Rapid target acquisition—it can be everything in competition or a defensive situation—and it’s a great idea even when having fun. Even when a person has a high-end firearm and top-quality ammo, it is meaningless if the shooter can’t make his aim line up properly with his target. And this is where the Tru-DOT RDS, red dot reflex sight truly excels.

With a crisp, bright aiming point that aligns easily with a target even when the shooter’s hold on the firearm is imperfect, a red dot allows for simple, two eyes-open aiming. Typically, with little to no magnification, they are ideal for both CQB situations and short-range firing on stationary as well as mobile targets. But don’t think of them as a mere short-range option. For the shooter with good vision, they can be quite accurate out to 400 yards according to one former combat veteran I spoke with.

Meprolight introduced their Mepro Tru-Dot RDS late last year to a great acclaim as a durable, energy-efficient and actually quite affordable red dot option. Powered for up to fifteen -thousand constant hours with a single, basic AA battery (everyone has some of those sitting around, right?), the Tru-Dot RDS boasts a precisely viewed 1.8 MOA red dot that can be adjusted through four levels of brightness depending on the lighting conditions when shooting is taking place.

The large display window with its 1x magnification measures 33mm by 20 mm, which aids sighting speed and delivers easy target acquisition.

I first became a big fan of red dot sights during a turkey hunt in Mexico. I had a gobbler stroll into my setup from an unexpected direction and wasn’t able to pull the gun all the way to my shoulder for a proper aim. With the red dot. It didn’t matter. With one hand on the pistol grip type shotgun, I was able to actually lift the gun off to my right, settle the red dot on the turkey’s neck, and knowing wherever the dot settled was where the gun would shoot, pulled the trigger with confidence. The recoil was ridiculous! But the gobbler dropped and I became a red dot believer.

While great for hunting or any shooting situation, they have truly found a home atop many of today’s popular tactical rifles. I first tested mine on a Ruger 556 rifle. Pulled straight from the box, with its integral Picatinny rail adapter, I had it mounted in seconds. The sight adjustments were simple and within five shots, I had it center punching targets out to 50 and then 100 yards. For those shooters looking to stretch the matched ability of their eyes with the red dot for shooting at longer ranges, or at night, the Mepro Tru-Dot is designed to work perfectly with Gen II and Gen III NVGs, as well as with co-witnessed magnifying scopes. What’s best, is at $399, this durable, energy-efficient sight won’t ding the wallet too bad either.