10 Best Budget Red Dot Sights – Fast Target Acquisition Even in Low Light

10 Best Budget Red Dot Sights

Whether you are someone who has bought his first rifle or a seasoned professional marksman with a rich arsenal of weapons, the budget is something that always matters. Tactical rifles are kind of like Legos as their cost tends to rapidly add up. This is why you should be very careful with your purchase. 

Why are red dots so popular? That's because they allow for more accurate rapid fire and quicker reaction than any iron sight. These ultra modern optics are designed specifically to provide users with unlimited eye relief and more intuitive shooting experience than traditional sights. Unlike other sights, the red dot scopes for rifles keep both eyes open and thus let you have a nearly unlimited visual field while setting the dot on your target.

Besides, red dots are fairly easy to use and don't take a lot of training to get mastered. On the top of that, red dot scopes work perfectly on just about any weapon platform, which is why many people like to use them. 

  1. Vortex Optics Sparc II
  2. Burris Fastfire III
  3. Vortex Optics Strikefire II
  4. Vortex Optics Crossfire
  5. C-MORE Systems Railway
  6. Sightmark SM14003 Ultra
  7. Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5
  8. Sightmark SM26008 Ultra
  9. Ozark Armament Rhino
  10. Dagger Defense DDHB

The TOP 10 Best Budget Red Dot Sights Reviews 201​9

Aside from keeping you within budget, our extensive breakdown will also help you to find a dot sight that doesn't break the bank and still gets you shooting straight. We're going to cover some of the best red dot sight for the money and highlight both the differences and benefits of each model. Although these dot sights are cheap, they can easily fool people into thinking that you have spent several hundred dollars.

So let’s take a look at the top 10 cheap red dot sights on the market. Enjoy!

* The prices are not shown because of the frequent pricing update on Amazon.com. Please click on the Amazon buttons to get the latest pricing.

The Budget Red Dot Sights

Vortex Optics Sparc II

Our Rating

top rated budget red dot sight

The compact Vortex Optics Sparc II is full of performance features that may be used in various platforms. The three-piece base is modular, offering four mounting height adjustments for different weapons customization.

It has a high base and shim plate that offers absolute and lower 1/3 co-witness mounting heights, with a low base that provides options for shotguns or handguns.

Pros

  • It has a daylight bright 2 MOA dot for fast and easy use
  • It incorporates elevation and windage dials with audible clicks
  • It has ten variable illumination settings, with the two lowest settings being night-vision compatible
  • It has a very clear dot

Cons

  • The red dot will not appear solid if you have astigmatism
  • The adjustments on windage, brightness, and elevation are on the “soft” side. The click is difficult to hear when making corrections

The Burris Fastfire III is tough but light and puts a bright red dot on your target for an immediate speed and accuracy advantage. It can be used as your primary sight or you may pair it on top of an existing sight. It is perfect for rifles, handguns, and shotguns.  It is the perfect secondary sight for other optics such as the Burris Signature HD Spotting Scope.

The Burris Fastfire III windage and elevation controls are accurate and precise, and they are easy to adjust. It has a battery compartment right on top to allow quick battery swap without having to remove the optic.

The red dot is available in 3 MOA or 8 MOA size, with the larger dot helping you to find your target quicker. It is perfect for short-range shooters such as shotguns or handguns. The smaller dot is popular for rifles, making it a more precise aiming point.

Pros

  • It offers dozens of unique mounts for the Fastfire 3
  • It easily fits the Glock MOS and other factory slide cuts
  • Easy to adjust windage and elevation controls

Cons

  • The mounting plate tends to lift after some time

The Vortex Optics Strikefire II is a rugged, red dot sight that may be used in a variety of shooting applications. It allows the shooter to switch operation between two dot colors and ten brightness settings for easy adjustment for changing conditions. Its multi-coated lenses provide a bright, clean, and unobscured point of view. Its unlimited eye relief allows a shooter to have rapid target acquisition.

Vortex Optics Strikefire II has a single-piece chassis that is both compact and lightweight, but still able to deliver a shockproof performance while withstanding recoil and impact. It is kept fog proof and waterproof by O-ring seals and nitrogen purging.

The offset cantilever mount allows the moving of the sight to forward position to be used together with the magnifier and a backup iron sights that are mounted on the same rail. The power controls at the rear of the Strikefire is easily accessible, making it both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Pros

  • It is a great choice for shooters who are looking for a good quality red dot sight
  • It has sleek rear-facing controls for power on/off with easy adjustment of ten dot intensity levels
  • It automatically returns to the last dot intensity used when it is powered up
  • It is ideal for rifle platforms because of the lower 1/3 co-witness cantilever
  • It is ideal for situations that require split-second target acquisition

Cons

  • The red dot appears to be misshapen if you have astigmatism
  • The 4 MOA dot covers only a 13-inch diameter portion of the target

The Vortex Optics Crossfire is an ultracompact, super-light, fast-on-target Crossfire Red Dot that was designed for close range and general shooting. It has a daylight-bright 2-MOA dot that easily acquires and promotes rapid target engagement, but still thin enough for precise distant target engagement. It has 11 intensity brightness levels to allow a shooter to cater to the dot intensity of the current situation.

It has a skeletonized mount with two height positions - Low and Lower 1/3 Co-Witness - that lends functionality to rifles, pistols, and shotguns. Its multi-coated lenses increase the transmission of light during low-light situations. It has unlimited eye relief that makes for quick target acquisition.

Vortex Optics Crossfire has a shockproof aluminum body display that is extremely durable. It delivers waterproof performance because it is nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed.

The daylight bright red dot is very easy to see as it paints targets regardless of the background of the lighting condition. It is important to keep both eyes open while shooting with the Crossfire red dot to take advantage of your peripheral vision to get your target quickly.

Pros

  • The Crossfire Red Dot elevation and windage dials work with audible clicks
  • It can be mounted on a variety of platforms with its high mount or low mount
  • It can be mounted on an Evo scorpion

Cons

  • The dot flickers under recoil because the battery loses contact
  • The control knob is better on the left side instead of its current position at the right
  • The brightness dial turns only one way

The C-More Systems Railway has adjustable intensity and interchangeable dot module. It has a heads-up display for fast target acquisition. It has an infinite adjustment for elevation and windage that features positive locking screws.

The aluminum body of C-More Systems Railway has a 12-position click intensity switch. It attaches to Weaver or Picatinny Rail mounts. It has a polymer body.

Pros

  • It weighs only 12 ounces
  • Sighting involves very little guesswork to maintain a consistent bead on the target
  • It is very accurate when sighted in
  • it has numerous intensities for quick switching
  • It is the perfect sight for a non-professional shooter

Cons

  • The exposed glass and laser projector easily obscured by matter from the environment
  • The plastic molding is horrendous for a high-quality product

The Sightmark SM 14003 Ultra is noted in the industry for its precision accuracy. It has a quick detach mounting system with multi-reticle. The reticle types are 5 MOA dot, 3 MOA dot with 50 MOA circle, 3 MOA dot with 50 MOA crosshair, and 3 MOA dot with 30 MOA circle/crosshair.  The red reticle is illuminated.

The Sightmark SM 14003 Ultra has an aluminum body with a metal protective shield. It is able to withstand heavy recoil calibers.

It is able to deliver two ways to dial in with pinpoint accuracy. It features a side-mounted red laser that allows quick target acquisition, allowing the shooter to fire quickly in close-quarter situations such as tactical training situations or three-gun matches. Users can customize their views using one of the four illuminated reticle patterns when sighting through the dual-pane glass.

It is equipped with a night vision mode to allow users to mount the device in front of a night vision monocular and create a co-witnessed riflescope set up. The featured double-pane glass lens eliminates parallax, retaining accuracy when fired from the periphery of the lens.

It has a quick detach mount that allows a user to quickly and effectively adapt the firearm to the situation at hand. There is no need to continually re-adjust the sight in the field because it holds extremely well. The product is durable because of its all-aluminum construction.

Pros

  • The product is inspired by military and law enforcement technology and is designed for triple duty to ensure every product may be used effectively for tactical, competition, and hunting needs
  • It needs only minimal adjust out of the box

Cons

  • Mounting is difficult when you don’t have a rail on it
  • The red dot sits low. If you change the mount on the magnifier, the red dot blocks part of the view
  • Difficult to sight in because you can only hear, not feel, the click

The Sig Sauer SOR 52001 Romeo 5 features Motion Activated-Illumination that increases battery life by shutting down the system when not in use. The system is instantly activated when it senses movement or vibration, with your sight up and ready into action. It mounts on any platform and its solid aluminum design gives peak performance and many years of service.

The Romeo 5 has highly efficient, ultra-wide broadband, antireflection lens coatings that reduce surface reflections to extremely low levels across its entire visible spectrum to provide superior light transmission.

The Romeo 5 has an electro-optics design that drew inspiration from the manufacturer’s famous firearm. Its deflection armor trapezoidal surfacing emphasizes the shape and visibility of the optic together with pistol slide serrations and checkered grip, which adds function SIG SAUER electro-optics.

Pros

  • When mounted on an AR pistol, it still maintains its rock solid zero after over 400 rounds
  • It comes with both risers and does co-witness also
  • The elevation and windage are easy to adjust
  • The lenses are crystal clear with a bright and round red dot
  • It has a good field of view no matter where you mount it

Cons

  • It does starburst at higher settings when used indoors
  • The outer lens, towards the target, is reflective when viewed from an angle

The Sightmark SMN 26008 Ultra is an improved version of the Ultra Shot QD Digital Switch Reflex Sight, featuring several enhancements requested by customers. The Sightmark SMN26008 Ultra has red and green reticle illumination. It has digital switch controls and multiple reticles. It has one-hour shut off to help minimize the life of the battery. It has a quick-detach weaver mount.

The product is powered by a common camera battery that gives it up 2,000 hours of continuous use. It is ideal for fast-moving targets and close range use. It is equipped with a red/green illuminated reticle and digital switch button located on the side for variable brightness setting adjustments in any lighting condition.

The product is exceptionally durable, with a rock-solid sight that includes a protective, aluminum shield hood for additional defense. It is covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Pros

  • Pressing the left side of the digital switch mark will change the color of the reticle
  • Pressing the right side of the switch will cycle through the brightness settings
  • The unit can be powered off by pressing and holding the left side of the digital switch for two seconds, then release

Cons

  • The unit shuts off automatically after an hour, but it does not have motion detection
  • This product does not fit in a pistol

Ozark Armament Rhino is a durable sight, backed by Ozark Armament’s hassle-free lifetime guarantee. The sight is a product of a US company, which means that it is easy to get technical and other support.

Rhino is designed to co-witness perfectly with the cantilever mount that is included in the product package. It is easy to sight in and will hold a zero even after firing thousands of rounds.

Rhino’s red or green dot has adjustable brightness. It has five brightness with green, while the red setting allows shooting from dusk, day time, night time, or dawn.

It is ultra-rugged, fog proof, and waterproof because of the sealed optic that prevents dust and moisture from getting inside. The unit is nitrogen purged to prevent fogging. It is guaranteed to work in any condition you might find on Earth.

Rhino has unparalleled quickness and accuracy. It excels in short and medium shooting range shooting with 4 MOA accuracy. You can easily get on target with the parallax design and wide field of view.

Pros

  • The sight is of all metal construction, with the exception of the lens cap
  • The optics of this sight is balanced, with a balanced weight
  • The red/green levels are great, with plenty of bright enough to see on a sunny day, and dim enough to be used at night

Cons

  • There is no magnification to the lens or any parallax
  • The 4 MOA begins to unravel quickly at longer distances
  • There is quite a bit of glare from the lens

The Dagger Defense DDHB has a red and green dots, with four position reticles. It is equipped with a locking set screw to ensure that your sighting adjustment is well set. To change the setting, all you need to do is turn 1-2 times clockwise.

The DDHB is constructed of aircraft grade aluminum and has an ergonomic design to save space on the rail for other accessories. It is equipped with a locking set screw to stabilize the adjustment. The DDHB comes in a black finish.

The DDHB includes the hex wrench for adjusting your elevation. The elevation will be based upon the movement of your target, such as adjusting “up” means that the target has moved up.

The DDHB can be adjusted for windage using the included hex wrench. The windage, just like the elevation, is based on the movement of the target, which means that adjusting “right” means that the target has moved to the right.

The DDHB’s rotary known has three functions:

The reticle color selector is for red or green.

The fade adjustment is for brightness.

Pros

  • The rotary knob can be used to adjust the intensity of brightness or between red and green reticles
  • The height of the mount is perfect for co-witnessing with other sights
  • The product is powered by CR20132 battery, which is included in the product package

Cons

  • The reticle is not very sharp, with bleeding second image next to the main reticle
  • Dust caught between the primary lenses and the projection lens, which blurs the image

Best Budget Red Dot Sights Buying Guide

 

An inexpensive yet good dot sight is the one that has several key features, such as sturdy mounting capability, a low weight, plenty of eye relief, and of course, a crystal clear view. It also must allow for fast target acquisition and quick shooting. Below, you can see some of the most important considerations and factors to look for when buying a red dot sight.

Weapon Mounting

Be sure that a mounting option for your red dot sight is reliable and solid. There are 2 most common rail mount types - Picatinny and Weaver. Most weapons come with either of these two rails so you should check the sight and your gun to see if they fit each other. If needed, you'll need to purchase a mount separately from the scope so as to suit both your weapon and sight.

Projection

Each red dot sight has a certain projection, either a holographic or reflex one. While the holographic sights create a red dot by means of a laser that projects the light on the viewing window, the reflex sights reflect the LED light in the line of shooting. The second type is 

more common and it consumes less battery life.

Minutes of Angle (MOA)

The MOA implies a dot size, i.e. a measurement consisting of a range of one inch per hundred yards. The greater the MOA, the more accurate your dot sight will be. While the bigger MOA is beneficial when shooting from far distances, it has no great significance for shorter distances.

Versatility

Not every red dot sight is suited for every setup. Nonetheless, many dots are versatile and allow you to use them with a number of firearms, including pistols, rifles, crossbows, and shotguns. That's an important factor to take into account when picking the sight for your weapon.

Durability

This is a big deal when buying the red dot sight. DOA reticle, wandering zero, or flickering is just a waste of money. You should pick a dot that can hold up well. It also must be shockproof, fogproof, and waterproof.

Weight

Firearms aren't lightweight either. This especially applies to heavy handguns. So if you have a heavier big gun, adding a weighty dot sight will make you feel tired or uncomfortable after shooting a few rounds. This is why you should go for the lightweight sights.

Battery life

The battery lifespan varies from a few hundred to several thousand hours. Besides the lifespan, replacing the batteries could be a real issue in some models that require extra tools.

Wrapping Up

The optics empire seems to be massive with thousands of choices and a broad array of sighting systems. There's a wide variety of scopes, including those for close-range shooting, long-range shooting, and fixed power riflescopes. Yet, the red dot sights reign supreme in the realm of modern optics. 

Finding the best budget red dot could be a big challenge, though. This is especially true if you are seeking a cheap dot sight for rapid target acquisition in low light. Now that you're familiar with the top 10 picks for best budget red dot sights and tips on what to look for, it is much easier to make the right choice.