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Pistol red dot sights are an evolution of the red dot and reflex sights that were originally only mounted on rifles.
Red dot sights are designed to help hand gunners acquire their sights faster so they can make faster shots. But red dots also make it much easier to take long range shots. Beyond 15 yards, a red dot simplifies the aiming process and makes it easier to get hits.
However, it’s important to note that it takes practice to get proficient with a red dot. Especially if you’ve spent a lot of time training with iron sights. You’ll have to practice your presentation with a red dot so that you naturally drive the gun out and bring the red dot into focus.
However, once you’ve got the presentation down, a red dot can really raise the ceiling on what you can do with your pistol.
Our Best Choice
Vortex Optics Venom
Quick spoiler: If you want to skip to dessert, the Vortex Optics Venom is the best overall red dot in this article. So you can pick that one up and start training now, if you wish.
Top Pistol Red Dot Sights
The 7 Best Pistol Red Dot Sight Reviews (Updated 2019)Here are the top reflex sights for your handgun that you should check out now:
- Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight 3 MOA - Best for the Money
- Ade Advanced Optics Huracan Green Dot Micro Mini - Best Budget Pistol Red Dot Sight
- Burris Fastfire III with Picatinny Mount Pistol Red Dot Sight - Best Value Pistol Red Dot
- Leupold 119688 Delta Point Pro 2.5 MOA Pistol Red Dot - Best for Long Range
- Sig Sauer Romeo 1 Mini Reflex 1x30mm - Best for Competition
- Trijicon RMR Type 2 3.25 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight - Best Overall
1. Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sights 3 MOA - Best Pistol Red Dot for the Money
However, the battery only lasts for 150 hours at the highest brightness setting. For reference, that’s about 6 days. 30,000 hours, or just under 3 and a half years.
The cool thing about this is that if you put the Venom on your defensive gun, you can use the automatic brightness to prolong the battery life. It will turn the brightness down when the gun is in concealment.
The long battery life is especially helpful, since the battery cover is incredibly difficult to remove and replace. But you can replace the battery without removing the sight from your gun, which is handy.
The Venom has a nice low profile and a
All the controls are located on the side of the sight for easy access and minimal interference when the gun is in a holster.
Overall, the Venom is an excellent all around pistol red dot sight. The battery will last for a long time on a defensive gun, and the wide range of brightness settings make the Venom ideal for competitive and recreational shooters.
2. Ade Advanced Optics Huracan Green Dot Micro Mini Reflex Sight - Best Budget Pistol Red Dot
Ade precision grinds and polishes the lenses to ensure that the sight picture is crisp and that there’s virtually no parallax. So you get a true point-of-aim to point-of-impact relationship.
Where the Huracan shows it’s price point is in the design and battery life.
The battery lasts for three months when the sight is always on. But it comes up short when you compare it to other optics with battery lives of over three years.
Another inconvenience is the placement of the on/off switch.
This is another pain point for concealed carriers. The on/off button could get pressed by your holster. Having your sight turned off essentially renders it useless in a defensive incident. make sure your holster doesn’t press on the front of the sight before you use the Huracan as your defensive sighting system.
Overall, the Huracan is an excellent entry level optic. It will perform well as a recreation or competition optic. However, the relatively short battery life and inconvenient on/off button placement may make it less than ideal for concealed carriers.
3. Burris Fastfire III with Picatinny Mount - Best Value Pistol Red Dot
At the brightest setting, the Fastfire has 5000 hours of battery life. That’s just over 200 days.
The Fastfire battery can be changed without removing the sight. However, the battery cover is a bit fickleHowever, when you shoot your gun, the sight will turn off.
Burris includes their proprietary mounting system with the Fastfire. This enables you to mount the Fastfire on rifles and shotguns as well.
In the end, the Fastfire is an excellent sight for all pistol applications, and some rifle and shotgun contexts. That versatility presents a lot of value for the going price.
4. Leupold 119688 Delta Point Pro Reflex Dot Sight 2.
However, the triangle shape helps minimize target obstruction at longer ranges. The 2.5 MOA reticle is a better option for those who shoot most often at long ranges
Leupold states that the battery lasts for 190 hours of high brightness use
This will help preserve the battery. However, the sight could be constantly turning on and off from normal movements during concealed carry. So the battery may not last much longer than 190 hours on your defensive gun, depending on how much you move with your gun.the motion sensor technology is handy for carrying the gun in a holster
Leupold covered the protective housing with an additional layer of steel to enhance durability. The DeltaPoint is rugged. the steel band makes the lens housing thicker. So there’s a bit more metal in your field of view.
The DeltaPoint can also be mounted on rifles and shotguns, for those who want to dual-purpose their sight.
Overall, the DeltaPoint is a good option for defensive shooters. Competition shooters and recreational shooters may find that the DeltaPoint features don’t really do much for them
5. Sig Sauer Romeo 1 Mini Reflex 1x30mm 3 MOA - Best Competition Pistol Red Dot
The protective housing is a minimal aluminum band, though.
Sig uses motion sensor technology to extend the battery life. several months of every day carry. This is decent.
Fortunately, changing the battery is one of the most user-friendly processes among pistol red dots.
The Romeo 1 can also be mounted on rifles and shotguns. The night vision sight settings give it enhanced night shooting capabilities, especially for those who use night optics.
6. Trijicon RMR Type 2 3.
However, the housing accommodates a wide range of mounting options, and can be mounted on rifles or shotguns as well.
The only other downside to the RMR is the price. The RMR literally costs as much as a good handgun.
In the end, the RMR is for shooters who want best-in-class performance and battery life, no matter the cost. Competitive shooters will appreciate the adaptability for long guns and concealed carriers can rest easy knowing that their battery won’t die while their gun is in the holster.