Red dots are all the rage, but the challenge of customizing pistols for optics has been a concern for many shooters. These three options take the guesswork out of the equation and can get you on the range with a pistol that is red-dot ready in no time.

Here are three easy options for anyone looking to add a red dot to their range day or concealed carry selection: The Springfield Hellcat, Sig Sauer P365 XL, and SCCY CPX-2

Why Pick a Red Dot Pistol

There are two undeniable trends in pistol development right now – compact guns with great capacity and red dots. You can easily find a small pistol today that boasts 10+ rounds of 9mm. But what really has the firearms world talking right now is the increasing popularity of optics on pistols. Red dots are not new, and they’ve certainly earned their place among rifle shooters. But these compact optics are now a regular feature on even micro 9mm pistols. 

Traditional pistol sights require you to line up the front and rear sights. When you get your red dot sighted in, it’s as simple as putting the dot on your target and pulling the trigger. You do still have to train for this to be quick and accurate, but the potential advantages of a red dot are obvious – day or night – and the tech is increasingly affordable. So, let’s look at three popular handguns that come with red dots right out of the box.

Springfield Hellcat RDP

The Hellcat is extremely compact, but it offers plenty of firepower at a standard capacity of 11+1 or 13+1 rounds. The RDP version also adds a compensator for more controllability. Throw in the HEX Wasp red dot and you have a compact, concealable, and accurate pistol for self-defense uses.

The pistol also features an accessory rail and a slide with front and back slide serrations. This striker-fired gun is compact and has a short reset for the trigger. What really wins over most shooters, however, is the shear capacity in such a small gun.

 Sig Sauer P365 XL

Boasting the ultra-compact Romeo Zero red dot, this micro pistol pulls some extra duty with the addition of a tritium front night sights. You probably won’t need it with a red dot that offers a battery life of 20,000 hours and a 3-MOA accuracy. Plus, the P365 kicked in the door for micro-compact carry pistols. 

Frankly, there are engineers still trying to figure out how they got 12 rounds in that magazine. The P365 was an instant concealed carry hit, and the new red-dot-ready version is a solid choice. The flat-faced trigger makes it an even better shooter than the original.


So far, all the guns on our list have been single-action-only pistols. These striker-fired guns are tried and tested, but there are double-action handguns making their own mark in the concealed carry market. The SCCY CPX-2 is a well-liked pistol with plenty of devoted fans.

Crimson Trace added their own bit of flair to this budget-friendly pistol with a red dot. This is a double-action-only pistol, but it is also the most cost-effective option. SCCY gives you a pistol that is robust, but you do need to train for a longer trigger reset. Then again, you also get a 12+1 pistol at a fraction of the price of most red-dot-ready firearms.

Final Thoughts

Pistol optics are no longer a trend really. Sure, there was a time when they seemed rare and expensive accessories. Frankly, the same was true for red dots and gun lights on home defense rifles and shotguns not that long ago. But pistols with red dots are increasingly popular, and there’s no sign that red dots are going anywhere except on top of more handguns. 

You can get in on the ground floor with these three red-dot-ready options. You might be surprised by how much they improve our shooting with a little practice – and tech – at the range.

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