Have you ever wondered why modern reflex sights have either a red or green illuminated reticle, or both? Many people are unaware that the different dot colours are each built with their own set of advantages.
Red dots attract the eye quicker and are better suited for faster target acquisition during the day and while following a target in a green environment, according to science. Green is said to be more soothing on the eyes, reducing the symptoms of eye irritation when used for long periods of time, as well as being the best colour choice for night time use and power conservation.
Although the variations between red and green sights are minor in most situations, the enthusiastic shooter who uses his equipment in a variety of scenarios and environments can benefit from careful selection. As a result, it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each. So, which dot colour should you choose, and when will you choose one over the other? Today we’re going to look at why green dot sights might improve your response time on the shooting range or in dangerous situations.
Green dot sights are the less common of the two, but come with many advantages that may be appealing to shooters such as:
Reduced eye strain
The last thing you need, especially when trying to accurately shoot a gun is eye strain. The most well-known benefit of the green dot over the red is that it is less taxing on the eyes. When used for longer periods of time, this also results in a more enjoyable shooting experience for older shooters with weaker vision. The eye’s function is mostly muscular, and any strenuous exercise will exhaust it. Green light is less taxing on the eyes because of its shorter wavelength and higher frequency.
Green light is much more receptive to the human eye than red light. This is due to the fact that green light activates two of the three types of cones in the human eye in almost identical amounts. This means that if you look at two dots of light at the same power level – red and green – the green dot would appear much brighter. This means that for green, lower power levels can be used, saving battery life and the need to replace the batteries for your dot sights on a regular basis.
Perfect for night vision
While both red and green dot sights can be seen in the dark, green is much easier to identify because green light activates two of three three types of cones in the human eye. Green light automatically appears brighter, and is not only used for dot sights but for many night vision technology as it shows much more than red does.
In most circumstances, a red dot is much harder to identify than a green dot. For example using a red dot against brick or mud will be extremely difficult for the human eye to see, especially if the shooter has weakened vision, whereas a green dot would stand out clearly in almost all situations.
Ideal for people with astigmatism
Astigmatism is a refractive defect in which light is not focused uniformly on the retina by the eye. It is more often referred to as blurred vision. When aiming through a reflex sight, an astigmatic shooter would most inevitably find a distorted or blurred reticle.
For older shooters or those with blurred vision, green dots are considered to be the better option. If you have astigmatism, it is advised that you use a green dot rather than a red dot. Why is green the preferred sight? Green light is less likely to blur and cause headaches and pain since it is lighter and easier on the eyes.
Will a mounted green dot sight improve my response time?
Whether you have weakened vision or astigmatism, green light is much easier to see, meaning you’ll spend less time looking for the green dot than you would if you were to use a red dot. In critical situations such as being attacked or threatened, you need the ability to respond as quickly as possible to protect yourself. A green dot sight therefore seems to be the better option over using a red dot sight.
In conclusion, yes, a mounted green dot sight will improve your response time. However, it’s important to take into consideration factors that may hinder you such as minor colour-blindness, shooting in forested areas, and the dot’s acquisition speed.