Last Updated on June 10, 2021
We’ve all been there: You’re on a budget, but you don’t want to get a piece of junk. The good news is that you don’t need to spend a ton of cash to get a top-notch red dot sight, regardless of what the premium optics companies would like you to think.
Don’t believe us? Just check out the 10 red dot sights that we found and reviewed below. They’re all great choices, and you don’t need to break the bank to get them.
If you’re still unsure what you need after reading the reviews, we created a comprehensive buyer’s guide that will walk you through everything that you need to know. If you’re shopping for a red dot sight on a budget, you’ve come to the right place.
|Best Overall||Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight||
|Sig Sauer SOR01300 Romeo Zero Reflex Sight||
|Predator V3 Micro Red Dot Sight||
|AT3 Tactical RD-50 PRO Red Dot Sight||
|Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight||
Few companies better combine affordability and performance than Bushnell, and that’s precisely what it did with its Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight. Not only is it available for a great price, but it also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you don’t have to worry about it replacing it later!
There are 11 different brightness settings, and you can make both windage and elevation adjustments without any tools. Even better, it uses a 3 MOA red dot reticle, and the battery lasts an average of 3,000 hours.
While the quality of the optic might not be as crisp as the most expensive options on the market, it’s still a great choice and the best that you’re going to find at this price point.
If you’re looking for an outstanding red dot sight for your pistol, the Sig Sauer Romeo Zero Reflex Sight is an exceptional choice. While it’s expensive, it’s still a great deal for what you’re getting.
It comes with a lifetime warranty, so you don’t ever need to worry about replacing it, and the motion-activated illumination system extends your battery life and gives you fewer things to worry about when you need to use it.
Furthermore, the 3 MOA red dot size is an extremely versatile size, and the HD polymer lens gives you a crystal-clear image. All in all, it’s an incredible red dot sight for your pistol.
A top-notch choice that you have for your weapon is the Predator V3 Micro Red Dot Sight. It’s an affordable sight that comes with a lifetime warranty, and this sight has 11 different brightness settings that you can cycle through.
However, this sight isn’t as high quality as Sig Sauer or Bushnell sights. That said, this sight comes with both a riser mount and a 45-degree offset mount, which gives you maximum versatility without spending extra money on accessories.
The AT3 Tactical RD-50 PRO Red Dot Sight is an affordable sight that comes with a lifetime warranty. This sight comes with two different mounts — a 1″ riser and a .83″ riser — so you’ll have no problem clearing the iron sights on your weapon.
Moreover, the 2 MOA reticle size is excellent for precision shots, and the 50,000-hour battery life helps ensure that it won’t fail on you when you need it most. We wish that this sight came with an offset mount, but that’s a small complaint. You can certainly use an offset mount with this sight if you invest in one, and overall, it’s a high-quality sight that you can put on any weapon.
Vortex Optics is known for making high-quality sights, and its Crossfire Red Dot Sightline is no exception. Like all Vortex sights, this one comes with a lifetime warranty, and it has an anti-reflective coating that gives you a crisp and bright picture around the reticle.
The reticle itself has 11 different brightness settings and a 2 MOA size, which is great for precision shots. Additionally, this sight comes with two different mounts: a low mount and a high mount that adds to its versatility.
Finally, this sight has a 50,000-hour battery life, which means you’ll rarely have to deal with replacing the batteries. The only ding on this sight is that Vortex Optics made it in China, but with the lifetime warranty, if there are any quality concerns, Vortex Optics will gladly fix them for you.
Sig Sauer makes so many top-notch optics, and Sig Sauer SOR52001 Red Dot Sight is one of them. It comes with a lifetime warranty and has a motion-activated illumination system that keeps you from forgetting to turn off the sight and extends your overall battery life.
This sight has 10 different illumination settings and a 40,000-hour battery life. Additionally, the 2 MOA red dot size is excellent for precision shots. Still, this sight is a bit on the expensive side, which is a big deal for a budget red dot sight listing.
When you’re looking for an ultra-affordable red dot sight, the Pinty Tactical sight is an outstanding choice. It comes with a 1″ riser mount and has 11 different brightness settings that you can cycle through.
Moreover, the 50,000-hour battery life is among the best in the industry. However, for everything that this sight does right, it is a low-end sight for a reason. The primary concern is the lack of warranty — once you exit the 30-day Amazon return window, you’re stuck with this sight, for better or worse.
While it’s not super high-quality, this sight is quite affordable. At this price point, it’s an outstanding choice.
Feyachi is a company known for making budget sights, and its V30 Red Dot Sight is a great choice. It’s affordable but still comes with a 3-year warranty. This is not as good as a lifetime warranty, but it’s far better than nothing.
Moreover, this sight has an auto on/off feature that extends the battery life and remembers your last brightness setting, so you don’t have to worry about cycling to the right setting when you need to use it.
Finally, the 2 MOA red dot size is excellent for precision shots, and the sight itself is extremely durable, so it wouldn’t be surprising if it lasts long past the 3-year warranty period.
A low-end red dot sight is this OTW sight. It’s incredibly affordable and allows you to cycle from a red dot to a green dot option. However, there are only five different brightness levels, and this sight only comes with a 1-year warranty.
Still, it’ll get the job done with a 4 MOA reticle and the ability to make tool-free windage and elevation adjustments. This isn’t the best red dot sight around, but at this price point, you could do far worse.
Overall, it’s a budget sight that’s available for an affordable price. But there are better options out there, even at this price point.
While the HIRAM Red Dot Sight is extremely affordable, you don’t get any warranty outside of the 30-day Amazon return period, and there are only seven brightness settings that you can cycle through.
However, while there isn’t a ton to love about this sight, outside of the affordable price, you do get a 4 MOA red dot reticle, and there is both a green and red dot sight that you can cycle between.
These aren’t huge perks but they’re better than nothing. While this sight is incredibly affordable, there are better options out there, even at this price.
With so many options out there, it’s no surprise that you might have questions. That’s why we created this comprehensive guide, to walk you through everything that you need to know. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, this is what you should know both before and after your purchase.
Compared to iron sights, red dot sights are a clear upgrade. They offer unlimited eye relief, are extremely easy to use, and speed up target acquisition time. While they don’t provide magnification with offset mounts, there’s no reason that you can’t get the best of both worlds if you’re shooting a rifle.
Moreover, red dot sights allow you to shoot from unconventional positions, which is a huge advantage in tactical situations.
If you’re mounting a red dot sight to your rifle, you have two choices: an offset mount or a straight-up mount. The difference is simple, but it’s essential that you get the right option for your weapon.
Just as the name implies, a straight-up mount goes directly on top of your weapon. It’s a traditional mount and a great choice, except that it doesn’t allow you to mount any additional sights to your weapon. That leads to the second option: offset mounts.
Offset mounts sit at an angle on your weapon, typically 45 degrees. This allows you to mount another scope straight up on your weapon, which is great for those who want both a traditional scope and a red dot sight for close-range and long-range applications.
While you’ll have to get used to tilting your weapon slightly while you shoot, the extra versatility of adding an offset mount is worth the added practice sessions at the range.
Before you purchase your new red dot sight, you need to ensure that you can mount it to your weapons. Most rifles use a Weaver or Picatinny rail mount, while many pistols opt for a Dovetail mount.
Once you determine what kind of mount your weapon has, you need to ensure that your new site will have enough clearance over the iron sights or other accessories. There are different mounting options that you can purchase to help you out with this. These options include low-profile mounts, if your weapon doesn’t have anything that it needs to look over, or absolute co-witness mounts, if you need to elevate your sight drastically. Either way, do your homework and get the right mount for your weapon.
It doesn’t matter which sight you choose; if you want to hit your target, you’ll need to zero in your new scope. The good news is that zeroing in your scope is easy and gives you an excuse to head out to the range and shoot!
What you’re shooting at will change what distance that you want to zero your scope in, but the basic principles behind sighting in your scope remain the same. The only thing that will change is the amount that the shot moves when you make MOA adjustments.
One of the most important decisions that you need to make when selecting a red dot sight is the reticle’s size. Larger reticles are easier to spot, but if they’re too large, they can blot out the entire target, which greatly affects precision shots.
The best way to break this down is to understand how the sizing works. A 1 MOA reticle will blot out a 1″ target at 100 yards, while a 5 MOA reticle will blot out a 5″ target at 100 yards.
While that’s not too big of a deal for targets that are far away, when those targets get closer, it can make a huge difference. For instance, a 1 MOA article will blot out 4″ of a target at 25 yards, while a 5 MOA reticle will blot out a 20″ target!
That’s why we recommend a 5 MOA target for those shooting exclusively at close-range targets, like those installing a red dot sight on a pistol used for home defense.
However, if you’ll be shooting at targets farther away, we recommend a 2 MOA reticle or smaller. In the end, it’s up to you; just know what you’re getting and how you’ll be using your sight!
We love warranties, and when you look into them, it’s not hard to see why. Every company promises you that its product will last, but often, it sends a cheaply made product that breaks after just a few uses.
Products that come with a warranty rarely have that problem. The manufacturer doesn’t want to deal with the warranty process any more than you do, and it promises that the product that it is selling you will last.
This greatly increases your chances of getting a top-notch product the first time, and it is why sights that come with a lifetime warranty got a huge boost on the list. It doesn’t matter how old the sight is. If it comes with a lifetime warranty and stops working, the company will fix it for you!
While it’s not the most common occurrence for budget scopes, there is a semi-common Amazon scam that you need to watch out for and protect yourself against. The scam involves a consumer purchasing a knockoff sight through another platform like eBay, while they purchase the genuine article through Amazon.
They then return the knockoff to Amazon instead of the real thing. If the warehouse employee doesn’t notice the difference, they’ll repackage the knockoff and send it off to another customer. That’s why it’s so important to double-check your optic as soon as you get it.
Furthermore, you should check out the manufacturer’s website to get a thorough understanding of what the genuine article looks like — that way, you can tell if you get a knockoff right away and send it back.
While it’s relatively rare for something to slip through, it’s best to do a little extra work just to stay on the safe side of things.
A sight that comes with a motion-detected on/off feature has three significant advantages. First, when you need to use your sight, you don’t need to worry about messing with any knobs. Instead, all you need to do is look through the sight, and everything will be working just as it should.
Second, if it has a motion-detected on/off feature, it also comes with brightness memory. So, if you’re shooting in a similar situation time and time again, you’ll have everything set up without messing with any knobs.
Finally, an auto on/off feature guarantees that you’ll never forget to turn off your sight, which is a great way to save your battery life. Even if you’re shooting only once a week, if you forget to turn off the sight, it can cost you 168 hours of battery life!
If you’ve read all the reviews and still don’t know what you want, don’t worry. Chances are that the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight is exactly what you’ve been looking for. There’s a reason that it topped the list, as it combines versatility, longevity, and performance.
However, if you’re looking for an even more affordable option, the Pinty 1x25mm Tactical Red Dot Sight is an extremely low-priced option that still delivers top-notch results.
We’re confident that the best red dot sight for your weapon is here on this list, and hopefully, we helped you find it and gave you the confidence to order your sight today!
Featured Image Credit: Ambrosia Studios, Shutterstock
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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