Red Dot Sight
Red Dot Sight – While electronic sights are often called “red dot sights,” the aiming reticle is not always red, and it is not always a simple dot, however, by its nature it is easily seen in a wider range of lighting condition. With either a reflex sight or a holographic weapons sight (HWS) also known as a “holosight,” you no longer need to have your eye aligned along the axis of a sight tube, and therefore, eye relief is no longer an issue with red dot sights. You are able to look through these red dot sights from a position that would be useless for iron sights and you can still successfully use the aiming reticle. Most red dot sight types fall into this category, if you can see a target, you can use this electronic sight to take aim.
When considering a red dot sight, you should understand that a reflex sight refers to the fact that the aiming reticle is reflected off the objective lens assemble back towards the shooter’s eye. The reflective lens coating is carefully tuned to reflect only the wavelength of the light emitted by the reticle illumination system on the red dot sight. LEDs are an ideal component for this red dot sight design since they have a very narrow band output and are thus clearly visible against the target field. A reflex type red dot sight contains no laser, and no significant amount of light is emitted forward (toward the target) with this technology. Reflex sights can be found in two configurations:
- “Head-Up” type: The name apparently comes from their vague resemblance of a fighter jet’s head-up display. This type of red dot sight allows you to aim with both eyes open. This configuration gives you a wider field of view and greater speed and awareness in target acquisition. This red dot sight has just one lens assembly, and the reticle source point will be below and behind the lens (closer to the shooter and farther from the muzzle).
- Tube type: This type of red dot sight has a tubular body with a lens element at each end. Tube reflex sights can be mounted lower on the firearm, since the reticle projection point, and its power source, are typically mounted off to one side rather than below the optical axis of the sight.
When considering a red dot sight that is referred to as a HWS or Holosight, you should know that these devices utilize a holographic sighting reticle superimposed on your view of the target field. A laser beam illuminates the hologram integrated into the display window creating a reticle image that appears at a virtual 50 yards in front of you with an aperture of about an inch and a half. These red dot sights are designed in a “Head Up” configuration. An advantage using a holographic red dot sight is that all the information required to reconstruct the reticle image is recorded everywhere in the display window. So if the window is obstructed by mud, snow, rain, or even shattered, the sight remains fully operational. If the operator can see through any portion of the window, the entire reticle pattern will be visible on target.
Keep in mind that anytime you would use iron sights, you can use a red dot sight. The red dot sight will be a lot faster on target, easier to use in a wider range of lighting conditions, and you’ll keep your natural view of the target and its surroundings in the process. Red dot sights are for high speed, at close to medium range, and they are particularly superior for engaging a moving target. Thus, red dot sights are equally suitable for self defense, target shooting, hunting, law enforcement and military applications.