5 Best Red Dots under $400 – Budget Friendly Picks

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Do you have $400 and are wondering whether you can get a high-quality red dot sight with an outstanding optical performance for your shooting escapades? Well, let us take a look at 5 of the best red dots under $400 that would be a great addition to your shooting gear.

I would always assume that the best quality optics would need me to spend a great fortune. However, after getting on the most adventurous shopping spree, I discovered that the electro-optical market is filled with mid-range optics under 400 dollars which are as high performing and as durable as high-end optics. With this in mind, I have developed this guide of 5 of the best budget friendly picks among red dots in the optical market to narrow down your options and I have included a section that informs you on the factors that you would need to consider when purchasing the best quality red dots for your shooting gear. The table below summarizes their top features, brings out their similarities and outlines their differences.

5 Best Red Dots under $400 – A Comparison Table

Model
Red Dot Size
Illumination Control Settings
Battery Life
Call to Action
EOTech 512 Holographic Weapon Sight
1 MOA
20
2,500 hours
Holosun HS510C Red Dot Sight
2 MOA
12
50,000 hours
Vortex Optics Sparc II Red Dot Sight
2 MOA
12
50,000 hours
C-More Systems Railway Red Dot Sight
2 MOA
12
1,000 hours
Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus Red Dot
2 MOA
6
1,000 hours

5 Best Red Dots under $400- Reviews

EOTech 512 Holographic Weapon Sight- Best holographic sight under $400

EOTECH 512 Holographic Sight
  • EOTECH 512.A65 - Holographic Sight in Black with 68 MOA ring & 1 MOA dot reticle
  • Mount - Compatible with both 1" Weaver and MIL-STD 1913 Rails
  • Adjustable Brightness - The 512 has 20 brightness settings for use in any lighting scenario
  • Water Resistant - The 512 is water resistant to 10 feet (3m)

The EOTech 512 holographic weapon sight is a compact, rugged and versatile red dot sight that has been designed to meet all your shooting needs. It come in a black matte color for the recreational/tactical shooter and for personal defense purposes. The black matte non-reflective finish comes in handy when you are trying to sneak up on your target. Its control buttons are located on the rear for easy access. It has 20 brightness settings that allow you to comfortably shoot from dawn-to-dusk.

Specs

  • 68 MOA Ring
  • 1 MOA Dot Reticle
  • 20 illumination settings
  • Water resistant to 3m
  • Compatible with MIL-STD 1913 and 1’’ Weaver rails

The EOTech 512 holographic sight is mountable to any standard MIL-STD-1913 or a 1’’ Weaver rail. It runs on two 1.5 V AA batteries and it supports alkaline, lithium and rechargeable batteries. Its battery life when powered by Lithium batteries is at 2,500 hours when operating on nominal setting 12 at room temperature and at 2,200 continuous hours when powered by Alkaline batteries.

Pros

  • Rapid target acquisition
  • Reliable toughness
  • Great optical performance
  • Runs on readily available batteries
  • Dependable battery performance

Cons

  • Has no Night Vision

Verdict

The EOTech 512 holographic sight delivers an exceptional optical performance and it features a durable build quality that is rugged enough to withstand rough use. So, if you are looking for a high-quality holographic sight under $400, you would be impressed by the dependable performance that the EOTech 512 has to offer.

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Holosun HS510C Red Dot Sight- open tube red dot design with the best battery life

Holosun HS510C 2 MOA Dot Or A 65 MOA Ring Open Reflex Circle Dot Solar Power Holographic Red Dot Sight
  • The Holosun HS510C New advanced technology LED allows up to 50,000 hours of operation on one CR2032...
  • 2 MOA dot and a 65 MOA ring, Dot only, Ring only, or Dot and Ring reticle combinations
  • Unlimited field of view, Titanium-alloyed, shock resistant hood
  • Powered by both battery and solar

The Holosun HS510C is a multiple reticle red dot sight with a sleek housing design that features an open frame for an incredibly wide visible spectrum and reduced obstruction of vision. It runs on a CR2032 battery and it delivers a battery life of up to 50,000 hours with advanced LED technology. In addition to that, it is powered by Advanced Super Solar technology alongside a battery backup that allows for its solar charging abilities and further contributes to its dependable battery performance.

Specs

  • Multiple reticles / 2 MOA red dot
  • Battery life of up to 50,000 hours
  • Advanced LED technology+ Advanced Super Solar technology
  • 12 illumination settings
  • Night vision compatible

It is equipped with a durable titanium alloy hood and its optical housing is O-ring sealed to ensure its waterproof performance. It provides an unlimited eye relief to ensure your eye comfort during hours of observation. Also, it is parallax free and it has superior light collecting abilities which come in handy when you are out hunting or shooting at dusk or dawn.

Pros

  • Exceptionally wide sight picture
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Waterproof
  • Decent light collecting abilities
  • Exceptional battery performance

Cons

  • Its auto-brightness feature is not as bright
  • Quite bulky

Verdict

You may want to go with the Holosun HS510C when you are looking for a red dot sight with an exceptional battery life. It has two power sources; solar cells and its normal battery.

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Vortex Optics Sparc II Red Dot Sight- best value red dot under $400

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 II features tough construction alongside a compact form-factor which makes it fit for use in all kinds of environments. It ensures pinpoint accuracy at extended ranges and rapid target acquisition at close-ranges.

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C-More Systems Railway Red Dot Sight- open tube sight with a decent optical performance

C-MORE Systems Railway Red Dot Sight with Standard Switch
  • Heads Up Display for Fastest Target Acquisition
  • Super Bright Red Dot with Adjustable Intensity and Interchangeable Dot Module
  • Infinite Adjustment for Windage and Elevation Featuring Positive Locking Screws
  • Aluminum Body, Standard Intensity Switch (Dial Rheostat)

The C-More Systems Railway Red Dot Sight is a high performing optic that has been built for speed and it ensures pinpoint accuracy during target acquisition. It features a unique Heads-Up-Display design that provides you with an exceptionally wide field of view as it eliminates any kind of obstruction and tunnel vision that is mostly associated with tube style sights. It features a Slide Ride that directly mounts to the slide of Glock handguns. This allows it to withstand the rigorous pounding motion of recoil and further ensures its durability and reliability.

Specs

  • 2 MOA red dot
  • 12 illumination settlings
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • 1x optical magnification

It features a 2 MOA red dot that ensures rapid target acquisition and it provides you with an unlimited eye relief that ensures your eye comfort during hours of observation. It has super bright red dot with an interchangeable dot and adjustable intensity module. It features positive locking screws that deliver infinite adjustment for windage and elevation. It has 12 illumination settings that include 2 Night vision settlings, 1 for low light and 8 for daylight adjustment.

Pros

  • Rapid target acquisition and easy target identification
  • Bright and clear sight picture
  • Reduces eye strain during hours of observation
  • Parallax free

Cons

  • Does not use AAA/AA battery system

Verdict

The C-More Systems Railway Red Dot Sight is extremely high quality and it features a non-tubular design that ensures that you are able to access an exceptionally wide sight picture. It does not obscure any peripheral vision and it is highly visible and easy to pick up.

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Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus Red Dot Sight- decent reflex sight under $400

The Sightmark SM26005 features a digital switch control alongside 6 variable brightness settings for daytime use and 6 other illumination settings for night vision mode. It features a magnesium alloy housing that offers exceptional durability. It runs on a CR2 that lasts for up to 1,000 hours. It has been fitted with a protective hood that protects it from impact and it has a shock proof frame for a maximum of 50 caliber recoil.

Specs

  • 65 MOA Circle Dot Crosshair
  • 6 illumination settings
  • 1x magnification
  • Field of View of 35 m at 100m
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • 1 MOA Click Adjustments

The Sightmark holographic sight is submersible up to 12 meters and it is equipped with a parallax-free lens system and a dual-plane glass that allows you to sight accurately from 10 yards to infinity. It has a durable build quality and it provides you with a very crisp sight picture. Its buttons are easy to turn on and off and they are easy to push. It remembers the last brightness that you previously used when sighting in which makes it convenient for use. There is no notable magnification nor distortion with the Sightmark sight. Unfortunately, it has a slight bluish/greenish hue but it is very faint and does not tamper with your sight picture.

Pros

  • Bright and crisp sight picture
  • Night Vision Compatible
  • Water Resistant and shockproof
  • Reliable battery life
  • Durable Construction/Build Quality

Cons

  • Slightly bulky
  • Is not fog proof

Verdict

The Sighmark Ultra Shot Plus Red Dot Sight is a worth investment if you are on a tight budget. It delivers a reliable optical performance, a dependable battery performance and a durable build quality.

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What factors should you consider when purchasing a red dot sight for your weapon?

Red dots are a great addition to your shooting 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 quality red dot for your hunting weapon;

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

Night Vision Compatibility

Hunting and shooting in low light conditions such as dusk and dawn would require you to purchase a red dot that has night vision compatibility so that you can see clearly in the dark.

Final Thoughts

No matter your budget, there is always a red dot sight that has been designed to meet your respective shooting needs. All you need to do is evaluate your shooting needs and then begin your research.

FAQs

  1. Can I use the EOTech 512 Holographic weapon sight when wearing bifocals?

Yes, you can.

  1. Is the Vortex Optics Sparc II red dot sight magnified?

No, it is not. It is a standard red dot sight with no magnification.

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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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