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Reflex Sight vs Red Dot Sight Explained – HuntingHoop

Did you know that most people are unaware of the fact that a reflex sight and a red dot sight are not the same things? Bet you didn’t know that fact either, did you? Well, now you do. In the battle of reflex sight vs red dot sight, it is very important that we, first of all, learn about each of the sights before favoring either. And that’s exactly what we are here to help you with today.

Hello and welcome to our class! If you have a gun, then take a sit because this lecture is going to be very important to you. Read along our little coverage to find out the character of a reflex sight and a red dot sight, their similarities, and differences that we bet you never knew! You will be thanking us for this. Let’s start!

Backup For Your Scope

Introduce To Red Dot Sight

Alright, folks. Here’s the news that is going to drop a few jaws today: a red dot sight is, technically, not a specific kind of sight. It is, in fact, a general term used to classify a whole entire range of sights that use a red dot to mark and aim a target. BOOM!

2 MOA Red Dot View

Kind of like how all thumbs are fingers, but all fingers are not thumbs. Get it? To put things into perspective, a prism sight is a red dot sight, a reflex sight is a red dot sight and a holographic sight is also a red dot sight. Despite being operating differently and having variable construction features, all of these aforementioned types of sights share a very common and fundamental feature: the red dot.

3 MOA Dot

Hence, they are all red for sight! Simple, right? A red dot sight is therefore not a specific type of sight, like a prism or holographic sight. But most importantly, it is not a reflex sight. The bottom line here is that any sighting device that uses a red dot to aim targets can be classified as being a red dot sight. Period!

Barrel View

Our Top 3 Red Dot Sight

Bushnell Red Dot Sight

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Great under low-light
  • Includes mount

Vortex Red Dot Sight

  • Offer 1x magnification
  • Long run time
  • Battery-powered; battery included
  • Solid build and construction

Venom Red Dot Sights

  • Promotes rapid target
  • fully multi-coated lenses offer a clean
  • auto-brightness mode
  • 1 MOA windage

Introduce To Reflex Sight


But we must give you. We admit: detecting the difference between a red dot and a reflex sight is very difficult if you don’t have the proper knowledge. Out of all the other types of sights in the market, people almost always confuse a red dot and reflex sight for being the same thing, and we totally understand why.

Rifle mount view

You see, all other types of sights, say prism or holo, have a distinct physical feature to them. For example, a holographic sight will almost always have a bulkier body and a square-ish field of view. Apart from just the physical attributes, there are also some very stark differences in how each type of sight operates. Let’s take a look at how a reflex sight works!

Regular red dot reflex sight view

A reflex sight has a red dot (sometimes, green) flashed on to its reticles.. . . . like all other sights. But it is how this red dot is produced that separates it from the lot. In a reflex sight, a low-power LED light is projected onto a lens ahead. This projected dot hits the lens and reflects back to your eyes. It is in fact also called reflects sights!

precise dot reflex sight

Well, anyway. That’s pretty much the basics of it. Reflex sights happened to be one of the most common and widely used types of sight there is. These types of sights are very lightweight and compact thanks to their traditional tube design which houses all the components inside. They are also very resilient against extreme temperatures and are furthermore very affordable, if not cheap!

doughnut reticle reflex sight

However, reflex dot sights aren’t that perfect either. One of the worst flaws in this type of sight is that it lacks sufficient parallax correction. But its durable nature, paired with decent performance, is what attracts its consumers. To add to this, the reflex sight also tends to have a very long battery life which is also an advantage for shooters and hunters in remote places! One other very important perk to almost all reflex dot sights is that they offer unlimited eye relief.

The dot is fairly clean and bright enough

This is a HUGE plus for shooters or hunters because they can position their eye as far or as near to the exit pupil of the sight and still be able to lock the aim on a target very quickly. A reflex sight is perfect for general shooting purposes whether you are a recreational shooter, hunter, police, etc. Great for training too!

Our Top 3 Reflex Sight

Feyachi Reflex Sight

  • Reticle allows for 4 different styles
  • A 33mm lens provides quick target acquisition
  • Very sturdy and secure rail mounting system

Sightmark Reflex Sight

  • Cast magnesium alloy housing with protective shield
  • IP68 Waterproof rating – submersible to 40ft
  • Low power consumption


  • Both red and green dot, four position reticles
  • Equipped with a locking set screw to stabilize your sighting adjustments 
  • 33mm LENGTH

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Long battery life
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Weak parallax correction


A reflex sight and a red dot sight are not the same things.
A reflex sight is a red dot sight, but a red dot sight is not a reflex sight.
The red dot sight is used to generalize all devices or sights that utilize a red dot in its operation for aiming at the target.
Using LED lights that bounce back to the eye of the user is the trademark operating mechanism of a typical reflex sight.
A reflex sight is one of the many different types of red dot sights. The prism and holographic sights, for instance, are 2 other very popular types of a red dot sight.
Fornt view

Final words

So, there you have it, guys. A red dot sight and a reflex sight were disclosed and analyzed. Now that you have learned some informative facts and details, you can finally hop in on the age-old reflex sight vs red dot sight train. But here’s the thing: what’s best is what works best for you! Something that is working for your friend may not get your approval, and vice versa, of course. So get busy and try and test and trial as many sights as you can to find out your perfect device! Some will work, some won’t. And that’s absolutely fine.

With that, it’s a wrap to our class today. We hope you thoroughly enjoyed staying with us and reading through our little coverage to make you more informed and more aware. Thank you and we will see you around soon!

12 thoughts on “Reflex Sight vs Red Dot Sight Explained – HuntingHoop”

  1. Your blog helped explain reflex sights. Thanks! However, that was not a word of explanation of how red dot sights work :^(

  2. Very helpful article. Explained well so the principles are easy to understand. Love the way pros and cons of each were listed with strengths and weaknesses compared. Thank you for the information.

  3. I apologize for being a complete moron, but I came looking for an explanation about the advantages and disadvantages but what these sites actually do. You gave me barely a thumbnail sketch of a reflex sight and nothing else. I hope your good salesman because your talent as a teacher or instructor’s subprime.
    Sincerely yours Kevin Arthur Cleveland


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