Rifle Red Dot Sight Bleg

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 1 week ago

Readers, weigh in for a friend please.

I was asked a question about red dot sights for MSRs, and I really don’t know that much about them.  I have an EOTech for an AR pistol, but as best as I’m aware, EOTech pretty much has a lock on the holographic side of things.  I don’t think anyone else makes a holographic sight.  I could be wrong.

As for standard red dots, there’s Trijicon, Burris, Holosun, and a whole host of others.

Which red dot sights do readers like, and why?  List them by price point if you can.


  1. On September 30, 2019 at 9:28 pm, Pat A Hines said:

    While I began with an Eotech, one that took alkaline batteries, then to an Eotech that takes a 3v CR123 battery in a transverse mount, their relatively low batter life drove me towards a red dot.

    First, I have an Aimpoint, no magnification of course just like the Eotechs, which has a 50,000 hour battery life, which means it can be left on, ready for use, all of the time. In reality, you’d turn the sight on when you’re going to use the weapon, either for range work, or defensive work.

    Because I wanted to control weight as much as possible, for an AR pistol, I bought a Trijicon red dot which at the time, was a light as I could find. It has the same or almost the same battery life as the Aimpoint. The model, the MRO, is available with either a red or green dot, when I bought mine only the red dot was available. Studies have shown the green dot to be superior. It has intensity settings for use with NVDs.

  2. On September 30, 2019 at 9:34 pm, ambiguousfrog said:

    Meprolight m21 is a nice optic. No batteries.

  3. On September 30, 2019 at 9:55 pm, John said:

    I just bought a Swamp Fox, Kingslayer 1×22 from Optics Planet for under $200.
    I have not gotten to the range yet but it looks good. It’s a micro-reflex that comes in 3
    moa green or red dot with a 65 moa circle much like an Eotech 512. 1632 battery,
    max 1,500 hours with 4 hour auto shutoff. Waterproof 1m, 800g tested.
    Can’t wait to try it out.

  4. On September 30, 2019 at 11:22 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Larry Vickers, ex-Delta Force operator and well-known firearms historian and trainer, favors Aimpoint for his red-dot. In one of his online videos, Larry talks about his preferences as far as setting up a carbine are concerned, but darned if I can find the one in question – but I do remember him saying that he’d used Aimpoints in combat and that they’d always done well for him when the chips were down.

    “If it is good-enough for Larry Vickers….” etc. etc. etc.

    An Aimpoint PRO can be had for under $500 and they appear to be a good piece of kit. Their mounting system is ingenious and appears true zero-hold as well. The optic itself is always on and can run for months on only a single battery. Can’t recall, but perhaps there is some sort of sensor built-in to dim it when not in use. For the high-speed/low-drag guys, not having to turn it on was apparently nice. Too much else to think about, I guess.

    About the only downside to the design is that it is somewhat larger and bulkier than new micro red-dots, and you are looking through a tube, as opposed to the more open style of something like a micro or an Eotech.

  5. On October 1, 2019 at 5:53 am, ragman said:

    I use the Holosun 500 series Elite with the green dot/circle. Has many excellent features and they run around $300 depending on the model.

  6. On October 1, 2019 at 9:52 am, Duke_Digger said:

    Bought a Vortex Strikefire from Cabellas right after they hit the market($169). Had unrealistic expectations for it initially, I can’t shoot sub MOA without magnification any longer(2 eye surgeries). At some point the power switch was damaged, and the unit wouldn’t power on. I moved on, tucked it away and forgot about it. Found it again last year, and checked with Vortex for repair cost. To my surprise they said “free”. I said, no I damaged it, they still said “free”. New respect for Vortex.

  7. On October 1, 2019 at 9:52 am, George said:

    IMHO Aimpoint T-2 or M-4 or if Aimpoint is not an option the Trijicon MRO. The aimpoints are as close to indestructible as an optic can be. The M-4 can use common AA batteries. The T-2 uses the CR2032s which are very common. Both optics have battery life measured in years with constant on. The T-2’s weight and footprint is minimal. The M-4 weighs more and is a bigger optic.

    I have a friend with the Trijicon MRO. Seems like a good optic. Battery life is good. His version does not come with the lens covers if that is important to you. The version with lens covers is significantly more expensive and into the T-2 and M-4 range. Militaries around the world use them and they are well proven. M-4 is going to run probably around $850.00 to $900.00 as is the T-2. You can find the cheaper sometimes.

    So here is the thing. The standard version of the Trijicon MRO is about $450.00. Trijicon has an outstanding reputation and the MRO is American made. I have not used one to any extent but you can get two of them for the price of one Aimpoint T-2 or M-4, as long as lens covers are not important to you.

  8. On October 1, 2019 at 10:39 am, George said:

    Correction to above. I just checked at an online store and the MRO with the lens covers is a lot cheaper than they were the last time I checked. The site I went to had them for $574.00.
    So a pretty attractive option for a quality optic.

  9. On October 1, 2019 at 2:40 pm, Bill said:

    CPT, for an application like an MSR, I’d go with Holosun. They have a model that has Primary Arms’ ACSS ranging/cqb reticle in it. Amazon link below. At $220 it’s a good value-for-money too.

  10. On October 1, 2019 at 4:25 pm, Michael Downing said:

    On one of our FN Tactical 45’s we have the Trijicon RMR RM02. On our Kel tec PLR16 we have a Sig Romeo5 becuase of size and weight. In our AR 15 Barnes Precision pistol we run the Holsun 503 with solar and shake awake which is a great feature. The Sig AR 15 pistol had a Vortex Venom On our various rifles we run a couple with MEPRO M21, some with Vortex OPMOD Strikefire II and others with EOTECH EXPS3 with the G## magnifier. Our next purchase will be the HOLSUN HS-512 open reflex. The EOTECH and MEPRO M21 are great sights but with Vortex and HOLSUN models that are available you c an get at least two for the same price as the other two brands and I have had no issues with HOLSUN or Vortex models we have run.

  11. On October 1, 2019 at 4:49 pm, Sanders said:

    I inherited a Vortex Sparc II from my little brother this year, after he died. I don’t know how long he had it, but when I took it from the box it was in it was on – the red dot was bright as can be. I know he hadn’t done any shooting since at least August of last year, after he was diagnosed with cancer, and he died in April of this year.

    I had to get online and find out how to turn the thing off.

    Haven’t shot with it, yet. Just attesting to the battery life.

  12. On October 1, 2019 at 4:57 pm, Matt said:

    Aimpoint Pro is a very good choice. At least for me. Holds zero, long battery life, rugged. $441.00 seems to be the most common price for them that I have spotted lately.

    If you are on a budget, it’s very hard to beat the stuff available at Primary Arms. Plus the customer service at Primary Arms is superb if you have an issue. I’ve met the owner of PA, and he seems to me to be an absolutely stand up guy.

  13. On October 1, 2019 at 5:08 pm, Ratus said:

    Yeah, the Holosun circle dot sights are good to go.

    The nice thing about it is that the bottom of the circle is your close in offset.

  14. On October 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm, John Taylor said:

    Sig Romeo 5 for economy — can be had for ~$100 on sale. Vortex Strikefire II for a step up (~$200). I have had good results from each. I also would recommend Primary Arms as an excellent company with good value products.

  15. On October 1, 2019 at 8:43 pm, Peteypete said:

    Aimpoint T-1 or T-2, although not indestructible many claim they are the best available products on the market. Aimpoint Pro may be better value depending on your purpose, space, and weight requirements. Also check meetoo tube for Garand Thumb video with Travis Haley where Travis mentions that Holosun makes a lot of the internals for other RDO brands. Holosun solar cell as battery charge/power source and shake awake may or may not be your idea of reliability/features. Not suggesting any of this is authoritative but for information only. Vortex had many problems with quality, reliability and ruggedness including holding zero at one time, not sure that has changed. I believe the current and next steps in technology are straight power magnified RDO such as 2x or 4x such and this may or has gone to low power variables (1-4x, etc) in the red dot models, Aimpoint seems satisfied with 4x magnifier attachments rather than to add this technology to the red dot itself and as I understand this may be for 1)reliability of red dot electronics and 2) product line extension or 3) .mil requirement, if time is on your side wait for 2020 SHOT show new products and price reductions on current models, also Kenzie may be a good vendor

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You are currently reading "Rifle Red Dot Sight Bleg", entry #21986 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published September 30th, 2019 by Herschel Smith.

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