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Guns For Sale - Hinterland Outfitters Online Gun Shop

About Red Dot Scopes

Hinterland Outfitters carries a large selection of high quality red dot scopes for sale from all the top brands. A red dot scope is the perfect addition to add to your MSR or tactical rifle to increase the accuracy and effectiveness of your platform. We carry many different types of red dot scopes such as holographic red dots, scope (tube) red dots, reflex red dots, red dot magnifiers and red dot accessories & mounts.

We carry all major red dot scope brands, including:

  1. EOTech
  2. Aimshot
  3. Bushnell
  4. Leupold
  5. Lucid Optics
  6. Aim Sports
  7. Ultradot
  8. Sig Electro
  9. TruGlo
  10. Firefield
  11. BSA
  12. Barska
  13. Trijicon
  14. And Many More

History of Red Dot Scopes

Attaching a reflector (reflex) sight to a firearm is an idea that has been around since its invention in 1900 by optical designer and telescope maker Howard Grubb. Grubb wanted to develop a gun sight that would be a better alternative to iron sights and telescopic sights, with their limited field of view and other shortcomings. He wanted a sight that would give the shooter a quicker acquisition speed to targets, allow for open eye sighting and allow for the ability to engage targets in low light situations. The early red dot sights were tubular in shape and lit by ambient light, but they were not dependable due to the reticle illumination issues.

By 1918, reflector sights were being used on German fighter aircraft and they would later be adopted by fighter and bomber aircraft in the 1930s. In World War II, reflector sights were being used on all types of weapon systems.

Aimpoint AB was the first manufacturer to develop a red dot scope similar to what we have today. In 1975, the Swedish optics company released the Aimpoint Electronic, a tubular sight with an LED that functioned on mercury batteries. In the years since, several optics companies have begun producing cutting edge LED red dot scopes.

In 2000, the US military began using red dot sights produced by Aimpoint for close combat situations. Today, military and law enforcement agencies around the world use red dot scopes as their primary optic for duty. With the increasing popularity of tactical rifles in the consumer market, red dot scopes have become one of the preferred types of scopes purchased by civilians for tactical and sporting applications.

What's A Red Dot Scope?

A red dot scope is a type of reflex sight that utilizes an illuminated red dot as an aim-point. This allows the shooter to quickly focus on a target without sacrificing accuracy. It’s this combination of speed and precision that make red dot scopes so popular amongst shooters.

A red dot scope produces a reticle of laser or LED light that projects onto the scope. This reticle gives the shooter an image to focus on while shooting. As the name implies, most scopes utilize a red, dot shaped reticle, however other colors and shapes are not uncommon.

One of the biggest differences between a red dot scope and its telescopic counterparts is the fact that red dot scopes do not have variable magnification. Red dots do have fixed magnification, but usually only go up to 6x power, with most being between 1x to 4x power.

This does make it more difficult for shooters to hit long distance targets, but makes it much simpler for quickly hitting targets at closer range while reducing eye fatigue and increasing consistency. Many manufacturers also offer red dot magnifiers with a tubular small scope that sits behind the red dot optic. Red dot magnifiers usually come in magnification powers between 3x to 5x, and are often capable of quickly folding outwards from the rifle and away from the red dot. This allows the shooter the ability to switch between magnifications.

For a lot of shooters, a red dot scope is the first sight used outside of the gun’s own iron sights. While red dot scopes are lacking in terms of high magnification, they excel in their simplicity and ease of use. These factors make red dot scopes ideal for casual shooters, competitive speed shooters, and members of the armed forces.

How It Works

Red dots typically contain a spherical mirror reflector with an LED. This mirror enables the red dot itself to pass through most other types and sources of light. The light itself uses very little power, so in modern designs, the sights can run for thousands of hours on a single set of batteries. Some modern day red dot sights such as the Trijicon ACOG scope require no batteries at all, running off a photocell mounted on top of the scope. In addition, most red dot sights have active or passive adjustments to adjust the brightness of the LED in bright or low light environments.

A Beginner’s Scope

Many shooters argue that the only way to learn to shoot correctly is with traditional iron sights. There’s no doubt that the ability to properly shoot with iron sights is a crucial skill to have, however it may be asking for too much from a beginning shooter.

When shooting for the first time, beginners are asked to remember a litany of rules and guidelines while also overcoming the natural aversion to the recoil and sound. On top of all these guidelines and natural fears, novice shooters are then asked to learn how to aim an iron sight, which involves focusing on multiple points all at once.

A red dot scope streamlines the process by allowing the shooter to simply focus on placing the red dot on the target. Essentially, a red dot scope allows a beginning shooter to worry less about hitting their target and more on shooting safely.

Benefits of a Red Dot Scope

The reason red dot scopes are so popular is simple: There are a host of benefits for shooters. Red dot sights function by placing the illuminated LED light on the same optical plane as the target. This means that all that’s left to do to hit your target is line up the red dot. Red dot scopes are the best choice for any tactical or defensive situation, allowing for quick, accurate target acquisition. Additionally, a red dot scope is parallax free, which means that shooting from unconventional positions is also much easier. They’re small, lightweight and easy to use. Red dot scopes are the most popular choice for MSR rifles and other tactical platforms

How to Choose a Red Dot Scope

Red dot scopes come in a multitude of varieties and while this does give shooters plenty of different options, it can also make it difficult to assess which scope is the best. One of the important things to remember is that everyone has slightly different preferences when it comes to choosing a sight. Everything from reticle color and shape to the size of the sight itself is different from one scope to another.


Red dot sights come in two main styles, open and tube sights. Both have their pros and cons, but in the end, it comes down to personal preference.

Red Dot Scope (Tube) Sights: These sights share the same appearance as typical telescopic scopes with a rounded, cylinder-shaping holding the components together. These tube sights offer the shooter the ability to change the optic filters as well as providing better shade from the sun.

Open Red Dot Sights: This type of red dot scope foregoes the tube and are sometimes called “mini red dots.” These open sights help the shooter by stripping away all the elements except the targets in the objective window and the red dot itself. These red dot sights tend to be much smaller than their tubed counterparts but don’t have the benefit of filters or additional accessories.

Holographic Red Dot Sights: Introduced by Eotech, a leader in red dot scope technology, in 1998, holographic red dot sights are similar to reflex sights. Holographics involve using a red dot reticle for target acquisition. In this style, however, a laser hologram of a reticle is placed onto holographic film when it is manufactured. This transmission is included in the viewing window of the optic. The hologram is then brightened by an LED. The downside to these sights is a decreased battery life, as the LED in a holographic sight requires much more power.

Micro Ret Dot Sights: These are the smallest type of red dot sights and are offered in a tube or open sight style. Micro red dot sights are often used in conjunction with larger variable scopes.  They can be used as a backup or as a secondary sight for engagement of close-up targets that the variable scope can’t sight in. This is a popular set up for 3-gun rifle competitors. Micro sights are most popularly used with handguns. RMR red dot sights are an open micro sight that mounts on a pistol’s slide. These are very popular with target and competitive shooters allowing for more accurate and quick acquisition shooting.

Reticle Shape

When choosing a reticle for your red dot scope, much of the decision-making comes down to personal preference. The most common is the namesake dot, but reticles shaped like crosshairs, triangles or larger circles are also common. Many reticles are also caliber specific with built-in bullet drop compensation. Luckily for the indecisive shooter or those who simply like to change things up every now and again, some scopes come with the ability to switch between different reticle styles to adjust on the fly. It’s important to note that many reticles will sometimes look fuzzy and not completely clear. This is completely normal, as no red dot will offer a completely crisp and sharp reticle outline.

Reticle Size

When it comes to reticle size, the basic rule of thumb is to ensure that it is large enough to see, but not so large that it obscures your view of the target. The reticle itself is measured in minutes of angle (MOA), with a single MOA is equivalent to approximately one inch at 100 yards. Many red dot sights utilize a small dot that covers five MOA. Like reticle shape, the size comes down to personal preference. When deciding on the red dot reticle size, keep in mind the type of shooting, accuracy and range requirements you are looking for. Generally speaking, the smaller the MOA, the more precise it will be; however, the dot will be harder to see, making it more difficult to quickly engage the reticle and target.

Reticle Color

The final factor that must be considered when choosing a red dot scope is the color of the reticle. While the scope’s name implies a warm, red coloration for the reticle, there are other options available, most commonly green and blue. Factors such as lighting conditions, environment or color-blindness can play a role in deciding what color reticle you prefer, but red is generally agreed to be the best overall choice.


Red dot and holographic sights are fantastic for fast target acquisition, and don’t require parallax or eye relief. This makes them obviously appealing to a wide variety of shooters. Law enforcement/military, competition shootings and those looking for home defense can all find benefits in using a red dot sight. Red dots, in addition to being a popular option for rifles, are becoming available for dozens of pistol models as well. Different models from Glock, Sig Sauer, FN Herstal and others are now offering red dot sights mounted on top of the slide as an option. 

Buying Red Dot Sights Online

If you need further assistance in choosing the perfect red dot sight for you, or if you have questions about a particular make or model while shopping online for red dot scopes, please do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced staff by email at or over the phone at 877-446-8370.

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