Under one hundred dollars you may not get the bells and whistles with more expensive optics, but the best red dot under $100 should get you an optic that is reliable and capable of giving the user years of faithful service. (Disclaimer: Though these products usually are under $100, there are price fluctuations. The real, current price is the one found on the Amazon page.)
Here are our recommendations for the best red dots under $100 on the market:
Ade Advanced Optics Crusader Red Dot Sight
- Ade Advanced Optics Crusader 8 Reticle Green and Red Dot Reflex Sight with QD Mount, Black
- Price: $99.99
- Price as of 10/28/2020 05:55 PDT(more info about ad)
The Ade Advanced Optics Crusader is a red dot style reflex sight designed to provide users with an easy to use, easy to see reticle for rapid, up close engagements. The Crusader uses a square window design that is hooded and heavily protected from debris and dust. The Crusader offers a quick-detach option that fits any standard 1-inch Picatinny or weaver scope rail. The optic also has unlimited eye relief so it can be mounted far forward on rifles that traditionally don’t offer traditional scope options, like the AK 47.
The Crusader has four different reticles, and each reticle is available in either red or green. The reticles are a single dot, a crosshair, a crosshair with circle, and a skull. The skull is an odd option, but it is large, and acts as a simple circular reticle. The device has five different brightness settings, all designed for daylight shooting. The Crusader offers a wide and crystal clear viewing window that gives the user a large field of view.
The Crusader utilizes a solid aluminum body and mimics Eotech’s controls, which means the controls are well placed and very easy to access. Reticle color can be changed on the fly to deal with a particular environment. The Crusader uses a built in rechargeable battery and has a charging indicator. The Crusader can be used with both magnifiers and night vision devices. For a great price, the Crusader offers a lot of versatility, and an excellent array of options.
AT3 Tactical RD-50
- AT3 Tactical RD-50 Micro Reflex Red Dot Sight - 2 MOA Compact Red Dot Scope
- Price: $74.99
- Price as of 10/28/2020 05:19 PDT(more info about ad)
AT3 is well known for their AR 15 parts, accessories, and educational material so their dive into red dot sights was only natural. The AT3 Tactical RD-50 is a micro reflex sight perfect for rifles, shotguns, and even larger caliber handguns. The AT3 has a nice crisp 2 MOA red dot designed for two eyes open shooting. You can move from target to target with ease and deliver some truly impressive shooting. The AT3 Red dot sight is fully waterproof, shockproof, and designed to last well beyond what its low price tag implies.
The AT3 comes ready to mount to any Picatinny rail and takes up very little rail space. It sits nice and low and gives you a remarkably effective sight. If size matters, you wouldn’t know it with the AT3 red dot sight. It uses a CR2032 battery and gives you 50,000 hours of battery life at the lowest setting. Speaking of settings the AT3 Tactical red dot has 11 different daylight brightness settings.
The AT3 is compatible with most riser systems for an absolute co-witness with AR 15 height sights. The AT3 is a very dependable sight that’s built to last. It’s small size and lightweight makes it great for a carbine and it comes with a rubber bikini cover to keep the lenses scratch free and protected when not in use. It’s a complete package a great set-up for nearly any gun.
Bushnell TRS 25
- Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x25mm, Black
- Price: $78.56
- Price as of 10/28/2020 03:35 PDT(more info about ad)
The Bushnell TRS 25 changed the optic’s game. A lot of people fail to realize that the Bushnell TRS 25 changed how affordable optics functioned and how much they have to cost. The TRS 25 hit the scene and became an immediate success. This is a compact red dot with a 25 mm objective lens. Out of the box, users had a wide variety of different height mounts available for both AR height rifles and your standard low profile mounts. This made the optic perfect for a wide variety of guns.
The TRS 25 spots a 3 MOA optic reticle that is perfect for rifles and shotguns. Its small enough to be precise for moderate range shots, but large enough to quickly catch the eye. The red dot itself is compact and can mount to almost anything, including small pistol caliber carbines. The TRS 25 features a high contrast Amber tint to help with low light shooting and to reduce glare. It really livens up the world around and lets you clearly see and engage your targets.
The red dot features 11 brightness settings that range from dim to holy crap that’s bright. The settings are controlled by a textured and oversized wheel that’s easy to reach and easier to move. The degree of difference between brightness settings is massive and allows for low to barely any light shooting too high noon in the desert. This affordable little optic is water, shock and fog proof as well.
Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus
The Sightmark Ultra Shot Plus is a break from the traditional red dot optic. Instead of a tube based design, the Sightmark rocks a square-shaped viewing window. Many users find this to be faster than a conventional tube design, and when using both eyes opened you’ll have enhanced peripheral vision that gives you a full field of view. The Ultra Shot Plus is a perfect optic for your PCC, your AR 15, AK, shotgun, and more.
It’s tough enough to take the abuse of powerful weapons and is well suited for home defense, competition, and just for fun. It’s remarkably easy to use, and once it is appropriately zeroed, you’ll be ringing steel and punching paper like a champ. It’s such an easy optic to install, zero, and use you’ll be ready to rock out at the range in no time. The optic comes with a QD mount that makes it compatible with any standard Picatinny rail. The optic has an auto shut off after one hour to keep the batteries from draining. Speaking of batteries, you get 2,000 hours of use from a single common camera battery.
The controls are all digital and you get 5 different brightness settings, 4 different reticles, and a choice between red or green reticles. The Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro is a lightweight optic that is even compatible with Sightmark’s magnifier (see it here).
The Best Red Dot under $100: CQB
Close quarters optics are extremely popular, and their prices range greatly between less than twenty dollars all the way up to more than a thousand (like Eotechs and Aimpoints). At under a hundred, the optics here may not be be built to military specs but unless you are a SEAL knocking on doors in the Peshawar, they will serve you very well. Good luck!
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.