The Best Red Dot for ARs

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 SOR52001 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 RM07-C-700679 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight, 6.5 MOA Red...
Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 Moa Red Dot Sight, Black
Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight - 6 MOA Dot
Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer - 2 MOA -...
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot
Model
Trijicon RM07-C-700679 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight, 6.5 MOA Red...
Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 Moa Red Dot Sight, Black
Vortex Optics Viper Red Dot Sight - 6 MOA Dot
Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer - 2 MOA -...
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot
MSRP
$529.99
$125.51
$190.00
-
$236.63
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
30,000 hours of constant operation
Up to 150 hours on highest setting. Up to 3,000 hours on lower settings
Material
Military-grade aluminum alloy
Polymer
Aluminum
Aluminum
Aluminum
Weight
1.17 oz. (w/ battery)
5.1 oz
1.03 Ounces
0.49 Pounds
‎1.1 Ounces
Night vision
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
Trijicon RM07-C-700679 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight, 6.5 MOA Red...
Model
Trijicon RM07-C-700679 RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight, 6.5 MOA Red...
MSRP
$529.99
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 SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 Moa Red Dot Sight, Black
Model
Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 Moa Red Dot Sight, Black
MSRP
$125.51
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
$190.00
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
Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer - 2 MOA -...
Model
Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer - 2 MOA -...
MSRP
-
Battery Life
30,000 hours of constant operation
Material
Aluminum
Weight
0.49 Pounds
Night vision
Yes
More info
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot
Model
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot
MSRP
$236.63
Battery Life
Up to 150 hours on highest setting. Up to 3,000 hours on lower settings
Material
Aluminum
Weight
‎1.1 Ounces
Night vision
No
More info

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features to Consider

Dot Size

Vortex Venom 6 moa red dot

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.

Lens Quality

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.

Size, Weight, and Construction

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.

Features

Whether you’re looking to be able to switch out reticles or save battery life with motion-activated features. We’ll call out the ones we love and the gimmicky features that you can do without based on our hands-on experience.

Battery Life

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.

5 Best Red Dots for AR

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

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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

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.

“I was initially worried the size of the glass and shape of the frame would impact my field of view on the optic once it was on the slide, but after some practice and training it is unbelievable how crisp it looks and the frame will actually fade out of view when focused on your intended target. I absolutely love this thing!! I have it on the automatic brightness adjustment setting which I also was worried about. Not being sure if it would actually work as it was supposed to, but it’s almost as if it senses the light/darkness that it’s about to enter and adjusts it as fast as your pupils do when you transition from more or less light. I will admit it made me a little sick to my stomach paying the price I did at first but seeing what you actually get out of this micro little pitbull I would absolutely do it again, this thing is amazing!”

Jason

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

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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
  • 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

“Being right-handed with a dominant left eye, it is now possible to shoot with both eyes open and no problems as far as sighting or shooting! This is the best thing for me personally that I’ve come across.”

61 Blacklowrider

Best Value Open Sight: Vortex Viper Red Dot Sight

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Pros

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Comes with a Weaver/Picatinny mount
  • Easy to install
  • Long battery life

Cons

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

What Customers Say

“Mounted on a G-19 Gen 4 MOS. Perfect co-witness with a Suppressor height Truglo Tritium Pro MOS iron sights. The red dot is crisp and (the) lens is very clear. I am very considerate and I did not want to call Vortex and cry like a little girl for the correct mounting screw because it is not their fault (They did not make this red dot exclusively for the Glock MOS). I was too excited to mount it so I improvised like a real man should and used the screw for the MOS cover plate, and because it is too long, I mounted the red dot on the # 1 MOS Plate first so I can see how much is sticking out. I dremeled the screw flushed on the bottom of the plate. Once everything is flush, I Loctite the plate to the slide and the red dot to the plate. It is very secured.”

GLK1923

“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

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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

Cons

  • Lack of a brightness adjustment feature

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

“Great red dot optic. Took it to the range last weekend and got it sighted in. Performed extremely well and was able to get it on bulls-eye in no time with a laser bore sight. Very good clarity on the glass with a slight blue tint. Very precise shooter with the dot tuned down to very visible. But the test of time is the only true test on these optics. We’ll see how well it holds up over the course of a year and a thousand rounds or so.”

Angry Old Man

Vortex Venom Red Dot 

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Battery access without removal
  • Auto brightness or manual control

Cons

  • Low-quality battery cover

What Customers Say

“Mounted the red dot to my Mark IV. It was really easy to zero. I put probably 400 rounds through the gun on the first day using it. I’m really happy I went with the smaller dot. I’ll definitely be picking up more vortex optics in the future.”

A. Skreen

“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

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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