Aim Better: How Does a Red Dot Sight Work?


Did you know the first reflector sight was invented as early as 1900?

Red dot sights are common among gun enthusiasts. For novices, they might seem like something out of science fiction. How can you create a floating red dot on a glass sight?

How does a red dot sight work? This technology is a lot less sci-fi than it seems and has been used by military and civilians for almost a hundred years.

Read on for more on this fascinating optic, and what benefits it provides to shooters.

How Does a Red Dot Sight Work?

The technology is surprisingly simple. All you need is a battery-powered LED and a concave lens with a special coating. This dot can be any color you like, though red and green dots are the most popular for visibility purposes.

When the light shines on the concave lens of the optic, it creates that concentrated red dot that you’ve likely seen at the shooting range or in a video game.

Red Dot Accuracy

If you’ve used a red dot sight before, you might be wondering: how does it stay aligned with the gun’s barrel? Simple.

The curve of the lens means that the red light is only visible when you focus on the correct plane. So there’s no risk of the red dot sight appearing offset or out of alignment. Which makes it dead simple to use right out of the box.

The best red dot sight is the holographic sight, a more sophisticated version of a regular reflector sight. It reflects the LED through a series of mirrors like binoculars or a telescope, which leads to better accuracy even if a lens is cracked or you don’t have a clear view down it.

The Parallax Effect

Red dot sights suffer from what is known as the parallax effect. When the shooter’s head moves, this can cause the reticle to move as well. This is due to the curvature and distortion present in most lenses.

However, this is only an issue at close range. Further, quality red dot sights and holographic sights like the MCG reflex red dot sight account for this, making sure your accuracy stays true.

Purchasing a Red Dot Sight

Like you would with any gun, make sure to read up in detail before making your purchase. Red dot sights for handguns and rifles may require a rail mounting, and may only be compatible with certain kinds of firearms.

A red dot sight review about the particular optic you intend to buy will provide insight into whether it’s the right one for you.

Get a Red Dot Sight Today

How does a red dot sight work? Now you know. These optics are an excellent choice to make your gun feel more modern, without compromising the accuracy of a traditional set of iron sights.

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