Shooting tests your skills, and that determines your performance on the range. Nothing to worry about if you are still in the process of honing your shooting skills because you can always step up the game by using the right shooting accessories, including optics. As a matter of fact, the best pistol red dot sights are the go-to solution if you are aiming to reach a faster target acquisition, have a better upper hand in low-light shooting situations, and have easier 100-yard shots.
With their designs, it won’t be a problem for the best red dot for pistols to upgrade your shooting performance and come close to your expected shooting results. Well, the red dot sights are optics specifically engineered to be utilized for close to mid-range shooting encounters and level up the shooting performance there. In terms of design, the sights feature a red (or green) LED light that shines onto a specially coated glass lens that’s housed at an angle.
As the name implies, the red dot sights can offer you a reticle that is literally an illuminated red dot, which you can utilize to easily sight your target for better shots. What’s more exciting, the best red dot sights can help improve target acquisition, shot timing, and accuracy. No doubt, red dot sights sound really worth trying out, right? If you agree with that, then you can check out more information about them below. You can also discover some of the best red dot sights in the market today.
Let’s get into the exciting details below.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Red Dot Sights
Even though red dot sights are good shooting accessories to try, you must know that they are still far from perfect. With that said, you can still discover some flaws using a pistol red dot sight. Frankly, it is much better that you know all the details about the sights so you can decide better whether to use one or not. Hence, check out some of the advantages and disadvantages below.
- Shooting with a red dot sight brings a more intuitive advantage.
Shooting a red dot sight for the first time might feel weird and uncomfortable. Yet, once you have already made yourself familiar with using the optic for shooting can bring you a better intuitive advantage. It will be much more comfortable to focus on your target.
- A red dot sight can provide an increase in shooting accuracy at specific distances.
One of the best advantages of using an optic like a red dot is better accuracy when shooting at specific distances. In fact, it can outperform an iron sight. It can help with easier viewing of your shooting target in an unobstructed manner. Because of that, all you need to do is to line up your dot and fire.
- Shooting with a red dot sight lets you focus more on your target.
The optic—including its reticle—can let you easily see where you want to shoot and your targets. That gets you a natural advantage in making target acquisition easier. More than that, the optic also lets you easily follow your moving targets or effortlessly transition between targets.
- A red dot sight can be easier to see.
Adding a red dot sight to your pistol can easily upgrade your shooting accuracy, which is way better than an iron sight can offer. Many shooters with eyesight issues help regain better accuracy in shooting by simply using a red dot. Hence, it is worth investing in one.
- A red dot sight is highly visible in low-light shooting situations.
Most red dots allow adjustment in terms of brightness. That way, you can effortlessly have your dot match your shooting environment. You can easily turn your dot down in low light while adjusting your dot up in bright daylight. What makes it more amazing is that the dot stands out even with night vision goggles.
- Shooting with a red dot sight can help manage eyesight issues.
If you have some eyesight issues, using a red dot sight in your pistol can improve your eyesight in some ways. Therefore, your shooting adventures can be more bearable, with better results to expect.
- A red dot sight allows you to have more situational awareness.
Using a red dot sight can allow you to open both your eyes when shooting. Not only can you have better shooting results, but you can also gain better situational awareness of your surroundings. Therefore, you can have better experience in shooting.
- Most red dot sights are battery-powered.
Generally, most red dot sight models are designed to be battery-powered. While there’s nothing wrong with using batteries since they are typically efficient and long-lasting, they still inevitably die over time. That’s why you are required to pay attention in terms of maintenance to make sure that your optic will work at the times you need it.
- Some red dots are not weatherproof.
Unfortunately, red dot sights are not made weatherproof. So you need to be extra careful if you want to use one. Otherwise, your optic will say goodbye earlier than expected, which makes your spending not worth it. That said, this one is really a flaw that you need to consider.
- Some red dot sights can be hard to carry.
As far as the design is concerned, red dots are not created to adjust and fit the concealed carry system. Some models are really designed with bulky sizes, making them hard to fit in a holster. If you insist on doing so, you can expect that the optic can rub against your skin and clothing. That’s why it is not highly considered to add a red dot sight on concealed carry applications.
- Red dots require extensive training and time.
Once again, you might need to give time and practice to be familiar with using a red dot sight in your pistol. For some, needing time for extensive practice is considered a flaw, but it might not be if you are also aiming to improve your shooting skills. It is just a matter of what your goal is. After all, you can never go wrong with spending time to be better at shooting.
- Some red dots are expensive.
Quality costs. And that’s also the case for red dot sights, with some exceptions. In fact, a quality optic can cost you hundreds of dollars. Some models can even cost you more than what you paid for your pistol. Plus, there are times when you also need help to mount the optic properly. That’s some bad news if you are tight on budget. Luckily, the list below has some optic models that are budget-friendly. Hence, this guide review is really for you.
- Red dots are not indestructible.
While made in good quality, red dots are still not indestructible. Over time, the glass and the light metal frame can break, while the whole optic can be pulled loose from its mounting. That is a flaw if destruction happens quicker than expected. Hence, it is truly important that you choose the right red dot sight to use.
8 Best Pistol Red Dot Sights
The best pistol red dot sights can dramatically improve your shooting performance. In fact, you can do well in terms of target acquisition, shot timing, and accuracy by mounting the best red dot sight on your pistol. Lucky for you, there’s no need to search for the best options yourself because they are already compiled and reviewed below. Thus, all you need is to explore them.
Here, so have a close look at each possible option you can try.
1. Vortex Venom Red Dot Sight
Since a red dot sight can be pricey, it will be better to just use one that is versatile, right? No worries, you don’t have to look elsewhere because the Vortex Venom Red Dot Sight fits exactly in that preference. Besides being ideal for handguns with Picatinny rails—including pistols—this optic is also great to mount on shotguns and tactical rifles. What makes it worth trying is that it can effortlessly offer you rapid target acquisition and pinpoint accuracy advantages for better shooting results.
In terms of design, it is created as a single dot meant to easily pick up in any light, which can make low-light shooting more bearable. It is also highly capable of helping you shoot more accurately at long ranges. Meanwhile, its ultra-clear lenses are made fully multi-coated with a wide field of view. That’s why you can expect this optic to let you experience a sharp image quality of your target. Because of that advantage, you are even free to keep both of your eyes open when shooting. There’s no compromising your sight, even making it better with this optic.
Another great feature that you will surely like with this pistol red dot sight is its simple brightness controls placed on the left side of the unit. The controls are easily accessible for some quick adjustments, so you can guarantee better shooting sight brightness to count on. With ease in controls, professional skills or knowledge are not needed—making it ideal even for beginners to use. No need to feel intimidated as it seemed to be purposely made to become a reliable sight companion in the range.
This red dot sight is battery-powered, so you will need to replace the battery at some point. Good thing that the battery can be loaded on top of the sight, eliminating the trouble of removing the sight. That means the whole battery-changing process will be simple and quick. Also, the 14-hour auto-shutdown design helps maintain a long battery life. Therefore, lessening the chances of needing to change the battery. You can lessen the cost of batteries as well.
With everything that the Vortex Venom Red Dot Sight can offer, it is no wonder why it is not cheap. In fact, it is even built with durable, machined aluminum housing. This ensures that this optic can effectively withstand harsh tactical environments. More than that, it is also constructed to be shockproof and waterproof. The durability and advantages it can bring to your shooting are the ones you will be investing in. Hence, it might be worth it to try it out for a level-up experience.
Basically, it is clear what this optic can offer. From rapid target acquisition to pinpoint accuracy and tough red dot, you won’t feel that it is ripped off to get this. This is not for everyone, but if you have money to spare for better shooting, this will serve its purpose well.
2. Crimson Trace CTS-1250 Compact Open Reflex Pistol Sight
As the name hints, the Crimson Trace CTS-1250 Compact Open Reflex Pistol Sight is an optic best mounted on pistols. It specializes in delivering superior clarity and intuitive target acquisition in shooting performances. Once you use this, you can expect better results in your shooting. Sight is everything if you want to shoot your targets with no misses, so this optic might be a good one to try, especially since it is reliable in challenging environments.
Featuring a 3.25 MOA round dot reticle with multiple user-selectable brightness settings, there is no issue with the optimal clarity in sight that it can offer. Because of that, there will be no problem shooting in any lighting environment. Once this red dot sight is properly adjusted, you don’t have to fear shooting in low-light settings. It has high resistance to fog, shock, impact, and dust. Therefore, you can take it everywhere with you.
In terms of construction, this red dot sight features a combined anodized aircraft aluminum chassis and fully coated lenses. The lenses are fully coated for high superior durability. So you can expect reliable service from it, even in the most difficult shooting conditions. Meanwhile, the externally-accessible battery compartment makes it easier to change the batteries in a flash. No trouble with that, so you can always maintain the sight to make sure that it will always work when needed.
What makes this red dot sight unique from other sights is its versatile Docter mounting interface feature that allows easy user installation with a wide array of industry-standard platforms. That’s a great feature that can save you from the cost of asking a professional to mount the sight on your pistol. You can do the work by yourself because it allows effortless installation, even for beginners. It is compact, lightweight, and can be easily managed once already mounted.
Regarding the cost, it has a price that is not too much. But it is also not in a budget-friendly range either. Still, if you want to experience the advantage of superior clarity and intuitive target acquisition, make sure that you mount this red dot sight on your pistol the next time you go shooting. Thus, check it out on its product link below.
3. Bushnell RXS-100 Red Dot Reflex Sight
Searching for a budget-friendly red dot sight that is ideal for optics-ready pistols? There’s no need to feel bad if you are on a tight budget because the Bushnell RXS-100 Red Dot Reflex Sight will prove that you don’t need to spend that much on a good-quality optic. What makes it great is that it is not obviously cheap since it is a feature-rich optic system, which means improved field performance and reliability. Plus, it can offer superior clarity in shooting your targets.
Really, there is no evidence that this pistol red dot sight is cheap because it is constructed from a good quality 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum material. It is even combined with an oversized hood and protected by a hard anodized finish. Therefore, you can expect its great durability. You don’t have to doubt that because it has enough strength to readily handle repeated centerfire pistol recoil without zero deviation or failure. Surely, it even has the edge over other red dot sights.
Sporting a thorough design and details, this reflex sight comes with true-tone glass coatings that effectively maximize light transmission and mitigate blue tint for reduced eye fatigue. Meanwhile, the efficient, point source LED bulb can amaze you with how it creates a crystal clear, 4 MOA dot with 8 brightness settings. Proper adjustment of the settings can give you both optimal clarity and target acquisition in any lighting. Hence, you can achieve the advantage of using a red dot sight.
Moreover, this Bushnell RXS-100 Red Dot Reflex Sight is equipped with recessed windage and elevation turrets for easy zeroing without the risk of zero deviation from bumps and holstering. The easy push-button controls, on the other hand, deliver easy and quick activation and brightness adjustments. So, you can have the best sight advantage you can have in different lighting environments. The common DeltaPoint footprint allows direct mounting on pistols.
This optic can also be versatile because it includes a Weaver accessory rail mount. So it can be mounted on other types of firearms, such as rifles and shotguns. All in all, this Bushnell RXS-100 Red Dot Reflex Sight is impressively loaded with amazing features, which makes it even better than other red dot sights. Ultimately, there is no need to push yourself to spend much because this one can help you level up your shooting more than what you pay for it.
4. HOLOSUN HS507K X2 Reflex Sight
If you want a pistol red dot sight you can use for concealed carry applications, the HOLOSUN HS507K X2 Reflex Sight is the choice to go to. Even better, it is a failsafe reflex sight that has a high IP67 waterproof rating. That’s a good advantage because you don’t have to feel too much worry about keeping it safe while in use. Although it is not completely indestructible, it will not quickly deteriorate, leaving you a long-time optic companion that can make your shooting experience better.
As this optic is ideal for concealed carry applications, you can be amazed that it is lightweight and compact. That’s why it is ready for use. Well, it is constructed from highly durable 7075 T6 aluminum housing that features Shake Awake technology that delivers superior reliability and performance. No wonder it can work accordingly, more than what you expect from it. If you are having problems with sighting your targets before, this may help solve your dilemma for a much better experience.
Moreover, the included multilayer reflective glass brings a parallax-free field of view featuring a minimal light saturation for crystal clear sight acquisition. You can see your target way better compared to not using a red dot sight. On the other hand, the 12 Super LED brightness settings provide up to 50,000 hours of battery life, with 3 selectable reticles. That’s why you can use it for a long-time before you need to change the batteries, saving you great money. It operates using a CR1632 battery.
Overall, this HOLOSUN HS507K X2 Reflex Sight is the go-to, obvious choice if you need a reliable red dot sight for your concealed carry pistol. You can try this one out if you don’t have an unfailing optic.
5. Trijicon RMRcc Red Dot Sight
Featuring a slim, snag-free profile, the Trijicon RMRcc Red Dot Sight is great to mount for pistols that are used for concealed carry or competition shooting applications. Hence, you can use it with confidence. The powerful 3.25 or 6.5 MOA dot reticle that this optic features that comes with 8 user-adjustable brightness levels prove that it is no ordinary optic that you can use. As a matter of fact, it is not a pistol red dot sight that is meant for everybody because it is pricey. You can only have this if you have money to spare for your optic.
Moreover, this red dot is loaded with nice features that make buying it more worth it. For starters, it comes with a button lock-out mode that ensures an easy-to-operate auto-brightness setting. It can automatically adjust to the lighting environment, guaranteeing a quick draw in everyday carry scenarios. If you are in low-light settings and feel that your safety is threatened, you can take advantage of this optic to easily spot anyone suspicious for fast defense. No problem mounting this on your concealed carry pistol for defense.
On the other hand, there is also a lock-in mode in this red dot sight that makes sure it is set on a user-selected brightness setting for competition and target shooting. It operates with a CR2032 battery that guarantees up to 4 years of reliable operation. The transparent display window allows you to experience unlimited eye relief with 1x magnification. Meanwhile, the included true-color, multi-coated lenses can give you optimal clarity and color fidelity advantages.
Constructed from durable housing, this Trijicon RMRcc Red Dot Sight is made to have effective strength and durability. Because of that, it readily stands up to challenging environments. It can also manage heavy recoil well for long-lasting, reliable performance in the field. All in all, it easily proves why it is quite pricey compared to others. You can trust that it will never disappoint any of your expectations for a high-quality pistol red dot sight.
One thing is certain, you will not like this red dot sight if you don’t have a high budget for your optic because it does not include the RMRcc Mount needed, so it can be mounted to fit today’s popular compact pistols. That’s an additional expense you need to be well prepared for if you want to utilize it in today’s pistol models. Plus, help from a professional is recommended for a more secure and safe installation.
While this pistol red dot sight might seem pricey at first, you can be amazed at what it can offer to help you experience the best with improved shooting. If you have a higher budget for your optic, don’t hesitate to try this one out. Therefore, it won’t fall out of your expectations.
6. Crimson Trace 3.0 MOA Ultra Compact Open Reflex Sight
A red dot sight exclusive for pistols, that’s what exactly the Crimson Trace 3.0 MOA Ultra Compact Open Reflex Sight is. Like other good sights, it delivers superior clarity and intuitive target acquisition advantages when shooting. What’s more, it is constructed to be strong and durable so that it can surely survive challenging and harshest environments and still guarantee reliable performance.
Equipped with a 3.0 MOA round dot reticle combined with multiple user-selectable brightness settings, it will never disappoint in terms of operation. It is easy to use to effortlessly get ready for your shooting adventures. Since it has settings for adjustments, you can have the ideal sight enhancement you need and prefer. Thus, you will have nothing to complain about in terms of your sight, so nothing will go wrong with your shooting performance and results.
Moreover, this optic also features an ambient light sensor for optimal clarity in any shooting environment. All you need to do is adjust the settings, and you’re good to go. The fully coated lenses, on the other hand, provide lasting durability for an amazing field performance that you can count on in difficult environments. That sounds like an excellent advantage that is worth paying for, right? Well, there’s more because it also has impressive resistance to dust, fog, impact, and shock.
What makes this unique from other sights is that it comes with a notch cut, allowing an easy co-witnessing with iron sights. So you can really step up your shooting adventures. Lastly, the reliable 20,000-hour (2+ years) battery life makes sure that this optic can last for a long time. Basically, this is a solid budget option you can count on.
7. Vortex Viper Red-Dot Sight
Operating in simple brightness controls, the Vortex Viper Red-Dot Sight is made simple and easy to use to be reliable in providing the best sight with focusing on targets. Also, it can allow an impressively wide field of view and sharp image, letting you open both your eyes when shooting. That way, you can have a better look at your targets and not miss them. Ultimately, you can observe the rapid target acquisition and pinpoint accuracy advantages with just a few times trying this red dot sight.
Additionally, this optic mounts low and unobtrusive on pistols. It features a low mounting height, so it will never get in your way when you are sighting your shooting targets. Meanwhile, the 6MOA dot can offer you the impressive speed and simplicity of a red dot sight while letting you co-witness your pistol’s rear sight. You can definitely find the fully multi-coated ultra-clear lenses comfortable to look at for better sight.
Like any other good red dot sight, this one also comes with simple brightness controls that are rapidly accessible. What’s good about this optic is its impressive 14-hour auto-shutdown that saves the estimated maximum battery life of 20,000 hours. More than that, it boasts high durability by being waterproof and shockproof.
If you want a pistol red dot sight that has a super-low profile design for an unobstructed view, this one won’t disappoint. Therefore, check it out in its product link below.
8. Burris FastFire IV Red Dot Sight
A ready-to-go optic—that’s what the Burris FastFire IV Red Dot Sight is. In fact, it boasts a lightweight and compact profile so that you can take it anywhere with you. With its simple operation, all you need to do is to take aim and shoot with precision. Aside from the improvement in your shooting performance, you can also find its comfortable unlimited eye relief and parallax-free 1x magnification.
Moreover, this red dot sight comes with 4 user-selectable reticles combined with a large sight window, delivering a quick, intuitive target acquisition. On the other hand, the removable weather shield brings the ideal protection against rain, debris, and mud. The impact-resistant housing guards and covers the optic from dings and dents without any added weight.
In terms of operation, this Burris FastFire IV Red Dot Sight works with a low battery warning indicator with an 8-hour auto-shutoff. Therefore, you won’t feel short with your shooting adventure. All in all, this optic is a go-to choice if you want an optic that you can take anywhere without worrying about its protection because it is already loaded with protective features.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions frequently asked regarding pistol red dot sights and other related topics about them:
Are red dots on pistols worth it?
Yes, red dot sights are worth it because of how they can improve your shooting accuracy, target acquisition, and an upper hand in low-light shooting situations. They are fully functional and reliable, and once you have tried using one, it will be very hard to go back. They might be pricey, but the benefits largely justify their cost and worth.
What is an MOA Dot?
MOA Dot is typically used for red dot sights and other types of optics. It stands for minutes of angle and pertains to the unit of measurement of a circle. To be more specific, MOA refers to the size of the dot in a red dot sight, together with how much of the target it will cover at a shooting distance.
Are red dots on pistols more accurate than iron sights?
More shooters prefer red dots on their pistols compared to iron sights because they are more accurate. At the same time, they can easily improve your long-range shooting while letting you see your entire target and surrounding areas.
How long do red dots last on pistols?
Even though red dots come with some drawbacks, they shine because they have a lot to offer, especially their lifespan. They are battery-powered, so they will eventually wear out over time. But before that happens, you can enjoy your red dot sight on your pistol for years. As long as you change the batteries, it will be fine to use your optic for longer years.
Do red dots work at night?
Red dots work very well at night compared to iron sights because they are illuminated. Hence, nothing can stop you from shooting in low-light settings or at night. You can even use one for self-defense because it brings real speed and accuracy advantages.
What is the range of a red dot?
Generally, you can expect a red dot sight adequate in shooting up to 300 yards. You can say that it is great for long-range applications. But you must know that shooters typically prefer to use their red dots within just 100 yards.
What is the best pistol red dot sight?
Frankly, the answer to this question is subjective because each shooter has their own needs and preferences. So, the simple solution for anyone looking for the best pistol red dot sight is to follow their budget, needs, and preferences. You can’t go wrong with following the option that fits your standards. Good thing there are amazing options listed above that you can choose from.
Where to buy the best pistol red dot sights online?
When discussing the best pistol red dot sight, you can’t just discover one definite answer because almost all the sights are typically created to be one of the best. That’s the very reason why some models tend to be pricey. Well, it is hard to pick the best because it is still ultimately a matter of personal needs and preferences. No choice fits all, so what’s best for others might not be best for you in terms of your budget or liking. Therefore, let’s have a little recap.
Remarkably, the Vortex Venom Red Dot Sight is a versatile optic that you can use not just on pistols but also on shotguns and tactical rifles. Crimson Trace CTS-1250 Compact Open Reflex Pistol Sight is the go-to choice if you want to experience the advantages of superior clarity and intuitive target acquisition. The Bushnell RXS-100 Red Dot Reflex Sight, on the other hand, is a budget-friendly choice.
There are more amazing pistol red dot sights reviewed above. In fact, there’s one that can be mounted in concealed carry pistols, while there is one that has an amazingly slim, snag-free profile. So—hopefully—you can find what suits your needs, budget, and preferences from the list above.
For more guide reviews like this, the Survival Gear Shack website is the place to go. Explore the site today.