Red Dot Sights

Red Dot Sights

This is a discussion on Red Dot Sights within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I was looking around Gander Mountain today.I noticed the Red Dot Sights.As usual the employee's,few in number,knew very little about them.What are they?A scope?I checked ...

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Thread: Red Dot Sights

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    Red Dot Sights

    I was looking around Gander Mountain today.I noticed the Red Dot Sights.As usual the employee's,few in number,knew very little about them.What are they?A scope?I checked a few YouTube videos but they were not that informative.The prices at Gander were between $30 and $400.Several of the packages indicated they would fit pistols also,is this true?I have a .357 S&W with a 4" barrel.I checked several websites that sell these,but I like to ask you folks.This .357 is not for concealed carry.If these sights are useful I think it would be a good addition,just for fun.

  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Red Dot sights are nice. I like the only one I have on top of my AR15 once in a while. Call me cheap, but it's a BSA I've been using for almost ten years.

  3. #3
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    Array gasmitty's Avatar
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    The neat thing about red dot sights (RDS) is that if the red dot is on your target and appears anywhere in the eyepiece, your shot will be on target. No parallax to worry about. Once you're sighted in, you only need to adjust for elevation depending on your range to target.
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  5. #4
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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    The neat thing about red dot sights (RDS) is that if the red dot is on your target and appears anywhere in the eyepiece, your shot will be on target. No parallax to worry about. Once you're sighted in, you only need to adjust for elevation depending on your range to target.
    With respect, this is only true with some sights, like the holographic Eo-techs, not all red dot sights are parallax free.

    Most of my red dot usage is with rifles, specifically Aimpoints, Eo-techs, and Trijicon Acogs (not a battery powered red dot, but I still count it). There are a lot of advantages to having one on a rifle, especially for close quarters use. It can make for extremely fast target acquisition, among other things.

    For pistols, there are a number of them available, and sue to size most are not very practical for CC, but could be used for a hunting/plinking/range pistol.

    Some red dots have no magnification, and some like the Acog have low magnification like 4x. For rifles they also have magnifiers that you can set up behind a sight so you can either have magnification for longer range shot, or flip it out of the way for close in work.

    I have heard good things about Primary Arms sights, which are on the lower end of the cost scale, but still able to handle the recoil and not lose their zero.
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  6. #5
    Ex Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    I've had a $39 one on a camp 9 for about 8yrs. It's my coyote killer and works great.

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Buckeye is on point...

    Fact is _most_ red dot sights do have parallax, typically somewhere between 30 and 50 ft.
    This is notable for bullseye shooters.

    As a general item of note red dot sights are not 'scopes'.
    A scope is a magnifying tube with lenses.
    A red dot is a either a tube with an objective lens that is coated to show a lasers beam (internal) hence the "red dot"...Or they have an open lens of same again reflecting a laser.
    An EOTech, which is under multiple patents, is a _holographic_ sight with a laser projected through a prism and that prism then reflects the beam and projects it as a view within the air space inbetween where the viewer looks though and out. These too are not magnified and are sights not scopes.

    I have all of the above including both type red dots and a long parallax sight for bullseye use....Including product from PA (I ordered three more sights from them yesterday with two being gifts for others).
    I'm running a PA Microdot on my project multi-use 12GA shotgun and it is holding up quite well to recoil with _accuracy_ as tested today out to 100 yds. at just 4" on paper off of POA, in a gusting but light wind as fired standing and off hand (!).

    I've personally found reddots to be the cats meow ahead even of the EOTech system, which by design & engineering is the stronger unit.
    My preference.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

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  8. #7
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    There are RDS that are small enough to fit on a CC pistol. The top one right now is the Trijicon RMR.

    Several companies are doing the slide conversions but they can be quite expensive. The conversion of the slide is about $235 and the sight is $500 but on the plus side it does make picking up the target very quick and if there are any vision problems finding a correct sight picture with conventional sights the RMR solves that problem and battery life is a year plus with most models. One Source Tactical is one of the ones who do the conversions and some holster companies offer AIWB, IWB and OWB holsters for the weapons with the red dots on them.

    RDS in general are good for general shooting situations. You have to be careful when purchasing that you pay attention to the dot size, i.e. 2 MOA, 4 MOA, 12 MOA and so on. What that means is if you have a 4 MOA dot at one hundred yards the dot will be 4 MOA/inches across. Now for hunting that might be fine but for target work it may cause you some problems you can imagine trying to sight in a RDS with a 8 or 12 MOA dot on a smaller bullseye. A general rule of thumb is the bigger the dot usually the cheaper the unit.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

  9. #8
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  10. #9
    Member Array Rightwing's Avatar
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    Was going to put ghost rings on my 1894, but for kicks took the Tru Glo off my Buckmark and put it on the .44 Mag. What a sweet combo! Fast target acquisition, great for low light situations, and just a lot of fun to use. (what works well for close range woods hunting for deer, transitions well to urban or tight rural SHTF situations also methinks)
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  11. #10
    Member Array JPCleary's Avatar
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    I think it was Kelly McCann that is usually credited with first putting a low profile red dot sight on a defensive pistol. But Gabe Suarez has really pushed the envelope on that concept. His company One Source Tactical has been milling Glock slides for sometime now and installing red dot sights. Within the last month they started offering the same thing on XD's and M&P's.
    Kimber Tactical Ultra II, Kahr PM45, Kahr PM9, Kahr P380

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array rmilchman's Avatar
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    I have two primary arms red-dots. One on a S&W MP-15 22lr and one one a spikes tactical M4 223 (with a 5x magnifier). My experience has been that red-dots are great for hitting your target, not for bulls-eye shooting. What is your goal of using the red-dot?

  13. #12
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    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
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    I have the discontinued Bushnell holosight made by Eotech. I love it. And behind it I have a DM Premium 4x magnifier with a flip-to-side mount. Pretty decent set-up for my M&P15X, I think. It's not quite the quality of Eotech's top of the line stuff, but technically still Eotech. For plinking it gets the job done. And the DM Premium magnifier at $300 is a bargin as well compared to the more expensive Aimpoint or Eotech magnifiers. Don't get me wrong. Aimpoint and top of the line Eotech stuff IS in fact better, but for general uses, the cheaper RDS and holosights are good enough for what most of us civilians use them for.

    I also have, but don't have mounted to anything, an Aimshot (not to be confused with Aimpoint) RDS. They call it a holographic sight. It's good enough for plinking, but you can DEFIANTLY tell the quality difference when put up next to a higher quality Eotech or Aimpoint, especially when looking through it.

    RDS or holosight on a pistol isn't something I'd do, but it's possible. I just prefer a laser or laser grips on a pistol. There are smaller RDS you can mount that are specially made for pistols. Even some small enough that you can still use it for CC.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    I have a slide mounted red dot (Burris FastFire) that I use for pinshooting. Don't know I'd use it for carry purposes, due to reliability and battery issues. I do have Crimson Trace laser grips on one gun, which are very reliable but are battery hogs (worse than red dots). I also have an UltraDot mounted on a Buckmark I use for plinking. I like them a lot.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Does anybody remember the Weaver Quick Point made back in the 70s that gathered light and used it to produce a red dot without batteries? It even worked at night with outside lights. I wish they would bring that back!

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of Tru Glo sights. They make a 2x magnification RDS thats great for ARs or handgun hunting setups.
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