Best Red Dot Sight For AR 15 for the Money 2020 – A Complete List and Buying Guide
Red dot sight for AR 15 is a popular option. Typically, they are non-magnifying, lightweight, accurate, and durable. Moreover, they effectively use battery power.
AR 15 gun owners will have a hard time picking the best red dot sight for AR 15 among a multitude of options. However, if they know what to expect and where to start, things are more straightforward.
Take time to check out our buying guide with carefulness! Then, take a closer look at our list of the best red dot sight for AR 15 to have a clue.
All You Need To Know About AR 15
What Is An AR 15 Rifle?
AR is not an abbreviation of automatic rifle or assault rifle. It stands for ArmaLite - the manufacturer developing this rifle in the 1950s.
This lightweight, gas-operated, and semi-automatic rifle assault rifle is among the most popular firearms.
Right after being officially launched, the AR 15 has been an excellent choice for hunting and shooting sports as well as self-defense situations. It is because it is easy to adjust and accurate.
How Does AR 15 Work?
Its modular design allows you to substitute one upper receiver for another a few seconds with ease.
When you shoot a bullet from the locked bolt, you chamber the cartridge. At the same time, you can see the hot gas emission from the barrel inside the BCG.
The gases left run through the gas tube to exert pressure on the expansion chamber’s interior. The AR 15 features a bolt hold-open mechanism keeping the bolt open after the last bullet is fired.
The bolt carrier groups (BCG) continue in their rearward travel. Meanwhile, the bolt keeps rotating and finally unlocks.
Key Things To Consider When Picking the Best Red Dot Sight For AR 15
Have no idea how to select a perfect red dot sight? No need to worry! Keep on reading our article to see the factors to look for in the best red dot sight for AR 15.
Quick Target Acquisition
Right after you get the targets, it’s time to use the red dot reticle to aim at them as quickly as possible. Because there is no need to line up a front and rear sight on objects, you can have more accuracy and convenience.
American military even consider AR 15 red dot sights as the most effective way to increase combat effectiveness.
IN A FEW WORDS: the best red dot sight for AR 15 enables hunters to take shots quickly and get the finest experience.
Wide Field of Perspective
Red dot sights for AR 15 often offer a wider field of view than that of a tube style scope. It means that you can acquire any targets at longer distances.
One thing to remember: the magnification controls the field of view that a tube-style scope amplifies. The tube style scopes for AR 15 limit the usefulness of light weapons at shorter ambit shootings.
Additionally, the red dot sights do not have any magnification great for short and medium distances.
Your shots’ accuracy depends on your AR 15 red dot sight’s weight. A heavier unit might possess a bearing with your handling and grip. A lightweight red dot sight helps you control everything without any difficulty.
Weight is not the only factor to consider. The best red dot sights for AR 15 come in many sizes. Some are easy to adjust. However, it is wise to consider your weapons’ size and how much space available.
1MOA (minute of angle) is equal to 1 inch at 100 yards. Red dots with 4 or 5 MOA are ideal. Smaller red dots mean that it takes a longer time to find your target and take shots.
Low Light Usage
All red dot sights for AR 15 use incomparable light aggregators or battery power to set the dot onto the glass. Even in low light situations, this bright red dot draws your attention.
In dimly-lit areas, the tube-style scopes’ black cross hairs are invisible to you. The open sights let you get the best shooting results in low light conditions.
They use batteries to power red dot sights for AR 15. Without it, we cannot see any red dots. The red dot sights often have incredibly long battery life. Some last for one thousand hours while others can last for four or five years.
Make sure to turn it off when not in use, though.
NOTE: battery’s power can drain quicker in cold weather. It’s much better to prepare several spare batteries for your AR 15 red dot sights. Bringing some small-sized ones with you is not a big deal.
Electronic Red Dot Sights vs. Battery-free Red Dot Sights – Which One Is Better
Since their debut, red dot sights have soon become a valuable help for shooters. Shooters often have to choose between battery-free red dot sights and electronic models.
As always, each of these two options has its own pros and cons. But in the current market, the electronic devices are more popular.
All gun owners wish to have a high-quality red dot sight at a pocket-friendly price. It is not always this case, though. To find out the best model, take time to read all the products’ reviews on the Internet as many as possible!
Don’t completely trust advertisements as sometimes they might be deceiving. Obviously, the price does not reflect the dot sights’ quality. But, we recommend you to spend more for a better red dot sight in long-term use.
Top 5 Best Red Dot Sight For AR 15 For The Money Reviews
Here are our top picks on the best five red dot sights for AR 15 for the money. Hope that they will give you a memorable shooting experience!
If you are in search of a red dot sight with the unbeatable value, the AT3 Tactical RD-50 PRO is a good place to start.
Though AT3 Tactical has only 6 year’s experience manufacturing AR 15 parts and accessories, it is popular among gun owners.
All of their products are famous for offering optimal accuracy and reliability. And the AT3 Tactical RD-50 PRO is not an exception. It possesses a ton of excellent features to satisfy even the pickiest shooters.
The New 1” PRO-MOUNT Cantilever Mini Riser Mount comes with an integrated lens caps and durable rubberized cover to secure your AR 15. Also, they help you aim at any targets in the blink of an eye.
That way, you can fully take advantage of the RD-50 PRO’s sighting system. In any lighting condition, you can enjoy the optimal visibility by adjusting the 11 red dot brightness settings.
Another thing to praise is the incredibly long battery life. It can last up to 50,000 hours.
If you have a practicality-oriented handgun, the Trijicon RMR LED Red Dot Sight is your best bet. The first thing to come to mind when we think of this model is its extraordinary house-shape.
Trijicon RMR used the crafted 7075-T6 aircraft aluminum to protect and accelerate the sights’ durability.
Thanks to its great features, this adjustable LED red dot sight performs perfectly for self-defense uses or in real-life situations.
Eight brightness settings with one super bright and two night vision modes let you effortlessly take shots in any light conditions. The manual brightness adjustment buttons are easy to access and manipulate.
As a plus, it also owns an automatic adjust mode.
This Trijicon RMR unit is famous for its versatility.
Do you have multiple AR 15 handguns you want a red dot sight for? You can use its mount on Glock MOS, Smith & Wesson CORE, FNH Tactical, and Springfield Armory OSP without any special tools.
Versatility aside, Trijicon RMR packed it with a 1 MOA per click. It accelerates target acquisition allowing you to fire off various rounds without compromising accuracy.
The multi-coated lens allows for an adjustable wide-band light transmission with the smallest change in the color of the target area.
Trijicon has more than 20 years’ experience manufacturing the sought-after military optics for medium range applications. All of their products are second to none. And the MRO-C-2200004 is one of them.
Even though Trijicon officially launched its MRO-C-2200004 Red Dot Reticle in 2015, it is popular with shooters. This small red-dot sight possesses all awesome features of its brother – the ACOG.
You never go wrong with its durability, functionality, high quality, and affordability.
The crafted 7075 aircraft-grade housing protects it against any punishment thrown at it. The fully-sealed construction makes it more durable. As if the solid construction wasn’t enough, it is water-proof up to 30.5 meters.
This relative newcomer comes with superb-quality glass with incredible clarity. The red dot reticle promises a wider viewing area with these crisp images. The multi-coated lenses enable light to gather without reducing accuracy.
Three mount options – high, medium, and low allow you to modulate the dot to meet your shooting skills’ requirement.
If durability tops your priority, this red dot sight from Burris is an ideal choice. We have it in our list of the best red dot sight for AR 15 for at least a good reason.
This Picatinny Mount (3 MOA) Sight can be compatible with so many firearms without interfering with them. Whether it is a hunting rifle, handgun, or shotgun, you can have fun at its fullest.
Adjustable elevation and windage help your bullets accurately hit what your sight is aiming at. Additionally, the quick trigger pulls are for fast target acquisition.
To make it sustain any light hunting conditions, Burris designed the brightness adjustment feature via a lot of letters. Otherwise, all you have to do is to rely entirely on the automatic brightness mode.
If you want to experience different heights, you can adjust the Fastfire III without any special tools.
The Burris Fastfire III with Picatinny Mount is almost perfect. If we had to indicate a downside, it could be the quite small buttons. Some shooters might find it difficult to find and use with zero distortion.
Another unit that can work on numerous different hand-pieces is the UTG 3.9" ITA Red/Green Circle Dot Sight w/Integral QD Mount. Versatility is what makes it stand out among hundreds of thousand models out there.
The integral quick detach mounting deck allows it to perfectly fit shotguns, rifles, and handguns. UTG also put much effort into designing the sight’s height to co-witness the AR models’ iron sights right after you mount it.
Besides versatility, the optimum accuracy also contributes to the UTG 3.9" Circle Dot Sight’s popularity.
Five brightness options help it perform greatly in various environmental backgrounds without sacrificing your aiming accuracy. Just opt for the suitable brightness intensity to meet your requirement!
Moreover, both 65 MOA circle reticle and green/red 4MOA target dot are bright and crisp. It means that even in the dimly-lit areas, you can see it clearly.
The only thing that we don’t like about this model is the absence of automatic turn off switch. The battery is likely to be drained quickly unless you carefully turn it off.
Q1: Red Dot Sights vs. Scopes for AR-15
When it comes to the best performance-oriented optics for the close-range shooting, the best red dot sights for AR-15 are hard to beat. Typically, they are lightweight and simple to use.
Additionally, most red dots for AR-15 come with a simple dot reticle helping hunters shoot quickly. When looking through the bright red reticle, they will get an incredibly huge field of view.
The exclusion of magnification means that you can aim at targets 300 yards away with both eyes open without much practice. Also, you can have some magnification. Just install a flip-to-side magnifier behind the red dot sights!
Though this versatile option might add some pounds, it is worth considering. It’s better to buy a kit of AR-15 red dot sights with a magnifier included.
What shooters don’t like about red dot sights, though, is that they need batteries. Fortunately, portable power storage lasts so long between replacements. So, there is no need to worry about power outage while having fun shooting.
By the way, If you are finding scopes for your Ar, I have write a post about best scopes for your ar15 in 2020, check it out.
Q2: Which Is The Best Red Dot Sight For AR 15 Manufacturer?
In my opinion, Trijicon, Tactical, Burris, and UTG are the best ones.
Q3: Who Can Buy An AR 15?
The answer will vary according to where you live. For example, in Florida, those older than 18 with no criminal records can purchase an AR 15 without any waiting period.
Typically, if you are older than 21, you need to wait for three days to purchase a handgun. In some states, possessing fully automatic weapons is legal. Meanwhile, in others, authorities prohibit ownership of the AR 15.
Q4: What Is The Best Distance To Zero An AR 15?
Zeroing a red dot sight at 200 yards is difficult. Meanwhile, even beginners find it pretty easy to zero it at 50 yards.
Q5: Is It Legal To Mount an AR-15 Top End to Your M16 Lower?
Yes, you can. But, one more time, it depends on the state you are living in.
If I Had An AR 15, Which Red Dot Sight Will I Choose?
These products reviewed above are our top picks on the five best red dot sight for AR 15. It is challenging to say which the most outstanding one is. However, the Trijicon MRO-C-2200004 Red Dot Reticle is my personal favorite.
Trijicon is a premier source for affordable yet first-class AR 15 parts and accessories. They build all products with durability and exceptional performance in mind.
The Trijicon MRO-C-2200004 is an advanced version of its brand’s predecessor - the ACOG lineup. They use the top-quality materials to create a lifetime red dot sight for AR 15.
It is lightweight, waterproof, accurate, and reliable. Plus, it comes at a budget-friendly price. Thus, there is no way you go wrong with this unit by Trijicon.