1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Insight on red dot sights..

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by gt3944, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. gt3944

    gt3944 Well-Known Member

    Is anybody here familiar with red dot sights??and if so does anybody now an easy way to set them..I would really appreciate the insight.:confused:
  2. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Is this for a pistol or rifle?
  3. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I've been shooting red dots about a decade now. They felt weird at first, but after the first two or three range sessions, I started to notice an improvement in my scores.

    The first brand I tried, Ultra Dot, has never let me down, so it's the only brand I've ever tried.

    Mounting is critical. If there's any looseness or slop in the connection between mount and gun or the other connection between mount and sight, your accuracy will fly out the nearest window. Once you've got all the parts and screws assembled and the whole deal makes it through a range session or two, undo the screws and add a droplet of removable Lock Tight to each, then tighten back down. It's a good idea to be careful not to strip the screws—but make sure everything is firmly tight.

    Sighting in red dot sights is just like sighting in iron sights, except the increments are usually finer. Two clicks on a traditional rear sight windage screw might be the equivalent of six or eight or ten clicks on a scope. Personally, I don't bother bench-resting guns when adjusting sights: that's not the way I actually shoot them. I just hold the gun my regular way, fire ten shots, discard any obvious flyers, and made guesstimate adjustments.

    The more shots you fire between adjustments, the less time you'll spend on the entire task. Does that seem counter-intuitive? If you adjust the point of aim after three shots, say, then the next three, then the next three, you'll take four or five times as long to get there. That's known as "chasing the dot" in bullseye circles. Give it ten shots; make your adjustments; give it ten more; make your adjustments, et cetera. I can usually get pretty close in about sixty to eighty rounds; I normally find, however, I have to wait until the next range session to finish sighting in a sight. Once that's done, I leave it alone: my aim varies, but the sight doesn't.

    I believe it's possible to bore-sight a red dot sight, but must confess I've never done it.

    Best of success, eh?
  4. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Well-Known Member

    It IS possible to boresight a red dot but only to get you in the ballpark. Once you're on the paper you still need to make final adjustments.

    The Army's pistol markmanship manual recommends "BOLD" adjustments when sighting.

    +1 on the UltraDot BTW. It's all I use. It's a bit more $ wise but the cheap ones I started with didn't seem to last long or would lose the correct settings after a few hundred rounds.
  5. birddog

    birddog Well-Known Member

    I've boresighted all 3 of my red-dots and it does work. Just like my scoped guns, you can then write down where the dot appears on the grid *after* you bench rest the gun. Works great for future reference to check the gun with the boresighter after traveling or dropping it. I keep a card with all of my guns' sight picture reference right in the boresighter box.
  6. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Well-Known Member

    Good tip birddog.

    Is it possible to boresight to final adjustment or do you have to do some tweaking after the boresighting?
  7. birddog

    birddog Well-Known Member

    I've always had to tweak a little after boresighting. The boresighter I have is a BSA, and it has just enough play in it that I don't completely trust it. However, careful boresighting has put me very very close almost every time. The most noticeable difference is in elevation. Just the way the boresighter is set up, depending on the height of your scope mounts, it's doubtful that the dead-center on elevation will be your true dead center. Most of my reference cards show perfect dead center for windage, but either above or below the grid-line for elevation. It's more pronounced with higher scope mounts and less so the closer the scope is to the barrel.
  8. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the good info! :D

    I've never used a bore sighter but I knew my dealer had set up my first one by that method. I LIKE the idea of keeping the records. Keeps you from wondering whether it's you or the sights on some days. ;)
  9. Q-Lock

    Q-Lock Well-Known Member

    ok so here's a question to add then....is the Match Dot sight from UltraDot worth the little extra money? It includes 2, 4, 6, and 8 MOA dots....are they really that important? My guess is yes and it's pretty much convinced me to choose it for my mk2, but I just want the opinion of some knowledgeable folks on the UltraDot. Thanks in advance.

  10. gt3944

    gt3944 Well-Known Member

    Final question..will the shot ever be right on the money or should I say right on the dot???
  11. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    Variable dot sizes are nice because the bigger dots rule in speed events, smaller dots rule for precision. Problem is will they maintain zero when changed?

    I fire five shots off a rest, then I use a small drill press vice on the handgun grip to hold it in poistion with the dot centered on my original POA. Then I adjust the dot to cover the group. Most dot sight seem to have 1/2 MOA adjustmenst compared to the 1/4 or 1/8 of scopes.

    One other trick to using a Red Dot sight is to focus on the target and look thru the dot to align this takes some getting used to because you had learned to focus on the front sight or the reticle of a scope. I keep both eyes open when using a red dot sight, I need to close my left eye with irons because of bad presbyoptia (old age :() where the best I can do is center the fuzz. I still shoot at least 1/3 of my rounds thru iron sights for CCW practice.

  12. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Well-Known Member

    I use the regular UltraDot 30 MM for 50 ft, 25 yds and 50 yds pistol competition. It works fine for me at these distances. I have no experience with the MatchDot one but passed on it for the cheaper one last time I bought one.

    Out of an accurate gun with good ammo my vote is yes...

    With my MKII and UltraDot I can shoot a 10 shot group that you can cover with a dime at 50 ft off the bench, so I'd call it close enough.
  13. NineseveN

    NineseveN member

    How do these UltraDots compare to the Aimpoints of taticool fame?
  14. rchernandez

    rchernandez Well-Known Member

    Best insight for the Match Dot will be from Larry Carter at Larry's Guns in Maine. I believe the idea behind the size of the dots is to approximate the sighting experience in rifle peep sights with globe front where you "cover" the black with the dot (instead of centering the dot on the black). If it's any indication, there have been a good number of shooters on the Bullseye list that have traded back to the tried and true 1" (single size) UD.

    Google John Dreyer's Bullseye Pistol page (blocked at work), there is a write up on the Ultradot and a comparison with other brands.

    Accuracy, at 50' from sand bags (shot from a Benelli MP95E) has always been very good and dead on with choice ammo.

    The one downside to red dots, with my astigmatism I was seeing "stars", dumbell-shapes, etc, ecxept for an actual "red dot". Two solutions: an iris device to place over eyeglasses or get a "gun-friendly" optometrist to help you find the right prescription lens to correct the distortion. I'm using a Gehman iris and will eventually save up for a Knobloch shooting glasses.

    Happy shooting.
  15. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Well-Known Member

    +1 on the strange shapes. I had to get a pair of glasses in my reading prescription in order to get a well defined dot. I found that if I tried it with bifocals my groups moved around depending on where I looked through the lense, angle of my head etc. The iris thing works well too but I prefer the glasses. Less to fumble with I guess.
  16. Jayb

    Jayb Well-Known Member

    Pretty interesting article on red dot sights.......

    red dot sights
  17. rchernandez

    rchernandez Well-Known Member

    Funny...rapid fire string: stance checked; breathing stabilized...as I lower my pistol the dot is "fuzzy". Momentary panic! Quickly realized the iris was up...so much for those five rounds...life's lessons.
  18. jtward01

    jtward01 Well-Known Member

    With a Ruger .22LR target pistol my 10-round groups dropped from about 1.5 inches to less than .75 inch when I mounted a red dot sight. I am a firm believer in them.
  19. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    In my experience, the larger dots would be useless. I'm strictly a bullseye shooter, so fast target acquisition is of interest only when I shoot international rapid fire: not very often. As far as I'm concerned, the smaller the dot, the better. Within the past few months, I've begun experimenting with slightly less bright dots. The results of that are inconclusive: sometimes it seems to help, sometimes it doesn't.

    I use an iris with my red dot scopes to help focus my eye on both the dot and target, as well as block out extraneous visual information.

    I'm nor sure Larry's of Maine offers the best pricing for Ultra Dots. The last couple I bought came from http://www.natchezss.com and the service was better, anyway.

    I had a hunch bore sighters would be of use. If you don't have one, just put the barrel—suitably padded, of course—in a vise and squint through it, then line up the dot with whatever appears through the barrel. That will usually get you 90% of the distance toward being sighted in.

    Once a red dot sight is properly sighted in, the bullet hole will be where the dot is if the shooter does his or her part. My problem is never the Ultra Dot, but the shooter's consistency. Well, if it were easy, I doubt I'd bother.
  20. Q-Lock

    Q-Lock Well-Known Member

    i'm sure it's a dumb question....but what "iris" are you talking about?


Share This Page