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Noob Question about Red Dots

Discussion in 'Holographic/Red Dot Sights' started by cliff, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. cliff

    cliff .22LR

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    I have been looking at tritium replacements for the bead or maybe GRS for my 590. I am not familiar with the red dot sight or how it is used. Can someone explain? The primary purpose is HD and I do have a mag tube mounted Streamlight.
  2. ripjack13

    ripjack13 Resident Sawdust Maker Staff Member Administrator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    This is just my own opinion...( members, if I need to be corrected, please do..)

    I don't have a red dot sight on my HD gun. Why? because I do not want my line of sight obstructed or cumbersome to look through. In the dark/low light you will just be looking at a dot/T image and not the object you need to be aiming at....red dot sights are great for daytime use. And hunting/target shooting....

    GRS's are good because they still allow a wide view of your surroundings, and they aren't going to block your line of sight as much as red dots will.. They are good in dark/low light. There's no batteries to fail on you either.

    Tritium sights are good because there is nothing in your line of sight other than the sight itself and whatever you are aiming at. There's no batteries to fail on you. They are great in the dark/low light because you can still see them (and they are good in the daytime as well.)

    More sides to the story would be interesting. As soon as Rossignol sees this, he'll have some great info for ya....(I'm givin props to ya Ross!!) ;)
  3. Itsricmo

    Itsricmo .30-06

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    My only opinion is I wouldn't use a red dot/holographic sight for HD, unless it was auto brightness/on and off controlled. Having to turn it on, than adjust brightness, only adds extra steps to a situation that already is complicated...

    I use a simple bead sight, but since having read some reviews on here of the Meprolight and Tritium sights I am contemplating one of those in the future. I would personally like to see what Rossignol has to say though, as he uses one very often (to my knowledge) and I think he will shed some like on this IN FAVOR of the red dot :)
  4. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Global Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    Red dot sights provide an electronic point of aim that can help with quick target acquisition. Most red dot sights come in 1x magnification which is essentially a "what you see is what you get" field of view. They have to be sighted in like any other optic and can make consistent, accurate shot placement a lot easier especially at greater distances. They can be extremely effective in low light or even complete darkness, so a red dot can be a great option for a defensive weapon. However, like any other electronic device red dots are only as good as the batteries inside them. I use red dots on several of my range and recreational weapons as well as on carbines that I would grab in a pinch for HD use. Batteries are checked and changed on a regular basis to ensure that the red dot will be ready when I need it.

    As for my opinion on the options you mentioned as they rank for HD application:

    #1 - tritium bead - As simple as it gets. Point, acquire target, and shoot. The low-light benefits of a tritium bead make it ideal for indoor use.

    #2 - red dot sight - Again, simple target acquisition. However, they rely on batteries and need to be checked on occasion to make sure the sight is holding zero. In addition to a red dot, most shooters will also utilize back-up iron sights in the event that the electronics fail.

    #3 - ghost ring sights - GRS operate like rifle sights, requiring the front post to be lined up inside the rear ring and on target. Slightly more complicated to line up your shot than a simple bead or a red dot sight, but very effective for accurate shot placement. I only list the GRS as my third preference for HD due to the slower target acquisition which could limit their effectiveness in close quarters application or when seconds count.

    I've listed my opinions, but that is all they are. I know what I like, but ultimately it is going to come down to what you are comfortable with. If at all possible, stop by your local gun stores and take a look at models with ghost rings. Some stores may even have firearms with mounted red dot sights you can demo. At least you will be able to get a feel for how they each operate and you may discover you absolutely don't like one or the other. Where life depends on your ability to put rounds on target in a high stress situation, simpler is better when it comes to your choice in a sighting system . There is absolutely no substitute for training though, so which ever sight you choose practice as much as you can with it. Besides, the practice is the best part... :D
  5. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Global Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    ^ Sorry for any redundancy.

    The other guys posted while I was typing.
  6. ripjack13

    ripjack13 Resident Sawdust Maker Staff Member Administrator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    ^..Ha...it took me 10 minutes to type that up.... :lol:
    I can only imagine how long it took you if you are anything like me on a key board.... :roll:
    hunt...peck...hunt ...peck...delete...peck...delete...hunt...peck... ;)
  7. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Global Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    21,109
    Nah, I jockey a keyboard all day at work so that's not the problem. My issue is that my brain operates like one of those crane toy grabber machines. Just when I think I've grabbed a coherent thought, ah-ahhh-ahhhhh- noooooo, I dropped it...
  8. carbinemike

    carbinemike Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    6,094
    I'm pretty much in agreement with LES and Ripjack13. I picked up a small red dot to mess around with to see if I like it. I do like it a lot more than I thought I would but I don't see one on my HD shotgun. I like it for plinking, especially in daylight and even near sun down. I like simplicity for HD and will likely go the route of a tritium bead.

    If you try a red dot on your shotgun and don't like it bump it to another gun. If you don't have another gun, that would be a good reason to get one...so that old red dot isn't collecting dust!

    Now, if I hit the lottery or a long lost relative bequeaths me a wheel barrow of gold, I'm going with some night vision on some and thermal image scopes on others.
  9. Itsricmo

    Itsricmo .30-06

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    4,127
    NV and Thermal??? That is some serious bump in the night you are dealing with... like Al Quida and Taliban serious... haha :)
  10. ripjack13

    ripjack13 Resident Sawdust Maker Staff Member Administrator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    22,583

    That line reminds me of Toy Story....the Claw!....
  11. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Global Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    21,109
  12. mingaa

    mingaa Raconteur

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    2,187
    Different angle -- stock or traditional sights and a flashlight? If the gun has a rail,mount there but handheld is a good option especially against armed attackers. Shoot strong hand and hold the flashlight away from body mass.

    I've played with a lot of good options and never had to use any of them so my thoughts are just speculation - what I'm liking at the moment.

    LES hit it well with good options!
  13. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    16,633
    I prefer an electronic dot on my serious HD guns. The red dot grabs my eye better in low/no light. I actually try to do a few night shoots every year, and if you've never fired your gun in regular night conditions, I urge you to try it sometime. It's nothing like shooting it in the day. Pardon the pun, but the difference is daylight and dark.

    But if you want to skip the red dot or tritium bead sight altogether, consider a tactical light close to the barrel as you can get.

    One thing a good friend told me about using a light with a shotgun that has always rang true for me:

    "If it's lit, It's hit"
  14. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    12,609
    True, but If the light is used only for target identification (not for navigation, etc) and you keep moving that should not be much of an issue. Once you fire that first shot you've pretty much given up your position, esp if the first shot is not fatal or you are dealing with multiple targets.

    The only shotgun I own that has a red dot on it is my turkey gun. Having been a shotgunner since I was big enough to hold one I am conditioned to get my cheek down on the stock and look down the barrel. I'm not even concious of the bead most of the time.

    But like anything else, the brain can be trained to deal with any situation. Most red dots are zero power optics to you can easily use with both both eyes open to engage the target and let the dot fall where it needs to be, unlike a scope that magnifies, you don't have to squint and search for your target with a narrowed field of view.

    Ultimately it's one of those personal things that you will have to play with and come to your own conclusions on what works best for you.
  15. mingaa

    mingaa Raconteur

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    2,187
    I'll look for a night shoot opportunity - would be good training/learning - I took my red dot off for USPSA events but the rail goes on in a minute. Would be cool to use both (#2 = flashlight) on the same night maybe the same course of fire.
  16. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    My reply in red
    Mingaa, please do find an opportunity to shoot at night. Everyone owes it to their selfs to learn to do that. I can gaurantee that if you do, you will form your own idea's and opinions of what works for you and where you find yourself lacking if you give it an honest learning chance.

    I always thought I was a pretty good shot, but when I put it to the test, I found myself very lacking acquiring targets at night. When I did find one of the targets, it took forever to decide to pull the trigger because I was second guessing myself if it was a target or not, which could've led to me being shot instead for taking too much time to acquire/shoot, and even putting rounds on target was a chore when I did.

    Just as an example, the next time you go to the grocery store, drive there with a blind fold on. It's that bad. :lol:

    The way we usually do it, is I set up targets for my buddy just before dark and he sets up targets for me in two different directions. That way we don't know where the targets are located. I shoot at the targets he sets up, he shoots at the ones I set up, and we really make it a real challenge for each other.

    After you run a course of fire or two at night, put that red dot on, or tac light, or that tritium bead on that gun ot whatever you feel you need to do better, and then run another course. I can all but gaurantee the second time around, you'll be faster, and more accurate if you listen to what your body and mind tells you where you are coming up short.

    I encourage everyone to do night shoots. Especially if you've never experienced it.
  17. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    12,609

    This ^^^^^

    It's amazing what you can't see at night, sounds obvious to say that but it's true and until you've tried shooting in low/no light conditions you just don't know.

    Things that are easily seen in the daylight are hidden and easily obscured in shadow when a one directional light source is applied. Brighter lights don't actually help in all situations, they can also make things a lot worse due to harsher shadows, reflection and reduction of your own low light vision.

    Try reloading or fixing malfunctions while blindfolded. I admit it, I suck at it.

    Sounds simple til you are trying to ID friend or foe around corners through windows, etc. Shadows mess with the mind and alter your perception of depth, background, etc.

    I'm by no means an expert, I'm just a noob who has had enough exposure to know there is a lot I don't know and a lot I need to work on. :D :D
  18. cliff

    cliff .22LR

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    10
    Wow - some great responses!

    I was trained in shotgun shooting by the USCG, but they use it strictly as a close quarters weapon on vessels. Therefore they teach to shoot from the hip. It's a skill the one can learn and a house is similar to compartments on a ship but if I am able to bring the gun up to aim I prefer to shoot that way. I have stayed away from the pistol grips for this reason.

    Thanks for all the info.
    highflyer09 likes this.
  19. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    Thank you sir for your service.
  20. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Global Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    Yes Sir,

    Thank you for serving!

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