Red dot sights are very popular because they offer fast target acquisition and a good overall experience when you are shooting. The problem is that many of them are expensive.
Although you can get an excellent red dot sight for a lot of money, you can still find some great options on a budget. Continue reading to learn all about the best budget red dot sights.
Basics of a Red Dot Sight?
The red dot sight is made for use with firearms. It doesn’t offer much magnification, and it is parallax-free. You can use both eyes to acquire your target. It displays an illuminated object as the aiming point, and this is usually in the shape of a red dot. They don’t project onto the target, but they place a red dot on the target in the window. You get faster target acquisition when you use it because you only have one focal plane, and you only have to focus on the red dot and the single focal plane.
Red dot sights are considered fast acquisition sights that are very easy to use. People use them for target shooting, hunting, tactical military and police applications, and more. Most red dot sights have infinite eye relief, so you can aim with both eyes open. They work best at 100 yards, and they usually have high-quality glass. They don’t have magnification, so they are best suited for mid-range distances.
Red dot sights operate using an LED light on the inside that runs off of a battery that is pretty small. The dot is used to show you the target, and most of these sights have a dial or switch that allows you to adjust the brightness of the red dot. There are certain features you can look for in a red dot sight, including the following:
- Battery life
- Reticle type and shape
- Mounting hardware
Field of view is another factor to consider, and most red dots come with it. They are usually waterproof and fogproof because they are built to be rugged and durable. In addition, they are often motion activated, meaning that the sight powers on when it detects motion. They also have more extensive ranges for windage and elevation, and they usually have a knob that is easy to adjust.
What Different Kinds of Red Dots can you get when Considering Budget Sights?
You can find two main types of red dot optics, including red dots with a tube and reflex sights. Tube red dots have optics that are enclosed so that they are protected from the elements. They have a more limited field of view, but they are protected. Reflex sights are more common, and they have a wide field of view. However, the optics are not always protected from the elements. They are compact, and they are used on pistols and SBRs.
The term red dot is used to describe a sight that projects a red reticle on the target through the field of view. The name Reflex is short for Reflector, and it uses an LED light to project the dot onto the lens that you look through. The lens works similar to a mirror, and this makes the image appear a little bit darker than it actually is.
When you use a reflex red dot sight, you can look through the sight from different positions. The positions don’t need to be directly in line with the sight tube, which means that they are easier to use. You won’t compromise peripheral vision. This makes these sights especially useful in close-quarter tactical situations.
Red dot sights come in a range of prices, and people often wonder what makes the expensive ones worth it. There are some differences. The more expensive red dots usually have a longer battery life, and they will be more rugged and durable. The build quality will be better, but the less expensive budget version will work just fine.
People also wonder whether they need a magnifier with a red dot. The red dot doesn’t have magnification, and you can get a magnifier if you need one. They attach to the scope, and they help you acquire targets when you are doing the long-range shooting. The magnifier can be mounted in front of the sight or behind it. It will usually offer 2x magnification, but you can find models that give 3x or 6x. You can leave it screwed on the lens, and they often flip to the side when you aren’t using them.
The disadvantage to using a red dot magnifier is that it takes more time to lock in on your target, and it changes the eye relief. It can also get in the way when you aren’t using it, and it might limit your field of view. If you shoot between 100 and 300 yards, you can use the flip side magnifier. If you are shooting longer ranges, you might want to use a different scope.
What Are the Best Budget Red Dot Sights?
Take a look at the best budget red dot sights on the market.
Sig Sauer Romeo5 Red Dot Sight
This red dot sight is a 2 MOA red dot with 10 different illumination settings, including eight daylight settings and two settings for night vision. It works in all different light conditions, and it has MOTAC (Motion Activated Illumination). It powers up whenever it senses motion, and it turns itself off when it doesn’t. The battery lasts 40,000 hours or more.
It has an integrated M1913 Picatinny interface, which provides mounting options for a range of applications. It is IPX-7 rated so that you can immerse it up to one meter in water, and it is fogproof as well. It has a solid aluminum design, and it will last for years.
It uses highly efficient ultra-wide anti-reflection lens coatings, which will reduce surface reflections. It offers unlimited eye relief, and the objective lens is 20 mm. It has elevation and windage adjustment ranges of +/- 40 MOA. You can adjust it in 0.5 MOA increments. It uses a CR2032 battery, and it comes with a five-year warranty.
This red dot sight is best used for hunting, airsoft, tactical, and military shooting. It has 1x magnification and unlimited eye relief so that you can aim with both eyes open. This is an advantage in close-quarter situations. It is rugged and durable, and it can handle the elements.
- Motion-activated illumination
- Affordable build quality
- Bright red dot perception
- Durable and rugged
- Clear glass plates
- Less battery life than comparable models
- It doesn’t offer other reticle options
Holosun HS403B Micro Red Dot Optic
The Holosun HS403B has a compact design. It is a 20 mm micro-optical sight, and it is designed for rifles and carbine applications. It has long battery life. It uses SolarFailsafe technology and a high-capacity lithium-ion battery to give you up to 50,000 hours of battery life. It uses Holosun’s Shake Awake technology to shut off the LED when you aren’t using it, and when it senses motion, it activates it again.
This sight is made with optical glass with multilayer coatings applied to facilitate maximum light transmission and wear resistance. It also reduces glare. Its LED gives you a range of brightness levels, so you can use it in bright daylight as well as situations where you have no light.
The Holosun red dot sight is durable, and it is dustproof and waterproof. You can keep it up to one meter underwater for as much as 30 minutes without any trouble. In addition, it can handle the elements, whether you face rain or snow.
The lens on this sight is very clear, and the reticle is a 2 MOA dot. The dot size is large enough for your eye so you can pick it up quickly, and it is small enough for you to have precise aim at your target.
This red dot sight is ideal for rifles and carbine applications. It is easy to use, and it works in any lighting. This sight is great for people who want an affordable red dot sight that will last a long time. It is durable and waterproof and can handle any weather conditions. It is also easy to use.
- 50,000 hours of battery life
- Clear lens and picture
- 2 MOA dot reticle
- Accessible battery tray
- Waterproof and dustproof
- The battery tray uses small screws that are difficult to get in or out with included tools
The Holosun HS403C made it into our list of the Best Shotgun Red Dots!
The Bushnell TRS-25 red dot sight is compact and durable, and it holds zero right from the beginning. It has a crisp and sharp red dot reticle, and it’s bright as well. It has 11 different brightness levels that make it easy to match any conditions. It offers unlimited eye relief so that you can use it with both eyes open. It gives you rapid target acquisition, accuracy and allows you to be aware of what is going on around you. It also uses amber-bright high contrast lens coating, which will enable you to see objects more clearly.
This red dot is also durable, compact, and lightweight. It weighs 3.7 ounces, and it won’t add much weight to your firearm. It has a nitrogen-purged tube, and it is also O-ring sealed, so it is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. It uses multi-coated optics that allow you to see your target in low light settings as well.
It has tactical turrets that allow fast windage and elevation adjustments while you are using it. The knobs have a good click, so you won’t over-adjust. It uses C2032 batteries, which are inexpensive and long-lasting. It has a black matte finish, and the objective lens is 25 mm. It comes with a lens cap for extra protection, and it is waterproof up to 10 feet.
Another great feature of this sight is that the glass gives you clarity and a sharp image. You can turn the elevation and windage adjustments with a coin or a screwdriver, and each click is 0.5 MOA. The coating won’t flake, and there are thick gaskets under the knobs so that it won’t rust. The battery lasts around 3,000 hours on higher settings, but they are very inexpensive to replace. It uses a 3 MOA red dot reticle, and it gives you fast target acquisition and accuracy in all kinds of conditions.
This red dot sight is ideal for rifles, shotguns, pistols, and most guns. This is a great budget red dot sight, and it is easy to use right out of the box. You get fast target acquisition and accuracy with the clear, bright red dot and even levels of brightness, including no light.
- The control knob has resistance to prevent accidentally shift
- Amber-bright high contrast lens
- Durable and can withstand harsh conditions
- Unlimited eye relief
- The red dot is slightly off-axis, allowing a more accurate shot
- Indoor settings can be difficult for adjusting lighting
- Sometimes need to adjust the alignment of the mount to zero it
DD Dagger Defense
This is a lightweight yet durable and rugged red dot sight that is affordable and works well. It weighs just 291 grams, and it won’t change the weight of your firearm much. It is a reflex sight that is made with durable construction, and it works well in almost any environment. The window is a square shape, and it has a red and a green dot, either of which is visible in the square window.
This sight is made of high-grade aluminum that allows it to withstand the most demanding environments. The sight functions with two reticles, so you get four different patterns for accuracy. In addition, it attaches well to any firearm and can handle the recoil force of rifles and shotguns. You won’t lose your zero when you have this sight.
It is simple to change between the red and green dot to acquire targets in different lighting conditions. You can make adjustments quickly, which makes it easier to use than other sights that are out there. It offers you precision when you are aiming, and the red dot is close to being at zero right from the beginning.
This red dot is made using aircraft-grade aluminum, and it can handle any conditions. You can use it for long periods without it getting too heavy. It has a design that makes it easy to install it on your shotgun or your rifle. You can also mount it to a pistol if you use a Picatinny rail mount. It is easy to set up and easy to use. In addition, the reticle is on the same focal plane as the target so that you can simultaneously focus on the target and red dot for greater precision.
This red dot sight is best for rifles and shotguns, but you can mount it on a handgun or a pistol using a Picatinny mount. It is easy to use and easy to set up, and it is lightweight for extended hunting trips. It is light and durable, and it can handle any environment.
- Made of aircraft-grade aluminum
- Has both red and green dot
- Easy to mount and use
- Durable and rugged
- Lightweight at just 291 grams
- Has a screw to hold zero
- You need an Allen wrench to adjust windage and elevation
Feyachi RS-30 Reflex Sight
The Feyachi RS-30 reflex sight has a sturdy build and is lightweight. It has four reticles, and it can be mounted using the Picatinny and Weaver rails. It is easy to use, and it has red and green buttons on each side, which will light the sight up. The outside casing is made of aluminum, so it can handle the recoil and is shockproof, and deals with impact well.
The lens aperture is wide, and it measures 33 mm. This allows you to have situational awareness. The battery is installed from the top, which makes it easy to use. You won’t have to remove the sight to change the battery. There is a switch at the back that operates the four reticles. It has up to five levels of brightness settings, and it is waterproof and shockproof.
It comes with both a red dot and a green dot, so you can use the one you prefer. The field of view works well for a variety of applications, although it is smaller than others at 15.8 @ 100. The objective lens has a large diameter, so the images are high resolution and clear. There isn’t any glare. The lens is multi-coated, and it is scratch-resistant and protected from damage. It is also anti-reflective and repels UV and water. It is easy to install, as you simply loosen the screws and mount it. It comes with the Allen wrench you need.
You can mount this red dot sight on any firearm that is equipped with a Weaver or Picatinny rail. It is high quality and durable sight at an affordable price, and it comes with four reticles and five different brightness settings.
- It’s easy to load the battery
- Made with durable aluminum
- Five levels of brightness
- Compact and lightweight
- Waterproof and shockproof
- It isn’t as easy to achieve zero as other models
- The reticle can be blurry
CVLIFE 1X22X33 Red Green Dot Gun Sight
The CVLIFE 1X22X33 red/green dot sight has both a red and a green dot, and it is very easy to use. When you use it, the red dot will cover exactly what you will shoot. It has a solid build quality made with high-quality aluminum alloy. It has four different types of reticles, including a Cross, Circle Dot, 10 MOA, and 3 MOA. It has an anodized black matte finish, and the design is tubeless with a 33 mm reflex lens aperture. This gives you a wide field of view that allows you to shoot moving targets easily.
The sight is durable and lightweight, and anyone can use it. It is also waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof. It can be used on different firearms with a Picatinny, Weaver, or a RIS mount. It also holds zero very well, so you can use it with AR-15 firearms and shotguns.
Both the red and the green dots are very clear, so you can quickly zero in on your target. It also has a sturdy laser on/off switch, which is easy to use. It has a quick wheel adjustment, so you can change from the red to the green dot and back again while you are aiming. You also get excellent eye relief and corrected parallax, and you can choose to have the dot in the crosshair or in the middle of a circle.
It has a 3 MOA option that is popular for tactical sights, but you can use the 10 MOA adjustment when you want to zoom in on a target. It has a field of view of 18 feet at 100 yards, so you can easily make out targets and aim with precision. It also has adjustable elevation and windage, and the adjustments are on the top for easy access. It is easy to install and use.
This red dot sight will work with a firearm with a Picatinny, Weaver, or a RIS mount. It is also great with AR-15s and shotguns because it can handle recoil. It is easy to use, and it is durable and lightweight.
- Four different reticle designs to choose from
- Both red and green dots
- Two color styles to choose from
- Anti-glare reflective coating for better clarity
- Compatible with Picatinny, Weaver, and RIS rails
- It comes with a 30-day warranty, which is shorter than others
Read the detailed review of the CVLIFE 1X22X33 red/green dot sight!
Pinty Red Green Reflex Sight
The Pinty red dot sight offers both red and green illuminated dot reticles. It has brightness control, and it is parallax-free. It is also fogproof and waterproof. The objective lens is 33 mm, and it weighs just 5.4 ounces. It performs well and won’t lose zero after many rounds are fired. It is easy to switch between the green and red illuminated dots by simply pushing a button. It has adjustable windage and elevation and a removable riser mount.
The sight is made from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, and it is durable as well as lightweight. It has a battery compartment that you can access from the side, so you won’t have to remove the mount to change the battery. It is compatible with most guns on the market because it has a 20 mm rail. It is great for use at the range.
The Pinty sight is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, and it performs well in all weather conditions. It is easy to use and easy to clean, and it is very durable. It offers a wide field of view and unlimited eye relief. It also has corrected parallax. The reticle selector has four patterns and four variable dots. The tube diameter is 33 mm.
This sight can work on any firearm that uses a Picatinny rail. It is an AR height optic, and it is easy to use. It is an affordable optic with both red and green dots, and it has six brightness settings that make it ideal in any light.
- Adjustable brightness with six settings
- Both red and green dots
- Easy to use
- Fits universal rails
- Unlimited eye relief and wide field of view
- Instead of switches to adjust between red and green, you turn the knob
- Turn the brightness knob to turn it off – no on/off switch
When you are looking for a red dot sight for your firearm, you don’t have to spend a fortune. There are quite a few quality, affordable sights out there, and they offer accuracy and fast target acquisition.
You can’t really go wrong if you get the SIG Sauer Romeo5. It’s not the cheapest optic you can get but in our opinion it’s the overall best one for most uses and rifles.
You can learn about the different models to choose the one with the features that are best for your firearm. All of these models are good quality red dot sights for people on a budget.
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