8 Best Pistol Red Dot Sights

bed pistol red dot sight

Looking for a red dot sight for your handgun?

With so many red dot sights on the market, deciding which one to buy can be overwhelming. How do you know which ones are good quality? 

What should you be looking for in a red dot for a pistol as opposed to one for a rifle or a shotgun? How do your particular purposes impact what you need from a red dot sight?

But you don’t have to worry about all of that anymore, because in this guide we’ll answer all of those questions and more. Then we’ll even go over several of our favorite pistol red dot sights to help you get started on your search with only the best pistol red dots currently on the market.

By the time we’re done, choosing the right red dot for you should be a breeze, so let’s dive right in.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

Vortex Optics Venom Sight

Vortex-VMX-3T-Magnifier

Vortex Optics Venom Sight

  • Magnification: 1 x
  • Battery: CR 1632
  • Material:Aluminum Alloy Chassis

Trijicon RMR Sight

Trijicon RMR

Trijicon RMR Sight

  • Magnification: 1 x
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Material:Forged Aluminum

Trijicon SRO Sight

Trijicon-SRO

Trijicon SRO Sight

  • Magnification: 1 x
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Material:7075-T6 Aluminum

Leupold Deltapoint Sight

Leupold-Deltapoint

Leupold Deltapoint Sight

  • Magnification: 1 x
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Material:Aluminum

Sig Sauer Romeo 1 Sight

Sig-Sauer-Romeo

Sig Sauer Romeo 1 Sight

  • Magnification: 1 x
  • Battery: CR1632
  • Weight:0.4 oz

Aimpoint Acro P-1 Sight

Aimpoint-ACRO

Aimpoint Acro P-1 Sight

  • Magnification: 1 x
  • Battery: 3V lithium battery
  • Material:High Strength Aluminum

Burris Fastfire III Sight

Burris-FastFire-III

Burris Fastfire III Sight

  • Magnification: 1 x
  • Battery: CR1632
  • Weight:0.9 oz

Holosun HS507C X2 Sight

Holosun-HS507C-X2

Holosun HS507C X2 Sight

  • Magnification: 1 x
  • Battery: CR1632
  • Material:7075-T6 Aluminum

What Is a Pistol Red Dot Sight?

Red dot sights are reflex sights that have a red dot reticle. Easy enough.

These types of sights use pretty simple technology. An LED directs light towards a specially coated spherical mirror. The coating causes the mirror to only reflect specific wavelengths of light, usually red but some reflex sights use green, so only the light emitted from the LED is reflected. The light is reflected directly towards the shooter’s eye to create the reticle pattern. 

This provides a few advantages over traditional iron sights.

For one, the open window provides an unimpeded sight picture compared to iron sights. That, combined with the illuminated reticle, allows for faster target acquisition and easier sighting. 

Other advantages or red dot sights include the unlimited eye relief and the fact that they’re virtually parallax free. I say “virtually” because though many red dot sights are advertised as parallax free, they all have some degree of parallax. It’s just little enough that it shouldn’t be very noticeable or impact your shooting very much.

On a pistol, a red dot usually replaces your rear sight and is used without a front sight. However, you can also cowitness your iron sights and red dot to use them both at the same time. 

Pistol red dot sights are great for home defense, concealed carry, competition shooting — just make sure you have a holster that’s compatible with your red dot.

Unlike rifle scopes, red dots don’t provide magnification, but there are lots of red dot magnifiers out there that you can pair them with. Though they are commonly confused, red dot sights are not the same as holographic sights.

How Do You Choose the Best Pistol Red Dot Sight?

There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you’re choosing not just a high-quality red dot optic, but the right red dot sight for your particular needs. 

Before anything else, think about your budget. Red dots can come at a huge variety of prices, so looking at just what’s within your price range is a simple, straightforward way to narrow down your options.

Once you’ve done that, the most basic consideration is dot size. Red dots come with different dot sizes and are most commonly between 2 MOA and 6 MOA. Smaller and larger dots are definitely out there, though. 

Smaller dots, like 2 MOA, cover less of the target, giving more precision for longer distances and smaller targets. Larger dots, like 6 MOA, allow you to line up your shot faster and are particularly advantageous for moving and close up targets. Dots in between kind of balance the advantages of both without being quite as good in either situation. 

For pistol red dots, you’re typically best off with a medium or large dot, but it depends on your purposes and preferences.

The power source is another important consideration. Larger batteries allow for a longer battery life, but also add bulk and weight to the sight. Because pistol red dots tend to be compact, they usually use coin batteries like CR1632 or CR2032 batteries. Some red dots have features like automatic shut off and automatic brightness adjustment to help extend battery life.

You’ll also need to look at your gun and make sure that you’re getting the necessary items to properly mount your new sight. Most pistols require the red dot to be affixed to the top of the slide with a mounting plate, but some have a dovetail rail that you can attach your red dot to. 

Many, but not all, red dots come with a mount for a Weaver/Picatinny rail. Mounting plates can be more firearm specific, so they’re typically not included. Double check what’s included with your red dot to make sure you have the right mount for your firearm.

1. Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight

First up is the Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight. 

best pistol red dot

It’s a compact, low profile option that’s 1.9 inches long, 1.11 inches wide, and 1.02 inches tall, and weighs just 1.1 ounces. 

It’s available in 3 MOA dot and 6 MOA dot options, each with 10 brightness levels that you can manually switch between or set for automatic brightness adjustment based on ambient light conditions. 

It features a 26.5mm diameter wide-field lens for a larger field of view, and the lenses are fully multicoated. The exterior lenses also feature an ArmorTek scratch-resistant coating to protect them from scratches and oil. 

The lenses aren’t the only durable part of this red dot sight, though. It features a single piece aluminum chassis. A matte anodized finish provides a matte surface to help keep the shooter hidden and protect the sight against wear and corrosion. It’s both waterproof and shockproof, and it’s protected by the Vortex Optics Lifetime Warranty.

The sight has a top load battery compartment that allows you to change batteries without having to remove your sight. It uses a single CR1632 battery to provide up to 150 hours of battery life on the highest brightness setting and up to 30,000 on the lower brightness settings. 

The brightness adjustment controls are on the left hand side, the windage dial is on the right hand side, and the elevation dial is on the top of the unit as is typical for red dot sights. The windage and elevation dials provide 1 MOA adjustment intervals and a 130 max adjustment range for both windage and elevation.

The Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight comes with a Weaver/Picatinny mount, T-15 Torx wrench, CR1632 battery, screwdriver, rain cover, lens cloth, and mounting screws.

Vortex-Viper

Vortex Optics Venom Sight

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

2. Trijicon RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Reflex Sight

Trijicon is well known for their variety of high-quality, duty-grade optics and the Trijicon RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Reflex Sight is just one more example of their stellar optics. Trijicon designed it specifically for pistols and recommends it for just about any purpose, including military and law enforcement, hunting, self-defense, and target shooting.

red dot sight for pistol

It’s available in 1 MOA, 3.25 MOA, and 6.5 MOA red dot options with the 3.25 MOA being the most popular. Each has eight brightness settings, including two night vision compatible ones. You can adjust the brightness manually or use the automatic brightness mode. 

The sight automatically reverts to automatic brightness mode after 16.5 hours without a button press to conserve battery. It uses one CR2032 lithium battery to provide over 4 years of continuous battery life at setting 4.

Side buttons are used for manual illumination control, with the button for reducing brightness on the right and its counterpart for increasing brightness on the left. I guess you could call that ambidextrous in that it’s equally inconvenient for both right-handed shooters and southpaws, but it’s hardly a major flaw in the sight.

The windage and elevation screws provide 1 MOA click values.  

It’s another pretty compact sight, about the same size as the Vortex Optics Venom. It’s 1.8 inches long, 1.1 inches wide, and 1 inch tall and weighs 1.2 ounces.

The sight’s housing is forged from 7075, T-6 military and aircraft grade aluminum and the sight is waterproof up to 20 meters (66 feet). The housing’s shape was specifically designed to protect the lens by absorbing shock and directing it away from the lens.

And, of course, we can’t forget about the lens itself. The high-quality glass lenses are fully multicoated with wide-band light transmission for color fidelity.

Trijicon can be purchased without a mount or paired with one of a few different mount options.

Trijicon-RMR

Trijicon RMR Red Dot Sight

The price of Trijicon RMR Red Dot Sight varies, so check the latest price at

3. Trijicon SRO Red Dot Sight

Another excellent option from Trijicon is the Trijicon SRO Red Dot Sight. Like the last Trijicon sight, the Trijicon SRO (Specialized Reflex Optic) was designed specifically for pistols. Unlike the more general purpose Trijicon RMR, Trijicon recommends the SRO specifically for target shooting, including both plinking and competitive shooting.

best red dot for pistol

It’s available in 1 MOA, 2.5 MOA, and 5 MOA options. The 1 MOA is the smallest dot size on this list. 

Each has 8 brightness settings, including 2 night vision modes and a super bright mode. They also feature both manual and automatic LED brightness modes. The Button “Lock-Out” Mode holds the sight on the auto-brightness mode while the Button “Lock-In” Mode holds the sight to your chosen brightness setting.

It’s more battery intensive than the Trijicon RMR, though, able to get a 3 year battery life out of a CR2032 battery while on setting 4. It has a top load battery compartment for easy battery changes/

It’s not quite as compact as the RMR either, weighing 1.6 ounces and measuring 2.2 inches long, 1.3 inches wide, and 1.4 inches tall. However, it is able to use the same bases as the Trijicon RMR, though the Trijicon SRO is only sold without a base. 

The sight housing is made from 7075, T-6 aircraft grade aluminum for extra durability and the sight is waterproof up to 10 feet. 

The sight has a large field of view and is compatible with suppressor-height iron sights. The windage and elevation adjustments have 1 MOA click values and 150 MOA of total adjustment range.

Trijicon-SRO

Trijicon SRO Red Dot Sight

The price of Trijicon SRO Red Dot Sight varies, so check the latest price at

4. Leupold Deltapoint Pro Red Dot Sight

Leupold is best known for their rifle scopes, but the Leupold Deltapoint Pro Red Dot Sight is an equally excellent optic that also happens to be very easy to use.

red dot pistol scopes

It uses the same clear glass that Leupold is known for and the Twilight Max Red Dot System with DiamondCoat lens coating provides scratch resistance, edge to edge lens clarity, and excellent color fidelity and consistency. It has a crisp 2.5 MOA dot reticle and wide field of view, and it’s night vision compatible.  

Motion Sensor Technology automatically causes the sight to automatically shutoff after 5 minutes without movement. It quickly powers back on when motion is detected. A single CR2032 battery provides up to 300 hours of battery life.

The Deltapoint Pro Red Dot sight is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof with an aluminum housing with a steel shroud. It’s covered by Leupold’s lifetime warranty.

The housing is available in matte black and dark earth finishes. It has a tooless top-load battery compartment for convenience as well as click windage and elevation adjustments for easy, tactile zeroing. Each windage and elevation have a 60 MOA adjustment range.

It’s 1.3 inches wide, 1.3 inches tall, and 1.82 inches long. It weighs 1.95 ounces, making it one of the heavier red dot sights listed here.

opplanet-

Leupold Deltapoint Pro Red Dot Sight

The price of Leupold Deltapoint Pro Red Dot Sight varies, so check the latest price at

5. Sig Sauer Romeo 1 Red Dot Sight

Sig Sauer is obviously best known for their guns, but they make excellent optics to go with them as well. The Sig Sauer Romeo 1 Red Dot Sight can be used with a variety of pistols, but it’s an especially great choice to pair with a pistol from Sig, especially if you want something that will co-witness.

red dots for pistols

This micro red dot sight is incredibly lightweight. It’s 1.8 inches long, 1.29 inches wide, and 1.1 inches tall, similar to the other sights we’ve talked about. Despite that, it weighs a mere .8 ounces, thanks to the durable but lightweight CNC Magnesium housing. 

LensArmor abrasion-resistant lens coating and IPX7 waterproofing add to the sight’s durability. According to Sig Sauer, the Romeo 1 is able to maintain it’s zero for over 10,000 rounds of 230 gr .45 ACP. 

Despite its small size, the Romeo 1 still has a quite large 30mm objective lens. The lens boasts SpectraCoat anti-reflective, broadband lens coatings improve light transmission for better performance in low light conditions and ALT lens technology helps to reduce color and picture distortion, as well as weight.

The Romeo 1 comes in 3 MOA and 6 MOA dot versions. Each has 10 daytime brightness settings for you to choose from. 

The CR1632 battery is seated in a top loading battery compartment for convenient battery changes and provides up to 5000 hours of battery life. MOTAC (Motion Activated Illumination) technology powers the red dot sight up when motion is detected and powers it down when it’s not to help extend battery life.

The Romeo 1 is available with an M1913 Picatinny and KeyMod Rail interface, or with the Handgun Adapter pack. The latter will be better suited for most handguns.

Sig-Sauer

Sig Sauer Romeo 1 Red Dot Sight

The price of Sig Sauer Romeo 1 Red Dot Sight varies, so check the latest price at

6. Aimpoint Acro P-1 Red Dot Sight

While the red dot sights that we’ve talked about so far have all been in the open style, the Aimpoint Acro P-1 Red Dot Sight is an enclosed red dot. In fact, Aimpoint brags that the Acro P-1 is “the only professional grade fully enclosed system in its size on the market.”

handgun red dot sight

It’s 1.9 inches long, 1.2 inches wide, and 1.2 inches tall. That enclosed housing adds a bit of weight, but not much. The Aimpoint Acro P-1 weighs 2.1 ounces.

It still works the same as the open style red dot sights, but the tube blocks light from entering or exiting, allowing this style of red dot sight to have a brighter red dot. The tube also limits your field of view. That narrower view can be a disadvantage in hunting and defensive situations, but it can also help keep you focused while target shooting. 

On the Aimpoint Acro P-1, that enclosure has a 0.63 inch diameter aperture, is made from high strength aluminum, and has a matte black hard anodized finish. 

Aimpoint designed this red dot sight specifically for pistols and it’s quick and easy to install it on an optics ready slide. The CR1225 battery can be changed while the sight is still attached to the slide, so that’s quick and easy too.

The lenses have an anti-reflective, high transmission coating for a clearer, brighter image. The 3.5 MOA red dot has 10 brightness settings, including 4 night vision device (NVD) settings and an extra bright setting. 

It has up to 1.5 years of continuous battery life at brightness level 6 and more than 8 years at an NVD setting.

It’s durable as well. It’s submersible up to 25 meters (82 feet) and is resistant to shock and vibration.

Aimpoint

Aimpoint Acro P-1 Red Dot Sight

The price of Aimpoint Acro P-1 Red Dot Sight varies, so check the latest price at

7. Burris Fastfire III Red Dot Sight

We return to the open style red dot sight with the Burris Fastfire 3, Burris’s best selling red dot sight and the most budget friendly red dot sight on this list. 

best handgun red dot

The Fastfire III is available with a 3 MOA or 8 MOA dot, the latter of which is the largest dot on this list. It only has three manual brightness settings, but the automatic brightness sensor adjusts the dot brightness to match the surrounding light conditions.

It also powers down automatically after 8 hours without a button being pressed to conserve battery. It uses a CR1632 battery, which can last up to 5 years. The top loading battery compartment makes battery changes more convenient.

The Burris Fastfire III red dot sight is 1.9 inches long and weighs 0.9 ounces, making it one of the more lightweight options included here.

The objective lens has a 21x15 mm lens diameter and is made from clear, high-quality glass. It features index-matched Hi-Lume® multicoating for improved light transmission and reduced glare.

Both windage and elevation can be adjusted without using a tool and feature 1 MOA click values. The max elevation adjustment range is 115 MOA, while the max elevation adjustment range is 86 MOA. 

The Burris Fastfire III is waterproof and shockproof, plus it comes with the Burris Forever Warranty.

Burris-Fastfire

Burris Fastfire III

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

8. Holosun HS507C X2 Red Dot Sight

Last on our list is the Holosun HS507C X2 Red Dot Sight. 

Though the name is a bit boring, this sight has a few really cool features that help it stand out from the others. 

red dot sights for pistols

For one, it has the Holosun Multi Reticle System (MRS) with a full circle dot reticle. The MRS allows you to turn sections of the reticle on and off, however, so you can use just the center dot, just the outer ring, or both together. 

The center dot has a 2 MOA diameter, while the outer ring is 32 MOA across. It’s available with either a red or green reticle, so I suppose you could also call it a green dot.

The sight uses a CR1632 battery, but it also features a solar failsafe. That means that there’s a small solar panel on the top of the optic that powers the reticle if the battery fails. The sight also automatically adjusts reticle brightness to match light conditions. 

The Holosun HS507C X2 has 12 brightness settings, including 10 daylight settings and 2 night vision compatible settings. It has a battery life of up to 50,000 hours (more than 5 years and 8 months) on setting 6.

In addition, this scope features Shake Awake Technology, meaning that it has a built-in motion detector. The sight automatically goes into Sleep Mode after a certain amount of time if no motion is detected, then automatically comes out of Sleep Mode when motion is detected again. 

The user can program the amount of time that has to go by before Sleep Mode kicks in or just turn off the feature entirely. 

All of those cool features put this red dot sight towards the heavier end of average at 1.5 ounces, but it’s still far from the heaviest sight on this list.

The sight window measures 0.63 and 0.9 inches and contains multicoated glass lenses. The 7075 T6 aluminum sight housing has a matte black anodized finish. The sight is IP67 submersible and 5000 G vibration resistant. 

Holosun-HS507C

Holosun HS507C X2 Red Dot Sight

The price of Holosun HS507C X2 Red Dot Sight varies, so check the latest price at

Parting Shots

And that about covers it on pistol red dot sights.

Picking out the right pistol red dot for you doesn’t have to be a stressful, overwhelming nightmare. With this guide, choosing a red dot sight for your pistol should be no problem.

Just consider what type of shooting you’ll be doing and what your budget is, then you can actually enjoy the plethora of options available to you to find a red dot with the features that are most important to you.

Have any of these red dots sights stood out to you? Do you think one of them will find a home on your pistol? Tell me all about it in the comment section below, and be sure to check out our Best Red Dot Sights for even more recommendations.

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