6 Best AR Red Dots- A Complete Detailed Guide

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Finding the best red dot for your AR-15 rifle may be a challenge because the electro-optical market is flooded with a variety from different manufacturers and they come in various designs and structures. Let us narrow down your options to 6 of the best AR red dots that could be a great addition to your shooting gear.

Whether for self-defense, home protection, sports shooting or hunting, purchasing the most ideal red dot for your AR-15 rifle would need you to look into your shooting application requirements and your personal preferences. At first, when I was picking out a red dot for my AR, I ended up on the most intense shopping spree and left the stores with about 7 red dots which was a lot more than I had actually anticipated. Over time, I have managed to use all of them and differentiate them in terms of their build quality and their optical performance. Here, I have provided you with a complete detailed guide on 6 of the best AR red dots that I have come across over the years. The table below summarizes their top features and identifies their differences and similarities.

6 Best AR Red Dots- Comparison Table

Model
Dot Color
Optical Magnification
Dot Size
Length
Weight
Call to Action
Vortex Sparc Gen II
Red
1x
2 MOA
2.9 inches
7.5 oz.
Aimpoint 200018 Micro H-1
Red
1x
2 MOA
2.4 inches
4.1 oz.
Sightmark Ultra-Shot Multi Red and Green Sight
Red and Green
1x
3 MOA/5 MOA
3.7 inches
9.2 oz.
EOTech XPS2-300 Blackout HWS
Red
1x
2 MOA
3.8 inches
9.0 oz.
Burris Fastfire III
Red
1x
3 MOA
1.8 inches
0.9 oz.
Dagger Defense DDHB Reflex Sight
Red
1x
4 different reticles
2.8 inches
6.4 oz.

6 Best AR Red Dots- Reviews

Vortex Sparc Gen II – Our Top Recommendation

Vortex Optics SPARC Red Dot Sight Gen II - 2 MOA Dot
  • The updated SPARC features rugged construction that’s still compact, with a lightweight form-factor....
  • With up to 700 hours of battery life on the highest setting, 50, 000 hour on its lowest, and night-vision...
  • Increased light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces....
  • Highly durable hard-coat anodization provides a low-glare matte surface and helps camouflage position. A...

The Vortex Sparc Gen II red dot is compact, lightweight and it features a rugged construction that is ideal for almost all your shooting applications. It features a 2 MOA dot and it is very quick when it comes to target acquisition at close-quarters and it is great performing in terms of pin-point accuracy at extended ranges. It has a decent battery life that runs for up to 700 hours on the highest setting and about 50,000 hours on the lowest setting. In addition to that, it is night vision compatible which makes it ideal for use in low-light conditions.

Specs

  • 12 illumination settings
  • 2 MOA dot
  • Battery life: 700 hours (highest setting) and 50,000 hours (lowest setting)
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Night vision compatibility

Aside from that, the Vortex Sparc also features multiple anti-reflective coatings on all its air-to-glass surfaces that ensure increased light transmission across the entire visible spectrum. It provides you with an unlimited eye relief that ensures rapid target acquisition and it has 12 illumination settings that allow you to change the dot brightness intensity to match the situation at hand. Its optical housing features O-ring seals that prevent debris, moisture and dirt from penetrating the glass to ensure reliable waterproof performance when you are moving across different surroundings.

Pros

  • Waterproof and shockproof
  • Reliable battery performance
  • Rapid target acquisition and identification
  • Bright and crisp sight picture

Cons

  • Has an auto-timer of 12 hours so you may need to continually turn it on

Verdict

The Vortex Sparc Gen II AR red dot provides you with a decent optical performance and a reliable battery performance for all your shooting performance. It features a durable build quality that is rugged enough to withstand almost all environmental conditions.

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Aimpoint 200018 Micro H-1 – Small but Mighty

Aimpoint 200018 Micro, H-1 2 MOA W/Standard Mount
  • Lightweight – 84 g without mount and 105 g with mount, Integral Weaver-style base allows easy...
  • ACET technology allows 50,000 hours of operation on one battery
  • Fully waterproof
  • Precision adjustment for windage and elevation: top of protective caps fits into holes on adjustment...

The Aimpoint Micro H-1 red dot is compact and lightweight enough to meet all your hunting, sports shooting and home protection shooting applications. It features a durable build that is versatile enough for use in all your shooting applications and is rugged enough to withstand all kinds of environmental conditions. It is developed using ACET technology that allows a maximum of 50,000 hours of operation o one battery.

Specs

  • 2 MOA dot
  • Battery life of up to 50,000 hours
  • Runs on 3V lithium battery, type CR2032
  • 12 illumination settings
  • Unlimited eye relief

It comes with a built-in weaver style base that allows you to easily attach it to any weaver mount when you are ready to shoot. It features a 2 MOA dot and 12 illumination settings that you can use in both day light and low light conditions. Additionally, its patent pending mount has been keyed to its sight body to absorb recoil.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Sustainable battery life
  • Decent sight picture
  • Fast target acquisition and consistent shooting
  • Reliable construction quality

Cons

  • The printing inside the caps that tell you what direction to rotate your red dot sight is too small to read without having eye glasses on

Verdict

The Aimpoint 200018 Micro H-1 red dot sight is among the lightest AR red dots you may have come across. It delivers a decent optical performance and is reliable for all your short, mid and long range shooting applications.

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Sightmark Ultra-Shot Multi Red and Green Sight- Great Sight with reliable lever design

Sale
Sightmark Ultra Shot Multi Red & Green Plus Reflex Sight, Dark Earth
  • Up to 1,000 hours of battery life
  • Adjustable quick-detach weaver mount
  • Cast aluminum alloy housing with protective shield
  • Red and green reticle illumination and multiple reticles

The Sightmark Ultra Shot features a reliable lever design, it has been developed for the identification of fast-moving subjects and is ideal for close-range shooting applications. It is equipped with a red and green illuminated reticle alongside a digital switch button towards the side that you can use to control its brightness settings in any lighting conditions. It features a durable aluminum shield hood that is rugged enough for use in all kinds of environments. In addition to that, it has a battery life that lasts for up to 1,000 hours.

Specs

  • Red/ Green Reticle
  • 3 MOA and 5 MOA reticle
  • Up to 1000 hours of continuous battery use
  • 5 illumination settings
  • Built-in weaver/picatinny mount

It features an inaugural weaver/picatinny mount alongside a quick detach mount that allows you to easily attach or detach it to your rifle. Also, it has 5 illumination settings where levels one to three are idea for indoor settings while level four and five are ideal for bright outdoor settings. It runs on a single CR123A battery.

Pros

  • Bright reticle
  • Great eye relief
  • Great lever design
  • Multi colored reticle
  • Holds a zero extremely well

Cons

  • The selector used to change the reticles is identified to have some right and left play that moves from recoil when you are firing
  • Not the best battery life

Verdict

The Sightmark Ultra-Shot Multi red and green AR red dot is a great sight with a reliable optical performance and an incredible lever design. In as much as it does not have the best battery life, it remains versatile enough for almost all of your shooting applications.

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EOTech XPS2-300 Blackout HWS – great for cutting costs without sacrificing quality

EOTECH XPS2-300 Blackout Holographic Weapon Sight
  • EOTECH XPS2-300 - Holographic Weapon Sight in black with 68MOA ring & (2) 1 MOA dot reticle
  • 300 Blackout - Custom 300 BLK laser etching on hood
  • Ballistic Drop Reticle - Allows users to zero subsonic or supersonic .300 Blackout rounds in the same...
  • Compact Design - Leaves more rail space for rear iron sights or magnifier

The EOTECH XPS2-300 AR red dot features a 68 MOA ring and two 1 MOA dot reticles to ensure rapid target acquisition and pinpoint accuracy in all your shooting applications. It has a custom 300 BLK laser etching on its hood and its ballistic drop reticle allows you to zero supersonic or subsonic 300 blackout rounds within the same reticle pattern.

Specs

  • 2- Dot reticle pattern
  • 68 MOA ring
  • Water resistant to a depth of 10 feet
  • Battery life of up to 1,000 continuous hours

In addition to that, it features a compact design that leaves enough rail space for a magnifier or rear iron sights, depending on which you would want to add. It has a battery life of up to 1,000 continuous hours when you use it at nominal setting 12 at room temperature.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Good field of view
  • Holds zero well
  • Durable build quality

Cons

  • Not night vision compatible
  • Red dot gets fuzzy at times

Verdict

If you are looking to reduce costs as you purchase a good quality AR red dot, you would be impressed by the build quality of the EOTech XPS2-300 Blackout HWS.

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Burris Fastfire III – the lightest AR red dot

The Burris Fastfire 3 features a lightweight construction and a durable design that is ideal for all your shooting applications. Its red dot has been fitted at the point of impact within your field of view to ensure a subtle performance when it comes to speed and accuracy during target acquisition.

Specs

  • 1x magnification
  • 3 MOA dot reticle
  • 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustments
  • Waterproof
  • Picatinny mount included

It features an automatic brightness sensor that controls its brightness levels to match the environmental conditions and it also allows you to manually adjust its brightness settings using 3 settings. Advantageously, it is waterproof and shockproof enough to withstand use in most kind of environments, no matter how harsh.

Pros

  • Bright enough for shooting applications
  • No –parallax
  • Fast and easy target acquisition
  • Sturdy and rugged construction

Cons

  • Has only 3 brightness settings
  • Some users have complained of battery defects

Verdict

The Burris Fastfire is a versatile red dot for your shooting applications and it ensures rapid target acquisition alongside pinpoint accuracy and consistency while shooting.

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Dagger Defense DDHB Reflex Sight- Great substitute for Holographic weapon sights

DD DAGGER DEFENSE A Veteran Owned Company, The DDHB Red Dot Reflex Sight, Scope Optic and Substitute for Holographic red dot Sights
  • Both red and green dot, four position reticles
  • Equipped with a locking set screw to stabilize your sighting adjustments (use only if needed and turn 1-2...
  • APERTURE:33mm LENGTH:82mm WEIGHT: 291g FIELD OF VIEW: 15.8m@100m
  • 1x Type Red Dot & Green Dot Sight scope, CR2032 Battery- 1x Instruction Manual- 2x Allen Wrench- 1x Lens...

The Dagger Defense DDHB reflex sight is equipped with a hex wrench to adjust your windage and elevation based on the movement of your target. The direction to which the adjustments are made simply shows the direction to which your target is moving. This significantly ensures pinpoint accuracy, consistent shooting and rapid target acquisition. It comes with a red and green dot and four different reticles to meet the overall requirements for your shooting applications.

Specs

  • Red/ Green dot
  • 4 different reticles
  • Field of view of 15.8 meters at 100 yards
  • Locking set screw towards the left side of the rail for stabilization purposes

It is fitted with a rotary knob that serves as a reticle color selector that allows you to choose between its green and red dot, a battery compartment for a CR2032 battery and as a fade adjustment that allows you to adjust the brightness levels of its reticle. Also, it features a set screw for zero locking.

Pros

  • Excellent optical quality with multiple settings
  • Bright and crisp sight picture
  • Decent field of view
  • Reduced parallax
  • Durable build quality

Cons

  • Some users noticed a sense of zero slipping but this can be sorted out by using the small locking set screw on the left side of the rail

Verdict

The Dagger Defense Reflex Sight is a great red dot for your AR-15 rifle. Also, it serves as a great substitute for Holographic weapon sights.

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What should you consider when purchasing the best AR Red Dot?

Red dots are a great addition to your shooting activity gear as they ensure rapid target acquisition and pinpoint accuracy when you are out hunting, during sports shooting and even when you are trying to protect yourself and your home from predators. The following factors are important to consider when you are trying to purchase the best red dot for your AR;

Size of the Red Dot

Generally, the size of the red dot should match the size of your weapon. Rifles would work well with larger red dots while smaller handguns would work better with smaller red dots. In addition to that, smaller red dots are more compact and lighter which significantly reduces equipment bulk in your outdoor activity gear.

Reticle Size

The reticle size generally depends on the types of shots that you will be taking and the distance from your shooting position to your target. A smaller reticle is ideal for taking more accurate shots at longer distances but it may be harder to see while larger reticles are suitable for close-range shots and for newer shooters as it is easier to use.

Battery performance

Generally, you are at a higher advantage when you settle for an AR red dot that features readily available batteries that one that runs on special order batteries. Also, you would rather settle for an AR red dot with a prolonged battery life as it allows for the longest possible operating times.

Parting Shot

When it comes to picking out the best AR red dot, you will be faced with a multitude of options in the electro-optical market. A little research should help you settle for one that meets your shooting requirements and your personal preferences.

FAQs

Will the Vortex Sparc Gen II red dot fit a Springfield Armory Saint Edge?

Yes, it will. The Vortex Sparc Gen II red dot firs in any picatinny rail.

What size is the objective lens of the Aimpoint 200018 Micro H-1 AR red dot?

The Aimpoint Micro H-1 features a 20 mm ocular and objective lens.

 

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Terrence Miller
Terrence Miller is a hunter by birth, picking it up from a lineage of hunters and will probably hand the skill down to his son. He has been hunting since he was a young boy and has knowledge of both the new and old hunting equipment. This goes to say that the information provided is very reliable and conclusive. Using the hunting rifles and getting the right hunting gear seems to be a challenge for many individuals who want to learn the skill of hunting. And the reason why the information presented by Miller has detailed coverage on the different types of rifles, and rifle scopes. When not in the wild hunting, Miller loves horseback riding.

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