No Lights? No Problem! Top Red Dot Pistol Sights 2018

If you’re a target shooter and you have issues narrowing in your pistol while at the range, this is the review for you. Consider a red dot sight for your weapon — or upgrade your current rifle. You will be surprised at how your shooting experience will change.

In today’s tactical market, the rise of red dot sights on pistols has been a rapid one. But from the beginning, it began with the hunting market, or decline of, and then meandered into competitive shooting.

Remember, when you are using a red dot sight while shooting your pistol, first and foremost you need to be relaxed. There are several red dot characteristics that combine to enhance your shooting experience and accuracy. But regardless of your preference, a red dot sight requires some important characteristics. Take a look at the following features before you invest in a red dot sight …


Red Dot Pistol Sight Specifics

red dot sight for pistol ruger

Reticle Size

The size of the reticle is an absolute for comfort. Some people prefer it larger, while others like one as tiny as possible. However, a quality red dot sight will allow you to adjust the reticle according to your specific needs.

Reticle Shape and Color

red dot reticlesA reticle’s shape is a matter of your personal taste. Look for different reticle options before you zero in on one in particular. Red dot sights can at times be difficult to see. For example, if you are shooting against a red background, you may have difficulty in seeing the red dot. Consider switching to a green one — you might be pleased.

Brightness

Depending on your lighting condition, your red dot reticle may be tough to see. Here’s a tip: Look for the option of adjusting the reticle brightness when purchasing a red dot sight.

Mounting

Before you purchase a red dot reticle, make sure it’s in sync with the type of rail system you have.

Adjustability

glock red dot sight

If you want ultimate accuracy, try sighting in your red dot. Unfavorable weather conditions will hinder your shooting accuracy, so you’ll need to make adjustments. Adjustment knobs will greatly improve your pistol accuracy during rain, snow or sleet.

Durability

The rule of thumb is to look for a red dot sight that is weatherproof and made of materials that combat rust such as tough aluminum and plastics.

Now that we’ve gone over some logistics, take a look at some of our top red dot sights for your pistol …


1. Trijicon RMR 

Trijicon red dot sight

The Trijicon red dot sight is a highly reputable model. Besides being durable, it’s extremely well built. The model’s fiber optic can actually absorb many forms of light. When dusk sets in and it’s completely dark, the Tritium takes over.

The RMR is by far one of the finest quality optics available. It’s super tough and built to withstand all types of weather as well as tactical uses. The Trijicon has set the bar when it comes to red dot sights, and it can work in sync with various pistol mounts.

Be sure to give this one a try — it’s an excellent choice!

Features

  • Automatic brightness mode plus controls for eight adjustable settings
  • Battery life up to 2 years of regular use
  • Uses 1 CR2032 lithium battery
  • Forged 7075-T6 aluminum housing
  • User-friendly push buttons
  • Ingenious patented housing shape
  • True-color multi-coated lens
  • Adjustable windage and elevation
  • Check the latest price on Amazon

2. SVBONY Red Green Dot Sight 

The SVBONY Red Green Dot Sight superbly increase your accuracy with any type of pistol you may choose to mount it on. This model includes pretty much any bells and whistles you could think of in a quality red dot sight.

It’s a snap to sight thanks to its unique adjustability features. In addition, it can be mounted on many different rail systems. The reticle comes in four different shapes and two different colors — plus it adjustable brightness settings.

Image of SVBONY Red Green Dot Sight

The SVBONY Red Green Dot Sight is constructed of a solid metal sight, and it’s also waterproof and shockproof. Lastly, it comes complete with a generous eye relief.

Features

  • Accommodates 20-22mm standard weaver mount with easy sight remounting
  • Four different reticles with a red and green dot sight
  • One CR2032 battery included
  • Multi-coated lens to enhance light permeability, reduce eye fatigue and reflection
  • Fine adjustments on the MOA precision adjustment
  • Perfect for rapid shooting of moving targets
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Check the latest price on Amazon

3. Vortex Venom Red Dot Sight 

Image of Vortex Venom Red Dot Top Load 3 MOA Dot

With a name like Vortex Optics, you know that this gun sight model will not disappoint. This all black model with an amber lens helps the shooter gather light for a brighter look at your target.

Additionally, the red dot reticle shines brightly under changing light conditions thanks to 10 different brightness settings — the Vortex Venom is just perfect for a handgun. In addition, the Venom has a wider lens which will give the shooter a wider field of view than most handgun optics.

The Vortex Venom also features a top-loading battery compartment, plus this optic is capable of lasting 550 hours at the lowest setting and has a 14-hour auto shut off. Although the Vortex Venom is Vortex’s entry into the pistol optic market, you wouldn’t know it. It’s very light at 1.6 ounces, is a very well made optic and is also backed by the company’s warranty.

Features

  • The Venom Red Dot Sight-3 MOA promotes rapid target acquisition
  • High quality, fully multi-coated lenses offer a clean, wide field of view
  • Choose between 10 brightness levels
  • Also includes a light sensor to control dot intensity
  • 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustments for easy sighting
  • Great fit for your rifle or shotgun
  • Check the latest price on Amazon

4. Burris Fastfire 

Burris Fastfire red dot sight

The Burris Fastfire is an excellent option for today’s competition shooter. The Fastfire is a top quality made optic, and it’s perfect for a handgun. It’s super light, very strong, and most of all — simple to use. The Fastfire is also affordable, which makes it attractive for rookie shooters looking to experiment with a red dot on their pistol.

Designed to cut down on time from holster to target and from target to target, the Fastfire uses a 3 MOA red dot. It’s used wisely because it’s large enough to easily catch the eye but small enough to see targets at a far away distance.

The Burris Fastfire also offers quick access to the battery. Because many times when the battery is not at the top of the sight you need to remove the sight to change the battery. With three levels of brightness to boot, the Burris Fastfire Red Dot is another great option for your pistol.

Features

  • Constructed of the highest quality materials
  • Tested for quality and reliability
  • 3 MOA dot reticle
  • Tool-less windage and elevation adjustments
  • Top of sight battery access
  • Power button offers three levels of brightness with an automatic brightness setting
  • Low battery warning indicator
  • Check the latest price on Amazon

5. RioRand Red and Green Dot Sight

RioRand red dot sight

The RioRand Red and Green Dot Sight is yet another model that is extremely well-constructed and features pinpoint accuracy.  It features a unique design which proves to be one that many of today’s shooters rave about.

The RioRand can mount to various rails thanks to the base design. This well-made product features over five reticle levels and also offers over 3 reticle shapes. Offering generous eye relief, the RioRand also comes with an affordable price.

Features

  • Four separate reticles for unlimited eye relief
  • Seven brightness settings
  • Tubeless open reflex design
  • Perfect choice for rapid-firing and moving targets
  • Comes with a cleaning cloth, CR2032 battery, and mounting tool
  • Check the latest price on Amazon

6. GERO Green and Red Dot Sight 

Image of GERO Tactical Green and Red Dot Sight

The GERO Tactical Green and Red Dot Sight is a remarkable product that boasts great eye relief and comes at an affordable price. With four different reticles (offered in green or red dot) shapes, it also has several different brightness settings.

Many pistol users have commended this quality of the Gero’s easy setup. Featuring outstanding eye relief, it can also be mounted on various rail systems quite easily.

Durable and rugged, this sight is shockproof, waterproof and did we mention inexpensive? The Gero Tactical Green and Red Dot Sight also comes with a one-year warranty. Simply great overall!

Features

  • Heavy duty to withstand big hits by paintballs traveling around 280 – 300 feet per second
  • Great eye relief and clear sight
  • Multiple reticles and brightness settings
  • Inexpensive
  • User-friendly
  • Constructed of the highest quality materials
  • Lightweight, water-resistant, and shockproof features
  • Check the latest price on Amazon

7. Leapers UTG ITA 

Leapers UTG ITA  red dot sight

The UTG ITA offers you a choice of red or green reticles. It’s an exceptional sight which can also adjust to over 3 different light levels. In addition, it features non-reflective lens coatings to guarantee a crisp view.

The UTG ITA sight also offers generous eye relief. It also boasts a mounting system that enables the manufacturers to build it from solid construction. Lastly, this red/green dot sight comes with a two-year warranty. If you’re looking for a pistol sight with multiple brightness settings, this is an optimal choice indeed.

Features

  • Versatile red/green dot sight for a wide range of pistols, shotguns, and rifles
  • Available with integral quick detach mounting deck
  • Crisp and vivid red/green 4MOA target dot and 65MOA circle reticle
  • Five brightness settings for many environmental backgrounds
  • Instant aiming and locking on target with a wide field of view
  • Check the latest price on Amazon

8. Bushnell First Strike

Bushnell First Strike red dot sight

Bushnell is a trusted name in the optics industry and their First Strike is one of the most affordable options for a pistol red dot sight. It’s extremely well-made and is perfect for the shooter who doesn’t want to break the bank.

In addition, the First Strike is ideal for use with a small caliber handgun. If you suffer from poor eyesight, not to worry — this optic will not let you down! The First Strike comes with a variety of different mounting options and risers so it’s ready when you are. Affordable, waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, the Bushnell First Strike is also user-friendly.

The lenses are coated for superior light transmission and optic protection and the system automatically adjusts to the light as needed. This is great — it allows shooters to easily transition from an open field to a closed cover.

However, it does require a Picatinny rail to mount, so make sure you understand before you purchase. Additionally, the Bushnell First Strike has a long battery life and automatically turns on and off when the protective cover is in place.

As we said before, this red dot sight is super affordable — great for the shooter on a budget.

Features

  • 100 percent waterproof/fog proof/shockproof construction
  • 5 MOA red dot reticle
  • Lightweight, compact design
  • Conserves battery life by automatically adjusting to available light conditions
  • Multi-coated optics for superior light transmission
  • Check the latest price on Amazon

Final Thoughts

If you didn’t know before reading this, handgun red dots are really easy to use. In fact, they are actually easier to use than iron sights. And in addition, both experienced and new shooters who use these sight are often capable of hitting targets further and faster.

While all of these sights are remarkable, if we had to choose a favorite, it would be the Vortex Venom — it’s unbelievably good.

From its multiple light settings to its windage and elevation settings, to its unique auto-brightness feature, the Vortex is pure quality. It’s very lightweight and constructed from tough aluminum that won’t let you down.

Add the fact that it comes with a warranty and you’re good to go. Check out The Vortex — you’ll be glad you did!

Alex Joseph is an avid bow hunter and father of two boys. Originally from Tacoma, Washington. Alex now resides in California.

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