Have you ever been out on the range and found yourself struggling to hit your target? Maybe you were a little bit off-center, or you just couldn’t quite get your aim right. Well, don’t worry because I’ve got just the thing for you – a reflex sight!
Now, I know what you might be thinking – “What in the world is a reflex sight?” A reflex sight is basically an optic that helps you aim better by providing a wider field of view and an illuminated reticle that helps you zero in on your target. It’s a total game-changer for anyone who loves to shoot at close ranges, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro.
But, with so many different types of reflex sights out there, it can be tough to know which one to choose. That’s why I’ve put together this article – to help you navigate the world of reflex sights and figure out which one is the best fit for you. We’ll cover everything from the different types available, to the key features you should be looking for, to a breakdown of the top reflex sights on the market.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn all about the wonderful world of reflex sights. In the end, you’ll be ready to make an informed decision and take your shooting to the next level. Let’s do this!
- Types of Reflex Sights
- Features to consider when choosing a reflex sight
- Best Reflex Sights
- How important is waterproof and shockproof capability in a reflex sight?
- Can a reflex sight be used for long-range shooting?
- How do I zero my reflex sight for maximum accuracy?
- Are holographic weapon sights the same as reflex sights?
- What Is the Best Reflex Sight In Modern Warfare?
- How Accurate Are Reflex Sights?
Types of Reflex Sights
When it comes to reflex sights, there are generally two different types to choose from. But in this article, we will discuss three. Each one has its own pros and cons, and it just comes down to personal preference. Here’s a quick rundown of the most common types of reflex sights:
Tube-style reflex sights
A tube-style reflex sight looks like a mini telescope with a long tube that houses the lens and reticle. This design has a few unique features that set it apart from other types of reflex sights. For one, the longer tube can provide a more precise sight picture and can help block out extraneous light that might otherwise interfere with your aim. This can be very helpful in bright outdoor environments.
Tube-style reflex sights are also known for their durability. The long tube provides more protection for the lens and internal components of the sight, making it less likely to get damaged if you accidentally drop your firearm or bump it against something. Additionally, the longer battery life of tube sight means that you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries as frequently.
Another unique feature of a tube sight is its ability to hold up to recoil without losing zero. This is important for firearms with heavier recoil, like shotguns or some larger caliber rifles. The tube design provides more stability for the sight, which helps maintain accuracy and consistency shot after shot.
Of course, there are also some downsides to tube-style reflex sights. They tend to be bulkier and heavier than other types of sights, which can make them less desirable for people who want a lighter setup. The longer tube can sometimes be a bit more cumbersome and may require more careful aiming and manipulation to use effectively.
Open-style reflex sights
Open-style reflex sights, also known as “window” reflex sights, have a window that you look through to see the reticle. They’re usually smaller and more lightweight than tube-style sights, making them a popular choice for people who want something that won’t weigh them down, or for those who are using a smaller firearm like a pistol.
One of the unique features of open sights is their wider field of view. Because there is no long tube blocking your peripheral vision, you can see more of your surroundings while still maintaining a clear sight picture. This can be especially helpful when shooting at moving targets, where you need to be able to acquire your target and track its movements quickly.
Open-style reflex sights are also known for their ease of use. Because there are fewer moving parts, they can be simpler to operate than tube sights. They often have fewer options for adjustments, which can make them more user-friendly for those who are new to shooting or who just want something that’s quick and easy to set up.
One potential downside to open reflex sights is that they may not be as durable as tube sights. The window is more exposed, making it more vulnerable to damage if you drop your firearm. The smaller size of open-style sights also makes it more difficult for people with larger hands or gloves to manipulate.
Micro reflex sights
Micro reflex sights are the smallest type of reflex sight. They are compact and lightweight, making them an excellent option for people who want to keep their firearms as lightweight and streamlined as possible. They are also popular among people who carry their firearms for self-defense or law enforcement purposes, as they allow for quick and easy target acquisition.
One of the unique features of micro reflex sights is their simplicity. This simplicity can be helpful in high-stress situations, where you may not have time to make complicated adjustments or use multiple reticles. Another advantage of these reflex sights is their battery life. They often use small batteries, like watch batteries, which can last for thousands of hours.
Micro reflex sights have some potential downsides. Because they are so small, they may not be as precise as other types of reflex sights, particularly at longer distances. Their small size can also make them more difficult to use for people with vision problems or for those who prefer a larger sight picture.
Features to consider when choosing a reflex sight
The size of the dot in a reflex sight can have a big impact on accuracy. A smaller dot may be more precise for longer-range shooting, while a larger dot can be easier to see in low-light conditions or for quick target acquisition. Consider your shooting style and preferences when choosing a dot size.
Most reflex sights use batteries to power the reticle, and the battery life can vary depending on the sight. Look for a sight with a long battery life. It’s also a good idea to carry spare batteries just in case.
Reflex sights can be mounted on different types of firearms, and choosing a sight that can be easily mounted on your firearm is important. Some sights come with specific mounting systems, while others have a universal mount that can be used with different firearms.
A reflex sight should be able to withstand harsh conditions and recoil. Look for sights made from durable materials such as aluminum or steel, and choose one that is shock-resistant and waterproof. A durable sight is also less likely to lose its zero, which is important for accuracy.
Choose a sight that is easy to adjust for windage and elevation. Some reflex sights come with tools for making these adjustments, while others have dials or buttons. Consider whether you need a sight that can be easily adjusted in the field or if you prefer to make adjustments before shooting.
Field of View
A wider field of view makes it easier to acquire your target and track its movements. Consider the size of the window or lens when choosing a reflex sight. A larger window can provide a wider field of view but may add weight and bulk to the sight.
Night Vision Compatibility
If you plan to use your reflex sight with night vision devices, you should choose a sight that is compatible with them. Look for sights that have a low brightness setting, which can help preserve your night vision.
Material and Finish
The material and finish of the reflex sight can impact its durability and appearance. Look for sights made from high-quality materials such as aircraft-grade aluminum or titanium, and consider a matte finish to reduce glare and reflections.
Some reflex sights have an auto-off feature that can help preserve battery life. The sight will turn off after a certain period of inactivity and turn back on when you pick up the firearm again. This feature can be convenient and help ensure that your sight is always ready when you need it.
Brand and Reputation
When choosing a reflex sight, you should consider the brand and its reputation. Look for brands known for producing high-quality sights and having a good reputation in the shooting community. You can also read reviews and ask for recommendations from other shooters.
Best Reflex Sights
Here is a quick review of some of our best reflex sights.
1. Trijicon RMR Type 2
The Trijicon RMR Type 2 is a popular and highly-regarded red dot reflex sight that offers durability, versatility, and excellent performance. This sight is built to last, with a rugged aluminum housing and advanced electronics that can withstand even the toughest shooting conditions.
One of the standout features of the RMR sight is its adjustable reticle, which allows you to customize the sight to your specific shooting needs. It has an auto brightness and a manual brightness setting with a total of 8 brightness levels, out of which 2 are night vision compatible, and 1 is super bright. The reticle is crisp and clear, even in low-light conditions, and offers a wide field of view for quick and accurate target acquisition.
Another great feature of the Trijicon RMR is its long battery life, which can last up to 4 years on a single CR2032 battery. This makes it a reliable choice for long shooting sessions or situations where you need to keep your firearm ready for a long time.
The Trijicon sight is also highly versatile, with multiple mounting options and compatibility with a variety of firearms and accessories. This makes it a great choice for hunters, competitive shooters, and tactical operators who need a sight that can adapt to different shooting situations.
In terms of performance, the RMR is highly accurate and precise, with a minimal parallax and excellent zero retention. It is also designed to withstand heavy recoil and impact, making it a great choice for use with high-powered firearms.
While it may be pricier than others on the market, its advanced features and reliable performance make it a worthwhile investment for serious shooters. If you’re looking for a reflex sight that can help take your shooting to the next level, the Trijicon RMR is worth considering.
2. Aimpoint PRO
The Aimpoint PRO is a top-performing reflex sight that offers exceptional durability and performance. It is built to withstand the toughest shooting conditions and is designed to provide accurate and precise aiming in any situation. The Aimpoint PRO has a rugged construction due to its hard-anodized aluminum housing that can withstand heavy recoil. It is also waterproof and can be used in any weather condition.
Another great feature of this sight is its 2 MOA dot reticle, which offers a clear and crisp image for quick and accurate target acquisition. The reticle is adjustable for brightness and can be used in different lighting conditions. This red dot reflex sight also offers a long battery life of up to 30,000 hours on a single battery, which makes it a reliable choice for long shooting sessions. It is built with an automatic shut-off feature that helps to conserve battery life when not in use.
The Aimpoint red dot optic comes with a mount and spacer that allows for easy installation and compatibility with various firearms.
3. Vortex Optics Venom
The Vortex Venom is a top-quality reflex sight that offers exceptional performance. It is designed to provide fast and accurate target acquisition, making it a great choice for all shooters. It has a clear and bright 3 MOA red dot reticle with adjustable brightness settings, making it reliable in any lighting conditions.
The Vortex Venom also features a durable and rugged construction, with a machined aluminum housing that is both lightweight and tough. It is also waterproof and can withstand heavy recoil. Another feature of this sight is its long battery life, with up to 150 hours of continuous use on a single battery and 30,000 hours for the highest and lowest settings, respectively. The sight also comes with a Weaver or Picatinny mount that makes it easy to install on various firearms.
4. Sig Sauer Romeo XL
The Sig Sauer Romeo3 XL is a high-end reflex sight that offers top-of-the-line features and performance. The sight comes with a clear and bright 6 MOA dot reticle. The Sig Romeo XL also features a durable and rugged aluminum housing construction that is both lightweight and tough. The sight is waterproof and can withstand anything thrown at it. Another great feature of the Sig Romeo is its long battery life.
The Sig Romeo3 also comes with a Picatinny mount that makes it easy to install on different firearms. It is also compatible with various accessories, including magnifiers and risers, making it a versatile choice for any shooting situation. If you’re looking for a high-end reflex sight that can help take your shooting to the next level, this Sig Sauer should be considered.
5. Burris FastFire III
The Burris reflex sight is a reliable and accurate option for shooters looking for a high-quality reflex sight. It offers a range of features that make it a great choice for hunting, target shooting, and tactical operations.
One outstanding feature of the FastFire III is its rugged construction. It is built with tough aluminum housing that is impact-resistant, and it is also waterproof and fog proof. The Burris sight also features a clear 3 MOA dot, which offers fast and accurate target acquisition. The reticle is adjustable for brightness. You can choose between the auto brightness or the manual setting. The manual setting has three levels to choose from.
The Burris FastFire III also comes with a Picatinny mount that makes it easy to install.
6. Bushnell Trophy TRS 25
The Bushnell Trophy sight is a reliable and affordable option for shooters looking for high-quality red dot sights. It offers a range of features that make it a preferred choice for some shooters.
One unique feature is the way the sight is designed. The battery compartment and brightness setting are positioned on top in a slanted manner. The sight has 11 brightness settings, and it uses a CR2032 battery. It is built with a sturdy aluminum housing that is both lightweight and durable, making it easy to carry and use in the field. It is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
The Bushnell TRS 25 also features a precise 3 MOA dot for fast target acquisition. Bushnell TRS-25 is highly accurate, with minimal parallax and excellent zero retention. It can also maintain its zero under heavy recoil when used with rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, and handguns. If you need high-quality red dot sights that won’t break the bank, the Bushnell TRS-25 is worth the try.
7. Crimson Trace CTS-1550
The Crimson Trace is another excellent reflex sight that’s built to last. This sight is designed with a sleek, low-profile housing that makes it easy to mount on any firearm. It’s perfect for use on subcompact pistols and other small firearms.
One thing that makes the CTS-1550 stand out is its integrated co-witness mount. This mount allows you to easily and quickly mount the sight on your firearm without the need for any additional hardware. It also makes aligning the optic with your iron sight in your firearm easy, ensuring accurate and precise shots.
The CTS-1550 features a crisp and clear 3.0 MOA red dot that is easy to see even in low-light conditions. The dot has an auto-adjustable brightness that easily adjusts it to match the lighting conditions of your environment. The sight is built tough and is designed to withstand heavy recoil. It’s waterproof and shockproof, so you can take it out in any weather without worrying about damaging it.
8. Feyachi Reflex Sight
The Feyachi Reflex Sight is a budget-friendly option that still delivers impressive performance. This sight is designed with a durable aluminum housing that’s built to withstand harsh conditions. It’s perfect for use on rifles and shotguns.
The Feyachi red dot optic offers four different reticle patterns, including a dot, crosshair, dot and crosshair, and circle. This allows you to customize the sight to your preferences and shooting needs. The sight also features a wide field of view, making it easy to track moving targets and acquire targets quickly. It’s also parallax corrected, which means that the reticle will remain in the same position regardless of the shooter’s eye position.
The Feyachi Sight is designed with an easy-to-use rotary switch for adjusting the brightness of the reticle.
9. TRUGLO TRU-TEC Micro Red Dot
The TRUGLO Micro Red Dots are compact and versatile sights designed for use on sub-compact and full-sized pistols. They’re an excellent choice for anyone looking for high-quality micro red dots that won’t break the bank. The small and lightweight design makes it easy to carry and use on any firearm. Despite its small size, the TRU-TEC is built to last, with durable aluminum housing that’s designed to withstand tough conditions.
Another feature of the TRU-TEC Sight is its versatile reticle. The sight is also designed with an auto-off feature that shut down the brightness of the reticle when not in use. It also features a manual brightness adjustment option with 10 settings, so you can adjust the brightness to your liking.
The TRU-TEC is designed with a low-profile mount that’s perfect for use on sub-compact pistols. It also comes with a high-rise mount for use on full-sized pistols. This makes it a versatile sight that can be used on various firearms.
10. Sightmark Ultra Shot R-Spec
The Sightmark Ultra Shot Sight is a highly durable and reliable option for those looking for a good reflex sight that can keep up with the toughest conditions. This sight features a sturdy aluminum body with a protective hood to keep it safe from impacts and scratches.
The R-Spec features a crisp and clear reticle that is easy to see in both bright and low light conditions, making it a great option for hunting and other outdoor activities. The reticle also features multiple brightness settings to accommodate any lighting situation.
One unique feature of the R-Spec is that it has four red/green types of reticles. It also has ten brightness settings, and the sight allows for quick and easy adjustments to the brightness and reticle type. The sight also has an automatic shut-off function to conserve battery life, which is essential when using it for extended periods of time.
How important is waterproof and shockproof capability in a reflex sight?
Waterproof and shockproof capability is important in a reflex sight, especially if you plan to use it in adverse weather conditions or rough terrain. A waterproof and shockproof reflex sight can withstand rain, snow, and other elements without losing accuracy. Additionally, a shockproof reflex sight can withstand bumps, drops, and recoils from firing your gun, ensuring that the sight remains accurate and functional.
Can a reflex sight be used for long-range shooting?
Reflex sights are primarily designed for short to medium-range shooting. The main limitation of reflex sights for long-range shooting is that they typically have a smaller reticle and no magnification which can make it challenging to aim at distant targets. However, some reflex sights can be used with red dot magnifiers to make them suitable for long-range shooting.
How do I zero my reflex sight for maximum accuracy?
To zero your reflex sight for maximum accuracy, you need to adjust the sight to match the point of impact of your shots. Start by shooting a group of shots at a target and note the point of impact. Then, adjust the reflex sight’s windage and elevation dials to move the reticle to match the point of impact. Repeat the process until the reticle is on target at your desired distance.
Are holographic weapon sights the same as reflex sights?
Holographic weapon sights and reflex sights are similar in that they both use a reticle projected onto a screen to aim the firearm. However, a holographic sight usually uses a laser to project a holographic image onto the sight’s screen, while reflex sights use an LED or fiber optic light source to illuminate the reticle. A Holographic sight is also more expensive than a reflex sight.
What Is the Best Reflex Sight In Modern Warfare?
The best reflex sight in Modern Warfare is subjective and depends on personal preference and play style. Some popular options include the EOTech 552, Aimpoint PRO, and Trijicon RMR Type 2.
How Accurate Are Reflex Sights?
Reflex sights are generally very accurate, especially at close to medium ranges. They offer a parallax-free sight picture, meaning that the impact point remains consistent regardless of the shooter’s head position.
Mike Hardesty is a published freelance gun writer. He also possesses specialized expertise in rifle scopes With dozens of articles and reviews published in Pew Pew Tactical, Snipercountry.com, and TTAG (The Truth About Guns), Mike is considered a firearms expert. His special area of expertise is handguns.
Mike is a long-time shooter. He has been punching paper targets, taking deer and other game and shooting at competitions since about 1975. Other related pursuits include reloading and bullet casting. He currently reloads for over 10 calibers, both handgun and rifle. His reloads, particularly for 9mm, were in great demand during the height of the ammo shortage among family and friends. He donated hundreds of rounds to informal shooting sessions. He was quoted as saying “I do not sell my reloads but I sure will help my guys shoot ’em for free!”. He has a few cherished firearms that he has inherited or otherwise procured — those are his favorites.
He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Indiana State University in 1974-1975.
He’s a firearm experts and is the founder of mhardesty.com.