I am considering adding red dots to my carry and home defense pistols. I run a Glock 30 and 35 and have been looking at various options. My first leaning is toward Vortex Viper or Venom, but that is based on my experience with their rifle scopes. Also, they offer a generous veteran discount and who doesn’t like saving money. I do want to make the best choice so any information which can be shared about these, or other red dot options would be greatly appreciated.
Another aspect of this question is rather you prefer the 3 or 6 MOA dots? I’m leaning toward 6 as being easier to pick up but wonder about the greater accuracy of a 3 MOA dot.
Thanks for all the input!
I strongly recommend either Trijicon or Holosun.
Vortex, IMO, their pistol red dots are an anomaly. Typically I say that everything Vortex makes is reliable, durable, possibly the best available for the product time and price point, but, from what I’ve seen, I Just don’t think their pistol size RDS are “there”. (similar for Leupold)
I like ~3 MOA dot but I don’t think it makes too much difference and is personal preference. Even the “large” dots are sill more fine and precise than the majority of front sight posts. I don’t think you lose accuracy with a larger dot, even at 6 MOA, you’re talking about the dot itself covering 1.5" at 25 yards. Are you shooting groups smaller than 1.5" at 25 yards? And even then, like with rifles, if you have good eyes and can really get it that steady (likely means rested) you can aim using the top edge of the dot and not the whole dot, just like we do with iron sights.
Are my recommendations (I own multiples of all of these)
The Holosun are very good, and better priced, but as people wise up to how good they are, the prices are creeping up as well. The side load battery, solar, reticle options and battery life of Holosun are very appealing
Tough decision if you need to make it based on others’ experience.
For me, the only RED DOT I’m gonna use is Primary Arms Holosun HS507C-X2-ACSS Vulcan Reticle.
Simple DOT doesn’t work for me well. Doesn’t matter if it is 2MOA, 6MOA… any MOA. It is just another front sight.
This one from Primary Arms is different and really works for me. So far I was only testing it, but it will land on my EDC handgun pretty soon. Haven’t decided yet if red or green reticle.
You can check their website and watch videos presenting advantages of Vulcan version.
But… as I mentioned - all is personal preference and something that works for others may not work for you.
Holosun is a great budget alternative. Most have a dot and ring reticle that can be selected.
Trijicon is gold-standard. Stay away from the fiber-optic version unless only shooting in daylight.
As for reticle size, most people prefer to smaller dot. You’ll find the target disappearing behind too big a dot and a lot of people that order the larger dot wish they had gone smaller (I know)…
Too big circle/ dot covers the far target. Small dot may not be clearly visible in short range… Whatever you set up is always not you would like to have…
@Mike270 … I think the battery in RED DOT has just died…
I would go with the cyelee red dot for pistol or any that are shake awake because you what the dot to be active when you draw it.
The holosuns have shake awake, although I believe you can disable it if you want it on all the time (and great battery life). The RMR’s (and probably others) you just leave on and replace the battery once a year or so
Good responses, but while on the subject, “which is better, red dot or green dot?”
I only have experience with green dot, but it rocks!
+1 on the Holosuns.
Still cannot figure it out…
I’m using red fiber front sight, green was horrible for me… but green optic seems to be picked up faster…
Personal preference, primarily
Looking at the SRO and RMR from Trijicon I’m not really sure how they differ, I can see that they are slightly different in size and have different shapes. I don’t know why I would pick one model over the other. Any insight?
IIRC, Trijicon flat says the RMR has higher expected durability.
Generally the RMR is considered a carry/defense/duty level optic and the SRO generally is not.
The shape of the RMR is one of the few things it has going for it, that shape reduces chance of cracking the lense/glass when dropped or struck, and the SRO most definitely does not have that
I started looking at the Holosun Vulcan and so far, there is a lot to like. I really like the outer ring idea as the few times I’ve tried a red dot I had difficulty finding the dot. I also like the chevron as opposed to a dot. The shake to awake feature is nice as well. I’m curious how rugged it really is, but I know a number of USPCA shooters like it. Nice mid-way price as well. Thank you for pointing it out.
For ruggedness look no farther than the testing done by Cowan with Sage Dynamics on YouTube.
For difficultly finding the dot, practice presenting with the iron sights lined up, and if you can do that, you can see the dot with the same presentation.
Also, with a modern thumbs forward grip, think about pointing at the target with your support side thumb
Great Videos! glad you pointed me there looks like some hardcore testing which will tell me a lot!
The RMR is the original and current gold-standard for pistol red-dots for duty or defensive use. It is super durable and built for reliability.
The SRO is a newer offering from Trijicon with a much bigger window and it mainly targeted at competition shooting. As such, it is less durable and the larger window makes for some challenges if you want to carry it concealed.
Aaron Cowan with Sage Dynamics has a video on each if you want more in-depth comparison.
@BlackHawk - have you made any decision yet?
I’ve been doing some research, watched multiple videos and reviews… and I’m confused more than I was 8 days ago.
Recently I shot few pistols with different optics to find which one to choose.
- Holosun 507C-X2 ACSS (one I always wanted) → worked great.
- Trijicon SRO with 1 MOA → too small dot
- Holosun 407C-X2 2 MOA → still small dot, didn’t even find difference between this and 1 MOA
- Holosun 407CO-X2 8 MOA → too big dot/circle
During that day I found that DOT is not as bad as it was for me before. More I shot it more I liked it.
I didn’t have a chance to shoot anything with Leupold Delta Pro, which gets a great reviews regarding big window for faster target acquisition. Unfortunately this one comes with 2 MOA dot and short battery life… and what seemed to be good is not good enough.
Does anyone have a good experience with optics with 3.5 MOA or 4 MOA and 1 year battery life?
Big window would be great as well… but I think I’m expecting too much.