Best Red Dot Magnifier For The Money – Reviews of 2018
A few days ago, I did an article about the best red dots currently available at the market.
As you can all remember, we saw that the key downside of these sights is lack of magnification, making them suitable for short range shooting only.
Luckily, the market was quick to realize this issue and jumped in on time to fix it for good.
And today, you can pair your red dot with a red dot magnifier and enjoy accurately shooting long range with a red dot as well.
With that in mind, I entered the market to find the best red dot magnifier models that come with a budget-friendly price plus performance oriented features (including a reliable magnification power).
Without wasting a single second, I’d like to walk you through my findings below…
What’s a Red Dot Magnifier?
First…what do we mean by the term red dot magnifier?
Simply stated, this is a device that you mount right behind your red dot sight with the primary purpose of increasing your shooting range and enhancing your overall accuracy.
To understand how that works, let’s first look at the red dot sight. (I’m assuming you bought one of the 10 sights I recommended to you in the earlier post) if you pair this sight with your rifle, you’ll get to enjoy a lot of benefits compared to the iron sights—including better target acquisition, flawless transition from target to target, to name but a few.
However, the sad part about these sights is that they don’t improve the range offered by an iron sight, which means you can only enjoy the above benefits for short range shooting.
What if you’re using your rifle to shoot long range?
This is where the red dot with magnifier charges in;
You place this device right behind the red dot (on your rifle) to do exactly as its name suggests—magnify your target object that’s far away for easy shooting.
Most of the magnifiers I came across offered around 3x magnification power. Though this might not seem like a good magnification value, it’ll definitely make a difference in your mid to long range accuracy.
Now that you’ve seen what a red dot magnifier can do, let’s head straight to the 10 red dot magnifier reviews that I’ve prepared for you below…
Our 10 Best Red Dot Magnifiers Reviews:
1. TMS Tactical 3x Magnifier Scope with Quick Flip to Side FTS Mount
TMS Tactical 3x Magnifier instantly turns your tactical red dot into a long-range sniping scope (with up to 3x magnification power). Featuring fully coated lens, this sight will also grant you the ultimate optical performance.
Experienced hunters who have worked with other magnifiers before will agree that combining the red dot with some magnifier models makes the dot reticle stay out of the center in the magnifier field of view. This is attributed to the misalignment of the optical axis between your sight and magnifier.
Luckily, this TMS magnifier comes with the adjustable elevation and windage which enables you to obtain better alignment with your red dot—without necessarily changing the sight actual zero.
This magnifier is also easy to mount. It works with the 30mm standard scope mount of your desired center height. Moreover, this magnifier comes with the quick flip to side mount that lets you get your magnifier on or off the sight effortlessly.
2. UTG 3X Magnifier with Flip-to-side QD Mount
UTG 3X Magnifier is an excellent option for anyone looking for an effective ar 15 magnifier. It boasts of precision machining plus anodizing for maximum durability and wear resistance.
The magnifier also comes with a remarkable list of features that will give you a unique shooting experience. One such feature involves the broadband multi-coated lens which enables you to enjoy crystal clear 3x images of your target. Also, it comes with a 30% wider field of view (compared to other models) which ensures faster target acquisition.
Like the previous optic, this model also features adjustable windage and elevation which ensures optimum view centering. Because it has a 42mm center height, you’ll have an easy time combining it with most of the common dot sights out there.
Luckily, this magnifier also comes with the innovative flip to side mounting method, so you’ll have an easy time removing it on/off the sight.
Other features include adjustable eyepiece for easier dioptric correction, quick detach lever lock mounting base (patented), and nitrogen purged and fully sealed for fog/waterproof performance.
3. Sightmark 5x Tactical Magnifier Pro
Sightmark 5x Tactical Magnifier Pro comes dedicated to increasing the versatility of your red dot sight by expanding its range as well as target acquisition. It is built on approved rubber armor housing for the ultimate durability and longevity.
In a single swift motion, its flip mount design enables you to easily and quickly increase your red dot magnification up to 5x, allowing you to get a greater engagement range in just any situation. This magnifier has also been redesigned to improve the eye relief (increased up to 3.5”)—making it safer and more comfortable for you to use it with higher caliber weapons.
Like the previous models, it also comes with windage and elevation adjustments which facilitate easier reticle adjustment.
The slide to side mount grants you a rapid transition between your weapon optical systems. You can securely mount it on either Picatinny or weaver mounts.
And its weatherproof/shockproof/shatterproof/lightweight frame makes it a reliable magnifier for use in all environments.
4. Bushnell AR731304 AR Optics, 3X Magnifier
Unlike some of the scope magnifier models you’ll find out there, this Bushnell AR731304 AR Optics pairs perfectly well with ALL red dots you can think of. You just mount it right behind your red dot, and it’s ready to magnify an object far away for easy, more precise shooting.
Another feature that separates it from other magnifiers is the ambidextrous flip mount, which favors both lefties and right-handed shooters. With this mount, you just flip the magnifier out of the way when not in use and bring it back up with a simple flipping motion.
This magnifier is built to the same high-quality standard as other Bushnell optics. That is, it features fully multi-coated lens for optimal light transmission, plus it’s waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof.
Probably the best part about this magnifier is its unlimited eye relief, which assures you of the safest, most comfortable shooting experience.
5. Primary Arms 3X Long Eye Relief Red Dot Magnifier
Primary Arms 3X Long Eye Relief Red Dot Magnifier also appears on our list as one of the top red dot magnifiers that transform your red dot reflex sight into a longer range optic.
Ideal for shooters and hunters alike, this magnifier comes with an integrated, adjustable diopter which gives you a fast focus ability to help keep your target image clear. In addition to that, it comes with adjustable azimuth and elevation which helps maintain the dot centered in the field of view.
The model also provides you with a longer eye relief which works together with the wider field of view to provide you with enhanced shooting experience.
Above all, it comes with a rubber armor sleeve that keeps it protected from all the harsh impacts it might encounter. And the one year warranty acts as an assurance of its quality and reliability in any situation.
6. Mako 7X Magnifier for Red Dot/Reflex Sights (3rd Generation)
Rated as one of the top magnifiers for ar15, this product also comes reasonably priced without sacrificing its quality and functionality.
It comes with multi-coated lens and 30mm which ensures excellent light transmission—increasing the clarity of your images.
The magnifier is designed using heavy-duty materials to make it last a lifetime. It also comes covered with protective rubber armor which enables it to withstand severe shooting conditions as well as the recoil generated by your ar15 rifle.
Other than a durable design, this sight is also intended for use in all shooting situations. This is made possible by its shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof design. So, no matter what the weather looks like, this optic will still give you the level of performance you’re looking for.
Overall, if you’re looking for a great red dot magnifier with greater magnification than 3x, then this model is a sure bet.
7. Ultimate Arms Gear Dark Earth 5X "CQB" Tactical Magnifier for Red Dot Scope
Whether you wish to increase the magnification of your sight or simply give it the edge it needs, this Ultimate Arms Gear Dark Earth 5X "CQB" Tactical Magnifier will be an excellent option for you.
The magnifier comes with 5x magnification to let you enhance the capabilities of your red dot for longer range shooting. Unlike most of its rivals which are designed to work with specific red dots, this model can be paired with nearly all sight and deliver the expected results without any problems.
Features such as shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof make it ideal for use in the harshest shooting conditions. Don’t forget the magnifier is also covered with a rugged protective rubber case for even better reliability.
Thanks to its multi-coated lens, this optics can draw a lot of light to provide you with crisper and brighter images.
8. CRUSHUNT AR15 Rifle Scope 3X Magnifier
For those looking for an affordable 3x red dot magnifier, the CRUSHUNT AR15 Rifle Scope would be an excellent choice.
Even though it comes with an affordable cost, its level of quality and performance cannot be matched to other models in the same price range. The fact that it’s constructed from durable aluminum alloy with anodized finish (matte black) makes it a reliable model for use in the harshest environments for a longer period of time.
It features up to 3x magnification power, granting you more accurate and clearer image sight. It makes it so easy to (precisely) align your red dot on your target and keep it in that position throughout the trigger process.
Mounting this magnifier is super-easy. You simply screw the integral mount to attach or detach it from your firearm. Like all the other optics we’ve featured on this list, this magnifier has a waterproof/fogproof design for the ultimate reliability.
9. AT3 Tactical RRDM 3X Red Dot Magnifier with Flip-to-Side Mount
Still looking for a top-quality ar 15 magnifier? Well, the AT3 Tactical RRDM 3X Red Dot Magnifier is another popular model you can invest your cash and trust in.
This magnifier comes ready to give you the real experience of these two worlds: close quarters red dot advantages and the long-range scope benefits. It features a sturdy flip to side design which helps you easily transit to each of these worlds with a simple push of the button and flip of the magnifier.
Accuracy gets a new meaning with this magnifier. It presents you with crystal-clear, multi-coated lens which gives you sharper sight pictures. The included adjustable screws make it easy for you to set the red dot to the center for better sight view. The fast focus eyepiece also contributes to crisper sight pictures.
As you’d expect of any optics from ATM, and on this list, this magnifier has a durable construction of 6061 T6 aluminum plus a matte anodized finish (for scratch resistance). In addition to that, it has ruggedized rubber shrouding for shockproof capabilities.
On top of it all, it is backed by the AT3 lifetime warranty.
10. Hammers 30mm Tube 3x Magnifier Scope for Red Dot Reflex Sight
The last best 3x magnifier for red dot on our list is the Hammers 30mm Tube 3x Magnifier Scope. This is an affordable and consistent magnifier that I’d recommend to everyone working on a tight budget.
As a great add-on to a tactile red dot, this magnifier will instantly transform your sight into a sight system for extended range targeting and sniping. It has adjustable windage and elevation to let you better align it with your red dot without necessarily changing the true zero of your sight.
The magnifier also features fully coated lens which ensures maximum light transmission for more clarity. Mind you; you’ll not have any issues sighting your target in low lit conditions with this sight.
It works with 30mm scope mount of the same center height as that of your red dot sight.
The rubber armored grip area and turret ensure a shockproof performance. Though it will work with a flip mount, it doesn’t come with one, so you’ll need to help you get the magnifier on/off sight easily and quickly.
How To Buy a Red Dot Magnifiers?
So far so good!
Now you know what the top-of-the-line red dot magnifiers you can get on the market today. Next, we take our next step and outline some crucial aspects that will help you pick the right magnifier for you.
I must admit that I used the same criteria I’m about to share with you below and it made my job of searching for the best magnifier from the multiple models out there much easier and faster.
Let’s take a closer look at these attributes:
The REAL reason why you’re buying a magnifier is that you want to get a good view of your target standing miles away. This makes magnification power one of the most crucial factors to look for in a red dot magnifier.
That said, most of the models on the market will offer you a magnification range of 2x to 3x (though you can still find models offering you up to 5x magnification power).
The question is… which one should you buy?
I know you’re tempted to say the 5X magnification because it sounds better, but I won’t advise you to go for it. This is because these magnifiers usually come with smaller, compact designs, which reduces the number of lenses inside them. For this reason, there’ll be less light redirected for illuminating the reticle, making it almost impossible for you to see your reticle (especially when shooting in low light situations).
My advice is: go for 2x-3x magnification. This will enable you to accurately shoot an object as far as 200-300 yards, which I consider an improvement compared to the 100 yards you can shoot with the red dot alone.
As it’s the case with all the other gun optics, the design, and construction quality of your magnifier also be an essential factor to bear in mind.
Make sure you get yourself a magnifier that has a rugged and robust design such that it can stand up to the harshest hunting conditions as well as your rifle recoil. A shockproof model will also prevent it from getting easily damaged in case you accidentally drop it.
Additionally, make sure your magnifier has weatherproof and fogproof to ensure you can use it in all types of weather without any issues.
Whenever we discuss about buying gun optics, I always recommend you to focus on the eye relief. For the magnifiers, you’ll also need to do the same if you want to enjoy comfortable shooting.
Several eye relief inches will work for you, although it will depend on the zoom capacity of your magnifier and your rifle caliber and design.
NOTE: You should also mind the eye relief factor when mounting a magnifier to your rifle mount system. Try to experiment with different mounting positions until you settle on one that offers you clearer, crisper reticle images.
The mounting mechanism of your magnifier should also influence your buying decision.
I strongly advise you against going for the fixed mounts at all costs. Instead, go for the flip mounts.
Remember that one of the biggest advantages of using a red dot magnifier is that it lets you easily switch to using the red dot alone. If you mount it using a fixed mount, however, you might have serious issues when you want to quickly switch to red dot alone, say when shooting a game at close range. And even if you try using the magnifier for close range hunting, it won’t work! (talk of a horrible field of view).
Luckily, a flip mount system will make it easy and quick for you to put on your magnifier whenever you need it and get it off when you need to use the red dot alone.
What if you don’t get a magnifier with the flip mount? In this case, you can check for flip mounts that work with a red dot.
From what you can see in our top-rated magnifiers reviews section above, the cost greatly varies as you move from one magnifier to the next.
How much you should spend should be based on what you intend to use the magnifier for.
If you want to use it for practice target shooting, then you shouldn’t spend too much on the device. Look for a simple model with a reasonable cost and basic features.
What if you’re looking for something you can use for self-defense or hunting? Well, in such cases, you can get a high-end product with high-end features and excellent performance. You’ll need to spend a decent amount for this.
Does that mean you can’t get a high-end model at a low cost? NO... if you do your research well, you’ll get plenty of top-quality magnifiers at a fair price.
(In fact, all the 10 products I’ve picked for you above come with most of the high-end features, great performance, and a reasonable cost)
Magnified Red Dot vs Scope
“Should I use a red dot magnifier or a riflescope?” This is one of the most asked questions on gun optics forums.
One thing you’ll come to love about the red dot and magnifier models is their incredible versatility. They can give you not just the zoom but also a true 1x whenever you flip out your magnifier. In the case of a scope, you’ll usually get around 1.25x or 1.5x as the least magnification value.
The main idea behind using a scope is to enable you to get a greater shooting range. A red dot magnifier also comes with an effective magnification value and will help you achieve this purpose.
Also, keep in mind that using a red dot plus magnifier will let you enjoy the unique benefits that come with these sights. These include unlimited eye relief, faster target acquisition, and easy transition from target to target (remember these sights allow you to shoot with your both eyes open).
A red dot also feels much lighter than a scope. Weight is significant for hunters as they need to keep their gear as much light as possible.
Overall, I’d recommend you to get a magnifier plus red dot combo because it’ll expose you to a greater shooting experience than the scope. However, you should also let your personal preferences help you decide whether to get magnified red dot or scope.
Check the following video to see how the two devices work in a real shooting scenario.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I buy a red dot magnifier or a riflescope?
In our previous section, we’ve compared how the two optics perform when used in shooting. Refer to the discussion to get an idea which optic will work for you.
2. Can I get a red dot and magnifier combo?
Yes! It’s possible to get a red dot that has magnification capabilities as well I stead of buying a red dot and magnifier separately. These combos are designed in such a way that the magnifier can flip off to the side when not in use and quickly be brought back when you want to use it.
If you go through our red dot magnifier reviews above, you’ll come across such products at a fair cost.
3. How do I use a red dot magnifier?
Using a red dot magnifier isn’t complicated. It’s similar to using your riflescope. Check the following video on how to mount and use your magnifier for AR15.
As we’ve repeated severally in this post, a red dot magnifier is an essential device for all shooters and hunters who want to improve their accuracy.
Using a red dot with magnifier enables you to extend the shooting range of your red dot, allowing you to shoot targets up to 200-300 yards with the ultimate precision.
Hopefully, this in-depth guide has provided you with all the essential information you need to know on how to pick the most suitable magnifier for your gun.
Our list of the 10 top-rated magnifiers will offer you some of the highly recommended magnifiers that you can trust to provide you with the best performance, quality, and reliability.