Red Dot Vs Scope- Which Optical Sight Performs Better


Red dots and scopes are both optical sights but with one major difference, so to better understand them is that a red dot sight is an optic without magnification while a scope is an optic but with magnification.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to invest in a versatile sight, application-wise in that you can use it during the day and at night, for recreation, hunting, and professionally if you wish. Well, not all the optical sights can afford this kind of combination without compromising on some of its functionality features, but there are sights that will offer you the above and more.

The Vortex Optics Crossfire is a high performing red dot sight and comes equipped with innovative features that make it convenient for use in various applications. The Aimpoint 2 Minute of Angle CompML3 Sight is among the versatile sights and has been largely adopted by the law enforcement agencies and is also used in military applications.

The unit works well when used with the night vision devices or during the daylight, to understand more of the two sights read below.

What are the differences between the Red dot and the Scope?

Red dot (Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight Gen II)
Scope (Aimpoint 2 Minute of Angle CompML3 Sight)
Dot Size
2 and 4 MOA
Reliable waterproof performance
135feet (45meters)
Brightness settings
11 illumination settings
1 off and 9 day light settings
Objective lens diameter
4.7 x 5.65 x 2.7 inches
9 x 4.5 x 3 inches
Night vision compatible
Parallax free and night vision compatible
Not compatible

Red dot vs Scope – How do they compare?

Dot size

Dot size only becomes relevant with regards to the application and the distance ranges that you wish to engage. In essence, therefore, is that the big dots are normally used by individuals with astigmatism; the 4 MOA dot works best when used in close ranges, and the 2 MOA dot, on the other hand, offered by the Red Dot is perfect for longer ranges.

The Aimpoint 2 minute of angle scope comes equipped with two dot sizes the 2 and 4 MOA, the feature then makes this unit the best as the sight becomes more versatile and can therefore be used in both the long and short ranges.

Night vision compatibility

Night vision compatible sights, provide optical clarity even when used under low lighting conditions, at night shooters will, therefore, be provided with the clearest and the brightest image possible. Optical sights such as the Red dot that are night-vision compatible feature an innovative technology that enables them to provide high-resolution clarity when used in complete darkness.

The Vortex optics crossfire red dot sight is therefore night vision compatible and parallax-free thus the better sight to use in daylight or at night when compared to the Aimpoint 2 minute of angle that can only be used during the day.  

Objective lens diameter

The objective lens is located at the front of the scope and its job is to help with vision enhancement. A large objective lens will, therefore, admit enough light leading to the provision of brighter images, the above is also opposite for sights that have a smaller objective lens diameter, a good example being the Aimpoint 2 minute of angle scope that comes incorporated with 30mm objective lens as opposed to the 2.5cm objective lens equipped on the Vortex optics crossfire optical sight.

If you are therefore, looking for an optical sight that will provide you with brighter and clear images then the Vortex optics is the unit to settle with but that is if you don’t mind the extra weight that comes with a larger diameter objective lens.


Shooters don’t really appreciate a heavy weapon because it is limiting in so many levels, however, some enthusiasts do argue that a heavy weapon helps with recoil. So, besides sporting a 2.5cm objective lens, the vortex optics crossfire red dot is not as heavy and weighs about 5.2cm oz. The above then means that the unit is not only effective in offering precision during target acquisition but it is low in weight when compared to the Aimpoint 2 minute of angle optical sight.

The latter has a 30mm objective lens with a heavyweight of 7.8oz, which can be attributed to the front and back rubber covers that add about 1.7oz to the overall weight not to forget the batteries. In terms of weight and functionality, the Vortex optics Red dot crossfire is, therefore, the better unit.

Red dot vs Scope – A comparison overview

Red dot

Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight Gen II - 2 MOA Dot
  • The updated Crossfire red dot is a no-nonsense sight for near any application, and when your rifle,...
  • With up to a 50, 000 hour battery life and night-vision compatibility at the lowest two settings, the...
  • The 2 MOA dot is quick to acquire in close-quarters, while remaining fine enough to promote pin-point...
  • Increased light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces....

The Vortex Optics crossfire is effective for use in different applications, if you are, therefore; looking to obtain a simple point of aim, then this is the sight to settle with. The two lowest settings are to help with night vision, and users will also be able to enjoy a longer battery life that lasts up to 50,000 hrs. And when engaging targets at close quarters, we must say that the red dot is fairly easy to acquire and will remain intense thus encouraging pinpoint accuracy even when used at extended range.

And with regards to the situation at hand, target acquisition has been ensured with the provided 11 illumination settings, as users can easily adjust the dot intensity for precision. Despite not being submergible the Red dot optical sight is waterproof thanks to the incorporated O-rings that also prevent dirt and debris.


  • Has a longer battery life
  • The 2MOA dot is easy to acquire when used in close quarters
  • The low glare matte surface finish is resistant to reflection and helps with camouflage


  • The brightness knob is a bit hard to turn

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Aimpoint 2 minute of Angle Scope

Aimpoint 2 Minute of Angle CompML3 Sight
  • Designed for day use, including dusk and dawn
  • Available in 2 dot sizes (2 and 4 MOA)
  • Submersible to 135 feet (45 meters)
  • Comes with replaceable outer black rubber cover

Aimpoint as usual never disappoints and users will therefore be provided with a replaceable outer rubber cover, meant to enable the unit to take the beating of a dynamic environment without compromising on its functionality features.  Users will be provided with two dot sizes the 2 and 4 MOA, which then makes the sight adaptable for use in different applications and ranges.


  • The sight is water-resistant and submersible up to about 150ft
  • Offers unlimited field of view
  • The construction is durable

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If you are looking for a sight that is versatile and can be used during the daytime and at night then the red dot vortex optics will suffice.

Final Verdict: so which is better, the Red dot vortex sight or the Aimpoint Scope?

The Vortex optics crossfire is the better optical sight because it has incorporated all the relevant functional features such as the large objective lens; it is waterproof, night vision compatible all in an optical sight weighing 5.2oz.


  1. Does the Vortex Optics Crossfire come with a riser?

Yes the Vortex Optics Crossfire does come with a riser

  1. Does the Aimpoint 2 minute of angle come with a mount and flip covers

The Aimpoint 2 minute of angle does not come with mounts, but it sure does come with the flip covers and a rubberized body.


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