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Red Dot Sight: Why should you want one?

Red dot sight technology was developed by Swedish engineer John Arne Ingemund Ekstrand in 1975 working for Aimpoint AB, a Swedish optics company. But, the design and technology have come a long way in 45 years. Here’s what you should know about modern day red dot sight technology.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say…

The typical configuration for a red dot sight is a tilted spherical mirror reflector with a red light-emitting diode (LED) at its off axis focus. The mirror has a partially silvered multilayer dielectric dichroic coating designed to reflect just the red spectrum allowing it to pass through most other light….The size of the dot generated by the LED is controlled by an aperture hole in front of it made from metal or coated glass….

Let’s move past all that technical jargon. Here’s what you really need to know about red dot sights.

That’s a whole lot of technical jargon copied from Wikipedia. Basically, the article says you can look through a red dot sight and see a small LED red dot on target at infinity distance. The dot is measured in MOA. Meaning, you may see a 3 MOA or 4 MOA call out on a sight. What this means is that the dot will cover a 3 inch circle at 100 yards or 4 inch and so on.

Modern technology allows them to run for 10’s of thousands of hours on one battery. Plus, almost all of today’s models allow you to control the dot brightness or are controlled automatically based on light conditions. This is a great help to those of us with astigmatisms. Why? Because toning the dot down manually allows you to control the washout or starburst effect you get with astigmatisms.

On Target & Ready to Shoot

The real draw of a red dot for us is the both eyes open targeting and rapid target acquisition. The parallax free design of modern red dots means that when the red dot is on the target you’re ready to shoot. Plus, having both eyes open allows you to see the whole picture. In a tactical situation, you don’t lose peripheral vision.

Any way you slice it, for close range tactical or hunting situations a red dot sight can’t be beat.

Looking for more? Check out this helpful article from Optics Addict for some of the best choices in red dots.

Strike Fire II
Original Aimpoint Red Dot

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