The best budget reflex sight is a sight that will perform without putting a strain on your wallet. Regular scopes are great for most of the hunting I do, but for fast moving targets, I turn to my reflex sight, and the best reflex sight will cut down on aiming time significantly. It allows you to rattle off rounds quickly, while still maintaining accuracy. In addition to my own knowledge, I scoured the internet for the reflex sight reviews and asked around at my local shooting range to create this list of the best reflex sights for the money.
Civilian use of reflex sights really took off in the 1970’s, even though they have been in wide use in the military since WWII. They work by reflecting an image of a target reticle that the shooter sees across their plane of view, along with the target they are aiming for. This makes them much quicker to aim than traditional scopes or sights. Four things that should be considered before buying even a budget reflex sight are; ease of use, range, durability, and accuracy.
- Accuracy: If you are planning on rapid fire shooting, which is what a reflex sight is usually used for, then accuracy should be at the top of your list when buying one. It does not matter where you will use it, because as a gun owner you have a responsibility to accuracy. If at all possible, I recommend testing a few out to see what you like, and what gives you the greatest accuracy of all. The reason for this is simple; many bargain scopes and sights lack in accuracy.
- Durability: There are many different reflex sights on the market, but the best cheap reflex sight should still be able to handle some common challenges it might have to face. Look for things like shockproof, and waterproof. You do not want to spend any money on something that will crack or break the first time you knock it against something, or drop it. The material it is made of will have a lot to do with its durability, so pay attention to that while searching for one.
- Range: What you use your reflex sight for will determine what kind of range you need. How far, generally, are your targets. The best reflex sights for an AR15, for example, will be close and mid-range. For a .308, you might want something a bit further out. You also want to find a sight that will not get distorted at further ranges, or at all, for that matter.
- Ease Of Use: It is paramount for a reflex sight to be easy to use. Just because a sight or scope has a bunch of fancy buttons does not equate to better quality. Everything about it should be quick and easy for the operator. This does not mean some extra features are wasteful, but some are, and knowing what you need will help determine what features are a necessity and which ones are ridiculous.
The Best Reflex Sights For The Money
Here we are, finally, at the reflex sight review I have compiled through research, and testing. The testing part is important, even for you, because knowing exactly what you want will eliminate many headaches down the road. So, without further ado, here are four of the best budget reflex sights that I found. Hopefully, my research will cut down on some of those headaches.
This sight was on multiple reviews I came across, and one of my hunting companions uses it on a regular basis. It has a tubeless design with a 33mm lens that provides a wide field of view. Perfect for rapid fire shooting, or shooting moving targets. The built in mount is made for the weaver and picatinny bases, which should fit most rifles.
It is light weight, shock-proof, and waterproof so it will stand up to even those harsher conditions we often find ourselves in. The windage and elevation adjustments are made with an hex screw. It comes with four different reticle patterns, and four different dot sizes, all in red or green color. That is an amazing option for the price of this.
Definitely one of the best budget red dot sights on the market, and comparable to sights twice its price. The unlimited eye-relief will ensure long hours of comfortable shooting. It has good balance of weight when mounted, and holds on tight.
- Solid and durable
- 4 patterns
- 4 dot sizes
- Green or red color choice
- 33mm lens for wide field of view
- Light weight
- Mount is compatible with weaver and picatinny rails
- The two cross reticles are a bit blurry
- Does not fit Dovetail rail
- Not for higher powered guns
- Tubeless design with 33mm reflex lens aperture provides a wide field of view, suitable for rapid-firing or shooting of moving targets besides normal shooting
- Multi-Reticle (4 patterns) or variable Dot (4 different sizes) are installed
- Bulit-in mount for standard bases (20mm), no need to rezero when remounting the dismounted sight
This is a barrel red dot reflex rifle scope. Bushnell is a name in optics that has been around for a while and certainly comes with a decent reputation. It has easy target acquisition with an amber tinted front lens to make those targets stand out. The multi coated optics bring light to dim situations. Amber coated optics will help you distinguish what you are aiming at, be it a brown tree or brown critter.
The housing is filled with a dry nitrogen gas which keeps it from fogging up in a wide range of temperatures. It is a hundred percent waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof, making it an excellent choice for hunting or tactical use.
This sight can easily be used with both eyes open, increasing the awareness of the shooters surroundings by enhancing peripheral vision. There is no need to center because of the parallax free design, where the dot follows the movement of the user’s eye while remaining fixed on the target. Considering the great set of features, I consider it to be one of the best reflex sights for the money.
- Amber tinted optics
- Parallax free design
- 3 MOA dot reticle
- Tilted front lens
- works well in dim conditions
- Dry nitrogen filled housing
- Durable construction
- Red dot gets blurry in ambient light conditions
- When the red dot is in the very upper part of scope it vanishes
- Clicks in the knob are barely detectable
- Red dot may appear blurry or misshapen if the dot intensity is set too high for the ambient light conditions (most likely to occur indoors with artificial light)
- Caution: An illumination setting that is too high for ambient light conditions will result in a dot that appears distorted and non-concentric. Please refer to the user manual attached below for troubleshooting steps and instructions
This is one of the best reflex sights for the AR15. The 3 MOA dot promotes rapid target acquisition, while still maintaining a precise point of aim. It has a durable machined aluminum housing that can handle many hours of abuse, and will take whatever you can dish out.
The high quality, multi-coated optics provide a clean, wide field of view, increasing the shooters awareness of things around them. The top load system for the battery makes it easy to change, without having to remove the sight. The power dot and intensity controls are on the left side of the unit, easy to adjust, and comfortable in their position.
Flush 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustments are nice and sleek, making sighting a piece of cake. It is easy to mount on an AR15, Shotgun, or your pistol. The brightness can either be manually adjusted, or you can use the auto-brightness feature. Slightly more expensive, but for the ease of operation it is worth the tag.
- Multi-coated optics
- Easy to mount on a variety of firearms
- 3 MOA gives quick target acquisition
- Machined aluminum housing
- Auto-brightness adjustments
- Windage and elevation adjustments are super sleek and easy to use
- Top load battery system makes it easy to switch power sources without removal
- Price is a bit high
- Red dot difficult to see in high light conditions
- The Venom Red Dot Sight-3 MOA promotes rapid target acquistion while providing a precise point of aim; getting shots down range and on target fast. The Venom's aluminum housing ensures this unit will stand up to whatever you throw at it.
- High quality, fully multi-coated lens offers a clean, wide field of view. Power and dot intensity controls are conveniently located on the left side of the sight to choose between 10 brightness levels.
- The Venom also has an auto-brightness mode that uses an ambient light sensor to control dot intensity if the shooter prefers.
The next option is a higher end reflex sight, that I actually wouldn’t necessarily consider to be a budget reflex sight. It did come up in sight reflex reviews, but I still have a hard time swallowing the price tag. Even so, it does perform well. It has an integral mount that eliminates the need for a separate ring, and can be customized to fit nearly any weapon system.
The unique coating on the front lens reflects dot’s selected frequency of red light at near 100% efficiency. This gives the brightest red dot sight with the least amount of power. It comes with killflash anti-reflection device to make the field of view clearer than any other sight I came across so far. It has seven night vision settings and nine daylight settings making it easy to find the perfect option for any give situation.
It is parallax free, making it super easy to center. The sight is built like a tank, while maintaining a low profile construction, ensuring that it will be there even after a few bumps and bruises. The battery life is just impressive, with close to 80 000 hours. No matter if you use it for long range applications or up close, you certainly won’t be disappointed. I have seen shooters hitting 12 inch steel plates at 600 yards! What more can you ask for?
- 80 000 hours of battery life
- Integral mounting system
- Killflash anti reflective coating
- Seven night vision settings
- Nine daylight vision setting
- Parallax free
- Super durable, built like a tank
- No Magnification option
- Part of Aimpoint's highest-end series, sight features improved energy efficiency, low battery compartment, and internal voltage regulator that allows operation on any AA battery
- Integral mount eliminates need for separate ring, and can be customized with vertical and forward spacers to fit variety of weapon systems
- Unique coating on front lens reflects dot's selected frequency of red light at near 100% efficiency to give highest possible dot brightness with least amount of energy
The Cheap Reflex Sight I Would Choose is…
With all the options out there these days, it is hard to find the best of the best because a lot of it comes down to personal preference. My favorite sight all around is the Aimpoint M4. It has the best options and best battery life, but comes with a hefty price tag. The best cheap reflex sight is the Ohuhu Red and Green Reflex Sight with an incredible price/ performance ratio. It is simple and straightforward, but performs remarkable considering the low price tag. All of these sights will work wonderfully depending on the application.
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