Last Updated on March 9, 2021
Red dot sights are great for speed shooting sports, military units, police forces, paintball, and airsoft players. Since red dot sights place the target and the reticle on the same plane, they are very easy to acquire the target fast. Red dot sights have no magnification. Therefore, they are parallax-error or eye relief-problem-free.
But magnification is a vital part of all types of shooting. And you should not avoid red dot sights due to their lacking of having magnification. Rather you can avail one of the best red dot magnifiers and go for a shooting. In this article, we will walk you through the in detail red dot magnifier reviews and buying guide, so that you can shoot with more accuracy and ease next time.
Best Red Dot Magnifier Reviews
01. Vortex Optics VMX-3T Red Dot Magnifier
Vortex Optics VMX-3T Magnifier is our top pick for quality red dot magnifier and comes with a built-in flip mount. You can use this magnifier with any of the vortex’s red dots but it is recommended to avoid the prism scopes. Vortex VMX-3T is simple to use and gives an effective result very fast.
The push-button design of the magnifier will allow you to engage and disengage the flip mount and lock the magnifier to your desired place. That means you can activate a 3x magnified view whenever you want or can simply enjoy the unmagnified view as well.
Vortex VMX-3T has an adequate eye relief of 2.2 inches and 38.2 feet/100yards fields of view. The lens is fully multi-coated to maximize the resolution, light gathering capability, and color fidelity. The proprietary coatings increase light transmission greatly with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
This vortex magnifier weighs 11.9 oz only and has a length of 4.3 inches. Therefore, it is lightweight and has a tough, hard-coat-anodized, machined-aluminum construction to ensure durability. The magnifier allows for lower 1/3 or absolute co-witness mounting heights. This is the perfect match for the shooters who are really willing to increase the effective range of their red dot sight.
The VMX-3T requires no additional special sight-in. You can simply use the dot centering screws to center your red dot image in the magnifier’s field of view. With the screws, you can move the dot up/down and left/right. Its O ring seals prevent moisture, dust, and debris from affecting the lens and ensure reliable performance in all environments. The vortex VMX-3T is internally nitrogen purged for outstanding fog-proof performance.
Vortex VMX-3T is designed for ease of use and best performance. It has hardly any alternative in this affordable range of price. Using the included screws, you can easily attach the magnifier to the flip mount. The ocular lens and release button should face you. For absolute co-witness height with flip mount, you should position the magnifier at 37 mm from the base surface to the center of the optic and for lower 1/3 co-witness height the gap should be 40 mm.
- 3x Magnification
- Built-in flip mount
- Multi-coated lens
- Easy to use and adjust
- Water and fog proof
- Sturdy construction
- Best red dot magnifier for the money
- Excludes lens caps
02. UTG 3X RED DOT MAGNIFIER
If you are tight on budget but still looking for a good magnifier, UTG 3X Magnifier can be the best choice for you. This quick and intuitive magnifier offers versatility whenever you demand. UTG 3X magnifier will bring your modern sporting rifle to the next level. You will be able to change from 1X to 3X magnification with a simple flip of your wrist. In short, this magnifier features quite promising functionality on demand.
UTG 3X magnifier offers a 30% bigger wide field of view than other comparable models available in the market. Being completely compatible with Rail-Picatinny/Weaver, this magnifier features windage and elevation adjustability for optimum view centering.
The magnifier has a broadband multi-coated lens to assure crystal clear 3X image and offers the most common dot sight combination with its 42mm center height. It weighs 11.82 oz, has 2 inches eye relief, 8.7mm exit pupil, 25mm objective lens, and 102mm length. UTG 3X magnifier comes with 45 feet/100yards field of view, which is really bigger than most of the magnifiers.
Within moments, you can equip and stow away the magnifier using its integral flip-to-side mount and can change between 1X to 3X magnification in a matter of seconds. The ergonomic structure lends the body to be intuitively pulled back and flipped into and out of position with your support hand. All the customization you can do whenever you want without struggling with any switch, button, or cam levers.
With the magnifier’s MIL-STD-1913 quick detachable lever lock system, you can easily install and remove the magnifier very fast. The UTG 3X magnifier comes with precision machining and anodizing to provide great strength and maximum wear resistance. It is fully sealed and nitrogen purged to perform in unfavorable weather.
From the UTG 3X magnifier review, it is evident that you will get great water and fog-proof performance, a larger field of view, and a tailorable eyepiece diopter. The magnifier’s optimized center height will accompany most holographic and red dot sights. In this range of price, you will get features and performance more than enough.
- Affordable price
- 3X magnification
- 30% larger field of view
- Multi-coated lens
- A quick detachable lock system
- Great ergonomic structure
- Easy installation and removal
- Optimized center height
- Easy dioptric correction
- Water and fog proof
- Short eye relief
- The flip mount can be improved
03. EOTech G33 SIDE MOUNT RED DOT MAGNIFIER
If budget is not a problem for you and you are looking for a quality magnifier, the EOTech G33 magnifier is just for you. The updated and improved G33 magnifier is shorter and lighter than previous models. It comes with an improved switch-to-side mount that provides a faster and smooth transition between 3X to 1X. G33 magnifier offers tool-free azimuth adjustment. In short, you will get great performance.
EOTech G33 magnifier is HWS compatible that means, it will work with all EOTech Holographic Weapon Sights. EOTech Holographic Weapon Sights are one of the best, fastest, and intuitive sighting systems available on the planet. That’s why you will see them being used by America’s most elite law-enforcement professionals and special operation warriors.
The HWS’s non-reflective windows and holographic reticle are only visible to you. And this feature is not available with other red-dots. G33 is engineered and designed for a combat mission. This magnifier has no mirrored or metal-coated surfaces to betray your position. You take down your target in secret.
While you are shooting, you should be able to transit fast between close and medium-range targets. You need to maintain a precise shot at both distances. All these become very easy for you with the G33 magnifier’s compact and fixed 3X magnifier.
The G33 magnifier weighs 11.2 oz, has 55.8mm (2.2 degrees) eye relief, a 7.3-degree field of view. The magnifier can be flipped up quickly since there is no button to press. Once you are satisfied with the magnifier’s position you can lock it using the locking button and for removal, you can use the quick detach lever.
The magnifier comes with fog-resistant internal optics so you can use it in rough weather. It is water-resistant up to 33ft depth which is really great. The mounting system is MIL-STD-1913 rail or 1″ Weaver. We would suggest you go for this magnifier if you have no budget issue. It is quite pricey, but with price, you will get the required performance.
- HWS compatible
- Military standard magnifier
- Great field of view (7.3 degrees)
- Fog resistant
- Great for a combat mission
- Quick detach lever system
- EOTech HWS Prestige Warranty
04. Red Dot Sight Vs Iron Sight
As a shooting enthusiast, you will probably hear someone claiming that everyone should start shooting with iron sights to acquire the fundamentals perfectly. And no wonder, you will come to know that, many of the experts believe that, iron sights are almost obsolete now. Since I am a shooting lover, I will suggest you that, avoid the iron sight vs other optics debate and focus on your resources. If you have no budget problem go for better optics like red dot sights or other ones.
Before the introduction of red sights or other optics, shooters use iron sights. Even today, some are still fond of iron sights for a couple of reasons. Iron sights are cheaper than other optics, which is really great for beginners and those who are on a budget. They are lightweight, require no batteries, have no worry of water intrusion, easy to maintain, and clean. Above all, iron sights offer a decent point shooting reference. All these options come really handy when you are in the jungle for shooting. In fact, reports say that, for ease of use, many military units use iron sights in the jungle.
When red dot sights and other optics get introduced to the market, there was a huge transition from iron sights to other optics. Because red dot sights and other modern optics are faster in target acquire, more forgiving to parallax error, offer better range and wind estimation, offer better target identification.
Though red dot sights perform better than iron sights, they don’t come with a built-in magnifier. That means they cannot improve the range. Here, red dot magnifiers come into play.
Buying Guide of Best Red Dot Magnifiers
We have introduced you to the perfect red dot magnifiers. We have mentioned the most compact ones from the market. And there are other options available for you. But before jumping into the final decision, we suggest you know the basic parts or the most important facts of a red dot magnifier. Once you know the basics, you are good to find your own solution.
Lens Quality of Red Dot Magnifier
The lens is the heart of any optics. How your magnifier will perform depends largely on the lens quality. Try to choose the magnifiers that come with a multicoated lens. The multicoated lens offers you an image with great clarity.
Tube and Lens Diameter
The objective tube and lens diameter play a vital role in the performance of a red dot magnifier. With a large diameter, you will get a great field of view and see more things easily and comfortably. With a short diameter, you will get a shorter view and suffer to acquire the target easily.
Elevation and Windage Adjustments
Elevation and windage adjustments are a must for quality long-range shooting with scopes. Good quality optics will provide you with options to adjust elevation and windage adjustments. Like the good bow sights especially the excellent single pin bow sights. But these options are available with the models that come at a low price. You have to cost more to get those options from a red dot magnifier. While buying any optics, always try to avail of one that will give you extra features and accompany you for a long time. Cheap ones will not help you out in the hard condition.
The Durability of Red Dot Magnifiers
Since you are equipping your rifle with the best accessories, it is evident that you will shoot in almost all types of weather. The situation may decrease at any time in case of weather and you may have to shoot in the rain or in the sun. To face unfavorable weather, you should always choose optics that are made to overcome rough weather.
Before choosing any magnifier to make sure your chosen one has an ergonomic design and anodized finish. It should be sealed and nitrogen purged so that moisture, debris, and other material can not harm the optics. At the same time, the magnifier must provide waterproof and fog-resistant performance. You would not like to stand helpless deep in the jungle or heavy rain due to the lacking of your magnifier. And it is really great if you avail one that features shockproof facility.
Magnification plays a vital role in all types of optics i.e. night vision devices. And when you are buying a magnifier, it is evident how important magnification is. Magnification not only improves the range of the shooting but also enhances the probability to acquire a target fast.
Though there are magnifiers in the market that offer up to 5X magnification, we suggest not to be tempted for the largest magnification in the case of the magnifier. Rather, we suggest you stick to 2X to 3X magnification. Here is the reason why we suggest that.
Why You Should Avoid More than 3X Magnification
Remember you are buying a magnifier for a red dot sight. And you are not using a Vortex red dot scope. In general, good quality scopes like the night vision types have enough space to house lenses, especially so that they can catch and redirect light. That’s why scopes offer more magnification than simple magnifier and perform better with larger magnification. In the case of magnifier, they are generally compact and smaller in design and if you go for more magnification, there will not enough space to accommodate the required number of lenses.
As a result, there will be less light redirected for illuminating the reticle. In easy terms, magnifiers with large magnification perform dull in low light conditions. You will hardly see the reticle. So, it is better to go for 2X to 3X magnification.
Mount System for the Best Red Dot Magnifiers
You are buying a magnifier to improve the shooting range and cover a handsome distance. But there are scenarios where you will not willing to use the magnifier. Rather you will only want to see the target like a turkey through the red dot sight. In case of looking or targeting a very close range, it is recommended to avoid any magnifier. Otherwise, you will have a terrible field of view and it will be painful for your eyes.
With a flexible mount system, you can switch from using the red dot without the magnifier in moments. With a flip mount, you will acquire your targets quite easily and change your aim from one target to another very fast. Keep in mind that, switching from close-quarter to mid-long-range shooting is really very necessary while shooting. And you can not do that with a fixed mount system.
We suggest you use a flip mount at any cost. All the magnifiers we have suggested comes with a flip mount. This mount will allow you to quickly put the magnifier behind your red dot when it is necessary and keep it aside as well on short notice. Remember the rule of thumb, you need to put aside the magnifier when you are targeting in a close range. The flip mount allows you to do that easily.
Eye relief refers to the distance between your eye and the optics. Every optics must have adequate eye relief. You may have quality optics but optics with too short eye relief is of no good. Short eye relief will be painful for your eyes. In the case of magnifiers, the same rule prevails. Buy magnifiers that come with comfortable eye relief. It will make your shooting experience great.
Another thing to keep in mind that after buying a magnifier with comfortable eye relief, you may need to explore the position of the magnifier before going for shooting. Probably you will place the magnifier on Picatinny or Weaver rails. Focus the in-between gap of the sights and magnifier. Test several times after placing the magnifier. Once you are sure, go for a shooting.
Red dot magnifiers come in a wide range of prices. Some are cheap, some are moderate and some are quite expensive. While in the market you may get confused about which one is appropriate for you. Actually, you have to choose wisely. The model will differ according to your use.
Say, you are looking for a workable magnifier to use in your range or target practice with 22lr scope. If this is the case, you should not choose a costly magnifier that offers many features. Most of the features are not necessary for you at this point.
On the other hand, if you are going for hunting i.e. squirrel hunting with scope or bird watching with a nice monocular or backpacking with your favorite monocular or combat mission, you must choose one from the latest model that offers critical features to help you accomplish the mission.
Compatibility of Quality Red Dot Magnifier
A single piece of magnifier may not be compatible with all the sights available in the market. So before buying the magnifier, make sure your chosen one is compatible with your existing sights. Generally, magnifiers and sights from the same manufacturer support each other and also perform better. If possible, try to get a magnifier from the manufacturer of your sights.
We are at the end of our best red dot magnifier reviews. Here, we have chosen the models after doing enough research to ease your decision making. We hope and wish that our detailed guidelines will enable you to have a good shooting experience with red dot magnifiers. Good luck!
Kalman is a hunting expert who has a vast experience with wild game hunting. Though night time hunting is his favorite, he masters the art of daytime hunting and shooting. Being a nature lover and outdoor enthusiast, he wants to pass the knowledge acquired over time to the next generation.