The 5 Best Red Dot Sights [2020 Update]

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In this guide I’m going to show you the best red dot sight. 

In fact:

These are the same red dots that many optic experts and competitive shooters use. 

The best part? 

I’ve sorted the sights by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need a solid red dot sight for your AR-15, you’ll find it here.

Let’s get started!

The 5 Best Red Dot Sight

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best red dot sights:

  1. Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight: Best Overall Red Dot
  2. Trijicon MRO: Best Reflex Sight for AR15
  3. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25: Best Red Dot under $100
  4. Vortex Venom: Best Red Dot Sight for the Money
  5. Sig Sauer Romeo5: Best Budget Red Dot

1. Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight: Best Overall Red Dot

The Aimpoint PRO (patrol rifle optic) beats out all other competition for red dot sights.

In fact, it is the perfect mix of great sights, crisp dot, and battery life at an affordable price.

I bought mine over 3 years ago and have never looked back.

Interested? Keep reading…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass on the Aimpoint PRO is very clear with a slight blue tint.

The 2 MOA red dot reticle makes this a top choice for protection, whether you’re in law enforcement or need home defense.

That’s because the red dot can go from almost a pinprick, to a bright, almost blinding dot, allowing you to see at any time of day. With 6 daylight options and 4 night options, you’ll never have to worry about spotting your target.

It’s also night vision compatible!

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Aimpoint PRO has unlimited eye relief.

The beauty of unlimited eye relief is that you can see your target with both eyes open. Which means it’s not only easier to get a quick sight picture, you also have better situational awareness.

I was initially worried about the size, but quickly realized that it allows for a great field of view without limiting my visibility at all.


Durability

The rugged design of the Aimpoint PRO makes for a very durable sight.

It is fogproof, shockproof, and can be submerged in water up to 150 feet!

The lens openings are recessed, which protects the lenses from fingerprints, scratches, or any other damage.

I toss mine in the back of my truck after every use and have even left it back there while driving through the rain. It still works perfectly.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage turrets are reliable and simple to use.

Not only are the clicks loud enough to hear, they feel crisp and are distinct enough to feel, making it extremely easy to count them.

How about reliability?

When I got mine, I was able to get it zeroed in under 10 shots. I’ve had mine over 3 years now and my shots are just as accurate as they were back then. No adjustments needed!


Parallax & Magnification

Red dots in general are 1x magnification.

The Aimpoint PRO is mainly used for short to medium range, which is why it’s perfect for close quarters combat you’ll experience in law enforcement or self defense. For something a little further out, you might want to check out the 4 Best Scopes for 7.62×39.

You won’t have to worry about parallax with this scope either, because it doesn’t have any!


Mounting & Rings

The Aimpoint PRO comes with its own mount and a spacer for co-witnessing.

It also includes front and rear flip up covers. The really amazing thing is that the rear cover is clear, so you’ll still be able to see even if you forget to flip it up.

It does come with a battery, but if you need a replacement, buy 1/3N Lithium battery.

Sale
Duracell DL1/3N CR1/3N 3V Lithium Battery 3 Pack
  • The freshest batteries, 100% guaranteed, and same-day shipping on all in-stock merchandise
  • Pack

You likely won’t need one for a while though. Mine has lasted for over 3 years and I’ve mostly kept it on one of the medium light settings.


Is the Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Sight worth it?

If you’re looking for a quality red dot that you can always rely on, the Aimpoint PRO is the best choice.

It has:

  • Clear glass
  • Crisp, red dot
  • High accuracy
  • Long battery life
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Fast target acquisition
  • Waterproof/fogproof durability

In other words:

The Aimpoint PRO has everything you could ask for in a red dot sight.

Whether you’re on the job or defending your family, knowing that you’ll be able to get a clear sight picture in any light condition is a must. Not to mention the ability to acquire and shoot your target quickly.

With an exceptional battery life, the Aimpoint PRO will always be on when you need it.

If you’re looking for a red dot scope for protection in dangerous situations, try the Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Sight.

Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer - 2 MOA - 12841
652 Reviews
Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer - 2 MOA - 12841
  • Designed to deliver premium performance under harsh conditions
  • 2 MOA dot with 4 Night and 6 Daylight brightness settings
  • Up to 3 years of continuous operation using one DL1/3N battery (included)

2. Trijicon MRO: Best Reflex Sight for AR15

The Trijicon Mini Rifle Optic proves that great things come in small packages. This reflex sight packs a ton of features into a tiny, lightweight body.

In fact, I think the Trijicon MRO is the best reflex sight you can put on your AR15.

Not convinced yet? Keep reading…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass on the MRO is insanely clear.

Light transmission is also fantastic, thanks to Trijicon’s Tapered Light Path system.

I can clearly see every detail on my target when looking through this optic. Unlike some other dot sights that I’ve used, there is no visible tint.

This is because of the advanced multi-coating that Trijicon applied to the lenses of the MRO. Plus, they slightly canted the lens glass to cut out glare.

Now, on to the reticle.

The MRO varies from many other reflex sights in that it uses a green dot instead of a red dot.

I personally prefer the green dot reticle, and find it a lot easier to make out in almost every light condition. If you’d rather have a red dot, check out my article on the Aimpoint Pro vs the T1 or our review of the Bushnell TRS-25.

There are 8 brightness settings to choose from. I found that 4 works for me in both day and night shooting conditions, but you’ll want to try them all out and figure out which one works best for you.

Now, I did notice some very slight distortion of the reticle. However, I get this with every reflex sight, since I have astigmatism in both of my eyes. The glass is so clear though that it’s really not a problem for me.

In fact, a good reflex sight can often be the best option for people with vision problems, or just aging eyes.

Even with my bad eyes, the MRO lets me quickly and easily spot and identify my target without obscuring or distorting it.

And one more note about the reticle: The MRO can run for one continuous year without needing to change batteries, so you know that when you need it most, the MRO is ready to go!


Eye Relief & Eye Box

Here’s the best thing about reflex sights like the MRO:

Unlimited eye relief.

Also, the small overall size of this optic paired with it’s huge 25mm viewing area means that your field of view when using this scope is unparalleled. I get no “tubing” effect whatsoever when using this scope.

And since it’s designed to be used with both eyes open, I can quickly take in the whole field to find and acquire my target.

And since it’s a reflex optic, there is absolutely no parallax.

I’ve tested this optic on my AR15 from several unconventional (and uncomfortable!) shooting positions and was still on target every time. This is a must-have feature for a defense gun!


Durability

This scope is not only small, it’s extremely rugged.

The MRO is shockproof, fogproof, and fully waterproof. In fact, it’s been tested at a depth of 100 feet.

This is because the scope is fully sealed, and forged from anodized 7075 aircraft-grade aluminum.

These durability features mean that you can take this optic anywhere and use it under any conditions without worrying about damaging it. If you’re looking for a reflex sight for the end of the world, look no further!

Plus, the whole thing only weighs 4.1 ounces. This is great for long trips and makes for a comfortable shooting experience in the field, since it’s not weighing down your rifle.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The adjustment knobs on the MRO are very reliable.

They produce stiff clicks when turned, and adjust at a rate of ½ MOA per click, so you can really get that precise zero.

Speaking of zeroing, I was on target within a handful of shots. And I’ve sent hundreds of rounds through my AR since mounting the MRO and I haven’t noticed any straying of my zero.

In fact, the MRO uses subflush turrets to make sure that you never unintentionally make any adjustments. The turrets are recessed and require a coin or small screwdriver to operate.

This means that it’s a little hard to adjust them in the field, but it also means that once set, your zero is not going anywhere.

And I haven’t had to make any field adjustments, so the lack of hand-adjustability proved to be a non-issue for me.


Mounting & Accessories

Trijicon offers the MRO with a variety of included mount styles, including full co-witness, lower third co-witness, levered QR low mount, and standard low mount.

I prefer the full co-witness option. That way, even if the battery on the MRO does fail, my iron sights are right on the money.

And speaking of batteries, they are nice enough to include one CR2032 battery so that you are ready to mount and shoot right out of the box.

The MRO doesn’t include any kind of cover or caps, though. I’d recommend the Trijicon MRO Slip-On Cover.

Trijicon AC31022 MRO Cover Clear, Flat Dark Earth
  • Keeps optic body and lenses protected in extreme, harsh environments
  • One handed Operation, covers Nest together to prevent Snags
  • Durable thermoplastic polyurethane material resists solvents, oils and UV exposure

It fits like a glove, and gives you extra protection for the lenses and on the scope body itself.


Is the Trijicon MRO worth it?

Overall, the Trijicon MRO is an incredible reflex sight in a small, lightweight package.

It’s got:

  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Extremely light weight
  • Exceptional glass quality
  • Superior light transmission
  • 1 year continuous battery life
  • Green dot with 8 brightness settings
  • Included co-witness mounting options

And if that wasn’t enough, the scope is covered by Trijicon’s Lifetime Warranty.

So whether you want to take your AR15 out plinking, or be set up for the coming apocalypse, you can’t go wrong with the Trijicon MRO.


3. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25: Best Red Dot under $100

The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is the best red dot for under $100.

This compact red dot sight scope packs a punch for what it’s worth.

But how could you have quality at an affordable price?

Keep reading to find the answer…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass clarity is nice.

In fact, the multicoated lens has an Amber-Bright high-contrast coating that works for daylight and nighttime. This especially helps our eyes in the dark, making it easy to see the difference between a brown tree trunk and a woodland creature.

Due to its night vision feature, it has 11 levels of brightness so you can adjust to the best setting for your eyes.

And the reticle?

It’s a 3 MOA Dot reticle that’s dimmable, making it compatible with the night vision.

However, I had some trouble with the mil-dot flickering. This could be due to the brightness knob, which felt muddy when I turned it.

Which made me uncertain whether the knob was in alignment with the level of brightness I wanted.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief is unlimited, making it optimal for two-eye use.

But the scope is also super bulky. When I was testing it out, it was hard to see over it even with one eye focused. Even when I tried keeping both of my eyes open, my line of sight was partially blocked the whole time.


Durability

The TRS-25 has rugged strength.

It’s waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. So it’s tough enough to take a beating.

But I’m not so sure about the dials, which ended up feeling loose after a day of shooting rounds.

So I’m not sure why the sight scope itself is built like a mini tank when the dials are of questionable strength. But that was the only durability issue I had with this scope.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The tactical turrets are built for rapid windage and elevation adjustments.

In fact, the knobs are pretty tight. They should make a crisp “click” when adjusted, but there were a few times I adjusted them and couldn’t tell if they had clicked only once or twice.

Does this scope zero?

It does zero, very quickly. I shot through 5-10 rounds and was already zeroed in.

Plus, it held zero very well. Even when I went through hundreds of rounds, it stayed put.


Parallax & Magnification

The magnification is only 1x.

But it’ll perform well below 25 yards, so don’t fret. You’ll just need to get a separate magnifier to boost that magnification level. More on that in my recommendations at the end of this review.

This scope also has unlimited parallax.


Mounting & Rings

The TRS-25 is built with a cross-bolt rail mount, so you can slide it on and get it sighted right away.

But you could always use a riser mount. I recommend the UTG 1″ Riser for optimal clearance for your rifle.

Sale
UTG Hi-Profile Compact Riser Mount, 1' High, 3 Slots
1,579 Reviews
UTG Hi-Profile Compact Riser Mount, 1" High, 3 Slots
  • New Gen. Riser Mount for Rifles with Picatinny/Weaver Rail
  • 1.6" Long Picatinny Rail with 3 Slots
  • Side Plate with Spring Tension for Quick Easy Installation

To get extra magnification, I highly recommend adding the UTG 3X Magnifier.

Sale
UTG 3X Magnifier with Flip-to-side QD Mount, W/E Adjustable
2,167 Reviews
UTG 3X Magnifier with Flip-to-side QD Mount, W/E Adjustable
  • Broadband Multi-coated Lens to Provide Crystal Clear 3X Image, Wide Field of View - 30% Bigger Than Comparable Models from Other Brands.Compatible Rail-Picatinny/Weaver.
  • Windage/Elevation Adjustability for Optimum View Centering. Refer user manual for list of compatible manuals
  • 42mm Center Height for Most Common Dot Sight Combination, Innovative Flip-to-Side Mechanism for Quick Transition between 1X and 3X Image.Objective Diameter:25mm;Field of View @ 100 yards:45'

It offers a wider field of view while also being durable.


Is the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 worth it?

If you want a reliable and affordable red dot sight scope, the TRS-25 is exactly what you’re looking for.

Here’s the best features:

  • 3-year battery life
  • Priced under $100
  • Amber-Bright lens coating
  • Compatible with most firearms

This scope comes with Bushnell’s one-year warranty. So if anything happens to it, Bushnell will take care of you.

In short: you’ll get a great piece of equipment for the price. If nothing else, the great battery life itself makes the Trophy TRS-25 completely worth it.

Sale
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x25mm, Black
7,096 Reviews
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x25mm, Black
  • Matte black featuring a 3 MOA Dot reticle with 11 brightness settings; Mounts easily on most picatinny rails and is compatible with pistols, shotguns, rifles and muzzleloaders
  • Waterproof construction: O ring sealed optics stay dry inside, even when totally immersed in water. Parallax - 50
  • Shockproof construction: Built to withstand bumps, bangs, drops and the rough and tumble environment of the field

4. Vortex Venom: Best Red Dot Sight for the Money

The Vortex Venom is the best affordable red dot sight.

In fact:

After comparing every red dot sight in the under $300 category, I still keep this sight on my firearm today.

Here’s why…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The Venom might be a budget sight, but it comes with a competitive high quality lens.

I have a clean, wide view of the field and a crystal clear, fully multi-coated lens.

The Venom has a 6 MOA dot reticle with 10 levels of brightness.

Regardless of lighting conditions or background, the red dot was crisp and easy to see.

The 6 MOA is crazy consistent from 6-50 yards. This makes it my preferred optic for my carry gun.

The 6 MOA dot is also bigger, making it better for quick target acquisition in a self defense situation.

When it comes to brightness, you have 10 levels to manually adjust or switch to auto mode. The power and dot intensity controls are located conveniently on the left side of the unit.

I was surprised at how accurate the auto mode adjusted for a budget end sight. It was actually my preferred setting.

I was really curious to see how fast it could turn on if I ever needed it in an emergency draw. The answer: INSTANT.

The auto brightness feature on the Venom reacts immediately when drawing my firearm, making it ideal for self-defense carrying.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

Unlimited eye relief allows for two-eye shooting.

The viewing area is almost twice the size of its competitors, not to mention that it looks absolutely lethal on my Glock 19.

The generous objective lens, 26.5mm, helps with quick and accurate target acquisition.


Durability

This is an objectively tiny electronic sight that’s going to be hammering back and forth on a pistol for the rest of its life. Luckily, the Venom is built to withstand a lot of abuse.

It’s waterproof and shockproof. I’ve been able to use it in the rain plenty of times without issue.

Hard anodized finish will protect the unit from most scratches, but I’m more impressed by the ArmorTek scratch resistant coating on the lens.

It’s stood up to all of my deliberate abuse, and then some.

The Venom has a sleek design with less corners that could snag when you draw, making it really ideal for a conceal or open carry sight.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustments are sleek and easy to sight in.

I do wish that the clicks were more audible and that the buttons were a little larger, but I wouldn’t want to sacrifice it’s compact design.

I had no issues zeroing the sight, and was hitting the center ring consistently in no time.

After 1,000 rounds of use on my PS90, it still held zero. I also threw it on my Ruger 10/22, and it had no issues maintaining its settings.


Parallax & Magnification

There’s no added magnification on this sight

The red dot is pretty small and primarily made for handguns, so it won’t co-witness with a magnifier.

Since I wanted this for a self-defense handgun and not a hog hunting rifle, I don’t think this is an issue.

Nothing is truly parallax free, but there is minimal parallax deviation on this sight.

I did notice a slight deviation on the outermost part of the lens, but proper stance adjustments are more than adequate to correct this issue.


Mounting & Rings

The Vortex Venom comes out of the box with a low rail mount that clamps to a slotted spec base rail.

With that, it includes an optional riser mount to place the red dot at the correct height for rifles.

It’s an incredibly light unit and mounts easily to any Picatinny rail style.

Using the included screws and bolts, I had it mounted on my PS90 in no time.

What really makes this sight stand out, and what I wish other electric sights took advantage of, is the top located battery cover.

I can change batteries without having to dissemble the whole setup.

It takes a CR1632 3V battery which should last you 30,000 hours. I’ve had mine for 10 months and haven’t had to change the battery yet.

The battery cover does have fine threads. I definitely recommend using the included tool to open/change the battery, it’ll save you from the headache and scratches.

A rubber silicone snap on cover is included and covers the whole device. It’s a great protection cover that keeps everything safe when not in use.


Is the Vortex Venom worth it?

A crisp dot, clean picture, and low profile optic body are some of the premium features that make this sight stand out.

The instant auto brightness feature and snag resistant design are why I recommend it for self defense and carry firearms.

Here’s what sets this red dot apart from the competition:

  • Single-piece chassis
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Vortex lifetime warranty
  • Sleek low profile optic body
  • 10 adjustable brightness settings and auto mode

Once you get your hands on the Vortex Venom, you’ll wonder how you didn’t pay twice as much.


5. Sig Sauer Romeo5: Best Budget Red Dot

Do you need a red dot optic, but can’t afford to spend an arm and a leg? The Sig Sauer Romeo5 is the answer.

At under $200, the Romeo5’s clarity is on par with those that are more than twice the price.

I absolutely love mine and I think you will too.

Want to know why? Read on and I’ll explain.

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The Romeo5 has exceptional glass clarity for the price.

It has SpectraCoat which is an anti-reflective coating that also cuts down on glare, allowing higher light transmission.

This is my go to optic for home defense.

Why?

The 2 MOA red dot reticle has 10 different illumination settings, including 2 just for night vision, so I can see intruders day or night.

Also, the red dot is bright and round, which makes it easy to rapidly acquire targets.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

With the Romeo5 Red Dot you get unlimited eye relief.

This means you’ll get a nice, wide field of view regardless of your eye position.

What I love most is that I am able to have both eyes open and my head up when looking through this scope, allowing me to see my entire surroundings.


Durability

The Sig Sauer Romeo5 is incredibly durable.

It’s got a solid, aluminum design and is waterproof and fogproof. I dropped mine and watched in horror as it bounced off a rock and into the lake, but it came out working just as good as new.

My favorite feature of this scope is the motion activated illumination (MOTAC). It turns on automatically at the smallest vibration and turns itself off after a couple minutes of no activity. I’ve used mine for two years now and have yet to change the battery.

The drawback here is if you want to use this on something you keep in your glovebox or trunk. The constant vibrations from your vehicle will keep it turned on and drain the battery a lot faster.

It also comes with Sig Sauer Infinite Guarantee and Electronics Limited Warranty.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage turrets are easy to use.

Not only do the turrets adjust easily, you can flip the screw on the covers over and use it to make the adjustments!

Zeroing is extremely easy. I had mine done in a handful of shots. The zero holds well too! After two years of frequent use, I’ve never had to readjust it.

I feel confident that my shots will be so accurate that I can even use a smaller caliber, like a 22 pistol, and still do some serious damage.


Parallax & Magnification

The magnification on the Romeo5 is 1x.

This power gives you crystal clear target acquisition from 10-100 yards, making it perfect for target shooting and home defense. For anything further out, you may want to try a prism sight.

I did notice some very slight parallax, but not enough to make it a problem.


Mounting & Rings

The Romeo5 comes with two different mounting options.

There’s a Picatinny low mount and a co-witness mount included, plus an adjustment and mounting tool.

It also comes with a battery, lens cloth, and lens cover.


Is the Sig Sauer Romeo5 worth it?

The Romeo5 will give you a quality Red Dot for an amazing price.

It features:

  • Under $200
  • Clear glass
  • Compact size
  • Limited warranty
  • Two mount options
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Bright, round red dot
  • Auto on/off illumination system

Furthermore:

The Sig Sauer Romeo5 beats out all competition as the best budget Red Dot.

Being confident that you’ll be able to quickly find your target in any light condition is a requirement for home defense.

The Romeo5 provides this with it’s crystal clarity and bright red dot. You’ll get maximum situational awareness with the unlimited eye relief as well.

If you want to be able to protect your family at a price that you can afford, get the Sig Sauer Romeo5.


Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best red dot sight guide.

So as a recap:

If you’re looking for the best overall red dot, get the Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight.

Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer - 2 MOA - 12841
652 Reviews
Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer - 2 MOA - 12841
  • Designed to deliver premium performance under harsh conditions
  • 2 MOA dot with 4 Night and 6 Daylight brightness settings
  • Up to 3 years of continuous operation using one DL1/3N battery (included)

Looking for the best reflex sight for AR15? I’d recommend Trijicon MRO.

Looking for the best red dot under $100? Choose Bushnell Trophy TRS-25.

Sale
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x25mm, Black
7,096 Reviews
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x25mm, Black
  • Matte black featuring a 3 MOA Dot reticle with 11 brightness settings; Mounts easily on most picatinny rails and is compatible with pistols, shotguns, rifles and muzzleloaders
  • Waterproof construction: O ring sealed optics stay dry inside, even when totally immersed in water. Parallax - 50
  • Shockproof construction: Built to withstand bumps, bangs, drops and the rough and tumble environment of the field

How about the best red dot sight for the money? Then opt-in for Vortex Venom.

Lastly, if you are looking for the best budget red dot, I’d recommend Sig Sauer Romeo5.

That said, you can’t go wrong with any of these options. After all, I have hand and torture tested all the above sights, and proved to be reliable.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which sight will you pick?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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