5 Best AR-15 Red Dot Magnifiers in 2024

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Vortex Optics VMX-3T 3X Red Dot Sight Magnifier

This red dot magnifier doesn’t disappoint.

  • Value: 10/10
  • Performance: 9/10
  • Cost: 10/10
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Best for the Money

Bushnell Optics 3X Magnifier

Gets the job done without breaking the bank.

  • Value: 9/10
  • Performance: 8/10
  • Cost: 10/10
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Best Red Dot and Magnifier Combo

EOTECH HHS II Holographic Hybrid Sight – EXPS2-2 with G33 Magnifier

Perfect for all kinds of shooting applications.

  • Value: 8/10
  • Performance: 10/10
  • Cost: 8/10
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Your red dot sight has proven to be an efficient close-range shooting partner to your AR-15, with rapid and easy target acquisition and all. But what if you want to quickly take a few longer-range shots? Find out our top picks plus tips on what criteria to look for in the best AR-15 red dot magnifier below!

Quick Comparison of the Best AR-15 Red Dot Magnifiers

Vortex Optics VMX-3T 3X Red Dot Sight Magnifier with Built-In Flip...
Bushnell Optics, 3X Magnifier, Matte Black
EOTECH HHS II Holographic Hybrid Sight - EXPS2-2 with G33 Magnifier
SIG SAUER JULIET4 4X Magnifier | Durable Compact Waterproof Adjustable...
Holosun HM3X 3X Flip-to-Side Magnifier w/QD Mount HM3X
Model
Vortex Optics VMX-3T 3X Red Dot Sight Magnifier with Built-In Flip...
Bushnell Optics, 3X Magnifier, Matte Black
EOTECH HHS II Holographic Hybrid Sight - EXPS2-2 with G33 Magnifier
SIG SAUER JULIET4 4X Magnifier | Durable Compact Waterproof Adjustable...
Holosun HM3X 3X Flip-to-Side Magnifier w/QD Mount HM3X
MSRP
$199.00
$134.99
-
$339.98
$199.99
Magnification
1x-3x
3x
3x
4x
3x
Dimensions
10.2 x 8.4 x 6.8 inches
10 x 5 x 3 inches
11 x 9 x 3 inches
7.75 x 5 x 3.5 inches
1.53 x 3.94 x 2.44 inches
Weight
11.9 Ounces
1.09 Pounds
655 grams
0.1 kg
0.67 Pounds
Vortex Optics VMX-3T 3X Red Dot Sight Magnifier with Built-In Flip...
Model
Vortex Optics VMX-3T 3X Red Dot Sight Magnifier with Built-In Flip...
MSRP
$199.00
Magnification
1x-3x
Dimensions
10.2 x 8.4 x 6.8 inches
Weight
11.9 Ounces
More Info
Bushnell Optics, 3X Magnifier, Matte Black
Model
Bushnell Optics, 3X Magnifier, Matte Black
MSRP
$134.99
Magnification
3x
Dimensions
10 x 5 x 3 inches
Weight
1.09 Pounds
More Info
EOTECH HHS II Holographic Hybrid Sight - EXPS2-2 with G33 Magnifier
Model
EOTECH HHS II Holographic Hybrid Sight - EXPS2-2 with G33 Magnifier
MSRP
-
Magnification
3x
Dimensions
11 x 9 x 3 inches
Weight
655 grams
More Info
SIG SAUER JULIET4 4X Magnifier | Durable Compact Waterproof Adjustable...
Model
SIG SAUER JULIET4 4X Magnifier | Durable Compact Waterproof Adjustable...
MSRP
$339.98
Magnification
4x
Dimensions
7.75 x 5 x 3.5 inches
Weight
0.1 kg
More Info
Holosun HM3X 3X Flip-to-Side Magnifier w/QD Mount HM3X
Model
Holosun HM3X 3X Flip-to-Side Magnifier w/QD Mount HM3X
MSRP
$199.99
Magnification
3x
Dimensions
1.53 x 3.94 x 2.44 inches
Weight
0.67 Pounds
More Info

How to Choose the Best AR-15 Red Dot Magnifier

FeaturesVortex Optics VMX-3TBushnell Optics 3XEOTECH EXPS2-2 with G33 MagnifierSig Sauer Juliet4Holosun HM3xCategory Average
Overall Score4.654.453.934.283.954.25
Optics4.544.44.84.84.5
Build Quality4.84..44.54.744.48
Ergonomics4.34.43.84.644.22
Value553333.8

Optics

Magnifiers with high-quality glass that minimizes glare and maximizes light transmission are key. We also consider the magnification range, ensuring it’s versatile enough for various shooting distances.

Magnification

Red dot magnifiers are available in 2x and 3x for models with fixed magnification. While 2x to 5x is available for magnifiers with variable magnification. Determine how far you’d want to shoot then decide from there. Generally, each 1x in magnification is good for 100 yards on a man-sized target.

How do we rate it?

We give higher scores to optics that offer crisp, clear images without distortion across the entire field of view. We rate each of the aspects above for their performance under diverse lighting conditions and environments.

Build Quality

Since you’ll be mounting another accessory on your rifle, you don’t want to add too much weight. So we suggest choosing a light and compact magnifier.

Most AR-15 red dot magnifiers may be small but they’ve proven to withstand daily wear and tear. A high-quality magnifier is fogproof, shockproof, and waterproof. Plus it should have multi-coated lenses for protection from scratches.

Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier With Red Dot

Most red dot magnifiers come with mounts. The mount should be of high quality like the magnifier. We don’t want a mount that can’t handle strong recoil. Plus you should check if it’s compatible with your rifle.

How do we rate it?

We consider the materials used in construction. We favor magnifiers made with rugged, high-strength alloys that can withstand the rigors of regular use and adverse weather conditions. Waterproofing, fogproofing, and shock resistance are essential attributes we look for. We also assess the ability to maintain zero after repeated recoil.

Ergonomics

You should also decide on the type of mount – flip-up or quick detach. Think about how easy it is to snap the magnifier onto your rifle or take it off.

A flip-up mount is mounted on your rifle all throughout and you can just flip it up when you need it or down when you don’t. This feature also makes it easier to transition from close quarters to intermediate ranges. However, flip-up mounts are more expensive. 

Quick-detach mounts are only attached to the rifle when you need to use your magnifier. They are cheaper but can be troublesome to attach when you’re in a hurry.

Controls

Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier Mounted | AR-15 red dot magnifier

No one wants to mess with tiny, stubborn knobs when they’re lining up a shot. We’re looking for controls that are a breeze to use—big enough, easy to find, and smooth to operate, even with gloves on.

Eye Relief

You may have gotten used to the red dot sight’s unlimited eye relief, but the game changes with a magnifier. Get one with generous eye relief so you can have sighting flexibility and a larger field of view. A long eye relief also protects your eyes from recoil.

How do we rate it?

We rate a magnifier for user-friendliness, including the ease of attachment and detachment, adjustability for eye relief, and the intuitiveness of controls for quick magnification changes. An AR-15 red dot magnifier that’s easy to operate, even under stress or while wearing gloves, gets higher scores.

Value

Value is about more than just the price; it’s about what you get for your money. It’s a balance between performance and quality against cost. Does the magnifier offer crystal-clear optics, rock-solid durability, and user-friendly features without breaking the bank? A magnifier with a great value rating offers you top-notch functionality, reliability, and enhancements to your shooting experience, ensuring every dollar spent is a dollar well-invested.

How do we rate it?

We rate each red dot magnifier on its overall performance, durability, and features relative to its cost. Models that offer superior optics, robust build quality, and user-friendly ergonomics at a reasonable price point score highly for value. We aim to recommend products that provide the best balance between quality and cost.

5 Best AR-15 Red Dot Magnifiers

Best Overall: Vortex Optics VMX-3T 3X Red Dot Sight Magnifier with Built-In Flip Mount

Sale
Vortex Optics VMX-3T 3X Red Dot Sight Magnifier with Built-In Flip...
  • The VMX-3T Magnifier and Flip Mount combo adds a 3x magnification to your rifle's red dot sight. Simple, fast, and effective, the push button design engages and disengages the flip mount allowing the...
  • The lens are fully multi-coated maximizing resolution, light gathering capability, and color fidelity. Eye Relief-2.2 inches. Field of View-38.2 feet/100 yards
  • The VMX-3T does not require any special sight-in. The dot centering screws can be used to help center your red dot image in the VMX-3T's field of view.
FactorVortex Optics VMX-3T 3XCategory Average
Optics4.54.5
Build Quality4.84.8
Ergonomics4.34.22
Value53.8

Score: 4.65/5

Quick Specs:

  • Weight: 11.9 oz
  • Eye relief: 3.25 inches
  • Magnification Range: 3x
  • Length: 4.3 inches
  • Material: Hard-coat-anodized machined aluminum

Whether you’re hitting the range or out in the field, the Vortex Optics VMX-3T magnifier is geared to enhance your precision without weighing you down or complicating your AR-15’s setup.

Our top pick is the most hassle-free and efficient a magnifier and flip mount combo can get. The flip mount engages and disengages at the push of a button so the magnifier is locked/unlocked swiftly. 

The VMX-3T magnifier and flip mount combo feature dot-centering screws that aid in aligning the red dot image with the magnifier’s field of view. Plus it’s compatible with lower 1/3 or absolute co-witness mounting heights. It’s designed to work seamlessly with a wide array of red dot sights, so you can easily install it without complex modifications. Adjusting focus is also pretty straightforward with its external controls, ensuring you can fine-tune your view quickly and get back to the action.

However, the mounting bracket’s installation requires a screwdriver, which is a dealbreaker for those who prefer twisted screws.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • User-friendly
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Waterproof and fogproof
  • Ambidextrous flip mount
  • Sufficient eye relief

Cons

  • Installation isn’t toolless

What Customers Say

Bought this magnifier to go behind another brand of RDS, they match up well as far as height goes. Wish it was 5X, but overall a good buy for the money.

S. Customer

Sight is clear, the magnification is 3x as described unlike cheap knockoff Chinese optics which could be 1.8-2.2x instead of 3x. The mounting gear is stable and holds without any extra work/loctite (tested 200rds). The flip mount is perfect for left handers like me, which is just a bonus. For $200 I am satisfied.

Craig

Best AR-15 Red Dot Magnifier for the Money: Bushnell Optics, 3X Magnifier, Matte Black

FactorBushnell Optics 3X MagnifierCategory Average
Optics44.5
Build Quality4.44.8
Ergonomics4.44.22
Value53.8

Score: 4.45/5

Quick Specs:

  • Weight: 13 oz
  • Eye relief: 3.5 inches
  • Magnification Range: 3x
  • Length: 4.76 inches
  • Material: Aluminum

The Bushnell Optics 3x magnifier is a rock-solid choice and does the job nicely for its price. You rarely get an optic with good quality and generous eye relief at this price point. It also comes with a dust cover for the rear.

We also like how it takes a decent effort to pull back on the spring to flip the magnifier out. This means that it’s well constructed and won’t easily get shaken by recoil. However, its solid build comes with a downside, as it is heavier than most magnifier models.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Longest eye relief among our picks
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Ambidextrous flip mount

Cons

  • Heavier than most red dot magnifiers
  • Bulkiest (in length) among our picks

What Customers Say

Heavy but way underrated. A very good magnifier for the cost. Pay less and get amazing, top shelf eye relief.

Tim

Flip function is really tight til broken in or loosened. Other than that, its phenomenal. Easy install, extremely clear, Very happy with purchase.

Ryan

Best Red Dot and Magnifier Combo: EOTECH HHS II Holographic Hybrid Sight – EXPS2-2 with G33 Magnifier

FactorG33 MagnifierCategory Average
Optics4.44.5
Build Quality4.54.8
Ergonomics3.84.22
Value33.8

Score: 3.93/5

Quick Specs:

  • Weight: 11.2 oz
  • Eye relief: 2.2 inches
  • Magnification Range: 3x
  • Length: 3.9 inches
  • Material: Aluminum

Our next pick is one of the best red dot + magnifier combos in the market. The mount features a quick-detach lever that fits 1″ Weaver and MIL-STD 1913 rails. The G33 magnifier is also compatible with all EOTech holographic weapon sights. Its diopter adjustment allows for fine-tuning of the focus to suit your vision. This enhances the clarity and detail of the target.

The holographic sight that comes with this bundle also delivers razor-sharp images. One thing we don’t like is the tight eye box, making it a little uncomfortable to use. Also, the eye relief is shorter than ideal.

Finally, the G33 is on the higher end of the price spectrum for magnifiers, which may be a significant consideration for budget-conscious shooters.

Pros

  • Comes with 10 years limited warranty
  • Easy to adjust
  • Magnifier is lighter and more compact than most models

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Shortest eye relief among our picks
  • Tight eye box

What Customers Say

Heavy duty, reliable and accurate.

Mouayad

Does everything you need it to do, is obviously of great construction – easy to adjust and a nice clear picture either magnified or not. Very pleased with this.

HDelta

Sig Sauer Juliet4 4x Magnifier

FactorSig Sauer Juliet4Category Average
Optics4.84.5
Build Quality4.74.8
Ergonomics4.64.22
Value33.8

Score: 4.28/5

Quick Specs:

  • Weight: 12.5 oz
  • Eye relief: 2.75 inches
  • Magnification Range: 4x
  • Length: 4.2 inches
  • Material: Aluminum

Our next pick works great as a stand-alone magnifier or to work with a reflex optic. It’s the perfect partner for the Sig Sauer Romeo5 red dot (we see what you did there, Sig).

The Sig Sauer Juliet4 magnifier features a quick-release mount with built-in recoil lugs for repeatable zero. It smoothly flips up and down and stays that way. Its thread-in lens protector is also a great additional protection from scratches. Plus it comes with Sig’s lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • IPX8-rated waterproof
  • Easily adjustable
  • Sufficient eye relief

Cons

  • Expensive

What Customers Say

Build quality seems good. Very sturdy and easy to adjust. Has enough eye relief for me and the image is clear and crisp.

Matthew Mumau

Was looking for magnifier between 3x & 6x so went with this 4x. Light loss is not an issue. Adjustability works perfect even if sight is smaller. The different risers make is very easy to match your cowitness. The flip mount is great and overall is very durable; no issues with water/fog, etc.

AP

HOLOSUN HM3X 3x Red Dot Magnifier with QD Mount

FactorHolosun HM3XCategory Average
Optics4.84.5
Build Quality44.8
Ergonomics44.22
Value33.8

Score: 3.95/5

Quick Specs:

  • Weight: 11.6 oz
  • Eye relief: 2.75 inches
  • Magnification Range: 3x
  • Length: 3.2 inches
  • Material: Aluminum

The HM3X pairs well with mid-level red dots. It’s equipped with an adjustable diopter for easy focus, and features a quick-detach mount with an optional spacer for absolute co-witness and lower 1/3 co-witnessing. 

This magnifier guarantees maximum light transmission and reduced glare. So not only can you easily switch between close and long ranges, but you can also see clear and crisp images of your target/s.

Pros

  • Most compact among our picks
  • IP67 water-resistant
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Sufficient eye relief
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Wobbly mount

What Customers Say

I bought this to go with my Holosun hs510c. It’s perfect for it, but keep in mind you’ll have to use the spacer (provided) to make sure the magnifier and optic are properly aligned. Solid build, easy to install, and holds zero very well.

Mike

Installed it in my Tavor X95. It sure does the job I was looking for. Amazing product!!

Alejandro Torres

FAQs: AR-15 Red Dot Magnifiers

Is a magnifier worth it on a red dot?

Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier With Red Dot Zoom

If you want to extend your shooting range, then yes, a magnifier is worth it on a red dot.

How far is a 3X magnifier good for?

A 3x magnifier is good for up to 300 yards because most scopes with 1x magnification have ranges of up to 100 yards.

Which red dot magnifier is best?

For us, the Vortex Optics VMX-3T red dot magnifier is the best. It’s the definition of efficiency and value for money rolled into one. Find out why from our detailed review above!

Do I need to zero my magnifier?

If you choose one of our picks above, you only need to zero your magnifier once because all of them hold zero well.

Looking for a reliable optic? Check out our Aimpoint Pro review.

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Last update on 2024-05-16 / Images from Amazon Product API