A 1911 reflex sight is a great tool for beginner or seasoned shooter as it makes you a much more accurate mark. Traditionally these sights were made of iron and helped with both accuracy and efficiency. However, these days, the popular choice are 1911 red dot sights as advancements in the technology and design have improved their ability to help even more.
The best 1911 red dot sight will help you aim at your target and shoot with maximum precision, much better than traditional iron sights. They will also typically be waterproof and good for long range purposes.
Initially, red dots were used by the military to help with accuracy training, but nowadays anyone can use the technology to help them shoot. So how exactly does a 1911 reflex sight help you out?
If you have a good one, it should aide in the ease of acquiring targets, make one-handed shooting easier and improve your ability to shoot in low light. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a red dot sight –
- Reticle Size – 1911 red dots will vary in size, so you’ll want to keep in mind the size and spare room in your firearm before purchasing. However, most will have a variety of crosshairs and look a bit fuzzy, so don’t worry too much about that.
- Sights and Batteries – Keep in mind most are battery powered, without power no red dot will be visible and everything will appear black. Most have a decent battery life, but use in cold weather will affect this, so keep that in mind if that’s what you’ll be operating in.
- Accuracy – While 1911 pistols are typically more accurate than other firearms, a good reflex sight will make your shot even more accurate. It will upgrade you to high-end firearms, thanks to high quality triggers, enhanced target acquisition and decreased time.
- Water and shockproof – The majority of red dots will be both, however some may only have one feature, so read the reviews and product details carefully. In general, you’ll want both, but if you don’t shoot in damp weather frequently, waterproof may not be essential.
A Reflex Vs. Holographic Sight
The two main types of reticle projection options are a 1911 reflex sight or a 1911 holographic sight. Neither is necessarily “better” than the other, but you’ll want to keep in mind the differences and your preferences to make the best choice.
If you’re a hunter, then the reflex option will be the most common choice, as they are the most common for recreational use. A reflex sight reflects an LED sight behind a screen directly into your line of sights.
A 1911 holographic sight will be more common in use by law enforcement agencies and the military, less so with recreational users. These operate a laser from the front of the lens directly into your line of sight, much more complicated and expensive technology. These are best for strategic shooting, which is why professionals typically use them.
If you’re still a bit insure in your search for the best 1911 red dot sight, never fear, that’s why we’ve written this helpful guide! It details everything you need to know when purchasing a red dot sight as well as helpful reviews of popular products (along with their pros and cons).
1. Leupold DeltaPoint Reflex Sight
This reflex sight from Leupold is one of the best on the market, as it should be as a Leupold product. It is compatible with both 1911 pistols and other firearms, is very clear to the eye and comes complete with a rear iron sight in case of failure of the red dot.
You’ll likely need to remove that bonus rear iron sight when installing the red dot, which isn’t a big deal and actually makes the product a great value. Especially since you can use this sight with a variety of guns, from Glocks to 1911s to Berettas and more.
Keep in mind this reflex sight uses a CR 2032 battery, which is included initially (not always the case, so definitely a bonus) and is waterproof. The best feature however, is the motion-censored technology, which kicks in as soon as you move.
- Affordable batteries
- Good in low light
- Doesn’t adjust quickly to light
- Battery life variable
2. Vortex Optics Red Dot Sight
This 1911 red dot from Vortex is one of the best on the market, and something you certainly don’t want to miss, especially at this extremely reasonable price! Known for quality without breaking the bank, however it’s definitely not the fanciest model out there.
It’s mainly built for your 1911 pistols, but has been showed to pair will with rifles as well, depending on your preference. It also uses the common CR 1632 battery, making it a convenient purchase and an auto battery shut off after a period, to protect battery life.
This sight comes with click adjustments for elevation, making it easy to take with you on all kinds of trips, whether it be tactical, hunting or a competition. It’s a great grade reflex for experienced shots, but keep in mind it’s not as durable as others.
- Auto-off battery
- Shock and waterproof
- Secure exterior
- Difficult to mount some firearms
- Not as durable as others
3. Burris 300234 Fastfire Sight
This red dot sight from Burris is a great option for all types of shooters, equipped with both manual and automatic adjustment. It also can be mounted without removing a slide or milling, always handy.
It’s compatible with all types of firearms and is a bit smaller, equipping you with a handy red dot that helps you spot and aim for targets with precision. It operates well in both poorly-lit and well-lit circumstances, and is easy take take with you as it’s extremely lightweight.
It comes with a battery that will last you 10, 000 hours, certainly one of the longer-lasting options on the market. Not to mention it’s also equipped with a handy auto-turn off to preserve the battery life even more. It’s an affordable option for all types of gun owners and comes with an easy-to-use manual.
- Very durable
- Multiple compatibilities
- Not great for those with weak eyes
4. DD Dagger Defense Sight
This is one of the best 1911 tactical sights on the market and it’s at a great price as well! It’s a reflex sight, but is one of the better substitutes for holographic sights, if you’re used to that type of equipment.
A cool feature as well, this model has both red and green dots, helping focus your eye quicker than just a red dot alone. The lock screw will hold any adjustment you make to the sight. It also uses a CR 2032 battery, which is included.
Also included is a great instruction manual, Allen wrench for adjustments, and a cleaning cloth for the lens, making it an even better value. This is also a Veteran-owned company, ensuring your dollars are going towards a worthy cause, get yours today!
- Red and green dot
- Lock screw
- Tricky installation
- Not as durable
5. AT3 Tactical Red Dot Sight
The best value red dot sight is this one from AT3. It allows for exacting precision and an amazing battery life, you definitely won’t regret purchasing. This extremely dependable sight uses the common CR 2032 battery, as many red dot sights do.
It will help you acquire targets fast, from a variety of ranges, point blank up to long range. The 11 different brightness settings (9 daytime and 2 nighttime) allow for maximum visibility in all levels of light, ensuring you’re prepared for any time of the day in all types of weather.
It is also fully waterproof, extremely dependable and comes with an auto-battery turn off to protect the outstanding 50, 000 hour battery life. The lens provides one of the most clear on the market and is scratch proof, as well as shockproof.
- Scratch and shockproof
- Clear image lens
- 50, 000 hr battery life
- Tricky to adjust
6. Feyachi M36 Red Dot Sight
This 1911 reflex sight from Feyachi is a great option for all level of shooter, but it’s particularly good for beginners as it’s simple, easy and fast to use. All you have to do to get a better look is push the magnifier to the side.
It’s a great option for less-than-ideal weather or skillset, as it’s designed to prevent you from losing focus in even the harshest conditions. If you require quick switch between long and short range, then this will be a great option for you.
This sight is also a good option for sensitive eyes, as there’s eye relief on every magnifier and adjustments in wind and elevation changes. Made up of durable steel, you won’t want to miss out on this one!
- Eye Relief
- Easy to use
- Heavier than others
7. Falcon V1 3X Red Dot Sight
This red dot sight from Falcon is one of the sturdiest and most dependable on the market. Made up of dependable and weather proof aluminum, it’s also extremely easy to center. The special rail mount is designed to easily slide away when switching between 1X and 3X magnification.
With 2.5 inches of eye relief, a push-to-the-side magnifier and a shim to match the vertical height to any optic, you’ll enjoy a crystal clear image from any distance. High quality German glass is used for the anti-glare lens, ensuring nothing will ever obstruct your view.
The best part however, is the company is Veteran owned and operated and this product comes with a 100% lifetime warranty, putting you at ease with purchase. So get yours today, you won’t regret it!
- Anti-glare lens
- Eye relief
- 100% lifetime warranty
- Some mounting difficulties
- Not totally weatherproof
8. Glass Falcon HD Red Dot Sight
This red dot sight from Glass Falcon is one of the best on the market, with it’s clear dot image, easy-to-zero optics and simple installation, you won’t be disappointed!
Complete with a shockproof reflex, totally waterproof material and quick target focus, it’s everything you’re looking for in a 1911 reflex sight. Not to mention it’s completely compatible with all types of firearms and the lens is scratch proof, making it a wonderful value purchase.
This red dot sight is also extremely lightweight, comes with a wrench and screws for adjustments. There are 10 brightness levels (8 daytime and 2 nighttime) that allow for amazing visibility on the sunniest days or poorest winter conditions. The best feature however, is that it comes with a lifetime battery replacement.
- 10 brightness levels
- Lifetime battery replacement
- Not as durable
- A bit large
What is a red dot sight good for?
In our experience red dot sights are good for many things. A 1911 red dot can help with quicker focusing on the intended target, improve long-range consistency and accuracy, help with adjustments in low light, aides those with poor eyesight and increases shooter awareness.
Overall, it makes you a more informed and accurate shooter.
Do 1911 red dots improve accuracy?
In our experience, yes 1911 red dots help with accuracy a lot. This is thanks to enhanced target focus and acquisition and a lower match time to the target, meaning you’ll have your shot quicker, before a target can move out of focus.
This is the main reason we recommend red dots.
Can you see a red dot sight at night?
Yes, you can typically see a red dot sight at night. This is especially true if you purchase a sight that has been manufactured with nighttime brightness settings (as detailed in the reviews), with many even having night vision.
Keep in mind however, depending on the brightness, or if your sight has not been specifically manufactured for night use, it may scare off animals.