Best Red Dot Magnifier Review

Best Red Dot Magnifier Review and Buying Guide 2017-2018

Gun enthusiasts know that there are a number of ways they can make their accuracy better. Among them is having a red dot magnifier. Having the Best red dot magnifier is the first step towards giving your arsenal an upgrade. Getting this piece of equipment for the right price will boost your performance in the field. In other words, your target acquisition precision will make you a success regarding weapons use.

Getting the best equipment in the market means you will have to spend an extra buck on the equipment. Different products cost differently since some of them will have that extra durability or quality which the others do not. So, the question is how do you know the best red dot magnifier out there? The following review will provide you with good insight when it comes to red dots.

Top 5 Best Red Dot Magnifier Reviews

Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier with Flip Mount

The functionality and value of Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier are something that awes its users. It is fast, efficient and good value for money making it one of the best red dot magnifiers. One of the highlight traits of this product is its fully multicoated lens. It is lightweight, and with a machined-aluminum construction, it is durable. Vortex VMX-3T comes with up to 3x magnification. Mostly, this product features in the majority of 3x magnifier reviews.

Features

 

  • The VMX-3T is simple, fast and efficient.
  • Achieves up to 3 times of magnification
  • Lightweight and durable. The aluminum construction is anodized and hard.
  • VMX-3T fully multicoated lens comes with an enhanced light transmission.
  • Comes with attractive warranty terms.
  • Purged with nitrogen gas
  • Eye relief of 2.2 inches.
  • The tube size is 30 MM.
  • 4.3 inches in length.
  • Comes with a reversible mount.

Pros

  • VMX-3T achieves clarity, as well as, precision. The nice coating produces a sharp picture enhancing your view.
  • Has an extensive range of compatibility. The magnifier works perfectly well with other red dots by the same company. Furthermore, its compatibility extends to EOTech. Therefore, you can buy the product together with any EOTech red dot.
  • Has adequate view for an extended range of up to 100 yards.
  • Comes with lens caps
  • Has uncapped turrets.
  • The magnifier is easy to use. Does not require detailed instructions.
  • VMX-3T is easy to lock in mount solidly.
  • Lining up the mount is easy.
  • A well-built flip mount.
  • Fits perfectly well with a variety of weapons.
  • Ideal for use in any weather. It is fog proof and waterproof.

Cons

  • Does not have a QD mount.
  • The location of the release button is awkward.
  • There have been some complaints regarding the eye relief from reviewers. It is not as great as it should be.  
  • After a continued use of about 200 rounds, the nut comes loose quickly. Therefore, you need to keep on checking it.

Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 Red/Green Dot Sight

The production of StrikeFire 2 together with its older generations was out of the need for quality and affordable red dots for shotguns, carbines, and rifles. For a long time now, red dots have always fallen between top quality optics with a steep price tag and cheap but significantly poor quality products. The best thing about StrikeFire 2 is that it strikes the middle ground with much ease also making the list of the best red dot magnifiers.

Features

  • An unlimited eye relief which is also non-critical. This ensures that target acquisition is rapid and effortless.
  • Magnification of 1x
  • Works well with Mako 7x Magnifier
  • 7.2 oz in weight
  • Has a fully multicoated glass.
  • Has a choice of either red or green dot option.
  • The chassis is single-piece meaning that it is lightweight and compact.
  • Contains a nitrogen gas purge ensuring that StrikeFire 2 is fog proof, as well as, fog proof.
  • StrikeFire 2 is admirably shockproof. This means that the optic easily withstands any amount of recoil from powerful rifle recoils.
  • The intensity of the dot is easy to adjust. The illumination settings reach up to ten ensuring a better view.
  • Has a battery of 300 hours. The auto shutdown features extend this battery life.
  • Has 30 mm tube

Pros

  • The price is quite competitive given the attractive features of StrikeFire 2.
  • Uses a CR2 battery which lasts longer and is available at many of the stores. With a 12-hour shutdown feature, the battery can go up to 3000 hours.
  • Has reliable and versatile red dot.
  • The brightness settings are 10level.
  • The anodized aluminum casing is providing durability and resistance to shock.
  • At just 7.2 ounces, the product is light enough to ensure it does not add any bulk to the rifle.
  • The solid black finish that is relatively resistant to scratching.
  • Windage and elevation adjustments are easy to make. All you need a simple tool or object such as a coin to turn.

Cons

  • Some users may not like the fact that the cover is hard and not easy to move.
  • Some reviewers have reported that the power supply is sensitive. It quickly goes on at the slightest touch. However, this has only happened in isolated cases. It is not a major problem.

Vortex Optics Sparc 2 Red Dot MOA

The Sparc 2 Red Dot is without a doubt an improvement on its predecessors. On acquiring this optics product, you get a battery, instructions manual, screws, the sight and lastly and the mount. The optic is lightweight and can comfortably mount on any long gun.  The optics have an auto-shut feature that saves battery life. The Sparc 2 is also sometimes sold with a magnifier becoming one of the best red dot magnifier combos.

Features

  • Uses a CR 2032 battery.
  • The objective lens is 22 mm. This is adequate for most of the applications even though it is not a huge lens.
  • O-rings that ensure the magnifier is waterproof and dustproof.
  • It is full fog proof
  • Anodized finish that is anti-scratch.
  • The eye relief is unlimited and non-critical and helps in easier target acquisition.
  • 5.9 ounces in weight
  • 3.1 inches in length
  • 1x magnification
  • CR2032 battery with up to 5000 hours on low brightness settings. The packaging includes the battery.
  • Has brightness functionality with a memory.
  • Unlimited eye relief.
  • Sparc 2 is parallax free.
  • Has multi-height functionality
  • 1/3 co-witness is making effective in handguns.
  • Brightness setting that is low allowing practical use with night vision equipment.
  • The body is water resistant meaning that it is an all-weather device.
  • The device is parallax-free meaning that you can use your weapon with both eyes open. This will prove useful when it comes to situational awareness.

Pros

  • Has a clear fog proof glass. Essentially, the glass is nitrogen-purged.
  • The Sparc 2 precision is military-grade.
  • Is versatile and has a compact design.
  • The product is element-proof (fog and water).
  • Sparc 2 has a rapid target acquisition. This means you will not have to keep fiddling around too much.
  • The product is versatile. Its brightness range is significant and also has a night vision.
  • It is compact, light and versatile. Furthermore, Sparc 2 is easy to the eye.
  • The warranty is a lifetime.
  • Sparc 2 is shock resistant and functions well with shotguns and rifles.
  • It is adequately small to operate on a handgun.
  • Given its small size and light construction, the device is easy to have around. It has a benefit of portability. Furthermore, it will not add any considerable weight on your rifle.
  • With Sparc 2, you are assured of faster target acquisition.
  • Has shutoff feature after 12 hours. This saves significant battery power.
  • The best thing about this commodity is its affordability. In actual sense, you get to enjoy exceptional features and quality at an economical price tag. Furthermore, the product is made by a trusted brand with years of experience in optics.

Cons

  • The red dot quality may appear as pixelation. This is sometimes a problem for some people.
  • Some users have a problem with the adjustment knob. They argue that they are too soft and they can hardly feel it when making adjustments.
  • Some users have a problem with minimal eye relief.  This is a problem, especially when using the weapon for an extended period.

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope

Bushnell is synonymous with all kinds of optics. Bushnell optics are well-known as mini-priced and designed for target practice and hunting weapons. It is only recently that Bushnell has gone into the tactical market with their Bushnell Trophy TRS-25. In actual sense, this riflescope is the first of its kind for shotgun and handgun use. Apart from its high functionality, Trophy TRS-25 is one of the best red dot magnifiers under 100.

Features

  • 1x magnification.
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • 11-level brightness settings
  • 2.4 inches in length
  • 3.7 oz. in terms of weight
  • Fog proof, shockproof and waterproof
  • CR032 battery
  • 3 MOA red dot
  • More than 3000 hours of battery
  • Has rain guard
  • Available in camo and black
  • Multicoated
  • Matte finish
  • 22 mm exit pupil
  • An unlimited eye relief

Pros

  • Favorably lightweight
  • Easy to use. Does not need any tutorial to operate.
  • Easy to mount and remove as necessary.
  • Setting it to zero is a walk in the park. An armature can do it without any problem. And the best thing is that once you set it to zero, you will not need to keep re-zeroing. You can do it one time and forget about it.
  • Well-made and durable. Will provide a considerable amount of usage time.
  • Over 3000 hours of battery life.
  • Trophy TRS-25 has clear optics in that it is easy for you to see the red dot in any amount of lighting conditions.
  • The optic device is resistant to the elements. This means that you can use TRS-25 in any weather condition without any fear.
  • Considering all the attractive features of TRS-25, the sight is the price is extremely low. It compares favorably well with other more expensive sights.

Cons

  • For some users, the sight is too small to handle efficiently. It fits best with pistols.
  • TRS-25 scope does not have a riser. Some reviewers contend that it would be nice to have a riser as part of the package.

Primary Arms Micro Red Dot Sight w/ Removable Base

Primary Arms are the newcomers in the red dots market. Mostly, the firm burst into the scene with favorably priced mid-range sights. As a result, the sight has quickly become a favorite for many people. The Micro Red Dot Sight has a favorable price below the $100 mark.

Features

 

  • 25 mm anodized aluminum tube that makes sure that the sight is adequately compact and shockproof.
  • A 3 MOA dot
  • Has a CR2032 battery.
  • Has 11 settings level for brightness
  • More than 1000 hours of battery life
  • Has a blue tint on the front lens.
  • It is waterproof
  • Micro Red Dot Sight is 4.1 oz.
  • Night vision compatible
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Has an emitter that is low profile
  • O-rings turrets ensuring sufficient waterproofing
  • Anti-glare coated front lens
  • 2.6 inches in length
  • Nitrogen-purged to ensure Micro Red Dot Sight is sufficiently resistant to the elements.
  • 0.5 MO click value
  • Parallax free

Pros

  • Primary Arms have a very responsive customer service
  • The price of Micro Red Dot Sight is favorable.
  • Micro Red Dot Sight is quite easy to install
  • Holds the zero pretty well
  • They have a lens cover. This offers more protection for them
  • The Sight is night vision compatible. The first brightness settings are low enough for this purpose.
  • This sight is versatile. Micro Red Dot Sight offers a range of mounting base options. Actually, this allows users to mount them on some different weapons.
  • With 12 levels of brightness, the MOA dot is visible even in bright surroundings. In reduced light environments.
  • Depending on the kind of rifle, the Red Dot Sight has co-witness potential. The setup of the majority of rifles allows for 1/3 co-witness. The positioning of the emitter is perfect for co-witness.

Cons

  • The biggest drawback associated with Micro Red Dot Sight is its low battery life. This sight only has 1000 hours of battery. This is comparatively low given that there are red dots in the market with a battery life of up to 50000 hours.
  • For some, the visibility of the emitter serves to obstruct the user’s field of view.  In other words, this affects the shooter’s ability to see a significant portion of their target. Some red dots in the market do not have this problem as their emitters are not an obstruction.

How to use Primary Arms Micro Red Dot sight.

What to look for while buying the Best red dot magnifier

The size, pattern, and color of the dot

The size of the dot should be big enough for you to see.  If it is too small, you may have a hard time using your device. Dots that are too large are likely to obscure the target.  The unit of measure for dots is MOA (minute of angle). 1 MOA is approximately 1″ per 100 yards. Therefore, if you own a 6 MOA device, it means that it cover a 6″ area on an object that is 100 yards from you. For users of AR 15 and the like, 1-4 MOA is the most appropriate. Anything above 5 MOA will just serve as an obstruction.

The pattern is a matter of individuals’ preference. The majority of sights have a dot and hence the names. However, it does not mean that there are no other patterns in the market. Getting crosshair reticles or many others available is possible. Also, some sights have a range of patterns that you can choose from.

You apparently think that because it is a red dot, the color the dot is definitely red. Not necessarily.  Other colors such as blue and green are also there. In most cases, red is the most preferable as it is easier to use in most conditions.  However, blue can turn out to be the best in the majority of bright conditions. When shopping for a sight, try a couple of them and determine which color of the dot suits you more.

The lenses

Since it is an optics device, the lenses have to be good. Any red dot worth its salt should have fully multicoated lenses. This is a critical factor in getting a clearer picture and better light transmission.  

You will find cheaper red dot magnifiers that feature only one lens with a multi-coating. The other may have a single coating. While these models may not be a bad choice, after all, it is always best to go for fully multi-coated lenses.  There is a material difference between the two types lenses, and it is best if can pin point out it before you purchase it.

The magnifier size

The magnifier size is another critical factor that you need to note. Your magnifier needs to be compatible with your rifle. If it is too big for your weapon, then it will serve as an obstruction. It is also critical to ensure that the magnifier is compatible with your red dot and firearm. This is especially valid if you are planning on a handgun or shotgun which has very little mounting options.

Quality and design

Another critical factor to watch out for is quality and design. Doubtlessly, you will want a piece of equipment that is durable. Some rifles have a significant amount of shocks and recoil associated with them.  You don’t want to keep on replacing your optics now and then. Fortunately for you, most of these tactical devices are built to have a certain amount of ruggedness for law enforcement or military use. However, it is always best to be sure.

The style of mounting

Mounting is a critical factor that you need to put into consideration. The best type is the one featuring the flip-to-side option allowing the user to see both with the magnification and without it. Fixed mounts will require you to remove the magnifier every time that you want to use only the red dot.

In hunting situations, you need this option of switching back and forth. After all, you may not know the distance at which your target is.

Types of Red Dot Magnifier

There are different types of red dots in the market. Red dots come in several shapes and sizes, and it can sometimes be confusing when purchasing them. This is notably true if you don’t know what to look for. The red dots that resemble a scope are ‘tube’ style. However, there are those that carry a square shape like EOTech. They are the open type – without a tube.

Red dot magnifiers are electronic or battery-powered. These days, magnifiers utilizing batteries are also coming with a flashlight for use in low lighting conditions. However, in comparison to the electronic types, you may need to contend with low lighting conditions functionality. The battery operated types last longer than the electronic ones. But the electronic types come with power saving features where they switch off on their own after a particular time.

Tips for using Red Dot Magnifier

 

Like most other tactical equipment, you need to know how to use the equipment. One of the most basic of instructions is positioning. Essentially, your red dot should not be too close to your eye. This will produce a tube effect that will obviously impact on the accuracy. Best practice is to position your eye some distance away to avoid this effect and use both eyes.

You need to realize that reflex magnifiers are great at aiming, as well as, using them. Therefore, you don’t need to fret too much about using them. Be assured that you are going to hit you target as long as the red dot marks it.

To shoot your target, place your weapon in a firing position. Then point the red dot at the target and shoot your prey. Always remember to keep both your eyes open and your focus on the target. Nothing should distract you throughout this process.

In bright lighting environments, don’t forget to manipulate the brightness of the reticle. If the lighting is poor, adjust the reticle brightness accordingly. You should note that manipulating the red dot is almost the same as manipulating a riflescope. It will not be so much trouble for you.

Here is a video on how you zero your red dot magnifier.

Why should you use Red Dot Magnifier?

The real benefit why you should pick a red dot magnifier vs. scope is its functionality and great performance. Moreover, these devices are more secure in comparison to scopes that feature holographic technology.  It is now a proven fact a cracked holographic lens is significantly harmful to the human eye. In actual sense, you can experience a damaged eye in case of exposure to the laser.

Another compelling reason on why you should choose a red dot is their ever reducing weight. Every new model is lighter than the previous one. The main reason for this reduction is their aluminum alloy construction. However, among the most significant of advantages is their ability to swiftly acquire targets. Red dot magnifiers fit relatively well with a large variety of rifles. Furthermore, you have an advantage of using both your eyes hence increasing the level of your accuracy.

FAQ

  • Is it necessary to have a red dot sight?

One thing about the red dot is that it gives you the ability to target your prey with both eyes open. This helps with environment awareness and enhanced depth perception. For carnivore hunters, situational awareness is critical as it may be the difference between life and death.

  • Can I use the red dot on handguns and shotguns

It all depends on the model. In other words, there are reflex sights that you can pair with pistol and shotguns. Know your weapon and acquire the right accessories to go with it. However, you should note that adding reflex sights to the pistols makes them a little bulky. This is a disadvantage if your objective is to conceal your weapon.

  • Should I get a co-witness to go with it?

An iron sight keeps you from getting frustrated if your red dot runs out battery power or when if malfunctions.  Therefore, it is a good idea to pair your weapon with iron sights.

Recommendation

With attractive features and durability, StrikeFire 2 is the best optic that is worth the price. Mounting and using StrikeFire 2 is not much of a fuss. Most people can easily use it without the need for a detailed review of the manual. Essentially, StrikeFire 2 is military-grade quality, has an attractive design and the performance is high. For those looking for a good rate of target acquisition, you will not go wrong with this product.

Conclusion

A red dot magnifier makes your red dot act like a riflescope. In other words, the optic makes your hunting successful. If you are looking for a piece of advice on the right red dot, then Strikefire 2 will not disappoint. This rugged military-grade red dot is without a doubt worth every penny that you invest. Regardless, that does not mean that the others are no good. It all depends on personal preference. However, you must know what to look for when shopping for the best red dot magnifier.

Sources

http://rifleopticsworld.com/vortex-strikefire-2-red-dot-review-made-to-cover-the-middle-ground/

http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/vortex-sparc-2-red-dot-with-bright-red-dot

http://thebinocularsguy.com/definitive-bushnell-trs-25-red-dot-riflescope-review/

http://www.goodgamehunting.com/best-red-dot-magnifier/

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