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Red Dot sights - Proper use and range of effectiveness?

This is a discussion on Red Dot sights - Proper use and range of effectiveness? within the AR Talk forums, part of the Long Gun Talk category; I decided to order a Vortex red dot scope/sight from MidWayUSA after reading some good feedback on them. I have never owned nor used a ...

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Old 12-07-2008, 08:09 PM   #1
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Red Dot sights - Proper use and range of effectiveness?

I decided to order a Vortex red dot scope/sight from MidWayUSA after reading some good feedback on them. I have never owned nor used a red dot of any kind really.

I would like to know how they are effectively used, what range of effectiveness/accuracy do they usually have with a 1x type and how are they at shooting accuracy over "xx" distances versus close range?

I guess my basic question would be better asked; will they be accurate at 100 yards as much as they are at 50 yards? Are they like scopes and have to be boresighted at specific ranges?
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:14 PM   #2
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Anything sighted at 50 yards will have a different point of impact at any other distance. With o magnification, you will surely be more accurate at 50 than 100, red dots are not really target sights for shooting groups, they do allow for quicker target aquisition. I have shot targets out past 100 with mine but they accell more in the CQB type of role.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:14 PM   #3
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From my limited experience (just my AR), if your red dot co-witnesses with your iron sights, then it will work as far as you are comfortable shooting your rifle.

Back in the day with my M16A1 we would shoot out to 300 meters with irons...hell, I can't see that far even with a hunting scope these days!

I have hunted with my AR and am comfortable out to about 150 yards using my red dot.

You will have to sight it in just as you would any other scope...especially if you want to co-witness your irons!
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:20 PM   #4
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Oh thanks for bringing up other points I was curious about! I am hoping this red dot I ordered will co-witness with my irons. I guess I will have to wait and see what rings to get to make it the proper height to co-witness.

Yes, I was aware red dots are more for CQC and is really what I bought my rifle for even though I do go to the range for some target practice with it.

I guess range adjustment with red dots are just a lesson learning how much to adjust? I am assuming there are no range finding/mil dots on most 1x red dots?
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:44 PM   #5
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this is my .02 to me red dots are for CQC mostly 50 t0 100 yard
but their has being some pepol that have use it further than that
but they do make red dots that go from 2x 3x 4x magnification
i personally keep mine at 25 to 50 yard but that is just me
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:49 PM   #6
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I have one on my 450BM and use it for hunting up to about 100 yds. I will take a shot past that, but I bought the upper for hogs and most single shots to various spots on their bodies have done the job very well. I can keep them inside an 8" circle at 100 yds, but actual shot placement on them seems to be limited to my vision. Most red dots I've looked through were a bit blurry, but mine has a very fine illuminated cross hair. Tomorrow I will post some pictures of how it looks.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:04 AM   #7
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A good reflex red dot sight (I have a C-More railway click-switch sight) will be much more accurate and faster to shoot that iron sights. When one shoots with iron sights, the focus is on the front sight, the target blurs, the rear peep is very blurred, and tunnel vision occurs. When the target is a threat to you, the natural tendency is to focus on the target and the front sight is blurred, impairing accuracy. Usually the off eye is squinted with a grimace on the shooter's face. If you get out of alignment with the peep (easy to do when concentrating on the front sight), you will have parallax problems.

When you get past 40 years, the target gets even more blurred when you focus on the front sight. Also, squinting cuts down on the total available light hitting your retina, so as you get older you will probably want to shoot with both eyes wide open.

The red dot solves these problems by allowing you to focus on both the red dot and target at the same time. The eye is not strained by switching from the target to the dot. The red dot follows your eye placement/cheek weld, eliminating parallax problems. Both eyes are wide open allowing maximum light and permitting good peripheral vision. The shooters face is relaxed allowing a longer hold/aiming time.

It pays to have a quality red dot and the C-More is an excellent quality piece. On cheaper reflex-type sights, I have found that the windage/elevation settings can drift with recoil requiring tedious trial-and-error adjustment and having set screws just right. So even though a cheap sight looks good at the shop, it may not perform at the range.

Accuracy also depends on the MOA dot size. I have a 6 MOA dot and have ordered a 4 MOA dot module.

Last edited by Wild Rice; 12-08-2008 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:28 PM   #8
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Here're a couple of applications for which I've found the excellent, though inexpensive Tasco PDP3 to work well. Now have three PDP3s. My original is 12-15 yrs-old, and has rested atop a Mod 29 Smith .44 Magnum, my Glocks, and my 10-22.

Like Wild Rice says, I shoot with both eyes open and find the 5m.o.a. dot pretty effective out to 100 yds. Co-witnessing is irrelevant to the range at which you can use a red dot. My red dots have, I believe 1/4moa-per-click adjustments, just like most "regular" scopes.



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Old 12-08-2008, 06:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercmar View Post
Co-witnessing is irrelevant to the range at which you can use a red dot. My red dots have, I believe 1/4moa-per-click adjustments, just like most "regular" scopes.

That is understandable. What I am wondering is a situation where I would need to shoot at a much farther distance than what my red dot is zeroed at. If I needed to use BUIS will they co-witness through a red dot such as the one you pictured?
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tally XD View Post
That is understandable. What I am wondering is a situation where I would need to shoot at a much farther distance than what my red dot is zeroed at. If I needed to use BUIS will they co-witness through a red dot such as the one you pictured?
You shouldn't need to use BUIS for something past what your dot is zeroed at. Learn the rise/drop at different ranges and you can send it as far as you can accurately see.
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