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5 Best Red Dot Sights

Picking a red dot sight can be difficult with all the available options, so here are 5 top red dot sights to consider.

5 Best Red Dot Sights
A modern red dot, like this Aimpoint, trumps iron sights especially in lowlight scenarios. Follow along as we compare 5 different models. Photo courtesy Aimpoint.

Not too long ago, when someone asked me about an optic for their trunk gun or prep rifle, I usually just told them to stay with the tried and true iron sights. The metal sights are simple mechanical parts which do not require a power source to operate. After all, I was properly trained to use iron sights to hit targets out to 600 yards by the Marine Corps. Times change though and the reality is iron sights are harder and slower to aim, and nearly useless in low light. Optical sight design and technology has come a long way in the past 15 years. Modern red-dot sights have proven themselves on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Plus the new microprocessor controlled illumination systems increased the typical battery life of modern red-dot sights from hours to years. Today quality red dot sights are a very real asset on fighting rifle. With this in mind Be Ready! took a long hard look at six designs you might consider for your prep rifle or trunk gun.

Aimpoint Micro T-2

5-RedDots
Aimpoint’s Micro T-2 is a compact and tough little red dot sight with an extremely long battery life.

Aimpoint has been making quality red-dot sights in Sweden for over 40 years. The US military and law enforcement are long-time users of Aimpoint sights as well as many others around the world. What makes Aimpoint red-dot sights great is their combination of long battery life, optical performance and reliability. They are built to withstand just about anything. Aimpoint’s red-dot sights are the Gold Standard that all other red-dot sight makers are looking up to.

Aimpoint launched the Micro series miniature red-dot sights nearly a decade ago setting the trend which everyone still follows. The Aimpoint Micro T-2 is the 2nd generation model in the Micro series. It addressed the main complaint of the original Aimpoint Micro T-1 model by adding front and rear see-through flip-up lens caps. The top turret is now farther protected with a small rise around it in a similar fashion as the full-size Aimpoint CompM4 model. Internally, the T-2 is completely redesigned as well with a sharper dot reticle that’s optimized for use with a magnifier behind the sight and the lens has less color tint. The improved illumination control dial turns smoother yet it feels more positive for each level. The T-2 uses the same bolt pattern as the original T-1 and any mounts made for the Aimpoint Micro series will work on the T-2. While it’s expensive, the Aimpoint Micro T-2 is among the best red-dot sight currently available.

5-RedDots
Internally, the T-2 is completely redesigned with a sharper dot reticle optimized for use with a magnifier, and an improved illumination control dial.

Aimpoint Micro T-2 Specifications:

  • Reticle: 2-MOA dot
  • Objective size: 20mm
  • Adjustment range: 80 MOA
  • Adjustment per-click: ½ MOA
  • Co-Witness: depends on the mount
  • Battery: single CR2032
  • Battery Life: 50,000 hours
  • Brightness adjustment: 8 levels (1-4 NV settings)
  • Weight: 3.3 ounces w/o mount
  • Size: 3.11 in (L w/ both lens cap) x 1.61 in (W) x 1.41 in (H w/o mount)

Trijicon MRO

5-RedDots
Trijicon’s MRO is a good looking piece slotted between a full-size reflex sight and the RMR mini model.

The Miniature Rifle Optic is the latest offering from Trijicon. It’s slotted between the full-size reflex sight and the RMR mini model. The key features of the MRO are it’s similar in size and weight to the Aimpoint Micros but offers a larger 25mm objective and it’s more affordable. The MRO’s battery life also matches that of the Aimpoints with its 5 years of continuous on. The MRO’s housing is machined from forged 7075-T6 aluminum alloy and I really like the low profile recessed adjustment turrets on it. The battery compartment and illumination control is located on top and at the centerline to allow ambidextrous access with both hands. Due to its larger objective lens and design, the MRO offers a generous field-of-view for its small size.


However, being a new product, the Trijicon MRO has a few quirks. It has a slight magnification despite being a ‘non-magnified’ optic. I believe it’s probably the side effect of combining the cone-shaped optical design and its dual-angled objective lens. Fortunately, the magnification is very slight. Because the MRO’s objective is slanted side-to-side, it may lead to a spit-screen effect in certain light conditions, where one side is completely clear while the other shows the lens tint. That being said, the Trijicon MRO is still the only U.S. made premium alternative to the Aimpoint Micros.


5-RedDots
The MRO is similar in size and weight to the Aimpoint Micros but it offers a larger 25mm objective and costs less.

Trijicon MRO Specifications:

  • Reticle: 2-MOA dot
  • Objective size: 25mm
  • Adjustment range: 70 MOA
  • Adjustment per-click: ½ MOA
  • Co-Witness: depends on the mount base
  • Battery: single CR2032
  • Battery Life: 5 years of continuous use at level #5
  • Brightness adjustment: 8 levels (settings 1-3 NV)
  • Weight: 4.1 ounces w/o mount
  • Size: 2.6 in (L) x 1.7 in (W) x 2 in (H, w/o mount)

Hi-Lux MM-2

5-RedDots
The Hi-Lux MM-2 is an updated and improved version of their popular Micro-Max B-Dot. This is a great sight for the money.

The Hi-Lux MM-2 or Micro-Max 2 is the 2nd generation of Hi-Lux Optics’ popular Micro-Max B-Dot. There are some minor upgrades to the illumination system with the new buttons and a new user selectable power saving sleeping mode. Alexander Arms tested the first generation of this sight in their environmentally controlled test setup by cooling and heating it from -85 degree F to +180 degree F while mounted on their Ulfberht semi-automatic .338 Lapua Magnum precision rifle. Over 300 rounds of full power .338 Lapua Magnum were fired during the test. The little Hi-Lux sight withstood the recoil and the extreme temperatures without any problems.

The Hi-Lux is one of the first budget mini red-dot sights to have the Aimpoint’s level of battery life. In fact, the MM-2 has even surpassed Aimpoint’s Micros with its 55,000 hours of battery life from a single CR2032 lithium battery. If that’s not enough, the MM-2 also carries an additional CR2032 coin-size lithium battery in its battery compartment cap. The other extras that come with the package include a removable honeycomb anti-reflective lens filter, a second CR2032 lithium battery, an AR-15 height co-witness high mount in addition to the already installed low-mount on the MM-2 and flip-up lens caps. The original Hi-Lux model came with front and rear lens caps installed almost a year before the Aimpoint Micro T-2 was released. The Hi-Lux MM-2 uses the Aimpoint Micro bolt pattern for its base and it’s compatible with any Aimpoint Micro mount. If you are on a budget, the Hi-Lux MM-2 is a bargain with its 6.2-year battery life and all the included extras.

5-RedDots
The Hi-Lux MM-2 features a 55,000 hour battery life and comes with a removable honeycomb anti-reflective lens filter, two CR2032 lithium batteries, AR-15 low mount and flip-up lens caps.

Hi-Lux MM-2 Specifications:

  • Reticle: 2-MOA dot
  • Objective size: 20mm
  • Adjustment range: 100 MOA
  • Adjustment per-click: ½ MOA 
  • Co-Witness: depends on the mount base
  • Battery: single CR2032 with a spare carry onboard
  • Battery Life: 55,000 hours
  • Brightness adjustment: 12 levels (settings 1-3 NV) 
  • Weight: 3.6 ounces w/o mount
  • Size: 3 in (L) x 1.7 in (W)

DI Optical EG1

5-RedDots
Made in Korea, the DI Optical EG1 is a tough red dot sight with a housing CNC machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum.

DI Optical may not be a well-known name in America, but this 25-year-old South Korean optic company is a major producer of light artillery and auto-canon gun sights for militaries around the world. This includes all branches of the US military and many of our NATO allies. The smaller DI Optical sights for small arms have been in service with the South Korean military for the past decade. The EG1 commercial model is their current top offering for rifle and carbine.

The housing of the EG1 is, like all DI Optical sights, completely CNC machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum for maximum ruggedness. The unique feature of the EG1 is its use of a prism for the optical system of the sight. The LED reticle illuminator diode, the windage and elevation adjustment systems are located under the prism. DI Optical uses the prism element for a number of reasons; besides providing additional structural strength to the housing, the prism helps to further optically reduce parallax and increase the field-of-view. Unlike the other red-dot sight’s circular or square window view, the EG1’s ocular view resembles an octagon shape which actually appears larger than its 30mm size. Its coverage is more like that of a 36-38mm tube design. The EG1’s battery life is not quite as long as that of the Aimpoint’s, but it still lasts over a year on the mid daylight visible setting.


While a little heavy for its size, the EG1’s CNC machined billet body feels extremely solid and the construction is top notch. The 150 MOA adjustment is remarkable but it’s in coarse 1 MOA clicks. If you are looking for an absolutely bombproof reflex sight for your rifle or carbine, and a bit of extra weight doesn’t matter, the DI Optical EG1 is one to consider.

5-RedDots
The unique feature of the EG1 is its use of a prism in the optical system, its battery life is not quite as long as that of the Aimpoint’s, but it still lasts over a year on the mid daylight visible setting.

DI Optical EG1 Specifications:

  • Reticle: 1.5-MOA dot
  • Objective size: 30mmx30mm
  • Adjustment range: 150 MOA 
  • Adjustment per-click: 1 MOA
  • Co-Witness: Center 
  • Battery: single CR2032 lithium battery 
  • Battery Life: 9,073 hours on level #6, and 2,000 hours on level #13
  • Brightness adjustment: 15 levels (1-4 NV setting) 
  • Weight: 11.29 ounces
  • Size: 3.43 in (L) x 2.24 in (W) x 2.16 in (H w/o mount)

Aimpoint Micro T-1:

5-RedDots
When launched in 2007 Aimpoint’s Micro T-1 was a ground breaking design, it remains a great sight today.

The Aimpoint Micro T-1 is the original model of the Micro series. When launched in 2007, it was a groundbreaking red-dot sight design which featured an incredible 50,000 hours of battery life, robust build quality, compact size and weighed in at just three ounces. Since then, the Aimpoint Micro T-1 has been a favorite of firearms enthusiasts and it’s in service with numerous military and law enforcement agencies around the world. Like all Aimpoint red-dot sights, the Micro T-1 uses a patented dual-objective lens design to minimize parallax error. All the lens elements are made from premium German Schott optical glass and are fully multi-coated. Over the years the tiny Aimpoint Micro T-1 has proven to be incredibly tough and reliable.

Aimpoint has no plan to discontinue the T-1 model despite the introduction of the new 2nd generation T-2. While the MSRP difference is $90 between the T-1 and T-2, the actual street price for the T-1 models is often $120+ cheaper. The commercial version of the T-1, the H-1, is even cheaper by another $30-$40. The T-1 is slightly shorter and lighter than the new T-2 model, and it’s also available with a larger 4-MOA dot size reticle. All of these make it a better slide mounted pistol red-dot sight than the T-2 model. The issue with a lack of built-in lens covers can be addressed with the aftermarket I.O. Cover add-on accessory. If you don’t need all the new features of the T-2 model, the original Aimpoint Micro T-1 is less expensive and still performs great.


5-RedDots
The T-1 features an incredible 50,000 hours of battery life, robust build quality, compact size and weighs in at just three ounces.

Aimpoint Micro T-1 Specifications:

  • Reticle: 2 or 4-MOA dot
  • Objective size: 20mm
  • Adjustment range: 80 MOA
  • Adjustment per-click: ½ MOA
  • Co-Witness: depends on the mount
  • Battery: single CR2032
  • Battery Life: 50,000 hours
  • Brightness adjustment: 12 levels (1-4 NV)
  • Weight: 3 ounces w/o mount
  • Size: 2.44 in (L) x 1.61 in (W) x 1.42 (H, w/o mount)

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