A red dot sight (RDS) or holographic sight can work wonders when your target’s up and close and personal, but what about those targets out at a distance? There are no zoom functions, so with ranged targets, they aren’t any good. That’s where the magic of magnifiers comes in.
Quality ones serve to enhance your optics and shooting by adding range, yet the question remains which ones are worth it? We researched dozens of magnifiers, 3x in particular. From our reviews of top-rated products to our buyer’s guide that follows, we hope to help you find the best 3x magnifiers for your next outing.
With no more time to waste, let’s jump right into our top countdowns.
3x Magnifiers: My Top Picks
Vortex Optics VMX-3T 3X Red Dot Sight Magnifier with Built-In Flip Mount
The Vortex Optics VMX-3T Magnifier is a flip mount combination that enhances your red dot sight. It uses a push-button design for quick placement and removal when you don’t need it.
This simple and lightweight magnifier is durable, and it doesn’t need any special sight-in. It can work with mostly all red dot sights, but it’s not recommended for use with prism scopes.
Consumers praise the Vortex 3x magnifier for how easy it is to use. The flip-to-side design allows for quick engagement and disengagement. It’s especially versatile as it works for installing at a lower 1/3 height or absolute co-witness height.
Appreciation is also seen for how well the magnifier resists water and fog
There have been complaints about eye relief since some feel as though it’s too small and uncomfortable.
- The optics are clear and bright
- Smooth flip action
- The mount is stable and solid
- Small eye relief
UTG 3X Magnifier with Flip-to-side QD Mount, W/E Adjustable
The UTG 3x Magnifier is a flip-to-side magnifier that provides a wide field of view when used with both RDS and holographic sights. It’s adjustable from the windage to the eyepiece.
This also features a quick-detach lever locking mechanism in the mounting base for simple installation. It’s designed to last, built to withstand wear, fog, and water.
Our UTG 3x magnifier review discovered that consumers enjoy the user-friendly layout. It’s ergonomic and quick to flip to the side and out of the way.
Also, it mounts easily enough, and it remains secure.
For the complaints, some shooters say that the minimal eye relief can have you sitting too close, more so when you have to account for recoil.
- Easy to adjust for elevation and windage
- Secure mount
- Simple installation
- Eye relief could be better
HOLOSUN – HM3X Flip to Side 3x Red Dot Magnifier QD Mount
The HOLOSUN HM3x Flip-to-Side Magnifier is compatible to work with height optics either absolute or lower 1/3. It comes with a QD mount and a spacer so you can set it up and use it right away.
It grants you a more seamless transition from 1x to 3x magnification, offering you high eye relief and clear glass for accurate targeting.
Numerous consumers agree that this HOLOSUN magnifier holds good value in terms of how well it’s built and how comfortable it is to use. There’s plenty of eye relief available, and it’s easy enough to see through thanks to the clear glass and next to no edge distortion.
It adjusts well too so you can achieve your desired focus in no time, giving you a clear view of your target even when magnified. Another high point consumers mention is the rest of the windage and elevation adjustments. The process appears seamless.
Some users noted that it may be difficult to secure it without noticing any wobbling. So, you may have to apply some effort when screwing this in place.
- Minimal distortion along the edges
- A good amount of eye relief
- Clear glass
- Some issues fitting it tight to the rail
EOTECH G33 Magnifier
The EOTECH G33 Magnifier is designed in either a black style or a tan style with a focus on stealth for tactical use. It can easily attach to all EOTECH holographic sights.
You can transition almost instantly with this AR magnifier, and even though it features a robust build, it comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
Many consumers enjoy how well-built this magnifier is, and they say it feels as though it can hold up to rough use. They also appreciate the small footprint since it sits at just under 4in. in length.
Further appreciation is seen in the flip function as users believe they can move it back and forth with ease. As for the price, there are some complaints that it’s a tough high, but many feel that the construction and clear view make it worth it.
There may be a break-in period, however. The eye relief isn’t all that impressive, so it can take some getting used to.
- Durable construction
- Compact style
- Flips quickly
- Break-in period
AT3 Tactical RD-50 PRO Red Dot Sight with .83″ Riser
This AT3 Tactical gives you a red dot sight with a magnifier. The combination allows you to have clear sights to elevate your performance.
There’s good flexibility as the magnifier flips up and back in place as needed. Both the RDS and the magnifier are built durable, but they come with a lifetime warranty if you need more peace of mind.
Consumers speak highly of this red dot magnifier because of its dependability. The magnifier is made with a 6061-T6 housing along with a steel mount so that it locks securely with no wobbling.
In addition, this magnifier also has a rugged rubber coating to give you a better, more reliable grip under different weather conditions.
We did notice some user complaints about the flip mechanism, however. Some feel like the mechanism is stiff, so it may need some breaking in so that you can use it easier and quicker.
- Good eye relief
- Quality construction
- Holds zero well
- The flip mechanism seems stiff
EOTECH HHS I Holographic Hybrid Sight
The HHS I Holographic Hybrid Sight from EOTECH is a versatile holographic sight with a magnifier built-in. It may offer you faster target acquisition and good reliability.
With the G33 magnifier, you can readily switch to medium-range shooting in seconds. Even though it works fast, the mechanism is still sturdy, latching properly into place regardless of whether you’re using it or not.
There’s quite a bit of praise about the hybrid unit altogether that saves you from buying a holographic sight and magnifier to go with it separately. Shooters also feel that it’s rather user-friendly in how easy it is to install and use.
The entire piece seems built well and meant to last through any situation you may think to put it through. Also, it’s easy enough to adjust, and this still provides you with the pinpoint precision of your target when magnified.
There’s ideal water resistance with this magnifier so that you may use it under rainy conditions without worry.
On the notion of downsides, many users believe that eye relief is lacking, a feature that may not make this comfortable to use for everyone.
- Offers pinpoint precision
- The flip mechanism feels sturdy
- Eye relief seems a bit poor
Primary Arms SLX 3X Micro Magnifier w/ ACSS Pegasus Ranging Reticle
The Gen IV from Primary Arms is a 3x magnifier for red dot sights that features an enhanced design over their older models. There’s a noticeable improvement in eye relief and field of view.
This is also made with an integrated diopter that may provide you with faster focus while also maintaining accuracy. It pairs well with the elevation adjustments as those help you keep the dot centered.
There’s a lot of praise seen for the rugged construction of the magnifier. Its rubber sleeve can help it withstand impact while also ensuring you have a firm grip even under wet conditions. Consumers feel that the flip functions well too. There’s enough eye relief that it feels generous, and many claim that it offers ideal comfort.
Another high point is how well it withstands water in general. Also, the performance doesn’t appear hindered under foggy weather either. You may not get much out of this magnifier in low light conditions, however. The clarity seems to drop unless there’s an optimal amount of light.
- Comfortable eye relief
- Flip functions well
- Durable build that’s waterproof and fogproof
- Poor performance in low-light conditions
Aimpoint 3XMag Magnifier with 39mm TwistMount and Base – 12071
The Aimpoint 3x Magnifier Kit is compatible with mounting on Aimpoint sights rail systems. With a twist mount system, it allows you to quickly turn and engage or disengage the magnifier whenever you need it.
There’s some versatility found in this as you can either use it to enhance your sights or as a solo as a handheld monocular. This kit from Aimpoint provides you with a twist mount system and a magnifier, and a lot of consumers seem to like the simplicity behind it all.
Beyond that, there were many positive comments about glass quality. The optics appear clear under magnification, and the mount helps hold the center well. Concerning the overall build quality, it seems rugged enough to hold up over multiple, frequent uses.
The main issue consumers have is the fixed design. Even though you can put it on and take it off fast, you must take it completely off and have somewhere to put it as it doesn’t simply move to the side like flip mounts.
- Mount holds center well
- Glass is high-quality
- Reliable construction
- Fixed-mount takes time to use
Sightmark 3X Tactical Magnifier Pro
The Sightmark 3x Tactical Magnifier is a no-fuss magnifier that can give you great target acquisition in a single swift motion. It’s made for use with various weapon sights as well as with a collimated reflex.
So, you’ll get both a scope and a reflex sight all in one product. It’s equipped with adjustments for windage and elevation, and it’s made with a quick-detach mount so you can readily install and uninstall.
Consumers make note of the slide-to-side design that lets you slip this magnifier in and out of place with no effort needed. This may help you adjust faster to your surroundings in a hunting and tactical scenario.
They also enjoy the adjustment process that may elevate your performance.
A major issue some consumers had, however, is that they feel like it doesn’t lock into place well. Some report the magnifier sliding off while in use.
- Fast slide-to-side design
- Good clarity
- Quality alignments for elevation and windage
- The chance that it can dislodge out of place
Factors to Consider
RDS and other optics are only increasing in popularity as the years go by. In fact, many shooters moved beyond using them on rifles and have extended their use to handguns considering how beneficial they can be.
It’s no surprise then how many gun users are turning to the likes of a holographic sight with magnifier and others like it to get the best of both short-range shooting and medium to long-range shooting.
In light of our top 10 reviews, we understand how you may still be on the fence about what a 3x magnifier is actually the best. It’s subjective based on your needs, so we’ve created a buyer’s guide to help you understand more about the magnifiers to make your decision.
There are two ways to mount your 3x magnifier: flip or fixed.
A flip-to-side style scope magnifier is highly recommended by us and other shooters for its versatility. You can swap from 1x to 3x magnification in a split second, a much-needed skill for tactical and hunting scenarios.
Fixed mounts aren’t the most recommended seeing as you have to either use the 3x or completely remove the magnifier to shoot up close. That can take up valuable time, so you’ll have to be careful about how you’re using your gun if you want a fixed-mount magnifier.
For instance, this may not be much of an issue in some competitive shooting.
RDS lacks any sort of eye relief, so it’s important that a red dot magnifier has it instead. Since we focus on 3x magnifiers, the eye relief should only be a couple of inches. That should be comfortable enough to handle the zoom.
When choosing a 3x magnifier, you also want to keep in mind extra features beyond the zoom.
Check out the lens itself. Quality magnifiers offer anti-fog coating, for instance, so you can shoot well under various weather conditions.
Many are offered water-resistant or waterproof, surviving under light or heavy rain depending on the water rating.
Also, consider the field of view available as this will determine how fast you can acquire your target.
How far is a 3x magnifier?
A 3x magnifier increases your optics to a range between 300-350 yards.
How to set up red dot and magnifier?
Setting up a magnifier on your RDS is straightforward as long as you follow the instructions that come with your specific magnifier. If you notice any wobbling, be sure to check that all the screws are tightened enough.
How do you know if you need a 3x magnifier?
When you want to shoot at medium distances with your RDS or holographic sight, then you need a magnifier. A 3x magnifier can handle some long distances, but they may be best at the medium range as you can still maintain accuracy.
Making the Decision
Many shooters will agree that RDS and holographic sights have great close-range use, but if you want versatility, you need a quality magnifier.
The best 3x magnifiers will allow you to nail targets from hundreds of yards out and switch back to close range as needed. So, we feel like the Vortex Optics VMX-3T Magnifier is the top choice for that.
It’s both simple and effective, and the flip design allows for quick use right when you need it. This also has good weather protection against water and fog, and the sights remain clear under various conditions.
Take a look more at our reviews to decide whether or not the VMX-3T is right for you, or check out the rest of our recommendations so you can find a quality 3x magnifier for your RDS or holographic sight.