Accurate shot placement whether in the shooting range or hunting field comes from a combination of things. This includes the shooter’s skills and firearm, in addition to the ammunition and sighting gear. In this post, we will show you how to choose a red dot sight, a sighting tool that is essential for fine tuning shooting precision.
Many hunters and shooters prefer to use magnified optics when it comes to hunting and shooting. Magnification is essential for bringing the distant targets closer and magnifying the small sized targets. However, not all shooting applications necessitates the use of a magnified optic. Instead, you will be better off with a red dot type optic that provide a precise point of aim and fine tunes your shooting precision.
As the field of optics continues to advance, red dot sights have not been left behind. These sighting tools have grown to become an indispensable piece of gear for many modern hunters and gun enthusiasts. They are compatible with a wide range of firearms from shotguns to handguns to rifles. Besides, red dot sights are ideal for a variety of applications which include hunting, target shooting, home defense and law enforcement.
Benefits of Red Dot Sights
Red dot sights offer a wide range of benefits which make them a preferred sighting tool for many, especially hunters, competitive shooters and law enforcement officers. These benefits include:
Rapid Target Acquisition
The primary benefit of red dot sights is rapid target acquisition. A quality red dot sight will reduce the time it takes to find and acquire a target, no matter the environment that you are shooting in.
Adding a red dot sight on your favorite firearm will help you aim more confidently thereby boosting your overall shooting precision.
Low Light Performance
Virtually all red dot sights provide exceptional optical performance in low light settings. The modern models are also compatible with night vision gear to offer extra value.
Red dot sights are by far the most versatile sighting equipment. They are compatible with a wide range of firearms and ideal for use in so many shooting activities.
Quick Follow-up Shots
A red dot sight will help you make quick follow up shots because of their speedy target acquisition and both eyes open shooting abilities.
How To Choose a Red Dot Sight
Today, many amazing shots have been placed with the help of a red dot sight. If you want the experience the benefits that these multi-functional and iconic sighting tools have to offer, here are the most important things to consider when buying a red dot sight. Let’s take a look.
1) Reticle Size
The first thing to consider when looking to buy a red dot sight is size of the reticle. Since this optics are unmagnified, having a fine aiming point makes it possible to achieve the right balance between quick target acquisition and accurate shooting.
The reticle size is measured in MOA (minute of angle) and it varies in size from one model to the other. Generally, red dot sights with smaller reticles of 3 MOA and below are the best in terms of accuracy. They hardly obstruct the target to ensure precise shooting even at extended ranges.
Large reticles of 4 MOA and above don’t necessarily rule out accurate aiming, they just lack the precision of the smaller counterparts especially at longer ranges. Besides, they can easily obstruct the target especially if its small in size.
2) Brightness Settings
Red dot sights have adjustable brightness settings to enable use in different light settings. The more the brightness settings a red dot sight has, the better.
Whether you anticipate to use the sight for hunting, home defense or shooting, being able to dial down the rheostat to a point where the reticle contrasts with the target produces better accuracy. Besides, some red dot sights have their lowest brightness settings to be night vision compatible. As a result, you will be able to pair them with your favorite night vision gear.
3) Battery Life
Red dot sights that function without batteries are handy, but few in the market. Most are powered by batteries to illuminate the red dot and keep it visible in the different light settings.
It is vital to get a red dot sight with a high-capacity battery. It will help you concentrate more on the shooting knowing that the batteries won’t fail in the middle of use. A device that has a long battery life also has the added benefit of being economical to run and maintain.
4) Build Quality
Build quality is the next important thing to consider when trying to figure out how to choose a red dot sight. Just like any other optic, the build quality of a red dot sight determines its overall durability and performance.
We recommend that you get a unit that is crafted using the most hard-wearing materials. It will be resistant to the highest levels of abrasion and withstand wear and tear. A compact red dot sight that is optimized for durability also promises reliable performance in the most unforgiving terrains.
5) Battery Compartment
The battery compartment of a red dot sight is put on these three positions: top, bottom or on the side. For convenient handling, we recommend that you settle for a unit with either side or top battery compartment.
Such optics allow for convenient battery change when the sight is still mounted on the firearm. As such, the sight will still retain its zero even after you have removed and replaced the battery.
6) Size and Weight
Red dot sights come in different sizes and weight. Consider the kind of firearm you will be using the red dot sight with and choose a size that blends the best. If it’s a handgun, go for a red dot sight that is small in size to not affect its ease of concealment. Additionally, it is vital for it to have a lightweight design to not add any extra weight that can affect the balance of the firearm.
7) Weatherproof Construction
It is also important to buy a red dot sight that is built to be usable in all kinds of weather conditions. The tube should be sealed and filled with an inert gas to prevent fog build up when you use it in the rain or in cold environments. It is also important that you buy a red dot sight which performs in a reliable manner across a broad range of temperatures.
8) Magnifier Compatibility
Last on how to choose a red dot sight, consider compatibility with magnifiers. Adding a magnifier behind a red dot sight enables one to take shots at longer distances where it would be impractical to use the red dot sight alone.
In the current sphere of optics, there is a variety of red dot sights that are compatible with magnifiers. So, if you anticipate to use one for long range shooting applications, we recommend a unit that is magnifier compatible.
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- What is the best reticle size for a red dot sight?
The best reticle size for a red dot sight depends on several things such as intended application, preference and how precise you want the shooting to be.
Large reticles of 4 MOA and above are a great option for close range shooting and for people with aging eyes. On the other hand, a small reticle of 3 MOA or below is the best for precision shooting across all distances.
- Can you use a red dot sight in the dark?
Yes, you can use a red dot sight to shoot in the dark. With the illuminated point of aim, these optics works in all kinds of lighting conditions.
- Are red dot sights worth it?
Absolutely. Red dot sights are worth it for a wide range of hunting and shooting applications. They provide a more intuitive point of aim for accurate shot placement. A red dot sight also helps shooters to find and acquire targets quickly, something that is vital for dynamic shooting scenarios like self-defense.
Hopefully, you have found this buyer’s guide on how to choose a red dot sight to be informative. As you prioritize which factors matter the most to you, keep in mind that intended usage also plays a huge role in your selection process. Whatever you have in mind, there is a red dot sight out there waiting for you.