The development of the red dot sight has been accelerated in recent years. The simplicity for the shooter cannot be beaten - simply place the dot on the target and shoot.
So who needs to use a reflex red dot sight?
The simple answer is, any shooter who wants to quickly acquire their target and then shoot accurately.
The point with the way red dot sights work is that they are more effective if they are positioned further from the eye. Placing the dot further from the eye and shooting with both eyes open and with more of an awareness of what is outside the sight screen is the concept behind the reflex red dot sights.
After examining some of the most popular reflex red dot sights currently available on the market today we have come up with the one that is considered to be the best. This has come down to the sight with great features, a proven track record of reliable results and positive reactions from the buying public.
Reflex red dot sights offer a wide heads-up view of the target area to the shooter. The sights themselves are simple and light weight but are still designed to withstand the heavy shock from recoil.
In order to do a side-by-side comparison of the sights that have been part of this examination comes the following table. The basic specifications for each sight have been included along with the MSRP as quoted by the manufacturers. (These prices are generally higher than the price you can routinely buy them for).
Following the table is a summary of the features of each sight along with the option to read the full review that has been completed on each.
Reflex Red Dot Sights
Make / Model
|Vortex Razor||3 MOA||1.83" L x|
1.21" W x
|Burris FastFire 2||4 MOA||1.8" L x |
1.0" W x
|Leupold DeltaPoint Pro||2.5 MOA or|
7.5 MOA Triangle
|1.6" L x |
1.2" W x
|C-MORE Systems Railway - Standard Switch||8 MOA||4.8" L x|
1.25" W x
|Zeiss Compact-Point Standard||3.5 MOA||2.28" L x |
1.06" W x
|Vortex Venom||3 MOA||1.9" L||1.1 oz||$329.00|
|Trijicon RMR||3.25 MOA|
|1.8" L x |
1.1" W x
|Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS||1.8 MOA||4.56" L x|
2.36" W x
|Bushnell Trophy First Strike||5 MOA||2.4" L||2.1 oz||$193.45|
|Sightmark Ultra Shot||3 or 5 MOA||3.4" L x |
1.5" W x
To get a more in-depth examination of the sights and the features that they have been constructed with we have provided some more detail. By providing this extra detail we hope you can get a better feel for each sight and be able to use this information to come closer to make a decision about which one will best suit your needs.
Reflex Red Dot Sights in Detail
Burris FastFire 2
This is a 4 MOA sight that features an automatic brightness sensor that adjusts depending on the surrounding conditions. It allows for fast target acquisition and is compact and light weight to affect the balance of the rifle as little as possible.
The sight uses high-grade optical glass to give outstanding brightness and clarity and the Hi-Lume multi-coating means that low light performance is enhanced while glare is eliminated.
Leupold DeltaPoint Pro
This is a high quality reflex sight that has been designed to withstand the rigors of the hunting field with a combination of a lightweight aluminum housing that has been reinforced by spring steel.
It uses Motion Sensor Technology that has been developed by Leupold to detect movement of the sight and compensating. You have the choice of either a 2.5 MOA dot or a 7.5 MOA triangle.
The sight is designed to be equally effective on all types of weapons including handguns, ARs and more powerful rifles.
This is a 3 MOA reflex sight that has been created to provide performance as well as versatility. It offers a wide field of view and the red dot is easy to see in the daylight with targets shown clearly in all lighting conditions.
Features include XR Multi-Coated lenses, 9 brightness settings, an ultra-hard ArmorTek protective coating over the lenses, O-ring seals to ensure it is waterproof and toughened construction to make it shockproof. As with most other red dot sights it is parallax free and has unlimited eye relief.
The battery used is a CR2032 battery and it will last for up to 150 hours at the highest setting and lower settings prolongs that out to a maximum of 30,000 hours.
This is a 3 MOA sight designed for a variety of uses, fitting an AR, handgun or shotgun with the Picatinny mount ensuring its versatility. The lens is protected by a durable, machined aluminium housing and the glass itself is coated with an ArmorTek surface which is chemically bonded to protect from scratches and stains.
The controls for the sight are conveniently located on the left side of the unit and they will turn the sight on and allow you to adjust the brightness of the dot.
Changing the battery is simplified by the top load configuration which means the sight can remain attached to your weapon during the process.
C-More Systems Railway
The C-More Systems Railway red dot sight features a bright red dot that can be adjusted in intensity. This particular sight has a click switch to control the brightness and there are 12 settings to adjust to including the off position, 2 night vision settings and 9 daytime settings.
Using this sight is as simple as point and shoot with the Heads-Up Display giving the shooter unlimited field of view.
The sight will attach to Weaver and Picatinny rails style scope mounts making it compatible for use on just about anything from shotguns, rifles and handguns to paint ball guns, crossbows and the like.
Zeiss Compact-Point - Standard
The aim of this 3.5 MOA sight is to provide rapid acquisition to allow you to take aim and shoot at greater speed. The sight is built with a number of features that make use of some special technology.
Features include a large glass element that is bordered by a slim aluminum frame to maximise visibility. The lens is coated with the proven LotuTec coating that will allow water to roll straight off and keep the target clear in all types of weather. There are five levels of brightness available through the simple touch of a button.
The Ruggedized Miniature Reflex adjustable LED red dot sight from Trijicon is designed to be durable (the initials give that much away). But it is also a high quality optic that displays the 3.25 MOA dot through a true-color multi-coated lens.
The sight is particularly adjustable with easy push brightness buttons that take you through the eight brightness settings. The windage and elevation can be controlled by easy to use adjusters and these work with an audible click so you know exactly where you are in the range. It is also possible to set the sight to auto adjust mode.
The sight is housed in forged 7075-T6 aircraft aluminium-alloy that is made to divert any force away from the lens.
Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS
This is an energy efficient sight that can provide many hours of operation with the use of only a single AA battery. It features a clearly defined 1.8 MOA dot and the brightness can be adjusted to one of four brightness intensities.
The design of the sight has taken into account the harsh conditions in which it will be used with some models released with an aluminium alloy housing to provide solid protection. The majority of Tru-Dot models have been released with a polymer housing.
The sight is compatible with Gen 2 and Gen 3 night vision optics and can also be used with magnifying scopes for long-range use. It comes with an integral Picatinny Rail adapter.
The life of the battery is stated to be extend to 15,000 to 18,000 hours and that's using it at its brightest setting. The life is further extended by the motion sensor activated power saving mode.
Bushnell Trophy First Strike
The First Strike is very typical of what you might expect from a red dot sight. It has a 5 MOA red dot reticle and offers fast target acquisition with 1x magnification.
The sight is suitable for use with handguns, shotguns or rifles and it has an integrated mount that will attach to most firearms.
The reticle brightness is controlled by a self-regulating control that will ensure the dot is visible in all types of light from full brightness to dim low light.
This sight is one of the better options available at the lower price bracket. It is waterproof and fogproof and will be capable of withstanding significant recoil shock.
Sightmark Ultra Shot
This sight has been around for a number of years and has proven to be a popular lower priced option. It is made from anodized aluminium and is capable of holding up to the recoil from shotguns or rifles.
Other features include five brightness settings, a choice of four red dot reticle patterns one of which is a 5 MOA dot and the rest are centered around a 3 MOA dot, an integrated weaver mount.
Co-Witnessing...Should I Be Co-Witnessing?
People are co-witnessing all over the place. Should I co-witness my reflex sight with my iron sights? It’s a question that you may be thinking to yourself given that there is a lot of talk about the need to be able to co-witness.
First of all, you may be asking what the heck co-witnessing actually is.
Align the red dot in your sight window with the front sight post. When the dot and the front post and the target are aligned you have co-witnessed the reflex sight to the iron sight.
Is it absolutely necessary? No it is not.
The whole point of the reflex red dot sight is that when you see the red dot and the red dot is on the target, the bullet is going to hit the target. Once you have zeroed your red dot sight that’s as complicated as it needs to get.
Where it may come in useful - and this is possibly the primary reason to co-witness - is to verify that you have correctly zeroed the reflex sight by comparing it to your zeroed iron sight.
You may have noticed that in compiling this list of reflex sights we have attempted to concentrate on the sights that represent the top end of the market. The feeling is that if we are looking for the sights that are considered by the public to be the best, then these are the ones that are more than likely going to cost the most. We have also made a follow up examination of the reflex sights that have been produced at a more approachable price with a list of red dot sights under $100 created.
If you want to get a little more specific in your search you can also browse through our list of red dot sights for shotguns as well as the comparison of red dot sight magnifiers for those who would like to extend their range.
In the meantime you might also like to check out our feature on Red Dot Sights for Hunting.