The Best Red Dot for ARs [Complete List]

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Trijicon RM07-C-700679 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight

A favorite among competitive shooters.

  • Value: 9/10
  • Performance: 10/10
  • Cost: 8/10
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Best Value Closed Sight

Sig Sauer Romeo5 Red Dot Sight

Perfect for ARs.

  • Value: 9/10
  • Performance: 9/10
  • Cost: 9/10
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Best Value Open Sight

Vortex Viper Red Dot Sight

Designed to perform on all platforms.

  • Value: 9/10
  • Performance: 8/10
  • Cost: 9/10
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Red dot sights help you acquire targets quickly, give you more flexibility in shooting positions, and let you shoot more accurately at long distances with your AR pattern rifle or pistol. To make sure you get all of these benefits, we put together the best red dots for ARs in this article!

Trijicon RMR TYPE 2 ADJ 6.5 MOA BLK
SIG SAUER ROMEO5 1X20mm Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof...
Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight - 6 MOA Dot
Model
Trijicon RMR TYPE 2 ADJ 6.5 MOA BLK
SIG SAUER ROMEO5 1X20mm Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof...
Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight - 6 MOA Dot
MSRP
$499.99
$111.98
$108.86
Battery Life
4+ Years of Continuous Use at Setting 4 of 8
40,000+ hours
Up to 150 hours on highest setting. Up to 30,000 hours on lower settings
Material
Military-grade aluminum alloy
Polymer
Aluminum
Weight
1.17 oz. (w/ battery)
5.1 oz
1.03 Ounces
Night vision
Yes
Yes
No
Trijicon RMR TYPE 2 ADJ 6.5 MOA BLK
Model
Trijicon RMR TYPE 2 ADJ 6.5 MOA BLK
MSRP
$499.99
Battery Life
4+ Years of Continuous Use at Setting 4 of 8
Material
Military-grade aluminum alloy
Weight
1.17 oz. (w/ battery)
Night vision
Yes
More info
SIG SAUER ROMEO5 1X20mm Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof...
Model
SIG SAUER ROMEO5 1X20mm Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof...
MSRP
$111.98
Battery Life
40,000+ hours
Material
Polymer
Weight
5.1 oz
Night vision
Yes
More info
Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight - 6 MOA Dot
Model
Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight - 6 MOA Dot
MSRP
$108.86
Battery Life
Up to 150 hours on highest setting. Up to 30,000 hours on lower settings
Material
Aluminum
Weight
1.03 Ounces
Night vision
No
More info

Features to Consider: Best Red Dot for AR

FeaturesTrijicon RM-07Sig Romeo5Vortex ViperAimpoint PROVortex VenomCategory Average
Overall Score4.024.123.453.473.283.65
Ergonomics4.63.64.72.44.74
Build Quality3.63.53433.42
Optics3.13343.53.32
Battery552.34.51.53.66
Value3.753.12.72.83.46
Illumination4.14.64.63.24.24.14

Ergonomics

A well-designed red dot should allow for quick, intuitive adjustments and a comfortable, secure grip. This allows you to maintain concentration and accuracy.

How do we rate it?

This involves the design’s comfort, ease of use, and adjustability. In this aspect, a higher score means the red dot is comfortable to use for extended periods, controls are intuitively placed, and adjustments can be made easily and accurately.

Optics

Vortex Venom 6 moa red dot best red dot for ar

Choosing the dot size is critical as your accuracy and speed will depend on it. The best size for red dots on rifles is 3 to 6 MOA. 3 dot size is ideal for precision and competition shooting out to mid-range since you can normally crank up the brightness. But if you want fast target acquisition and care less about precision, a 6 MOA dot size will give you the advantage.

A great lens is fog proof and should be protected with scratch and glare-resistant coatings, in addition to maximum light transmission. The more natural the sight picture, the easier it’ll be to focus on the target when aiming your AR.

How do we rate it?

Optics are scored based on clarity, range of visibility, and how well they maintain accuracy across various lighting conditions.

Build Quality

A light and well-made red dot sight handles recoil well and stays zeroed easily, staying tightly mounted on your gun even after a thousand rounds. On top of those, it can withstand the daily wear and tear that an AR-15 or AR-10 is designed to take.

How do we rate it?

We assess the durability, material quality, and weather resistance. A higher score indicates a red dot that feels solid, is made from high-grade materials, and can confidently withstand harsh conditions and rough handling.

Battery

The last feature to consider is the battery. Get a red dot that has a long battery life so it can last a long time even when leaving it on all the time. A red dot sight that turns on when the gun is picked up is ideal for home defense use, so you’re always ready for unexpected surprises.

How do we rate it?

We consider how long the battery lasts under typical use. A score of 5 means that the red dot offers an exceptionally long battery life. We also consider if the compartment offers convenient battery changes and if the battery is easily available on the market.

Value

Red dot sights can vary widely in cost, from budget-friendly to quite pricey. Remember, a higher price doesn’t always mean better quality. It’s more important to find a sight that suits your needs and budget. You’ll find great options at various price points, but just be aware of what features you may be sacrificing with a less expensive model.

How do we rate it?

We assess the overall worth, taking into account the price compared to the features and performance offered. A higher score indicates a red dot that offers an excellent balance of quality features at a price that represents good value for money.

Illumination

The amount of illumination needed depends on the environment: lower settings for dim conditions to avoid overpowering glare and higher settings for bright daylight to ensure the reticle is visible against the light. Ideally, a red dot should offer a range of settings to accommodate everything from the darkest nights to the brightest days.

How do we rate it?

We evaluate the brightness levels, daylight visibility, and reticle clarity. A score of 5 means excellent visibility in both bright sunlight and low light conditions and a reticle that remains sharp and defined.

5 Best Red Dots for AR

Best Overall: Trijicon RM07-C-700679 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight

FactorTrijicon RM07Category Average
Ergonomics4.64
Build Quality3.63.32
Optics3.13.42
Battery53.66
Value3.73.46
Illumination4.14.14

Score: 4.02/5

Quick Specs:

  • Reticle: 6.5 MOA
  • Weight: 1.2 oz
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 1.8 x 1.1 x 1 inches
  • Battery life: 35,040 hrs

Trijicon produces solid optics, and one of their best red dots is the RM07 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight.

The RMR Type 2’s housing is designed to absorb impact to prevent the lens from getting damaged. This beauty can also be mounted on most fixed or variable magnification optics from Trijicon.

This LED sight also features easy-to-access and easy-to-adjust illumination controls at the side. These buttons can also be locked to avoid accidental adjustments. Finally, the Trijicon RM07 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight comes with a battery-saving feature that adjusts the aiming dot to ambient lighting conditions after 16.5 hours. 

It’s perfect as a standalone or a supplemental optic alongside a scope on AR-15 or AR-10 rifles for close shooting.

One downside is that changing the battery requires dismounting the optic.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Night vision compatible
  • Comes with a warranty
  • Second longest battery life among our picks

Cons

  • No mount included
  • It costs more than most brands

What Customers Say

“It was very easy to zero and is built like a tank! I suggest downloading an RMR zero target and using it, as it really saves you a lot of time and ammo. The adjustments are tight enough where they don’t need locking screws and I have used this on my CCW for a few months and have not had issues with the zero staying where it should be. Also, this model fixed the flickering issues (as I would expect for the price of this RMR). Don’t waste your time with something cheap that doesn’t function at last as this will! Even if it does cost as much as the Glock you put it on!!!”

Cody C.

Best Value Closed Sight: Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 Red Dot Sight

FactorSig Sauer Romeo5Category Average
Ergonomics3.64
Build Quality33.32
Optics33.42
Battery53.66
Value53.46
Illumination4.64.14

Score: 4.03/5

Quick Specs:

  • Reticle: 2 MOA
  • Weight: 5.1 oz
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 2.5 in x 1.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Battery life: 40,000 hrs

Who said you can’t find a decent and reliable red dot for a hundred bucks? Well, the Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo 5 proves them wrong.

This compact red dot sight features a 2-MOA reticle with 10 illumination settings, giving you flexibility while shooting in any lighting condition. It’s also equipped with a Motion Activated Illumination that shuts down when the sight is not in use. This extends your optic’s battery life up to 40,000 hours!

We really like it for an AR because it’s closed to keep out dust, mud, and fog and still stay bright and clear on your target. The downside is that it can obscure more of your vision than an open reflex optic like the RMR.

Pros

  • Quick battery replacement
  • Longest battery life among our picks
  • Affordable
  • Comes with an M1913 Picatinny low mount riser
  • Motion-activated, great for home defense

Cons

  • It has a slight parallax
  • The outer lens is reflective when viewed from a certain angle

What Customers Say

“Absolutely love this thing! Mounted on my Marlin 1895gs chambered in 45-70 govt with an American Defense T1 quick-release mount. Holds up to the recoil and honestly, I couldn’t have picked a better optic and mount. The setup was zeroed in 4 rounds and after that, I felt like I couldn’t miss! I keyholed rounds between 50 and 100 yards all day. This sight didn’t miss a beat and I will be buying more. I love Sig optics and they have yet to let me down and this one is worth every penny!!!”

Ryan

Best Value Open Sight: Vortex Viper Red Dot Sight

FactorVortex ViperCategory Average
Ergonomics4.74
Optics33.32
Build Quality33.42
Battery2.33.66
Value3.13.46
Illumination4.64.14

Score: 3.45/5

Quick Specs:

  • Reticle: 6 MOA
  • Weight: 1.1 oz
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 1.81 x 1.06 x 1.02 inches
  • Battery life: 2,000 hours

This low-profile red dot is designed without any unnecessary hood that can distract you while shooting. It also features Vortex’s reliable anti-reflective coatings on all of its air-to-glass surfaces. Plus, it’s parallax-free and offers unlimited eye relief.

The Viper red dot sight can definitely withstand heavy recoil because of its shockproof construction.

One minor downside, however, is that you need to remove the optic to change the battery. It would’ve been better if it was located at the top or on the side.

if you want a more cost-efficient option from Vortex, our Vortex SPARC AR red dot review should help.

Pros

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Comes with a Weaver/Picatinny mount
  • Easy to install
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Bottom-loaded battery compartment
  • No auto-brightness like the Venom
  • Short battery life

What Customers Say

“So I’m about 1200 rounds into this on a Glock 17 (weekly range trips) and have been pretty happy. There has been no loss of 0 at all and no issues with the lens or flickering. I should state that this is a range gun only — so I turn it on when I start and turn it off when I am done. I am mainly shooting 6-inch steel plates at 50 feet. YYMV if you carry this, as some folks have reported unexpected battery life issues. You may also want auto-brightness if you are carrying, which the viper does not support. I will say if I had it to do over, I would have gotten the Venom at 3 MOA, just to get something for longer distance work, but for what I am doing currently, this is fine.”

Michael Owing

Best Performance: Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight

FactorAimpoint PROCategory Average
Ergonomics2.44
Build Quality43.32
Optics43.42
Battery4.53.66
Value2.73.46
Illumination3.24.14

Score: 3.47/5

Quick Specs:

  • Reticle: 2 MOA
  • Weight: 7.8 oz
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 4.8 x 1.9 x 1.9 inches
  • Battery life: 30,000 hours

The Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO) comes with an efficient circuit that lets you leave the power on for as long as three years.

Its premium housing also provides increased protection against impact damage and scratches to the lenses. Its optical system also features reflex collimator technology with a LED dot for easier target acquisition and aiming.

The Aimpoint PRO comes in a compact design, making it compatible with a wide range of rifles and other types of firearms. Plus, it’s equipped with a transparent rear lens cover that protects the lens from scratches during heavy use.

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Night vision compatible
  • Easy battery replacement
  • Compact

Cons

  • Lack of a brightness adjustment feature
  • Heaviest among our picks

What Customers Say

“One of the best red dots on the market for this price. The mount is high quality and was able to co-witness on my Vltor CASV handguard (the one that dog legs onto the upper receiver), by removing the spacer. The lowest settings can really be fine-tuned for use with NV, and the 4 upper settings should get you through most lighting situations. It’s an awesome value.”

Chad J. Sullivan

Vortex Venom Red Dot 

FactorVortex VenomCategory Average
Ergonomics4.74
Build Quality33.32
Optics3.53.42
Battery1.53.66
Value2.83.46
Illumination4.24.14

Score: 3.28/5

Quick Specs:

  • Reticle: 3 MOA
  • Weight: 1.05 oz
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 1.9 x 1.11 x 1.02 inches
  • Battery life: 1,000 hours

If you’re into tactical shooting, our last pick is a perfect choice. The Venom has a better and clearer edge-to-edge resolution than the Viper. For a more detailed comparison between the Venom and the Viper, check out this article

The Venom red dot comes in various designs, giving you plenty of options. It’s suitable for long guns like AR pattern rifles in extreme weather conditions, perfect for “rainy days,” or climates where it may be exposed to fair amounts of shock. 

You can easily improve your precision shooting with the Venom because you can choose from more than one reticle. And unlike the Viper, adjusting the windage and elevation knobs are more convenient with the Venom.

Pros

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Comes with a Picatinny mount
  • Lightest among picks
  • Compact
  • Battery access without removal
  • Auto brightness or manual control

Cons

  • Low-quality battery cover
  • Shortest battery life among our picks

What Customers Say

“Almost perfect. The GOOD: This is the best combination between price and accuracy. An all-around great red dot. I mounted it on my Glock 40 GEN4 MOS and it’s sublime! The BAD: I just don’t understand why Vortex would put such an inferior battery cover on this sight? It is hard to open and harder to close when the battery is in. You really can’t close it without scratching the cover since the slot where to put the screwdriver in is super shallow. Really Vortex?? I ordered a replacement as soon as I got the battery in because the cover will not last another battery exchange. IN SUMMARY: Would I buy this sight again? You bet! Any day!!! It is fantastic and much better than their Viper sight too.”

Farm Force

FAQs: Best Red Dot for AR

What is the best red dot for an AR-15?

For us, the best red dot for AR-15 is the Trijicon RM07-C-700679 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight. It can’t be beaten in terms of performance and durability (check out our detailed review above). If you’re a little short on budget, we reviewed the cheaper but reliable options above.

What red dot do Navy SEALs use?

The Navy SEALS prefers the EOTech EXPS3-0 (military name: SU-123A) for close-quarters battle situations.

Should I get a red dot for my AR?

Definitely! Red dots help improve speed and accuracy, and we listed the most reliable ones above, so check them out.

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Last update on 2024-07-15 / Images from Amazon Product API