Reasons to use red dot optics
Red dot scopes are specific and suitable for both beginners and advanced users.
Check out their main benefits below:
- Excellent for novice shooters – if you are a beginner, red dot sights can decrease the learning curve of using your weapon.
- Improve overall accuracy – the entire point of a red dot is to enhance your accuracy while shooting at the target.
- Suitable for aged shooters – eyesight might start deteriorating after age 35, which is where red dot sights can be a helpful targeting tool.
- Great for both short and long ranges – it depends on the unit you choose, but these optics can be a fine choice for both close shots and long distances.
- Versatile – are you a passionate turkey or deer hunter, or you plan on using the sight for tactical purposes? Perhaps you just want to use the dot at the shooting range? Either way, you will love how versatile these optics are.
- Suitable for different weather conditions – most red dot scopes are fog and waterproof, which makes them great for rainy, foggy, and other harsh weather conditions.
How to pick the best red dot sight?
Is it your first time purchasing a red dot scope? If that is the case, you could use learning more about the factors to consider during the selection process. And even if you are an expert, you will appreciate a detailed overview of relevant factors to help you in choosing the right unit. We tried to cover all important areas ranging from the reticle itself to scope details like battery life and brightness settings. Keep reading to discover the most important features of red dot optics, and how to pick a unit that best meets your expectations.
The initial thing you want to consider is the reticle. Your goal is to pick the perfect size of your red dot scope for AR15 or another weapon. The manufacturers measure the size in MOA, which is short for minutes of angle. That is an official unit for measuring a circle. A single MOA equals 1/60th of a single degree.
If that is confusing, you should know that you can choose from the following:
- 2 MOA – the target should be easy and clear to see, even if you use it at large distances. A great example of a red dot sight with 2 MOA reticle is the Aimpoint PRO.
- 4 MOA – it is the most suitable option for those who want to use their weapon for both close and long distances.
- 6 MOA – the most convenient choice for fast-moving targets that aren’t that far away.
The next factor on our list of the best red dot sights is an objective diameter. This should be pretty clear if you know a thing or two about cameras or binoculars. The primary rule is that the larger diameter, the more you can see through it, especially at large distances. Some users prefer a small objective diameter that is 16mm, such as in the Trijicon RMR Type 2 3.25 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight.
You can also go with a large objective diameter, but when it comes to a red dot scope, there is no need to go over 30mm. That should be enough for all your expectations, regardless of how you plan to use the optics.
Brightness settings can play a crucial role in how satisfied you are with your red dot scope. It is usual for these products to offer multiple brightness adjustments. That number can go anywhere from two to twenty different settings. The lowest ones are suitable for the dark and low-light environments, while the highest adjustments are convenient when it is bright outside.
Most manufacturers will also include several night-vision compatible settings, such as seen with the Sig Sauer Romeo5. If you like hunting at night, you want to look for scopes with these adjustments.
The most common way of changing adjustment settings is through a dial that is located on the side of the unit. By turning the dial, you switch the brightness level, which makes it easy to adjust settings on the go.
The optical coating is important to deliver a clear and crisp image. That is where the coating quality implemented in the desired product plays a critical role. Most units, such as the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight, will use a multi-coated approach to ensure the best product’s performance.
Anti-reflective coating can be important to resist the glare you might face in bright conditions.
That can be crucial if it is sunny outside, and the sunlight is a problem. You can also go with units that have a detachable sunshade, like the TRUGLO GOBBLE-STOPPER 30mm Turkey Hunting Dual-Color Dot Sight. These serve to protect you from the glare and ensure optimal visibility. While we are talking about lenses, don’t forget the importance of lens covers since they will protect it from scratches and other types of damage.
Battery type and life
Red dot optics use different types of batteries, and the lifespan can significantly vary. For example, the Sightmark Wolverine FSR Red Dot Sight and similar units might use AA or AAA batteries. That is why their lifespan can be anywhere from 5 to 500 hours.
You also have manufacturers who choose to implement batteries that work well in the long run. Those are DL1/3N or CR2032, which are both capable of operating up to 100,000 hours. Some brands provide batteries with their products, which can help you to save money on the initial investment in the scope.
The exact lifespan depends on the unit, but also the settings you use. The same unit might last less than 1,000 hours on the highest brightness adjustment but go up to 100,000 hours on the lowest settings.
Dimensions and weight
The next thing you want to consider is the physical characteristics of the desired red dot scope. When it comes to dimensions, it depends on the weapon you plan to use with the optics. For example, the best red dot sight for a shotgun can be bigger. But a pistol will require a smaller scope since there is limited room for mounting it.
As for the weight, you will find that most units are between three and twelve ounces. Many users don’t mind the additional weight because they receive stability and ruggedness. The best example of that is the reliability of the Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight. On the other hand, you can also go for a light sight, but make sure that it is solid enough once mounted.
When buying the best red dot sight for shotgun deer hunting or any other purpose, you should stick to the same formula as when purchasing other products. It is crucial to look for reliable brands that have a premium reputation in the industry.
Red dot scope users are blessed that many reputable companies design these optics. If you are a hunter or birdwatcher, you probably heard of Bushnell’s products. Other reputable brands are Aimpoint, EOTECH, Vortex, and Sig Sauer.
The reason why you should stick to premium brands is that they deliver what’s promised. You are guaranteed to receive the components mentioned in the description. These companies often offer a generous warranty, but it is more important that they will honor that warranty.
Durability and weather resistance
You will encounter harsh weather conditions, such as fog or rain, sooner or later. That is why you need red dot optics that are suitable for severe weather. For starters, you want to consider water resistance rating as that can be critical to keeping your unit safe when it’s raining. The red dot sight might also be submersible in water up to three or more feet.
Fog can complicate things because the condensation might appear on the lens. Reliable optics are fog-proof and maintain the highest performance level in these conditions.
Housing materials and ruggedness can affect the durability of your scope. You want to look for high-quality aluminum optics, such as in TRUGLO GOBBLE-STOPPER 30mm Turkey Hunting Dual-Color Dot Sight.