Red dots seem to be the talk of the town on any given day, but especially around the holiday season. While there are dozens more that I could mention as great alternatives, here are my recommendations for the top red dot sights for both pistols and rifles.
Red Dot Sights for Pistols
Trijicon RMR Type 2
The Trijicon RMR Type 2 is widely recognized as one of the best red dots in the industry. As such, it has some features that you won’t find in others, but also carries a hefty price tag for the features. The RMR Type 2 is available in a few different MOAs, with 3.25 MOA being the best seller. The RMR Type 2 has several brightness levels. It is waterproof and night vision compatible. There aren’t many features that you’ll be wishing you had with this one, since it has almost all of them.
The Vortex Venom red dot has really grown in popularity lately, and for good reasons. It’s a more affordable option without sacrificing many of the important features. Available in 3 or 6 MOA, with a long battery life of up to 30,000 hours on the lowest brightness. The lifetime warranty leaves you confident that you can essentially shoot forever and never worry. However, if you shoot with night vision, users have said that this one is going to be too bright, even on the lowest setting.
Holosun HS507C – x2
The Holosun HS507C – x2 was the first red dot I ever used, and it remains one of my favorites to this day. You can really feel how sturdy it is, without it being too bulky. It has a nice 2 MOA dot and features a multi-reticle system. A nice feature is adjustability of the HS507C – x2. You can change the reticle, color, and intensity. My favorite feature is Holosun’s Solar Failsafe technology to keep you up and running if your battery ever fails. “Better safe than sorry,” I always say.
Burris Fastfire III
Likely to be found at the lowest price point out of this pistol group, the Burris Fastfire III still does not exude “cheap.” I wanted to include this for those that are concerned with budget. It’s typically found with a 3 MOA dot, is still waterproof, boasts a long battery life and has an auto-shutoff feature. Backed with a lifetime warranty, it delivers solid bang for the buck.
Aimpoint ACRO P-1
I’ve seen the ACRO P-1 on both pistols and rifles, but it was developed for use on pistols. It’s built like a tank, being rated for extreme temperatures and is submersible up to 80 feet. The 3.5 MOA dot has 10 brightness settings and four of them are night vision compatible. There are tons of mounting options available, so you can maximize the Aimpoint ACRO P-1’s use across various firearms.
Red Dot Sights for Rifles
SIG Sauer ROMEO5
The SIG Sauer ROMEO5 delivers a great value. It has a 2 MOA dot and 10 brightness settings. It provides industry-standard mounting options and is waterproof and fogproof. The motion activation illumination helps extend the long battery life, and overall, it’s a solid option at a great price.
Just like with the ACRO P-1, Aimpoint ensured the Pro was night vision ready when you need it. The Aimpoint PRO is submersible up to 150 feet, and it is vibration and shock resistant. Flip-up lens covers come standard with the PRO, as well as retainer straps for the adjustment caps, mount, and battery. The 2 MOA dot makes for precision aiming and target acquisition.
This is another budget option with nice features. The Bushnell TRS-25 features 11 brightness settings. It is nitrogen purged and sealed to help with water and fog resistance and features a 3-MOA dot. This is a great option for those who are looking to get into a red dot sight but don’t want to spend a lot of money.
Trijicon comes to many people’s minds when they think of red dots. The MRO carries Trijicion’s lifetime warranty, up to a year of battery life, and has eight brightness settings. Another appreciated feature is the placement of the brightness control dial, being specifically designed for ambidextrous use. The Trijicon MRO also goes through industry leading testing to ensure durability.
Vortex Strikefire II
The Vortex Strikefire II features one of the larger dot sizes of the group, coming in at 4 MOA. The larger dot makes it easy to quickly acquire your targets. It has 10 brightness settings, a long battery life of 80,000 hours (setting 6) and a 30mm tube to provide a larger field of view. The Strikefire II is great for rifles and shotguns alike.
Final Thoughts About Red Dot Sights
The seemingly endless number of red dots available in the market can be overwhelming. I suggest making a short list of key criteria that you’re looking for in a red dot and set a budget, to narrow down your options. If any of the covered red dot sights from this list wind up on your firearm, you won’t be disappointed.
What are some of your favorite red dots for pistols or rifles? Share your top choices or experiences with red dot sights in the comment section.
Bio: Ryan is a firearms and tactical gear enthusiast that has maneuvered himself into the firearms industry over the past decade. While his full-time career is outside of the industry, he has consulted for dozens of firearms and tactical gear related companies. He enjoys conducting tests and evaluations, shooting product photography and developing marketing strategies for them.
If he’s not spending time with his family, you’ll likely find him at the range or driving around looking for photo shoot locations. You can check out some of his photos and other content on Instagram (@theguygearreview).