Scope Review Of The UTG Red Dot: Better Than The Rest?

Scope Review: UTG Red Dot

UTG 4.2" ITA Red/Green CQB Dot with QD Mount, Riser Adaptor
  • Great Field of View and Unlimited Eye Relief
  • Clear and Sharp 4.0 MOA Dot Sight
  • No-Reflection High Tech Emerald Coatings
  • Red or Green Dot Adapts to Any Environmental Background
  • Optimal Height Design to Co-witness with Iron Sights

UTG Red Dot sights are some of the most affordable and best performing red dot sights available. Learn more about this great product.

Red dot optics are not a new concept. They're popularity spiked during recent wars when ground soldiers proved the red dot sight was better in close combat than iron sights.

Arguably, red dot sights do not owe their popularity to any one thing, but military and law enforcement use didn't hurt their fame. Police markets often follow military markets while civilians adopt stuff after the military and law enforcement prove their usefulness.

Red dot sights are unique in their targeting methods. The idea is much older than the sights and was used in theater and movies to create spooky effects. The short version is: when you look through the sight, the angle doesn't matter, and the dot moves to your target almost like magic.

In reality, you run the dot over the target, but you do it faster than you do with iron sights. With both of your eyes open, you more aware of your surroundings, and you get on targets much quicker.  

Thanks to movies, most people think AR-15 or something similar when they picture a red dot sight. UTG Red Dot sights are not limited in their uses or mounting options. Competition shooters put red dot sights on everything when the rules allow the sights. We see the sights on everything from shotguns to modified 1911s.  

What Makes UTG Red Dot Sights Standout?

Sale
UTG 3.8" ITA Red/Green CQB Dot Sight with Integral Mount
  • Quick Aim Electronic Dot Sight with Red/Green Dual Illumination
  • 38mm Tube with Best in Class Emerald Lens Coating for Maximum Brightness and Clarity, Clear and Sharp 4.0 MOA Dot
  • Consistent and Precise Coin-adjustable W/E Knobs with 1/2 MOA per Click Increments
  • Includes Integral Picatinny Mounting Deck and Flip-open Lens Caps
  • 2 year warranty

Time, quality materials, and constant testing are the first things that come to mind. The company that manufactures the UTG Red Dot scopes, Leapers, Inc., began as a garage dream around 1992. It grew from there through exhibitions and marketing to the version of the company it is today. The UTG Pro Line started the UTG Red Dot sight saga in 2009.

Their scopes are bright and the glass coated to eliminate glare. The sturdy aluminum body is lightweight, so you won't notice your gun getting heavier. You will see better groups and faster targeting.

Unlike some red dot sights, UTG sights use extended-life lithium batteries with shelf lives of around five years. They test and use their products and use the results to improve their sights and scopes. It's not just about the math and the bottom line; they want you to have the best product they can provide, and that spirit is in every sight they sell.

One thing that stood out above the other things we considered about UTG sights is the customer comments we found online. We had to look for negative reviews to find one.

Aside from some miscellaneous issues unrelated to the sights such as shipping issues, we only found a few negative comments about the sights. The real standout feature of these sights is they are affordable, but they perform above expectations.

Our Favorite Version

UTG 3.9" Red/Green Single Dot Reflex Sight and 3 x Magnifier Combo
  • Built on True Strength Platform, Shockproof, Fogproof, and Rainproof
  • Red/Green Dual-Color Illumination to Accommodate Different Weather/Light Conditions
  • Extra Large Field of View with Unlimited Eye Relief for Fast Target Acquisition and Even Faster Target Transitions
  • Crisp Clear Dot When Viewing Through the Magnifier
  • Innovative Flip-to-Side Mechanism for Quick Transition between 1X and 3X Image

UTG manufactures several versions of their red dot sight with a variety of mounts, risers, and reticle options. We prefer the UTG 4.2" ITA Red/Green CQB Dot with QD Mount and Riser Adaptor, and Amazon has it for $. It represents the ideal red dot sight with some bonus features every shooter will appreciate.

This is possibly the most popular UTG Red Dot sight, but that’s not why it’s our favorite. It’s versatile and adaptable from a red to green dot depending on your preferences or the background behind your target. It mounts on most firearms with little effort. Choose a shotgun, pistol, or a rifle and this sight will improve your shooting on day one.  

The red or green dot is continuously illuminated which helps make adjustments for brightness in the field or on the go. The variable light improves sight adjustments as well, so you get the right amount of illumination for your shooting conditions. The battery that powers it all lasts about ten to twelve months if used continuously, or up to five years with limited use.

The dot is a 4 MOA, so it covers about four inches at 100 yards. MOA stands for “Minute of Angle” and adds math to shooting. In short, MOA gives you an idea of accuracy at a given range.

For more information about MOA read this article. In this instance, 4 MOA means you won’t see a four-inch circle at 100 yards because it’s hidden behind the dot. It takes some practice to use this type of sight at a range beyond 25-yards.

On its highest setting, the dot is bright, and reflections are not a factor. The glass is coated to prevent fogging and halos. It's one of the sharpest, clearest red dot sights available. Adding a magnifier doesn't affect the glass quality or brightness of the dot, which we see in some economy sights.

Since most magnifiers sit behind the scope but are not attached, the light transfer suffers. That's not the case with UTG Red Dot sights.

If you need a low-profile model or a longer sight, there are a few options to look at besides the sight we reviewed above. We like the low-profile UTG 3.8" ITA Red/Green CQB Dot Sight, and we really like the price. Mechanically it is almost identical to the sight above, but it mounts closer to your weapon and is a little shorter.

If you shoot at targets or game at distances greater than 50 yards and want to try a red dot sight, traditional red dot sights will perform poorly. They're better suited for close range shooting and fast target acquisition, and just don't do well at longer ranges.

However, the UTG 6" ITA Red/Green CQB T-dot Sight performs a little better at 50 to 100 yards compared to the shorter sights. Amazon lists this sight for $$.

Most red dot sights work across a wide range of guns from pistols to rifles, but some shooters prefer a wider field of view for pistols. We recommend the UTG 3.0" ITA Red/Green CQB Dot Sight with Integral QD Mount for most pistol applications. It sports a broader field of view and a shorter body that makes it perfect for pistols.

Should I Buy a UTG Red Dot Sight?

UTG 2.6" ITA Red/Green CQB Micro Dot with Integral QD Mount
  • Micro Dot Sight Versatile Super-compact Body - a Mere 2.6 in Length; Shockproof, Fogproof and Rainproof
  • Clear and Sharp Target Dot 4.0 MOA at 100 Yards; Instant Target Aiming (ITA) and Instant Lock On Target to Enhance Shooting Accuracy and Performance
  • Red or Green Dot with Intensity Adjustment to Adapt to Any Environment; Ideal for a Wide Variety of Pistol, Shotgun and Rifle Applications
  • Perfect Co-witness with A2 Standard Iron Sights Using a 1/2" Riser or 1/3 Co-witness with a 3/5" Riser
  • Integral Mounting Base with Innovative Quick Detach Lever Lock for Rapid Deployment on Any Picatinny Rail

We can't answer that question for you. The answer depends on what, where, and how you shoot. If you shoot in competitions, and they allow red dot sights, get one, and you'll see a considerable improvement over your current times. Red dot sights are better for quick target acquisition than their cousins the holographic sight at the ACOG.

If you hunt birds or fast-moving animals with a shotgun and using a red dot sight is legal in your area, you’ll love the way these sights help you get on game fast and improve your accuracy. If you look at the test results and benchmarks, there is no denying the red dot sights improve response time and accuracy in almost every test.

If you shoot at things more than 100 yards away, a red dot sight will probably help you less than a traditional scope. They're better at 100 yards than iron sights, but the dot appears enormous over a target at 100 plus yards. Red dot sights work best for close, fast shooting and just do not perform well under most other shooting conditions.

What do Customers Say?

In general, customers that shoot in competitions prefer red dot sights like the UTG Red Dot sight but are indecisive about which brands they prefer. Those that own UTG sights swear by them. We spent some time reviewing comments on the UTG website, Amazon, and a few other sites that sell UTG sights and scopes. The results are mostly positive.

Customers using the sight we reviewed here like the aluminum construction. It’s light but durable, and unlike plastic sights, can take a little abuse. Customers who use the UTG sights and competing brands claim the UTG sights are less prone to need field adjustments except for dot brightness.

The glass coating helps limit adjustments such as cleaning and doesn’t fog over when rapidly moving between two rooms at different temperatures.

Besides the durability, the battery lasts a long time even with constant use. Many sight manufacturers still use batteries developed for watches. They work well enough but don't last very long. The UTG Red Dot sight uses a lithium battery, and customers insist the battery will last nearly a year under constant use. The battery manufacturer claims the battery lasts up to five years on a shelf or with limited use.

Most of the negative reviews we found involved shipping issues, so they were not related to the quality of the product. A few negative reviews claim the sight alone works perfectly, but the customers dealt with a little frustration aligning their aftermarket magnifier with the sight.

Using products together that aren’t designed for each other is always risky. Also, we must consider that these customers installed the magnifier wrong or didn’t follow the instructions.

Overall, customers are happy with their UTG sights. A few customers bought the UTG sight to use as a backup because it was more affordable than their favorite brand. After using the UTG sight, some customers switched to UTG sights citing their affordability and accuracy. Whatever their reasons, most people that own a UTG sight love it.

Are They Better than their Competition?

The answer to this question is complicated. UTG sights are rugged, and their batteries last longer than the competition. They are cheaper than most of their competition, and their aluminum bodies last longer than plastic frames. So, in part, they are better than their competitors. However, they don't offer many of the bonus features some sights do like integrated lasers or low-profile mounts.

UTG offers one sight that we consider low-profile. Using aftermarket mounts is also an option for lowering the sight, but aftermarket products are a risky bet.

Sometimes they fit right and work as expected, and other times they don't work no matter how much effort you throw at them. Buy a sight that meets your needs and shooting conditions. Use mounts and accessories made for that sight to get the best results.

Our Opinion

We like everything about the UTG Red Dot sights and their prices. If we look at all the information, we like the sight we reviewed here because it performs great and is made to last. They are inexpensive too, so that’s a bonus feature. Get the UTG 4.2" ITA Red/Green CQB Dot from Amazon, it’s only $, and see how well it performs and judge the quality for yourself.

Consider what you are shooting at, and what the usual shooting conditions are where you shoot. Leapers offers several red dot sights, and one of them will suit your needs. Look through their entire lineup and find the sight you need. Whether it's a red dot reflex sight or an illuminated red dot sight with an adjustable reticle, they probably have what you are looking for or need.

Don’t be fooled by the prices on these UTG sights. This is one instance where you get much more than you pay for in the box. The prices on most UTG Red Dot sights range from around $30 to $90, but these scopes perform better than some scopes that cost four times as much. They also come with a lifetime warranty against any defects.  

Conclusion

Leapers, Inc. comes from humble beginnings in what amounted to a garage business in 1992 to a 150,000 square foot 3-building complex today. With that kind of growth comes a lot of trial and error. Leapers used that time to develop some of the best red dot sights available. Their sights are affordable, durable, and made from quality materials.

Red dot sights like the UTG models improve your close range and reflex based shooting; there is not disputing that fact. These sights aren't just for the military, law enforcement, or competition shooting anymore.

Add one to your home defense weapons or try one next time you shoot some wings or turkeys. If you give one a chance, you’ll see improvements to your shooting, and you can’t beat the UTG prices.