Hunting with a rifle or using a gun means that you’ll have to be assured in any sort of conditions, and acquire your target perfectly so you can take efficient shots. For some people, that means getting the best red dot sight on the market because it’s a proficient tool to set the precise shot.
But this can end up being quite an investment, which is why we’ve decided to let you know which factors you need to take into account when looking at various sights and scopes. After that, we’ll review some top shelf products we found, which will hopefully fit a large array of tastes and shooting styles.
The Things You Need to Know
There are lots of things to consider when dealing with these items, and we’ll try to present them as clearly as possible so you can make informed purchases.
First off, there are clear differences between sights and scopes:
- Used for long range target.
- Magnify the target.
- Heavier and larger.
- They include an eye relief distance.
- Not accurate at shorter distances.
- Don’t allow shooting with both eyes opened.
- Used for close range hunting.
- Allow both eyes to be opened.
- Don’t magnify target.
- Not accurate at longer distances.
- Fuzzy dot in bright light.
The types of sights:
There are three main types of sights:
- Resistant to recoil.
- They require clear weather.
- They can’t be used during the day.
- They need extra power.
- You don’t have to mount the weapon in order to target.
- Need to be mounted on top.
- They can be used during the day.
- They’re precise.
- Huge FOV.
- Allow customization.
- Use LED bulbs.
- Fuzzy dot.
- Usually battery powered.
When it comes to size, remember that:
- It’s measured in MOA.
- It depends on your preference and confidence.
- Has to do with the range of shooting.
- It’s affected by how big the game is.
- Allows you to see and employ your iron sights either along or instead of the red dot.
- Is influenced by choosing the right height.
- Is perfect for when the red dot fails.
The Products You Need to See
Below you have our selection of sights and scopes, which we’ve tried to make as comprehensive and complete as possible, so as to reflect the features we’ve discussed above.
Take a look at them even if you’re not interested in a purchase right now because it will help you understand better how these characteristics appear in grade A products.
Burris 300234 Fastfire III with Picatinny Mount 3 MOA Sight
Weight: 0.2 ounces
Dimensions: 7.2 x 2.5 x 0.2 inches
Specifications: 3 MOA reticle; elevation and wind adjustments; power button; 3 brightness levels; low battery indicator
Best Use: close-range shooting
Description: This 4.3 stars and $203.95 sight is one of the smallest sights we have ever seen. That allows Burris 300234 Fastfire III with Picatinny Mount 3 MOA Sight (Black)to be easily mounted on your weapon, whichever that might be. This item works perfectly with a variety of weapons, apart from a hunting rifle, like a handgun or a shotgun, so it’s quite versatile.
Depending on your purpose, the only thing you need to do is target and pull, without considering other additional facts like which eye is your dominant one, where the target actually is or aligning the sight just right.
The Fastfire III is manufactured from very qualitative materials, meaning that you’ll have no problem with mounting it on top of your rifle. Apart from rendering it lightweight, its craftsmanship also makes it durable, strong and silent, seeing as it doesn’t creak. Besides, it has undergone complete testing regarding its reliability, so there’s definitely no issue with that.
This 3 MOA Dot Reticle is user-friendly because it takes into account your need to make constant adjustments depending on windage and elevation, and it makes them for you without using additional tools.
Besides this, other user-friendly characteristics include its easy battery access on top of the sight, as well as the indicator for low battery.
You can choose between three different brightness intensities with a push of a button, but be advised that it may take a few seconds before the automatic brightness activates and makes the red dot visible. Some people might prefer a physical rubber button than this option, but it’s a minor disadvantage for such a powerful, versatile sight.
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope
Weight: 6.4 ounces
Dimensions: 2.4 inches length
Specifications: imported; 1x25mm; 3 MOA reticle; high-contrast coating; tilted front lens; waterproof; shockproof; fog proof; unlimited FOV
Best Use: long-range shooting
Description: This 4.3 stars and $67.99 unlimited FOV red dot scope is one of the best on the market seeing as it will acquire your target incredibly fast and set on it very precisely, even in low-light situations.
That’s mainly because of Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1 x 25mm irreproachable manufacturing that makes same colored shapes highly distinguishable thanks to Amber-Bright optics. The multicoated optics offer a high contrast that helps you see perfectly what you’re shooting at.
Besides this, the housing is filled with dry nitrogen which further accounts for the durability of its construction. You won’t have to fear that this sight will get damaged too quickly because it can withstand various natural phenomena like rain and fog, while also being resistant to shocks.
The CR2032 battery used is also quite resistant, adding to this 1x25mm sight’s long lifespan since it doesn’t require much power.
The 3 MOA reticle will quickly set on your target and you can use the sight even if you keep both your eyes open. That will provide you an immense eye relief, as well as more control over your environment and movements.
Plus you don’t even need to go through the hassle of centering the red dot since it has a parallax free design. This enables it to follow your eye movements even though the game still remains fixed.
Mounting and adjusting the sight are very quickly done with secure screws and a strong clamping system that’s sturdy and safe. The LED bulb that’s inside it is also securely fixed, so that it can reflect back inside the sight some of its light, thanks to a unique construction, with the front lens being tilted.
All that makes the red dot very sharp and clear, but you can adjust it with the control knob. So take care to set the brightness levels according to your precise environment. Even if you want to test how much brightness it can provide, too much may cause a halation and hinder your vision instead of helping it. All these characteristics can also be found in the camo model, which is priced at $93.49.
Sightmark Ultra Dual Shot Pro Spec NV Sight QD
Weight: 2.4 ounces
Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 5 inches
Specifications: wide FOV; multiple reticles; 4 patterns; adjustable brightness; red laser; corrected for parallax; interlock; neoprene cover; aluminum body; various night vision modes; water-resistant; shockproof
Best Use: close-range shooting
Description: This 3.8 stars and $149 sight provides a very wide field of view so that you can spot your game easily with great accuracy. The precision of the Sightmark Ultra Dual Shot Pro Spec NV Sight QD is obtained thanks to multiple reticles that have four different patterns. You can readily adjust its brightness, and the red laser mounted on the side will help you get a better look at what you’re interested in.
Besides, the whole system is manufactured to provide the necessary automatic corrections for parallax, so you’ll know exactly where you’re target is. Speaking of craftsmanship, the materials used are top notch: the locking system is interlock, the protective cover is made from neoprene and the body is aluminum.
It works on batteries, but it doesn’t consume a lot of power, which means it will have a long lifespan to offer you its additional advantages like the many modes available when it comes to night vision.
Seeing your target clearly during poor lighting conditions is aided by the red laser included as well as the glass system that’s double-pane.
All these materials are sturdy, resistant and lightweight. That explains why this sight is resistant to water and various shocks it might receive when hunting. Plus, it can even deal with increased recoil so that you can use a higher caliber shotgun. Its versatility is noted not only in the different weapons you can mount it on but likewise in its mounting system which is quickly set and easy to detach.
Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
Weight: 7.8 ounces
Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.6 x 3.4 inches
Specifications: 3 years constant functioning; one battery required; no switches; 2-minute angle red dot; all distances; inventory tracking
Best Use: specialized hunting/ shooting
Description: This 4.8 stars and $432 is definitely one of the most expensive items on the market, but it’s also above even the best red dot scopes available, which you can see reflected in its high rating.
The reason is that Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic was manufactured thanks to the valuable insight received from professionals so that it can have certain characteristics required to perform under conditions of acute distress, like the ones faced by law enforcement.
That’s why it uses only good materials, like the hard-anodized tube or the band-pass for its lens coating. That makes it withstand various damages and shocks.
Plus the fact that both the front and the back lenses are attached back into the scope makes them less prone to various scratches or even traces of fingerprints that might hinder your vision.
But the circuit that’s enclosed inside the tube really takes the cake seeing as it’s so efficient and resistant, that it can be turned on continuously for three whole years and work at the highest standard thanks to just one battery.
Another user-friendly characteristic is its easy inventory tracking because you’ll receive all sorts of reminders for things like service dates or battery changes.
This scope is also remarkably versatile. Its easy mounting is done with a removable spacer which sets the best height for carbine weapons, and it has a knob that limits torque.
But other types of guns can be used too, like shotguns and sub-machine guns, and it can see at an unlimited distance if you’re to trust the official description.
Vortex SPARC Red Dot Scope
Weight: 5.3 ounces
Dimensions: 3.8 x 2.9 x 7.5 inches
Specifications: attached doubler; parallax corrected; O-rings; night vision; 6 hours automatic shutdown
Best Use: long-distance shooting
Description: This 4.4 stars scope is yet another good addition that will facilitate your shooting at longer distances, courtesy of its great magnification. Vortex SPARC Red Dot Scope is obtained with a doubler that is screwed inside the scope and that doubles the total magnification, as it’s indicated by the name.
But the really good thing is that it’s corrected for parallax. Many times when looking at the target from different points of view or with your other eye, you may see a difference, that disappears thanks to this scope.
That means you can keep both your eyes open without making any mistakes, provided your range of shooting is beyond 50 yards. Below that distance, the error is 1-inch, which is still negligible since you can still hit in the vitals area of your game.
All that will help you have more control over your movements and surroundings, so you can freely use it in different conditions. Speaking of which, the O-rings that seal its lenses are specially designed to prevent all sorts of stuff getting inside, like water or debris.
Plus you can use it during the night as well as during the day. If you want to employ the night vision, you can choose the lowest level of intensity to make it work with a large array of devices.
Moreover, the battery life is pretty long too, accounting for more than 4000 hours when using the night mode, weather at maximum or minimum intensity. When it’s in its automatic mode, the total lifespan varies between 120 hours and 3400 hours depending on the brightness level.
But don’t worry about forgetting your scope on for 4000 hours, it will automatically shutdown in 6 hours to save you the hassle of replacing the battery.
EOTech EXPS 3 Holographic Red Dot Sight
Weight: 11.2 ounces
Dimensions: 2 x 4 x 6 inches
Specifications: holographic; 650 MOA reticle; 1 MOA dot; short base; 123 lithium battery; O-ring; 100 yards FOV; unlimited eye relief; parallax corrected; 8 hours auto shutdown
Best Use: close-range shooting
Description: This 4.6 stars and $617.91 sight is one pricey item, but it works magnificently thanks to its holographic system, its 650 MOA reticle, and 1 MOA dot. That makes EOTech EXPS 3 Holographic Red Dot Sight very luminous and enables you to see extremely far and wide with a 100 yards field of view.
This can be set at 30 yards too, with an eye relief of 4 inches. But above that, the eye relief you’ll get is unlimited thanks to the necessary parallax corrections executed.
The craftsmanship and manufacturing are exemplary. This sight is so resistant that it can withstand very low and very high temperatures alike, in a range between -40°F to 150°F. Moreover, it’s submersible in water up to a depth of 33 feet, so you can rest assured it will resist in heavy rain.
The internal optics are sealed with an O-ring that makes this sight sealed-tight and fog proof. The tethered cap also minimizes the debris that might damage the lens or get inside the sight, while the solid glass front window and the laminate rear window are shock proof as well as resistant to shattering.
The 123 lithium battery is single traverse, which reduces the overall length of this sight, making it easier to mount. In fact, it has a short base which needs just 2.75 inches worth of rail when other sights need at least 4 inches.
But the battery life itself is quite high since it can last triple the amount of a typical N battery, up to 600 hours at the level 12 of brightness. Speaking of which, you’ll get 30 total levels of brightness, 10 of which are available for night vision.
Trijicon 1x25mm MRO 2.0 MOA Adj Red Dot Sight
Weight: 5.88 ounces
Dimensions: not specified
Specifications: 1×25 mm MRO; 2.0 MOA; AC32069 lower adaptor; wide FOV; adjustable intensities; dual hand control; 100 feet waterproof
Best Use: close-range shooting
This 4.7 stars and $497.98 sight is one of the best on the market, seeing as it’s pretty lightweight even though it has a 1/3 co-witness mount. But Trijicon 1x25mm MRO 2.0 MOA Adj Red Dot Sight advantages relate to a wide field of vision, which is 44% larger when you’re using the sight.
Besides, since the brightness control button is placed on top of this sight, it allows easy access with both hands.
Another user-friendly feature is its second off position, that is placed between the second and third levels of daytime brightness. That saves you a lot of time because you don’t have to pass through each intensity level from the lowest one just so you can see the reticle.
Another thing that saves you a lot of time is that there are no caps to cover the windage and elevation adjustments, which is again a plus in field conditions.
The battery life is also a good feat, providing from a few hundred hours worth of light at the highest setting to a few tens of thousands hours worth of light at the lowest intensity levels. Even a medium level, like level 3 is enough to aid your vision when hunting during dawn or dusk conditions, with a light that reaches about 500 lumens.
There are some internet critics who find that the MRO allows for some ghosting or halation to appear, but that only happens when you don’t mount the sight on the rifle. Plus the lens is very clear, resistant and strong like the whole sight in fact, which is even submersible in water for up to 100 feet.
Aimpoint Micro T-2 Red Dot Sight
Weight: 5 ounces
Dimensions: 2.7 x 2.4 x 1.6 inches
Specifications: enhanced lens coatings; 2 MOA dot; 100% efficiency; front flip-up lens; transparent rear flip-up lens; 100% compatibility with night vision devices; ACET technology, Picatinny base; 12 brightness settings
Best Use: close-range shooting
Description: This 4.8 stars and $714.91 is very sturdy and resistant. Both the front and the rear lens are flip-up, while the back ones are also transparent. Furthermore, the housing is very rugged and well protected, as are the lens thanks to their coating.
So bad weather is definitely not something to be afraid of in the field, especially because Aimpoint Micro T-2 Red Dot Sight can be submerged into the water as deep as 80 feet, so a few drops of rain won’t affect it too much.
All this is achieved thanks to high-quality materials, like the reinforced protection the turrets benefit from, or the finish that’s hard anodized and doesn’t reflect light. But the lenses are also constructed from good materials, seeing as their advanced design transmits light with improved efficiency and accuracy. Even the parallax free feature is something to take into account as it provides immense eye relief.
Other good technologies used are the ACET system that accounts for a very long battery lifespan of up to 50,000 hours.
This translates into more than 5 years of continuous use with just the one battery included. Plus the Picatinny base males it possible for you to mount this sight on any sort of rail, for various models of guns, rifles or carbines.
And you decide if you want to use it independently, or in combination with other night vision devices to take further advantage of its characteristics. Either way, it has 12 settings: 4 for night modes and 8 day modes, one of which is incredibly bright so you need to use laser protection glasses.
The Choice Is Yours
After at least browsing through these reviews, you’ll probably notice that there are a lot of options for various price ranges. But the best thing you can do is consider your purpose – it’s no use acquiring a very specialized product if you’re planning to use it just sporadically.
However, investing in a good-quality product is your best guarantee that you won’t remain deserted in the middle of your hunting trip.
So what’s the sight or scope you would absolutely LOVE to have and why? Let us know in the comments.