5 Best Red Dots under $100 – Absolute Value for the buck without having to compromise quality

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Are you trying to find the best quality red dot sights for your weapon but are on a very tight budget? Let us take a look at 5 of the best budget friendly red dots you can find in the electro-optical market.

I spend a lot of my free time hunting and with time I have been able to use a variety of hunting equipment that have contributed to an immersive observational experience alongside successful hunting. When shopping for my red dot sights, I would notice that the best quality red dot sights literally have the potential to completely dent your wallet. This left me wondering whether I would ever find red dot sights to meet my budget of $100 dollars. Eventually, I came across 5 of the best red dots under $100 that are an absolute value for the buck. In this article, I have provided you with a complete detailed guide to help you pick out the best one to meet your budget, your outdoor activity needs and your personal preferences. To begin, let us compare them in relation to their top features, their similarities and their differences.

5 Best Red Dots under $100- A Comparison Table

Model
Dot Size
Brightness settings
Optical Magnification
Call to Action
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25
3 MOA
11
1x
Dagger Defense DDHB Reflex Sight
4 different reticles
5
1x
AT3 Tactical RD-50 Red Dot Sight
2 MOA
11
1x
Primary Arms Classic Gen II Sight
2 MOA
11
1x
CYCVIS LPX20 Red Dot Sight
3-4 MOA
11
1x

5 Best Red Dots under $100 – Reviews

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 – Our Top Recommendation

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Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x25mm, Black
  • Matte black featuring a 3 MOA Dot reticle with 11 brightness settings; Mounts easily on most picatinny...
  • Waterproof construction: O ring sealed optics stay dry inside, even when totally immersed in water....
  • Shockproof construction: Built to withstand bumps, bangs, drops and the rough and tumble environment of...
  • Nitrogen purged fog proofing: Nitrogen inside the scope ensures interior optical surfaces won’t fog due...

The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight is a small and compact optical device that has been crafted with a durable and good quality metal housing. It rugged construction allows you to use it comfortably in all kinds of environments and for all your shooting applications. It is easy to mount and it works seamlessly with most picatinny rails.

Specs

  • 3 MOA Dot Reticle
  • 1x magnification
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed
  • 11 brightness Adjustments
  • Compatible with handguns, shotguns and rifles

The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is compatible with shotguns, rifles, muzzleloaders and pistols. It allows you to easily adjust the brightness of your red dot through its easy-to-use and convenient adjustment dial. It is nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed to ensure its waterproof and fog proof construction. It runs of a CR2032 battery and it has a decent battery life that is reliable enough for all your shooting applications.

Pros

  • Waterproof and Fog proof
  • Rugged construction
  • Decent optical performance
  • Rapid target acquisition

Cons

  • It does not get bright enough to see when it is too sunny outside
  • Intense red glare that could distort sight picture

Verdict

If you are looking for the most ideal red dot sight for low light conditions and you are trying to avoid breaking the bank, you would be impressed by the optical performance and overall features that the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 has to offer.

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Dagger Defense DDHB Reflex Sight- recommended for AR-15 rifles

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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AT-3 Tactical RD-50 Reflex Sight – red dot sight with the most reliable battery life

AT3 Tactical RD-50 PRO Red Dot Sight with 1" Riser - for Lower 1/3 Cowitness with Iron Sights - 2 MOA Compact Red Dot Scope
  • ACCURATE - Crisp 2 MOA red dot sight allows for accurate, both-eyes-open shooting. 11 red dot brightness...
  • DEPENDABLE - Fully waterproof with sealed housing. Lifetime Warranty. Shockproof circuitry resists damage...
  • INCREDIBLE VALUE - Exceptional battery life – up to 50,000 hours at the lowest brightness setting....
  • LIGHTWEIGHT MOUNT AND ARMOR - Includes Hi 1” Cantilever Riser Mount for “lower 1/3” cowitness with...

The AT-3 Tactical RD-50 reflex sight features a crisp and accurate 2 MOA red dot that allows you to keep both eyes wide open while shooting. It features 11 red dot illumination settings that provide you with optimal visibility in almost all kinds of lighting conditions throughout the day, including dusk and dawn. It is equipped with a scratch resistant, multi-coated amber lens that delivers enhanced image clarity across the entire visible spectrum.

Specs

  • 11 brightness settings
  • 2 MOA red dot
  • O-ring sealed housing
  • Battery life of up to 50,000 hours
  • Cantilever or Picatinny mount type

Its optical housing is sealed with O-rings to ensure its waterproof performance and it features a shockproof circuitry that resists damage from rough use. It has a matte black anodized finish that is scratch resistant and ensures a stealthy profile. It possesses an incredible battery life of up to 50,000 hours when used at the lowest brightness setting and it runs on a readily available CR2032 Lithium battery that is included in its package. It comes with a 1 inch cantilever riser mount and a rubber armored cover with built-in lens caps.

Pros

  • Parallax free
  • Bright and crisp sight picture
  • Rugged design
  • Dependable battery performance
  • Waterproof, fog proof and shock proof

Cons

  • Does not have night vision

Verdict

The AT-3 Tactical RD-50 reflex sight possesses the most dependable battery life and it provides you with an immersive observational experience alongside rapid and accurate target acquisition.

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Primary Arms Classic Gen II Red Dot Sight – recommended for MP5

Primary Arms Classic Series Compact Red Dot Sight Gen II with Removable Mount
  • 2 MOA RED DOT: The canted front lens design reflects the crisp 2 MOA dot projected by the emitter into...
  • ILLUMINATION: Powered by a common CR2032 battery, this red dot features 11 illumination settings with...
  • RUGGED AND DURABLE: Constructed of 6061 aluminum housing with a durable black hardcoat anodized finish...
  • INCLUDED: A removable Picatinny rail mount and CR2032 battery are included for easy set-up right out of...

The Primary Arms Gen 2 red dot sight features a crisp 2 MOA red dot alongside a canted front lens design that reflects the red dot projected by the emitter into your eye to ensure that you acquire quick shots at short ranges and extremely effective shots at medium ranges. It runs on a readily available CR2032 Lithium battery and it provides you with a decent battery life of 1,000 hours when using it on its medium setting.

Specs

  • Night vision compatible
  • 11 illumination settings
  • 2 MOA red dot
  • 1,000 hour battery life when used at medium setting
  • 1/2 MOA click adjustments

It features 11 illumination settings that allow you to adjust its brightness settings to match your surrounding lighting conditions. It is crafted from a rugged 6061 aluminum material and it features a durable anodized finish. Its optical housing is nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed to ensure its fog proof and waterproof performance at all times. It comes with a removable picatinny mount and a bikini lens cover that ensures glass protection.

Pros

  • Clear, bright and crisp sight picture
  • Waterproof, fog proof and shock proof
  • Rapid and accurate target acquisition and identification
  • Rugged and durable design structure

Cons

  • Its control knob is not bi-directional

Verdict

If you are looking for a red dot optic that is extremely affordable and entirely reliable, you would be impressed by the overall optical performance and the sturdy construction structure that the Primary Arms Gen II sight has to offer.

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CYCVIS LPX20 Sight- great mini red dot sight for close-range and general shooting

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Red Dot Sight - Cycvis Riflescope Micro Rifle Gun Sights, 1x25mm 3-4 MOA,11 Brightness, Elevation & Windage Adjustable, Ultralight, Multi-Coated Lenses 100% Fogproof Waterproof Shockproof Optics Scope
  • ⌖【High Image Clarity】 - Mini red dot sights with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all...
  • ⌖【Precise Target】 - CYCVIS red dot scope with 3-4 MOA red dot reticle allows for the accurate...
  • ⌖【Durable & High-Quality Constrction】 - 100% waterproof, fog-proof and shockproof construction....
  • ⌖【Unrestricted Eye Relief】 - For most optic sights, it matters how far away the shooter’s eye is...

The CYCVIS mini red dot sight is fitted with a variety of anti-reflective lens and prism coatings that have been designed to increase light transmission across the entire visible spectrum. This results in a bright and crisp sight picture. It features 11 brightness settings that allow you to control the illumination levels of is reticle to match the lighting conditions in your surroundings. It is compatible with pistols, rifles and shotguns. It is lightweight and compact to ensure convenient transportation and easy transportation.

Specs

  • 3-4 MOA red dot
  • 11 illumination settings
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • O-ring sealed optical housing
  • Runs on CR2032 Lithium battery

It is fully waterproof with an O-ring sealed optical housing and it possesses a shockproof aluminum external structure that displays extreme durability. It has a matte anodized finish that ensures a stealthy profile as it resists damage from scratches. It offers an unlimited eye relief that reduces eye strain and ensures your eye comfort during hours of observation even when you have eye glasses on. Its parallax free design ensures fast target identification and accurate target acquisition.

Pros

  • Waterproof, shockproof and fog proof
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Durable and sturdy build structure
  • Crisp and bright sight picture
  • Dependable battery performance
  • Parallax free design
  • Easy to zero

Cons

  • Doesn’t have night vision

Verdict

The CYCVIS LPX20 red dot sight is very easy to install and its usage is very simple and intuitive. Its lenses are crisp, bright and clear and the red dot is quite easy to pick up at its lowest illumination settings in broad daylight.

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What should you consider when purchasing a red dot sight for your shooting applications?

After establishing your budget for the best red dot sight, you would need to consider the following factors before settling for the one that would be ideal for your shooting gear;

Design and Structure of your Red Dot Sight and its reticle

Red dots come in an open or closed tube design.But, this entirely depends on what you are using the red dot sight for. Open red dot sights are comprised of a flat base with a simple loop of material that supports their reflective optics. Advantageously, they are lightweight and they have a smaller footprint.

The tube red dot sights are almost similar to what riflescopes look like. They feature dust covers and they provide you with the ability to add filters such glare reducing sunshades and haze filters. Also, if you are looking for a more versatile and rugged option, you would be impressed by the overall performance of the tube sights when you are moving across unruly weather or dynamic temperatures.

The reticle is the aiming point that has been projected to the objective lens that you would be viewing from before target acquisition. Most reticles are illuminated to help you shoot your targets easily and effectively. The reticles in red dots differ in terms of their size and pattern. Some are simplistic while others are quite complex. The one that you choose often depends on your specific optical needs.

Battery life and Charging Abilities

Considering the fact that red dot sights are electronic devices, their battery life and power are things that you would need to keep in mind when trying to find the best one for your pistol. Reflex sights use LED illumination to enhance your optical experience during target acquisition. This means that they use a very little amount of power and they have a prolonged battery life.

Holographic red dot sights on the other hand, use lasers. This means that they run out of battery really fast and they require a lot of energy to charge. At times, you could find either reflex or holographic sites that use alternative source of power such as fiber optics or tritium capsules. This are a better investment because they lack electronic parts. The only defect is that, they are not as illuminated as the LED and Laser powered sights.

Reticle Projection

Red dot sights are classified based on the way that they project their reticle. Here, you would need to look at whether you prefer the reflex or the holographic sights.

If you are a hunter and are trying to find the best red dot sight for your weapon, you would be better of purchasing the reflex red dot sight. The Reflex sights feature an LED light behind their lens which illuminates the objective lens. This way more light can be reflected to your eye and you can see your target clearly.

For military purposes, a holographic sight is more ideal because military men would need to embark on strategic shooting. For this type pf reticle projection, a laser diode has been designed to shine in front of its objective lens.

Final Thoughts

With only $100, you are able to find the best quality red dots for your hunting gear. All you would need to do is ensure that the one that you end up picking after extensive research, is able to meet all your shooting requirements and satisfy your personal preferences.

FAQs

Can I use the CYCVIS red dot sight nightly?

Yes, you can. However, you should note that it does not have night vision therefore it may deliver middling optical clarity.

Can I mount my AT-3 tactical RD-50 red dot to a 458 Socom AR-15 rifle?

Yes, you can.

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