If you are wondering just what are red dot sights, the technical definition of red dot sights would be a non-magnifying reflector (or reflex sight) for firearms that require aiming and gives the user an aimpoint in the form of an illuminated red dot.
Typically, the configuration for a red dot sight (check out the red dot magnifier as well!) is a tilted spherical mirror reflector and a red light-emitting diode (LED) at the axis focus which will emit the red dot. Most red dot sights have either active or passive adjustments for the dot brightness. This allows a very bright red dot for high visibility in bright conditions while on the other hand a very dim red dot to prevent loss of night vision in low light conditions.
They are suitable for target shooting, hunting, and in police and military applications in order to sight in your target more accurately and precisely with a relatively shorter time.
Hence, check out this review to help you make your best choice of red dot sights for your AK-47 firearm.
Top 5 Rated AK-47 Red Dot Sights Comparison Table
|Name of product||Dot size||Battery performance||Weight||Night vision compability||Brightness settings||Price||Link|
|Vortex Optics SF-RG-501 StrikeFire II Red/Green Dot Scope with Vortex Optics Hat (Colors May Vary)||4 MOA||Poor||7.2 ounces||Compatible||10 brightness settings||$$||https://www.amazon.com/Vortex-Optics-SF-RG-501-StrikeFire-Colors/dp/B00MAJKX9M|
|EOTech XPS2-0||1 MOA||Poor||8.0 ounces||Not compatible||20 brightness settings||$$$||https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001QKXJJC/?tag=thegunzone-20|
|Vortex Venom Red Dot Top Load 3 MOA Dot||3 MOA||Good||5.6 ounces||Compatible||10 brightness settings||$$||https://www.amazon.com/Vortex-Venom-Red-Dot-Load/dp/B00S2P2J90|
|Bushnell AR Optics TRS-25 Hirise 1x 25mm Red Dot Riflescope with Riser Block, Matte Black||3 MOA||Good||6.4 ounces||Not compatible||11 brightness settings||$||https://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Optics-TRS-25-Hirise-Riflescope/dp/B00ABP8YCA|
|Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic||2 MOA||Good||7.8 ounces||Compatible||11 brightness settings||$$$||https://www.amazon.com/Aimpoint-PRO-Patrol-Rifle-Optic/dp/B007GDR0I4|
The top 5 sights are decided by certain factors:
- Dot size
- Battery performance
- Night vision compatibility
- Brightness settings
To explain it in layman’s terms, the smaller the dot (e.g. a 2 MOA dot), the more precise it will be. However, the bigger the dot (e.g. a 3 MOA dot), it will be easier for the shooter to pick on target.
A long battery life ensures long usage expectancy. Hence, it is important to get the most out of your red dot sight by ensuring it has a long battery life.
Your AK 47 may not be light enough for usage during emergencies or while carrying. Therefore, it is advisable to buy a lightweight sight to prevent adding further burden to your current one.
Night vision compatibility
Night visions are important for navigation, surveillance and targeting. Therefore, it is important to take note that some sights are compatible with night vision devices while some are not.
If it is really bright outside, you turn it up because if your dot is too dim, you can’t see it in bright light conditions. Meanwhile, some red dots automatically adjust to the brightness of the environment. Therefore, brightness settings are important in my opinion to maximize its use in all light conditions.
Vortex Optics SF-RG-501 StrikeFire II
This product serves unlimited eye relief as well as 6-hour auto-shutdown feature which maximizes battery life. CR2 Battery is included with a 30mm one-piece tube. Its parallax-free design allows for rapid shooting with both eyes open; thereby allowing no parallax shooting error.
This product is also included with Cantilever Mount / Features: Red/Green Dot Sight 4 MOA Dot with the rear facing Red/Green Light Switch. The lowest two settings are night-vision compatible making it totally 10 brightness settings.
Along with this product is a free official Vortex branded baseball hat. The waterproof optic is O-ring sealed to prevent moisture, dust and debris from getting inside which indirectly increases the durability of the product meanwhile nitrogen is purged to inhibit internal fogging. This prevents any disruption in accuracy while shooting.
The product provides both Cantilever & Low Ring Mounts providing lower 1/3 co-witness with iron sights on flat top rifles.
Red and green dots are quite clear but if you suffer from astigmatism the dot (all red dot sights) will appear a little misshapen. The 4 moa red dot of this sight would cover a 13 inch diameter portion of your target. It is not absolute co- witness but rather a lower 1/3 because the red dot is right above the iron sight.
If mounted properly it should hold 7.62×39 recoil but if full auto I can’t say for sure. Outstanding at 100 yards but at 150 the red dot is larger than a bowling pin. If the optics are off you can then use the rear sight sighting through the optics with the front sight. In a way you could zero the optics and hard sights to allow you to have the same point of aim.
You can keep your iron sights and this model will allow you to co-witness with your existing sights in case of a scope malfunction, dead battery, etc. The look of the scope its bigger more glass to see out of. (30mm tube) The vortex had a built in 2x magnification and when the optic is turned on, you can see both the red and green dot when looking into the objective (front) lens.
However, the dot should not project from the sight onto your target. On the negative side, the dots are clustered together and if I have it in the brightest setting it is glaring. The size of the dot, 4 MOA, is a little large for precision shooting, as compared to a 2 MOA dot by the way.
- Lifetime warranty
- To adjust brightness setting if required
- Eye relief
EOTech XPS2-0 Sight
It is a holographic lightweight weapon sight with 1x magnification and it uses laser light to illuminate holographic red reticle projected on target plane. This improves target acquisition, boosts accuracy, and increases control and leaves rail space for rear iron sights, magnifiers, and other tools. However, it requires CR123 lithium battery which measures 3.5 x 2.4 x 2 inches (W x H x D).
You will need additional mounting if you want 1/3 co-witness. The sight will stay on for around 20 minutes once you turn it on before the auto-off feature kicks in. One of the advantages of this product is that you get on target quicker thanks to the large ring around the center red dot but if you’re wearing gloves and/or under high stress then it’s not as easy. That’s where practice comes in.
To turn it on press one of the two buttons right below the window and press both at same time to turn it off. You can adjust the elevation to wherever you want but it does not have night vision compatibility. This sight only has 1 reticle and the image for the dot and reticle are holographic images. Therefore, there is no projection on a screen.
It is very easy to get it sighted in at 50 yards as each click adjusts it about 1/4 inch at 50 yards or 1/2 inch at 100 yards. I would recommend using a bench rest or bipod nonetheless to sight it in to make things easier.
Brightness level adjustments will allow the reticle to be visible in dark or bright settings. Since I have astigmatism, by adjusting the brightness I found no problem with the reticle being blurred. The actual rail space, exclusive of the battery compartment is 2.75″. This red sight is pretty low profile so magnifiers take up the most space.
On the negative side, the intensity buttons are placed on the side – with an EoTech magnifier mounted the buttons cannot be accessed unless the magnifier is flipped down. Therefore, turning off the holograph is a bit difficult because both buttons have to be pressed simultaneously. So even with the magnifier flipped down (left or right), one of the two buttons is partially blocked.
Keep also in mind that the sight will lose its zero in different temperatures. For example, if you zero it in 70 degree weather and then venture outside in 40 degree weather, the sight will change drastically. The sight is a 1x zoom so you have to buy a magnification sight for long distance. It also has a substantially shorter battery life than Aimpoint and the CR123 battery is hard to find and expensive.
- Quick acquisition of targets at close ranges
- Crisp clear targeting reticle which makes it easy to pick up with both eyes open
- Allows shooter to maintain very large field of view
- No parallax- point of aim won’t change depending on where your head is positioned
Vortex Venom Red Dot Top Load 3 MOA Dot
Sight offers unconditional lifetime warranty and the sight comes with a Picatinny mount which weighs 1.6 ounces. You could choose between 10 levels of brightness in manual mode or switch to auto mode. The 3 MOA dot promotes rapid target acquisition, while providing a precise point of aim. The magnification is 1xzoom. The adjustment graduation is 1 MOA while the maximum elevation adjustment is 130 MOA.
It is parallax free and the sight comes with T-15 Torx wrench, rain cover, and lens cloth as well as mounting screws, a CR 1632 battery and lastly a screwdriver. Changing the CR 1632 battery is as easy as a piece of cake and alleviates the need to remove the sight when switching the power source. The power and dot intensity controls are conveniently located on the left side of the unit.
The flush 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustments are super sleek and make sighting a breeze. The daylight bright red dot is easy to see and paints targets regardless of lighting conditions or background. The sight provides up to 150 hours of use at highest setting and the use at lower settings can allow up to 30,000 hours.
The bottom of the red dot mounts directly to the Picatinny rail system and it also comes with a riser if needed. In auto mode, the red dot turns off after some number of hours of not pushing the buttons. In manual mode, there is no automatic turn-off while there is no auto “on” function. The only auto function is a brightness adjustment function that automatically adjusts to the surrounding light conditions.
So, the intensity of ambient light is what triggers the auto adjustment. There isn’t any motion sensor involved in the auto brightness adjustment function. The manual adjustment controls are small. I had no problem with them using bare hands but the thick gloves would definitely hamper the adjustment of dot brightness.
If you have astigmatism or you decided to increase the brightness level above practical levels for the lighting environment, it is important to note that you may be prone to seeing flare on the dot which will make it look like a dot with a very small streak and may appear less crisp and round.
You can also adjust the brightness of red sight using the Up/Down arrows on the side. The total height of the sight looks very low compared to some other red dots. However, while aiming it is very easy to see the target through the glass. Though, sometimes I struggle to find the dot. Perhaps a co-witness front sight would help to solve the problem.
- To solve target shooting problems
- Target acquisition and shoot grouping
- Anyone looking for the best warranty
Bushnell AR Optics TRS-25 Red Dot Riflescope
Sight has quality optics with stunning HD clarity and a beautiful design with durability built to last. The sight is also lightweight; around 6.0 ounce and it covers 3 MOA. It comes along with 11 brightness settings to provide optimum illumination in any light condition and includes integral mount and protective lens cover.
For those who may be wondering about the battery life, it conserves battery life by self-regulating brightness based on available light and power down when the protective storage hood is attached. This sight for AK 47 is engineered with Amber-Bright optics. This helps hunters to quickly distinguish between a brown tree and a brown critter.
Due to the scope’s multicoated optics, hunters will face no difficulties in seeing their target in low-light conditions. Other features in the sight includes a 100-percent waterproof and anti-fog as well as shockproof construction, a dry-nitrogen-filled housing with a CR2032 battery. There is no need for centering. The parallax free design follows the movement of the hunter’s eye while remaining fixed on the target.
Sight is not a magnifying scope, so you can’t see the target any better at 100 yards. Still, once zeroed in, if you put the dot on the target, you could use it effectively at 100 yards and beyond. However, it is not effective for precision shooting at those distances.
The AK 47 sight is warranted to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for one year after the date of purchase. The Hirise mount will give a 1/3 co-witness so you may want a medium riser to get absolute co-witness.
Red dot illumination is a little poor during the day time but if you are in an outdoor setting like the outdoor open range or in a semi shaded or dark setting the red dot illumination works great. This setup puts the front site at a lower third view so it was quick to sight in and the dot was easily visible and pretty clear at all levels. Still, there is some glare at the higher settings.
Another drawback is that the knob to change the red dot intensity is hard to turn which annoys me sometimes while using it. You must also take note on how delicate you need to be to tighten the mounting screws. Once resistance is felt when you are tightening the screw, it should be rotated no more than ¼ additional turn (over-tightening the screw may strip the threads).
Overall, I am very happy with this and unless you are a competition shooter you will not have any reason to spend more than this.
- Battery can be removed / replaced without dismounting the optic
- Waterproof/fogproof/shockproof conditions
- Those looking for cheap sights
Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
This AK 47 sight could be turned on for up to 3 years using one single battery and there is no need to fumble with switches prior to use. It covers 2 minute of angle red dot for accurate target engagement at all distances.
The operating principle is Reflex Collimator sight with LED with an optical magnification of 1x. As for the dot intensity, the red dot is visible against a background luminance of 0, 1 to 55 000 lx. It is also compatible with night vision devices.
The battery type is a 3V lithium battery (type 2L76 or DL1/3N) and the estimated battery life is continuous 30 000 h (pos. 7 of 10). The power intensity is 4 for night vision devices and 6 in daylight, of which 1 extra bright. As for the dimensions, it is 115 mm (4 1/2″) x 55 mm (2 3/16″) x 55 mm (2 3/16″) for L x W x H. As for the weight, it is around 220 g (7,8 oz).
Leaving the technical info behind, we will now move on into the interesting rear flip cover. The rear flip cover is quite clear for sudden quick shots when you don’t have the time to flip up the covers. Basically, you can line up the dot on target with your dominant eye using the target image from the weaker eye.
Although you cannot see through the optic, the dot will still superimpose onto your vision and you can still use the red dot. This is useful in a panic situation where you have your rifle, and have not flipped the front cap.
One thing that I did find though is that when shooting in this way my shots were hitting about 1″ low at 25 yards. While the change in accuracy is not drastic, do take note that if you are shooting farther that will open all the way up to 4″ low at 100 yards.
The fat knob on the side is also an issue. Although I like the functionality of the tensioning system, it sticks pretty far out and can be annoying when the rifle is slung.
The Aimpoint sight sits about 3″ on the top rail so during close-quarter engagement of about 10-15′ you’ll want to aim about 3″ above your target point when zeroed at 100 yards. I would also like to point out on how easy it is to adjust the intensity of the dot while sighting in on a target using the dial.
Overall, although the price of sight may burn a hole through your wallet it might be worth it when you consider the quality of this optic.
- Emergency situation
- Inventory tracking and maintenance
- Protection against impact damage, scratches and fingerprints.
In a nutshell, I hope my review assist you in making the right decision of choosing the best red dot sight that is well suited to your needs.