When joining a shooting competition, hunting for wild game or just target practicing, using a device to enhance your aim is a necessity. However, since shooting competitions often use different types of firearms, shooters have limited aiming device options. That said, many shooters; especially beginners, use a red dot sight. To that end, shooters try to find the best red dot sight for AR-15 for the money.
Beginners prefer a red dot sight due to its simplicity and ease of use. It is important to note that red dots have different roles to play in the shooting business. Using the red dot sight on a large firearm like the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle serves as a first example. Coupled with a night vision sight and/or a magnifier, the firearm’s shooting range increases and provides better aim for close to mid-range shooting.
Handguns have provisions to fit smaller versions of red dot sights. On top of that, shotguns also use red dots for shooting accuracy improvements. AR-15s can also use the sight’s smaller versions as well. By checking out this buyer’s guide, you will learn the specifics of red dots sights then decide on the best red dot sight for AR-15 for the money.
Best Red Dot Sight for AR-15 for the Money Review
Vortex Optics SPARC Red Dot Sight
This red dot sight boasts of a 2 MOA (Minutes of Angle) red dot that is easy to notice and reaches your target regardless of the lighting condition. If you happened to increase the illumination of the red dot, closed it and opened it again, it will return to that setting that you chose. The field of view provided by the lenses is clean and crisp due to it being multicoated. The control settings of this sight are installed at its rear making it easily seen from a shooting position.
Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, the red dot sight can withstand any weather condition. This also makes the sight water, fog and shockproof. It takes a single AAA battery to power up this sight and it will last up to 300 hours of usage a full brightness mode. It also has an automatic shutdown option when it is left open for over 12 hours.
- Works at any lighting situation
- Fog, water and shockproof
- The cover sometimes doesn’t snap into place
AT3 Tactical RD-50 PRO Red Dot Sight
This particular red dot sight provides interesting points as to why one would buy it. First, the accuracy: Equipped with 2 MOA red dot, it provides the shooter the option to shoot accurately without the need to squint, meaning the shooter can open both eyes while shooting. One does not need to worry about shooting in any lighting condition because the red dot sight has 11 levels of brightness. The images seen in the sight is also clear and crisp due to the sight’s multi-coated lenses.
Second is its durability and dependability. Made from durable materials, it can resist damages caused by careless handling. It also boasts of lasting up to 50,000 hours of use; granted that it is set at the lowest brightness level and it only takes a single battery for the sight to last this long. This makes this sight as one of the best red dot sights for an AR-15 for the money.
- Very high battery life
- Has different brightness levels
- Water and shockproof
- The dot doesn’t appear round
Ozark Armament Rhino
Now, the term, “red dot” does not necessarily mean that the color of the dot in the sight would be colored red. Sometimes, some sights have the option of turning the dot’s color to green. Some shooters prefer this color but light sometimes hampers the color when shooting so it really depends on the situation as to what color is better to use than the other. This capability is featured in this sight.
The sight also has a co-witness capability. This means the red dot sight can work harmoniously with any standard iron sight. It will also remain at zero even after multiple shots. The good thing about this red dot sight for the AR-15 is that it sports 5 levels of brightness for both colors; making it possible for the shooter to use the sight at any time of day. The sight is also water and fog proof.
- Different brightness levels
- Has a green dot option
- Fog and waterproof
- Green-colored dot gets hampered by light sometimes
Sightmark Tactical Red Dot Sight
Another entry for the best red dot sight for AR-15 for the money list is Sightmark Red Dot Sight. Multicoated lenses play a big role in this sight because it shows the difference in the resulting images. The sight uses anti-reflective coatings which decreases the light reflected from the glass lenses. This is important for sights since the higher the number of lenses, the higher the percentage of the light is lost when it passes through the sight.
With the anti-reflective coating on the lenses, it only loses at least 2% of reflective light. This type of coatings heightens the resolution, color quality, and light transmissions while reducing glare and light being scattered all over the insides of the sight. It also boasts of an unlimited eye-relief which helps the shooter to acquire their targets in a fast manner. Finally, the versatile build of this sight makes it applicable not only on the AR-15 but on most firearms as well.
- Has anti-reflective coating on lenses
- Unlimited eye-relief
- Some dislike the on/off knob setup
AT3 LEOS Red Dot Sight
If you are on the lookout for the best red dot sight for AR-15 for the money, give the AT3 LEOS a try. The sight uses a 2 MOA red dot that has 6 levels of brightness. This allows the shooter to shoot accurate shots even when both of their eyes are open. In addition, the bright red laser helps the shooter to acquire their targets rapidly which makes it advisable to use for close to mid-range shooting, for self-defense and low-light conditions.
The lenses are multicoated so it can resist accidental or even incidental scratches on it. It also always remains at zero even when used with stronger firearms. This also shows the sight’s flexibility multiple types of firearms can use it aside from the AR-15. Its most defining feature is the controls wherein the shooter can easily switch from red dot to laser to laser + red dot modes.
- Has 6 levels of brightness
- Has different aiming modes
- Multicoated lenses
- The red dot is only useful in non-magnified shooting scenarios
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a red dot sight and a holographic sight?
The main difference between these 2 sights is the way it does its role. Red dot sights are fairly simple to use while holographic sights are much more complicated. To explain further, the way red dot works is by sending a beam of red light for its LED emitter to the front glass of the sight. Now, this glass is coated so the beam of light gets reflected back to the shooter’s eyes. Read: Best Fixed Power Scope for Long Range Shooting Review
Holographic sights; on the other hand, use mirrors and lasers to send a holographic image back to the shooter. This happens without the help of the sight’s front glass but the image that appears is still in front of the shooter. Another distinct difference between the 2 sights is its price tag. Holographic sights are more expensive than red dot sights mainly because of its complicated nature.
How far are red dot sights accurate?
The red dot’s sights accuracy depends on the MOA of the red dot itself. Also, being able to shoot with both eyes open is a big advantage to the shooter since it heightens their accuracy as well. This type of aiming is known as the Bindon Aiming Concept. This works with the dominant eye focusing on the red dot, the reticle, and the target while the other eye focuses only at the target.
The image that the shooter sees is an overlay of the image from the dominant eye to the one that the non-dominant eye produces. This shows a very clear picture of the target while not losing sight of the red dot. This makes target acquisition faster and more accurate shots. This also gives the shooter a huge advantage of having a wide field of view.
What red dot sight does the military use?
While civilian shooters can just choose the best red dot sight for AR-15 for the money, the military tends to go for other options. The army prefers the Aimpoint CompM2, the ITL MARS, and Aimpoint M4 2 MOA ACET CompM4 Sight. Other examples are the Eotech HHS l, Trijicon MRO-C-2200004 2.0 MOA Adjustable Red Dot Sight, Vortex Optics SF-RG-501 StrikeFire II Red/Green Dot Scope, and Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope.
Red dot sights are highly recommended for beginners. The sight allows them to acquire targets faster and have more accurate chances of hitting them. This buyer’s guide provided the best red dot sight for AR-15 for the money so before going for that purchase, try to discern first what specifications you would like to have on your sight. Consider talking to a gun expert for confirmation about the sight that you will purchase.