5 Best 1911 Red Dots On The Market

Pairing a red dot with a 1911 is a match made in heaven. You get the crisp trigger of a 1911 with the accuracy of a red dot. There’s just chance of missing from close range. What’s the best 1911 red dot?

The Sig Sauer Romeo 1 is hands down the best 1911 red dot on the market. It’s reasonably priced, has a 2600 hour continuous use battery life, and extremely durable. The Trijicon RMR might be slightly more durable, but it costs a small fortune.

I would say 99% of the population would be happy with the Romeo 1. Competitive shooters and Military/LEO might want to upgrade to the Trijicon RMR, but it’s really not necessary.

What is The Best 1911 Red Dot Sight?

1) Sig Sauer Romeo 1 Reflex Red Dot

Notable Features:

  • Extended Battery Life
  • Always on Display
  • Durable Design Lifetime Warranty
  • Clear Sight Picture

Check Price: Amazon

Trijicon’s RMR long held the reign as the best pistol pistol red dot, but there’s a new kid on the block. At a fraction of the price Sig Sauers Romeo lineup of red dots is taking over the market.

This tiny little 1x30mm red dot is the perfect size for your 1911. It’s a 3 MOA reflex style open red dot that’s perfect for short to mid range target applications. There’s even a groove on the rear of your sight for co-witnessing front and rear sights(that’s a nice added touch).

What first impressed me about the Romeo 1 was the battery life. Sig Sauer uses a motion activated system to significantly extend battery life. After 2 minutes of inactivity the display shuts off and immediately turns back on when picked up.

Might not always be on like the RMR, but I’ve never had an issue. At a fraction of the price this is a fair compromise. I’m not actually sure how long the battery life lasts, because it hasn’t died on me yet. Every 6 months I replace my batteries even though there’s no indication they’re failing me(a sleeve of CR1632 batteries is like $3 so why wait).

Sig Sauer includes a lifetime warranty with most of their products, but I doubt you’ll ever need to use it. This bad boy is extremely durable and I’ve seen people put them through serious torture tests. Unless you’re using this red dot as a hammer you shouldn’t have any trouble.

For the money Sig Sauers Romeo 1 Red dot is hard to beat. If I had the extra cash to spend I would probably buy the Trijicon RMR listed below, but I’m not made of money. You either pay out the butt for a red dot with a 2 year battery life or pay $1 every 6 months for a battery, the choice is yours.

2) Trijicon RMR 3.25 MOA Red Dot Sight

Notable Features:

  • Premium Priced Red Dot
  • Extremely Durable Waterproof Construction
  • 4+ Years Continuous Battery Life
  • Clear and Bright Sight Picture
  • Easy To Use Design

Check Price:  Amazon

The Trijicon RMR has long maintained its place as the best pistol red dot. Trijicon is known for making some of the best optics on the market and the RMR is one of their best.

Even though the RMR was designed for the AR15 it pairs perfectly with the 1911. Very few sights on the market compare to the size and strength of this tiny red dot. So what makes the Trijicon RMR so special?

The Trijicon brand has long been known for making quality products. Size and durability are the RMRs main selling points. No other micro red dot matches Trijicon’s durability. 

Trijicon’s RMR was designed to be used by the military, so it can handle some of the harshest environments on the planet. I’ve seen salesman absolutely torture these scopes without causing more than cosmetic damage.

If the durability isn’t a big enough selling point, the RMR has an extremely long battery life. Rated for more than five years of continuous use this micro red dot will work when it matters most.

The 3.25 MOA Reticle and automatic brightness mode makes this sight perfect for any lighting conditions.  If you want a smaller or wider MOA there are a ton of available options.

You will be able to quickly get on target while extending the range farther than with traditional sights. For the best red dot look no farther than the RMR.

3) Leupold DeltaPoint Pro 7.5 MOA Triangle Sight

Notable Features:

  • Sturdy Waterproof Construction
  • Compact Easy To Use Design
  • 2.5 or 7.5 MOA
  • Long Battery Life
  • Auto Shutoff Mode

Check Price:  Amazon

With the new Deltapoint Pro Leupold is quickly breaking into the pistol red dot Market. Up until fairly recently Trijicon was the only name in town, but other manufacturers are quickly making waves. Leupold has been making high quality optics for a very long time so it’s no surprise that they made a competitor to the RMR.

Leupold’s Deltapoint Pro is quickly making a name for itself in the firearm community. It has both impressive durability and a crystal clear sight picture. You might want to pick one up before the price increases to match demand.

Coming to the market 7 years after the RMR, Leupold had the time to make some major improvements to their optic. The first thing that I noticed about the Deltapoint Pro is the glass clarity.

Nobody makes glass that even comes close to the clarity of Leupold for the price. That is what they are known for and the Deltapoint Pro doesn’t let you down. They use a wider field of view than the RMR which makes for a clear sight picture. The Deltapoint Pro is available in both 2.5 MOA and 7.5 MOA. 

Your choice will largely depend on your application, but I really like the 2.5 MOA Reticle.  It’s quick enough to quickly get on target, yet small enough to remain accurate at a distance.

The two main distinguishing features between this sight and the RMR is the sleep mode and the lack of automatic brightness mode. Personally I really like the sleep mode, it significantly increases the battery life by turning on the red dot when the sight moves.

Many people are concerned that the technology won’t work when you need it most, but I’ve never seen the feature fail. I really wish that it had automatic brightness mode. With a few minor improvements this could easily become the best pistol red dot.

4) Vortex Venom Red Dot Top Load 3 MOA Dot

Notable Features:

  • Affordably Priced Red Dot
  • Sturdy Waterproof Construction
  • Compact Design
  • Easy To Use
  • 550 Hour Battery Life

Check Price:  Amazon

If you are looking to save some cash on you’re next red dot, look no farther than the Vortex Venom. Vortex optics are known for making high quality optics at a value price. Vortex really listened to consumer demands when they made the Venom.

They designed a durable red dot that packs a lot of features into a budget package. Most people don’t really need an optic that can withstand a trip from Iraq one day to Antarctica the next. All the majority of people need is a red dot that won’t crack or drift, if you drop it off your night stand.

If you’re on a budget you’re going to want to get the Vortex Venom.  You get most of the features found in more expensive optics at a fraction of the price. For the price, you can’t beat the Venom’s sight picture. The wide open sight picture has very clear glass.

You might notice a little bit of glare in the sun, but it’s negligible. Available in both 3 MOA and 6 MOA there is a reticle for everybody. The waterproof and shockproof design makes this optic a great choice for both EDC and competition. It also features an automatic brightness mode and up to 550 hours of battery life. If you are looking for a budget red dot seriously consider the Vortex Venom.

5) Burris Fastfire III 3 MOA Sight

Notable Features:

  • Affordably Priced Red Dot
  • Sturdy Waterproof Construction
  • Clear and Bright Sight Picture
  • Easy To Use Design
  • 500+ Hour Battery Life

Check Price:  Amazon

Burris’ Fastfire III is another value priced red dot that’s the perfect size for handgun mounting.  The Fastfire III is one of Burris most popular optics and for good reason. It’s clear, compact, durable and affordably priced.  Everything that you could want from a red dot.  The Fastfire III is very close to the same price as the Venom and has many of the same features.

For an economical red dot the Fastfire III really does pack a huge punch. It is one of the most versatile red dot sights on the market. It’s strong enough to be mounted on anything from your favorite handgun, to your budget shotgun that has more recoil than your shoulder can handle. It can withstand some serious shock without any drift.

Being one of the smallest red dots in the industry you can see why it’s so popular. With this micro size you would expect a loss of durability, but I haven’t found this to be the case. These stand up to very tough conditions and should last a very long time. There are 3 levels of brightness and an automatic setting so you should be able to use this in any lighting condition.

Red Dot vs Traditional Sight

It’s amazing how many people hate the idea of putting red dots on their 1911.  They have a stigma against pairing modern technology with a 100 year old design.  I will admit I would never mount a red dot on some of my prized 1911’s.  The rest could definitely do for a upgrade.

There’s no question about whether or not red dots out perform traditional sights. Almost every professional shooter is going to have a red dot on their gun.  They significantly speed up target acquisition speed and improve follow up shots.

Why Choose a Red Dot Sight?

When you imagine purchasing a reflex sight or red dot you probably think about mounting it to a rifle.  The rise of the AR15 brought a generation of improvements in the red dot industry.  Red dots have quickly pushed traditional iron sights out of the way.  Thanks to their flexibility and ease of use red dot sights have become a must have accessory.

Throughout the years technological advancements have made red dots a lot smaller.  Modern manufacturers are packing a lot of tech into more compact packages.  As a result more manufacturers are providing affordable options for pistols.  Initially red dots were only used on hunting pistols, but they were quickly adopted by competitive shooters.  Red dots don’t add a lot of bulk, and significantly increase shot placement.

  • Faster Sight Picture Acquisition:  With traditional sights you have to focus on keeping the front sight aligned with the rear.  With a read dot you only have to focus on your target.  Without having to align sights you’ll be able to quickly engage targets.
  • Easy Long Range Engagement:  Perfecting long range target shooting takes a lot of hard work and practice.  With a low MOA red dot you’ll be able to significantly extend your target range.  Red dots won’t fix bad technique, but it will work as a crutch for inexperience.
  • Better Low Light Shooting:  Red dots are almost always going to be better than night sights in the dark.  When dialed up to the proper brightness you’ll be able to clearly make out your target.  With a tactical pistol light the red dot can start to look washed out.  When this happens just ramp up the brightness a little bit.  You don’t have to worry about this on sights with automatic brightness settings.
  • Helps With Poor Eyesight:  As you get older your eyesight will most likely get worse.  It gets a lot harder to focus on close up objects like front sights.  With a red dot you can focus on the target and align the red dots reticle.
  • Increased Awareness:  There’s a reason why competition shooters all have red dots on their pistols.  They don’t have to shift focus between every target.  With a red dot you don’t have to continuously focus your sights through multiple targets.

Choosing The Best Red Dot For Your 1911?

It seems counter intuitive to pair a 1911 with a hundred year old design with a red dot sight. So why do so many professional shooters decide on this firearm combination. The main reason is because 1911’s have some of the best triggers in the firearm industry. So the combination of a match grade trigger, and the increased target acquisition speed of the red dot significantly lowers match time. When a fraction of a second counts, you’re going to want a high quality sight.

Your best choice is going to be a close race between the Trijicon RMR and the Leupold Deltapoint Pro. I would give a slight advantage to the Trijicon RMR, mostly because they have been in the industry so much longer. Throughout the years Trijicon has proven that they make some of the best sights in the firearm industry. If you are looking for a more affordable option try the Vortex Venom or Burris Fastfire III. Both of these red dots are an amazing value for the price.

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