Best AR-15 Reflex Sights – 2019 Complete Review

If you love adventures and shooting as much as we do, then you have got to hate missed shots. 

The act of concentrating hard and then missing the target gets frustrating, right? So, if you are tired of focusing hard and meeting failure, then you are in the right place. 

Here's all you need to know about reflex sights to have a better shooting experience. 

Comparison of the Best AR-15 Reflex Sights

Product

Rating

Price

Predator V3 Micro Red Dot Sight

Best Overall

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sights

Runner-up

CVLIFE Reflex Sight

Best for the Money

Pinty Rifle Scope 3-9x32 Rangefinder

Best Reflex Sight Under $100

Sightmark Ultra Shot M-Spec Reflex Sight

Best Reflex Sight Under $200

What is a Reflex Sight?

A reflex sight is an optical device that shooters use to improve their aim. It has a glass element which is partially reflecting and allows superimposing of images on the field of view. The field of view is illuminated by pointers to let you aim at the target faster. 

Predator V3 Micro Red Dot Sight

This is because the field of view keeps shifting along with the pointer of the reflex sight. The reflex sight has specialized glass to make the target seem nearer to you. This then leads to better bearings of the target and gunpoint for you. 

So, basically, a reflex sight is an optical aiding device that improves shooting accuracy and timing. 

How Does a Reflex Sight Work?

A reflex sight works on the simple principle of optical reflection as the glass is partially reflective. There are two optical components in it: a lens and a glass plate. 

A reflex sight does not use any refraction or refractive elements, as that might lead to inaccuracy in shooting. It has a curved collimating mirror, which increases focus on the image. It also forms the image on an offset reticle, which then makes it easy for you to shoot on the go. 

There are different types of reflex sights, but most of them follow this basic procedure to make shooting faster. 

Characteristics of Our Favorite Models

There is a diverse range of reflex sights in the market, but some of them have distinguished themselves to us. They have such nice features that we have to recommend those units to you. So, let’s look at the characteristics of some of our favorite models. 

Easily Available Batteries

There are multiple battery options when it comes to reflex sights. The batteries should be durable and reliable enough when you are away and busy shooting. The batteries should also be easily available so that you do not face any difficulties if there is an issue with your old batteries.

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sights

Great Magnifier Compatibility

The compatibility with the magnifier matters a lot when it comes to reflex sights. Not all of them work with magnifiers, which makes it difficult to have a better aim. Thus, we like reflex sights more that have high compatibility with magnifiers. 

Reliability

Now, nobody would want a reflex sight which they cannot rely on. No matter the kind of situation you are in, you need to have fully functional tools, right? This is why we like units that have a manufacturer’s warranty to make them more reliable.

Quick Take | Best AR-15 Reflex Sights

Before diving into our review of the best AR-15 reflex sights, here is a quick take of our top 3 picks:

Review of the Best AR-15 Reflex Sights

Gone are those times when you could leave shooting to chance as there is so much technological advancement now. So, if you are looking around to improve your shooting, then here is a review of some amazing reflex sights for you.

Pros

  • Comes with reflection resistance
  • Lifetime warranty makes it incredibly reliable
  • Offset mount is directed at a 45-degree angle
  • 2 MOA dots with 11 different brightness settings
  • Fog-proof and water-proof reflex sight for clear vision

Cons

  • Seems slightly larger than other units
  • Difficulty in removing from the mount

What Recent Buyers Report

The Predator reflex sight has won over its recent users by a long shot. They love it for the way it points accurately at even moving targets. The offset mount angle of 45 degrees also succeeded in impressing people who bought it lately. Overall, many users recommend it to others as well. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We find it different from others due to its sealed O-rings that prevent moisture from entering the sight. The lens does not get moist or foggy easily, either, which makes it a better option for shooting. It also strikes us with its amazing brightness settings at 11 levels. 

Who Will Use This Most

Since it has such an incredible way of focusing on the target, it is great for professional shooters. It has a great range of brightness levels as well since it works both in high and low light conditions. So, it is a great option for almost everyone who wants a reflex sight. 

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this one is that it is easily in the league of the topmost reflex sights in the market. It has high compatibility with most AR-15 rifles, which makes it a better choice for both pros and beginners. 

Pros

  • Top load system for quicker charging of batteries
  • 1 MOA windage for a smooth transition of positions
  • Left orientation of the power and dot intensity controls
  • 10 brightness levels for better compatibility with surroundings
  • Auto brightness mode to suit the preferences of different users

Cons

  • Rail mount has a low quality
  • Dot appears fuzzy if not configured properly

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have come up with some of the best reviews regarding this reflex sight by Vortex Optics. The presence of 6 MOA dots makes it very competitive, and the buyers appreciated this feature. Buyers also found the adjustments of elevation levels quick and efficient.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The optimal flexibility of this reflex sight helps it stand out to us from others in the market. Its top-load system for charging the batteries also makes it different from others. We recommend it for the way its workability increases in multiple environmental conditions due to the brightness settings.

Who Will Use This Most

This is the best for the people who are professional shooters and spend long hours chasing targets. This has slightly difficult configuration settings and does not work if you do not set it properly. So, go for this one if you have prior experience of mounting and using reflex sights.

Bottom Line

All in all, it is a great reflex sight that has very effective ways of steadying the target for you. The sight has an auto-shutoff system, which makes sure that batteries do not betray you when you need them. So, get it if you are up for a sight that does it all without breaking your bank.

Best for the Money:
CVLIFE Reflex Sight

Pros

  • 4 reticle patterns for greater eye relief
  • Automatic correction of parallax error in
  • Has a very lightweight and practical frame
  • High-grade aluminum construction increases its life
  • Allen wrench for easier adjustment of elevation and windage

Cons

  • Hard to adjust with piston controls
  • Problems in fitting with some gun types

What Recent Buyers Report

The people who bought this reflex sight recently were amazed by the features that it offered for the price. Buyers found it best suited for this purpose because it corrects the parallax error on its own. This way, it made it easy for buyers to use and configure it easily.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This reflex sight has made it to our list due to its amazing pricing and feature ratio. It comes with a complimentary Allen Wrench that helps in adjusting windage and elevation. It is also great due to its lightweight frame, which makes it easy to carry.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a military-grade sight; hence, pro shooters will benefit the most from it. It also has very practical dimensions of 22 mm x 33 mm, which are suitable for almost all shooters. This is also remarkable for people who work in multiple light conditions.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is the best reflex sight for AR-15 rifles, keeping in mind the price. It has great user-friendly features that are sure to help shooters in all kinds of situations. Thus, get this one if you want to have a better shooting experience.

Best Reflex Sight Under $100:
 Picatinny Pinty Rifle Scope 3-9x32 Rangefinder

Pros

  • Magnification range from 3X up to 9X
  • 4 reticle patterns in both green and red color
  • 100% water and fog resistance with nitrogen filling
  • High-resolution image with improved eye relief feature
  • Unlimited brightness control with an easy electronic switch

Cons

  • Mounting hardware issues reported
  • Not compatible with all AR-15s (Picatinny only)

What Recent Buyers Report

The people who bought this reflex sight recently had a nice time using it. They reported a better angle and greater accuracy for their shooting. Buyers also liked it for its magnification capability. So, the overall experience of this sight has been great for all users.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The multi-coated lens of this reflex sight makes us pay quite a lot of attention to it. This makes the lens more resistant to scratches and has greater strength to fight off shocks. Plus, the presence of 4 reticle patterns in the sight helps users go with dots of their own choice.

Who Will Use This Most

This is going to be most useful for people whose AR-15 rifles are highly compatible with it. The sight does not mount on all rifles easily, and this may cause problems later on. Thus, you should compare the specifications of your rifle and this unit before getting it.

Bottom Line

Summing it all up, this is the best sight that you can get at such a low price. The only issue that you might come across is its restricted compatibility. So, you should buy it once you are sure of the fact that it won’t bug you later on.

Best Reflex Sight Under $200:
 Sightmark Ultra Shot M-Spec Reflex Sight

Pros

  • Lens system is completely scratch-resistant
  • 0.50 BMG rating for low battery indicator recoil
  • Easy on/off application due to a quick detach mount
  • Lightweight aluminum construction provides greater ease of use
  • Auto shut-off to save batteries in case of a prolonged stay in the field

Cons

  • Reticle brightness is uneven
  • Wide shifting of the round POI

What Recent Buyers Report

This Sightmark reflex sight has a long chain of happy customers and users. The aluminum construction makes it a great success among users. They loved carrying it around with their shooting gear since it is so lightweight.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This sight stands out to us due to its 10 brightness settings because it helps users use it in all light conditions. Whether it is dawn, dusk, or bright daylight, it will suit all situations. The reflex sight also distinguishes itself to us due to its low battery indicator recoil.

Who Will Use This Most

This reflex sight is most useful for people who keep moving about. If you are an adventure-loving soul, then you will love this too. Its lens system does not scratch easily, either, so going for it can be a great choice.

Bottom Line

Overall, getting this reflex sight for your AR-15 can be a wise investment. It not only makes shooting easier for you but also comes at a very affordable price. It clearly beats other sights in the market, giving you no reason not to buy it.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Reflex Sights:

AR-15 reflex sights make shooting relatively easier for you while using a rifle. However, they do come with some downsides too, so let’s see why they are great and why not-so-great. 

Advantages

An AR-15 reflex sight could be an excellent investment since it provides the following benefits:

Ease of Use

Reflex sights have all the calibration already done for you, and you don’t have to configure it every time. Moreover, they have a better focus and help you see clearer images of the targets even when they are moving. Hence, reflex sights provide you greater ease of use if you have an AR-15.

Greater Accuracy

One of the most commonly faced problems with shooting at a distance is moving objects. It is not very practical to keep moving and shooting in the hopes of striking lucky. A reflex sight provides you greater accuracy by zeroing in on the target.

Durability

Reflex sights use LEDs and objective lenses, both of which are strong enough for tactical use. They last for a longer time, so they are more durable than other optical aids. 

Disadvantages

Before you finalize your purchase, you must also know the drawbacks of these sights. These include:

Smaller Eye Relief

One of the major problems with reflex sights is that they have smaller eye relief. Due to this, you have to position your eye closer to the scope of the rifle for the perfect aim. 

No Magnification

Another issue with reflex sights is that they do not have any magnification of their own. However, they work with the built-in magnifier of your rifle to help you focus easily.

How to Use and Zero a Reflex Sight:

Using a reflex sight with an AR-15 rifle is quite easy as both of them complement each other. They are so well attuned that there is hardly any difficulty in using a reflex sight even for beginners. Here are the steps that you have to follow to use and zero a reflex sight. 

  • You have to understand the technicalities of your reflex sight first. Consider its field of view, occlusion, and magnification before setting down to fix it. 
  • Choose the reflex sight which meets the criteria for your AR-15 rifle the best.
  • Now comes the tricky part. You have to aim the AR-15 in a way that it is well balanced. It also has to be in a position that you can easily pull the trigger without having to deflect.
  • Make sure that the red dot on the reflex sight is stationary before shooting. It has to be in line with the target but not necessarily with your own eye movement. 
  • If you want to zero in using a reflex sight, you will have to turn it off first. This is because reflex sights do not need any active zeroing in.

Reading this might seem confusing. For further clarity, check out the video below. 

Conclusion

Shooting with an AR-15 rifle is fun, but missing shots can be a problem, even with such rifles. This is something that you can easily overcome with a reflex sight if you know how to use it. So, instead of having to run around to get a better aim at your moving target, start using a reflex sight. 

People Also Ask

Having an AR-15 makes shooting more fun than other rifles as it has a compact frame. The rifle is also lighter, so people want better shooting accessories for it. Due to this, people come up with many questions when they decide to get a reflex sight for their AR-15. Considering this, we have answered the most frequently asked questions here. 

What is the Difference between a Holographic and Reflex Sight?

A holographic sight and reflex sight both aim to increase the accuracy of shooting. But they have major differences in their operation and design. A holographic sight uses laser diodes and mirrors while a reflex sight comes with LEDs and objective lenses. So, there is a difference between the accuracy and speed of both devices as well. 

Do You Need Front Sight with Reflex Sight?

A front sight is sure to increase the accuracy and ease of shooting for its users. Still, it is not compulsory for you to use one with a reflex sight too. Reflex sights are more than enough to make pointing at the target better on their own.

Where Do You Mount a Reflex Sight?

You should mount the reflex sight at a position which is most comfortable for you. Usually, the best position is right at the top of the receiver end of your rifle. This way, it provides more stability to the images that you view through it. Also, you can get a better balance of the reflex sight and the moving target this way too.