5 Best 1911 Red Dot Sights [2024 Review]

Springfield Armory 1911 handgun with red dot sight

Our Top Picks

Best Overall 1911 Red Dot Sight

Trijicon RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight

Trijicon RM06-C-700672 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight

This red dot sight is proven and tested in battle and on the range.

Best Value 1911 Red Dot Sight

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight

This red dot sight is efficient and affordable.

Best 1911 Red Dot Sight for Everyday Use

Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Reflex Sight

Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Reflex Sight

This red dot sight is perfect for regular shooters.

If you’re enjoying your 1911’s crisp trigger and reliability, wait until you mount a red dot on that beauty. A red dot sight will not only increase your speed and accuracy but will also help you dominate low-light situations. Not sure where to begin? That’s alright! Because once you’re done reading this article, you’ll know which red dot sight suits your 1911 pistol best.

We’ve also included a list of compatible 1911 red dot sight mounts, so be sure to check them out at the end!

Comparison: Best 1911 Red Dot Sights

Trijicon RM06-C-700672 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight, 3.25 MOA Red...
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot,Black
Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Red Dot Sight, 2.5 MOA Dot - Matte finish
SIG SAUER ROMEO1 1x30 mm Red Dot Sight - Durable Lightweight...
Burris 300234 Fastfire III, W/Picatinny Mount, 3 MOA
Model
Trijicon RM06-C-700672 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight, 3.25 MOA Red...
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot,Black
Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Red Dot Sight, 2.5 MOA Dot - Matte finish
SIG SAUER ROMEO1 1x30 mm Red Dot Sight - Durable Lightweight...
Burris 300234 Fastfire III, W/Picatinny Mount, 3 MOA
Our Score
9.7
9.6
9.5
9.3
9.2
MSRP
$494.12
$239.99
$449.99
$269.95
$184.00
Material
Military-grade aluminum alloy
Aluminum
Aluminum
Aluminum
Aluminum
Optics
Multi-coated lens
Multi-coated lens
DiamondCoat Aspheric Lens
Multi-coated lens
Multi-coated lens
Weight
1.17 Ounces
1.1 Ounces
0.12 Pounds
0.1 Kilograms
0.2 Pounds
Trijicon RM06-C-700672 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight, 3.25 MOA Red...
Model
Trijicon RM06-C-700672 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight, 3.25 MOA Red...
Our Score
9.7
MSRP
$494.12
Material
Military-grade aluminum alloy
Optics
Multi-coated lens
Weight
1.17 Ounces
More Information
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot,Black
Model
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot,Black
Our Score
9.6
MSRP
$239.99
Material
Aluminum
Optics
Multi-coated lens
Weight
1.1 Ounces
More Information
Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Red Dot Sight, 2.5 MOA Dot - Matte finish
Model
Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Red Dot Sight, 2.5 MOA Dot - Matte finish
Our Score
9.5
MSRP
$449.99
Material
Aluminum
Optics
DiamondCoat Aspheric Lens
Weight
0.12 Pounds
More Information
SIG SAUER ROMEO1 1x30 mm Red Dot Sight - Durable Lightweight...
Model
SIG SAUER ROMEO1 1x30 mm Red Dot Sight - Durable Lightweight...
Our Score
9.3
MSRP
$269.95
Material
Aluminum
Optics
Multi-coated lens
Weight
0.1 Kilograms
More Information
Burris 300234 Fastfire III, W/Picatinny Mount, 3 MOA
Model
Burris 300234 Fastfire III, W/Picatinny Mount, 3 MOA
Our Score
9.2
MSRP
$184.00
Material
Aluminum
Optics
Multi-coated lens
Weight
0.2 Pounds
More Information

How We Choose + Our Must-Have Features

Choosing a red dot sight is no easy task. If it’s your first time buying one, this list of features and our efficient scoring system will help narrow down your options.

FactorTrijicon RMRVortex VenomLeupold Deltapoint ProSig Romeo1Bushnell Fastfire IIICategory Average
Overall Score44.283.333.683.973.85
Optics3.13.5333.23.16
Build Quality 3.633.52.53.33.18
Battery51.522.74.53.14
Ergonomics4.64.74.24.74.74.58
Value3.72.82.954.13.7
Illumination4.14.24.44.244.18

Open or Closed

closed red dot sight vs open red dot sight

Red dot sights can be closed or open. With closed sights, an additional lens at the front of a tube protects the light source from dirt, dust, and fog. With an open reflex sight, those parts are largely open, cutting down on bulk in your sight picture but exposing it to the elements. 

An open red dot sight will work better on your 1911 or on any pistol because it’s lighter and smaller. 

Optics

When weighing your options for a 1911 red dot sight, clarity and field of view are paramount. High-quality optics should offer crystal clear vision without any distortion around the edges.

Reticle Size

red dot sight reticle size
No Legos were harmed during this photo shoot.

Also, decide how you’ll be using it and what you’ll use it for. If you want fast target acquisition, you’d need a large dot size, but if you’ll use it for precision shooting, then you’ll want a smaller dot size.

A red dot is measured using Minute of Angle (MOA). It simply indicates the size of the dot and how much area it covers relative to distance. The smallest dot size is 1 MOA, which can cover 1 inch at 100 yards. The most common red dot size for pistols is 4 MOA which is perfect for close engagements.

How do we rate it?

We score this factor based on the sharpness of the image, the breadth of the viewing area, and the ability of the optics to maintain clarity in various lighting conditions. Features like anti-reflective coatings and the ability to function in low light conditions also contribute to a higher score.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics focuses on the user-friendliness of the red dot sight, including ease of installation, adjustment, and daily operation.

How do we rate it?

We give higher ratings to sights that are simple to mount on a 1911, offer straightforward controls for adjusting brightness and reticle settings, and do not significantly affect the balance or handling of the firearm. We award additional points for features such as ambidextrous controls and memory settings for brightness levels. In other words, features that make our shooting experience more awesome.

Battery

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight close up
Yes, a child was angry-coloring on this table . . . .

Since red dot sights are battery-powered, be sure to buy one that has a battery life of at least 10,000 hours. This will hold battery changes until after a year or two. It’s better if you can get a red dot sight with 50,000 hours of battery life, but you’d need to spend a bit more for that.

How do we rate it?

We rate this factor by evaluating the battery type (rechargeable vs. disposable), battery life under typical usage conditions, and the ease of battery replacement. Sights with energy-efficient designs that include features like auto-shutoff and low battery indicators receive higher scores.

Build Quality

Trijicon RM06-C-700672 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight

Along with the reliability of the electronics, the durability of the sight is critical. And that depends on its construction and the material used. Most of the best sights are made from aluminum, so they’re light and strong!

Value

Value measures the balance between cost and the benefits offered by the red dot sight, including features, performance, and durability.

How do we rate it?

We score this factor by comparing the price of the sight to its overall quality and the features it provides. Sights that offer a compelling mix of high-quality optics, robust build, and useful features at a price point that represents a good investment for shooters of all levels are ranked higher.

Illumination

Illumination does not only mean brightness, but also adjustability and consistency of the sight’s reticle in various lighting conditions. We also consider the uniformity of the reticle’s illumination and how effectively it can be seen against different backgrounds.

How do we rate it?

A sight that offers a wide range of brightness settings suitable for everything from bright daylight to low-light scenarios scores higher. Sights that feature innovative illumination technologies that enhance visibility and contrast without draining the battery excessively are rated highly.

5 Best 1911 Red Dot Sights

Best Overall 1911 Red Dot Sight: Trijicon RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight

FactorTrijicon RMRCategory Average
Optics3.13.16
Build Quality3.63.18
Battery53.14
Ergonomics4.64.58
Value3.73.7
Illumination4.44.18

Quick Specs:

  • Reticle: 3.25 MOA
  • Weight: 4.5 oz
  • Length: 1.8 inches
  • Battery life: 35,040 hours

Our top pick features a 3.25 MOA red dot size.

The Trijicon Rugged Miniature Reflex LED Sight is engineered in a unique housing so any kind of impact is diverted away from the lens.

This reflex sight is compatible with handguns and rifles. It’s also proven to survive accidental drops and take an impact from a doorway or whatever else you may hit it on.

It’s also equipped with automatic brightness adjustment or you can choose to adjust it manually. Plus, the Trijicon RMR has a battery-saving feature and a button lock-out mode, making it perfect for concealed carry.

However, it would have been better if the sight didn’t have to be dismounted when changing the battery.

Trijicon Red Dot Sight RMR Type 2 Review

Pros

  • Audible windage/elevation adjustment clicks
  • Comes with warranty
  • Easy to install
  • Waterproof and shockproof
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires dismounting when changing batteries

What Customers Say

“It’s a great optic. Sits so low I didn’t even have to upgrade to suppressor sights. My dot is a tad blurry but I have astigmatism so it’s very common to see a sharp dot as blurry.”

Nathan Aeh

“This easily mounted on my M&P C.O.R.E. 9mm, and co-witnesses with the iron sights. It was almost on target right out of the box, requiring only a minor adjustment. I use it mostly for steel-plate and bowling-pin competition shooting, and I can get on-target very quickly.”

Robert V. Bauer, Jr.

The Trijicon AC32058 RMR Pistol Mount is best paired with the Trijicon RMR Reflex Sight. They’re a match made in heaven when mounted on a 1911 pistol. This mount is made from rugged aluminum and comes with a sealing plate, optic mounting screws, an Allen wrench, and socket screws.

Best Value 1911 Red Dot Sight: Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight

FactorVortex VenomCategory Average
Optics3.53.16
Build Quality33.18
Battery1.53.14
Ergonomics4.74.58
Value2.83.7
Illumination4.24.18

Quick Specs:

  • Reticle: 3 MOA
  • Weight: 4.5 oz
  • Length: 1.9 inches
  • Battery life: 1,000 hours

The Vortex Venom offers a generous field of view. That’s why gun owners love it so much. Vortex also uses ArmorTek anti-reflective coatings on its lenses so high-quality images are guaranteed. 

This red dot sight’s power controls are also easy to use. You can aim as far as 300 feet and hit the target without missing (depending on how well you shoot).

The Vortex Venom Red Dot Sight also has a shockproof exterior and can withstand heavy recoil. This single-piece chassis is lightweight and features an O-ring seal which prevents debris and moisture from entering.

Its battery compartment is also located on top of the sight so there’s no need to dismount when changing batteries. Here’s a video of our range time with the Venom.

Vortex Red Dot Sight Review

Pros

  • Parallax-free
  • Lightweight
  • Top-load battery access
  • Unlimited eye relief

Cons

  • Shortest battery life among our recommendations
  • Side-mounted controls get bumped easily
  • Low-quality battery cover

What Customers Say

“I mounted the “Vortex” on a Canik TP9 SFX 9mm. The installation was straightforward and very simple. The boresight process was very simple and it holds boresight perfectly. I taught myself Handgun operation using iron sights shipped with the Pistol.. Out of the box sights usually, do not include a night capability. I have invested hundreds in aftermarket sights and finally bought a P229RX equipped with a red dot sight. At 60 years old, I find target acquisition to be faster with both eyes open viewing the target and placing the dot on the target. Gone are the days of squinting to obtain the perfect focus on your iron sight while the target becomes blurry. I now own four handguns with RMR’s and I judge the Vortex Venom to be the greatest value for the dollar.”

Victor Barac

“Great little red dot. Purchased for Carry Optics in USPSA and mounted to a G17. Frustrating part was the mounting process. The G17 MOS version comes with mounting plates, but the screws don’t fit the Vortex, and the screws provided with the Vortex are too long for the factory Glock mounting plates. So…you have to find mounting screws from a third party. Battle Werx is where I found the right mounting screws. Once mounted, I had issues with a flickering dot, but that was fixed by removing the battery and reinstalling it. Since then, I’ve put just under 1k rounds through it, and no issues so far. The view screen is wider than a Burris Fastfire, but it’s still small and takes a lot of dry fire to be able to see the dot without looking for it.”

Lodge2

The EGW Glock Sight Mount is very compatible with the Vortex Venom Red Dot Sight. It’s also very easy to install.

Best 1911 Red Dot Sight for Everyday Use: Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Reflex Sight

FactorLeupold DeltaPoint ProCategory Average
Optics33.16
Build Quality3.53.18
Battery23.14
Ergonomics4.24.58
Value2.93.7
Illumination4.44.18

Quick Specs:

  • Reticle: 2.5 MOA
  • Weight: 4.2 oz
  • Length: 1.8 inches
  • Battery life: 1,000 hours

Do you love shooting regularly but hate replacing your batteries often? The Leupold DeltaPoint Pro is the solution to your dilemma!

This reliable optic is equipped with a Motion Sensor Technology that turns off the sight when inactivity is detected, helping save your power source. It also turns the sight back on when motion is detected. Pretty sweet, right?

The Leupold DeltaPoint Pro also features DiamondCoat Aspheric lenses that provide up to 56% usable field of view. And like any Leupold optic, this reflex sight was impact-tested for durability, so its quality is guaranteed.

Pros

  • Top-load battery compartment
  • Waterproof and Fog proof
  • Lightweight
  • Increased field of view

Cons

  • Brightness control is in front of the sight, so the dot is not visible while adjusting the brightness level
  • Shortest battery life among our recommendations

What Customers Say

“I purchased this Leupold Delta Point Pro to install on a Glock 17 MOS. I could not be happier with the performance of this RDS. I waited for a couple of months to write this review until I have approximately 600 rounds through the gun with the red dot installed. The Delta Point is very rugged as I have dropped it on several occasions and it has not lost its zero. I paired the RDS with Leupold’s rear iron sight and have been satisfied with that as well. After 600 rounds it has a few nicks and scratches from brass and general abuse and it has simply held up beautifully. I could not be more pleased with the Delta Point Pro for this application. Highly recommend.”

Rick 2416

“Easy to install and set up. Would like to see an even smaller MOA dot. My only real complaint is that in order to change the brightness of the dot you have to put your finger right in front of the sight. In other words, you can’t see the dot as you are changing the brightness. The button for changing brightness should be on the side and out of the way.”

Bob

The Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Dovetail One-Piece Riflescope Mount is specially designed for the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Red Dot Mount. This mount is made from durable machined steel and can withstand heavy recoils.

Sig Sauer SOR11000 Romeo1 Reflex Sight

FactorSig Romeo1Category Average
Optics33.16
Build Quality2.53.18
Battery2.73.14
Ergonomics4.74.58
Value53.7
Illumination4.24.18

Quick Specs:

  • Reticle: 3 MOA
  • Weight: 0.8 oz
  • Length: 1.8 inches
  • Battery life: 2,600 hours

The Romeo1’s huge field of view is what makes it perfect for the 1911 pistol. Its windage and elevation knobs are also easily adjustable as well.

The Sig Sauer Romeo 1 is proven and tested to hold its zero even after 10,000 rounds of 230 grain, .45 ACP. How reliable is that?!

It’s also equipped with Motion Activated Illumination that helps in extending your scope’s battery life. This red dot also features multiple intensity settings for optimum performance in all lighting conditions.

If you’re looking for a high-quality red dot sight for less than $300, the Sig Sauer Romeo 1 is for you!

Pros

  • Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Motion Activated Illumination
  • Lightest among our picks

Cons

  • Finish gets scraped off easily

What Customers Say

“I’ve tried a number of red dot sights for both rifle and pistol and this sight is by far the best I’ve found for pistol. First unit being used on a Sig P320 X5 and it has transformed the gun as a shooting system – friends tried it and said “this gun shoots itself” it was so accurate. I like the clarity of the large window and the lack of distortion which was always a source of issue with the RMR. It has a built in co-witness rear sight to work with the existing front sight which is a bonus with the night sights. Dot sharpness is top of the range and brightness is adjustable for all lighting conditions. I will be buying more. This sight was easy to zero and has kept its zero. Don’t hesitate – buy it.”

Vince O.

“It’s a very high quality dot sight. Great brightness, Large field of view , easy controls and dialing it in was a breeze. I wish they made a larger fit tho. 7 min would be better.”

Steve Johns

The Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Riflescope Mount is made from durable machined steel and can withstand heavy recoils.

Burris FastFire III Reflex Red Dot Sight

FactorBurris FastFire IIICategory Average
Optics3.23.16
Build Quality3.33.18
Battery4.53.14
Ergonomics4.74.58
Value4.13.7
Illumination44.18

Quick Specs:

  • Reticle: 3 MOA, 8 MOA
  • Weight: 0.9 oz
  • Length: 1.9 inches
  • Battery life: 50,000 hours

Our last pick is from one of the leading optics manufacturers – the Burris FastFire III. It delivers images as bright, crisp, and clear as other brands for half the price!

It’s parallax-free and its reticle makes target acquisition a breeze. Sighting in is also extremely easy because of its automatic brightness sensor that adjusts depending on the environmental condition you’re in. 

The scope is also made from an aluminum chassis that is lightweight yet durable enough for day-to-day use. 

However, the battery cover needs improvement, and mounting the sight’s a bit difficult.

Pros

  • Longest battery life among our picks
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Parallax-free
  • Affordable
  • Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof

Cons

  • No protective cover
  • Difficult to mount

What Customers Say

“I feel that this is an exceptionally good reflex sight. It distinguishes itself by its very small, lightweight design, which is both clean & compact. It appears to be made of high-quality materials & has very positive, ‘click stop’ elevation & windage adjustment screws. The red dot has 4 different intensity level settings, which allows for maximum visibility of the dot in varied lighting conditions. The 4 intensity settings are selected by repeatedly pressing its single, side-mounted, rubber covered, push-button switch. “

Don R.

“Great quality little sight and is the cheapest you can buy in this class. Meaning, there are the assorted Chinese-made sights that are all under $80 and a bit larger that functions OK but are of dubious quality. This was going to be used on a carry pistol and I didn’t want to gamble on a $50 sight. I chose the Burris Fastfire III because it does have auto-brightness, 8hr auto shutoff, and fits my G19 slide perfectly.”

Travis T.

The EGW Glock Sight Mount is very compatible with the Burris Fastfire III Red Dot Sight. It’s also very easy to install.

If you don’t have a lot of experience in mounting red dot sights, we suggest that you seek help from a gunsmith for installation. But it really is pretty straightforward for most guns. Check out our article about the best 1911 red dot mounts to help you out with more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put a red dot on a 1911?

PC1911 wit Trijicon Red dot sight

Definitely. Mounting a red dot sight on your 1911 pistol will improve your shooting. If you want to mount it on your concealed carry, that works too! Some of the optics we reviewed above are ideal for concealed carry, so check them out.

Are red dots good on pistols?

Pistol with a mounted red dot sight

Yes, red dots are good on pistols, especially for serious shooters or those in the military or law enforcement. That’s because red dots help them acquire their targets faster.

What distance is a red dot sight good for?

Red dot sights are most effective within 100 yards because they have no magnification. Check out our article on how red dot sights work to learn more.

Conclusion

Red dot sights have no magnification, so they’re less ideal for long-range shooting. But when it comes to close to moderate distances for typical pistol shooting, red dot sights are king! Once you’ve chosen from our list of top-quality red dots, learn how to sight them through this guide to get shooting quickly and accurately.

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Last update on 2024-05-21 / Images from Amazon Product API