Most Popular Pistol Red Dot Mounts [2023 Review]

pistol red dot mounts

With the rise in popularity of red dot sights, ensuring you’ve got the perfect mount for your pistol has never been more essential. It’s not enough to pick the coolest-looking pistol red dot mount or the one your buddy recommends. You’ve got to find one that’s tailored to your shooting style, the environment you operate in, and the specific demands of your handgun. 

Too complicated for you? 

Whether you’re new to the world of red dot sights or looking to upgrade your current setup, we have your back!

Let’s dive in!

Must-Have Features of Pistol Red Dot Mounts

Vortex Venom And Viper On Handguns

Understanding the critical features of pistol red dot mounts can mean the difference between a clear, reliable sight picture and a day filled with missed targets and mounting woes. So what makes a top-notch red dot mount? Let’s find out.

Material Quality and Durability

Pistol red dot mount

When it comes to pistol mounts, the construction of these gun accessories is paramount. Look for mounts crafted from high-grade materials like aircraft-grade aluminum or steel. These materials are not only lightweight but also highly resistant to wear and tear. A quality mount will endure countless rounds, rough handling, and the elements without faltering.

Mounting Style

The common mounting styles include slide mount, dovetail, and direct mill. 

Slide mounts replace the rear sight, dovetail mounts slot into the pistol’s existing rail, and direct mill requires milling the slide for a precise fit. 

Dovetail Mount

Pistol red dot mount
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The dovetail mount involves removing your iron sights and utilizing the existing dovetail mount on your pistol to attach a red dot sight. It’s one of the simplest methods since it requires no significant modifications to the weapon; you only need a mounting plate that screws into the holes left by the rear iron sights, then screw in your red dot sight. However, this method causes the red dot sight to sit higher on the slide, which could potentially affect your aim. Over time, some dovetail mounts may bend, throwing off your sight alignment.

Reference: https://www.opticsplanet.com/howto/how-to-mount-red-dot-sight-handgun.html

Milled/Cut Slide

Pistol red dot mount
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Mounting the red dot sight directly on the slide of the pistol is popular among many gun enthusiasts. This method involves purchasing a new pistol that’s optics-ready, getting a modified pistol slide or having a gunsmith mill your factory slide to accommodate the red dot sight. This method keeps the red dot sight as low as possible on the pistol, enhancing accuracy and stability. It requires removing two mounting screws that hold the slide in place, slotting in your red dot sight, and replacing the mounting screws.

Frame-Mounted

Frame mounting involves attaching a metal piece directly to the frame of the pistol, either via screws or a rail mount. This method is suitable for competitive shooting, home defense, and duty carry, as it tends to be easier on red dots and facilitates faster shooting. However, it’s too bulky for concealed carry and may have limited aftermarket support.

Stability

red dot sight on a pistol

A mount’s primary function is to keep the red dot sight anchored securely, so stability is crucial. Look for pistol red dot mounts with a solid locking mechanism that won’t loosen up over time. Some mounts also feature recoil lugs to further enhance stability, ensuring your red dot remains zeroed in even after rigorous shooting sessions.

Further reading: Best Quick Detach Scope Mounts

Compatibility

Not all pistol red dot mounts are universal, so always double-check that the one you’re eyeing matches both your pistol and your chosen red dot sight. Some mounts are brand-specific, while others cater to a broader range of firearms and sights.

Price

While investing in a good-quality pistol red dot mount is essential, it doesn’t mean breaking the bank. There’s a wide range of prices out there, catering to every budget. However, keep in mind that sometimes, you get what you pay for. It’s often worth spending a bit more on a reputable brand that guarantees longevity and performance.

Types of Footprints/Mounting Standards for Pistol Red Dot Mounts

The mounting standards, also known as footprints, dictate how a red dot sight will fit onto a pistol. Different red dot sights may have unique footprints that correspond to specific mounting systems on pistols.

Noblex/Docter

Often referred to as the Docter sight mounting standard, this is a popular mounting surface in the open reflex red dot sight category. It features two holes for screws and four sockets to hold the pins on the mount/adapter, one in every corner.

Trijicon RMR

The Trijicon RMR mounting standard is known for its simplicity and reliability. It has a socket in each of the two front corners where the recoil-stopping pins on the adapter fit, and two screw holes located close to the middle section of the mounting surface

Trijicon MRO

The Trijicon MRO mounting standard has “four screw holes, two in the front, two in the rear. The holes on the left are separated from the holes on the right with a lifted section in the middle.”

GLOCK MOS Mounting Standard

This footprint was launched by GLOCK in 2015. Two screw holes are positioned between the front and the middle part of the mounting surface. To convert the MOS footprint to other types, a plate is typically used. But certain red dot sights can be mounted into it directly.

Aimpoint CompM4

This mounting standard has two screw holes. One hole is located on each side of the plate’s elevated section. When fixed on an adapter, these areas help in reducing recoil.

Aimpoint Acro

Aimpoint Acro approximate dimensions. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

With the Aimpoint Acro, the red dot is attached with a 4mm recoil lug groove through a clamping mechanism. Approximately 16.5mm wide, the mount is compact and has smooth edges.

Aimpoint Micro

This footprint was initially used by Aimpoint on micro small tube sights. The middle part of the mounting surface is slightly elevated and on each side are screw holes. To fit the recoil stop, the elevated area is cut in the middle.

Holosun AEMS

Unique to the Holosun AEMS red dot, this mounting standard was only launched in 2022. Two sockets are located at the front with a screw hole next to each socket. In the middle of the plate are two more screw holes with a recoil stop between them.

C-more RTS/STS

The C-more RTS/STS is a simple and reliable mounting standard, making it popular among all types of shooters. “The standard consists of two holes for screws and two sockets in which the pins on the mount/adapter fit.”

Reference: https://www.optics-trade.eu/blog/footprints-on-red-dot-sights/

Shield RMS/SMS

The Shield RMS/SMS mounting standard has a similar design to the Noblex/Docter, only it’s more compact. It consists of two screw holes and four sockets located at every corner for the adapter notches. 

Railway

The C-more Railway mounting standard has a flat mounting surface and comes with two screw holes.

Red Dot Mounts for Popular Pistols

Sig P320

The Sig P320 stands out with its modular design, allowing users to interchange grip modules, slides, and barrels to customize size, caliber, and fit. It features a striker-fired system, offering a consistent trigger pull. Its high-capacity magazine and 9mm chambering make it a robust choice for both personal defense and law enforcement. The P320 also boasts a durable and ergonomic design, providing comfort and reliability.

Docter/Noblex

OuterImpact Red Dot Adapter Mount for Sig Sauer P320
  • Compatible Guns: P320, P320 Compact and SP2022. DOES NOT WORK WITH THE X-5 or M17
  • Compatible Guns: P320, P320 Compact and SP2022. DOES NOT WORK WITH THE X-5 or M17
  • Compatible Red Dot Sights (Mounting Screws INCLUDED): Trijicon RMR, Doctor, Insight MRDS,Leupold Delta Point, Leupold Delta Point Pro, Vortex Razor, Vortex Viper, Vortex Venom, Burris Fast Fire 2 & 3,...

Aimpoint ACRO

The Aimpoint Acro P-1 Mount for Sig P320 features a Pro-Slide Cut. It is crafted from a solid block of heat-treated steel and finished with a black Melonite coating to increase its durability.

Trijicon RMR

Although it’s a perfect fit for the Sig P320. This mount is not compatible with any other optics-ready Sig pistols.

Sale
Trijicon RM50 RMR Pistol Mount, Most Sig Sauer Pistols Without...
  • Sig Sauer RMR Pistol Mount
  • Fits most Sig Sauer pistols without adjustable sights.
  • Replaces rear sight to allow the mounting of any Trijicon RMR.

Shield RMS/SMS

This mount is most compatible with the RMS, RMSw, SMS, SMS2, or Jpoint models. However, due to their smaller size, these sights are narrower than the mounting plate.

GLOCK 19 

The GLOCK 19 is known for its compact size that doesn’t sacrifice magazine capacity, making it ideal for concealed carry. It’s incredibly reliable, with a reputation for functioning in various conditions without fail. The pistol’s simplicity is a key feature, with a minimal number of parts and a straightforward design that makes it easy to use and maintain. It also offers a good balance of controllability and power, using the widespread 9mm cartridge, and is highly customizable with a vast array of aftermarket accessories.

Docter/Noblex

Aimpoint ACRO

This specialized optics-mounting plate from C&H Precision is built specifically for MOS-ready Glock® pistols.

Trijicon RMR/SRO

These plates are built for rigorous use and are compatible with a variety of popular red-dot optics. They are constructed from 6061 aluminum and given a hard-anodized finish for durability.

Shield SMS/RMS

These RMS/SMS mounts are only available on the Shield website. They are compatible even if your GLOCK is not MOS-ready.

C-more STS

The C-More STS mounts come at a more budget-friendly price. You can choose from wide and narrow slides, depending on your preferences and needs.

Heckler & Koch VP9

The HK VP9 is a striker-fired handgun that has earned praise for its excellent ergonomics and user-friendly features. It sports a unique grip with interchangeable backstraps and side panels, allowing for a highly customizable fit. The VP9’s trigger is often highlighted for its crispness and short reset, which enhances accuracy and control. The pistol also includes advanced safety features like a firing pin block and trigger safety. Additionally, the VP9 is designed with a charging support on the rear of the slide, making it easier to rack, and it offers a generous magazine capacity, making it well-suited for both tactical use and sport shooting.

Noblex

EGW produces a wide range of mounts that are compatible with the VP9, from Vortex red dot sights to Burris Fastfire.

Trijicon RMR, Holosun

C-More STS/RTS

This easy-to-install mount is compatible with Vortex Razor, C-More RTS or STS red-dot sight mounts. The installation requires no alterations and the mounting hardware is also included.

Smith and Wesson M&P/ M&P 2.0/ M&P Shield

The Smith & Wesson M&P (Military & Police) series is a line of polymer-framed, short recoil-operated, striker-fired semi-automatic pistols. They are designed with a focus on ergonomics; the series features interchangeable backstraps to fit various hand sizes. The M&P pistols offer a low bore axis for reduced muzzle rise, enhancing shooter control. They come with a passive trigger safety but can also be ordered with an optional active thumb safety. M&Ps are known for their durability and reliability, with a reinforced polymer chassis, stainless steel barrel and slide treated with a black Melonite finish. The series includes a variety of models suited for self-defense, law enforcement, and competitive shooting, with options in different calibers and sizes.

Docter

OuterImpact Red Dot Mount Adapter Compatible with Smith and Wesson M&P...
  • Compatible Guns: M&P Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Models, M&P Shield Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Models, M&P M2.0 Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Modelsl, M&P M2.0 Shield Pistol – All (not...
  • Compatible Red Dot Sights (Mounting Screws INCLUDED): Trijicon RMR, Doctor, Insight MRDS, Leupold Delta Point, Leupold Delta Point Pro, Vortex Razor, Vortex Viper, Vortex Venom, Vortex Defender,...
  • Material: Billet 7075-T6 aluminum.

Trijicon RMR

OuterImpact Red Dot Mount Adapter Compatible with Smith and Wesson M&P...
  • Compatible Guns: M&P Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Models, M&P Shield Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Models, M&P M2.0 Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Modelsl, M&P M2.0 Shield Pistol – All (not...
  • Compatible Red Dot Sights (Mounting Screws INCLUDED): Trijicon RMR, Doctor, Insight MRDS, Leupold Delta Point, Leupold Delta Point Pro, Vortex Razor, Vortex Viper, Vortex Venom, Vortex Defender,...
  • Material: Billet 7075-T6 aluminum.

C-More RTS/STS

OuterImpact Red Dot Mount Adapter Compatible with Smith and Wesson M&P...
  • Compatible Guns: M&P Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Models, M&P Shield Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Models, M&P M2.0 Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Modelsl, M&P M2.0 Shield Pistol – All (not...
  • Compatible Red Dot Sights (Mounting Screws INCLUDED): Trijicon RMR, Doctor, Insight MRDS, Leupold Delta Point, Leupold Delta Point Pro, Vortex Razor, Vortex Viper, Vortex Venom, Vortex Defender,...
  • Material: Billet 7075-T6 aluminum.

Burris Fastfire 2 & 3

OuterImpact Red Dot Mount Adapter Compatible with Smith and Wesson M&P...
  • Compatible Guns: M&P Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Models, M&P Shield Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Models, M&P M2.0 Pistol – All Non-Optics Ready Modelsl, M&P M2.0 Shield Pistol – All (not...
  • Compatible Red Dot Sights (Mounting Screws INCLUDED): Trijicon RMR, Doctor, Insight MRDS, Leupold Delta Point, Leupold Delta Point Pro, Vortex Razor, Vortex Viper, Vortex Venom, Vortex Defender,...
  • Material: Billet 7075-T6 aluminum.

Springfield XDM

The Springfield XDM sports a match-grade barrel for increased accuracy and a minimal reset trigger for faster follow-up shots. Ergonomics are enhanced with interchangeable backstraps to customize the grip to the shooter’s hand size, and a grip safety adds an extra layer of security. 

The XDM also features an aggressive grip texture for a solid hold, a striker status indicator, and a loaded chamber indicator that can be felt or seen. It’s a competitive choice for those needing a reliable and feature-rich sidearm.

Docter/Trijicon RMR

Outerimpact Red Dot Adapter/Mount for Springfield XD, XD MOD.2, XD(M),...
341 Reviews
Outerimpact Red Dot Adapter/Mount for Springfield XD, XD MOD.2, XD(M),...
  • Compatible Guns: XD MOD.2, XD, XD(M) (does not work with 5.25″ competition series model or the Elite), XDS and MOD.2, Hellcat (does not work with the OSP version)
  • Compatible Guns: XD MOD.2, XD, XD(M) (does not work with 5.25″ competition series model or the Elite), XDS and MOD.2, Hellcat (does not work with the OSP version)
  • Compatible Red Dot Sights (Mounting Screws INCLUDED): Trijicon RMR, Doctor, Insight MRDS, Leupold Delta Point, Leupold Delta Point Pro, Vortex Razor, Vortex Viper, Vortex Venom, Burris Fast Fire 2 &...

Shield RMS/ C-More RTS/STS

Outerimpact Red Dot Adapter/Mount for Springfield XD, XD MOD.2, XD(M),...
341 Reviews
Outerimpact Red Dot Adapter/Mount for Springfield XD, XD MOD.2, XD(M),...
  • Compatible Guns: XD MOD.2, XD, XD(M) (does not work with 5.25″ competition series model or the Elite), XDS and MOD.2, Hellcat (does not work with the OSP version)
  • Compatible Guns: XD MOD.2, XD, XD(M) (does not work with 5.25″ competition series model or the Elite), XDS and MOD.2, Hellcat (does not work with the OSP version)
  • Compatible Red Dot Sights (Mounting Screws INCLUDED): Trijicon RMR, Doctor, Insight MRDS, Leupold Delta Point, Leupold Delta Point Pro, Vortex Razor, Vortex Viper, Vortex Venom, Burris Fast Fire 2 &...

ADE RD3/ Burris Fastfire

Ade Advanced Optics Red Dot Adapter/Mounting Plate for Springfield XD,...
  • New design in 2020. This brand new designed optic mounting plate is to REPLACE the rear sight of pistol. Specially made to fit Springfield XD, XD MOD.2, XD(M), XDS Pistol. (Does not fit 5.25″ XDM...
  • It is design to for Springfield Non-OSP(Non Optics Ready) XD/XDS/XDM pistols that do NOT has a Optic Cut. This plate is for replacing rear sight. It also fits Non-OSP Hellcat. It does NOT fit 5.25″...
  • Fit Ade RD3-006A(Huracan), RD3-006B(Cobra), RD3-009(Crusader), RD3-012(Delta), RD3-013(Bertrillium), RD3-015(Zantitium)Red dots. Also Fit Vortex Venom/Razor/Viper, Burris Fastfire, Meopta, Eotech...

Ruger Mark IV

The Ruger Mark IV is a semi-automatic rimfire pistol renowned for its precision and ease of use. It maintains the classic look and feel of the earlier Mark series but with significant improvements.

The standout feature of the Mark IV is its one-button takedown for quick and easy field-stripping, a vast improvement over its predecessors. The pistol also features an ambidextrous manual safety, an ergonomic design, and a simple-to-use bolt stop for consistent handling. 

Additionally, it has adjustable sights for improved accuracy, a lightweight frame for comfortable carry, and a variety of models to suit different preferences, such as the Target, Hunter, and Tactical versions, each tailored to specific user needs.

Docter/Insight MRDS/Trijicon RMR/C-More RTS/Shield RMS/Burris Fastfire 2 & 3

OuterImpact Red Dot Adapter Mount Compatible with Ruger Mark I, II,...
  • Compatible Guns: Mark I, Mark II , Mark II 22/45, Mark III Standard, Mark III Bull Barrel, Mark III Competition, Mark III Hunter, Mark III 22/45 Lite, Mark III 22/45 Target, Mark III 22/45 Threaded...
  • Compatible Guns: Mark I, Mark II , Mark II 22/45, Mark III Standard, Mark III Bull Barrel, Mark III Competition, Mark III Hunter, Mark III 22/45 Lite, Mark III 22/45 Target, Mark III 22/45 Threaded...
  • Compatible Red Dot Sights (Mounting Screws INCLUDED): Trijicon RMR, Doctor, Insight MRDS, Leupold Delta Point, Leupold Delta Point Pro, Vortex Razor, Vortex Viper, Vortex Venom, Burris Fast Fire 2 &...

Final Thoughts: Pistol Red Dot Mounts

The world of handguns is more exciting than ever with the advent of red dot sights, and choosing the right mount can make all the difference. Whether you prefer the sturdy Trijicon RMR or the sleek Leupold DeltaPoint Pro, there’s an option for everyone. No need to be a gunsmith—today’s mounts are designed for easy attachment, ensuring a perfect fit for your pistol with minimal fuss.

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Last update on 2024-02-01 / Images from Amazon Product API