Are you unsatisfied with the accuracy of your AR-15 when you shoot it? Maybe you are not using a scope that suits your shooting style. We find that the best AR-15 red dot sights tend to really help improve most shooters accuracy and consistency. That is why we highly recommend having a red dot sight as your AR-15 weapon’s primary means of aiming.
In this article, we will take a look at 5 outstanding AR-15 red dot sights and tell you a little bit more about what to focus on when you are shopping for a new AR-15 red dot sight.
Comparison of the Top 5 AR-15 Red Dot Sights
Editor’s Rating (out of 5.0)
Key Things to Look For When Buying an AR-15 Red Dot Sight
Here are the key features to focus on when shopping for a red dot sight for your AR-15 Rifle:
- Red dot brightness level
Not everybody likes their red dot reticle to be the same level of brightness. The time of day and available light also plays a role in the brightness you want your red dot reticle to be. So the more reticle brightness level settings you have on your red dot sight the better. That way you can customize your red dot sight’s reticle to exactly the way you like it under all different kinds of light conditions.
It does not matter how well your red dot sight shows up to point at a target if your AR-15 is not sighted in properly for accuracy. That is why it’s so important that your new red dot sight be able to be adjusted for accuracy. Look for a red dot sight that is highly adjustable for both windage and elevation. The more sensitive these adjustments are (called clicks for 1 turn on an adjustment knob) the better and more quickly you will be able to accurately sight in your AR-15.
When shopping for a red dot sight you have to pay particular attention to the type of rail that it’s compatible with as far as mounting it goes. Not every red dot sight will fit on ever rail that can be mounted on an AR-15 rifle platform. So you have to make sure you know the rail mounting options for any red dot sight that you are thinking about purchasing. Most red dot sights will fit the more popular AR-15 mounting rails such as Picatinny and Weaver rails.
Not only does your red dot sight have to have optics that helps to improve your shooting accuracy but it also has to be built tough. Chances are that unless you shoot your weapon only in an indoor range you will be exposing it to some tough environmental conditions when you use it. Heat, dust, moisture and other harsh elements can significantly reduce your new red dot sight’s effectiveness or useful life.
Make sure any red dot sight you will buy will be made out of tough materials such as aluminum alloy tubing or heavy duty polymer plastics. They should also be sealed very well against moisture and it’s even better if the red dot sight you buy is waterproof.
AR-15 Red Dot Sights Reviews
Vortex-Optics is a big name when it comes to making quality optics for rifles and other type guns. Sights like this very well-designed red dot sight are the reason why this is true. This sight has a bright and highly identifiable reticle that will greatly aid in how well you aim your AR-15 rifle.
This sight is loaded with impressive features and that starts with your choice of green or red dot reticle color. Once you have selected the color you prefer you can then choose one of 10 different light levels for that reticle. That allows for a lot of customization as far as how you use the red or green dot for aiming. The reticle can even be made to be night vision compatible on its two lowest brightness settings.
This sight is built tough too. It is made out of aluminum alloy one-piece tubing and is sealed up very well to protect it from the elements. As a matter of fact, it’s sealed so well that it is both waterproof and fogproof. It even comes complete with flip-up protective lens covers to further protect this very nice red dot sight from the elements.
- Choice of green or red dot reticle
- Waterproof and fogproof
- Rear facing controls
- 10 reticle intensity levels
- Flip-up lens covers
- Aluminum alloy chassis
- Lens covers are hard to latch sometimes
- Adjustment knobs have a slight break in period
Here is a very compact and lightweight red dot sight that is made by AT3-tactical. This sight is versatile and accurate and will be a welcome addition to help sight in any AR15 rifle that you own. It can even be mounted at one of three different heights based on your preference.
This AT3-built sight has excellent lenses that are multi-coated and scratch resistant. That helps provide for clear viewing of both the target you are you looking at and the aiming reticle. The red dot reticle can be adjust to one of eleven different brightness settings too.
One of the best things about this model sight is its extra-long battery life. It can last as long as 50,000 hours. AT3-Tactical also nice backs this product up with a 3-year unconditional warranty. This red dot sight also fits nicely on both Picatinny and Weaver rails.
- 3 different mounting heights
- Extra-long battery life – 50,000 hours
- Multi-coated, scratch resistant amber lenses
- Matte black anodized finish
- Waterproof, shockproof
- 3 year no-hassle warranty
- No auto shutoff
- Red dot cannot be adjusted small enough for some users liking
Ozark Armament is another big name when it comes to adding optics to rifles and other guns. This fine red dot sight from them is a good example of why their products are so popular. It will greatly aid your ability to aim if you affix it to the top rail of your AR-15 weapon.
This is definitely a no frills red dot sight but despite that it’s a very high quality sight. For one, It’s very easy to adjust for windage and elevation. It also gives you your choice of using a red or green reticle for aiming and you can set that reticle at one of five different brightness levels. Its coated optics also present a nice clear view of the target you are aiming at.
It’s a sight that is very durable and waterproof too. This product contains a cantilever base that makes it easy to mount and it also features attached lens covers to protect its optics. Ozark Armament also backs this up with a no questions asked 1 year warranty.
- Easy sight adjustment
- Includes cantilever mounting base
- Choice of red or green reticle
- Built tough, waterproof
- No Questions asked 1 Year Warranty
- Flip-up protective lens covers
- Reticle does not get small enough for some shooters
- Basic sight
This red dot sight works very well and is also extremely budget friendly. It would probably fit into the category of being an entry level sight because it does not come with many bells and whistles. Despite that fact, it’s a sight that is easy to zero and does not lose that zero setting even when used extensively.
This sight is very versatile thanks to all the options that are built into it. You can choose from one of four different reticle patter the light level of the pattern you have chosen. Not only does it have a red dot reticle for aiming but it also can be switched over to a green colored reticle if that provides more contrast to the color of the background you are aiming at targets in.
It’s a tough sight thanks to its aircraft grade aluminum construction and the kit it comes in contains the necessary Allen wrenches for mounting it.
- Choice of red or green reticle
- Sighting screws lock in position
- aircraft grade aluminum
- 4 reticle patterns to choose from
- Comes with Allen wrench and cleaning cloth
- Picatinny rail mounted
- No built-in lens covers
- Reticle is too thick for some peoples liking
You don’t get much bigger names when it comes to hunting gear that uses optics than Bushnell. They are world renowned for making affordable viewing products that work well. This fine camouflage patterned red dot sight is certainly no exception to that.
The reticle it uses can be made to be as small as 3 MOA and it includes 11 different brightness level settings. Since this Bushnell AR-15 sight has unlimited eye relief it means that you can use it with both eyes open for easier and faster target acquisition too.
It is a very sturdy sight that conveniently weighs only 3.7 ounces so it does not add much weight to your rifle when it’s mounted to it. This sight is also nicely waterproof, shockproof and will not fog up as you use it under any weather conditions.
- Camouflage pattern
- 3 MOA red dot reticle
- Lightweight 3.7 ounces
- 11 light level settings to choose from
- unlimited eye relief
- lens cover need improvement
- need to use a flathead screwdriver when sighting in (not included)
Any one of these fine AR-15 red dot sights would make a great addition to your rifles platform. With that being said, there was one sight that we liked better than the others on our list of the top AR-15 red dot sights. That model sight is the Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 Red/Green Dot Sight.
What make it stand out are features such as its rear facing controls and how easy it is to sight in. You can also choose a red or green reticle for use and that reticle can be set at one of 10 different light levels. It mounts easily on both the popular Picatinny and Weaver rails too. This sight is durable and weatherproof also due to its tight seals and tubular aluminum alloy construction.
We definitely feel it is a red dot sight that you should consider purchasing if you are looking to buy a new one.