Last Updated on May 6, 2021
Whether you’re looking for a close-range sight to pair with a traditional scope or a sight that can mount to a pistol for lightning-fast target acquisition, a red dot sight is an outstanding choice. But just because it’s a great option doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of money.
So, if anyone tells you that you can’t find an incredible red dot sight for under $100, just show them this list! We tracked down 10 of the best options and wrote comprehensive reviews for each one.
This way, you can know the ins and outs of every option before you make your decision and get the perfect red dot sight for your weapon the first time.
|Best Overall||Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight||
|CVLIFE 1X22X33 Red Green Dot Gun Sight||
|AT3 Tactical RD-50 Micro Reflex Red Dot Sight||
|Predator V2 Reflex Sight||
|MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight||
If you’re looking for a red dot sight on a budget, that doesn’t mean you need to avoid the top brands. The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight might not be the best sight that Bushnell makes, but it’s still a high-quality option from a brand that you can trust.
Like all Bushnell products, it comes with a lifetime warranty, but you’re getting more than a brand name with this sight. The 3 MOA reticle is a great size for both precision and quick target acquisition, and the 11 brightness settings allow you to set the perfect brightness for your conditions.
You can also make both windage and elevation adjustments without any tools, and the battery life averages 5,000 hours of use. While you only get one reticle pattern and color, for everything else you get, this is easily our top choice.
Just because you have $100 to spend doesn’t mean you want to use your entire budget. That’s where the CVLIFE sight comes in. It’s an extremely affordable option that gives you four different reticle patterns and two different reticle color options, and you can even pick between two different colors for the sight itself!
However, since it is a lower budget sight, there are a few drawbacks. First, there are only five brightness settings, making it hard to get the perfect setting for your conditions. It’s also not a parallax-free design. It does offer low parallax but it’s not perfect.
A great red dot option is the AT3 Tactical RD-50 Micro Reflex Red Dot Sight. It comes with a lifetime warranty and has 11 different brightness settings that you can choose from. This site has a 2 MOA red dot reticle that is great for precision shots, and the battery can last an impressive 50,000 hours on the lowest settings.
However, while it’s under the $100 budget, it’s still expensive without offering any additional features to warrant the price.
A big name in the optics industry is Predator. While this isn’t its top sight, it’s still a reliable option that you can get for a great price. Predator backs up this sight with its lifetime warranty, so you don’t have to worry if something happens.
What really sets this red dot sight apart is the fact that it comes with a 45-degree offset mount, so if that’s how you’re looking to mount your red dot sight, you already have everything that you need. Moreover, Predator sends you an extra set of batteries for your new sight, though it’s not like you’re going to need them anytime soon with how long these batteries last.
However, this sight doesn’t get bright enough. Additionally, there aren’t a ton of brightness settings to choose from.
An ideal option for under $100 is the MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight. It’s a great combination of price and performance. Just like the top-end options, it has 11 brightness settings that you can toggle through. Moreover, the 2 MOA reticle is good when you need precision, and the fact that it comes with two separate mounts is a nice perk.
However, it only has a 1-year warranty. So, while you can get it for a little less money up front, chances are that you’re going to be spending more money in the long run.
Feyachi is known for making budget sights, and its red dot sight is no exception. It’s an affordably priced sight that gives you four different reticle patterns and two different reticle colors that you can cycle through.
But the best part of this sight is how bright it gets — no matter where you need it, you’ll have no problem seeing the reticle. However, when you’re out on a sunny day, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to deal with a glare, which can be a big problem by itself.
Additionally, there are only five brightness settings to choose from, which means you might have problems finding the perfect setting for your conditions. But for the price, this is an incredible red dot sight.
This OTW Red Dot Sight is an option that’s well under the $100 threshold. The reticle gets extremely bright and has a parallax-free design. Furthermore, there are two different reticle colors that you can use, and you can make both windage and elevation adjustments without any tools.
But that’s where the perks with this sight end. There are only five brightness settings that you can choose from, and even worse, it glares under direct sunlight. The final nail in the coffin is the fact that it only comes with a 1-year warranty.
While it’s better than nothing, the fact that the company is not willing to extend it out further is telling.
A decent budget red dot sight is this one from HIRAM. It’s extremely affordable and well under the $100 threshold, though there are significant concerns with this sight. To start with, the top brightness setting simply isn’t bright enough. While it will work fine in dim conditions, if you’re in a bright environment, you’re going to struggle to spot the reticle.
Also, as soon as you get this sight, you should replace the mount. That’s because as you fire your weapon, the screws will become loose, causing it to lose zero.
That said, this sight has seven different brightness settings, two different reticle colors, a parallax-free design, and the ability to make toolless windage and elevation adjustments. Just be sure to replace the mount before heading out to the range.
If you’re willing to replace the mount and aren’t using it on a weapon with a ton of recoil, this Pinty sight is not a bad choice. It has a 4 MOA red dot reticle that’s a great combination of precision and performance, and the full metal construction is incredibly durable.
Even better, it’s available for a great price well under the $100 threshold. It has spring-loaded flip-up covers, and you can cycle the reticle color from red to green.
However, if you don’t replace the mount, the screws will back out as you fire, causing it to lose zero, and the sight itself will break on a high-recoil weapon. But it could be a steal depending on what you’re using it for.
The best part about the Moomax Tactical RMR Red Dot Sight is the fact that it has large buttons on each side that allow you to control the brightness settings, but that’s where the perks stop.
This sight only comes with a 1-year warranty, can’t handle a ton of recoil, and simply won’t hold zero. Those are all things that you don’t want to deal with, and it’s why you’ll probably be better off with a different red dot sight.
Whether you’re new to red dot sights or just want more information, this guide will walk you through everything that you need to know. From what to look for before you make your purchase to what you need to do after you have it in your hand, we have you covered.
Red dot sights offer a slew of advantages over iron sights. For starters, they’re far easier to use, which makes them outstanding for beginners. All you need to do is put the dot on the target and pull the trigger, which is easier than lining up the front and rear iron sights for each shot.
But even if you’re an experienced shooter, red dot sights have advantages. You can line up shots quicker, and they allow you to shoot from more unconventional positions without sacrificing accuracy.
Even better, red dot sights have unlimited eye relief and don’t impair your field of view, meaning that there are virtually no drawbacks. All you need to do is keep good batteries installed. They’re cheap and last a long time if you get the right sight.
While it’s not as prevalent at this price point, you need to watch out for fakes whenever you’re buying a sight. A common problem with purchasing your sight online is that someone will buy a knockoff product through a site like eBay, while purchasing the real thing through a site like Amazon. Then they’ll return the knockoff to Amazon, and if the Amazon employee doesn’t notice, they’ll resend the knockoff to a new customer. That’s why you need to ensure that you know what the genuine article looks like, and you need to inspect your item as soon as you get it.
The good news is that Amazon does a great job at accepting your returns if this happens to you; you just need to ensure that you catch it right away.
If you already have a traditional scope on your rifle and don’t want to lose the added range that it offers, an offset red dot sight is an outstanding choice. That’s because while traditional scopes are great at hitting long-distance targets, when you need to shoot something right under your nose, you can run into significant problems.
An offset sight sits at an angle on your rifle’s rails, which allows you to get the best of both worlds. You’ll have to practice shooting a slightly unconventional angle, but once you get it down, you’ll get the best of both worlds: a long-range scope and a short-range red dot sight.
The good news is that using an offset red dot sight is far easier than an offset iron sight, which shortens the learning curve a bit.
You might find yourself wondering why you need more brightness settings — as long as you can see the reticle, you’re good to go, right? The problem with this thought process is twofold. For starters, you’re going to fly through batteries if you always use your sight at the highest setting, but that’s not the biggest problem.
The worst part of using a brightness setting that is too high for the conditions is that the reticle will blur. This makes it hard to see exactly where it’s lined up and causes you to lose a little accuracy. While this might not matter in some situations, it can be the difference between making or missing your shot in others.
One of the most significant decisions that you need to make when selecting a red dot sight is the reticle’s size. These measurements are by the MOA, and the larger the number, the larger the size of the reticle.
Larger reticles are easier to spot and can reduce your target acquisition time, but if you’re looking for precision, they can blot out the entire target.
If you’re looking to make distant shots or need a ton of precision, we recommend a 2 MOA red dot reticle or smaller, but if all you’re worried about is target acquisition, a 5 MOA red dot reticle is a great choice.
For most people, a 3 MOA red dot reticle is perfect because it combines precision and target acquisition speed. It won’t blot out most targets and is easy to spot.
Just like a traditional scope, you need to sight in a red dot sight. The good news is that you don’t need to do anything special to sight one in, and if you’ve ever sighted in a pistol or rifle before, it’s the same process.
Keep in mind that you can sight in your red dot sight at any distance, but the MOA adjustments will vary slightly.
Every company will promise that its product will last a long time, but only those that offer a warranty can guarantee it. The gold standard of all warranties is the lifetime warranty.
Companies that offer a lifetime warranty are saying that they’re not only sure that the product will last a while, but it’ll also last as long as you want it to. This means a few different things, but the most significant is that it greatly increases your chances of getting a quality product right out of the box.
The company doesn’t want to deal with customer complaints and warranty repairs or replacements any more than you do, so it tries to send out quality products the first time.
That’s often why its products are more expensive compared to budget options, but while a budget option might be more affordable up front, they almost always cost you more in the long run.
Products with a lifetime warranty got a huge boost on this list, which is why we’re confident that you’ll be happy with them.
With so many great options out there, it can be challenging to sift through the noise and get the best possible red dot sight. But there’s a reason that the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight topped our list. It’s a versatile option that will last a lifetime, and it’s backed by one of the best companies in the business.
If you’re looking to save a little more money, the CVLIFE 1X22X33 Red Green Dot Gun Sight is a great choice that will leave most of your budget in your bank account.
But if you’re not thrilled with either of those choices, just take a look at the reviews again. We’re sure the perfect red dot sight for your weapon is there.
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Featured Image Credit: Riot1013, Wikimedia
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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