Red dot sights are popular for a reason, but they lack any magnification. Many top out at around 50 yards or so, but what if you need to identify a target beyond that without sacrificing the red dot quality? Magnifiers may be your lifeline then. These are simple to use and work directly with your red dot. They allow you the freedom to cycle through sights close and far away without clarity loss.
After researching and testing a number of different products, we settled on eight favorites that are high in quality and top-rated by numerous consumers. Alongside our buyer’s guide afterward, our reviews should help you find the best red dot magnifiers to help improve your shots.
Let’s not waste any time and check out our recommendations.
Red Dot Magnifiers: My Top Picks
Vortex Optics VMX-3T 3X Red Dot Sight Magnifier with Built-In Flip Mount
The VMX-3T from Vortex Optics is a flip mount combination that gives your red dot 3x magnification. It’s easy to use, requiring no type of special sightseeing. The flip function works at the push of a button so you can position it where you need it. It works with a large variety of red dot sights except for prism scopes.
Many consumers tout this as the best affordable red dot magnifier as it doesn’t cut back on performance and reliability for the sake of value. There’s quality weather protection from water and fog, and the aluminum construction grants it a lightweight feel while remaining durable.
There’s also praise for how bright and clear the magnification is in addition to how simple it is to use. Some users do feel, however, that the eye relief needs some improvement.
- Easy to adjust
- High-quality build
- Clear and bright magnifier
- Poor eye relief
EOTECH G33 Magnifier
The EOTECH G33 Magnifier is a high-end magnifier compatible with all EOTECH holographic weapon sights. What helps make this the best flip-up magnifier is the quick transitions between 1x and 3x magnification thanks to its switch-to-side mount design. It comes in two colors: black and tan.
Even if the high-end design raises the price tag of this magnifier, many consumers feel like it’s ultimately worth it. The magnifier is built well, and it’s easy to mount as it remains stable.
It has a quality flip function, letting you switch from 1x and 3x magnification seamlessly. Also, the compact style ensures it won’t get in your way when you’re not using it.
In spite of the compact style, some consumers report that there is a noticeable amount of weight added to your rifle once you mount this. So, it’s something to keep in mind if you have additional accessories on your gun as well.
- The footprint is fairly small
- Simple to mount
- Easy to flip it aside
- May add noticeable weight
Aimpoint 3XMag Magnifier with 39mm TwistMount and Base
The Aimpoint 3xMag Magnifier is capable of use along with any Aimpoint red dot sight. Beyond being a 3x red dot magnifier, this can also act as a handheld monocular.
This mounts with ease behind the Aimpoint so that you don’t need to re-zero as you adjust from non-magnified to magnified shooting. It doesn’t come with a mount, giving you the freedom to choose from whatever mount you prefer for your gun.
Consumers seem to largely appreciate the versatility of using this mounted on their gun or as a handheld. They appreciate how easy it is to see through as well and the glass is glare-free with ideal clarity.
The durability of the magnifier is lauded too. It has a protective rubber covering that’s shock-proof while also giving the magnifier an ergonomic grip for better handling.
One thing that isn’t praised about the magnifier is the eye relief. Some consumers feel as though it’s lacking, which might make it a bit uncomfortable to use.
- Quality outer rubber coating
- Can be used as a handheld
- Clear, glare-free glass
- Minimum eye relief
Bushnell Optics, 3X Magnifier, Matte Black
The Bushnell Optics 3x Magnifier has an ambidextrous flip-mount design for various shooters to use. It can work with just about any red dot magnifier, but it’s known to pair rather well with the Bushnell TRS-25.
With fully-coated optics, this features shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof capabilities. The optics are also made to provide more optimal light transmission.
Even if this is a budget red dot magnifier, consumers still speak highly of how simple it is to set up and align to various red dot sights. Users often mention an appreciation for the ambidextrous layout as well.
The build quality is another high point as it has good waterproof protection thanks to the O-ring seal. Also, the magnifier is built to withstand drops well and function underneath fog coverage.
There have been reports of issues with the focus though. Some users found trouble using the focus, believing that the optics had minimal clarity.
- Ideal durability
- Simple installation
- Aligns well enough
- Difficulties with the focus
UTG 3X Magnifier with Flip-to-side QD Mount, W/E Adjustable
The UTG 3x Magnifier comes with a QD mount. It has a flip-to-side design so that you can quickly move it in and out of place as needed.
Optimum view centering is granted due to the windage and elevation adjustments. The eyepiece also readily adjusts, while the quick-detach lever allows for fast engagement and disengagement.
There are many users who claim this is a reliable product for anyone who needs a cheap red dot magnifier. The casing for both the magnifier and the mount is built solid.
It’s also user-friendly in the sense that it’s easy to install and simple to flip back and forth. Also, it seems to remain locked into place well in both positions.
One main downside tends to be eye relief. Many users feel that it’s rather lacking, and this minimal eye relief may force you to change how you shoot.
- Sits tight in normal and flipped position
- Sturdy magnifier and mount
- Easy to flip
- Low-quality eye relief
Feyachi M36 1.5X – 5X Red Dot Sight Optics Magnifier with Flip to Side Mount
The Feyachi M36 Magnifier is a simple flip-to-side mount red dot magnifier. This adjustable magnifier for red dot sights allows you to use 1x magnification, or you can change between 1.5x-5x.
This utilizes an all-steel mount to give it a rugged construction. Meanwhile, clarity is highlighted thanks to the multi-coated optics. There’s even windage and elevation adjustability for greater centering.
As a 5x red dot magnifier, consumers appreciate just how clear the lens is no matter how far you zoom out. The user-friendly design is also praised since it’s quick to engage and disengage the mount by pressing the button.
Additionally, users spoke highly of how easy it is to adjust the red dot centering to work with your specific red dot sight. There have been complaints though about poor retention even though it readily locks into place. This can lead to it wobbling a bit when you use it.
- Well-made, clear lens
- Flip-to-side works in seconds
- Adjustable red dot centering
- Might wobble a bit
Factors to Consider
All red dot magnifiers aren’t made equally. This can make selecting the best one a difficult task in spite of our recommendations above.
Considering that, there are some factors you can address that determine how well-made a magnifier is and how useful it may or may not be for your needs. Such features may help you come to a decision while shopping around.
Like with anything focusing on magnifying sights, optics play a vital role.
Many high-quality red dot magnifiers feature multi-coated optics. Such optics usually have better clarity in addition to transmitting light at a greater rate.
You may not only receive sharper images but also a noticeable brightness to accurately identify your target.
If you want your magnifier to actually last you well through various uses, consider its construction.
There are some built with steel or aluminum, focusing on balancing lightweight and ruggedness. Others feature a rubber sleeve that helps resist shock from impacts.
Also, consider magnifiers that have fog-resistant capabilities as well as some form of waterproof protection. These usually feature sealed O-rings that are nitrogen-filled to keep water out.
How you mount your red dot magnifier is just as important as how the magnifier functions. They either have a fixed mounting style or a flip-to-side mounting style.
Many users tend to prefer a red dot magnifier with a flip mount style due to its versatility and ease of use quality.
This type of design lets you use the sight in a magnified and unmagnified position without having to remove the entire thing. As such, you can adjust from close-range to mid-range shooting in a flash.
Otherwise, with fixed-mounted magnifiers, you must take it off every time you don’t want to zoom in.
Size and Weight
Something that may be overlooked by some is the scale of a red dot magnifier. You may benefit from finding a magnifier that is more compact. This way, it might align better with your gun without getting in the way, especially if you are using additional accessories.
The additional accessories aspect comes into play with the weight of the magnifier as well. Depending on your gun and what you have on it, you might want to turn to magnifiers that have a more lightweight build.
This way, you won’t feel weighed down or feel that your shooting game is thrown off in any way.
Of course, how well a red dot magnifier works at actually magnifying things is fundamental.
It seems as though the majority of red dot magnifiers have a fixed magnification of 3x. Others may offer adjustability from 1.5x-3x.
Regardless of which type, that seems to be a comfortable amount of power for accurate shooting. These tend to still offer you the ideal amount of clarity and focus so that the image of your target doesn’t distort.
Similar to general scopes, the eye relief of a red dot magnifier helps determine how well and comfortable you’ll be while shooting.
You should be able to achieve a straightforward view no matter what. Some prefer magnifiers that have more generous eye relief. If not, then you may have to adjust the way you shoot so that you don’t completely disrupt your overall view of your surroundings.
Although it may not seem like it takes much to use a magnifier, you may still want to look out for user-friendly features.
One of those is the flip-to-side mounting that we touched on before. If you do have a style that moves to the side, then consider that the pivot method is seamless. You’ll want to be able to flip it in and out of place in seconds.
Also, look for magnifiers that are easy to set up so that you can get to the action as soon as possible. Overall adjustments for a red dot magnifier should be simple enough too.
Making the Decision
A red dot magnifier can give you the best of both worlds: red dot sights with magnification qualities. However, it helps if you choose one that’s high in quality so that your shooting can truly benefit.
From our recommendation list, we feel that the Vortex Optics VMX-3T Magnifier is the best red dot magnifier scope. It features a built-in flip design for faster, easier use between the normal 1x sights to the 3x magnification it offers.
This has a fully multi-coated lens for incredible clarity and light transmission under a variety of light conditions. Also, the magnifier is rated waterproof and fog-proof for optimum weather performance.
Feel free to take a look at the VMX-3T or any other red dot magnifier on our review list to decide which one will work best for your gun and shooting needs.