Truglo red dots are affordable, entry level reflex sights mostly under $100 which, even though not SHTF red dots where you can depend your family and your life on, but could serve you well on range guns where stakes aren’t as high and budget is more of a focus.
Certainly, when you’re just starting out or buying optic for a range toy, one might not want to drop Aimpoint money onto it.
But are Truglo red dot sights the best deals in their class or is there a better red dot? Worry not, I’ll tell you all there is to know about these optics so you can make informed decision whether a Truglo red dot is the right optic for you.
Due to recent improvements in optics manufacturing technology, firearms optics have become easier and cheaper to produce. Many overseas factories are learning the know-how of making quality optics at reasonable price. It’s very likely that prices for these optics will continue to drop while qualities and capabilities will continue to rise. Such a great time to be gun owners!
The Whole Story of Truglo Red Dot Sights
TRUGLO TruBrite Multi-Reticle Dual-Color Open Dot Sight
The TRUGLO TruBrite is one of those red dot under $70 (at the time of this writing) that can hold zero through 12 gauge shotgun and 7.62×39 rounds. I’ve put over 500 rounds of 7.62×39 through it and I have no need to re-zero it.
Its reticle is, although not super crisp, but workable at the price. Plus you can alternate between these 4 reticle patterns and 2 colors of red and green :
- 2.5 MOA dot
- 5 MOA dot
- 2.5 MOA dot + 20 MOA circle
- 5 MOA dot + 45 MOA circle
If you don’t want any of these reticles, you can opt for 5 MOA red dot only and save $20 (at the time of this writing).
Glass clarity is not the best and you can see distortions if you look for it. But one good thing is that its housing is more of a open style and has ok field of view (24×34 mm viewing glass).
Brightness adjustment knob is a slightly stiff to turn. It has 5 red and 5 green brightness settings with 2 off settings in between. The dot is daylight bright at 4 and 5 levels.
The red dot uses a CR2032 to power. I’ve used it occasionally over 10 months and have yet to replace my battery. That said, you should not forget to turn it off when not using, or else its battery will drain pretty fast.
Parallax error is present as I experimented shifting my head behind the optic. But this is what should be expected for product in this price range.
The optic comes with a weaver + picatinny rail mount. If your firearms has either of those rail, mounting would be very easy. Furthermore, mounting height is perfect for absolute co-witness with A2 style front and rear sights.
TRUGLO TruBrite is not SHTF rugged, and should not be treated as such. It can withstand light rain, but never dunk it in water nor slam it to a tree.
Truglo offers lifetime warranty on this product, but their reputation isn’t great and I would rather not rely on their warranty.
|✓ Affordable||✗ Reticle not crisp|
|✓ Hold zero quite well||✗ Not super clear glass|
|✓ Multiple reticle options||✗ Not very durable|
|✓ Good FOV, Less tube design||✗ Limited battery life|
|✓ Easy mount on weaver and picatinny rails||✗ Not parallax free|
TRUGLO Dual-Color Multi-Reticle Open Dot Sight
Compared to Truglo TruBrite (the one above), this model slimmer frame open sight design with no hood shroud. Even with the same viewing glass size, this model gives a larger peripheral vision awareness due to its slim frame.
Unfortunately, without any protective hood, durability deteriorates. External force do not get along well with this red dot. And I’ll advise you to strictly mount this only on a .22 as heavier recoil will damage it.
12 gauge shotgun, 7.62×39 or even .223 are not usable with this optic. I tried mounting it on my .223 and sure enough, after about 50 rounds its glass fell out.
Reticle is not super crisp, nor is it usable with a magnifier as it will enlarge all the blurriness for you to see. The reticle is daylight bright, but I’d like it more if I can dim it a bit more in dark background situations.
You have 2 options to choose from, 5 MOA red/green dot or multiple reticle red/green dot. For multiple reticle, you get
- 2 MOA dot + 45 MOA circle
- 45 MOA cross section
- 6 MOA dot + 45 MOA circle
- 5 MOA dot
Personally I prefer multiple reticle option as it gives you the flexibility to engage both long range and short range targets.
Battery life is not good. Mine lasts about 3 months on occasional use at the range. Parallax error is again present, but is what you expect for optics in this price range.
Furthermore, I’ve heard stories of the red dot flickering off after a period of use. All in all, I think you’d do better with other red dot as this one is very lacking in terms of reliability and durability.
|✓ Under $50||✗ Reticle not crisp|
|✓ Multiple reticle options||✗ Can’t handle any other thing than .22|
|✓ Good FOV, Less tube design||✗ Poor battery life|
|✗ Not parallax free|
|✗ Not durable nor reliable|
TRUGLO Traditional 30mm Red Dot Sight
As its name suggests, this one’s a plain jane red dot which, for the price, I think is one of the better Truglo deal.
Being a tube style 30mm red dot, its frame will limit your field of view more than open sight type. But what you gain is durability. This Truglo Traditional red dot can handle recoil well. It never lost zero when I tested it with my 12ga slug and 7.62×39.
But it doesn’t give you any feature, as you’re stuck with a 5 MOA red dot reticle, which isn’t the best choice for longer range shots beyond 75 yards.
Glass is not super clear. Dot is not crisp but daylight bright. There are 11 brightness settings for you to adjust to your environment. Dot gets especially blurry when you dial its brightness up too much.
Battery life is good as I have used a single CR2032 for 6 months straight without the need for replacement. Parallax error is still present with this red dot sight.
Rubber lens caps included are low quality, but this is not a big deal as you can throw them away and use 3rd party lens caps instead.
All in all, a very affordable red dot with no frills but can perform its job.
|✓ Can handle recoil well||✗ 5 MOA red dot only|
|✓ Under $50||✗ Low quality lens caps|
|✓ Over 6 months battery life|
TRUGLO GOBBLE-STOPPER 30mm Turkey Hunting Dual-Color Dot Sight
The Gobble-Stopper is another tube style red dot sight, and is advertised as a turkey hunting optic, due to its 3 MOA dot with 24″ at 30 yards circle reticle pattern, which is intended to help you gauge distance based on how much a turkey fits in this circle. You can switch between 5 brightness settings and 2 colors (red and green) with this optic.
Being a 30mm tube sight, it has acceptable durability and mine works fine with a 12 gauge turkey loads. Thai said, its tube style frame is thick and could somewhat obstruct your field of view. Furthermore, the Gobble-Stopper feels rather heavy in my hands. Reticle and glass are also not clear and crisp.
Another disappointing thing to mention is that the optic doesn’t perform well in rain. I’ve experienced fogging up from the inside once.
Mount to be used on weaver or picatinny rail is included with the purchase of the Truglo Gobble-Stopper.
Battery life is pretty good as it lasts for 8 months with a single CR2032 for me.
Parallax error is present with this red dot.
|✓ Can withstand 12 gauge shotgun||✗ Not waterproof|
|✓ Reticle designed for turkey hunting||✗ Glass and dot|
|✓ Good battery life||✗ Has parallax error|
TRUGLO Red-Dot 2x42mm Sight Black
This Truglo red dot has 2x magnification to it for longer range shots. Its reticle is only 2.5 MOA red dot, which is not too big for 2x magnification. Note that the magnifier is built-in and cannot be removed.
Note that the product name is quoted at 2×42 (42mm objective lens, but after some measurement, I believe 2×30 (30mm objective lens) would be a more accurate description of the product.
This Truglo 2×42, being a tube style, holds zero well even on 12ga and .308 rounds as I’ve sent 200 rounds down range and experienced no zero shift.
Truglo’s 2×42 reticle, exacerbated by magnification, isn’t very crisp and is a bit fun, especially on bright backgrounds.
Parallax error is present with this magnified red dot, but is the norm for red dots in this price range.
|✓ Very affordable red dot with magnification||✗ Dim reticle especially on brought sunny days|
|✓ Holds zero well even on .308||✗ Dot is not crisp|
|✗ Has parallax error|
TRUGLO TRU-TEC Compact 20mm Tactical Red Dot Sight
This Truglo Tru-Tec is Holosun HS403g rebrand version from Truglo. It has very similar features to Primary Arms md-ads and Sig Sauer Romeo 5 with slight tweaking in the details.
The 2 MOA red dot is crisp and sharp for optics under $150. It’s also daylight bright and can easily be seen in bright backgrounds.
Advertised battery life is 3 years, and I’ve used once for 2.5 years on a single battery with no sign of need for replacements. (Note that this is less than 50,000 his constant on of Primary Arms md-ads.)
Auto on/off feature is present with this optic to further conserve battery life. Adjustable 2-8 hours auto sleep mode makes sure you won’t ever have to worry about forgetting to turn off your red dot. When the red dot detects motion, it can automatically turns itself on. That said, you can manually turn the red dot off to prevent unintentional motion activation such as when driving a car.
Durability is good a it can hold zero on 200 rounds of .308 down range. And it can also take some beating and is waterproof to a degree.
The optic comes with an interchangeable high and low mounts that fit on any Weaver and Picatinny rails. Co-witnessing is easily set up with these mounts.
Truglo offers 3 years warranty on the product, but they don’t have reliable reputation on warranty and customer service, thus I won’t count on it.
|✓ Clean and crisp dot for the price||✗ No other reticle option|
|✓ Hold zero well||✗ Warranty not reliable|
|✓ Acceptable durability||✗ Not as cheap as Truglo’s other products|
|✓ 3 years battery life|
|✓ Motion sensors and auto sleep mode to conserve battery|