5 Best AR-15 Red Dot Magnifiers in 2023

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 SOJ41001 Juliet4,Black
HOLOSUN - HM3X Flip to Side 3x Red Dot Magnifier QD Mount
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 SOJ41001 Juliet4,Black
HOLOSUN - HM3X Flip to Side 3x Red Dot Magnifier QD Mount
MSRP
$199.00
$142.99
-
$419.99
$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
$142.99
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 SOJ41001 Juliet4,Black
Model
Sig Sauer SOJ41001 Juliet4,Black
MSRP
$419.99
Magnification
4x
Dimensions
7.75 x 5 x 3.5 inches
Weight
0.1 kg
More Info
HOLOSUN - HM3X Flip to Side 3x Red Dot Magnifier QD Mount
Model
HOLOSUN - HM3X Flip to Side 3x Red Dot Magnifier QD Mount
MSRP
$199.99
Magnification
3x
Dimensions
1.53 x 3.94 x 2.44 inches
Weight
0.67 Pounds
More Info

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Choose the Best AR-15 Red Dot 

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.

Eye Relief

Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier Mounted

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.

Size, Weight, and Durability

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

Mount

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.

You should also decide on the type of mount – flip-up or quick detach. 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 range. However, flip-up mounts are more expensive. 

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

5 Best AR15 Red Dot Magnifiers

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

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • User-friendly
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Ambidextrous flip mount

Cons

  • Short eye relief

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 for the Money: Bushnell Optics, 3X Magnifier, Matte Black

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Long eye relief
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Ambidextrous flip mount

Cons

  • Heavier than most red dot magnifiers

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

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

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.

Pros

  • Comes with 10 years limited warranty
  • Easy to adjust

Cons

  • Expensive
  • 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

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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
  • Long 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

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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

  • Holds zero well
  • IP67 water-resistant
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Sufficient eye relief

Cons

  • It’s kind of heavy

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

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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