Best Red Dot For Rifles

Looking for the best red dot for your rifle? We review the top optics on the market after thoroughly researching them to determine which red dots will give you the best durability and battery life. Another important factor in our selections is how well the red dot will maintain zero after firing many rounds. After all, what good is an optic that you have to keep re-zeroing?

We often spend good money on a quality rifle– it only makes sense that you would invest in a quality red dot that will compliment your rifle and keep you on target for years to come.

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Platforms

When considering the best red dot for your rifle, we’ll need to consider the platform you’re using and the caliber. Some red dots may be more susceptible to zeroing issues if used on a rifle with a higher caliber and more recoil. We take this and other factors into consideration and select some of the best options for your specific needs. So, let’s take a looks at some different platforms and our recommendations for each.

AR-15

Best Red Dot for Rifle - AR-15

There’s no doubt about it that there are an abundance of red dot options for the AR-15 platform. Most modern AR’s have plenty of top rail space, which makes the size of your optic and placement almost limitless. In fact, many shooters will put a red dot plus magnifier if they plan on shooting longer distances. That’s what is so great about the AR platform… options.

So, what are the best red dots for AR-15’s? We did the research for you and found a group of 3 optics that hit the mark on our 4 most important factors: Durability, ability to hold zero, battery life, and price.

AK-47

The AK-47 has not always been a rifle best fit for a red dot. However, over the years, it has become more and more popular. Through the addition of side rail mounts and gas tube rails, adding red dots to AK’s has really grown in popularity. While AK-47’s might not be precision guns to begin with, using an optic can certainly add to your accuracy, not to mention speeding up your target acquisition.

One big issue that always comes up is the inability to co-witness with iron sights. Many of the side rail mounts just put most red dots too high to be able to achieve an absolute or even 1/3 co-witness. Some have found it easier when mounting a red dot on the gas tube, but even this lower profile doesn’t always get the best results. Because co-witnessing is so hit or miss, we’re not considering that as a factor in our reviews. We do, however, look at other important factors such as durability and battery life, just to name a couple.

AR-10 (.308)

Looking for the best red dot for your AR-10 rifle? We take a look at some of the top choices in this platform. We understand that .308 is a common caliber used for hunting as well, but seeing as how most hunters use longer range scopes, we’re going to stick to the AR platform for the purpose of our red dot reviews.

Seeing as the .308 round generates a considerable amount of recoil energy, it was important to look for red dots that would hold up to the shock. This is where those cheap $30 red dots will likely fail, either by damage or losing zero. So, for this platform and caliber, durability was a must.

300 Blackout

Best Red Dot for Rifle - 300 Blackout

300 Blackout has become a popular choice for those looking for something with a little more stopping power that .223/.556. Though the casings are similar, the 300 Blackout packs a .30-caliber bullet coming in as high as 220gr. The .223/.556 only reaching as high as 85gr. Many prefer 300 Blackout in a pistol length setup, as this caliber arguably performs best out of a 9″ barrel. That being said, there are still quite a few who prefer this caliber in a rifle.

Considering grain weight and caliber, you might have guessed that the recoil energy on 300 Blackout might be considerably higher. If so, you’re right! In fact, the recoil from a 300 Blackout round is roughly 3x that of .223/.556. Because of this, we felt it necessary to conduct our red dot reviews with a heavy emphasis on durability, much like that of the .308.

Conclusion

Choosing the best red dot for your rifle can be a daunting task, with so many options out there. There are many factors at play, including caliber, iron sight picture, rail space and application. We spend a lot of time researching the best option for multiple platforms, but ultimately, it all comes down to what works for you. We encourage you to do your own research as well. The right red dot is out there and we hope that we are able to help point you in the right direction.