The Best Cheap Red Dot Sights
Let’s face it, not everybody can afford a sweet Aimpoint or EOTech that costs hundreds of dollars. Yes, those red dot sights are pretty darn sweet but there are other cheaper alternatives that basically do the same job.
The difference between those really expensive red dot sights and the cheap ones is kind of like the difference between a Ferrari and a Toyota. They both have four wheels, but they’ll take you places in a different way. The cheap red dot sights can look good, but they just don’t have the durability of the $400+ red dot sights that the police and military use.
That’s OK though, you can still have a great red dot sight that holds zero well on the cheap. That’s what this post is all about.
Our experts found and evaluated some of the cheapest red dot sights to bring you this list of the best cheap red dot sights on the market today. See below for details!
Four sight pictures to choose from, and two colors. There are a lot of budget sights out there that follow this kind of pattern, but very few of them that I would feel comfortable mounting on a shotgun. This is one of those rare sights that is an excellent buy for the money, and will actually tolerate some recoil, as opposed to gimmicky sights that come apart on anything that kicks harder than a paint-ball gun.
The body is constructed from aircraft aluminum, not the toughest material in the world, but it isn’t cheap plastic. Controls are simple enough, but require the use of an allen key. The lens is big enough to please anyone, and the housing is water resistant, so there’s no real worry about taking it out in the weather. The lamp is easy to adjust for various lighting conditions.
On the downside, the glass isn’t coated especially well, and will result in a slightly dimmed image due to the tint. Depending on your usage, that could be good or bad. For close quarter ranges common for this type of sighting system, it should serve well enough, and at this price it’s hard to beat it.
If you absolutely need an unshaded piece of glass, the Lirisy is another leader in this type of budget sight. Low cost and high performance. The sight is definitely not parallax free, but if you keep your head in the right spot behind the glass, it’s really not bad. Still better than iron sights for fast target acquisition.
This is another design that comes with four reticule choices and three brightness settings in each color. The glass is uncoated, and untinted, so you will get a clear aperture to look through even without expensive coatings. Big, clear, and an image almost as bright as the surrounding view, provided you keep the glass clean. And when it comes to that, it also includes a cover shield to help out when not in use. I comes with allen wrenches, cleaning cloth, and a battery to boot.
This is a terrific deal for the cost, an effective solution for the shooter on a budget that wants something faster than iron sights without a lot of added expense.
A 5 MOA dot is pretty large for ranged engagements, but let’s face it, red dots serve their best purpose at close quarters, and the extra large dot is sure to be incredibly fast on target without loosing too much sight picture. At 100 yards it might start to become annoying, as glare from the dot will easily blot out a 6 or 8 inch target completely.
The ruby red coating is slightly better than plain glass for light transmission, but don’t expect a super-bright sight picture. This type of lens coating provides a “better than nothing” solution for a large number of budget optics. It works, but the added light transmission isn’t much.
The dot has several brightness settings, and when it comes to the brightest of them, it will glow even in the face of high glare from the target. Unfortunately the brightness also kills the battery rather quickly, so you will probably want to keep a few extras in the range bag. The parallax-free sighting system works well, and these tube designs are great for better weather resistance and easy maintenance.
This sight is advertised as a 4 MOA red dot, but shows up so crisp and clean that you’ll swear it’s a 3. The brightness settings range from just enough at night to way too bright during the day, so you should be able to find a setting for any conditions. Beware of battery use on the brightest settings, though.
This FieldSport Micro differs from a lot of other options in this price category in a few important respects. Number one, there’s no need for allen wrenches to make adjustments. The thumb screws work fine, which means quick and easy adjustment from behind the lens.
For this price, you won’t expect perfect glass, but the scope functions well enough, and the amber-ish coloring works to increase the contrast of whatever you’re looking at. The sight is plenty rugged, and holds zero well, even on pistols. If you want a tube-style red dot on a budget, make sure to check this one out before you make your final decision.
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