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I don't get red dot scopes

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Flynt, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. Flynt

    Flynt Well-Known Member

    I bought my first red dot scope today at a gun show, and NC Star. I wanted a cheap one to play with, but once I got it home and installed it, I realized that I'm confused as to how they work. I asked the seller whether I was supposed to center the dot in the field of view, and he said, "wherever your eye goes, that what'll you'll hit." I installed it, and, with the dot roughly in the center, I put the dot on an object on the far wall. Then I moved my head, which caused the dot to move. Without moving the position of the rifle, a .22, the dot moved all around, and showed me hitting pretty far away from where it started out -- all of this w/o moving the gun.

    Could somebody explain how I'm supposed to use this thing? Thanks!
  2. Harold Mayo

    Harold Mayo Well-Known Member

    LOL! I bought the same thing to see what the fuss was about and, after understanding it, bought and EOTech and then an Aimpoint.

    Just zero the scope and then play with it and see how fast you can acquire and hit without even having to have a consistent cheek weld. THEN you will probably go out and do what I did.

    I love irons but they are secondary to red dots on an AR nowadays.
  3. Flynt

    Flynt Well-Known Member

    Hi, Harold

    I guess that's what's messing with my head -- when I changed the cheek weld, the dot moves, so if I were to move the rifle to put the dot back on the target, I would have a different point of impact! ??? Are you saying that you're supposed to instinctively center the dot in the field of view? I guess that what I do when I use a peep sight; I just don't think about it. Thanks.
  4. Harold Mayo

    Harold Mayo Well-Known Member

    No...zero it as you would anything else. Once you have a zero, it shouldn't matter where your head is...as long as you are holding the dot on whatever it is you want to hit, that's where you'll hit.

    You might use the search function. I'm not very good at explaining it.
  5. hksw

    hksw Well-Known Member

    At extremely close distance, parallax is evident for all optical devices. Go out to the range to get a better idea. With the NcStar, though, I'm not so sure.
  6. Omnivore

    Omnivore Well-Known Member

    The optics will display the dot so that it represents an axis that is parallel to your chosen line of sight (chosen when you zeroed it). There is no parallax in a good reflex sight (who knows about the cheap ones? I stay away from them). What you are seeing is that line-of-sight axis shifting as your eye shifts, but it keeps the exact angle with respect to the barrel bore (always parallel to your chosen line-of-sight). Therefore there is in fact an aiming error introduced when you have the sight zeroed by looking through the center of the sight, and then move your aiming eye off from center. However, this error is a maximum of half the width of the sight's viewing area (15 mm maximum error in a 30 mm circle, for example) no matter the distance.

    This is not parallax, but something similar and less serious.

    In use, you will not ever notice this small potential error unless you're trying to punch holes in dimes. The whole idea of the thing is that you can completely forget about your sight and spend all your attention on the target and the magic, floating dot! Target and dot appear on the same focal plane, which is another major advantage. I would consider a reflex sight as good as iron sights for accuracy, and at the same distances, for slow fire, but much faster and easier to use for rapid shooting at targets of opportunity, and useable in a much wider range of lighting conditions.

    Just use it and you will see.

    If you want an exhaustive explanation, take a look at my article on the subject. Grab a cup of coffee and take your time:

    But I would recommend going to the range first and trying the thing, so you have that experience under your belt, or you may just end up more confused.

    Holographic sights are a little different, technically, but in use you will notice no differences except for that wonderful 1 MOA dot and 65 MOA circle reticle.

    Both technologies are becoming commonplace in military units. All the major manufacturers have had to scramble to keep up with the military demand in recent years.
  7. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

    I have an NcStar on my Hi-Point carbine. I paid all of $14.00 delivered from e-Bay. Wanted to try it to see if I'd want to spend the money on a higher-end one. I'm now a believer, and will use reflex sights on any non-ultra-precision gun I own. When my eyes are no longer up to using peep sights, my .35rem and MKII will get one, too...

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