Red dot sights, a type of reflex sight so named because the reticle is projected forward then bounces back off a mirrored surface, are highly popular among firearm and crossbow shooters for a couple of reasons. First, is the speed at which a target can be acquired upon shouldering the gun or crossbow. Second, the shooter’s eye need not be in perfect alignment with the tube, as it does with a conventional scope. In other words, if you can see the dot on your intended target, you’re good to go.
With dozens of models from which to choose, narrowing down the selection can be daunting. Here’s a list of eight top options that each carry a price tag of under $500.
Red dot shooters want fast target acquisition and easy both-eyes-open shooting, making Vortex’s Strikefire II Red/Green Dot Sight an ideal choice. The sight switches easily from red to green dot for proper background contrast, and fully-multicoated optics reduce glare and capture more light for crystal-clear images. Dot brightness is adjustable to 10 intensity levels, and the sight automatically returns to the last-used level when powered up.
Designed for tactical shooting situations, the Vortex Spitfire Prism Scope is built for the AR platform and excels at rapid target acquisition at close- to mid-range. Lenses are fully multicoated with anti-reflective coatings to offer bright views in low-light settings. Etched directly on the prism, the reticle ensures shooters have an effective point of aim at all times, regardless if illumination is engaged.
Everything about the Vortex Sparc II sight is designed for increased precision and accuracy—from the 2 MOA dot to the fully multicoated lenses that reduce haze and make the sight picture more vibrant. Water- and shockproof, the nitrogen-purged sight mounts to standard Weaver or Picatinny rails and fits a variety of firearm platforms.
Turkey hunters, plinkers and tactical shooters like Bushnell’s Trophy TRS-25 sight because its ultra-compact design and 3 MOA dot allow for fast acquisition and a clear, unobstructed sight picture of close-in targets. The unit is built to stand up to heavy recoiling rifles and shotguns.
This highly versatile sight is compatible with all generations of night vision, and also with Aimpoint’s 3X Magnifier and Concealed Engagement Unit. Four daylight and six nightvision dot-intensity levels ensure a perfect aiming point under all conditions. It’s compatible with Picatinny rails, plus a removable spacer allows co-witnessing with backup iron sights.
A 30mm aluminum alloy tube that gives Aimpoint’s Carbine Optic Red Dot sight a compact profile, plus a parallax-free 2 MOA dot, combine for making it quick and easy to lock onto a target. In addition, the fixed-height mount allows absolute co-witness with backup iron sights.
Designed especially for long-action and magnum rifles, the Aimpoint 9000L provides a highly visible, parallax-free view of target animals from whitetail deer to moose. ACET diode technology provides 50,000 hours of illumination, while a 10-position rotary switch adjusts dot intensity for perfect brightness under any lighting condition.
Available with either a 2 MOA, 4 MOA or nightvision compatible 2 MOA dot, Aimpoint’s 9000SC red dot sight is a great choice for hunters who pursue wild boar, turkeys or deer-size game with a short-action rifle or magnum handgun. Its two-ring configuration fits nearly all 30mm mounting systems, while mechanical switches allow speed and reliability in adjustments.
This article was produced in cooperation with Cabela’s.
Top image courtesy of Aimpoint; product images courtesy of Cabela’s