8 Best Red Dots Under $200

best red dot sight under 200 dollars

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Red dot sights single-handedly changed the optic world. Never before did we have an optic designed to make close-range shooting faster, more accurate, and more intuitive. Red dot optics are everywhere and come in all price ranges.

Like with most things, you get what you pay for. If you are on a budget, it can be hard to ensure you are picking a high-quality option. You want to get the most bang for your buck.

We've gathered some of the best red dots on the market that are priced at under $200. Our goal is to help you find the best red dot scope for your rifle, shotgun, or handgun without breaking the bank.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

Bushnell Trophy TRS 25

Bushnell-Trophy

Bushnell Trophy TRS 25

  • Brightness Settings: 11
  • MOA: 3
  • Weight:0.23 Pounds

Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot

Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot

Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot

  • Brightness Settings: 11
  • MOA: 2
  • Weight:5.2 oz

SIG Sauer Romeo5

SIG Sauer Romeo5

SIG Sauer Romeo5

  • Brightness Settings: 10
  • MOA:2
  • Magnification:1 x

Vortex Sparc 2

Vortex Sparc 2

Vortex Sparc 2

  • Brightness Settings:10
  • MOA: 2
  • Magnification:1 x

Burris FastFire III

Burris FastFire III

Burris FastFire III

  • Brightness Settings: 3
  • MOA: 3
  • Magnification:1 x

Holosun HS403R Sight

Holosun HS403R Micro Reflex Sight

Holosun HS403R Sight

  • Brightness Settings: 12
  • MOA: 2
  • Magnification:1 x

Nikon P Tactical Superdot

Nikon P Tactical Superdot

Nikon P Tactical Superdot

  • Brightness Settings: 10
  • MOA: 2
  • Magnification:1 x

Bushnell Micro Reflex Sight

Bushnell Advance Micro Reflex Sight

Bushnell Micro Reflex Sight

  • Brightness Settings:10
  • MOA: 5
  • Magnification:1 x

Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot

Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot

  • Brightness Settings:10
  • MOA: 5
  • Magnification:1 x

Bushnell Optics TRS-26

Bushnell Optics TRS-26

  • Brightness Settings:10
  • MOA: 5
  • Magnification:1 x

Aimpoint CompM4

Aimpoint CompM4

Aimpoint CompM4

  • Brightness Settings:10
  • MOA: 5
  • Magnification:1 x

1. Bushnell Trophy TRS 25 - Best Red Dot Under $200

best red dot under 200

The Bushnell TRS 25 made a massive impact on the red dot industry. By far, this is the cheapest red dot on the market. If your goal is to find the most affordable red dot sight that won't let you down, look no further than this red dot.

This is a compact red dot optic with a 25mm objective lens. It comes with a low mount, but a high mount is also available to co-witness with AR height iron sights.

It comes with a precise 3 MOA red dot. This red dot size is small making it precise and well suited for rifle use. The dot has 11 different brightness settings that range from "Oh man, I can barely see it, to holy crap that's bright."

best red dot sight under 200

It isn't designed for a specific weapon but is best suited for long guns. On semi-auto rifles, tactical shotguns, and even just fun 22 LR plinkers, this red dot has a home. It's quick and easy to use and attaches very securely with the built-in mount.

This is incredibly well built for red dots this price point. This riflescope is a real groundbreaking optic when you look at it from the value versus performance perspective. This red dot is shockproof and waterproof with an O ring seal to keep water and debris out. It's even nitrogen purged to prevent fog build up.

It has an amber multi-coating that does two things. First, it reduces glare and gives you a comfortable optic to look through. Second, it increases the amount of low light transmitted through the optic.

This is an impressive optic. It has a small footprint, is remarkably lightweight, and perfect for a wide variety of weapons. If the price is your main concern, this one is impossible to beat.

Bushnell Trophy TRS 25

The price of Bushnell Trophy TRS 25 varies, so check the latest price at

Pros:

  • Impressive technology
  • Comes with lens covers

Cons:

  • Not as clear glass
  • Not many accessories available

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot

best vortex red dot

Vortex made their name producing budget red dot sights that just so happen to be exceptionally well made. This Vortex red dot is part of a much more significant line of optics and is the only red dot in the line. This red dot scope is compact and weighs only 5.2 ounces.

This Vortex red dot has a 2 MOA dot reticle that is ultra-fine and incredibly consistent throughout the different levels of brightness.

Speaking of brightness levels, this red dot comes with 11 different intensity levels. Just make the brightness adjustments and you're covered for low light conditions and bright light performance.

This Vortex red dot comes with two mounts. One is a low mount for shotguns, PCCs, and more. The second mount is a high mount that allows for a 1/3rd co-witness with AR iron sights. As a red dot, you also get infinite eye relief and can mount this optic anywhere you have a rail.

holosun vs vortex

This red dot is nitrogen purged for fog-proof performance. The sealed O makes this scope water proof. The aluminum body is shockproof and well suited for bumping and grinding through life. The Crossfire would be perfect for competition, short-range hunting, and even home defense.

You get elevation adjustments and windage dials with clicks that you can hear and 7,000 hours of battery life on the medium setting.

Overall, the Crossfire red dot delivers an impressive level of performance for its low price tag.

Vortex Optics Crossfire

The price of Vortex Optics Crossfire varies, so check the latest price at

Pros:

  • High quality glass
  • Cheap batteries

Cons:

  • Price difference for better not significant
  • Batteries don't las as long

3. SIG Sauer Romeo5 

sig romeo 5 vs holosun

SIG Sauer is mostly known for its famed P series of metal frame pistols, as well as recently winning the Army's contract for a new handgun. However, SIG Sauer bills themselves as a total systems provider and that's becoming more apparent day by day.

The SIG Sauer Romeo 5 is a small red dot sight designed to be an affordable, high-performance red dot sight, and it's much better than its predecessor the Romeo 4.

The Romeo 5 is a very small and lightweight red dot optic with a 20mm objective lens. This little fellow comes with both low and high mount options for use on rifles with AR 15 height sights or shotguns. I keep one on my CZ Scorpion and find it to be one of the best affordable red dots on the market.

The Rome o5 has a 2 MOA red dot that's small and precise. It's perfect for shooting at ranges anywhere from 5 yards to 200 yards. The Romeo 5 delivers a sharp dot throughout every brightness setting.

sig romeo 5 vs vortex sparc ar

The Romeo 5 delivers ten different brightness settings. Eight are daylight settings. Two are designed for use with night vision devices. The Romeo is one of the very few budget red dot sights that is designed to function with night vision devices.

The Romeo is also equipped with SIG Sauer's MOTAC technology. MOTAC is motion-sensing technology that provides an auto shut off feature for their red dots when MOTAC doesn't detect movement. When it detects movement, MOTAC kicks this budget red dot sight back on. This MOTAC technology allows a single battery to last 40,000 hours.

Motion-sensing tech isn't unheard of in red dots, but MOTAC works consistently and reliably, and the Romeo 5 does well at preserving battery for when you forget to turn of this budget red dot sight.

The waterproof Romeo5 is rated for complete water immersion for up to 1 meter. It is fog proof and is completely shockproof. SIG has no trouble succeeding as a total systems provider with high-quality optics like this one.

SIG Sauer Romeo5

The price of SIG Sauer Romeo5 varies, so check the latest price at

Pros:

  • Small dimensions
  • MOTAC technology

Cons:

  • Batteries don't last long at high settings
  • Adjustment can be hard

4. Vortex Sparc 2

sparc ar vs romeo 5

The Vortex Sparc AR is a full-sized red dot optic and one of the few full-sized red dot sights to be priced so affordably. The Sparc AR offers a modular three-piece base that allows for an absolute co-witness, a lower 1/3rd co-witness for AR-type rifles, and a low mount for guns like AKs, shotguns, and handguns.

The Sparc AR comes with rear-facing button type controls. Most optics at this price range have a wheel style control system to adjust brightness levels. The Sparc AR uses rear-facing brightness controls with a simple setup and 10 brightness settings.

One button turns the optic's brightness up while the other turns it down. The Vortex Sparc 2 has ten brightness settings. They are well suited for nearly any environment and any brightness level.

budget red dots

The Sparc AR comes with fully multi-coated lenses that do grant an excellent level of light transmission and clarity. The Sparc 2 is crystal clear with overall excellent glass. Best of all, the 2 MOA red dot is crystal clear and easy to pick up.

The body of the optic is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and can take all the power and force of recoil any gun can toss at it. It's also sealed making it waterproof and resistant to the entry of foreign debris. Because it is nitrogen purged, it provides the best fog-proof performance possible.

The Sparc AR is perfect for a wide variety of weapons. It's designed to allow fast target acquisition and smooth transitions between targets and precise shot placement. The Sparc 2 combines both speed and precision into a simple package that's both well made and affordable.

Vortex also offers a lifetime warranty on their products.

Vortex Sparc 2

The price of  Vortex Sparc 2 varies, so check the latest price at

Pros:

  • Strong clear glass
  • Quick adjustment for wind and elevation

Cons:

  • Batteries run out quickly
  • Dimensions are average

Want to know how that scope works? Check out our detailed vortex sparc 2 review

5. Burris FastFire III

best budget red dot scope

The FastFire III is a miniature red dot sight designed to be as small as possible while still completely usable. It's one of my favorite red dots. As a gun writer, I'm always getting a wide variety of guns without sights. The Burris is my go-to when testing these guns.

This means the FastFire has stood up to the best AR 15sAR 10s, 9mm sub guns, semi-auto, and pump-action shotguns and even handguns like the Glock 17 MOS. Regardless of which weapon I've tossed it on, it has always worked. It's been zeroed and rezeroed a hundred different times. I've never had an issue with it.

The FastFire 3 is an outstanding miniature red dot optic that is a bargain. It comes in either a 3 MOA or 8 MOA red dot. The 3 MOA works best with rifles. It's smaller and more precise.

red dot sight under 200

The smaller dot obscures less of the target, which means it's easier to acquire your target at longer ranges. The bigger 8 MOA reticle is easier to see and faster to get on target. This makes it a better choice as best handguns red dot sight or even shotgun red dot sight.

The Burris FastFire 3 has three settings for brightness and automatic settings that adjust the dot for the ambient light around you. This automatic mode works surprisingly well and does so quickly and efficiently. The three manual modes are low, medium, and daylight bright.

The FastFire 3 is easy to use and easy to mount to a variety of different mounting systems. This includes a low Picatinny mount, a mount that can co-witness with AR sights, as well as offset mounts. The Burris is small, lightweight, and well suited for a wide variety of weapons.

Burris FastFire III

The price of Burris FastFire III varies, so check the latest price at

Pros:

  • Very small dimensions
  • Batteries last a long time

Cons:

  • Glass isn't strongest
  • Adjustment dials are tiny

6. Holosun HS403R Micro Reflex Sight - Best Reflex Sight Under 200

best holosun red dot

The Holosun HS403R is a miniature red dot sight. Holosun was the first to introduce the new streamlined housing design and the new rheostat dial system. Like most Holosun red dots including the Holosun HS403C, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck, especially for an imported optic.

The Holosun HS403R is admittedly a mouthful and not an original name, but the technology is sound. This Holosun optic is built to last and provides the user with 2 MOA red dot that is crisp throughout every brightness level. The optic is set up to allow for a comfortable lower 1/3rd co-witness and comes with a low mount as well.

The Holosun HS403R has unlimited eye relief and provides an unlimited field of view with both eyes open. The reticle is red and sports 12 brightness settings. Ten are designed for daylight use and two are night-vision compatible.

best budget red dot under 200

The Holosun HS403R is even rated to IP67 for water. This waterproof rating guarantees the optic can be submerged in 1 meter of water for up to half an hour. This is an impressive rating for such a budget-minded optic.

Another impressive spec is the fact that it runs for up to 100,000 hours on a single CR2032. That's a significant amount of time when used on the lower power settings.

The Holosun HS403R is ideally suited for competition, defense, and use on a wide variety of different guns. Red dots like this are the reason why Holosun is making an excellent name for themselves.

Holosun HS403R

The price of Holosun HS403R varies, so check the latest price at

Pros:

  • Glass gives bright picture
  • Batteries are long-lasting

Cons:

  • Dimensions are odd
  • Batteries are hard to swap out

7. Nikon P Tactical Superdot

best red dot under 200

The Superdot is a compact red dot sight that is value-priced and incredibly well made for the price. The Superdot comes with an integral Picatinny mount as well as spacers to provide a lower 1/3rd co-witness or a full co-witness. It's perfect for AR-style semi-auto rifles or even tactical shotguns.

red dot under 200

The Superdot is rugged and tough. Nikon has a reputation for producing exceptionally well-made, durable optics and the Superdot is no different. The Superdot is built to withstand the recoil and force of nearly any shoulder-fired firearm.

The Superdot features a pure color proprietary coating that allows you to see the world in bright, crystal clear color. Most red dots have a coating that leaves an amber or bluish tint. The Superdot doesn't have that problem. You will get an amazing sight picture.

On top of that, the optic is IPX7 rated, meaning it can survive a full immersion into 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. The Superdot gives you ten brightness settings with two-night vision settings. The Superdot is incredibly well built, easy to handle, and perfect for getting shots on target, transitioning between targets, and being fast about it.

Nikon P Tactical Superdot

The price of Nikon P Tactical Superdot  varies, so check the latest price at

Pros:

  • Good image quality
  • Small dimensions

Cons:

  • Nikon doesn't make them anymore
  • Not many features

8. Bushnell Advance Micro Reflex Sight

cheap red dot sight

These guys are well known for lots of different optics. They've been making red dots for quite some time. The Advance Micro is part of their best AR optics line and is designed for modern weapons. This isn't their first micro red dot, but it is their newest.

This micro red dot is designed to work on a wide variety of weapons. It comes with a Picatinny mount that makes it near-universal to modern weaponry. On top of that, the Advance is compatible with the Glock MOS sight system and pairs with a Glock MOS pistol.

The Advance uses a 5 MOA red dot that is an excellent compromise of both size and precision. It's large enough to be quick to acquire, but small enough to engage most targets out to 200 yards. The Advance has ten different brightness settings to allow you to work regardless of external light conditions.

The optic has left side-mounted controls made up of a simple up and down button. This makes it quick and easy to adjust the brightness level. This sight even has a side-loading battery system. This means you don't have to remove the optic to install a new battery.

Another feature I like is the fact you can lock the adjustment dials. This prevents any error from adjusting your dot from your zero. It's a must-have. On top of that, the optic is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.

The Advance is one of the most affordable micro red dots on the market. It weighs only 2.2 ounces and is only 1.732 inches long. This light, capable optic is perfect for a wide variety of guns, especially if you need a budget handgun optic.

best red dot sight under 200 dollars

Bushnell Advance Micro

The price of Bushnell Advance Micro varies, so check the latest price at

Pros:

  • Small and unobtrusive
  • Wide field of view

Cons:

  • Difficult to adjust
  • Not as tough

9. Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot

Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot

The Primary Arms Advanced is a solid red dot sight with incredible battery life of 50,000 hours and is compatible with night vision. You have unlimited eye relief and a 2 MOA dot for fast target acquisition with this micro red dot from Primary Arms. 

The Primary Arms Advanced has 11 brightness settings which should make the dot brightness high enough for day but still with enough illumination settings to conserve battery when possible and work well at night. It comes with a picatinny rail mount and is compatible with a riser mount for use with irons if purchased separately.

The weight on this Primary Arms 2 MOA red dot sight is only 5.5 ounces, and it's definitely a quality red dot. The specs are impressive for a red dot sight in this price range and it is waterproof and shockproof. Primary Arms has put a lot of engineering into this and with the reputation that Primary Arms has in the industry for making quality sights for affordable prices, it's a safe bet.

Night vision compatibility is a big deal, as is the durability and image clarity that you get with this Primary Arms mounted on your gun. The 11 brightness settings from this Primary Arms give you plenty of options is different light conditions. Compared to the price of a Holosun, Primary Arms is a manufacturer that is offering a lot of bang for the buck.

Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot

Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot

The price of Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot varies, so check the latest price at

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Night vision compatible

Cons:

  • No riser mount included
  • Not good for long range

10. Bushnell Optics TRS-26

Bushnell Optics TRS-26

This red dot sight has a 3 MOA dot, which will be easier to see than a 2 MOA dot but also obscure more of your target. There's no "best" size of dot, it's one of those specs that is more up to your personal preference. The 3 MOA red dot has 12 illumination settings, which gives you a lot of options for dot brightness.

The weight is 6 ounces and it takes a CR2032 battery like almost every red dot you'll find. Battery life is up to 50,000 hours depending on how well you can preserve battery by keeping the illumination low. MOA dot size does matter, as the larger the dot the faster you can acquire your target but the harder it will be to be accurate at long distance.

It's not compatible with night vision, which is common for budget red dots under $200. No lens covers here, but it does work with risers if it's not high enough on the rail with the standard mount. You can add a magnifier for more magnification and it should work with most for higher accuracy at 100 yards and further.

Bushnell Optics TRS-26

The price of Bushnell Optics TRS-26 varies, so check the latest price at

Pros:

  • Improvements on TRS25
  • Large objective lens

Cons:

  • More expensive than TRS25
  • Issues with mounting on Picatinny

Premium Comparison: 

11. Aimpoint CompM4

Aimpoint CompM4

The CompM4 is night vision compatible, and has 7 different night vision settings. The specs of this guy are impressive, and it will perform well in various light conditions and weather conditions. Aimpoint is a well-known manufacturer, and their products typically have great image clarity and are o-ring sealed to be waterproof. The CompM4 is no exception.

It does not come with a riser mount standard but it is compatible with them. Risers can lift it high enough to co-witness with irons and still see well through the glass. What sets the CompM4 apart is its ruggedness and compatibility with NVDs. It will work with every generation of NVD and with 7 settings, it should work really well.

The NVD settings require a lot less power, which allows for an incredible 500,000 hours of use on the NVD settings. Because of the larger and heavier AA battery, the battery life on the CompM4 is awesome even using the daylight settings with up to 80,000 hours.

This is much more expensive than $200, but it's helpful to look and see what else is out there to see if you really should limit yourself to a lower price range. Higher-priced optics offer a lot of powerful features that can really give you a lot more versatility and power than sticking with the budget options.

It's not always about NVD compatibility either; by paying a little bit more you can get more advanced reticles, holographic sights that will continue to work even if the glass gets cracked or broken, and other impressive options that can do a lot more for you.

Aimpoint CompM4

Aimpoint CompM4

The price of Aimpoint CompM4 varies, so check the latest price at

Pros:

  • Designed for military use
  • Waterproof to 150 meters

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • Takes AA battery

Optional: Add the Vortex Optics VMX-3T Magnifier

Adding a magnifier can increase the versatility of your rig, since the lack of magnification makes the adjustment to longer ranges more difficult. One of the cons of these types of sights is that the one power magnification doesn't help out much at longer range. Enter the Vortex magnifier.

You can get magnification from other options as well, but this one from Vortex gives 3x magnification and works with most options from the EOTECH to the RMR.

Vortex Optics VMX-3T

The price of Vortex Optics VMX-3T varies, so check the latest price at

Buying Guide

Why Red Dots Are Awesome

A good dot sight can take you out much further than you might think. Some dot sights have reticles that allow for estimating holdovers out as far as 800 yards. Granted, your target would have to be pretty big for you to even be able to see it at that distance with no magnification, but if you can see it you can hit it with the right red dot.

Red dots also give you the ability to acquire your target incredibly quickly, which makes them a great choice in CQB (close quarters battle) situations, defense, and even some hunting scenarios.

open red dot sight

When you're looking to buy a red dot, it's helpful to know what makes the best red dots and what separates good red dots from bad red dots. This is true of all red dot optics, but especially true of budget red dots. The first thing you'll want to check when you're looking at red dots under $200 is battery life.

Battery Life

Most makes of budget red dots will advertise their battery life based on the maximum possible battery life at the lowest of the 12, 10, or 11 brightness settings. This is where claims of 50,000 hours of battery life come from. At medium settings, the best red dots will have several thousand hours of battery life, and as high as 10,000 hours of battery life.

Having long battery life is important, not just for convenience in using red dots, but also because the less you have to switch out the battery, the lower the chances that the battery will die at exactly the wrong moment. Some options will run off a AA battery, but most use a CR2032 or similar button battery. A AA battery is larger and heavier, so is not as common to see.

Red vs. Green Dot

Most of the red dot world consists of dots that are a red color, as the name suggests. But depending on how you're using the gun you want it for, a green dot may make more sense. A green dot can be one of the best colors to see during the daytime, and brands like Trijicon and Holosun give you options to get a dot that is a green color.

red green dot reticle

You'll also find different dot sizes. The Primary Arms, for example, has a 2 MOA dot size, while the TRS-26 has a 3 MOA red dot. Different sizes aren't just meaningless specs; just like the weight of the sight and the durability, the size of the red dot reticle can make a scope better or worse at 10 yards, 100 yards, and 200 yards.

Unlimited Eye Relief

One of the advantages of the best red dots is that they have unlimited eye relief, and this is true even for budget red dots under $200. This is possible because the specs do not include magnification. Unlimited eye relief means that you can place the optic anywhere on your gun that makes sense in your conditions and with your shooting position.

Along with great eye relief, you also tend to get a wide field of view.

Compatibility

This is an aspect that takes some serious planning ahead in order to make the right decisions. There are accessories and other devices that can work in concert with a red dot to be more effective in certain situations, but not all red dots are compatible with these devices and vice versa. 

The two most common are going to be NVDs and magnifiers. If you know you want to use one of those items with your red dot, you'll need to make sure you get devices that are compatible with one another. If you're not sure whether you're going to end up using an NVD or added magnification, then you can either hold off on purchasing a red dot or get one that will work great for what you know you want.

Another aspect of compatibility is rail mounting and what types of firearms a red dot will fit on properly. Rifles are the easiest, since virtually every red dot will mount on a picatinny rail out of the box, but if you're looking for a red dot for your handgun or a rifle that doesn't have a picatinny rail, you'll have to be more discerning about which red dot you purchase and whether you need a base to mount it on as well.

What Specs Matter the Most?

The specs that make the biggest difference with most of these options will be the design and size of the reticle, the clarity of both the reticle and the target area, the quality and strength of the glass, and the weight and reliability of it. Most of these will be waterproof and work under optimal conditions, but you want something that will maintain its reliability at all times.

Parallax

Despite conventional wisdom, red dots are not parallax free. Even an expensive holographic sight like an EOTECH will have parallax set to a certain distance. Because these lack magnification, it's harder to detect, but it will always be there affecting your accuracy unless you are aiming at something that is the same distance as it was set at. 

A magnifier will make it more noticeable, but that is not what introduces it in the first place. Magnification acts as a magnifier as much for the movement of the reticle as for the image itself. Some red dots advertise themselves as "paralax-free", and while this is not technically true, this means that they've been able to minimize it to a large degree.

The effects are typically not drastic and sometimes aren't even noticeable, and the further out you shoot, typically the less you'll notice it. The closer you are, the more forgiving your accuracy can be, so it all works out in the end.

Glass

Optical quality through the glass is not something that most people think about much when they're purchasing a dot sight, and that's unfortunate, because there can be some significant differences. The brightness and low-light performance can be affected by the coatings and colors of the glass, and artifacting like chromatic aberration, blurring, and distortion can cause real problems in cheap scopes.

200 Bucks and a Red Dot

Picking out a red dot optic can be tough. With the different sizes and styles available, it can be tricky. I can guide you to high-quality red dots, but you'll have to make the tough decisions on style, size, and type. Only you will know which is the right red dot sight for your needs.

If you pick any red dot from our list, you can rest assured you are getting a high quality, well-made optic. Let us know which red dot under $200 you like. Perhaps, you'd have one to suggest that I left off my list.

What do you think of these red dot sights? Is there one you like better than the others? Is there one you think we missed? Let us know in the comments! And for more budget options check out our guide on best AR-15 scopes under $200. And you are looking for a red dot on your AK-47 rifle, then must check out our guide on best red dot sights for AK-47.

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