5 Best Etched Reticle Red Dots Reviewed [Plus Buying TIPS]

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Etched Reticle

Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope

Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope - DRT Reticle (MOA)

Pros

  • Compact and robust
  • Adjustable brightness levels

Cons

  • Pricey for beginners

Best for Precision Shooting

Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight, Red Dot Sight

Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight, Red Dot Sight with 4 MOA and 8 Brightness Settings, Durable with Long Battery Life

Pros

  • High-grade, durable materials enhance longevity
  • Adjustable brightness settings (8 levels)

Cons

  • No auto-shutoff feature

Ideal for use with a variety of firearms!

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Best for Budget Buyers

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Simple reticle design

Cons

  • Limited features compared to higher-end models

Looking for the best etched reticle red dot sight so it works with and without batteries? 

We understand how critical the right gear is to your accuracy and overall shooting performance. This article is designed to help you navigate through the overwhelming sea of options available.

We’ve painstakingly tested various models, meticulously analyzed their features, and distilled them down to the top 5 that truly stand out. We also provide a detailed breakdown of must-have features for an etched reticle red dot sight, from optical clarity and reticle design to durability and brightness levels.

By the end, we hope you’ll not only have a clearer idea of what to look for but also which product best aligns with your shooting style and requirements. 

Let’s go!

Best Etched Reticle Red Dot – Comparison Table

Best For
Etched Reticle Red Dot Overall
Precision Shooting
Budget Buyers
4x Scope
Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope - DRT Reticle (MOA), Black
Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight, Red Dot Sight with 4 MOA and 8...
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black
Athlon Optics 403023: Midas Tsp1 Prism Scope
Category / Model
Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope
Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight, Red Dot Sight
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope
Athlon Midas TSP1
Magnification Level
1X
1X
1X
4X
Reticle
Dual Ring Tactical (DRT)
3 MOA Dot
3 MOA Red Dot
Not Specified
Illumination Settings
Multiple
8 Levels
11 Levels
Multiple
Eye Relief
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Not Specified
Mount Type
Multi-Height
Picatinny and Weaver
Picatinny and Weaver
Picatinny
Battery Type
CR2032
CR2032
CR2032
CR2032
Waterproof / Fogproof
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Field of View at 100 Yards
Not Specified
Wide
Not Specified
Not Specified
Weight
11.2 oz
Not Specified
3.7 oz
Not Specified
Dimensions
4.3 inches length
Not Specified
2.4 inches length
Not Specified
Best For
Etched Reticle Red Dot Overall
Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope - DRT Reticle (MOA), Black
Category / Model
Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope
Magnification Level
1X
Reticle
Dual Ring Tactical (DRT)
Illumination Settings
Multiple
Eye Relief
Unlimited
Mount Type
Multi-Height
Battery Type
CR2032
Waterproof / Fogproof
Yes
Field of View at 100 Yards
Not Specified
Weight
11.2 oz
Dimensions
4.3 inches length
Best For
Precision Shooting
Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight, Red Dot Sight with 4 MOA and 8...
Category / Model
Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight, Red Dot Sight
Magnification Level
1X
Reticle
3 MOA Dot
Illumination Settings
8 Levels
Eye Relief
Unlimited
Mount Type
Picatinny and Weaver
Battery Type
CR2032
Waterproof / Fogproof
Yes
Field of View at 100 Yards
Wide
Weight
Not Specified
Dimensions
Not Specified
Best For
Budget Buyers
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black
Category / Model
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope
Magnification Level
1X
Reticle
3 MOA Red Dot
Illumination Settings
11 Levels
Eye Relief
Unlimited
Mount Type
Picatinny and Weaver
Battery Type
CR2032
Waterproof / Fogproof
Yes
Field of View at 100 Yards
Not Specified
Weight
3.7 oz
Dimensions
2.4 inches length
Best For
4x Scope
Athlon Optics 403023: Midas Tsp1 Prism Scope
Category / Model
Athlon Midas TSP1
Magnification Level
4X
Reticle
Not Specified
Illumination Settings
Multiple
Eye Relief
Not Specified
Mount Type
Picatinny
Battery Type
CR2032
Waterproof / Fogproof
Yes
Field of View at 100 Yards
Not Specified
Weight
Not Specified
Dimensions
Not Specified

Etched Reticle Red Dot Must-Have Features

FeaturesVortex Optics SpitfireBushnell RXS100Bushnell TRS-25Primary Arms SLXAthlon MidasCategory Average
Overall Score3.63.574.083.563.183.6
Ergonomics1.74.63.33.43.43.28
Build Quality52333.83.36
Optics4.824343.56
Battery35551.33.85
Value2.5553.92.43.76
Illumination4.62.84.234.23.76

Optics

When we talk about optical clarity, we refer to how clearly and accurately you can see an image through the sight. Clear optics can make all the difference in both target acquisition and accuracy.

With superior optical clarity, you can easily spot targets from a distance, even in low light conditions. Quality optics reduce distortions, offer better light transmission, and give a brighter image. They offer clear images free from blurring around the edges, allowing for precise aiming and shooting. 

It’s also essential to look for coated lenses as they can enhance light transmission, reduce glare, and offer protection against scratches.

Reticle Design

The reticle is the aiming point in your field of view in the red dot sight. A well-designed reticle will enable you to acquire targets rapidly and shoot accurately. Different scopes offer different reticle designs, including dots, crosshairs, and combinations of both.

Simplicity is key when it comes to reticles. A complicated reticle might be distracting and hinder quick target acquisition. Look for a reticle design that is simple and intuitive for your shooting style. 

Additionally, the reticle should offer enough contrast against the target background for easy visibility.

How do we rate it?

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

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.

Build Quality

Man looking at reticle red dot
etched reticle red dot

Build quality is critical for any tool, and etched reticle red dots are no different. These devices undergo a lot of stress, from recoil impact to exposure to outdoor elements. They should withstand the test of time, performing consistently across different environmental conditions.

A quality red dot sight should feature a robust construction that can endure the recoils of your firearm. Most high-quality red dots are made from sturdy materials like aircraft-grade aluminum. 

Also, consider weather-resistant features. A good sight should be waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-resistant to ensure it can perform optimally in various scenarios.

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.

Illumination

Crosshair riflescope with reticle showing

In different lighting conditions, the brightness level of your red dot sight can significantly impact your shooting experience. Most red dot sights come with adjustable brightness settings, allowing you to adapt to varying light conditions effectively.

The ability to adjust the brightness ensures that the reticle is visible, whether in bright daylight or low light conditions. Too much brightness can cause glare, making the reticle hard to see, while insufficient brightness can make it disappear against the backdrop. 

A good etched reticle red dot allows for easy brightness adjustments for optimum visibility in any light.

How do we rate?

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.

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?

Ergonomics involves the design’s comfort, ease of use, and adjustability. 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

Battery life is often overlooked, but it’s a crucial factor when choosing a red dot sight. A sight with a poor battery life can leave you high and dry at the most inconvenient times. 

A top-tier etched reticle red dot sight has thousands of hours of battery, sometimes even up to 50,000 hours. Aim for a model that has a solid battery life to ensure you’re not left changing batteries in the middle of a critical moment.

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

Etched reticle 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. We give better ratings to optics that offer an excellent balance of quality features at a price that represents good value for money.

Best Etched Reticle Red Dot – Our Favorites

Best Etched Reticle Red Dot Overall: Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope

Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope - DRT Reticle (MOA), Black
Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope - DRT Reticle (MOA), Black
  • The Spitfire Prism Scope has been built from the ground up to maximize the fast handling performance in close to medium range applications. This prism scope is backed with all the features you need in...
  • The generous sight picture and forgiving eye box get you on target effortlessly in any scenario. Fully multi-coated lenses offer true to life clarity and brightness.
  • The DRT reticle is etched on the prism providing you with a visible point of aim whether powered up or not. Ten intensity levels perfectly match ambient light conditions while you also have an option...
FactorVortex Optics SpitfireCategory Average
Ergonomics1.73.28
Build Quality53.36
Optics4.83.56
Battery33.85
Value2.53.76
Illumination4.63.76

Score: 3.6/5

The Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope takes the crown as the overall best-etched reticle red dot in our list. 

It boasts top-tier optical clarity, which makes it a joy to use in all sorts of conditions. I find the lenses crisp and clear that dramatically enhances shooting accuracy and speed. 

Its design showcases a simple yet efficient reticle that allows rapid target acquisition without the clutter. The 1x magnification keeps things simple, enabling you to keep both eyes open for a wider field of view. I love the compactness – it simply means you can comfortably mount it on any firearm without adding too much weight. 

Vortex Optics Spitfire 1x Prism Scope - DRT Reticle (MOA) Details

The device exhibits solid construction with high-quality materials that offer commendable durability. It withstands harsh conditions, providing reliable service for a long time. Its brightness levels are adjustable, making it versatile enough to be used in varying lighting conditions. 

So, here’s my overall thought about Spitfire – you get the benefit of excellent performance combined with straightforward usability.

Pros

  • Excellent optical clarity
  • Compact and robust
  • Adjustable brightness levels

Cons

  • Pricey for beginners
  • Fixed magnification

What Customers Say

“I had an iron sight, but was not able to hit the target very well. With this, my shooting has improved 200%. I highly recommend this sight. One of the things I really like is the fact you do not have to have a battery for this sight to be used effectively. Without using the battery lighting you can easily see the etched sight against the target. The one thing I did not like was how hard the battery was to install. It was a real pain.”

Emmett

Best for Precision Shooting: Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight

Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight, Red Dot Sight with 4 MOA and 8...
Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight, Red Dot Sight with 4 MOA and 8...
  • [The RXS-100] is the new market leader in price and performance. Class leading value starts with multi-platform versatility with its DeltaPoint Pro mounting pattern, daylight bright 4 MOA dot with 8...
  • [REFLEX SIGHT] RXS-100 has a clear 4 MOA dot with 8 brightness settings
  • [ADDITIONAL FEATURES] Detented windage/elevation, top loading battery for easy replacement, mounts on an array of pistols, MSRs, and shotguns.
FactorBushnell RXS100Category Average
Ergonomics4.63.28
Build Quality23.36
Optics23.56
Battery53.85
Value53.76
Illumination2.83.76

Score: 3.57/5

The Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight is an advanced, high-performance red dot sight designed for precision shooting in a wide range of conditions. It showcases the latest in optical technology, offering crystal clear visuals and rapid target acquisition, ideal for use with a variety of firearms. With its superior design and features, the RXS100 Reflex Sight sets the standard for red dot optics in its class.

One of the things I find most valuable about the RXS100 is its adjustable brightness settings, with eight different levels to cater to an array of lighting conditions. Whether I’m shooting in bright daylight or in low light at dusk, I can always find a setting that fits my needs. The unlimited eye relief and wide field of view also help me acquire targets swiftly and make my shooting experience far more comfortable.

Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight, Red Dot Sight with 4 MOA and 8 Brightness Settings, Durable with Long Battery Life Details

The 3 MOA dot reticle is another feature I’ve come to appreciate. It allows me to shoot with precision at varying distances. What’s more, it’s powered by a CR2032 battery, offering me extended usage without the constant worry of replacing the battery. In my experience, the Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight strikes the right balance of performance, durability, and affordability, meeting the needs of both my casual and more serious shooting sessions.

Overall, the Bushnell RXS100 Reflex Sight offers an optimal balance of performance, durability, and affordability, catering to the needs of both casual and professional shooters.

Pros

  • High-grade, durable materials enhance longevity
  • Adjustable brightness settings (8 levels)
  • Multi-coated lens reduces glare
  • Versatility with a 3 MOA dot reticle for precision shooting at different distances
  • Long battery life using a common CR2032 battery

Cons

  • Some users might prefer more sophisticated reticle options
  • Does not come with an auto-shutoff feature

What Customers Say

“Put this on my citadel levtac 92. Does the job. Not fancy. Small profile. Would buy another. This is the lower end of red dots so you get what you pay for. I wouldn’t recommend getting some no name brand chinese red dot that is like 35 bucks. Just get this.”

– Ryan

Best for Budget Buyers: Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope

Sale
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black
15,304 Reviews
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black
  • Matte black featuring a 3 MOA Dot reticle with 11 brightness settings; Mounts easily on most picatinny rails and is compatible with pistols, shotguns, rifles and muzzleloaders.Adjustment Range : 70+...
  • Waterproof construction: O ring sealed optics stay dry inside, even when totally immersed in water. Parallax - 50
  • Shockproof construction: Built to withstand bumps, bangs, drops and the rough and tumble environment of the field
FactorBushnell Trophy TRS-25Category Average
Ergonomics3.33.28
Build Quality33.36
Optics43.56
Battery53.85
Value53.76
Illumination4.23.76

Score: 4.08/5

For those watching their wallet without wanting to compromise much on quality, the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is a suitable option. 

It has some features you’d see in higher, level brands. We liked the adjustments and the build was good in our review.

Bushnell TRS-25 red dot aiming at Lego Mandolorian

It brings a respectable level of optical clarity, sufficient for most beginner to intermediate shooting situations. I find its reticle design user-friendly. This single red dot is clear and bright, enhancing speed and accuracy in target acquisition. 

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope Best for Budget Buyers Etched Reticle

Another great feature I love about this sight is the toughness that belies its price. It is constructed to handle harsh outdoor conditions and recoil impacts. It also comes with adjustable brightness setting, giving you flexibility in different lighting conditions. 

The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 proves that you don’t need to break the bank for a reliable etched reticle red dot sight.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Simple reticle design
  • Tough construction

Cons

  • Limited features compared to higher-end models
  • Optical clarity could be better

What Customers Say

“Excellent quality, typical of Bushnell. Fitted to my .45acp Norinco semi automatic pistol it seems resilient enough. The brightness of the red dot is superb. It doesn’t wash out in 35C heat and the BRIGHT sunlight here in Spain, even when pointed at a white wall. Eleven brightness positions manually adjustable for use on indoor ranges. Very happy with it.”

– Steve Murphy

Best for Durability: Primary Arms SLX Rotary Knob 25mm Microdot

FactorPrimary Arms SLXCategory Average
Ergonomics3.43.28
Build Quality33.36
Optics33.56
Battery53.85
Value3.93.76
Illumination33.76

Score: 3.56/5

The Primary Arms SLX Rotary Knob 25mm Microdot is a beacon of durability. 

This sight offers excellent optical clarity, delivering a clear and bright image of your target. Its reticle design is straightforward – a single red dot that allows for quick target acquisition and shot placement. 

Primary Arms SLX Rotary Knob 25mm Microdot details Best For Durability Etched Reticle

If you’re looking for a sight with sturdy construction, then I find the Primary Arms a great option. The robust materials and build quality ensure it can withstand heavy recoil and harsh outdoor conditions. It has an adjustable brightness setting, too. This means it’s adaptable to a range of lighting situations. 

I highly recommend Primary Arms if you’re looking for a durable, reliable, and simple-to-use etched reticle red dot.

Pros

  • Excellent durability
  • Clear optics
  • Adjustable brightness

Cons

  • Heavier than other models
  • Not suitable for precision long-range shooting

What Customers Say

“Wonder sight RD the first I received the 65 Mia horse shoe east canted to one side send back and they sent a second much better but still canted slightly but at the price I paid I’m good because they up the price by $70 and the way returns work for this vendor you have to return and rebuy not the std Amazon return policy. Great RD and yes the front lens is installed at a angle it’s supposed to be that way. Not sure if the huge price savings was because these were blend but I’m happy for the price I paid and it does have a lifetime warranty so you can’t beat it”

– marie

Best 4x Scope: Athlon Midas TSP1

Athlon Optics 403023: Midas Tsp1 Prism Scope
Athlon Optics 403023: Midas Tsp1 Prism Scope
  • Reticle etched on the glass that provides excellent backing support for complex reticle design and offers great durability
  • Fully Multicoated optics effectively reduces reflected light and increases the transmission of light giving you a brighter image
  • Multiple Adjustable Illumination settings provide best visibility under different ambient light environment
FactorAthlon Midas TSP1Category Average
Ergonomics3.43.28
Build Quality3.83.36
Optics43.56
Battery1.33.85
Value2.43.76
Illumination4.23.76

Score: 3.18/5

If you’re looking for precision at mid-range, then the Athlon Midas TSP1 is a standout. This 4x scope offers excellent optical clarity with a simple yet effective reticle design. The clear optics and 4x magnification allow you to precisely aim at your target at mid-range distances. I also find the build quality quite impressive. It exhibits durability that assures reliable performance over time. Despite its advanced features, the Midas TSP1 maintains usability with an adjustable brightness setting. This means you get clear visibility of the reticle in diverse light conditions. 

It may be a bit more expensive, but for those who prioritize precision shooting at a distance, I think Athlon Midas TSP1 is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • Clear optics
  • 4x magnification for precision shooting
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Not ideal for close-quarter scenarios
  • More expensive

What Customers Say

“I was surprised with the excellent quality of this scope after I got my hands on it. Much better than expected. Super crisp cross hairs and the clarity when looking through the scope superb. Crisp positive clicks on the turrets. The adjustments for the eyepiece and objective lens’ have super smooth tight tolerances with no slop.”

Bowman

Our Key Takeaways

We hope this in-depth exploration of the top 5 etched reticle red dots has been enlightening and informative for you. Making an informed choice in this domain can be a challenge, especially with the sea of options available on the market. That’s precisely why we compiled this guide.

Our top pick, the Vortex Optics Spitfire, excels in overall performance, offering stellar optical clarity and a user-friendly design. 

If versatility is your primary concern, you can’t go wrong with the Monstrum Blackbird V2, while budget-conscious buyers should consider the value-packed Bushnell Trophy TRS-25. 

If resilience is what you seek in a red dot sight, the Primary Arms SLX is a tough contender to beat. 

And for those seeking precision at mid-range distances, the Athlon Midas TSP1’s 4x magnification is the answer.

We hope that we’ve accomplished that and made your selection process for the perfect etched reticle red dot easier.

Happy shopping, and even happier shooting!

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Last update on 2024-06-27 / Images from Amazon Product API