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Red dot sights are unlike any other sight. We find their systems unconventional, seeing as they’ve been designed to rely on things called “reflectors,” to get rid of sighting errors. With the help of this gadget, you’ll be able to see your target to infinity. Of course, that’s another way of saying your aim will always maintain its alignment with the object, as long as it’s locked in.
In case we weren’t clear from the get-go, today’s article review will mostly focus on the best red dot pistol sights that the market has to offer. So, if by any chance you were thinking of purchasing a device that will help you hone your skills or compliment your style, this is your lucky day.
|Best Overall||MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight||
|Best Value||OTW Red Dot Sight||
|Best Red Dot Sight for Rimfire Pistol||Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight||
|Feyachi RS-25 Reflex Sight||
|Pinty Red Dot Sight||
We’ll bet you dollars to donuts, this is the best pistol red dot sight model that MidTen ever produced. Before this iteration, we had one that came with a 3-4 MOA click value increment. It did deliver remarkable accuracy, but…. There was room for improvement. MidTen also realized this, and now, we a 2MOA click value.
When it comes to accuracy, the 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight is unequivocally one of the best sights that we’ve ever seen or used. Moreover, it allows for both-eyes-shooting, and has an unlimited eye relief that makes it impossible for other sights to beat it in the target acquisition scoreboard.
The transmission of light in low light environments will definitely be efficient, and the images are guaranteed to come out clear. And we can confidently vouch for it because it has a scratch-resistant lens that has been made of high-quality glass material.
Once more, the 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight’s red dot is not your typical red dot. It’s technologically advanced, and you can tell the difference just by looking at the way it handles the red glare. The anti-reflective lens coatings are there to deal with that problem, and ensure the dot remains centered in the inner tube. Also, it doesn’t appear blurry at all.
This shockproof aluminum device has an 11 red dot brightness setting to guarantee optimal visibility, and O-ring sealed to keep moisture at bay. The matte back anodized finish will serve for camouflage, and the nitrogen will ensure the inside doesn’t fog.
With regard to the height mount options, you’ll have 2. There’s the low and lower 1/3 Co-Witness. So, it’s okay to assume that the sight does lend its functionality on any platform.
Unfortunately, the battery life is shorter than what we were promised in the user’s manual. We really didn’t like that.
Just so you know, this right here is definitely the best pistol red dot sight for the money. And yes, we’re talking to all you guys who are frugal with your spending, but still yearn for quality optics. If you know you fall under that category, we would advise you to bet all your chips on the OTW Red Dot Sight. You’ll for sure get your money’s worth.
Onto the features, the OTW Red Dot Sight is what we call an updated high-profile sight. Depending on your preference, you can work with a red or green dot, both having 5 different brightness level settings.
Are they bright enough to deliver visible dots in pitch-black darkness? Well, we were really impressed by how they performed, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Just get it and see for yourself.
The sight is an aluminum construction, and that’s why we don’t think we should waste time answering questions about how durable it is. We will, however, confirm that it doesn’t weigh as heavy as a brick, and can hold zero pretty well.
Unlike most optical sighting devices, you don’t have to worry about centering, while hunting or shooting. It’s parallax-free design took that into account, and ensured the dot is fixed on the target at all times.
The fact that it could perfectly fit the 20mm Weaver and Picatinny rail, and has a figure-adjustable elevation and windage knob, is the other thing that we appreciated.
What we didn’t appreciate was the lack of an instruction manual.
The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight is not a child’s toy. It’s very versatile, as it can be applied on a rifle, shotgun, or rimfire pistol that might need an optic that provides an accurate point of aim, minus the frills.
First off, it can handle any harsh weather condition without buckling. And that fact alone is enough to convince you and anybody else to invest in it. Secondly, it offers up to 50,000 hours of battery life, and is night-vision compatible at its lowest two settings.
Let’s circle back to that point of versatility. Aside from its different applications, versatility is again seen in the number of mounting options provided to consumers. Vortex gave us the low and skeletonized lower 1/3 co-witness options, and we felt heard.
And there’s a rumor that we want to quash. Apparently, some users believe this sight can’t deliver in close-quarters, and they’re wrong. Just because it’s been designed to cater to long-range shooters doesn’t mean that the needs of close- and mid-range shooters weren’t taken into account. It’s 2MOA-dot feature knows how to quickly acquire targets in close range, and still boost pin-point accuracy at a long range.
All air-to-glass surfaces have been protected by multiple coatings, which are also responsible for the efficiency in light transmission. The low-glare matte surface is the result of the highly durable hard-coat anodization process, and the waterproof performance is the work of the o-ring seals.
We sincerely fell in love with the sight, but Vortex should’ve added an on/off switch to help conserve the battery.
The way the Feyachi RS-25 Reflex Sight has been designed allows it to deliver a parallax-free performance no matter where the user places his or her eyes. And this is actually the first thing we realized while testing it. The red dot stayed on the target at all times, and not even once did we have a different experience.
In addition, target acquisition was a lot quicker and easier, owing to the fact that it provides an unlimited eye relief.
“Are the images blurry?”
Nope. They are crystal clear, but that doesn’t really surprise us considering the optic has an amber lens that’s scratch-resistant and multi-coated. The multiple coating layers are meant to deal with issues that usually obstruct clear vision, including light reflections.
Quick question: when was the last time you heard of a sight that has 4 different reticles? Did you even know such a sight existed? No? Okay, let’s introduce you one more time to the Feyachi RS-25 Reflex Sight. And that’s not all, as we were provided with an extra-large field of view.
“What about the turrets and brightness?”
The elevation and windage click adjustments are tactile, and the brightness settings had 11 levels. We know that kind of sounds like Feyachi was trying to oversell the product, but those settings are important to users looking to achieve pinpoint accuracy in different light conditions.
Speaking of conditions, it comes with an aircraft-grade aluminum body that can withstand anything. Shock, fog, water, you name them.
The only issue we had was with the installation. It’s not as easy as they’d want you to think.
The Pinty Red Dot Sight is a unique product in that it comes with a 33mm objective lens. That number sounds strange because we’re used to getting sights with a 32mm lens diameter and not 33. In all honesty, we don’t know if they simply wanted the device to stand out, or it was a manufacturing mistake. Nonetheless, it’s large enough to support a high light transmission, and we’re grateful.
The brightness levels are 5 in total, so you’ll have lots of lighting intensity options to work with, should you find yourself in a low light situation.
Pinty is the other brand that chose to design a red dot sight with 4 reticle patterns. Two of them are illuminated, but all of them will provide unparalleled accuracy levels.
The sight’s laser is the Class IIIA. Meaning, it’s not all that harmful to the human eye, unless the said eye is exposed to it for a long period of time. In addition, it fits on the 20mm Picatinny and Weaver rails.
The aircraft-grade aluminum alloy material feels so light and looks strong enough to handle heavy recoil. Its waterproof and fog-proof performance is ensured by O-ring seals and nitrogen inside.
Sadly, finding replacements for the parts is not that easy. Therefore, even though it’s ultra-strong, you still have to take good care of it.
The TAC Vector Optics Micro Red Dot Sight is easy to mount and zero in. Whether you’re using a pistol or a rifle, it doesn’t matter. You’ll get the same results.
And while we’re still on that subject, it comes with the Dovetail, Weaver and Picatinny mount. Also, we noticed it relied on its 3 MOA dot to produce a precise point of aim, while boosting rapid target acquisition.
“How well is the lens equipped to handle harsh conditions?”
It’s classified as IPX6, making it one of the few sights in the market that can resist high-pressure. Additionally, the housing is made of high-quality aluminum alloy 6061.
Its lens is fully multi-coated, so we don’t think you’ll have any issue to worry about with respect to light transmission. The coatings will again protect the lens from dirt, oil, and scratches.
Will the target images be crisp? Yes. Will the field of view be unobstructed? Also, yes. The sight is just that good.
The TAC Vector Optics Micro Red Dot Sight is lightweight and very compact. It won’t compromise the balance of your firearm in a way, or force you to look for an extra bag just to transport it from point A to B.
Generally, the TAC Vector Red Dot Sight is a cool optic. But it’s not something that we would recommend to a long-range shooter. The parallax is a bit too much.
The phrase “illuminated reticle” has been repeated several times because it’s a very important feature for a quality sight.
Like all the other quality sights on this list, the Moomax Tactical RMR Red Dot Sight’s illumination source is LED. If you interpret that in English, it means you’ll be working with a device that has a high brightness intensity, and is energy efficient.
The housing material is forged aluminum for safety and performance, and it’s a lightweight product that’s more energy efficient.
The elevation and windage adjustments are precise, and will get you the results that you’re hoping for. But that’s only if your marksmanship is on point. If you’re a beginner, you should opt for a different sight, as you won’t find this one user-friendly.
It doesn’t come with a battery, which isn’t great value for the money. On the plus side, it’s been designed to use the CR2032 batteries, which are known for having a long shelf life.
Parallax is set at 100 yards. From there on out, you’ll have to make a few adjustments if you want to reduce that margin of error, and enjoy the experience. The warranty is limited, so be careful when handling it even if it doesn’t look fragile.
Safe to say, we were really disappointed by this sight. Yes, it does offer an incredible field of view and yes, it has a strong construction. But… the flaws were too many to ignore. It all started when we tried to install it the first time.
We thought the process would take a minute, but it almost took a day. The images created were also not as clear as the ones that we’ve seen in other sights. To make matters worse, the adjustable red/green mask setting didn’t contribute anything.
The after-sales services were professional, but getting someone on the line was like trying to get through to the president.
Was it shockproof, fog-proof, and waterproof? No, no, and no. Plus, it didn’t have an instruction manual.
We were excited when we got this sight, but the more we used it, the more we realized it doesn’t really have much to offer. Some of the features that we liked include the 3 MOA green dot sight which improved situational awareness, the rugged construction, 10 brightness levels, multi-coated lens, and its compact nature.
What we didn’t like was how delicate the windage and turret knob was, how less visible that green dot was in ambient light conditions, how the sight seemed to be affected by temperature changes, the lack of an instruction manual, it’s inability to hold zero, and how it malfunctioned when exposed to dirt or water.
Now that we’re all caught up and know which sights are the best red dot sights to try out, it’s time to learn about the things that make these optics the best in the market.
Every red dot sight has an eyepiece with a reticle. Reticles typically come in different patterns, and the said patterns are normally etched into the gadget’s frame. The minute they get illuminated, you’ll be able to see markings that serve as measurements. Measurements that you’re supposed to use to track your targets.
A quality sight will have at least four reticles, and each one of them will have a unique pattern. You’re obviously thinking that’s excessive, and maybe you’re right. However, brands know it wouldn’t be smart to equip a device such as a red dot sight with only one type of reticle, seeing as their performances usually fluctuate in different conditions.
Having those different types of reticles in one red dot sight will allow you to cycle more, and select a view that’s ideal for a particular situation.
You’ve seen us list the MOA (Minute of Angle) as a pro in several of the reviews above. If you’re a rifle/pistol enthusiast, you already know what that is. But if you’re still new at this, you probably don’t.
The MOA is supposed to help the user determine the margin of accuracy. Most of the red dot sights are designed with an MOA that’s accurate to a certain yardage. And in most cases, it’s up to roughly 100 yards.
If it’s an MOA 4, you’ll know to expect a field of vision that falls somewhere around the 4-inch mark. Of course, the adjustment knob can change these settings, if you’re looking to reduce the margin of error while aiming at your target.
To make certain that you get an accurate read whenever you aim at a target, you have to adjust your zero setting. And this will be a lot easier, if you’re using an optic that has an advanced battle reticle. The kind that has been distinctively designed to make sure that the user always gets a consistent, accurate read on whatever he or she’s aiming at. It will also take care of the problem of having to constantly reset your zero-targeting lock.
A good-quality optical gadget should be completely shockproof. Otherwise, how else is it going to withstand that force that’s often generated by recoil? This is where the type of material used in construction comes into play. Aluminum is our preferred material, as it’s not only strong enough to take care of that force, but also lightweight.
The turrets are there to ensure you don’t experience any hiccup while operating your pistol. And because most of them are designed to provide the function of rapid-fire, you’ll realize they’re always reinforced in a way. The best examples are the laser-etched turrets. They’ve been set up in a way that not only increases functionality, but also improves durability.
It’s meant to receive images. It plays the crucial role of ensuring images received are crisp and clear, so as to maintain accuracy.
Those who don’t understand the ins and outs of the red dot sighting system will right away assume that there will be a color clash between the device’s illumination and daylight, and it will create a red glare. But that’s not true.
If the sight that you’re using screams quality, it will come with anti-reflective lens coatings. The coat will address that concern, and subsequently, ensure you enjoy your experience.
Well, that depends on which type of lens you’re referring to. There’s no well-constructed red dot sight that will have a lens not made of reinforced glass.
It’s the feature that waterproofs the gadget. Back in the day, consumers would complain about how their devices kept malfunctioning whenever it rained, so brands came up with this technology. It’s there to prevent the internal systems from getting wet.
To increase the accuracy levels of a red dot sight, we usually increase the intensity of its illumination using an ‘adjusting button’ or the knob.
Anyways, this knob will either be located at the back or to the side of your sight. Some users prefer the side knob, while others like it at the back. If you ask us, we’ll say it doesn’t really matter, as long as it does its job—which is to make it easy for you to quickly cycle through the different settings, and hopefully, get to one that perfectly suits your lighting condition.
There’s also a difference in the number of intensity level settings that come with these devices. Most have 5 levels, but some come with up to 10 or 11 settings. If it’s been designed to offer 10 different settings, they’ll be grouped into two. Five to be used during the day, and five at night.
Tracking anything that’s moving in the woods is no cakewalk. You’ll constantly have to change your eye position, your head, hands, shoulders, etc, just to feel comfortable enough to take a shot.
Fortunately, we have the windage and elevation adjustments to take care of that problem.
The elevation will take care of you as you track targets moving vertically, while the windage settings help you comfortably track those that keep moving horizontally.
A quality red dot sight will have both of these settings, to enable you change position without having to actually change position.
This last feature is not a must-have for a quality sight, but it’s important to have nonetheless. We’re talking about the red dot and green dot lighting feature. It’s critical for long range shooters because colors usually get reflected at various speeds.
That’s why red is the most preferred choice when it comes to these types of sights. It’s more visible in different lighting conditions in comparison to the green dot. But we still need sights to have more than one color just for convenience.
Guys, before you buy any other sight, we would encourage you to first test the MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight, which is our pick for the best red dot sight for pistols. If you’re not into it, you can check out the OTW Red Dot Sight, which will offer value for money. The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight is also a great optic, especially if you’re looking for the Best Red Dot Sight for Rimfire Pistol.
Featured Image Credit: W. Scott McGill, Shutterstock
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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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