An Introduction to Reflex Sights
Reflex sights are optical devices that allow the user to look through a partially reflecting glass and see an illuminated aiming point. These days, reflex sights have an aiming point that is almost always a red dot projected by an LED, or a red dot encircled by a ring (and other configurations), and are highly durable with extremely long battery life.
By removing the planes of focus found in traditional iron sights, the reflex sight’s single, parallax-free virtual projection is always in focus with the target regardless of the user’s head position, making it ideal for shooters of all experience types.
The best reflex sights are those that offer fast target acquisition (with high accuracy) and ease-of-use for hunting, target shooting or law enforcement/military applications. They should have wide open fields of views (in the case of HUD reflex sights), and the ability to maintain a constant zero aiming point position under the relentless duress of firing in adverse conditions.
Most reflex sights have open HUD (heads up display) designs while some are tube shaped. The differences between the two will be explained in the subsequent product reviews, but you should know that the term “reflex sight” (or reflector sight) refers to an open/tube optic that usually has red dot reticle patterns, while a “red dot sight” does not always refer to a reflex/reflector sight.
Moreover, open reflex sights usually have a wider field of view (FOV) whereas tube reflex sights have brighter aiming reticles and a propensity towards more precise long-range targeting.
These are some of the best reflex sights on the market, offering all kings of technological innovations that enhance operation and durability in a full range of lighting/terrain conditions:
The Best Reflex Sights Reviewed
Sig Sauer ROMEO1PRO
The Sig Sauer ROMEO1PRO is one of the best miniature open reflex red dot sights on the market. This optical device is ideal for fast shooting semi-automatic pistols deployed in situations where target acquisition and accuracy are critical.
The ROMEO1 offers an unparalleled level of performance and durability under the most punishing conditions. Built from a solid billet of aircraft-grade magnesium, this 1x30mm open reflex sight is pure lightweight strength that is designed to last. Its “TruHold” twin adjustment springs provide a lock-less zeroing system that withstands endless handgun recoil and returns the red dot to zero after each and every shot.
The ROMEO1 is designed to fit most handguns, or you can mount it on a SIG SAUER pistol with a custom-machined slide. Precision molded, abrasion-resistant aspherical lens eliminates aberration and focuses the projected image through the lens with clarity.
A red notch coating filter and a new point-source emitter provides exceptional brightness for a brilliant red dot that does not get distorted by ambient light. Manual brightness controls with motion activated illumination (patented MOTAC technology) awakens the sight within a massive field of view.
The ROMEO1PRO is one of the best reflex sights with great durability features such as being waterproof, fogproof, and housed in a ruggedized protective steel shroud for shockproofing. 1x magnification, 30mm objective lens diameter, and extremely lightweight at just 1 oz.
Sig Sauer ROMEO3MAX
Another high quality reflex sight from Sig Sauer’s cutting edge electro-optics line, the ROMEO3MAX is the perfect sighting solution for MSR rifles, carbines, submachine guns, shotguns, and handguns.
This best reflex sight is specifically designed to accommodate low-profile Picatinny and KeyMod mounts. It features Sig’s patented MOTAC (Motion Activated Illumination) technology for quick engagements and a proprietary high transmittance red-notch filter that enhances its brilliant red dot for unparalleled optical clarity and zero distortion.
The versatile ROMEO3 is a compact, open reflex sight that was engineered in collaboration with world-champion shooter, Max Michel, to provide the best competitive advantage.
A 30mm wide, round lens diameters offers superior FOV. Features 3 or 6 MOA dot size for rapid target acquisition and twelve illumination intensity levels for a full range of lighting conditions. Aircraft-grade CNC aluminum housing and 20,000 hours of continuous runtime, this reliable optical device is built to last.
Excellent for all kinds of shooters: law enforcement, military, competitive shooters, hunters etc. Very lightweight at 1.5 oz.
Trijicon RMR Type 2 Red Dot Sight
The Trijicon RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex) is a versatile, multi-platform red dot reflex sight for pistols, rifles, and shotguns.
This optical device is a result of decades of meticulous design partnerships with military, law enforcement, and competitive shooters to develop the most innovative reflex sight on the market. The RMR Type 2 is remarkably durable because it has a uniquely designed housing shape (made of aluminum and titanium) that diverts stress away from the lens by absorbing impact forces.
It features a manual or automatic illumination mode with easy-to-use buttons on the side and remains in manual mode for 16.5 hours following last button settings before defaulting back to automatic. Adjustable LED sights are compatible with night vision applications (3.25 MOA dot size is the most popular).
The red dot is small enough for long range shooting and big enough to acquire close range targets quickly (pistol-aim directly at the target with ease while ignoring front and rear posts). The parallax-free RMR Type 2 also includes upgraded electronics for harsh conditions and a proven performance on slide ride pistols and other small arms.
It is waterproof to 20 meters and has a dual illuminated option (battery free alternative). This best reflex sight is precision and durability in a small package.
Improve your accuracy, speed, and precision with any caliber firearm. Ideal for self defense and law enforcement.
The HS510C is an affordable open reflex sight specifically designed for rifle and carbine applications. Holosun’s main goal is to bring cutting-edge technology to the end user and the HS510C is a perfect example of an innovative product that makes sense and works as well as any reflex sight.
For example, its patented Solar Failsafe technology is a unique feature that allows the red dot to remain powered when the battery fails. However, the HS510C has one of the highest battery lifes on the market (50,000 hours) so the Solar Failsafe is just a bonus.
A Multi-Reticle System (MRS) gives the shooter the flexibility to apply their optical device as they see fit by allowing certain sections of the aiming reticle to be turned on or off.
A Shake Awake motion-activated feature provides fast target acquisition on the fly. 12 brightness settings (10 daylight, 2 night-vision), MRS circle dot (2 MOA dot, 65 MOA circle, parallax-free (with unlimited eye relief), and multi layered reflective glass. 4.94 oz.
Burris FastFire 2
One of the most affordable 4-MOA red dot reflex sights, the FastFire 2 is a simple and effective option for self-defense or target shooting. It has remarkable clarity and workmanship at a great value (high-grade optical glass, waterproof, shockproof).
The red dot is very bright (an advantage for those with poor eyesight or bifocal glasses). You can install and cowitness the sight in under fifteen minutes. The FastFire 2 functions perfectly on slide rails, without blinking, and maintains constant zero for countless rounds. It can be mounted on almost any firearm and is a great option for novice hunters to apply to their shotgun.
Compact and lightweight (ideal for balance and aiming), the Burris FastFire 2 has everything you need in an affordable reflex sight.
It also features an automatic brightness sensor and includes a lifetime warranty.
Reflex sights on the market today are extremely sophisticated and practical. You can mount them on almost any firearm for a variety of purposes.
They are either an open heads up display (HUD) or tube shaped, and most of them use some configuration of a red dot aiming point (and red dot reticle systems are better than ever). Moreover, you want your reflex sight to make sense, be easy-to-use, provide extreme durability/reliability, and enhance your target acquisition through improved accuracy and quickness. Use them as a pistol option or something perfect for your tactical shotgun.
Whether you are needing self defense, target shooting, or hunting fast-moving game, there is a best reflex sight for your situation.