Discarding its previous title and taking on the name “ArmaLite Rifle”, this semi-automatic firearm has been craving its name in history for decades. AR 15 is one of the most popular rifles for its amazing performance in several military operations and hunting games.
AR 15 has numerous variants, AR 15A2, A3 and A4 being the most popular ones. This firearm supports .223 Remington and 5.56x45mm NATO cartridges and comes with fixed front and rear iron sights. The outer surface also attaches different scopes and sights using the Picatinny rail.
Although AR 15 is very versatile when it comes to different sights and scopes, it is also true that having fixed iron sights can call for unexpected interruptions. That’s why it is necessary that you go for the red dots that are compatible with its fixed sights. AR 15 mostly accepts red dots with micro mounting standard footprints.
For this reason, going for the red dot sights that have the micro sliding footprints will help you mount it on the rifle pretty easily. We have reviewed the top 7 best red dot sights that will go hand in hand with the A2 iron sights.
The following buying guide will in addition help you to jot down the necessary points that you need to note down before purchasing a red dot sight. So, let’s begin!
Best AR 15 Red Dot with Iron Sights – [Editor’s Pick]
The following products are the best red dot sights available in the market that will fit perfectly with your AR 15 rifle. Let’s see what they have to offer!
1. Aimpoint CompM4 Red Dot Reflex Sight
Aimpoint CompM4 Red Dot sight is the first recommendation we are going to look at. This optic comes with an advanced lens system to provide you with increased light transmission and bright image clarity.
It features a 2 MOA reticle which gives 2 inches of bullet drop coverage at every 100 yards. This reticle works best when you are targeting a longer distance object giving you an accurate and precise aim.
This optical sight uses an AA battery that provides 500,000 hours of work period. The package also includes black rubber bikini-style lens covers to protect both front and rear lens from any external element.
The CompM4 is a durable and reliable red dot sight as its high strength aluminum alloy housing makes it resistant to heavy impact and recoiling. The surface of this product is completely sealed and because of that it also works under 150 feet of water.
Does the optic include an anti-reflective device?
Yes, the ARD is included with the Aimpoint Red Dot Sight.
What is the battery position in the sight?
The battery is positioned high in the red dot sight.
Does the red dot sight co-witness with the AR 15 iron sights?
Since there is no magnification in the red dot sight, it will easily align with the AR 15 iron sights creating absolute co-witness.
2. Trijicon MRO-C-2200004 1x25mm Miniature Riflescope
Trijicon Miniature Rifle Optic scope comes with a 2 MOA red dot reticle along with the reduced “tube-effect” to provide you with precise targeting for long range shooting through wide visibility.
The red dot supports 8 brightness settings, flaunting a mid-position “off” feature. As a result, you can use this sight with your AR 15 rifle in any light conditions. The lenses are multi-coated to give high-contrast light transmission for better image quality.
It features easy-to-use adjusters that produce positive click reticle movement in MOA increments for accurate pin-point aiming. Also, you don’t have to own any special tools to adjust the reticle during tactical operations.
This Trijicon red dot scope is constructed with 7075 aluminum alloy that keeps the sight durable and lightweight at the same time. Moreover, the surface body of this sight is completely sealed to resist any external liquid such as water and oil.
Does the scope come with risers to co-witness AR 15 iron sights?
You can choose this scope with an absolute or lower ⅓ co-witness riser mount to align with your Ar 15 fixed sights.
Would this optic work with a magnifier placed in front of it?
No, it is not possible to use a magnifier in front of this scope because you will not get enough eye relief.
How long is the battery life of this sight?
When using brightness setting 3 the battery lasts for 50,000 hours whereas it will last for 25 days in the highest setting.
3. HOLOSUN Military Grade Micro Red Dot Sight
This Military Grade Micro red dot sight offers you two readily different size reticles of 2 MOA and 65 MOA. You can switch between these two using a push button whenever you need.
Along with the 0.5 MOA adjustable click value, the reticle features 12 brightness settings giving you the freedom to use it during different low light conditions. Besides, The CR123 lithium battery comes with 20,000 to 50,000 hours of battery life.
The micro sight also offers Solar Power Technology which absorbs energy from the sunlight during daytime. This way you will have a backup energy pulling system to use in the moment of crisis in case the battery suddenly dies.
Moreover, its CNC milled 7075 aluminum housing provides a strong and reliable sight for your AR 15 rifle without adding too much weight. The snag-free design also keeps the turrets protected from any external impact. The red dot is also water and fog proof to make it applicable during harsh weather.
Is there an option for lower mounting of this model?
Yes, you can use the Holosun absolute co-witness mount to adjust the sight with the iron sights of your firearm.
What is the size of the tube?
The Holosun Military red dot sight has a 20mm diameter tube.
What is the windage and elevation travel value of this sight?
The red dot has a 50 MOA of windage and elevation adjustments at 100 yards.
4. Vortex Optics Crossfire Gen II Red Dot Sight
Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot sight is no less than its Crossfire rifle scope. This dot sight gives a total 50,000 hours of battery life along with two night vision compatibility in the lower brightness settings.
The dot sight comes with low and skeletonized lower ⅓ co-witness mounts to provide versatility in achieving both-eyes-open targeting. This feature specifically makes this red dot a good optical sight for AR 15 with fixed iron sights.
Its 2 MOA dot reticle gives you coverage for both close and long distance shooting. There are 11 illumination settings you can choose from to change with your current light condition. It also has anti-reflective multi-coated lens to increase light transmission along with unlimited eye relief.
This red dot uses a hard anodize coating to reduce glare and provide a camouflage position for safety. It is highly durable and O-ring sealed to remain water and fogproof throughout the operations.
Which magnifier would work best with this red dot sight?
We would recommend you to check out the Vortex 3x Mini Magnifier to attach with this red dot sight. They work well with each other.
Is there an ON/OFF switch in the sight?
Yes, the ON/OFF switch is a dial button near the battery section. You need to twist the dial to change the brightness settings.
Does this red dot have the shake awake feature?
No, this model does not offer the motion sensor shake awake feature.
5. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 rifle scope comes with a 3 MOA dot reticle in a 20 mm diameter tube which gives you the opportunity to target fast moving objects in a mid range setting.
This scope’s red dot features 11 different brightness settings for you to choose from and accommodate with the changeable lighting conditions throughout the day. It stays parallax free up to 50 yards giving you clear visibility.
The strong construction of this red dot scope is sustainable enough to resist external impacts such as bumps, bangs and drops. This durable housing makes the scope suitable for a wide range of shotguns, rifles and muzzleloaders including the AR 15 style rifles.
To keep it water resistant and fogproof, the whole tube has been O-ring sealed and Nitrogen filled. This ensures that the internal optical lens will not fog due to humidity or sudden change in the temperature keeping it weather protected.
How long does the battery last?
The battery life of this scope depends on the different brightness settings. This red dot sight will last up to 750 hours in the lowest setting and 9 hours in the highest setting for constant use.
Which riser mount will work for AR 15 to achieve co-witness?
You can use either Monstrum 0.8 riser mount or UTG 0.83 riser mount to achieve co-witness with the AR 15 fixed iron sights.
Does this model come with lens covers?
Yes, the package includes black bikini-style rubber lens covers for both front and rear lenses.
6. EOTECH XPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight
The Holographic Weapon sight by EOTECH features a 68 MOA ring and 1 MOA dot reticle making the dot versatile for accurate targeting. The 1 MOA gives you a precise pinpoint target dot so that you can easily aim for long distance objects.
This XPS2 sight supports 20 brightness settings that allows you to change the light intensity according to your needs. This feature alone makes the optical sight versatile enough to use in the low light settings.
It takes a single 3 volt CR123 lithium battery that provides you with 1,000 hours of continuous runtime at the nominal setting 12 in room temperature. The battery configuration takes minimum space leaving more rail space for rear iron sights and magnifiers.
Besides, the holographic sight mounts on any 1 inch Weaver and MIL-STD 1913 rail. Hence, you can easily attach the sight on your AR 15 firearm. It is also constructed to meet the high recoiling impact of .308 rifles, keeping it lightweight at the same time.
Will you need an additional mount to achieve ⅓ co-witness?
Yes, usually you will need a 1 inch riser mount to get ⅓ aligned position with other sights.
Does this weapon sight co-exist with the standard iron sight of AR 15 rifles?
Yes, it works well with any A2 iron sight of AR 15. It will also co-exist with Magpul Pro Iron Sight on a flat top A3 upper.
Does this optic work well with a magnifier?
Yes, you can use the Vortex Flip Magnifier with this model as they work perfectly with each other.
7. Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Red Dot Sight
The 2 MOA red dot reticle of the Sig Sauer Romeo5 is one of its most demanding features that comes with 10 different illumination settings including 2 night vision settings. This optical sight is raised to cover every light condition you can possibly meet while hunting.
There is a Motion Activated Illumination (MOTAC) technology that captures motion sensors while you move your firearm and powers up immediately. This also functions for the dot to power off when you are not using it, saving unnecessary power drain.
It comes with a M1913 Picatinny low mount riser along with a 1.41 inch co-witness riser mount. You can easily attach this red dot with A2 iron sight of your AR15 using the riser mount to achieve co-witness.
Waterproof and durable aluminum construction keeps the red dot sight protected from any outer force and allows you to use it under heavy water immersion. Therefore, you can use the Romeo5 red dot in any harsh environment without worrying about its reliability.
Is the Romeo5 sight good for home defense?
Yes, this sight allows you to have both-eyes-open function with your AR 15 and give excellent close range defense.
Is there an extra ON/OFF switch other than the auto motion sensor?
You will find an ON/OFF push button in the product to turn on the sight. Hold the button down for 2 seconds to power it up and turn it off in the same way.
What is the windage and elevation adjustment range of this sight?
This red dot sight has +/- 40 MOA windage and elevation adjustments to compensate for wind and bullet drop.
Buying Guide For AR 15 Red Dot With Iron Sights
These are the important parts of a red dot sight that you need to take into account in order to get the best shooting experience with your AR 15.
The first and most important thing about a red dot sight is the footprint style it embodies. There are four major types of footprints in the market. These are the most common ones used in the sights so that they can easily attach to the weapon.
Since the AR 15 rifle seems to be most compatible with Aimpoint micro mounting standard footprints, choosing the sights with this footprint will be the best option.
The next point to take into account is the reticle size. The most common reticles are from 2 MOA to 8 MOA. Which one is the perfect size for your firearm will actually depend on you.
In case you are using an AR 15 rifle for precise shooting at long range you should go for reticles less than 4 MOA. For short range targeting at fast moving objects, larger reticles like >5 MOA will work best.
The battery quality and runtime is another important aspect to consider before choosing a red dot sight. The brightness level and working hours will affect the battery life. Make sure you are choosing a sight with good runtime so that it can last for a longer period of time.
It is very important that the red dot sight you are purchasing is rugged and durable enough to withstand the recoiling from .223 calibration. At the same time the sight has to be lightweight and portable. Going for an open red dot will give more space to see but it is not sustainable.
Whereas, the tube red dot sights have limited visibility but are safe and reliable. So, choose the one that suits your preference the most.
When it comes to mounting a red dot sight with a fixed iron sight, you need to make sure you are going for red dot sights that are compatible with the iron sights. This simply means you need to have an alignment between the red dot and fixed sight. This is called co-witness.
Now, there are two types of co-witness. Absolute co-witness will give you full alignment with the iron sight. A .83 inch riser mount will give you co-witness with your AR 15 rifle sights. On the other hand, you can get lower ⅓ co-witness by mounting with a 1 inch riser. This feature will enhance your shooting experience using the fixed iron sights with red dot.
Whether it’s for hunting or for military operations, AR 15 has never failed to mesmerize its users. This .223 caliber rifle has all the essentials points you will need for your hunting excaventure. Because the firearm comes with fixed iron sights, it is important that you choose specific red dot sights that are compatible with the existing sights.
Here, we have labeled all the facts about red dot sights which you will need to keep in your repertoire before looking at the products. The checklist in the buying guide section will help you with all this information.
Also, we have recommended the best red dot sights for AR 15 firearms that will co-witness with the already attached iron sights of the rifle. Make sure to check the features each sight has to offer and go for the best one.
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