Red Dot Sight Questions


February 1, 2003, 01:38 AM
I am thinking of getting a red dot sight for my AR. Like anything I do, I don't want to spend any more money than necessary, but I want to get a useful, quality product. I just use my AR for punching paper and other plinking/noisemaking/fun.

What do I need to look for in a red dot sight? What brands and models are good or bad? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the "tube" type vs the type that has a little flat panel? How much will I need to spend to get a good one? Where is the best place to purchase?

Thanks in advance.

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February 1, 2003, 02:20 AM
I have a BSA 30mm red dot on my .22lr pistol. It has 11 light settings for almost any type of shooting situation. It's rugged and dependable. I've seen them for as low as $30. :cool:

February 1, 2003, 02:09 PM
Is the BSA rugged enough for an AR? I know it does not have a lot more recoil than a 22LR, but it does have more.

February 1, 2003, 03:10 PM
tube design is more rugged $ 100. get second hand if u want!

February 1, 2003, 03:36 PM
you may as well just get a bushnell spotter, or even just a pair of X10 binos

February 1, 2003, 03:40 PM
There is only one choice for the AR.

The Aimpoint ML2

February 1, 2003, 03:56 PM
Sasnofear, I do not understand the binocular comment?

444, Why the Aimpoint? What makes it so well suited for the AR? What are the advantages over others?

February 2, 2003, 12:36 PM
Contact BSA, tell them what you have and what would be the most appropiate sight to use. They should be able to help you decide.


February 2, 2003, 03:48 PM
I think Aimpoint is a good choice although a little pricier. They are tough and waterproof which is a good thing. You usually get what you pay for.

I've heard that the EOtech type optics are great too, but I don't have experience with those. As far as Aimpoint I don't think you can go wrong when the same optic is issued to Army Ranger's. The Aimpoint Comp ML's use paralax free optics so there is no eye releif needed. That means you can even mount one on a pistol and it would work. You can also keep both eyes open which might help for quick target aquisition if you wanted to use it for hunting big game. I'm going to try and experiment this year and use an Aimpoint for hunting hogs with an M1A.

I have an older Comp ML XD with a 3 MOA dot(covers 3 inches at 100yards). Most of the newer models like the ML2 I've seen advertised have a bigger dot. What this means is that for longer range and punching paper its probably not as good IMHO. I think there are still some of the older models around though.

February 2, 2003, 05:38 PM
Thank you SIGarmed

There are two reasons why I think the Aimpoint is the only way to go for the AR. #1 reason is that is the sight in use right now by the US Army. They tested them using a much more exhaustive process than I ever could and dicided that is the one to buy (by the thousands). And, they are holding up fine under the most extreme conditions. This is no longer an item only issued to elite forces, this sight is in general use throughout the Army. The Army realizes that getting faster and more accurate first round hits matters a great deal. You will hear the armchair commandos yell that you can't use anything with batteries in it for combat, or you cant trust something fragile like that for combat. Well, you make your choice, listen to the armchair commandos or listen to the US Army Special Forces. #2 I own one and after using it, I realized that it was the way to go. I own two other red dot sights, and this one is clearly the best. I find that I can shoot multiple targets (cardboard silhouettes) much, much faster with this sight than I can with irons. The dot on this sight is easier to see and easier to pick up than my other red dots.
Since the Aimpoint is in widespread use by out military, there are all kinds of mounts and mounting options available for this sight. To use the computer term, there is a lot more support for this sight than any other.
Finally something I mention every time the topic of optics comes up. Optical instruments are precision instruments. You can't buy cheap precision instruments. I read in thread after thread about having to have absolute reliablility in an auto handgun for example or push round feed versus controlled round feed in bolt action rifles so if you are standing on your head being charged by a Cape Buffalo the rifle will still function. Then I read about someone wanting to buy the cheapest optic possible whether it be a riflescope or whatever. Spend on the gun until it hurts and then cut every corner on the sights (the only interface between you and the target). That doesn't add up for me. I have no problem spending more on a scope than a rifle (note, the Aimpoint doesn't cost anywhere near as much as the rifle, so don't panic). YMMV

February 2, 2003, 08:19 PM
I agree with the Aimpoint suggestions. I had a Tasco PDP5 on a 16" AR, it got beaten to death- broke the mount, the mounting hardware, and finally scrambled the innards. A friend of mine bought that rifle from me, had an Aimpoint, now a Trijicon. Zero problems with them.

Peter Gun
February 2, 2003, 10:39 PM
I have a c-more "tubeless" red dot for my pistols. It makes an excellent sight for ar-s as well, but is better for shorter range and a foward (scout) mount. The tubeless or "heads up design" is the best for quick target aquisition. It allows for shooting with both eyes open and complete awareness of surrounding targets. The downsides are that if you mount it too close to your face it can be hard to focus on the dot. It also can be affected by rain/snow on the lens. It is very durable, but maybe not enough for combat conditions. For your stated purposes, I think it would be ideal. There are also cheaper versions available from ATN Ultrasight, but I dont know much about them.

February 2, 2003, 11:52 PM
Good input on the "tubeless", Peter Gun. My "AR" has a Professional Ordnance 97S upper which has a scout rail. The tubeless holo-sight may be the way to go.

Any other input on the holo-sights? How durable are they. What about quality? Does the military use any sights of this type?

Thanks everybody for all of the useful input.

Oleg Volk
February 3, 2003, 11:01 AM
Using an EOTech 552 (Holosight inside a rollbar). No problems so far. Wider field of view, brighter sight picture than Aimpoint. Brightness adjustments slower than on the Aimpoint. No problems with even conventional batteries, even in the cold. Bought lithiums as spares, have yet to put them in. Accuracy with the red dot is about twice as good as with iron sights, esp. at longer ranges with non-bullseye targets because the dot doesn't abscure the target so much. Faster than irons, and doesn't require a consistent cheek weld.

Just in case, got irons co-witnessed with it. But I normally keep the head just high enough that the red dot floats above the front sight, not right on it. Worth the money, IMO.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 3, 2003, 12:38 PM
If you are looking for a budget red-dot sight that is durable and doesn't break the bank, look at the Trijicon OEG (originally offered by Armson).

It is a tritium powered occluded eye gunsight (you need two functioning eyes and binocular vision to use it) designed to mount in an AR15 carry handle. It runs around $150, tritium has a half-life of 12 years and it only costs $35 to recharge it.

It is older technology and I think the Aimpoint and EOtech are both superior sights; but for those who don't want to shell out big bucks, I think this is a real value.

Peter Gun
February 3, 2003, 06:51 PM
Trijicon also makes a tritium powered holosite. No batteries and very durable (combat tested they claim, and I think I did see some in pics from Afganistan). I'd like to get one when I can spring for it.

February 5, 2003, 02:28 PM
I didn't see these mentioned yet... As far as tubeless sights go, the OKO Sights ( are really good stuff. They are higher quality than ATN, and although I have no direct experience with C-More, I've read on many times that the OKO has a clearer dot than them as well. A "rollbar" is also available for about $60.

Even though I don't doubt that the Aimpoint is the shiznitz, I still like a quality tubeless for it's greater range of dot acquizition. By the very nature of the tube sight, there is a point that you are no longer looking through the tube, and the red dot isn't visible. But the tubeless site doesn't have the extra sides to obscure the dot, so you can see it from greater angles.

If my explanation was clear as mud, imagine looking through a toilet paper roll. Now move the tube slowly down, and notice that the sides start to obscure your view. Now cut a 3/4" piece off that tube and do the same thing.

What does this simulate? Bringing the rifle into action, the red dot will become visible a bit sooner with a tubeless design, therefore THEORITICALLY this could help you get the dot on target quicker.

If I had the $$$ to buy an Aimpoint, I'd have a HARD time deciding between it, or buying an OKO or Holosight and having $ left over.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 6, 2003, 09:23 AM
Trijicon also makes a tritium powered holosite.

The Reflex II is not a holosite, although it does look like one. I really dislike the Reflex line, even though I love most other Trijicon products.

For me the amber reticle, reticle washout and polarizing filter made the sight unusable.

February 16, 2003, 07:45 PM
I saw an Armson OEG for the first time at the gunshow in Longmont today. The guy wanted $125 for it. It was an interesting concept. I saw it early and walked back about 45 minutes later and it was sold.

Any input on the OEG? The thing I found interesting is that it blocked one eye.

February 18, 2003, 01:28 AM
I personally have the Aimpoint Comp ML2 on a forward carry handle mount and a quick release ring equipped for my AR (Colt Sporter 16"). I am very satisfied with the mount.

In my opinion, red dot sights are more of a novelty than anything else. The real strength of the Aimpoint (and other red dots) is the fast target acquisition with both eyes open shooting. It's tough and can survive the harshest of elements.

Realistically, none of us are going to have to use our AR in a tactical combat situation that a red dot sight will thrive in.

You should think to yourself, is a red dot sight something you really want to own and use. If so, buy a quality sight. Aimpoint is considered the top. A lot of people like the CMore stuff (my cousin uses it in IPSC). And I just got to see the Leupold version mounted on a .22 pistol (Ruger).

Please take into account that the mounts and scope will also cost a considerable amount of money, no matter which brand you end up purchasing. IIRC, the forward carry handle mount and QR ring combined for over $150.

Good luck in your decision.

February 18, 2003, 02:13 PM
I've got a Trijicon ACOG Compact carry handle mounted on one upper and it's great but a rather expensive unit. I can pick up with it quicker than with any other site, including a buddy's Reflex. I've also got a red dot forward mounted on another upper. It's not as quick but still it's not too bad. I also just recently bought one of the Russian military Kobra sights (from for a .50 Beowulf upper. The Kobra sight is a holographic style sight but it's built like a Russian tank! You cuold probably drop this from a second story window and it wouldn't break. It's about the same size as the Holosight also.

Harold Mayo
February 19, 2003, 12:21 PM
listen to the armchair commandos or listen to the US Army Special Forces.

Plenty of Special Operations guys, past and present, question the use of the .223 and the 9mm but it still happens. Just because the military adopts something doesn't mean that it's the best or the most durable. The Beretta had some miserable failures early on but that didn't stop it from getting selected. Politics and the personal preference of the guys writing the reports matters more than anything...take a look at the specs for the FBI pistol that Springfield Armory ended up building. Don't tell me that the guys who wrote the specs aren't custom handgun fans.

February 19, 2003, 12:59 PM
If you re-read my post I was referring to the idea that something with batteries couldn't be depended on for a combat type weapon and the idea that something like an Aimpoint would be fragile..

I realize that there are a lot of politics involved in government procurement. But I have yet to hear anything negative about the Aimpoint sight. I have heard plenty of negative things about the 5.56 Nato round, I have heard negative things about the Beretta pistol, so it stands to reason that if the Aimpoint sight wasn't holding up, if it was fragile, if it wasn't working as advertised we would be hearing about it. It also stands to reason that these sights are being put to a much more severe test than we as civilians will ever subject our own rifles/sights to.

January 4, 2010, 06:43 PM
i agree with the aimpoint

January 6, 2010, 09:15 PM
I love my Eotech, very reliable.

January 22, 2010, 02:08 PM
I love my EO Tech too, I have the XPS 2-2. It has a 5000 hour battery life with one 123 lithuim battery (on brightness setting 12). The 123 transvere positioned litimum battery allows the length of the sight to be reduced. The reticle consists of a 65 MOA ring at 200 yards with two red dots. The top dot is good for both 50 and 200 yards and the bottom is good for 500 yards each is rated at 2 MOA. Additionally, you can use the bottom rim of the ring for 7 yards. (The 65 MOA circle is designed to be the average height of a man at 200 yards) all of this for $429.00...

January 22, 2010, 04:01 PM
Red dots or reflex sights have three main points to that they can be judged by objectively, durability, clarity, and battery life. Clarity is the first and easiest. Lower end red dots tint their glass in order to get the dot to appear clearly on the glass. Higher end red dots use more complex system of angles and can use clear glass, the advantage to this in low light you can see better because the tint on less expensive red dots makes a dark situation darker. Durability is harder to research but with skanning of reviews and customer comments you can get a good idea, aimpoint and eo tech are the most bullet proof and proven from military tests. Lastly battery life is important and the higher up you go the better the battery life is (usually) some have automatic shutoffs when left on for long durations vortex is an example. Eo tech has ok battery life but aimpoint is where it is at with 50,000 hours of constant on time. Subjectively judged but important is the ability to acquire targets quickly, this will vary from person to person. All bushnells are tinted fairly dark, burris fast fires seem durable for an open top and fairly clear, tru glos are tinted but seem to hold up to recoil in many of their models, tru glos have lots of feed back because they are affordable and shotgun hunters use them extensively. Sorry it got so scattered, vortex might be worth a shot and eo tech and aimpoint are hard to go wrong with but are pricey.

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