Astigmatism is an eye problem that plagues many shooters. It can cause us to observe bursts of light or distorted images and experience difficulty in focusing on the target and shooting in low-light conditions. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate its effects, such as by using corrective lenses or buying optics that are tailor-made for people who have Astigmatism. We went out to find the best red dot sights for Astigmatism. I also have Astigmatism and tested these sights considerably to conclude that the Holosun Paralow HS503CU is the best red dot sight for Astigmatism.
5 Best Optics For Astigmatism
There are a lot of options we believe are the best red dot sights for Astigmatism. Here is a list of the best red dot sights for Astigmatism.
- HOLOSUN Paralow HS503CU – Best Overall
- Holosun HS510C Red Dot Sight – Most Reliable
- Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 Gen II – Beginner Friendly
- EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight – Most Durable
- Trijicon MRO Green Dot Reflex Sight – Best Value For Your Money
1) HOLOSUN Paralow HS503CU
The HS503CU is the best red dot sight for Astigmatism. You get two reticle color options – red and green. However, green generally perform better under people with Astigmatism as it reduces the effect of seeing a burst of light as experienced when looking at standard red dot sights. You can further read our comparison of green vs. red dots for Astigmatism here.
Also, the reticle features a 2 MOA dot with a 65 MOA circle dot reticle. This is especially beneficial for Astigmatism as the dot appears cleaner, and the outer circle provides a better-aiming reference, even if the red dot with Astigmatism appears distorted. I was amazed at the accuracy I could achieve with this red dot, especially under fast shooting scenarios.
The HS503CU is extremely durable, featuring a smart U-design covering windage and elevation turrets. One standout feature of the HS503CU is its optimized battery life. The solar panel and automatic brightness settings enable this little red dot sight’s CR2032 battery to last a whopping five years!
Overall, the HS503CU is lightweight (3 ounces) and works really well, especially with the green dot sight. This is one of my favorite red dot sights, and it won’t break the bank!
2) Holosun HS510C Red Dot Sight
At number two, we also have a Holosun sight, the Holosun HS510C. This red dot sight also comes in a red and green dot option, with the same reticle size as the HS503CU – a 2 MOA dot with a 65 MOA circle dot reticle, which is toggleable between the 2 MOA, the 65 MOA and a combination of both.
The HS510C is even more durable than the HS503CU. It is built from highly durable 6061 aluminum with a titanium hood to further enhance its durability. This red dot sight has 12 brightness settings – one for every lighting scenario. It also has “Shake Awake,” which switches the sight off when no motion is detected after a period. Combine that with the solar cell, and this CR2032 can also last you up to 5 years.
The more open design of the HS510C enables it to have a wider field of view than the HS503CU, and I was able to achieve faster target acquisition speed because of this. However, it weighs almost 2 ounces heavier than the HS503CU, which can reduce maneuverability when used on pistols.
Overall, the HS510C is a good red dot for Astigmatism and performs well in many different scenarios. However, the HS503CU has better value for money, and it still works better for Astigmatism than the HS510C. I was able to achieve a much higher accuracy rate with the HS503CU than the HS510C, possibly because of the more tube-like design that prioritizes the eye to focus more toward the center of the dot.
3) Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 Gen II
The AMG has been praised for its crisp and clear view among other holographic sights, which is a huge benefit for those with Astigmatism. This holographic sight is fitted with a 1 MOA EBR-CQB red reticle, which at first seemed to make my view more distorted. However, when I played around a bit with the 15 brightness settings (of which 4 are night vision settings), I was able to find the sweet spot and could achieve quite a high accuracy rate.
Vortex spared no effort when it came to housing and optimizing durability. This holographic sight features a durable aluminum alloy chassis with a hard anodized finish – improving its shockproof and waterproof features while protecting it again corrosion.
The AMG is equipped with a Lithium CR123A battery and can last up to 1,500 hours. Overall, the AMG provides optimal performance. Interestingly, the holographic technology appears cleaner in some scenarios than the LED-based red dots. I would highly recommend this holographic sight to anyone who has Astigmatism, but I would still advise you first consider the HS503CU – its value for money is just unmatched by other sights on this list.
4) EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight
Next, we have the EOTech 512 Holographic sight. This holographic sight has a 1 MOA red dot with a 65 MOA ring, allowing for speed and versatility and perfect for close-quarter engagement. The sight uses a laser to light the holographic reticles, reducing some of the distortion seen in LED-based sights.
The 512 has a fairly good field of view (FOV); however, the AMG’s FOV is better. The sight features a durable aluminum design, boasting both waterproof and high shockproof capabilities.
What I really like about the EOTech holographic weapon sight is the 20 brightness settings. While it may seem “over-engineered,” it is exactly what we with astigmatism need. We can adjust the brightness settings precisely to what we need them to be, with the least amount of distortion and ensuring optimal accuracy.
This sight comes with 2 AA batteries and can last you up to 600 hours on setting 12. Overall, it is a very good holographic sight, providing optimal close-quarter performance to those with Astigmatism.
5) Trijicon MRO Green Dot Reflex Sight
Last on our list, we have the Trijicon MRO reflex sight. If you like a cleaner reticle, this sight is equipped with a single 2 MOA green dot – removing clutter and allowing you to focus only on the target.
I was really impressed by this sight’s durability. It is housed in extremely durable 7075-T6 aluminum and purged with dry nitrogen to protect it against wear, dust, dirt, water and fog.
Additionally, the sight comes with eight brightness settings, including two night-vision compatible settings. However, the battery life can be quite unpredictable, and the CR2032’s longevity depends on the brightness setting and frequency of use – mine lasted around three months, which I am told is fairly average for the MROs.
Overall, this green dot optic has an average field of view and accuracy. The green dot can get lost in intensely bright light but still reduces the starburst effect experienced with a red dot. The sight is priced competitively with the rest of the market, but again the HS503CU has the best value for money.
Best Pistol Red Dot For Astigmatism
The best pistol red dot for Astigmatism is, without a doubt, the HS507C-X2. Here are just some of the reasons why:
- The reticle is clear and crisp with no distortion, even for people with Astigmatism.
- It comes with multiple reticle options, a 32 MOA circle with a 2 MOA dot, a 2 MOA dot only, or a 32 MOA ring only – all providing a larger MOA than the average double dot or red dot, which helps to lessen the blur effect.
- The green illumination dot is a major bonus for people with Astigmatism as it reduces the starburst effect experienced with a standard red dot.
- It has a long battery life (50,000 hours) with a solar failsafe and shake-awake technology.
- Versatile and adaptable, thanks to the ten daylight and two night vision compatible brightness settings.
- Extremely rugged and durable, built from 7075 T6 aluminum, which also makes it very lightweight (1.5 ounces)
Best Rifle Scope For Astigmatism
For the best rifle scope for Astigmatism, we have a low power variable optic, the Primary Arms SLx Series 1-6 x 24mm Rifle Scope. Here are the reasons why:
- Instead of traditional glass scopes, the SLx is a prism scope, which does not impact Astigmatism – a huge plus point.
- The scope has a 24mm objective lens, providing a wider field of view and increased light transmission than other rifle scopes.
- It is versatile, offering 11 brightness settings, so you can adjust the ACSS Raptor reticle based on the ambient lighting.
- The SLx comes in two models, first focal plane and second focal plane. The first focal plane (FFP) design helps people with Astigmatism, myself included, make more accurate targeting. When the FFP design is coupled with the 1-6x magnification range, it minimizes visual distortions – a common problem for those with Astigmatism.
- The scope also has easy-adjustment turrets, helping you make quick adjustments on the fly.
- A very favorable eye relief of 4-4.3 inches with a wide field of view.
- It features a lightweight, durable construction capable of handling the toughest of weather conditions.
- The best value for money for those with Astigmatism, as it offers the most amount of features to help with Astigmatism for a very reasonable price.
Below you will find an informative buying guide to help you with your next red dot sight buying trip:
What Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a common type of refractive error that occurs when the cornea or lens of the eye is curved more steeply in one direction than in another. This phenomenon causes light to be refracted unevenly, resulting in distorted or blurred vision at any distance.
Other symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, and difficulty with night vision. Astigmatism can be diagnosed with a routine eye exam and is commonly corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.
How Does Astigmatism Affect A Shooter?
Astigmatism can affect a shooter in various ways, including:
- Blurred or distorted vision at any distance – affecting accuracy and making it more difficult to focus on a target.
- Difficulty using optical sighting systems like red dot or holographic sights, as the reticle can appear indistinct, smeared, or warped (starburst effect).
- Difficulty seeing round, fast-moving objects, which can be important for clay target shooting
- Difficulty hunting in low-light conditions as the problems caused by Astigmatism can be amplified in these conditions.
- Eyestrain and headaches because of difficulty focusing on the target, especially during prolonged shooting sessions.
However, it is important to note that optics still allow for better performance than iron sights, and most astigmatism problems experienced during shooting can be corrected by using corrective lenses and green dot sights.
How We Rate Red Dot Sights
We rate red dot sights based on several key factors, all of which should adhere to the HuntersHalt quality standard. Here are some of the key factors:
Clarity and crispness of the reticle
The reticle should be clean and easy to spot, especially if you have Astigmatism. The last thing you want when aiming at a moving target is losing the dot and consequently wasting your shot because of poor reticle clarity. Picking the scope reticle that is best for your needs is very important.
Durability and ruggedness
The sight should be able to withstand challenging weather conditions and recoil. This means that they should be waterproof, scratchproof, shockproof, and fog proof while being able to withstand repeated recoil without losing zero.
The last thing you want is your scope to die when aiming at a turkey or in a life-or-death situation (that is why I love the Holosun’s solar failsafe so much). The battery should last at least 500 hours, and the scope should have features that extend its battery life, such as shake awake or automatic brightness adjustments.
Ease of use and adjustability
The scope must be user-friendly so that even a novice can shoot with pin-point accuracy and make easy scope adjustments.
As a consumer, value for money is very important. Therefore, the scope must be priced reasonably and within range of the competition.
Compatibility with different firearms
A red dot sight should be compatible with different firearms or at least have adapter plates that make an attachment to a certain firearm viable. You need to pick a red dot sight with a footprint that works for your needs.
Field of view
Target acquisition rate is crucial in high-stakes scenarios. Therefore, I like seeing red dot sights with a wide field of view so that more of the environment is visible.
A scope is only useful when you can see the reticle. The red dot sight should have multiple illumination options, ensuring that it can function in a variety of lighting conditions.
How Can I Tell If My Red Dot Is Broken?
There are a few ways you can tell if you have a defective red dot sight or if it is broken; you can check the following:
- Reticle Visibility: If you are unable to see your reticle isn’t visible or it is only partially visible even when the brightness settings are adjusted, your sight might be broken.
- Inconsistent Brightness: When you adjust the brightness of your reticle, and it varies unpredictably, not corresponding to the adjustments you’re making.
- Power Issues: If your sight won’t turn on or turns off irregularly and not to the parameters of the shake awake or motion detection, even with a new battery.
- Optical Clarity: If the sight picture is distorted or unclear, this could indicate a problem with the optics. Just clean the red dot with the proper technique and tools before making a final verdict on this one.
- Adjustment Issues: If your sight isn’t holding zero or adjustments aren’t affecting point of impact, the sight may be damaged. Also, make sure the red dot sight is able to withstand the recoil of your weapon. Some red dots have a threshold tolerance for recoil, and beyond that can damage the red dot or make it lose its zero.
- Physical Damage: If there are visible signs of damage like cracks or dents, the sight could be compromised, and you should get it fixed right away – leeching of water or dust into the integral parts can damage red dots beyond repair.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a green or red dot better for Astigmatism?
How much do red dot sights cost?
How do you know if you have Astigmatism?
The Bottom Line
Astigmatism is a common eye problem that can compromise your shooting ability. However, there are ways to work around its effect, such as by using red dots designed for people with Astigmatism or by using corrective lenses. The best red dot for Astigmatism is the Holosun HS503CU, HS507C-V2 for pistols, and the Primary Arms SLx Series 1-6 x 24mm for rifle scopes. However, your performance with a optic will differ from other people also suffering from Astigmatism. This is why you should follow the buying guide when you buy your next optic and test the optic thoroughly before buying it.