3 Red Dot Sight Reviews…And the #1 Reason to Use One:

3 Red Dot Sight Reviews…And the #1 Reason to Use One:

I’m going to lead off into this article and assume you already know why you want a red dot sight. We can argue all day long about red dots vs holographic vs scopes with different layers of magnification. But here we just want to discuss the merits and potential down sides of using a red dot sight while hunting or during target practice and also give you a few reviews on what we think are the best red dot sights for the money. We will be reviewing the differences between your standard reflex sight (red dot) and holographic sights in another article.

The number one Reason To Use a Red Dot Sight

I’ll highlight some of the pros and cons of using red dots below, but I want to point out the number one reason we think using a red dot sight is beneficial while hunting. Granted a major drawback to red dots is their lack of accuracy over long range distances, so keep this in mind when thinking about what hunting application you will be using it in.

Parallax

Parallax, or really lack there of, is the number one reason red dots can be so beneficial. Parallax is the effect that occurs when using a scope and keeping your target in the cross hairs. When you are dialed in on a scope with the target in the crosshairs, and then you slightly tilt or move your head, the result is that the object appears to be in a different location because of the resulting parallax.

Think of the speedometer in your car as a basic example. If you are sitting in the drivers seat and looking straight on at the speedometer, it is easy to see exactly what speed you are going. Now put yourself in the passenger seat and assume you are traveling the same speed. If you were to look at the speedometer now, the needle would look like it’s in a different place and it would appear that you are not going as fast as you thought. The difference in view points or field of view like in the speedometer example, is due to parallax.

So when using a red dot, parallax does not become an issue nearly as much. Where you see the red dot is where the shot should go. There is no apparent movement of the target because it does not suffer from this major drawback. When shooting from longer distances, say 75 yards or more, you may have minor parallax issues, in which case the better red dots have features to fix this. But for the most part, especially on the medium to higher end red dots, you will not have an issue with parallax. This may seem like a small hinderance, but the differences in accuracy when not properly zero’d in can be vast. Here are a few of the other advantages and disadvantages of red dots below.

Advantages of Red Dot Sights

  • Close Range Accuracy: When targeting in close range situations, it can be a lot easier to sight in with a red dot. When compared to a traditional scope with magnification, the reticle takes longer to bring into focus and steady. The Red dot is more of a point and shoot in the sense that it is a simplified reflex based technology. Accurate and easy to operate in short range situations.
  • Quick Target Shooting: The next benefit is that of being able to zero in on a target in less time. Using a standard red dot reticle, essentially where the red dot is, is where the shot will go . There are other factors like trigger control that effect accuracy, but all things considered… don’t over complicate it here.
  • Multiple MOA Options: Some of the best Red Dot Sights have a variable MOA (Minutes of Angle) setting on them. If there is not a variable MOA on the sight, you would want to make sure what MOA setting you prefer for certain applications. So essentially what this does is at a higher setting, let’s say 8.0 MOA, the red dot itself will appear larger on the target while looking through the sight. This allows you to use different size red dots based on your distance and personal preference. We get into MOA more down below the reviews.

Disadvantages of Red Dot Sights

  • Close Range Accuracy: Although we have this as a strength it is almost certainly it’s biggest limitation as well. If you’re up close then it shouldn’t be a problem. But the further the distance, the less accurate(relative to a scope with magnification) it will be.
  • Size: If you’ve never used a sight or scope before then it may come very awkward to you when using one. There is an added weight on the top of the gun that can cause issues with precision. But we feel this is something that can be overcome with regular use. After a while if will feel more normal to you to use.

Red Dot Reviews:
We didn’t pick any overly inexpensive ones because they tend to be too cheap for this case. Now the term “Best Red Dot Scope” is a subjective thing. Some people prefer a higher grade build with added functionality, which will cost more and ultimately lead them to believe that one is the best. Some prefer a decent build quality with some added functionality, but at a much lower price point. We decided to look at overall value, as a measure of quality and price, to base our decisions on.

The 3 Best Red Dot Sights Reviewed

1. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope

Bushnell makes top notch Red Dot sights. The quality and price on this one is why we think it’s one of the best. The other main reason we picked it, is because it highlights the main reason we mentioned earlier for using red dots in the first place, no parallax. The sight comes with no parallax technology, which is great for the end user. It also only weighs 3.7 oz, which should alleviate some of the concerns about adding a bulky sight to the gun.

The TRS-25, which comes in matte black as well, also features a high resolution multi coated lens and optics to help illuminate and distinguish similar objects in the target plane. If you are in a situation with poor lighting conditions, it will be easier to tell the difference between dark green and light green or black and grey. Thus increasing target accuracy.

The quality is definitely there and the price is very good too. Typically coming in at a modest price makes this a great bet for the money. Accuracy, price, overall performance lead this sight to be a great product which you will get plenty of use out of. The battery life on the red dot itself is substantially rated at 3000 hours.

Bushnell_Red_dot_Sight

Specs

  • Reticle: 3 MOA Red Dot
  • Finish: Camouflage or Matte black
  • Weight: 3.7 oz.
  • Power x Obj. Lens Dia.: 1x25mm
  • Eye relief: Unlimited
  • Field of view: Unlimited
  • Mounted Length: 1 in.
  • No Parallax

 

 

 

 

 

2. Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight – 4 MOA Red/Green Dot

The StrikeFire II Red/Green Dot Sight is quite the find! The 4 MOA red dot brightness may be adjusted to ten intensity levels. Its battery lasts upwards of 300 hours while at maximum brightness setting for some users. In Addition, the bottom two intensity levels are night-vision compatible. It also sports a 6 hour auto-shutdown that helps save your battery life. The sight itself may be mounted on Picatinny bases. Its one-piece body is machined from high-grade aluminum and is thoroughly sealed for protection from the elements, giving this great scope a superb durability. This variety of features and its adaptable nature means the StrikeFire II Red Dot Sight will be a long-term companion, and has consequently made it to our list of Best Red Dot Sights Under 200. Works well with multiple weapons options, including an AR-15. Furthermore, this particular scope comes with a free hat!

Features:

  • 4 MOA Red Dot
  • Waterproof
  • 1-piece design
  • Includes high mount, low mount, and spacer for various mounting heights

Specs:

  • Magnification: 1 x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 30 mm
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Adjustment Graduation: 0.5 MOA
  • Travel per Rotation: 25 MOA
  • Max Elevation Adjustment: 100 MOA
  • Max Windage Adjustment: 100 MOA
  • Parallax Setting: Parallax Free
  • Length: 5.6 inches
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces

 

3. UTG 6.4″ ITA Red/Green CQB Dot Sight

Rounding out the top three is this model from UTG. Again this one comes with a parallax free design that allows you to feel comfortable with knowing exactly where the red dot reticle is pointing. Speaking of the reticle, it comes in a red or green color, based on whatever you prefer.

It can be used on shotguns, rifles, air guns, and other weapons if needed. The flexibility of the Weaver Picatinny mounting is a plus. Picatinny is not the same as Weaver but often times the sight can be used interchangeably, depending on model. Almost standard with a red dot at this caliber is that it comes with highly engineered optics to reduce glare and also increase contrast between objects in the sight. So when looking at something 50 yards away, it amplifies the difference between say a tree and a bush or anything that potentially would blend in together.

UTG_Red_Dot_Sight

Specs

  • Reticle: 4 MOA Red/Green Dot
  • Finish: Black
  • Mount: Picatinny
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Quick mount technology
  • Field of view: Unlimited
  • Various Brightness Settings

 

 

 

 

MOA

So there you go, three great red dot sights to choose from, and several reasons why. The last thing I wanted to mention was MOA. The actual definition of MOA is somewhat technical. The thing to keep in mind is that it is a unit of measure. Sights come from 1 MOA to 8 MOA, and even higher. So at 1 MOA the coverage on the target at say 50 yards would be 1/2″ or at 100 yards it would be roughly 1″. The higher the number, the larger the red dot will appear to you when looking through the sight at the target. There is no reason to make it more complicated than that. If you are a beginner, 4 MOA is a great place to start because it tends to be easier to aim with. The lower MOA’s like a 1 MOA come on the higher end sights that typically cost several hundred dollars.
Check out other articles:
Shotgun sights
Best handgun scopes
Crossbow scopes

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