Ultimate Reflex Sight Buying Guide

Our Top Picks

Best Overall/Best Battery Life

Holosun 507K

We fell in love with 50,000 hours of battery!

  • Value: 8/10
  • Performance: 9/10
  • Battery: 10/10
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Best for AR15

Trijicon MRO

Features a crystal-clear reticle and a wide field of view.

  • Value: 7/10
  • Performance: 8/10
  • Battery: 8/10
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Best on a Budget

Aimpoint PRO Review

Aimpoint PRO

Features a rugged construction and long battery life.

  • Value: 9/10
  • Performance: 7/10
  • Battery: 9/10

Looking for a durable optic with quick target acquisition and quality glass out to the edges? But with so many choices, it’s really hard to decide which reflex sight to buy. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter looking to upgrade your setup or a newcomer eager to make your first purchase, we will make sure you miss the duds and find the best reflex sight. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essentials of choosing the perfect reflex sight for your needs.

What is a Reflex Sight?

A reflex sight, a staple in the shooting world, offers a simple, fast way to aim. It projects an illuminated aiming point (the reticle) onto a lens, which the shooter then aligns with the target. Unlike traditional iron sights, reflex sights allow for quick target acquisition with both eyes open, enhancing situational awareness

Reflex Sight

There are two types of reflex sights. One is the traditional-type open style reflex sight and the other is the tube or pipe style. Open and tube style reflex sights are both red dot sights.

Open reflex sights have a basic or traditional type of design. You can see the reticle through its open window.

Open sights are exposed to the elements and can be prone to scratches and glare in poor sunlight conditions. But, their field of view is great and the small size helps you focus on your target while maintaining good awareness of your surroundings.

Tube style reflex sights are similar to scopes let you run filters as well as protective covers. They benefit from the closed housing protecting the light generation and will be more robust in environments with debris. They can also have magnification as an option. For those with an astigmatism, go for a tube style prismatic sight.

How to Choose the Best Reflex Sight

FeaturesHolosun 507KTrijicon MROAimpoint PROLeupold DeltaPoint PROAimpoint Micro T2Category Average
Overall Score4.173.973.473.374.283.85
Optics 44.54343.9
Build Quality34.343.54.53.86
Battery4.552.4253.78
Ergonomics4.73.64.54.444.24
Value3.83.22.72.93.63.24
Illumination53.23.24.44.64.08

Optics

Along with with a sturdy housing, it’s also important to look at the glass transparency. Cheap reflex sights have cheap glasses.

These cheap ones do not transmit light as well as you would expect. And, the type of coatings to cut down on unwanted reflections can really improve the quality of the sight picture.

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.

Reticle Size

Reflex Sight Reticle

When it comes to dot size, your ranges and application are the deciding factors

The sizes of dots are measured in Minutes of Angle or MOA. For pistols and close quarters combat, 3 MOA dots are most common and some sights offer up to 6 MOA.

Remember you can always crank the brightness up and get a bigger dot, but you can’t make one smaller! You will be faster with a bigger dot, but they can be pretty lousy for precise shots. In general, home defense and pistol use can use larger dots comfortably.

For precision shooting at near to medium ranges, I’d choose a 2 MOA dot.

Reticle Color

The color of the reticle may also be an important factor in your search for 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.

But, you may want to think about the backdrop where you do most of your shooting. You’ll want a color with a lot of contrast! Using a green dot when shooting turkeys in a hay field would not work very well.

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. Check our our Best Red Dot Sights (Reviews) for some of the best options.

Reticle Pattern

Along with color and size, the reflex sights also differ in patterns that are all around the dot.

Some sights offer multiple reticle types, which you may prefer to a dot depending on your preference. But personally, I find a larger glowing reticle a bit distracting.

If you want more details about how rifle scope reticles work, we have a great article “Rifle Scopes Reticles Explained”.

How do we rate it?

We rate the clarity, brightness, dot crispness, and field of view on a scale from 1 to 5. A higher score means the optics provide crystal-clear images under various lighting conditions, have minimal distortion, and offer a wide field of view.

Build Quality

In this case, you need to carefully evaluate its construction and material. If it’s not strong and robust enough, it won’t survive the recoil of your gun, much less an accidental bump or drop while you’re running it.

How do we rate it?

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

Ergonomics

Ensure the sight fits your firearm. Most sights are designed to mount easily on standard rails, but it’s always good to double-check. Also, consider the weight and size; a bulky sight might not be ideal for a compact firearm.

Adjustments

While every sight you look at will have point of aim adjustments, it’s important to pick out a reflex sight with elevation and windage adjustment controls that offer tactile feedback and crisp adjustments. If you pick a high-quality sight, it will hold zero no matter what once it’s set. But, some sights force you to remove the entire optic to replace batteries, so you may be sighting in your reflex sight more often than you think!

If that sounds challenging, be sure to read up on how we adjust red dot sights to save some time and ammo!

How do we rate it?

This involves the design’s comfort, ease of use, and adjustability. In this aspect, we give higher scores to models that are comfortable to use for extended periods, controls are intuitively placed, and adjustments can be made easily and accurately.

Battery

Reflex Sight Battery

You wouldn’t like if the battery runs out in the middle of a trip to check a sound that wakes you up in the middle of the night. That’s why it’s an important factor to consider.

Make sure you check the time that the reflex sight can last with continuous use. This depends on the energy consumption rate of sight. Most manufacturers specify a number of hours at a particular illumination level.

Usually, reflex sights use LEDs. That’s why a reflex sight battery can last up to 10,000 hours.

However, depending on the model and price range, the battery lasting can differ vastly. And, some sights have features that automatically turn the light on when the gun is picked up, allowing it to always stay on and ready for use while still conserving battery life.

In the end, more hours is always better! Shooting in bright sun with the intensity cranked up will really shorten your battery life.

How do we rate it?

We consider how long the battery lasts under typical use. A score of 5 means that the optic 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

Reflex sights vary in price, from budget-friendly options to high-end models. While it’s tempting to go for cheaper sights, investing in a reliable, feature-rich sight can enhance your shooting experience significantly.

How do we rate it?

Illumination

Adjustable brightness is essential for visibility in various lighting conditions. If you plan on shooting in low light or with night vision equipment, look for sights that offer night vision compatibility.

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.

Think you’re ready? Let’s get to our recommendations.

5 Best Reflex Sights

Best Overall/Battery Life: Holosun 507K Reflex Sight

FactorHolosun 507KCategory Average
Optics43.9
Build Quality33.86
Battery 4.53.78
Ergonomics4.74.24
Value3.83.24
Illumination54.08

Score: 4.17/5

The Holosun 507K Reflex Sight is designed particularly for sub-compact pistols like the M&P Shield. It comes with a Multi-Reticle System, a cool feature that allows you to switch between a 2 MOA dot, 32 MOA circle, or both. This allows for different shooting scenarios and preferences, from close-quarter to standard-range engagements. We also appreciate its conveniently-positioned battery compartment which allows for battery changes without removing the sight. Plus it has 10 daylight settings and 2 others that are night vision-compatible. You’d need to spend a bit more for this one, though.

Pros

  • Shake Awake technology
  • Lightest among our picks (1 oz)
  • Longest battery life among our picks (50,000 hrs)
  • IP67 waterproof
  • 12 brightness settings 

Cons

  • Costs more than other models
  • No automatic brightness adjustment

What Customers Say

It just works, survives the range, keeps zero. Easy to setup, easy to adjust, easy to operate. Takes a bit to get used to it, coming from pure iron sights, but once you do – it is way quicker and more accurate. Just wish it would have adaptive (automatic) brightness adjustment, but it is great even without it.

Pavel

Best Reflex Sight for AR15: Trijicon MRO

FactorTrijicon MROCategory Average
Optics4.53.9
Build Quality4.33.86
Battery 53.78
Ergonomics3.64.24
Value3.23.24
Illumination3.24.08

Score: 3.97/5

The Trijicon MRO is a compact, lightweight red dot sight known for its wide field of view and quick target acquisition. It features a 1x magnification, a 25mm objective lens, and a durable, forged 7075-T6 aluminum housing. 

With ambidextrous brightness controls and advanced lens coatings, it offers superior optical clarity. The MRO is waterproof up to 30 meters and has a long battery life, making it a reliable choice for tactical and recreational shooters. However, we found the brightness adjustment knob a bit difficult to turn.

Trijicon MRO

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact (4.1 oz)
  • Adequate battery life (8,760 hrs)
  • Wide field of view
  • Ambidextrous controls
  • Waterproof
  • Easily available battery

Cons

  • Costs more than the Aimpoint PRO
  • The brightness knob is a bit stiff
  • No lens cover

What Customers Say

I tend to like a green dot better than red and this one is perfect and clear. It has a great field of view and so far has kept its zero with no issues. I would definitely recommend this product.

Brett WJ

Best Budget Reflex Sight: Aimpoint PRO

FactorAimpoint PROCategory Average
Ergonomics2.43.9
Build Quality43.86
Optics43.78
Battery4.54.24
Value2.73.24
Illumination3.24.08

Score: 3.47/5

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

  • Iron sight co-witnessing compatible
  • Long battery life (30,000 hrs)
  • Night vision compatible

Cons

  • Lack of a brightness adjustment feature
  • A bit heavy (7.8 oz)

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

Leupold DeltaPoint PRO

FactorLeupold DeltaPoint PROCategory Average
Ergonomics4.43.9
Build Quality3.53.86
Optics33.78
Battery24.24
Value2.93.24
Illumination4.44.08

Score: 3.37/5

The Deltapoint Pro is not so different with the rest of our picks – it offers a great combination of features and durability. But if you’re a Leupold fan, you know that you can’t go wrong with the performance of optics from this manufacturer – they’re all built to withstand harsh conditions and heavy recoil.

The Deltapoint Pro is compatible with pistols, rifles, and shotguns. It sports a DiamondCoat Aspheric Lens, a feat that increases the usable field of view and delivers a bright, crisp sight picture. For us, its key feature is the tool-less, spring-actuated battery compartment. It makes battery changes quick and easy without having to remove the sight from the firearm.

Unlike our other recommendations, though, the Deltapoint Pro has no night vision-compatible settings; and it’s on the higher end of the price spectrum for red dot sights.

Pros

  • Lightest among our picks (1 oz)
  • Longest battery life among our picks (50,000 hours)
  • Shake Awake technology
  • Multi-reticle system
  • 10 daylight, 2 night vision-compatible settings
  • 7075 Aluminum housing
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Pricey

What Customers Say

I love the fact that the rear sight is built into this optic making it simple to co-witness sights. I don’t want to have to worry about adding suppressor height sights which can snag easily on gear. I highly recommend this setup for simplicity. Also a huge plus is the ability to change batteries WITHOUT having to re-zero.

Chris

Aimpoint Micro T2

FactorAimpoint Micro T2Category Average
Optics43.9
Build Quality4.53.86
Ergonomics43.78
Battery54.24
Value3.63.24
Illumination4.64.08

Score: 4.28/5

The Micro T2 red dot comes with 12 brightness settings one of which is extra bright for when the sun is at its brightest. The flip-up covers for the front and rear lenses and the reinforced windage and elevation turrets are also well-built and look like they can withstand heavy use and extreme weather.

Finally, Aimpoint developed an advanced lens system for this red dot, allowing improved light transmission and superior optical clarity.

Pros

  • Longest battery life among our picks
  • Huge brightness knob
  • Can handle recoil effectively

Cons

  • Expensive

What Customers Say

Mounted on my Rifle Dynamics AK and it is such a great addition for shooting. I shot so much more accurate than my buddies at the range with their ARs after they all thought AKs were simply not accurate. Price is what you pay, value is what you get!

Burnt Toast

Summary: Reflex Sight Buying Guide

Choosing the right reflex sight is about balancing your needs, preferences, and budget. By considering the factors mentioned above, you can find a sight that enhances your shooting accuracy and enjoyment. Remember, the best sight is the one that fits your specific situation and feels right for you. Happy shooting!

Jump over to see our recommendations for red dot sights and the best Glock sights.

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Last update on 2024-07-13 / Images from Amazon Product API