The red dot is a favorite sight of many shooters because it’s highly convenient and accurate at short range distances. Moreover, you should not worry about parallax with such a sight, which is a big plus too.
However, the biggest downside of red dot sights is that they are not so accurate at longer ranges. That could be a big problem. The good news is that it’s possible to address that problem with help of a magnifier. By placing this device behind your scope, you can notably enhance shooting range and improve accuracy.
That’s why we have covered the best 5 red dot magnifiers on the market. Let’s have a look.
- 1 Best Red Dot Magnifiers 2018
- 2 1. Vortex Optics VMX-3T Magnifier with Built-In Flip Mount – Best Overall
- 3 2. Hammers 30mm Tube 3x Magnifier Scope for Red Dot Reflex Sight – Best Magnifier For The Money
- 4 3. UTG 3X Magnifier with Flip-to-side QD Mount – Best Adjustable Magnifier
- 5 4. Burris 300216 AR-Tripler Gen 2 – Best Eye Relief Magnifier
- 6 5. EOTech G33.STSTAN Side Mount Red Dot Sight Magnifier – Best Military Grade Magnifier
- 7 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Red Dot Magnifier
- 8 Our Final Review for the Best Red Dot Magnifiers
Best Red Dot Magnifiers 2018
Vortex VMX-3T (Editor’s Choice)
Hammers Magnifier Scope for Red Dot Reflex Sight
UTG Magnifier with Flip-to-side QD Mount
Burris 300216 AR-Tripler Gen 2
EOTech G33.STSTAN Magnifier
1. Vortex Optics VMX-3T Magnifier with Built-In Flip Mount – Best Overall
Vortex Optics is widely known for making some of the finest rifle optics that boast superior construction and sophisticated design, so it’s a little wonder that this magnifier is at the very top of our list. Designed to be easily mounted behind some of the best red dots these days and flip at short notice when the need arises, the Vortex VMX-3T is a favorite choice of many shooters.
This astonishing magnifier features adjustable 1x to 3x power magnification, waterproof O-ring that keeps out dust and water, multi-coated optics that allow for flawless light transmission, and fogproof barrels loaded with nitrogen gas.
There is a special shim for the flip mount which enables you to switch between lower 1/3 co-witness and absolute co-witness. The waterproof O-ring is meant to prevent debris, dust, and moisture from entering the tube, thereby providing reliable performance regardless of the environment. Yet, it’s not on a par with the high-end military models.
Another great thing about this device is that it’s highly adjustable. The back of the eyepiece can be rotated so that anyone can adjust it according to his vision.
Coming in at 11.9 ounces, this magnifier is a little bulky. The unit measures 4.3 inches in length, while the tube itself is 3 cm long.
- Simple, swift, and effective
- Built-in flip mount to tune up the magnifier height
- Fully multi-coated lens
- Waterproof and fogproof
- Nitrogen purged
- Great value for the price
- Viewing area could be wider
- No lens caps
- A little bulky
2. Hammers 30mm Tube 3x Magnifier Scope for Red Dot Reflex Sight – Best Magnifier For The Money
Even though Hammers isn’t so famous brand name, they have an extensive experience with red dot sights and scopes. So it’s no surprise that this magnifier scope for the red dot is likely to exceed your expectations.
The magnifier is fitted with a textured rubber coating that doesn’t only protect the unit against dents and scratches but also provides a better grip. It features a rugged aluminum body with the armor-style gripping area that allows for quick focus adjustment. Given that the magnifier is equipped with fully coated lenses, you will benefit from reduced glare and more light when using it in low-light conditions.
All of this makes it the best red dot magnifier within its price range. You can adjust it for both elevation and windage with no tools.
Note that the magnifier weighs only 7.8 ounces. The total length is 4.5 inches, whereas the tube is 30mm long.
- Lens covers included
- Comes with a protective rubber coating
- Eye relief is surprisingly long
- Can be used in the low light conditions
- Easy to adjust
- Magnification is actually smaller than 3x
- Doesn’t have a mount
- Poor quality control
3. UTG 3X Magnifier with Flip-to-side QD Mount – Best Adjustable Magnifier
If you are one of those shooters who would like to buy a magnifier without breaking the bank, then you should go with this red dot magnifier. Despite the low price, the UTG 3x magnifier can enhance any red dot and provide a high-quality image.
This model has a lot of advantages, but probably the best one is a built-in flip mount. It enables a smooth transition from mid-range to close-range shooting in no time. The magnifier doesn’t hinder the movement when not in use.
Since the lenses are fully coated, you will be able to use the magnifier in different types of weather conditions and enjoy a clear view of the reticle. That lets you hit the targets at both mid and long distances.
All in all, this low-priced highly adjustable model is a good value for the money. It delivers good results and allows you to shoot accurately. Thus, it should not be missed.
- Wide field of view
- Multi-coated lenses
- Flip to side mechanism
- Adjustable eyepiece
- Competitively priced
- Lens covers are prone to come apart
- Sloppy mechanics
- Poor eye relief
4. Burris 300216 AR-Tripler Gen 2 – Best Eye Relief Magnifier
The Burris 300216 AR-Tripler is a decent red dot magnifier that’s fairly priced. That’s why many shooters like it. This model is equipped with an easy-to-install pivot ring which allows you to quickly switch between mid- and close-quarter shooting.
Note that this detachable pivot ring takes up 2 slots of the Picatinny rail. It’s very easy to use so that you’ll be able to quickly flip this ring on the side of your weapon. The pivot ring has the ability to lock into position when engaging the magnifier, meaning the unit will be steady while you’re shooting.
Aside from the affordable price and sturdy built, this model is also appealing because of the first-class fully coated lenses. They provide a crystal clear image in all light conditions. There’s also a durable case which protects the lenses and the entire unit from wear and tear. It comes into play in the harsh conditions, such as shooting or combat scenarios.
- Quick detach pivot ring
- Broad field of view
- Good eye relief
- Nice matte black finish
- Decent price
- Low-quality plastic clip
- Sight alignment could be better
- Bad platform
5. EOTech G33.STSTAN Side Mount Red Dot Sight Magnifier – Best Military Grade Magnifier
If money is no object and you want a military grade red dot magnifier, then the EOTech is a good choice for you. Just to mention that the US military has been using this model. We suppose that they will not choose something that doesn’t offer great reliability and is not top-notch quality, right?
Just like most magnifiers, this top-of-the-line model has 3x magnification. It comes in a beautiful Pelican box that includes the magnifier itself, as well as an optics cloth, a fixed quick-release rail mount, and a user manual. The scope is easy to install. You’ll only need two screws for this job; it’s recommended to put some Loctite on these screws in order to prevent loosening.
The eye relief distance is around 2.2 inches and it comes with the 7.3-degree field of view. As always, the magnifier is rugged, waterproof, and fog proof.
Finally, this product is made in the US. That explains a significant difference in price between this model and other magnifiers for sale. The price is actually the biggest con of this red dot magnifier. While the quality is unquestionable, we are not sure it is truly worth paying for that costly premium.
- Rugged high-quality construction for military use
- Wide field of view
- Waterproof up to 33ft
- Flip to side mount
- Holographic sight
- Available in different colors
- Not compatible with many magnifier mounts
- Somewhat bulky
Things You Must Know Before Buying a Red Dot Magnifier
Despite the fact that many shooters use red dot sights, a lot of people do not know exactly what to take into consideration when purchasing a magnifier. This is why we want to point at the critical things of the best red dot magnifiers that have a strong influence on the overall shooting experience. That should help you in choosing the most suitable magnifier for your needs.
Since you are in need of a gear that can increase the magnification power of the red dot sight, the first thing to look for is logically magnification.
The vast majority of red dot magnifiers come with 3x zoom. This works fine for the most long-range shooting purposes. However, there are also models offering 5X or 6X fixed magnification. By making the targets extra large, those magnifiers enable you to aim more easily.
Although a better magnification makes them a tempting option, keep in mind that it’s not necessarily the best choice. This is because high-magnification models are prone to stretching the red dot reticles. For that reason, we recommend sticking with 3X magnification, especially if your red dot has a big reticle.
In contrast to scopes with long casings that house lenses which are capable of catching and redirecting the light almost immediately, red dot magnifiers feature a compact design and are fairly small. The smaller size means fewer lenses, which is why these devices redirect less light to light up the reticle.
While this is not an issue when you are using your magnifier in broad daylight, it can be a serious problem when you are shooting in low-light or dark conditions. Don’t be surprised if the reticle is not visible and you can’t acquire a target. That’s why you should go for 3x magnification. It will let you make quite accurate shots in low-light conditions at distances of up to 300 yards.
By switching from a magnifier to a red dot or vice versa, you can quickly alter your aim and thus acquire multiple targets in the blink of an eye. But in order to switch from close quarters to long- and mid-range shooting, you must have an appropriate mount installed on your magnifier.
We advise you to stay away from fixed magnifier mounts because they can be dangerous when shooting at close range. Instead, use flip mounts as they let you rapidly attach and detach your magnifier depending on the situation.
If a magnifier does not have a built-in flip mount, contact the support service or visit the manufacturer website to find out if that model can be used for your particular red dot sight.
Depending on the rifle caliber and zoom capacity of your magnifier, you’ll likely need a few inches of the eye relief so as to shoot in comfort. Therefore, you should consider eye relief when setting up the magnifier behind your red dot sight.
A too short eye relief will cause eye strain when you’re aiming at targets. Besides, you will probably have problems trying to see out of your magnifier due to the extended stock. To avoid these issues, choose a model that offers a long eye relief as well as a crisp and clean reticle image.
The red dot magnifiers tend to be bulky when installed on the guns. It may take some time to get used to this, but after a while, you will not pay attention to it at all. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to choose a lightweight model to slightly reduce the load and maneuver your firearm without much effort. Yet, bear in mind that the extremely light models are usually shoddy, so be careful.
Our Final Review for the Best Red Dot Magnifiers
Red dot magnifiers have become very popular in the recent years. This is because they can considerably improve shooting accuracy, especially for mid-range shots.
The today’s market is crowded with different models of red dot magnifiers, so it’s really difficult to find the best one. But we’re hoping this article gave you an idea of how to pick the right magnifier for your needs.
In our personal opinion, the Vortex VMX-3T is the best combination of quality and price. Nevertheless, you should carefully examine all the models reviewed above and find the right magnifier option for you.