The 5 Best Reflex Sights for the Money — Affordable Red Dot Reviews 2023

best reflex sight for the money, Affordable red dot reviews 2015

Photo by Metziker / CC BY

In the last decade, reflex sights (or red dots, which are the same thing) have exploded in popularity. It’s easy to draw a direct connection to the current War on Terror and an upsurge in civilian ownership. A good reflex should be able to cut the time from aiming to rounds on target significantly and completely destroys iron sights in speed, ease of use and accuracy. A reflex sight should be small and lightweight, so your weapon is not heavy and bogged down. The optic should be quick to the eye and have a significantly bright reticle to use both on sunny days and dark nights.

Optics like the Eotech and Aimpoint are extremely popular but also very expensive. For those on a budget looking for a reflex sight, you’d be remiss to think you have to pay hundreds of dollars to obtain a quality red dot optic. There is plenty of red dot optics out there that are budget-friendly, and quality pieces of glass.

Here are, in our opinion, the 5 best reflex sights for the money:

Bushnell TRS 25 Red Dot Sight

The Bushnell TRS 25 has made a big splash as a red dot sight. It’s simple, small, affordable, and an excellent little optic. The TRS 25 rides the line of being considered a miniature red dot with its 25mm objective lens. The TRS 25 is fully multi-coated and uses amber lenses to aid in dictating between colors and objects. The TRS 25 allows you to distinguish between a brown deer and a brown tree.

The TRS 25 features a 3 MOA red dot that is easy to catch, but small enough to take precise shots. The TRS 25 is a mere 3.7 ounces and it has a length of 2.4 inches. It’s compact and lightweight enough to be used as a back up for a larger scope, as an offset red dot optic. The TRS 25 can co-witness with an AR front sight for those who like that feature.

When mounted on any weapon it provides a precise and accurate way to get on target in a rapid manner. The TRS 25 comes in at an excellent price point as well. In other words, the TRS 25 is an excellent piece of glass and one of the best reflex sights for the money.

Vortex StrikeFire

Like the TRS 25, the Strikefire has become incredibly popular for its value and for its performance. The Strikefire is a bit bigger than the previous Vortex, a bit longer and a bit heavier, but gives the performance at a level greater than any miniature sight could hope. The Strikefire is waterproof and sealed from water, dust and debris by an O-ring. The optic is also fog proof and is nitrogen filled.

The Strikefire features a bright 4 MOA red dot, that is adjustable, and night vision compatible at the lowest two settings. The 30 mm objective lens is the perfect size compromise for a reflex sight. The Strikefire is very easy, and fast to bear, the wide objective lens makes getting on target easy, and the large, bright reticle is perfect for rapid firing shooting. The price is a killer deal too.

TRUGLOW Tru-Brite Reflex

TruGlow makes a wide variety of different optics for everything from rifles, crossbows, and even airguns. Their optics is known for being well priced for the budget conscious. Cheap in price but not in quality. A TruGlow optics may not be packed with features, but they are affordable and durable. They do their job well regardless of bells and whistles.

The Tru Brite Reflex sight is a holographic reflex optic that allows for a variety of different reticles. Some are for rapid target engagement, others for longer range precision. You have the option of a red or green reticles, and the optic comes with a standard weaver base mount. The window is 24 by 34 mm, which is small, but the square design is perfect for rapid target acquisition. The Tru Brite is an excellent value.


OK, OK, “affordable” depends on how much green have you in your wallet. If you have plenty of dough to spend, well, there is what we considered the top reflex sight: Aimpoint. This bad boy will complete your most tactical of tactical rifles, or will simply be the last reflex sight you need to buy. Designed for extreme military and law enforcement duty, it’s also right at home on your favorite ranch rifle, predator control gun, or home defense carbine. Built from the ground up to be compact, lightweight and to compliment modern tactical and sporting carbines, this is a bet your life on it sight offering unparalleled performance and accuracy. Built to give the brightest possible red dot with minimal battery drain, and fitted with a special anti reflection flash killer lens, Aimpoint warrants this for two years of hard use in competition and duty or ten years for recreational and hunting use. A fine red dot at a fine price, it is certainly high on the list of reflex sights to consider.

Vortex Optics Sparc 2

The Vortex Sparc 2 is an optic that shoves a ton of features in not only a small but easily affordable optic. The Vortex Sparc 2 comes with fully multi-coated lenses to gather as much light as possible when the sun is going down. The Sparc 2 is completely waterproof and sealed with an O-ring, shockproof, and dustproof. The Sparc 2 is fog proofed by nitrogen gas purging. The Sparc 2 uses a single CR 2032 as a battery and has a continuous run time of three hundred hours on the brightest setting, and five thousand hours on the dimmest setting.

The Vortex Sparc 2 features a small 2 MOA red dot, that is perfect for precise shots, though some may find it a bit small for rapid engagement. However, this is remediated by a bit of training. The Sparc 2 comes with a versatile multi-height mounting system that is perfect for a variety of firearms and does allow for co-witnessing with AR sights. The Vortex Sparc 2 is not restricted to long guns for it can easily be swapped onto a pistol with the appropriate mount.

The Vortex Sparc 2 is another small optic with an objective lens diameter of 22mm and a weight of only 5.9 ounces. The Sparc 2 has an unlimited eye relief so it can be forward mounted on weapons like the Mosin Nagant, or the AK 47. The Sparc 2 is a wonderful optic and still comes in at a reasonable price.

In Conclusion

The best reflex sight for the money will allow you to rapidly engagement a target, hold a good zero, of course, and are rock solid reliable. Reflex sights are fun on everything from 22 LR, to AR’s, and are also handy for home and self-defense. We all have a budget to face, but there is no reason we can’t have quality on a budget.

  • Owner of, 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.

Share the Post and Images

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *