The problem with buying red dots is that eventually you actually want to magnify the thing, but you don’t always want the sight size magnified. Fortunately, because the open market likes to solve problems like this, we have red dot magnifiers that can flip off to one side when you aren’t using them and then be quickly brought into use when you want them. It’s like paying for just the channels you want on cable, only better, because it involves your gun.
Below, we found the 3 best red dot magnifier combos out there (from budget to high end). and after our reviews, we go into a longer discussion as to why you’d need them and what you should look for when selecting the right combo package to buy.
Eotech HHS I
- EOTECH HHS I Holographic Hybrid Sight
- Price: $1,155.00
- Price as of 10/27/2020 13:23 PDT(more info about ad)
This is the only bundled red dot/magnifier combo we are going to look and, and it’s also simply the no-brainer top red dot magnifier combo out there. It says “Eotech” on it, which should simply stop you in your tracks and cause you to break out your wallet, while listening to angels in heaven sing the praises of this combo.
Featuring a 3-power magnifier and a red dot with a 5.56/.223 specific reticle, this powerful combination is the choice of US Special Forces operators, and discerning private citizens throughout. Designed to co-witness with standard iron sights, offering two eye open shooting ability, and running off common long life lithium batteries, this is a battle proven red dot sight magnifier combo that is basically impossible to beat.
Bushnell TRS-25 and UTG 3x Magnifier
- Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x25mm, Black
- Price: $79.99
- Price as of 10/27/2020 04:24 PDT(more info about ad)
- UTG 3X Magnifier with Flip-to-side QD Mount, W/E Adjustable
- Price: $72.49
- Price as of 10/27/2020 13:23 PDT(more info about ad)
This is a great, inexpensive pairing, making it perhaps the best red dot magnifier for the money.
The TRS-25 is one of the widely popular bargains of the red dot world and, despite its price tag, can be seen on many high-end sporting and even self defense or tactical rifles. Popular with private citizens and law enforcement alike, the TRS-25 is a lightweight red dot featuring a 25mm objective lens, custom amber tinted front lens for superior light transmission, and a bright 3 MOA dot.
We are pairing this with a 3 power UTG flip-over magnifier. This magnifier has features more commonly found in high-dollar red dots, including fully multicoated optics, nitrogen-purged tube, and comes already installed on a flip over mount. Together, the TRS-25 and UTG magnifier make for a fantastic budget friendly combination.
Vortex StrikeFire 2 and Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier
- Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight - 4 MOA Red/Green Dot
- Price: $199.00
- Price as of 10/27/2020 06:18 PDT(more info about ad)
While not a must, it’s always nice to bundle products from the same manufacturer. Get the Strikefire and couple it with a Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier (see it here). If nothing else, it ensures a more seamless aesthetic match, as well as the assurance that if anything should go wrong you can deal with one company for service. However, because Vortex is known for excellent mid-grade optics, it’s unlikely you’ll ever need their excellent warranty service.
Moving along, we see that the StrikeFire is a pretty modern red-dot, both in terms of appearance and performance. It’s advanced power circuit has a 12 hour auto shutoff, can run 300 hours on the brightest setting, and a whopping 6,000 hours on the lowest setting. The optic itself is O-ring sealed for maximum waterproofing, is designed to easily co witness with AR iron sights, includes a quick release cantilever mount, recoil-proof aircraft grade aluminum body and is compatible with night vision gear.
Adding to this already great red dot, the VMX-3T magnifier completes the combo to give us the best mid-grade red dot and magnifier. A fairly standard 3 power magnifier, it ships with a flip over mount, allowing you to quickly transition between magnified and unmagnified use. Also featuring industry standard nitrogen purging, waterproof construction, anodized aluminum body, and fully multicoated optics, regardless of what red dot you run, this is a tough one to beat!
The Best Red Dot Magnifier Combos and You
Red dots are popular iron sight replacements as they are not only lightweight and handy, but give positive visual feedback when you are on target. Once dialed in, you can be certain that if you do your job, the round will hit where the dot is aimed. This, of course, is all well and good—until you start getting out past iron sight range. Unless you have Superman vision (and then who needs a red dot or even a rifle?), you’ll start having a hard time acquiring your target out past 100-200 yards or so depending on your vision and the operating conditions. Enter the magnifier.
Almost always mounted on a base that allows you to flip the magnifier off to the side when not in use, red dot magnifiers are basically tiny scopes. Typically featuring three power magnification, they are just the ticket for making short range shooting easier, and adding some reach out and touch to your longer range shooting. While some may balk at the low magnification on these, remember, we aren’t so much making a substitute for a long range scope, as we are making a short range sight system more efficient. Besides, 3-power magnification has long proven suitable for many shots out to 2-300 yards. A 3x magnifier with your red dot is a perfect Goldilocks “just right” deal.
All that’s left is to pick the best red dot and magnifier for your needs. This will depend on end use and budget. For many people, entry to mid level will work just fine, and will be suitable for hunting, home defense, sport shooting and perhaps even some law enforcement work. Higher-grade optics are a must for those who demand or require only the best. The best red dot magnifier combos are the perfect solution between iron sights and scopes, and there are plenty of great combos to choose from. We hope you agree with our assessment of which ones are the best.
Owner of Reloaderaddict.com, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.