might be distracting when it’s not on the target. So it won’t feel distracting anymore once you place it on the target.
We love how well it holds the zero in the range of 1 MOA. The BDC radical for SuperSonics is another advantage, rendering it quite accurate. This sight fits very well with 1-inch Weaver or MIL-STD-1913 rails, and it needs one CR123 lithium battery to work.
- Rugged durability
- Holds the zero
- Fuzzy reticle
- Inconveniently placed buttons
Related: If the fuzziness of this reticle bothers you so much, you can always make it better by using the Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier with Flip Mount. Or you might need a 3x for other purposes, like more precise shooting up close or further away.
Vortex StrikeFire 2 Sight
Weight: 19 ounces
Specific features: Red/ green dot reticle, cantilever mount, 300 – 6000 hours battery life, 12-hour auto-shutdown, O-ring seals, non-critical eye relief, recoil-resistant, 1/3 co-witness with iron sights
Best use: Medium-distance shooting
The Vortex StrikeFire 2 Sight is a reliable device, which has a dot reticle for shooting varmint or target practice. The red/ green color combination is great for hunting in different light settings, and the battery will last very long depending on the brightness level you choose, between 300 and 6000 hours.
We love the 12-hour auto-shutdown feature that’s great if you forget to turn it off. The O-ring seals are what make this sight water-resistant and dustproof, so you can use it regardless of weather and terrain. The sturdy build makes this sight recoil-resistant, with a total weight of 1.2 pounds.
But most of all, we love the non-critical eye relief for fast target acquisition. The Cantilever mount is another plus for AR rifles, though this one might need a bit of fiddling with.
The 1/3 co-witness with iron sights is great if the dot reticle fails at any point. On the other hand, the front cover doesn’t stay closed as it should, and the reticle dot becomes increasingly blurry as you increase the brightness.
- Long battery life
- Fast target acquisition
- Iffy front cover
- Blurry dot
- Loose mount
Related: If you want to protect the lens of this sight even more, we recommend the Vortex Flip Cap Optic Cover. It has a fast installation, and it’s effective enough, protecting your optics from any dust and debris.
Dagger Defense DDHB Red Dot Reflex Sight
Weight: 8 ounces
Specific features: 33 mm aperture, red and green reticle, 4 reticle types, 15.8 m at 100 m FOV, Picatinny rail, aluminum body, locking screws, CR2032 battery, 2 Allen wrenches and cloth included
Best use: Short distance
The Dagger Defense DDHB Red Dot Reflex Sight is a great sight for short distances. We appreciate the construction that’s qualitative enough for the low price, starting with the comfortable 33 mm aperture. You’ll also get four different reticle patterns, star, bullseye, cross, and dot for red and green colors.
That means you get to use this sight regardless of the light. This sight is easy to adjust, but the included mounting screws aren’t particularly tight. That means you need to check the zero a lot because it won’t hold too well.
Apart from that, you’ll experience some parallax, even if it’s a holographic sight. That means you have to place your eye in the proper position from the get-go if you don’t want to be off target. The field of view is also quite narrow, just 15.8 m at 100 m.
On the other hand, we like the versatile Picatinny rail mount, and the aircraft grade, sturdy aluminum body. It’s also the lightest sight in our reviews so far, which is another plus. The complete package is great for the money, with a CR2032 battery, 2 Allen wrenches and cloth included.
- Multiple reticle patterns
- Easy to adjust
- Flimsy mounting screws
- Narrow FOV
Related: We recommend the Ozark Armament Flip Up Backup Battle Sights since this sight doesn’t have a co-witness. They work with all AR optics, they have a low profile when in use, and are completely out of your line of sight when you’re not using them.
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope
Weight: 3.7 ounces
Specific features: Black model, 1x 25 mm, 3 MOA red dot reticle, amber lens coating, TILTED front lens
Best use: Outdoor shooting
The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope is a good sight for AR15 and outdoor shooting. The 25 mm lens diameter is satisfactory for good light transmission and bright images, and the 3 MOA reticle is great for shooting medium-sized animals at a distance.
The red dot reticle is created thanks to the TILTED front lens. These reflect the LED laser light, creating the red dot of your reticle. The advantage here is a minimal light reflection so you get crisp images. The LED is fixed inside the sight with an adhesive, though, which might block a bit your field of view.
Besides, you can adjust the intensity of the reticle. But if you select a brightness level that’s too high for your particular lighting conditions, the reticle might look blurry. So this adjustment requires some fiddling with, maybe even some troubleshooting, which means you can’t really use this scope indoors.
Other than that, we appreciate the quality lens, coated with a high-contrast amber coating. That increases your image resolution and crispness, minimizing light reflection and fog.
- Great coating
- TILTED front lens
- Not for indoor use
- Partially blocked FOV
Related: We recommend the UTG Hi-Profile Compact Riser Mount to go with this sight. It’s a one-piece mount, which makes it great for AR15. It’s 1-inch high and has 3 slots, made from aircraft grade aluminum, and it works really well either with Weaver or Picatinny rails.
HOLOSUN HS403A Micro Red Dot Sight
Price: Approx. $170
Specific features: 20 mm diameter, multi-coated, 2 MOA red dot reticle, 50,000 hours battery life LED, motion awake, 8-hour auto shut off, parallax-free, aluminum, MAO finish, inclined glass, submersible to 100 feet, night use, 1/3 co-witness mount
Best use: Versatile shooting
The HOLOSUN HS403A Micro Red Dot Sight is a reliable sight, considering it has a 50,000 hours battery life, and an aluminum body with an MAO finish that renders it fully waterproof and submersible to 100 feet. The whole construction is great, with the inclined glass lens that reduces glare and parallax-free images. On the other hand, it might be difficult to sight it in.
You get a user-friendly device, with a motion-awake functioning that makes it automatically shut down after 7 hours. Plus, the battery housing is positioned at the base, so it won’t obstruct your view. The day and night use is another strong point for its versatility, especially since you have 12 brightness levels.
This sight is so versatile that it works with all night vision devices, it’s multicoated, and it has unlimited eye relief. The 2 MOA reticle is perfect for different distances as well as different game sizes. And the 1/3 co-witness mount is definitely a life-saver.
On the other hand, the windage and elevation adjustments aren’t automatic, though they’re precise enough at 0.5 MOA per click. The elevation adjustments are really the ones that are difficult to do and require some fiddling with.
- Difficult to sight in
- Iffy elevation adjustments
Related: We love the UTG 3X Magnifier with Flip-to-side QD Mount to go with this sight. You’ll get a 3x that will go really well with the red dot reticle, making it less fuzzy if you have issues at a certain brightness level.
Primary Arms Micro Red Dot Sight
Weight: 8.8 ounces
Specific features: 2 MOA red dot, 12 brightness levels, 1000 hours battery life, waterproof, included removable 1913 Picatinny base, CR2032 battery, rubber lens cover, night vision, compatible with any standard Micro mount
Best use: Versatile shooting
The Primary Arms Micro Red Dot Sight is a reliable sight for versatile shooting thanks to its 2 MOA red dot reticle. That means you can shoot at different ranges, and accurately hit different size games. Plus, it’s compatible with night vision too.
The 12 brightness levels for the reticle are great since you can use this sight regardless of the light, but the difference between the third and fourth level is too big.
The battery life reaches 1000 hours, thanks to the incorporated LED laser. We love the versatility of this sight regarding the mounts you can use it with. Though it comes with a 1913 Picatinny base, this can be removed and replaced with any other standard micro mount.
The housing is resistant, waterproof and the package also includes a CR2032 battery and rubber lens cover. The unlimited eye relief is another plus, but the windage and elevation adjustments are too close so you need to fiddle with them.
- Long battery life
- Unlimited eye relief
- Night vision compatibility
- Close windage and elevation
- Faulty brightness adjustment
Related: If you want to change the included Picatinny mount, we recommend the Primary Arms Micro Dot Base Mount. It’s made from hard-anodized aluminum, it’s really resistant, and it allows an absolute co-witness.
Whether you want a tactical sight like the EOTech Model 300 Blackout or one that’s great for varmint hunting like the Rhino Tactical Sight, it all depends on your purpose. The most versatile sights have multiple reticle patterns, like the Dagger Defense DDHB, but all the products above are of a reliable quality.
So which one are you picking? What are you going to use this sight for? Leave us a comment below.