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Sightmark Element 1x30 Red Dot Sight Review

The durable, affordable Sightmark Element 1x30 Red Dot Sight is the ultimate reflex sight for your firearm.

Sightmark Element 1x30 Red Dot Sight Review

Red dot sights are the hottest trend in optics and the Sightmark Element 1x30 leads the field in value and dependability. With a 2-MOA dot, the Element allows you to get on target quickly without sacrificing situational awareness, and there’s simply no better option for rapid target acquisition in hunting, target, competition, and self-defense situations.


A feature that sets the Element apart from its competitors is its sleek, lightweight clamp mount system that allows you to quickly and securely attach the optic to your firearm. Aluminum alloy construction makes the Element’s mount lightweight yet rugged, and the robust mounting hardware bites solidly against the rail so there’s no risk that the sight will shake loose or lose zero.


The universal clamp works on any Picatinny rail, so regardless of whether you’re adding a reflex sight to your home defense AR or mounting on your 12-gauge turkey or varmint gun, this is the only optic you’ll need. And with the highest-quality lenses in the class and nine brightness settings (two night vision compatible) you’ll always be able to clearly see you target and the dot regardless of ambient light conditions.

The Sightmark Element is powered by a single 3V CR2032 battery that offers up to 15,000 hours of runtime, saving you time and money. The capped windage and elevation turrets offer an unbelievable 110 MOA of adjustment in 1-MOA increments, and the windage and elevation caps can be flipped and used to make in-the-field POI adjustments, eliminating the risk of accidentally leaving critical tools behind. The parallax is set at 10 yards, and eye relief is unlimited.


With its low-profile aluminum base, the Element rides an inch lower than many competing red dot sights, and that allows for a more comfortable shooting position and increases durability in the field. Overall height is just 2.9 inches, and with a length of 4.4 inches and a width of 2.6 inches the Element is one of the most compact and streamlined red dots on the market today. It’s also extremely light — just 9.8 ounces — so it won’t add a lot of bulk to your firearm.


Sightmark utilizes high-strength 6061-T6 aluminum for the Element’s body. Raised edges on the body shield the adjustment caps, giving the optic a streamlined profile and eliminating the risk of snags or breakage when you’re moving. Brightness is adjusted using the large, easy-to-operate intensity control on the right side of the optic. Though it sits close to the optic and maintains the same low-profile, snag-free design as the adjustment caps, the brightness control is easy to find and use, even in total darkness. What’s more, the adjustments are precise, so you’ll be able to quickly adjust to the desired setting even without looking at the sight.


The Element’s spec sheet is impressive, boasting an IP67 waterproof rating (meaning it’s submersible to three feet for a full hour) and an operating temperature from -22 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The unit is abuse rated up to .338 Win Mag levels, and flip-up caps protect the lenses from dirt, dust and debris. What’s even more impressive, though, is the price. This versatile and robust optic carries an MSRP of just $155.99.


Sightmark Element Red Dot in the Field

I attached the Element to the rail of a Patriot Ordnance AR-15 for endurance and field testing. The Element’s base bites down securely on the top rail and, once there, this sight doesn’t move. The 30mm objective lens allows maximum light transfer and a wide field of view makes the Element an ideal optic for a defensive firearm. What’s more, the red dot is easy to see and allows the shooter to maintain target focus, and the sight body is thin enough that it doesn’t distract the shooter or blur line of sight. And since it’s night vision compatible the Element is a round-the-clock optic.


Despite its many features one thing that impresses about the Element is its ease of use. Everything from mounting the dot to making POI corrections and adjusting the intensity can be accomplished quickly and easily in the field, and with so many intensity options it was never a problem to find exactly the setting I needed. The body of the optic stands up well to the abuse of daily use, and the matte finish eliminates any possibility of glare. I didn’t shoot the optic nearly enough to drain the battery, but swapping out the CR2032 is as easy as unscrewing a cap.

The Element’s 2-MOA dot is extremely versatile, effective for close-range shots yet precise enough for longer shots. At 15 yards I was able to make fast, accurate, shots with both eyes open while moving, and when I went to the bench there was no problem hitting plates at 100 yards. And unlike other optics you have the ability to swap the Element from one rifle or shotgun to another, making it a do-all defense/target/hunting/competition sight.


The Element lived up to its reputation as a rugged and dependable red dot optic at a great price. For my money, I’d pair it with the Sightmark XT-3 Tactical Magnifier with an LQD side-flip mount, which can be ordered from Sightmark for an additional $215.99. That would extend the capabilities of the already versatile Element a bit farther, but even without a Magnifier there’s very little you can’t do with the Element short of long-range precision shooting. There are a lot of red dot sights on the market, but none match the value, versatility, and shooter-friendly design of the Sightmark 1x30 Element.

Sightmark Element 1x30 Red Dot Sight Specs:

  • Reticle: 2 MOA
  • Reticle Color: Red
  • Brightness Settings: Off, 1-9, 1-2 NV
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 30 mm
  • Elevation Adjustment: 110 MOA
  • Windage Adjustment: 110 MOA
  • Adjustment Value: 1 MOA
  • Finish: Matte Black 
  • Body Material: 6061-T6 Aluminum
  • Maximum Recoil: .338 Win Mag
  • IR Rating: IP67 (waterproof to 1 meter/3 feet for 1 hour)
  • Nitrogen-Filled: Yes
  • Battery: CR2032 (1)
  • Run Time: 100-15,000 Hours
  • Operating Temperature: -22o to 160o Fahrenheit
  • Length: 4.4 Inches
  • Width: 2.6 Inches
  • Height: 2.9 Inches
  • Weight: 9.8 Ounces
  • MSRP: $155.99

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