You don’t have to be an avid hunter or gun owner to appreciate the unique and innovative designs of the reflex sights. Sure, there are tons of red dot sights and new optical scopes available on the market, but the truth of the matter is that reflex sights are durable, reliable, and accurate. This will not only ensure that you get your target with a clean shot every time, but it will ensure that you do it with speed and minimal adjustments. However, the only problem is that the market is flooded with these sights. So, how do you actually know which ones are the best and what features to look for? This is exactly what you will discover below, plus much more.
What Is A Reflex Sight?
Before you hit the market and just start searching through the millions of sights available, you need to truly understand the concept and theory of a reflex sight. While a reflex sight does provide an aiming red dot, it should not at all be confused with a laser sight or red dot sight. In fact, they are completely different things. When you see the term reflex, you should automatically think about the reticle being projected forward from the lens. It is then reflected back off the objective lens assembly in the direction of the shooter’s eye.
Yes, this does sound distracting, but it is not at all. In fact, the objective lens just simply functions like a mirror, allowing light to pass through it like a regular lens would. This is an extremely similar design to the lens of a telescope.
How Do Reflex Sights Work?
Reflex sights are extremely popular and only continue to grow in popularity for two simple reasons. One, they are extremely simple. Two, they can greatly enhance your overall shooting abilities. Unlike iron sights, which require the shooter to shift focus, the reflex sight actually puts a red dot directly on your target. Simply put, when you shoot if the red dot is on the target, you are going to hit it. This can be extremely handy in high-stress or pressure situations. Throughout your search for a reflex sight, you will discover that there are two general configurations available on the market. First, is the head-up and the second is a tube sight and looks extremely similar to a scope.
The head-up design usually just comes with one lens assembly, which means the reticle will point below and behind the lens. The reticle will be located closer to the shooter’s eye and further away from the tip of the muzzle. These configurations do not look anything like a scope at all. As mentioned-above the tube sight looks extremely similar to a scope, as it has a tubular body and a lens element located at each end. These tube devices are more versatile because the can be mounted on the lower portion of the firearm.
Reflex sights work by gathering ambient light from a source and using that light to project a reticle on your target. Some sights will use a fiber-optics system to produce this ambient light, as others will utilize a tritium beta lamp. The beta lamp can come in extremely handy in conditions where the ambient light might be low or dark. Since the lenses of these devices are similar to a mirror they allow all visible wavelengths to pass through them normally, while the color is reflected off a visible spectrum. This is something that you probably wouldn’t even notice if it didn’t produce a little red dot. As the wavelengths pass through the lens and the color is reflected back off it creates a reticle that is reflected back at the eye, which becomes visible in the field. This is not at all the same that as a laser sight, because no light is emitted toward the target.
What Makes A Good Reflex Sight?
So, now you are probably wondering what exactly makes a good reflex sight? Well, when it comes to shopping for a good quality reflex sight there really are four major things that you need to consider. Those four things would be accuracy, durability, use, and range.
Accuracy – The reason you are probably buying the sight in the first place it to enhance your accuracy and shooting ability, so why shouldn’t the sight do exactly that? Reflex sights were designed mostly for rapid-fire shooting and since that is probably what you are going to be doing more accuracy will not only enhance your shooting abilities, but it will make you a more responsible gun owner. Even if you are going to buy online, your best option is to test a few in the field first. Sure, you can’t test them through online vendors, but you can test that same exact model at a local store and still purchase it online. In fact, you will probably even find it cheaper online. The reason you want to do this is, that most bargain sights really lack in accuracy.
Durability – Any reflex you choose should be able to stand up to the weather, the test of time, and several field challenges. Always seek out sights that are shockproof and waterproof. You don’t want to drop a hundred or more on a sight and have it ruined the first time it gets wet or when you accidentally bump it against something. The material can tell you a lot about the durability of the scope, so make sure you buy one that is constructed of an extremely durable material
Range – Are you a long-range shooter or a short-range shooter? These are two things that you will have to consider when shopping for a sight. This can make all this difference in the world for your performance. For instance, a .308 will work extremely well for anything in the mid to close-range, but it won’t be very helpful on longer ranges. If you are going to be going for longer ranges, you probably want to consider a sight that won’t get distorted, which is something that the manufacturer should brag about in their description.
Easy To Use – Just because a sight comes equipped with tons of features and buttons it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should pay more for it. In fact, one of the main things that you want to look for in a sight is the usability. You want to be able to operate everything is a quick and easy fashion, as your life might actually depend on it out in the field. However, extra features are never wasteful, as they can come in handy in a variety of different situations. It really comes down to knowing what you will need and knowing how to use it.
What Features To Look For
As you already know, there are tons of different features available when it comes to reflex sights, but which truly are the most beneficial?
Illumination Adjustments – Every sight on the market will either run on a CR2, AA, or AAA battery or batteries. The lifespan of these batteries will greatly come down to the intensity of the illumination setting that you are using. Sure, in low light and dark conditions you might need to utilize the highest intensity, but outdoors is a different story. You always want to look for a sight that has an easy illumination adjustment. Some of the lowest intensity could be the difference between the batteries lasting for thousands of hours or only hundreds of hours. You never want to end up with dead batteries in the field.
Accurate Reticles – There are also a variety of different reticles available. While these different reticles will provide each user with a different experience, not all of them provide the same accuracy advantages. Sure, some of them look unique and cool, but there could be a better one out there for the range that you are shooting out. The plain red dot works well in all situations, but as for the others, you will really have to do some experimenting to find your own personal preference. Some sights will offer different color and reticle options so that you actually find the one that best suits your needs.
Waterproof – How many times have you been caught in the rain with your weapon? Probably more times than you would like to admit. This is why it is imperative to choose a sight that is 100% waterproof. You don’t want to ruin your sight only after a few uses.
Shockproof – Shockproof is a must for any sight, as there is a change that your gun is going to have recoil. In addition to this, there is always a chance that you might bump the gun or drop it. A non-shockproof sight could be ruined in any of these situations.
Warranty – Anytime you purchase anything you always want to consider the warranty. This is especially true when it comes to a sight. Reflex sights can take a lot of abuse over the years and you don’t want to drop a whole bunch of money on one to discover that it was poorly designed or to discover that you bought a lemon. This is where a good warranty can come in handy. Always look for at least a one to three year warranty, as if anything is going to go wrong it will probably happen in the first year. Keep in mind that some sights do offer a lifetime warranty.
Best Reflex Sight for the Money – DD Dagger Defense Red Dot Reflex Sight
As you probably already know, stock sights are limited and many times need to be replaced. Of course, you will put the stock sight to the test, before you make a drastic decision to replace it with an improved version. When searching for a replacement, there are many things to consider, including construction, design, aperture, and field of view. During your search, you will surely come across the DD Dagger Defense Reflex Sight. This particular model features a variety of settings that will allow you to sight in on your target in seconds.
To ensure the durability and longevity of its Red Dot Reflex Sight, DD Dagger Defense chose aircraft-grade aluminum to the other options. This material has shown to stand up to the test of time, resisting damage caused by the elements and minor accidents.
Aircraft-grade aluminum is actually made from a variety of alloys, such as 6061, 7075 and 2024. To prove its durability, the material is commonly utilized in the construction of airplanes. In addition to its durability rating, aircraft-grade aluminum is very lightweight. This basically means that the weight of the DD Danger Defense Reflex Sight will not affect your angling or shooting abilities.
Adjust Elevation With Ease
Making elevation adjustments is a breeze with the DDHB. In fact, all you need to do is utilize the included hex wrench to make the adjustment, making small turns until you achieve the desired elevation. Since elevation is based on the target movement, adjusting “up” will not move the reticle up, but only the target. Once you get this down, you will be able to make elevation adjustments in seconds.
Adjust Windage Conveniently
If you have not figured it out yet, the DDHB is all about convenience. In addition to the ease of making elevation adjustments, the correct windage can also be achieved in seconds. When making a windage adjustment, you must remember that the windage is solely based on the target movement. So, when you adjust to the right, the reticle will not move to the right, only the target.
Easily Adjust Brightness
Depending on the light conditions, you may find yourself needing to improve the brightness level, so you can see your target better. To ensure this process can be completed without delay, DD Dagger Defense equipped its RED Dot Reflex Sight with a rotary adjustment knob. Without the need of a tool, you can simply turn the adjustment know to the left or right, while you are aiming at your target.
- Windage and elevation adjustment options
- Includes a hex wrench for adjustments
- Zeroing in is easy
- Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
- Lightweight design (approximately eight ounces)
- Aperture – 33mm
- Field of View – 291g
Living on a strict budget no longer means that you have to go target shooting without a high-quality red dot reflex sight. The DDHB is all you need to improve your aiming and shooting skills.
Best Reflex Sight Under $200 – Sightmark SM26005 Ultra Shot M-Spec Reflex Sight
Tired of dealing with that underperforming reflex sight? If so, it may be time to replace it with the Sightmark SM26005 Ultra Shot. This particular reflex sight is designed to offer the best view of moving targets, by making a few setting adjustments. In addition to this, achieving the most accurate brightness level is a breeze with the digital switch control. Below, you will discover an in-depth review of the Sightmark SM2600 Reflex Sight.
The Sightmark SM26005 Ultra Shot is constructed from magnesium alloy. This particular material is comprised of a variety of metals, such as zinc, aluminum, copper and silicon, and a mixture of magnesium. Magnesium alloy is capable of withstanding extended exposure to the elements and normal wear and tear.
As mentioned above Sightmark SM26005’s magnesium construction will ensure durability and longevity. Not mentioned is the fact that this material is extremely lightweight. Weighing in at eight ounces, you will not be burdened with additional weight when the SM26005 is attached to your rifle.
Unlike other reflex sights, the Sightmark Ultra Shot M-Spec can safely be utilized in temperatures ranging from 20 below and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that you can expose the sight to these temperatures and not have to worry about damaging its most vital components.
Field Of View And Eye Relief
It should also be known that this scope offers excellent eye relief and field of view. The eye relief is unlimited. No matter how far your eye is away from the scope, you’ll still be able to see great. Plus, the field of view is massive. You’ll be given 35m at 100m. This combination guarantees that you’ll be able to zone in on and bring down targets consecutively without much trouble.
Buying too many replacement batteries can be annoying and very expensive. This should not be a problem with the Sightmark SM26005 Ultra Shot Reflex Sight. This specific scope offers plenty of battery life. The 3-volt battery can last as long as 1,000 hours depending on the settings. If you use the most draining settings, it is only going to last 90 hours. It uses CR2 batteries, which aren’t too difficult to find.
Water, Shock and Fog Proof
One of the best things about this scope is the fact that it is immensely durable. It is designed to protect again shock, fog, and water. The shockproof feature helps to prevent the scope from becoming out of whack during firing or a drop. The fog and waterproof design help to ensure that you’ll be able to use this scope in pretty much any conditions.
- Uses very little power and has a 1-hour auto shutoff feature
- Case magnesium alloy housing is very tough
- Offers various brightness levels and night vision modes
- Weighs just 8 ounces
- Shock, fog and waterproof
- 1 Click MOA adjustment
- Weaver and Picatinny mount
- Battery life offers a maximum of 1,000 hours
The Sightmark SM26005 Ultra Shot Reflex Sight is great. It is moderately affordable, yet it still offers plenty of perks. The alloy housing is well made and it will definitely withstand the test of time. Plus, this scope is waterproof. It can be submerged up to 40 feet without any problems. More importantly, this sight is definitely going to improve your marksmanship. For that, it is certainly worth the investment.
Best Reflex Sight for AR15 – Vortex Optics Razor Red Dot Sights
Are you on the hunt for a great reflex sight that will work exceptionally well for the AR15? If so, you really need to check out the Vortex Optics Razor Red Dot Sights. This scope is definitely a little expensive, but it offers a wealth of benefits. In fact, once you’ve tried it out for yourself, you’ll most likely agree that the price is very reasonable. This sight can be used with an abundance of firearms and it is suitable for many applications. It is very versatile and will always perfect your marksmanship skills. What makes it so great for the AR15? You’ll find out below.
It should be known that this scope uses a single CR2032 battery. It is very easy to change the battery out and replace it with a new one. The battery life is actually amazing too. In many cases, you’ll be able to use the same battery for several years. Replacement batteries aren’t too expensive. With that in mind, maintaining this scope over a period of time shouldn’t be too expensive. When used on the lowest setting, the battery can deliver up to 30,000 hours of use.
The lens on this scope is another major perk. First and foremost, you should know that the lenses are protected by an anti-reflective XR coating. This is absolutely amazing and helps to ensure that you will not be distracted by a glare. The lenses are also protected with Armortek coatings. This helps to protect them from scratches and oil. As long as you are careful, the lenses will remain in excellent condition for many years to come.
Waterproof And Shockproof
This scope is protected thoroughly. It is O-ring sealed and features an aircraft grade build. This combination ensures that this scope is going to last a lifetime. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the scope being damaged by water or shock. It is shock and waterproof. The shockproof design also helps cut back on the number of times you’ll need to zero the scope in.
9 Brightness Levels
Each person is unique. Some will want the brightest dot possible. Others will prefer it to be a little dimmer. It is also important to change the brightness in certain environments. The good news is that this scope offers 9 levels of brightness. You won’t have any problem finding the perfect brightness for your unique situation. Changing the brightness couldn’t be easier. You won’t have to stop and look at your scope to make adjustments.
Mount And Weight
This sight comes with a Picatinny mount. When it is attached to the mount, the combination will weigh just 2.5 ounces. This guarantees that you won’t get bogged down.
- Comes with a Picatinny mount
- Weighs just 2.5 ounces
- Unlimited eye relief
- 9 levels of brightness
- Up to 30,000 hours of battery life
The Vortex Optics Razor Red Dot Sights is great but somewhat expensive. If you want the best reflex sight for an AR15, this is yet. Just make sure that you’re prepared to pay top dollar.
Best Reflex Sight For Airsoft – Iron Jia’s 3-10×42 Rifle Hunting Scope
Airsoft rifles have grown immensely popular over the past few years. If you happen to be a fan of airsoft, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you have the right equipment. Once you’ve got a rifle, you’ll want to attach a reflex sight to it. The good news is that there are plenty of options at your disposal. Nevertheless, the Iron Jia’s 3-10×42 Scope is definitely the best. This scope is worth its affordable price tag and it will definitely improve your marksmanship. Additional details about this scope can be found below.
All Metal Construction
While this hunting scope is pretty affordable, it is still designed to last a lifetime. This is the case because it is manufactured with all metal. When you purchase this scope, you can rest assured knowing that your money has been well spent. It will really last a lifetime as long as you treat it with care.
Some scopes are not compatible with all rifles or guns. This shouldn’t be an issue with Iron Jia’s Hunting Scope. After all, it offers Picatinny Weaver 20 mm rails, as well as 11 mm dovetail rails. No matter what rifle you’re using, there is a good chance that this scope will fit it. Another thing to note is that this scope is equipped with built-in rails. This gives you the ability to mount various accessories to the scope itself.
When attempting to choose a scope, you’ll want to select one that is not going to weigh you down. This is why you should think about buying the Rifle Hunting Scope from Iron Jia’s. This scope weighs just 15.5 ounces. Once you’ve got it attached to your firearm, you probably won’t even notice a difference.
Eye relief is vitally important. If you do not get it right, you’re probably not going to feel comfortable using your scope. This isn’t an issue with this hunting scope. It has an eye relief of 101.6mm at 2.5x. You should be able to get the scope attached perfectly, so you can use it comfortably from start to finish. And, you should have any trouble finding your targets.
Field of view is also essential. This rifle really knocks it out of the park here. The field of view provided is 100 yards of 32.5’ at 2.5x and 8.9’ at 10x. Whether you’re targeting close targets or those that are further away, you won’t have any trouble. This scope is very versatile and more than capable of perfecting your aim.
- Eye relief of 101.6mm at 2.5x and 76.2mm at 10x
- Field of view of 100 yards of 32.5’ at 2.5x or 8.9’ at 10x
- Offers two dot colors
- 5 brightness levels for each color
- Weighs just 15.5 ounces
- Made with the highest quality aluminum alloy
There is plenty to like with Iron Jia’s 3-10×42 Airsoft Hunting Scope. It works great and won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for an affordable, yet effective solution, you should not ignore this one.
Best Reflex Sight Overall – Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA Adjustable Red Dot Sight
Are you looking for an outstanding red dot laser for your rifle? There are plenty of great reflex sights out there, but some are better than others. If you’ve got money to spend and want the best of the best, you should not hesitate to check out the Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA Red Dot Sight. This sight is really one of the best on the planet. It offers a wealth of benefits and features to ensure that your shooting experience is greatly enhanced. Plus, it will definitely improve your accuracy. What sets it apart from its competition? You’re about to find out.
While it might not seem like a big deal, it is still nice to have several different colors to choose from. You’ll be able to do just that with the Trijicon RMR 6.5 Sight. It is available in several colors, including black, flat dark earth, OD green, and sniper gray. If you’re worried about being spotted, this will help. You can easily find a color that will blend into your environment and match your rifle.
Another great thing about this sight is the fact that it offers several brightness modes. There are eight adjustable settings in all. Or, you can switch to the automatic brightness mode. This will take care of everything for you, so you can focus on bringing down your targets as quickly as possible.
It should also be known that this sight is manufactured with aircraft aluminum alloy. This guarantees that the housing is designed to last a lifetime. This sight could really take a beating and still maintain its precision.
While it depends on the way that you use the scope, the manufacturer suggests that the battery could last over four years. The battery offers four years of continuous use as long as the brightness setting is kept at 4. This is thoroughly impressive. If you want to make sure that your money is well spent and that you do not need to replace the batteries any time soon, this is the sight for you.
Lightning Fast Target Acquisition
When it comes down to it, your primary goal is to make sure that you’re able to bring down your targets as quickly as possible. This is where the RMR 6.5 Sight excels. The design of the sight ensures that you’ll be able to quickly acquire your target. You can also shoot while keeping both of your eyes open. Even better is that zeroing the sight is easy and you won’t have to do it too much.
- Makes target acquisition quick and easy
- Auto brightness mode is great
- Battery life is amazing
- Made with aircraft aluminum alloy
- Windage and elevation are adjustable
- Compatible with many handguns, including Smith & Wesson CORE, FNH Tactical, Glock MOS and more
The Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA Red Dot Sight is pretty amazing. It works exceptionally well and will definitely improve your shooting skills. It is expensive, but it’ll prove to be well worth the price in the long run.
Really, there are plenty of good scopes out there. Just remember to choose the one that suits your needs the most. Do that and your marksmanship skills will be greatly improved.
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