With literally thousands of brands and models available on the market, it’s really hard to decide which reflex sight should you buy.
Even though the decision to buy the best reflex sight for the money lies on the user, there are some technical factors that you should know before making the purchase.
So, here’s a brief buying guide for the best reflex sight that will help you spend your hard-earned money well.
The Housing Structure
Reflex sights are basically two types. One is the traditional-type Open style Reflex sight and the other is the Tube or pipe style.
The open-styled reflex sights have a basic or traditional type of design. You can see the reticle through its open window.
However, the open styles of reflex sights are not suitable for filters. But if you really want to use filters, you’ll have to get a tube-style reflex sight.
Tube style reflex sights are akin to the optical scopes, which allow the users to easily install the filters as well as protective covers.
These filters help the user to see its red dot at any given time of the day. So basically, I’d say it works better because – for targeting, seeing the dot is crucial.
If you are willing to buy the best reflex sight for the money, I’d suggest buying a tube style reflex sight.
However, if you are a fan of traditional designs for reflex sights, open style ones would suffice too.
Along with with an efficient and functional or operational (ones that actually help in targeting rather than just sit in front of your eyes) housing structure, it is also important to look at the glass transparency.
Cheap reflex sights have cheap glasses.
These cheap ones do not transmit light as you would expect. However, it’s important that the light is transmitted through the glass.
Otherwise, there’s no use using a reflex sight in the first place.
So make sure the reflex sight that you are buying has a clear projection of light, regardless of the time you are hunting or the location.
Size Of The Reticle
In this case, personal preference is the main fact to consider because it would have to suit your needs.
After all, you are the one who will be using it. So, pick a dot size that you are comfortable to look at.
The sizes of dots are measured in Minutes of Angle or MOA. Ideally, 4 MOA dots are most used and suggested because they are sufficient enough to see the target from a good distance.
However, you can pick a size up or down but make sure it is not too small to see or too big that it is uncomfortable to see through.
If you want more details about how rifle scope reticles work, we have a great article “Rifle Scopes Reticles Explained“
The Color Of The Reticle
The color of the dot is also crucial to consider when you are willing to buy the best reflex sight for the money.
The primary characteristic of the color of the dot that you should look at is – its visibility in low light conditions.
Despite the name Red Dot, it is not necessary that the color of dot be Red only. There are other colors of dot available for the Red Dot Category.
In advanced and new red dot sights, green dots and sometimes even blue dots are available. Best Red Dot Sights (Reviews).
Another this you should remember while buying a reflex sight, the dot must be visible against the target. If the dot is not visible over the target, there is no use for that.
The Pattern Of The Reticle
Along with color and size, the reflex sights also differ in patterns that are all around the dot.
The best reflex sight for the money should have common patterns like a crosshair, star shape, bull’s eye or even just a simple plain dot.
This centration basically depends on how comfortable you are with one over the other patters.
If you think a bull’s eye give you better targeting factor then you should choose the bull’s eye pattern.
Again, if you are a fan of star shape patterns, get one of those. However, if you like your sight to be plain and simple, you can get the paint dot.
Ultimately the decision and comfort of targeting lie on to you, how you hunt or when you hunt.
Adjustability For Elevation & Windage
Customization affects the performance and your comfort to a great extent.
Even though the size, pattern, and color of the dots have multiple options to choose from, you also need customization in elevation and windage.
The elevation is the term that people use to indicate the elevation of bullets, vertically.
On the other hand, windage is just the same as elevation but instead of vertical movements, it is used for horizontal movements that are from left to right.
These 2 are very important for accurately shooting your target.
That’s why it is important that your reflex sight comes with adjustability features and I’m sure the best reflex sight for the money will definitely come with it.
You wouldn’t like if the battery runs out in the middle of your hunt. That’s why it’s an important factor to bring into consideration.
You should be aware of the time duration that the reflex sight can last with continuous use. This depends on the energy consumption rate of sight.
Usually, reflex sights use LEDs. Fortunately, sights that use LED over any other source, have a low energy consumption rate. That’s why a reflex sight battery can last up to 1000 hours.
However, depending on the model and price range, the battery lasting can differ vastly. The best reflex sight for the money would definitely have approximately 1000 hours or more.
As there is no way to see how long the battery will last, you cannot help but buy one that is slightly expensive as you can expect a longer battery life with that.
Last but not least, you must consider the durability of the reflex sight unit before you end up with a decision.
In this case, you need to carefully evaluate its construction and material. If it’s not strong and robust enough, it won’t survive repeated shots and its backlash.