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  • Writer's pictureRay Campbell

I Tested And Ranked The Best Red Dot Sights For AK-47

It's hard to find the perfect red dot for your AK-47. Luckily for you, these affordable options come highly recommended from reviewers who really know their stuff.

best red dot sights for ak47

FYI, prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.


1. Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight


best red dot sights for ak47

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: The top load mechanism allows you to easily change the battery (without removing the sight).

Helpful review: "WOW!! What a beautiful optic for the hard to set-up optics AK rifle ! I will list all the items I used to get a real nice lower 1/3 co-witness on the AK. First of all, I never heard of anyone getting absolute co-witness with an AK, unless you use a dust cover type of rail system (in which the verdict is not in on how good they actually work). Some people love them, some people hate them.
What I did for my optic set-up was, I attached a UTG steel side plate to my receiver. It can be a little tricky so if any doubts it, let a gunsmith or machinist do it so it is absolutely in line with the top of the receiver (or you will have problems). I then attached the Arsenal SM-13 picatinny low profile rail system.
Just a word of advice , I had to make a 1/16 spacer plate to put between the receiver and UTG steel side plate, so the Arsenal rail would sit directly over the barrel. If not, the optic would have been too far to the right. To make the 1/16 spacer plate, I used a piece of 1/16 aluminum, put the UTG side plate on top of it and trace it out, marked where the holes are and center punched them.
After cutting out the spacer plate and drilling the holes, I cleaned up all the rough edges with a file and sandpaper. Then, I painted it black to match side plate. I am extremely happy with the results and will let everyone know how it holds up in the real world. But I am pretty sure this set-up with hold tough.
MY FRIEND'S REVIEW:
"Let's be honest while purchasing this item I thought it would definitely not hold up on the AK-47. Well after several attempts to prove so I can admit I was definitely wrong. The Vortex Optics Venom Red dot is amazing. This tiny little guy is amazing even for an AK-47. Now I wouldn't recommend anything past 100 yards with this red dot. But if you want to keep your gun dialed in for medium to short range, then this is the way to go. I would recommend to buying this sight for anyone." — Justin Manning 

Get it from Amazon now: $249.00 & FREE Returns

 

2. Holosun 510C Open Reflex Sight


best red dot sights for ak47

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: 2 MOA Dot & 65 MOA Circle.

Helpful review: "I compared the 510 green and 512 gold side by side on my AK. Color – green was the brightest and easiest for my eye to pick up. Just seemed sharper and less distortion. Gold was bright when turned up but also some fuzzy like distortion around the circle. Window size – the 510 and 512 technically have the same size window, but peripheral vision was much better with the 510. The 512 is a closed emitter (therefore weighs more too), so maybe my eye playing tricks didn't like looking through the longer “tube’ of the 512. Was able to easily sight the 510 at the range using the included tool to get good groupings. Don't spend $$$ more for another brand. Highly recommend this feature packed green dot!
MY NEIGHBOR’S REVIEW:
Using Aimpoints and EOTechs for most applications I decided to give Holosun a try as a “beater” optic. After destroying a few other budget brand competitors on the gas tube rail mount of an AK the 510c was the choice. Short of no cowitness with this particular setup, it takes the heat and recoils no issue. The finish and clarity was impressive coming from an optic snob. I understand why folks enjoy the Holosun brand. I will continue to use the sight and further my thoughts and opinions. I would recommend the right applications.
A FEW WORDS FROM A NEIGHBOR:
The packaging of this product is impressive, and then when you get it open the product itself is very nice. I love the auto on/off feature and the selectable reticle (circle/dot, dot, or just circle). The QD mount is solid and the entire product is well built. It is the perfect height for absolute co-witness with my Magpul flip up sights and was easy to zero. It takes the very common CR2032 battery (which I use in a lot of equipment) and if it does even 1/10th of the advertised battery life it will be so much better than any of my current red dots. Been using it for several months now. Had it on a 12 gauge shotgun, a 5.56 AR Pistol, Tavor SAR in 5.56, and it finally came to rest on my AR Pistol in 300blk. The auto on/off feature is great." — Kyle G. 

Get it from Amazon now: $309.99 & FREE Returns

 

3. Sig Sauer Romeo5 1x20mm Red Dot Sight


best red dot sights for ak47

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: 10 illumination settings (8 daylight, 2 NV) for visibility in all light conditions.

Helpful review: "So first, I purchased this red dot because it was cheap. I have an AK that I've shot maybe twice for a total of 20-30 rounds. My plan was to put an optic on it so I could run for a while since I got a ton of 762x39. I have a number of holosuns and wanted something different and didn’t feel like breaking the bank on an Aimpoint, so the Romeo 5 fit the bill.
I took it to the range and was having issues matching up the sights with the red dot and still hitting zero when I noticed the sights on my AK are slightly canted making my groups hit about 8 inches to the left of the point of aim at 100 yards. Of course Arsenal doesn’t want to own up to it without me paying to ship it and fix it. I told them no thanks. Since then I’ve run maybe 1200 rounds through it and bypass the iron sights. No POI shift, flickering or anything. Last weekend I put it on a Stribog and once again it worked fine. I’ve had it for a few months now and have not turned it off. I keep it set around the mid brightness level. What I really like about this optic is that it comes with two mounts. So far I’ve been running the low mount exclusively but it’s nice to know I have the tall one as well in case I run it on something else.
As for the negatives… I don’t find it particularly attractive as the logo is a little on the large size. In addition the front lense is very reflective which gives the optic just a little bit of tint. It’s not a huge issue but at dusk it is a bit darker than a holosun or T1. Otherwise I think think this optic is a great value for what it is. I don’t anticipate taking this thing into battle anywhere, so I don’t need something crazy durable. It’s durable enough with me bumping it around when I run drills. If I need a battle ready optic I’ll run an Aimpoint or eotech but for range trips and drills and normal stuff it’s just fine.
A FEW WORDS FROM A NEIGHBOR:
Best sub two hundred dollar micro red dot. I have this on an American Defense Micro Aimpoint mount. Clarity is on par with my Aimpoint H-1, it seems durable, and comes with both a lower 1/3 co-witness mount for AR-15's or low mount for an AK Ultimak Rail, etc. This is now my go to red dot when you need to get sights on your other weapons. I believe this red dot is reliable enough to put on your go to home defense rifle, and I would be confident on running it on my Patrol Rifle for duty.
MY FRIEND’S REVIEW:
Love the Romeo 5. I was going to buy another vortex crossfire but decided to try the sig and I’m happy I did! I used the low profile mount for my AK pistol it looks great. It’s not as round and as the vortex, so it gives it a nice ergonomic look. As far as quality goes, both are good. However, I will say the sig’s dot seems to be more precise and look better on the target. The only thing I would say I don’t love is: the brightness settings seem to have a massive jump in the middle of the settings. It goes from perfect, then the next setting is WAY bright, where as the vortex is consistently brighter every setting. And... the automatic turn off setting is really nice on the Sig to save battery life." — William Cruz

Get it from Amazon now: $129.19 & FREE Returns

 

4. Vortex Optics Crossfire Gen-II Red Dot Sight


best red dot sights for ak47

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Up to 50,000-hour battery life; night-vision compatibility.

Helpful review: "I won't say great "budget" red dot. I won't say "good for the money". That implies that you're giving up quality for price, and that's something I won't do. I will, however say that if you're looking for a tough, no frills, quality red dot, this one is for you. I wanted a red dot that could stand the rigors of being mounted to a defensive 12 gauge, and I wanted something that was free of gimmicks and unnecessary doodads. There are similar red dots out there, but nothing could sway me from the Vortex name. Owning a Vortex Strikefire II already, I've dealt with their customer service a few times, and let me tell you, nobody stands behind their product more than Vortex. When you have quality optics like this and incredible customer service to back it up, there's no other choice as far as I'm concerned.
PROS:
No frills quality optic. Will withstand shotgun mounting. Two mounts included - so if I want to go from AK platform to AR platform, no problem. Small and unobtrusive. Wet conditions are no problem
CONS:
Brightness control is a bit hard to turn, and it must be turned somewhere between zero and eleven when you want to use it. It does not go from eleven back to zero with one click. Further, it does not feature activation when it senses movement. You either turn it on, leave it on, or turn it off. I don't see this making a difference because I don't foresee needing a red dot if somebody kicks my bedroom door in.
This red dot is perfect for my needs, and you cannot go wrong with the Vortex name. Side note - I do have astigmatism. All red dots look like they're more of a line than a dot. People with better eyesight than mine tell me it's a nice, crisp dot." — T. Milhouse 

Get it from Amazon now: $149.00 & FREE Returns

 

5. Aimpoint PRO 2 MOA with QRP2 Mount and Spacer


best red dot sights for ak47

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: 30,000-hours (3 years) of constant-on battery life.

Helpful review: "With this Aimpoint PRO you truly do "get more than you pay for." I switched to it from an Eotech 512.A65 because I hated the 65MOA ring on the Eotech.
It seemed to always cause problems with my vision for both eyes open shooting. I also found that the Eotech was a little low for me when mounted straight to the top rail. I may have needed a riser for it, but the fact that I was not having much luck with the reticle and the height issue was not really worth me getting a riser to see if that might help. To me the reticle being compatible with your eye, shooting style and brain is the most important part of the optic.
When you get this it is simply packaged in a plain white cardboard box. No fancy tupperware or pelican case for it. Simply a plain white box with some stickers on it. Inside it some run of the mill foam. So why just a box? Well, this was designed to be purchased and used by police departments. When Aimpoint first introduced them they were only available for purchase by law enforcement. Most police departments, at least the ones I have been associated with, could care less what comes of it, they just want a product that works.
The cardboard box also helps to keep the overall cost of the product down. The boxes are literally meant to be tossed (or recycled if that's how you swing) when the optic is taken out and mounted. Also inside the box is an allen wrench for taking the riser off, shorter screws for using without the riser installed and one 1/3N-Cell battery.
First impressions of the mount and optic together is "that is one HUGE knob..." It is much bigger than it looks in the pictures, and it sticks out a fair amount. The riser actually looks nice, and of course being the gadget kind of guy I am I had to take it off to see how it would look without it in place. You quickly see that you need the riser, or you will end up with a sore neck and cheek. The torque limiting mount is actually very nice.
In the past, I have seen quite a few top rails that have been permanently damaged by over tightening rail attachments. Once you click it three times it is set, and very secure. I tend to give it a click or two whenever I pick up my rifle or get out to the range just to make sure that it is good and tight. The knob is low enough that it does not interfere with your vision, and I have yet to have it get in the way when shooting.
Overall, the mount is very well made and a wonderfully innovative design. One thing that I did do was when I reinstalled the riser after experimenting, I put some blue (242) Loc-Tite on the screws, just to ensure that the screws were not able to back out on their own. While I do not foresee this as an issue, one can never be too careful with something used as a defensive tool. I have removed this mount and optic several times to test the return to zero, and each time I have not had any shift in my zero.
Something to note, though, is that you will need to return the optic to the same rail slot in order to maintain zero, moving the optic on your rail will result in the shift. If you plan to re-index the optic on your rail you will want to go back and zero your rifle and optic again.
Pre-installed on the optic are lens covers and a battery and turret cap keeper. The lens covers are of decent quality, and appear to be of the same type as Butler Creek, but appear to be better made. The cover that comes on the rear is clear and the front cover is black. While you can get two clear covers, the combination of the clear and black will work for a shooter that leaves both eyes open. Even though you cannot see through the optic, the dot will still superimpose onto your vision and you can still use the red dot. This can be used in a panic situation where you have your rifle, and have not flipped the front cap.
One thing that I did find though is that when shooting in this way that my shots were hitting about 1" low at 25 yards. While not a huge point of impact change, if you are shooting farther that will open all the way up to 4" low at 100 yards. In a CQB situation, 1" low is not going to make a huge difference, and will still affect the desired outcome on a torso sized target.
But it is something that you want to practice and find out how much of a change in impact you will get. The cap keeper that comes with the optic is nice rubber, and will hold the caps for you. The keeper connects the battery cover and both of the adjustment turret covers. So if you are at the range and remove your adjustment turret caps they will stay attached to the optic. This is a nice feature so that you do not lose your caps. I have lost a fair share of turret caps in the past just by setting them down and then leaving without them.
The adjustment turrets are 1/2MOA per click. The clicks were a little weak, but when I switched from a screwdriver to a coin I was able to feel them a lot better. This is probably because the clicks transfer through the metal coin better than through the plastic handle of a screw driver. So I just use a coin now to make any adjustments and any of the common coins you will find in your pocket will work.
There are a total of 10 brightness settings on this optic. While four of them are for night vision devices, the other six are visible without night vision. I do find that only the last three settings are actually visible, even in complete darkness. So there are three settings that seem to be lost in limbo: they are too bright for night vision and not bright enough to be seen without night vision. I tend to use the settings at the 8 and 9 position.
With this dot I have found that you want to keep the brightness as low as you can for your situation because the brighter the dot, the more it bleeds in the dark. Also of no real use if the brightest setting, or the 10 setting. It is so bright that the dot bleeds, and it actually illuminates the outside edge of the optic around the glass.
I currently have mine sighted at 25yds for CQB/Home defense work, but have shot it out to 300yds and was consistently hitting a 4MOA gong without any problems. The best way to find a good zero for yourself is to find the furthest you plan to shoot. Once you have that information you can plug your data into a ballistic calculator and find out where the bullet will cross your line of sight. So if you want to zero to 300 yards the round you fire round will cross your line of sight at 36yds and then arc back to the point of aim at 300yds. This gives you both a close in zero and a ranged zero if you were ever to need both. This is typically called a battle zero, or BZO.
One feature that really helped to sell me on the Aimpoint PRO was that it is waterproof to 150ft (5.5ATA for the diver types).
While I do not see myself taking my rifle SCUBA diving anytime soon, the waterproof nature of this optic is a nice feature. I am in the Pacific Northwest where it tends to rain most of the year, so range time might include being out in the rain. Unfortunately that is just a fact of life here. It is a great comfort to know that in a hard rain my optic will not be damaged and will continue to function as designed.
Another positive to it being waterproof is that if it gets dirty, dusty or otherwise fouled it can be removed from your rifle and rinsed off in the sink. I have done this once after training sessions where I was running and moving around a muddy range all day. It was a great relief to know that I could wash it off, let it dry and oil everything down.
This is truly a great optic for the price. What you get with this optic is the same high end Aimpoint quality, battery life and simplicity for a smaller price tag. While there are some differences in the battery life between the Aimpoint PRO and the CompM3, they are not really worth the extra money that you end up spending in my opinion.
A battery life of 30,000 hours is pretty good and translates out to 3.7 years. The CompM3 has a battery life of 50,000 hours, or 6.2 years. When a new battery will run you $6, I couldn't justify the added expense.
Whether you are looking for a new optic with less clutter, or something with amazing battery life this optic is amazing for the price. You cannot go wrong with this as a red dot sight. It functions well, is reliable and holds a zero. Don't be fooled by the price tag, this is a solid optic that will stand up every bit as good as any other Aimpoint out there." — Steve D. Walker 

Get it from Amazon now: $482.00 & FREE Returns

 

6. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 1x20mm Red Dot Sight


best red dot sights for ak47

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Mounts easily on most picatinny rails, and is compatible with rifles, pistols, shotguns and muzzleloaders.

Helpful review: "I always put off buying a TRS-25. I figured it's a pricier "cheap" red dot. I always opted for the red dots in the $25-50 price range (Field Sport, Feyachi, Midten), figuring they're just range red dots. I've owned half a dozen of these red dots in that price range, and even the ones that are "TRS-25 Clones." I always assumed the ones that look just like the TRS-25 are pretty much the exact same thing with different markings on them.
6 years after buying my first cheap red dot for range time, I've finally bought the TRS-25 that I saw then. I just always figured it wasn't worth double or triple the cost of those. Upon closer inspection, they're actually a fair bit different, in small ways. I'm surprised in a good way, and the quality of the TRS-25 is a bit nicer.
The dot is actually clear, but it appears like a little star burst in the exact same pattern as all my other red dots. It's a very minor astigmatism I have, and it's not an issue. I noticed the same pattern on Aimpoint PROs, etc... It comes with the expected items in a nice cardboard box: little wrench, a bikini cover, and a battery that is not dead inside the unit with a plastic liner keeping it from making contact. Here are some insights:
- The emitter inside the rear seems a little more thoughtfully constructed and built in.
- Glass has a very light blue tint to it, which I've seen on some.
- The battery dial is easy enough to turn, but not loose.
- Again, having owned several of the cheaper red dots, some of them are looser, and some are so tight you can hardly turn the thing. This is a happy medium.
- The caps for the turrets do not have any notch or points machined into them to use them to adjust the actual turrets when they're off, but a shell case rim did just fine. They have a concave notch machined into them, so something like that shell case rim or a dime would work perfectly.
Everything about it feels like it's better finished and machined, and overall a bit nicer than my previous models. I didn't think the difference would be noticeable at all, much less as much as it is. Even the mounting screw and plate catch are better machined, and this mounting plate catch is spring loaded. Most are not.
I'm running it on top of a spare UTG 0.83" riser I already had, the medium model. It allows for the lower 1/3-ish co-witness with standard height AR rifle sights. The UTG riser is not included. I'm planning on purchasing another one for another rifle running a cheaper older model. The older model is nice, but costs about 2/3 of this price. It just started flickering on and off after a year. I had to open it up and tighten stuff up and hopefully it'll continue working." — C. Kiehl

Get it from Amazon now: $110.99 & FREE Returns

 

7. Feyachi Absolute Co-Witness Reflex Sight


best red dot sights for ak47

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Fully adjustable height, brightness, windage and elevation. "Where the dot goes, so does the bullet!"

Helpful review: "First of all, I like this reflex sight. It’s size, weight, stout construction, functionality, and price is hard to beat. The field of view is more than adequate for fast target acquisition, plus various reticle brightness settings allow preferences in different light conditions. Combined with a variety of reticle choices and the fore mentioned features, it’s very hard to outclass this sight given its price range. And it looks cool on an AR-15 or variant rifle. Has to look cool.
As rifle owners and builders add components, functionality and gadgets to their builds, rifle weight increases. Personally, I’m concerned with weight. However, weight aside, besides the rifle itself, the sighting system is critical in the build. The sight must function according to the shooters requirements and provide accurate placement at various ranges. The RS-30 in my opinion provides excellent sighting in a compact, lightweight, easy to use package that doesn’t add unnecessary functionality and weight, such as lasers. Sighting in the reticle is accomplished using the provided wrenches. Reticle lock down is provided. Regardless of eye position, the reticle holds target adequately. Iron backup sights work exceptional well through the lens.
Construction is robust. The hood is stout providing a glare shield and should protect the lens area quite well. Rail attachment is good given the overall weight and profile of the sight. This is all accomplished by not creating a huge lump on top of a rifle keeping the overall profile of an AR-15 quite low and attractive. Looks cool. My opinion’ a good job Feyachi.
Electronics provide the on-off button location for a right-hand shooter’s support hand operation. Strong side left hand shooters should be able to adapt to this location with practice. The reticle selection lever is located in a protected position however easy to reach and adjust. Battery storage is good plus provides a coin operated cover for easy removal. Batteries are readily available at local stores I’ve not tested the one-hour auto-power shut-off feature. Battery removal may need to be revisited.
To my Feyachi friends, a couple of suggestions to improve on an already good sight. My suggestions would no-doubt add price to the optic however would significantly increase the reliability, desirability and overall functionality of the optic. This optic can compete with much more expensive optics.
First, a positive ‘click’ positioning lever on the reticle selection feature would insert the reticle precisely in the lens eliminating minor adjustments to center the reticle. Second, windage and elevation adjustments would be more convenient with coin operated adjustment screw; currently the operator must always have the adjustment wrench available. Watch out for painted directions on the optic as some builders paint their rifles. Third, add a quick rail attach or detach feature protected from unintended release. Lastly, and no-doubt the most costly improvement is providing some degree of waterproofing to the electronics and lens.
Given the existing sight and with these improvements, I would not have an issue paying more. Plus this sight could complete with optics costing hundreds of dollars more. Thank you for the opportunity to provide you my personal feedback to your RS-30 Reflex sight." — Richard Harrold

Get it from Amazon now: $69.98 & FREE Returns

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