Looking for a new red dot sight for your handgun can be a time-consuming process. Rather than taking time away from your shooting, keep reading to learn about 6 of the hottest red dot sights on the market today.
As modern as it may seem, putting a red dot sight on a handgun is not exactly a new idea. Gun owners have known about the clear advantages of this modification since the mid-1970s. Since then, manufacturers have been streamlining and improving mini red dot sights to be lighter, more compact, and more durable replacements for the iron sights on your gun. And the odds are that if you are in the market for the best red dot sight you can put on your handgun, you are ready to take the next step in improving your shooting experience.
That’s not to say that iron sights haven’t served shooters well for the past five centuries but, let’s face it, if you can get a quicker and more accurate round off, why limit yourself to the factory standard? Customizing your weapon should make it more efficient, not just more aesthetically pleasing. And that’s what a red dot sight does. There is no denying that these optics make a gun look more tactical, with that sleek military, special forces look, but they are also more accurate and are all-around better than the back sights on your handgun.
So, where should you get started with a red dot sight? There can be a lot of things to consider when adding any modification to your handgun. There was a time when adding a sight to a pistol meant drilling into the slide, costing you well over one hundred dollars. Thankfully though, those days are mostly gone with the advancements in rails. For that reason, we want to share with you some information and six different options for red dot sights that you can buy today.
Tactical RMR Red Dot Sight
The first red dot sight on our list is a pretty standard version of the mini reflex sight that is most commonly seen on handguns these days. It has a wide, open face rather than the tubular design that a red dot sight for a rifle would likely display. This keeps the shooter’s line of sight open to the field of vision rather than restricted to the inside of a sight. By having a full field of vision, you will be able to acquisition your targets much more quickly and without sacrificing any accuracy.
The Tactical RMR red dot sight has a 3MOA (minute of angle) reticle, indicating that at 100yds away from a target, the reticle of this sight appears to take up three inches of your field of view. As you decrease the distance from your target, that number also decreases—1.5in at 50yds, .75in at 25yds, etc.
The glass of the Tactical RMR red dot sight is made of fully multi-coated glass. A multi-coating prevents light from reflecting off the lens to keep it bright, sharp, and crisp and is a sign of quality in any optics. The body of this sight is constructed from forged aluminum, making it tough yet lightweight. And finally, it can be mounted to a Springfield or Glock with ready-made optics rails or to any Picatinny rail. At $30.99, the Tactical RMR is an excellent model for anyone wanting to test out a red dot sight without spending more for extra trappings you may not be ready for.
Ade Advanced Optics Python Green Dot
Next up, we want to share a few different options from ADE Advanced Optics. This company started out making custom pieces for big-name gun manufacturers before deciding to set out on their own to prove that good optics don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
The first of their sight that you should check out is the Python Green dot sight. It features a 3MOA reticle on a 1x25mm lens. If you are unfamiliar with how lenses are measured, the first number refers to its magnification and the second is the size of the lens. So, this lens has a 1x magnification and is 25mm wide. The wider the lens, the more light it can capture to make a bright image.
Also, like most higher-quality red dot sights, the Python comes with 5 different illumination settings so that you can use it just about any time of the day. And rather than the standard red dot, this sight features a green dot for an exciting little twist. You also don’t have to worry about the battery going out on you too quickly with an ADE Advanced Optics sight. You could leave this sight going on the highest brightness setting, come back two months later, and still have another month of battery life on it.
This sight is made to be mounted to a standard Picatinny scope rail, which ADE provides with the purchase. But, if you have a Beretta, Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson, or really any other non-standard handgun, it can also be mounted to a gun-specific ADE mount.
At only $63.99, you still are not scratching into the “too expensive to test it out” territory, but with this scope, you are getting a bit more than just an entry-level optic. This sight is weather-resistant, but not quite completely waterproof so if you do manage to damage it, do not worry. ADE covers its products with a three-year warranty for your satisfaction.
ADE Advanced Optics RD3-006B Green Dot
The next sight from ADE Advanced Optics that we wanted to share with you is their RD3-006B Green dot sight. This is an updated version of the original 2016 model which they’ve now improved with more durability. This way, the sight can hold up to more recoil from higher caliber rounds while maintaining its zero. This is a perfect option for anyone shooting a .45 ACP or .357 magnum.
Like the previous option from ADE Advanced Optics, this sight features an exciting little twist on the standard red dot by making theirs green. It is also the same 3MOA as the previous sight, basically making this a more improved version of the Python.
However, ADE Advanced Optics has done more than just beef up the durability on this sight. They have also improved the sights by using precision ground, polished glass to virtually remove all parallax from this optic. Parallax is the effect in a lens when the position of a target appears to be slightly different than it does with your natural sight. Reducing parallax to near 0 means that the bullet is going to land exactly where you aim. Low parallax equals high accuracy.
As with all ADE Advanced Optics, this sight is made to be mounted to a standard Picatinny rail, which is included with your purchase, or it can be mounted to any gun-specific ADE mount. Listed for $72.99, you get an improved product for improved accuracy at a price only marginally higher than the previous entry on this list.
ADE Advanced Optics Crusader RD3-009 Red Dot
Made with the same high-quality American design as our previous models, ADE Advanced Optics has produced an every more premium option with their Crusader RD3-009. If you are wanting a little more bang for your buck, this is the model for you. This is another recently remodeled version of ADE’s 2015 Crusader model to improve durability and withstand high-caliber recoil, much like with the RD3-006B.
Overall, this is the most durable red dot sight on our list so far. It’s been made with a sturdy aluminum frame that is lightweight yet strong and it is also completely fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof for up to 30 minutes in 1.7ft of water. You could drop your gun in a stream, go have lunch, come back, and your sight would still be working. As for the lens on this sight, ADE used an amber glass that not only makes it scratch resistant but also improves color and clarity of the sight with very little parallax.
The Crusader RD3-009 also stands out from all other previous sights on this list due to its larger 5MOA reticle. You may be thinking that a larger reticle is a downside if it’s taking up more of your field of view, but, with at a larger size, you will be able to see the reticle more easily, so you don’t have to squint to land on target.
If you purchase this sight, you will not only receive the standard Picatinny mount but also a Glock mount, a lens cap, an extra sealing ring for the battery, an Allen wrench, and a screwdriver for quick and easy installation. At $84.99, you also get the full three-year warranty offered by ADE Advanced Optics.
ADE Advanced Optics RD3-012
Our final product from ADE Advanced Optics is one of their most advanced red dot sights on the market, the RD3-012 red dot sight. This is a low-profile red dot sight made for rapid targeting and an accurate point of aim. With a massive 6MOA red dot reticle, this is the largest and most easily seen reticle on our list. You will not have any trouble looking down your sights and landing on target with this sight.
The RD3-012 features multiple brightness settings that can easily be toggled with the press of a button. And, the brightness setting does not change when you turn off your sights. As soon as you turn it back on, you will have the exact same brightness as before.
The housing of this sight is constructed from beefy aluminum made to guarantee durability without added unnecessary bulk. This sight is fog-proof, shockproof, and can withstand submersion in water up to 4ft deep for 30 minutes! Take this sight to the swimming pool if you want and it will still work fine.
On the top of the sight, you can adjust the windage and elevation of this sight 1MOA per click, and the adjustments are audible so you can be sure just how much you have altered the zeroing. This sight matches all other ADE Advanced Optics mounting options on this list and comes with a Picatinny mount, a cover, Allen wrenches, and an adjustment dialing plate all for $105.99.
Sightmark SM26043 Mini Shot M-Spec FMS Red Reflex Sight
If you have made your mind up about purchasing a red dot sight for your handgun, you may have already decided on a premium product. For that reason, we wanted to share one last sight before we sign off. That sight is the SM26043 Mini Shot M-Spec FMS Red Reflex Sight made by Sightmark. This sight has quite a few bells and whistles to it but, with the added perks, you can expect to pay a bit more than the other options on the list.
The SM26043 features a fully multi-coated lens that allows a higher proportion of light to enter the glass. This makes for a bright, sharp, and clear image, perfect for the 10 different illumination settings. You read that right—10 illumination settings, two of which are even night vision compatible! The sight uses a long-lasting CR1632 battery that you can expect to get 30,000 hours of use from at the lowest light setting.
Although this sight features a smaller reticle than the ADE RD3-012, at 3MOA, thanks to the clarity of this lens, you will have little trouble landing on target. The sight can also be easily turned on or off and is fully ambidextrous thanks to a handy digital switch, perfect for anyone who is left-handed.
This sight comes with a riser fixed mount and a low-profile fixed mount, making it perfect for competition shoot, and, although you are paying $198.96 for a premium product, you also get the added benefit of waterproof and dust proofing.
If you want to improve the accuracy and overall experience of shooting a handgun, there really is no better option than a red dot sight. Not only are they a good-looking option, but they are also well regarded for their ability to improve speed and accuracy of shooting. We hope we have given you a few noteworthy items and have set you on your way to own a precision piece of optical equipment. Be sure to read the user manual for whatever product you purchase and remember that no one modification can make you a perfect shot. You will still want and need to practice regularly to improve your skills.