In general, the red dot sight is used as a quick reference sight on close, moving targets. Red dots are standard in the military and are used with crossbow and longbow weapons.
For extended range, sub MOA shooting accuracy, and most general shooting applications, the red dot is not the best choice for your rifle's sight system.
On the other hand, when the targets are close and shooting time is limited, a red dot sight system owns the farm. Our review will help you select the best red dot under $100.
Bushnell Optics TRS-25
Sightmark Ultra Shot
TruGlo 30mm Red Dot Sight
TruGlo Dual-Color Multi-Reticle Open Dot Sight
5 in both colors
Bushnell Tactical First Strike 5
1. Bushnell Optics TRS-25
Here we have a budget model red dot that meets the needs of many part-time shooters or the guy that hauls the old smoke pile out once or twice a season.
This red dot features a 1X25mm housing that makes use of a built-in riser. With the riser, you simply bolt it on and go shoot. The head-up style sighting gives you the ability to see your soundings very clearly.
Built to last, this lightweight (6.0 ounce) unit includes a 3 MOA dot that is workable for many varied targets whether you are shooting varmints and game or providing home defense.
The unit retains 11 brightness settings that allow the shooter to reset the red dot brightness to fit the lighting in the target's location. Because of the HiRise, the mount is a part of the housing. The design of the TRS-25 fits the standard Weaver or Picatinny rail model.
The battery life is self-regulated as the level of brightness adjusts to meet the needs of the sight. Using the storage hood powers down the unit completely.
2. Sightmark Ultra Shot
This reflex sight (red dot) is based priced at $99 and offers some fantastic features. The green or red reticle retains a 4 pattern illumination system operated by a single switch. The sight features adjustable brightness settings for any bright or low light conditions.
The sight makes use of a quick detach Weaver-style mount and has an aluminum alloy cased body for increased strength. Weight on the sight stands at 9.2 ounces. The whole unit is waterproof and takes recoil up to 50 calibers.
The sight is powered by a CR123A battery and runs out to 2000 hours of total battery life. This red dot sight system features digital switch controls, multiple reticles, an IPX4 waterproofing system, and offers a wide field of view with parallax correction. Eye relief is unlimited.
This sight has a magnification level of 1X with a field of view at 100 yards of 105 feet.
3. AT3 Tactical
The AT3 Tactical RD-50 PRO is a red dot reflex sight that features a riser system for Weaver-style mounting. The numerous features of this sight make it great for the red dot shooter who is searching for a glass sighting system with a lower price tag.
This red dot sight includes 2 MOA red dot sighting center points and returns 11 brightness settings for any level of background lighting. The multi-coated lens in this unit is scratch-resistant with an amber surface lens color. This tinted lens offers increased image clarity.
This dependable unit is waterproof with sealed housing. It is also shockproof. The main housing has a black anodized finish that withstands general field use.
The battery life on this unit is stated to be at 50000 hours when used at the lowest brightness level. Batteries are included.
The included 0.83-inch pro mount brings the sight up to a workable level when mounting it on a Weaver rail.
4. TruGlo 30mm Red Dot Sight
TrueGlo is an established sight builder that has been turning out dependable sights with a budget price point for many years. This red dot sight features a 5 MOA dual-color red and green reticle and provides quick target acquisition.
This is a CNC machined sight. The housing is designed to take a pounding in the field. Multi-coated, anti-reflective lens reduce stray light and develop clear sight pictures.
Click windage and elevation adjustment knobs are easy to access. Other controls for turning the sight on or off and changing rheostat color and intensity levels are within easy reach.
This sight is workable on all types of firearms including crossbows. I have been using one of these on a crossbow for about 10 years and have made a single battery change in that time.
Hunting here in the Black Hills of South Dakota, I have climbed my tree stand almost every day of the three month season. This sight has seen quite a bit of field time and to date has not let me down.
This sight features a Weaver-style quick detach mounting system and works well for general use on a wide varsity of firearms rails.
5. TrueGlo Open Dot Sight
This sight is slightly different from others reviewed here. It features dual color dot sights for those that don't want a tube-style sight window. This sight is fast and is designed for close-range or moving target work.
The thin housing that holds the sight window almost disappears when viewed through the sighting dot. There are two choices of reticle color (red or green). This is a tough little slight with unlimited eye relief, a wide field of view and a 24X34mm window for very fast target acquisition.
The sight dot for target painting is a 5 MOA dot size. The sight is parallax free from 30 yards. Weaver mounts are standard with this sight system. The sight can be easily added to and removed from Weaver-style rails.
This small size, ultralight sight measures 10" x 7" x 3". Fast handling is the observed operational recovery method when these sights are used on an AR or even shotguns.
The sight mounts solidly on the base and easily handles heavy shotshell and high power rifle loads. Weaver rail systems make up the basic mounting unit. These sights have stood the test of time.
6. Bushnell Tactical First Strike
This Bushnell holographic sight is waterproof and fog proof and retains a 5 MOA reticle for fast on center targeting applications.
Built as a tactical sight, I would not consider this sight as a true military or police level equipment issue. But, it is more than adequate for the novice level for home defense or back yard target user.
This red dot sight is a HUD style sight (heads up display) whose primary virtue is speed. The sight is compact, and by its own design, conserves battery life when in use. The dot size regarding power setting is 1X. The CR2032 battery is included.
The sight features a matte finish and is weather tough. The sighting solution retains a 1X power elevation and operates using one CR2032 lithium battery.
As a compact model, the sight is not designed for the military or police but is workable for sporting purposes with a shotgun or a rifle. I have used high-quality variations of this sight design that fall in the price range of several hundred dollars.
It was Somalia or about that time when the red dot sight was observed by the American Army to be the clear ticket when participating in house to house fighting. Fast and dead-on every time was generally the outcome, but push the range and things could change quickly.
We tried red dots in the field on the big game here in the Dakota’s and found them to be less effective. Accurate sighting is required here. Much of the time the dot will not meet the ranging requirements or blanks out in a moving field of standing corn when trying to sight track a departing eight-point whitetail.
In effect, learning to shoot is still a requirement even though this sight is fast, single pointing, and a snap to learn.