Is it worth ditching iron sights for a red dot?

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A red dot sight is a piece of equipment used to improve targeting. If you’ve never tried one you’ve likely seen them being used on TV or even in video games, and as the name suggests, a red dot appears on the exact aim point of the target. There are several benefits of a red dot sight over traditional iron sights. If you’re considering ditching iron sights for a red dot sight, there are also a few important differences to point out.

What is the difference between a red dot sight and iron sights?

Traditional iron sights are made up of two parts which are connected as one system. One part is located at the front of the firearm and the other at the rear. There are a couple of different types of iron sight systems. One example is a post-and-notch system. The rear part has a notch in it which needs to be perfectly aligned with the post at the front. Another similar type is aperture iron sights, where a disc at the back of the firearm, also known as an iris, needs to line up with the front post or aperture. 

A red dot sight is based on the same principle, achieving an exact aim point, but it works slightly differently. In the case of a red dot sight, the aim point is highlighted by a red dot or colored reticle. A red dot sight has a spherical mirror that only reflects red light into your eye, that only you can see. The fact that it only reflects red light means that it prevents other light from disrupting your visibility. As you can see, this technology is more advanced than iron sights, but it has actually been around for a long time. If you’re interested in an upgrade for your guns, here are few of the benefits of a red dot sight.

Keeps both eyes on your target at all times

When using iron sights, it can often feel more comfortable to close one eye. With a red dot, however, you can keep both your eyes on the target. Red dots are meant to be used in this way as it gives you a greater field of vision. This not only improves accuracy, but it’s more instinctive and increases safety. Keeping both eyes open helps you avoid getting tunnel vision. It allows you to maintain more awareness of the environment around you. A red dot makes it easier to focus on a single point which allows for faster and more accurate target acquisition. 

Easier to see in low-light environments

Red dot sights are lit up using LEDs which make it easier to see your target in low-light environments. Whereas you can get iron sights that are illuminated by fiber optics or tritium, the aim point is not quite as clear as when using an LED reflex sight in darker settings. Following a red light even in the dark causes much less of a strain on your eyes. It essentially glows in the dark and naturally attracts both eyes. If you’re hunting in times of low visibility, it might be better to upgrade your iron sights for a red dot sight.

Increased accuracy and overall performance

Iron sights require different points of alignment, the front sight, rear sight, and target. With a red dot sight, you only need one. All that you have to do is point the reticle at your target. This allows you to focus more quickly and accurately. In situations where speed is of importance, this is a big advantage of red dot sights. The dot is always on the same focal plane as your target, whereas with iron sights, you may need to change the focal plane to improve accuracy. A red dot sight can make this process much simpler. You also don’t need to visualize a point of impact as the red dot does this for you and will direct the shot towards it automatically.

There are several benefits of using a red dot sight. It allows you to improve accuracy and speed. You can also keep both eyes open and use it more easily in low-light environments, making it more comfortable. If you think these factors would enhance your shooting experience, it might be time for an upgrade. It depends on your preferences, but a red dot sight could work for you. If you would like more information about red dot sights and the latest firearm features and accessories, check out our blog.

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