Versatile Red Dot


Founding Member
I'm looking for the red dot equivalent of a swiss army knife. My budget is about $250, so I'm not looking for anything fancy, and I realize that I'm not going to get premium quality for that price. I'm not looking to compete seriously with it, just to tinker a little bit and find out whether I like using an optic at all. I have a few different ideas for how I'd like to use it, and I'd like to get one optic that will do a decent job at all of them if possible. I have very little experience with red dots, so I'm hoping some of you guys can let me know what works for you.

Here's what I want to do:
  • Put it on my 10/22 for steel challenge
  • Put it on my Mark3 for steel challenge
  • Possibly a PCC for USPSA down the road a bit
  • Put it on a Glock for Carry Optic and possibly some hunting

I know one optic isn't going to be the best for all of these applications, but I'm looking for something that will get the job done at all of them if possible. What models do you guys like, and what's a good dot size for an all-around type of sight? So far, I'm looking at the Vortex Venom.


Founding Member
What size dot? Is that a preference thing, or do people use smaller dots for certain applications and bigger ones for others?


Consistently Inconsistent
I just got the venom with a 6 moa dot. I like that access to the battery compartment is on top and you don't have to remove it to change the battery. I think it will be best for distances of steel challenge and uspsa. If you were shooting longer shots the 3 moa might be better. I also think the 6 moa will be quicker to find in the glass to get shooting.

The venom also comes with a picatinny mount too.

I'm planning to put it on a G17 MOS when it comes in, so for now I don't have any actual experience with the dot.

Scott Hearn

Well-Known Member
For pistol ranges you want 6 MOA at a minimum. That goes for carbine work too at pistol ranges. For longer rifle range work it starts getting questionable. I have a couple of Burris RDS tube type sights that have 5 MOA dots and they are not really ideal for anything, but will work for about everything.

The Venom with a 6 mil dot sounds like what you are needing.


El Diablo
Staff member
Robbie, it's a preference thing which is why cmore makes them in so many different sizes. I know guys that run all different sizes from 2 on an open gun & at least 1 guy that runs a 12.

The smaller dots block less target & field of view, the larger dots are easier to aquire from the draw. Typically, pistol applications use a larger dot & rifle applications use a smaller dot. As for 6moa for a uspsa carbine, it's not necessary. A smaller one is fine. With the cheek weld, your chances of losing or not finding the dot is pretty much non-existent. I like about 6moa on a pistol & 3 or less on a carbine. If I was getting 1 optics for all & the choices were a 6 or 3, I'd probably get a 6.

Also, the quality of the optic will play a factor. If the dot is 3moa but it blooms at the higher brightness, you end up with the equivalent of a much larger moa dot. 3 could end up being 5or6, 6 could end up being 8or9, etc.. I like my vortex dots, they aren't the clearest I've ever seen, but they're not bad.


I've used the Burris fast fire III on a pistol and a rifle, and hated it. My times fell off drastically in Steel Challenge matches.
Keep losing the dot off to the side and it takes time to reacquire it.
I know I'm going against the vortex and cmore crowd, but the tube type Bushnell Trophy has it hands down for me over the others.
4 selections with a 3 mil dot, 6 mil dot, cross hair, and a 3 mil dot with a circle around it which is the one I prefer.
Green for low light and red for bright light.
Prefer the 3 mil dot with the circle around it because if the dot goes away to the side for recoil or when reacquiring the target after movement, the edge of the circle is there to find it quickly.
Less than $100 bucks.
It may not be a tacticool look or bear a famous name that you HAVE to have on your gun because your buddy might make fun of you if you don't, but it dammed sure works.
If you ever want to shoot it, your more than welcome to visit at the Ponca Range, or at my next visit to the OKC gun range.
(its deer season, so it might be a couple months getting to OKC)

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