The Best Red Dot Sights Under $300 in 2024

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Today I’m going to show you the best red dot sights under $300.

In fact:

I’ve hand-tested over a dozen optics alone for this review.

The best part?

I’ve sorted the red dots by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need the best red dot sight, you’ll find it here.

Let’s dive in!

Best Red Dot Sight Under $300

CategoryPrice

Burris Fastfire III

Best Overall

$230

Sig Sauer Romeo 5

Best for Hunting

$130

Vortex Venom

Best Reflex

$250

Bushnell TRS-25

Best for the Budget

$100 or less

What Makes a Red Dot Sight Better?

There are different factors that can make a red dot sight stand out. As you read through my list of the best red dot sights under $300, keep these things in mind.

Reticle

The size and type of reticle can have different effects on your precision. Mini red dot sights take up less space in your sight picture, but they can be harder to make out.

Different red dots are capable of multiple dot colors. Some colors are designed for shooters with astigmatism or color-blindness.

It’s also important to think about the purpose and your shooting location. If you’re planning to take your red dot hunting, a green dot might be hard to see against the trees and foliage.

Design

Red dot sights come in a closed or exposed design. These have different benefits than a closed tube.

You also want to consider the weight for longer treks. How much space a red dot sight takes on your rail can allow for a co-witness rifle scope, too.

Battery

I’m not just talking about the battery life and how easy it is to get to. Some red dot sights use uncommon batteries that can be hard to replace.

If you’re planning to shoot at night or in low-light conditions, you’ll also want to know how long the battery lasts at higher brightness levels. It also helps if your sight is night-vision compatible.

What’s the Difference Between a Red Dot and Reflex Sight?

This is a common question, but it’s not a simple answer. Technically, reflex sights are red dot sights. So are holographic sights, because they have a dot reticle.

With red dots, they use an LED light that’s reflected onto glass to make a reticle. Red dot sights are optimal to iron sights for faster target acquisition, colors, and brightness features.

Reflex Sight

You’ll see the reflex sight more often. The back of your scope projects a light that’s reflected off the front lens to form a reticle.

Because of the way they operate, many reflex sights don’t need a battery to function. However, like iron sights, there’s no magnification unless you add a magnifier.

What About a Holographic Sight?

Holographic sights are the most expensive type, so you probably won’t see one on a list of budget red dot sights. However, they’re better for accuracy at close- or medium-range.

That’s because they use mirrors and light to create a crisp sight picture. They’re also good for shooters with astigmatism or a damaged lens.

If you’ve got an extra $200, EOTech has some of the best holographic sights on the market. They make sights for practical and competitive shooting, so they’re worth checking out.

Top 4 Red Dot Sights Under $300

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best red dots under $300:

  1. Burris Fastfire III: Best Overall
  2. Sig Sauer Romeo 5: Best for Hunting
  3. Vortex Venom: Best Reflex
  4. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25: Best for Budget

1. Burris Fastfire III: Best Overall Red Dot Sight

There are some great names on this list, but the Burris Fastfire III gives a well-rounded performance for any situation. It’s versatile and effective, with some fantastic features.

Best Overall
Burris FastFire Reflex Red Dot Sight for Rifles, Pistols and Shotguns,...
  • Convenient power button with three levels of brightness and an automatice brightness setting
  • Tool-less wind age and elevation adjustments
  • Low Battery warning indicator

Glass Clarity & Reticle Patterns

For a red dot sight at the mid price-range, I was impressed with the glass quality. It’s multi-coated for protection.

I can make out a lot of detail looking through the lens without any fuzzy edges or blurring. I love that the Fastfire III lets me decide between reticle sizes.

It has 3 MOA and 8 MOA red dots that I can swap between, which is great for different situations. Since larger dots make it harder for ranged shots, the 3 MOA works perfectly for my AR.

At the same time, the 8 MOA gives me rapid, consistent accuracy with my handgun at the range. Another feature that gives the Burris Fastfire III such high praise is the automatic brightness sensor. It adjusts brightness settings without me having to do anything.

If you’re paranoid about relying on technology, you can turn off the sensor and do it yourself. I’ve never had any issues with the level it sets to, though.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Burris Fastfire III, like most red dot sights, has unlimited eye relief. The box gives me a clear view of my target and the surroundings.

Durability and Weight

My Fastfire III is made with high-grade aluminum, so it’s sturdy. The Fastfire III isn’t completely waterproof, but it has a rain shield to cover the lens.

It’s also not fog-proof, so you’ll want to adjust your shooting around those weather conditions. For the price and other features, though, those are minor downsides.

The Burris Fastfire III is lightweight, only coming in at .9 ounces. You won’t have to worry about it weighing down your scope, and it leaves enough room to co-witness on a lot of rails.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The adjustment knobs on my Fastfire III feel solid, but they’re really small. Each click is 1 MOA adjustment, with elevation and windage maxing out at 115 MOA and 86 MOA, respectively.

For the actual adjustment, you might need a penny or screwdriver.

Parallax & Magnification

The Burris Fastfire III is parallax-free, so the round goes where I aim. It has a fixed magnification of 1.07x, so any longer shots might need a magnifier or a co-witnessing rifle scope.

With that said, I have consistent accuracy within 200 yards. Anything beyond that can be harder to see, depending on the size of the target, but it’s a trustworthy red dot sight.

Mounting & Rings

Mounting the Fastfire III is easy, because it comes with everything you’ll need. In fact, some models even come with a Weaver mount.

It can mount on everything in my collection, from handguns and shotguns to rifles and crossbows. It’s also easy to mount on Picatinny rails, so you’ve got options.

Battery

Speaking of options, the Fastfire III features continue with battery life. This red dot sight has 3 brightness settings: Low, mid, and high. The levels refer to how much light is outside.

Low is for shooting in low-light conditions, while high is when you’re shooting in the daytime. Mid is more for cloudy days. Of course, the automatic brightness sensor can adjust all that for you.

Another good thing about the Burris Fastfire III is that it uses a CR1632 battery, which is pretty easy to find. It goes in the top with a screwdriver and lasts 5,000 hours on high brightness.

It doesn’t have the advanced “shake awake” sensor that more expensive red dots do, but the Fastfire III does turn off by itself after 2 and a half hours.

There’s also a sleep mode to conserve battery life. It activates when you put the cover on the Fastfire III. Plus, there’s a blinking red light to let you know when battery life is 4 hours or less.

Is the Burris Fastfire III worth it?

It may not be fully waterproof or have the “shake awake” feature, but the other features and reliability absolutely make the Burris Fastfire III worth the price.

Best Overall
Burris FastFire Reflex Red Dot Sight for Rifles, Pistols and Shotguns,...
  • Convenient power button with three levels of brightness and an automatice brightness setting
  • Tool-less wind age and elevation adjustments
  • Low Battery warning indicator

Why? It’s got:

  • 2 reticle sizes
  • Multi-coated lens
  • Multiple brightness settings
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight durability

If that’s not enough, Burris has one of the best warranties out there. They offer a “forever warranty,” which means I can get my red dots replaced or repaired for free without a receipt.

That alone makes the price worth it, but the Fastfire III is extremely versatile. Of course, if you have an extra $200, you might want the Aimpoint ACO PRO for the best red dot sight.

2. Sig Sauer Romeo 5: Best Hunting Red Dot Sight

It was hard to choose where to put the Sig Sauer Romeo 5, because it’s definitely a contender for best overall. However, it really stands out as the best hunting red dot sight under $300.

Best Hunting Red Dot Sight
Sale
SIG SAUER ROMEO5 1X20mm Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof...
12,911 Reviews
SIG SAUER ROMEO5 1X20mm Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof...
  • ROMEO5 GUN SIGHT - The ROMEO5 1X20mm Red Dot Sight mounts on any platform, and even though it's small, it's tough; The solid, lightweight aluminum design gives peak performance & years of service, so...
  • 2 MOA RED-DOT - For those avid shooters who admire classic red dot reticles on their gun sights, the ROMEO5 has 2-MOA Red-Dot, which is also adjustable; It provides 10 illumination settings (8...
  • MOTAC TECH - The versatile ROMEO5 red dot sight features our Motion Activated Illumination technology; It is developed to increase battery life by shutting down the system when not in use and...

Glass Clarity & Reticle Patterns

A shining reason for that choice is the reticle. The Sig Romeo 5 has a 2 MOA crisp dot reticle that’s clear and precise. It can adjust 1 MOA at a time, but I haven’t had to do much to have consistent accuracy.

It has 10 brightness levels to maximize the reticle and sight picture. The last 2 settings are for night-vision, which I find crucial for hunting trips. The anti-reflective lenses help against glare.

You might get a slight halo effect at the highest brightness level, but it’s manageable. Plus, that effect really only shows up indoors and most of my shooting is outdoors with the Romeo 5.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Sig Romeo 5 red dot has unlimited eye relief and a clear image. In fact, I’d argue that the Romeo 5 has the clearest visual for the price.

There’s also no design features to interrupt my sight picture, so I have a full view of my target every time.

Durability and Weight

Sig Sauer is a trustworthy name and they didn’t skimp with the Romeo 5. It’s built with aluminum, including the adjustment knobs and mount. The multi-coated lenses are solid, too.

The Romeo 5 red dot sight weighs 5.1 ounces, so it’s average in that department. Everything about the Sig Romeo 5 is compact, so it’s easy to absolute co-witness with a long-range scope.

It’s waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof, so it’s fully capable of shooting in any weather conditions. It’s worth noting that there is a larger model, the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 XDR.

It’s more expensive and has most of the same features, but the tube is 30mm and it feels like the construction is a little tighter. Still, it’s up to you if that’s worth $50.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

As I mentioned earlier, each click of the adjustment knobs is 1 MOA. The knobs are aluminum and covered. Elevation is on top, while windage is adjusted on the side of the scope.

Parallax & Magnification

Most red dots have low- or no parallax. The Romeo 5 is the former, but the parallax is so minimal that it hits where I aim.

It has a fixed 1x magnification, so I hit everything inside of 150 yards without a problem. For hunting, I personally upgraded with a magnifier, but it’s definitely not necessary.

Mounting & Rings

Sig Sauer gives a mount with the Romeo 5 red dot, but I bought one that was a little sturdier. I also wanted something with a quick release, but the one in the box was a good beginner mount.

The Romeo 5 mounts easily on every firearm I’ve tried, so it’s versatile and easy to mount.

Battery

The battery for the Romeo 5 red dot sight goes on the right side. It uses a CR2032 battery that can be uncapped with a penny or screwdriver. It’s got a great battery life, even with night-vision on.

Something I appreciate is the rubber gasket that seals out water for added battery protection. I also like that, if need-be, you can take off the cap by hand.

As far as battery life goes, the Sig Romeo 5 has a MOTAC feature. It’s similar to “shake awake,” so your red dot will only operate when it senses movement for ultimate conservation.

Is the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 worth it?

If you’re looking for the best red dot for hunting, this might be the one for you. The battery life is excellent and night-vision compatible and the 2 MOA reticle is crisp.

Best Hunting Red Dot Sight
Sale
SIG SAUER ROMEO5 1X20mm Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof...
12,911 Reviews
SIG SAUER ROMEO5 1X20mm Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof...
  • ROMEO5 GUN SIGHT - The ROMEO5 1X20mm Red Dot Sight mounts on any platform, and even though it's small, it's tough; The solid, lightweight aluminum design gives peak performance & years of service, so...
  • 2 MOA RED-DOT - For those avid shooters who admire classic red dot reticles on their gun sights, the ROMEO5 has 2-MOA Red-Dot, which is also adjustable; It provides 10 illumination settings (8...
  • MOTAC TECH - The versatile ROMEO5 red dot sight features our Motion Activated Illumination technology; It is developed to increase battery life by shutting down the system when not in use and...

Here’s why:

  • Waterproof, shockproof, fog-proof
  • 10 battery levels, including night-vision
  • 50,000 hours of use
  • Easy to adjust
  • MOTAC system

Sig Sauer offers a transferable, lifetime warranty on their optics. However, electrical components are only covered for 5 years with some higher restrictions. It’s still a great warranty.

3. Vortex Venom: Best Reflex Sight

Vortex is one of the best names in optics, so it makes sense that the Vortex Venom is the top reflex sight out there. With these features at this price, you won’t be disappointed.

Best Reflex Sight
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot,Black
  • The Venom Red Dot Sight-3 MOA promotes rapid target acquisition while providing a precise point of aim; getting shots down range and on target fast. The Venom's aluminum housing ensures this unit will...
  • High quality, fully multi-coated lenses offer a clean, wide field of view. Power and dot intensity controls are conveniently located on the left side of the sight to choose between 10 brightness...
  • The Venom also has an auto-brightness mode that uses an ambient light sensor to control dot intensity if the shooter prefers. Parallax Free

Glass Clarity & Reticle Patterns

Similar to the variable reticle of the Burris, the Vortex Venom has a 3 MOA and 6 MOA red dot for different situations.

The lenses are fully multi-coated and fog-proof, so you’ll have no trouble getting a clear image of your target. With 10 brightness settings, especially, I’ve always had a vivid sight picture.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Vortex Venom has unlimited eye relief and makes it easy to see everything around your target. The field of view in this reflex sight is pretty wide, with clear edges.

Durability and Weight

Also similar to the Burris is the lightweight construction of the Vortex Venom. At 1.1 ounces, this aluminum reflex sight can take on heavy recoil and a lot of use.

It’s waterproof and fog-proof, thanks to an o-ring sealing off the tube. The Vortex Venom also has their ArmorTek coating, so the reflex sight won’t get scratched up easily.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage adjustment knobs are easy to reach and use. Each click is 1 MOA. Elevation tops off at 130 MOA and windage goes to 100 MOA.

With that said, the Venom Vortex is a trustworthy sight out of the box. I didn’t have to do much for it to hit my targets.

Parallax & Magnification

Since a reflex sight falls under red dot optics, they’re basically parallax free as well. The Vortex Venom also has 1x magnification, so it’s good for anything within 150 yards without help.

Mounting & Rings

The Vortex Venom comes with a low rail mount to fit with any Picatinny or Weaver rail. There are a lot of options on the market if you have a preferred mount height for comfort.

The one in the box feels solid and doesn’t shift when I fire, even with a shotgun or heavier rifle.

Battery

The Vortex Venom reflex sight has a CR1632 battery that lets it run for 150 hours at the highest brightness setting. That’s not as much battery life as some, but it’s still a long time.

Considering there are 10 brightness levels to choose from, you’ll also have options. The Venom can stay on for 30,000 hours at the lowest setting, after all.

Because the battery goes inside the top of the optic, you won’t have to worry about adjusting after every battery change.

Is the Vortex Venom worth it?

Vortex is a reliable name. A reflex sight is cheaper than holographic sights and better than iron sights, so the Venom is well-worth consideration.

Best Reflex Sight
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot,Black
  • The Venom Red Dot Sight-3 MOA promotes rapid target acquisition while providing a precise point of aim; getting shots down range and on target fast. The Venom's aluminum housing ensures this unit will...
  • High quality, fully multi-coated lenses offer a clean, wide field of view. Power and dot intensity controls are conveniently located on the left side of the sight to choose between 10 brightness...
  • The Venom also has an auto-brightness mode that uses an ambient light sensor to control dot intensity if the shooter prefers. Parallax Free

Why? It’s got…

  • 2 reticle sizes
  • Great battery life
  • 10 brightness settings
  • ArmorTek durability

Vortex has a fully transferable, lifetime warranty that they uphold. I’ve had my optics repaired without any issues, after fast communication. If you want a company with a warranty you can trust, Vortex is a good option.

If you’re looking for an upgraded reflex sight and have an extra $200 to shell out, you might want to look at the Trijicon RMR. It’s got some great features, but it’s closer to $500.

4. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25: Best Budget Red Dot Sight

This is another red dot that was in contention for best overall. For such a low cost, Bushnell put a lot of work into creating an accurate, reliable optic.

Best Budget Red Dot Sight
Bushnell Optics TRS-25 Hirise 1x25mm Red Dot Riflescope with Riser...
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • Black with 3 MOA Dot reticle
  • High-Rise mount

Glass Clarity & Reticle Patterns

The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 uses a 3 MOA red dot reticle. It’s great for targets farther out while letting me find targets quickly up close.

The dot itself is bright and actually has 11 settings for intensity. Some smaller dots are harder to see for CQB, but the adjustable intensity lets me see the red dot in any lighting conditions.

I love how clear the lens image is, complete with anti-reflective coating. I’ve been able to make out anything I’ve crossed my sight over so far.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 red dot has unlimited eye relief and a clear sight picture for its surroundings.

Durability and Weight

One area that Bushnell outdid themselves is how durable the Trophy TRS-25 red dot is. It’s 3.6 ounces, so a little less than average for weight, but it’s basically weatherproof.

While some optics are good in the rain, the TRS-25 can even be submerged and retain function. It’s also fog-proof and shockproof, so there’s no worry about blurry images.

As far as the physical properties, my Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 has been through multiple shooting trips. It’s been dropped and bumped into things and it still fires just fine.

That’s thanks in part to the multi-coated optics. From top to bottom, Bushnell crafted a red dot sight with longevity.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

I love that it doesn’t take much to adjust my Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 red dot. With a penny or screwdriver, I can adjust the elevation and windage knobs at 1 MOA each click.

It’s also not hard to get to them, because the caps can be removed by hand. These caps have o-rings inside to prevent water from getting in, so my fingers don’t slip off.

Parallax & Magnification

The TRS-25 isn’t parallax-free, but it’s low with 50 yards. With a 1x magnification, that still means that I’m rarely seeing the effects of parallax.

Plus, the reticle and image clarity give control over my precision.

Mounting & Rings

If you still need a reason to consider the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25, it comes with a Picatinny mount. It’s small enough to absolute co-witness and mounts with ease onto almost any rail system.

You have a lot of mount options available to buy, but I personally love the mount that it came with. It feels solid with some heft, and it’s a hi-rise mount.

Battery

My Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 uses a CR2032 battery that’s still going. On the 5th brightness level, out of 11, it’s supposed to last as long as 50,000 hours.

At that rate, I may never have to replace it. When the time comes, though, the CR2032 is easy to replace.

Is the Bushnell TRS-25 worth it?

Absolutely. As one of the lowest-costing red dot sights, Bushnell makes a case for itself as the best red dot sight overall with so many comparable features.

Best Budget Red Dot Sight
Bushnell Optics TRS-25 Hirise 1x25mm Red Dot Riflescope with Riser...
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • Black with 3 MOA Dot reticle
  • High-Rise mount

Why? It’s got…

  • 3 MOA reticle
  • 11 brightness levels
  • Long battery life
  • Universal mount
  • Weatherproofing

Bushnell has a reasonable limited lifetime warranty for the Trophy TRS-25. It covers a lot, but you’ll need to show proof of purchase. Still, between the price and how long it lasts, this isn’t much to ask.

If you want to spend a little more while still being well-within your budget, you might also like the STNGR Axiom II. It’s a solid alternative red dot sight that won’t break the bank.

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, the best red dot sight under $300 comes down to preference and purpose. However, if I had to choose between red dots, I’d go with the Burris Fastfire III.

It’s mid-range on price and delivers quality features. There’s a reason that it’s been at the top of several red dots for years.

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best red dot sights under $300 guide.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which red dot sight will you pick? Or perhaps you already have one and would like to share your thoughts.

Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

FAQ:

What distance are red dot sights good for?

The best red dot optic is usually good for 100 yards or less, though you can easily hit targets at 150 yards with practice. The dot size can also affect ranged accuracy, because large red dots can interfere with the sight picture.

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