Home Buyer Guides Protect Yourself: Guide To Choosing A Home Defense Optic

Protect Yourself: Guide To Choosing A Home Defense Optic


optic for self defense purposes
We Recommend:

Aimpoint M4s 2 Minute of Angle ( Read 33+ Amazon customer reviews)

Crimson Trace Laser Grips ( Read 159+ Amazon customer reviews)

C-MORE Systems Tactical Railway ( Read 5+ Amazon customer reviews)

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 (Read 2,173+ Amazon customer reviews)

Choosing an optic for home defense is a critical decision one has to make. Home and self defense is not the range, is not hunting, and is not shooting competition.

Home defense can be a very matter of life and death. What works for shooting a deer or getting a high score in three gun is not what necessarily works well for home defense. There are certain considerations one must take when determining what the best optic for them is.


There is no perfect answer for something like this; it’s entirely subjective to the end user and their unique situations. There are however a few constant factors that come into play, that are for a large part universal, beyond these few constant factors everything is user subjective.

Aimpoint M4S red-dot sight
Aimpoint M4s 2 Minute of Angle
C-More systems red-dot sight
C-MORE Systems Tactical Railway
Bushnell Trophy amazon best seller
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25
Magnification: 1X1X1X
Eye Relief: Unlimited
Reticle: 2 MOA Red dot8 MOA Red dot3 MOA Red dot
Brightness settings: 7 NVD settings/9 daylight settings8 daylight/1 low light /2 night vision settings11
Overall Length: 4.7 in.4.8 in.2.4 in.
Parallax Setting: Parallax freeParallax freeParallax free
Objective Lens: -29mm25mm
Waterproof/fogproof:YesYes100% waterproof/fogproof/shockproof construction
Weight:9.3 oz.5 oz.3.7 oz.
Product Page:Click HereClick HereClick Here

The 3 Big Constant Factors


Durability – This one is self explanatory, the optic should be durable before it can be trusted. You should be able to train with the optic heavily and still depend on it for home defense use. There is no reason you should have to baby any optic, and treat it like something marked fragile. Run it hard, and put it away wet, if it can’t handle then I wouldn’t trust it.


Precision – This is a device designed to put rounds into a threat that is trying to harm you. It needs to be precise. There should be no second guessing where your round is going to hit if you are doing your part.


Ease of use – An optic should remain uncomplicated and easy to use regardless of its use. With home defense this is even more important. There should be not guess work in how the optic works, or what you need to do to get it battle ready.


The Truth about Home Defense

Let’s take a second to focus on the situation most of us face when it comes to defending the home. First off, most homes are not going to have enough room to consider long range shots as an option. You are also in friendly territory; I mean it’s your house right?

So you’ll need good peripheral vision to ensure there are no family members, kids, or pets in your immediate field of fire. Also stress will be a major factor, and of course there is always the possibility of being half awake in the middle of night. What does this all mean to you?


What it means is you need an optic that excels at close quarters combat, allows you to maintain peripheral vision, is capable of being used in all light conditions, and of course is easy to use. This information all points to a red dot optic, or a holographic optics.


Red dot optics and holographic optics served largely the same objective, and comparing the two would akin to comparing a Civic to a Corolla, they will both get where you need to go, in a similar manner. The largest deciding factor would be user choice. I am firmly committed to the idea that 99% of people are best suited with a red dot or holographic sight for close range combat.


The Reticle

The reticle your optic uses is more important than people realize. I’ve said it before, and I’ll reiterate now, it should be illuminated. A black crosshair is near impossible to see in low light situations. Some folks may like use a lower powered variable optic for home defense, something with a 1-4x magnification. Generally people say at 1x it’s the same as a red dot anyway. Well, yes, but no, if the optic does not have an illuminated reticle how are you going to see it at night?

Leupold illuminated reticle
The illuminated reticle bright point makes target fixation extremely easy..and reliable

The reticle should be nice and bright, or have the ability to be nice and bright with different variable settings. A high brightness levels allows the optic to be used in bright daylight conditions, because let’s face not all attacks come at night.


The reticle should also be eye catching and easy to find. There should be no second guessing where the reticle is. Once it’s brought to bear the reticle is right there, in your face and ready to go. Color wise, reticles should stick to easy eye catching colors like green or red. These bright colors are easy to see, and your eye is naturally attracted to them.


Power Sources

For home defense use I cannot stress the importance an illuminated reticle. An illuminated reticle is important, but so is its power source. Power sources do have some slight variations, and it’s important to know the strengths, weaknesses, and maintenance required of each.


Most of these optics rely on some form of battery, and that battery can vary from a watch battery to a CR123 or even something as simple as double As. The most efficient battery is often the CR123, but the most common and affordable is the double A.

two types of batteries used as optics power source
These little things can be the difference between life & death.


You should be familiar with the run time of your optic, and be well aware of when it needs new batteries. I always suggest keeping an extra set on hand at all times, so if your batteries are low you can swap them out and not procrastinate.


You should regularly check your optic and batteries at least once a week to insure everything is in good working order. This includes making sure there is no corrosion on the batteries or end caps.


Another solution is systems that Trijicon uses in their optics, like the Trijicon Reflex. This is a battery free illumination source that utilizes fiber optics and tritium to absorb light and power the reticle.

This is an excellent system, however one should take caution. If your weapon and optic is at home in a safe, how much light is it absorbing? If you are attacked at night, how much ambient light is being absorbed? The answer is not much, so when the time comes your reticle will be very dim, if not invisible.



If I had to name a good home defense optic and you asked me for my pick I’d go with either an Eotech or an Aimpoint. Both optics are easy to use, precise, and durable. Both have been adopted by the U.S. military and several police forces. These optics have a dedicated user base, and already have a long track record for success, there is no risk regarding if the optic will work or not.

Scroll forward to see 4 specific optics I recommend for self-defense.


Limited Considerations

Now let’s say 99% of the population would be well suited with an Eotech and an Aimpoint, and their situation is simply a house in the suburbs, or maybe just a bit rural.

For the farmer, of those with great swaths of land they may have other considerations. Some people need to defend their homes, family, and even livelihoods like cattle, from four legged predators. These folks need something with a bit of magnification to it. I still keep my previous suggestions and advice, but merely suggest going with something like a Trijicon Acog 4×32 ( scroll below for additional recommendations ).

shotgun and its ammo
The times when farmers used shotgun as self defense should be all over now.


The ACOG is the U.S. Marines chosen optic and has proven itself across the world and in two wars an optic that is durable, easy to use, and tough as nails.


Sighting In

I cannot stress enough how much someone should invest in a quality optic. I use the word invest specifically because a gun and an optic for self defense is an investment. This investment is your life, and you get to determine how much that is worth.


4 Recommended Optics For Defending Your Home

Aimpoint M4s 2 Minute of Angle – 

Aimpoint M4S red-dot sight

The chosen optic of the United States Army the Aimpoint M4 is one of the premiere red dot optics on the market. Aimpoint didn’t just practically invent the red dot optic, they actually invented it. The Aimpoint M4 represents nearly twenty-five years of optic advancement.

The Aimpoint M4 is on of the toughest optics on the market, and it has proven itself as one of the best close-quarters combat optics on the market. The Aimpoint is remarkably easy to use, featuring minimal controls, and is completely ambidextrous. The Aimpoint M4 uses a unique coating on the lens of the optic that reflects the red dot back at 100%. This increases the dot’s overall brightness, without causing washout.

The Aimpoint M4 is also extremely durable. The optic is not only waterproof but can be submerged up to 150 feet and still function. The reticle has sixteen different brightness settings, with nine for daylight and seven for night vision. The Aimpoint also has one of the longest battery lives of any optic. The Aimpoint M4 can run for eighty thousand hours, that is five straight years.

The Aimpoint M4 is an excellent optic for home defense because of its precise red dot, it’s ability to be used with night vision, and just how tough the optic is. The optic can be accidentally left on for years and still reliably function when it is needed. The optic is perfect for close quarters battle and it was proven in places like Fallujah and Ramadi.

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Magnification: 1X

Eye Relief: Unlimited

Brightness settings: 7 NVD settings/9 daylight settings

Parallax Setting: Parallax free

Reticle: 2 MOA Red dot

Overall Length: 4.7 in.

Battery Life: 80 000 hours for good quality battery

Weight 9.3 oz.

Waterproof/fogproof Yes

MSRP: Not listed on the manufacturer’s web site

Manufacturer’s Website:


Crimson Trace Laser Grips

crimson laser sight grips

Crimson trace laser grips single-handedly revived the defensive laser concept and brought it into the 21st century. These laser grips became very popular in a short period of time and are now made for nearly every popular firearm on the market. Crimson Trace laser grips are very easy to use, incredibly precise, and add a real tactical advantage to any handgun.


Crimson Trace grips work without any real effort from the shooter. These grips require nothing more than the user to grip the firearm. As soon as the firearm is gripped appropriately the laser is activated. The laser is incredibly bright and can easily be seen during the night, and can also be seen during the brightest days. Crimson Trace uses the brightest, most powerful laser allowed by law. The Crimson Trace lasers are very easy to adjust and to get on target, and can be done with less than fifty rounds.


Crimson Trace lasers can last for forty-eight hours of continuous use. When the average engagement time is seconds in a self-defense situation, forty-eight hours of continuous use is a long time. Crimson Trace also provides free batteries for life for all of their products. Crimson Trace grips are made for nearly every firearm you could imagine, including the Glock series of pistols, 1911s, and a very large selection of revolvers. A handgun isn’t the best weapon, but it may be the only weapon at the end during a home defense encounter. With the unpredictability of home invasion, a laser allows for positive engagement during the day and the night.

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Sighting: Factory Sighted at 50′

Battery Type: 4 Lithium Batteries

Laser Batter Life: Approximately 2 hours

Laser Visibility: .5 inch diameter at 50 Feet

Activation Mode: Pressure

Attachment: Grip Replacement

MSRP: $399.00

Manufacturer’s Website:


C-MORE Systems Tactical Railway – Read Our Review

C-More systems red-dot sight

The C-More systems optics are known for being extremely lightweight and very compact. These optics are red-dot and use an open top design. The C-More systems may not be budget priced optics, but they are priced affordably and are an excellent value. The C-More systems Tactical allows for rapid target acquisition, with minimal user input.

The C-More systems provide a single red dot as it’s reticle. The optic is designed to be mounted on either a rifle or shotgun. The C-More Systems tactical works exceptionally well when mounted on an AR 15 carbine with a flat top upper receiver. The C More tactical is capable of co-witnessing standard AR 15 iron sights. The C-More Tactical features 11 different brightness settings, including 8 for daylight, 1 for low light, and 2 for night vision compatibility.

The C-More Tactical’s objective lens is 29mm, but the optic is designed to be used with both eyes opened. This makes the objective lens size unimportant. The C-More acts as a heads up display with the red dot reticle imposed over your vision. The C-More prevents tunnel vision that is normally associated with tube style optics and allows an unlimited field of vision for operators.

The C-More Tactical is perfect for use on a home defense long gun and works extremely well in close quarters. These optics are tough as nails while being lightweight and compact. The C-More tactical optics are perfect for close quarters fighting and are extremely easy to use.

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Magnification: 1X

Objective Lens: 29mm

Eye Relief: Unlimited

Brightness settings: 8 daylight/1 low light /2 night vision settings

Parallax Setting: Parallax free

Reticle: 8 MOA Red dot

Overall Length: 4.8 in.

Battery Life: 300-1500

Weight 5 oz.

Waterproof/fogproof Yes

MSRP: Not listed on the manufacturer’s web site

Manufacturer’s Website:


Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 – Read Our Review

Bushnell Trophy amazon best seller

Budget is always an important factor, even when it comes to outfitting a firearm with an optic that may save your life. There is such a huge market for optics for self-defense and tactical applications that there are now some high quality, no frills budget models out there that are both reliable, and rugged. The TRS 25 is very simple, and may lack some refinement found on more expensive models, but the TRS 25 works.

The TRS 25 is a simplistic red dot optic designed and marketed by Bushnell. The TRS 25 made a big splash as one of the first optics out there to be both high-quality and budget friendly. The TRS 25 has a 25 mm objective lenses and use only a single red dot as its reticle. The Bushnell is quite rugged for its sub one hundred dollar price. The TRS 25 has an amber colored lens coating to provide a higher level of light transmission, and make the sight picture appear bright and clear.

The TRS 25’s reticle has eleven different illumination settings, and the small red dot can become quite bright. The reticle is a 3 MOA dot, and if the higher settings are utilized the dot may appear larger. The TRS 25 is also completely waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof, making it quite potent against the elements. The TRS 25 is capable of co-witnessing with the front sight of an AR 15 when the appropriate high riser is used. The TRS 25 is an excellent close range optic and is perfect for inside the home ranges.

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Magnification: 1X

Objective Lens: 25mm

Eye Relief: Unlimited

Brightness settings: 11

Parallax Setting: Parallax free

Reticle: 3 MOA Red dot

Overall Length: 2.4 in.

Battery Type: CR2032

Weight 3.7 oz.

Waterproof/fogproof: 100% waterproof/fogproof/shockproof construction

MSRP: Not listed on the manufacturer’s web site

Manufacturer’s Website:


SOURCEPersonal Defense Network


  1. Can you recommend 2 or 3 options of budget reticle scopes? I’m retired, and moderately making it from one month to the next. I would really appreciate any help in choosing a good scope for my 20 gauge Mossberg. Thank you

  2. One of the recommended is more than $900 after tax.
    For that money you can buy an economical rifle, a pump action shotgun, and 2 Propoints, and a couple of spare batteries, If you are going to Faluja, you’d be better off buying 3 identical red dots, to replace as you need, than blowing $900 on something you destroy while running into a wall, and then having no good replacement
    These devices are basically idiot proof and will all do the Job, from $35 up…

    And for your information Tritium doesn’t need and won’t absorb light to work. It’s self bright cause it’s radioactive, and has to be replaced every few years. That’s the reason it’s allowed, cause it deteriorates so quickly, and is not a problem for disposing of. Longer lived radioactives are good, but require careful disposing of. In that way it’s very expensive compared to battery illuminated. Tritium sights are for combat pistol, if you always carry. At home you can use a Propoint