How to Use a Red Dot Sight- aim something quickly and easily

Red dot sights are not traditional optics. They are like the future of optics since iron sights are the optics of the past.  In this article, I will discuss what are the sights, variations of them, how they work, and how to use a red dot sight.

What Is a Red Dot Sight

A red dot sights the name implies is a red dot that is used as a reticle. The dot always does not need to be red. Sometimes it could be green too. Red dot sights are useful for aiming at something short or medium range, These optics are ideal for beginner shooters who need to practice a lot of target shooting to become expert shooters. Terming red dots as optics is wrong to some extent because it does not provide any magnification. By checking out websites like you can see some more examples of sights and decide on the best one for you.

These sights appeared in the firearm industry back in the 70s. Over the last more than 40 years, this gun accessory saw continuous development. Now, these aiming devices come with advanced battery life and of course good quality. One noticeable change of this firing accessory is it becomes shorter. Now it can be mounted with a full-size rifle or with a handgun making it a somewhat one size fits all device. 

How Does a Red Dot Sight Work?

Usually, optics features two curved lenses. These two lenses are placed at two ends of the optic. But, things are different in the case of modern red dot optics. They don’t stay too far away from each other. Rather, they are placed within close proximity.

A red dot sight is not a complicated designed optic. So, its working procedure is also simple. It uses a spherical mirror that reflects the light which is coming from an LED into the optic’s lens focal point. The result of the focusing of the lens is the formation of the dot which acts as a reticle. The color of the dot is red since the led only projects red light while eliminating other colors of light. Your job as a shooter whether you are an experienced novice one is just trying to keep the dot on the target and pull your trigger. Yeah, It’s that simple. 

No need to adjust any sort of thing like your stance or grip or aligning the rear. The more you focus on the dot, the precise will be your shooting. The size of a dot is expressed with MOA or a minute of adjustment.  There is an aperture hole in front of the LED that controls the size of the dot. 

The bigger the dot, the easier will be aiming the target. For moderate range shooting, smaller dots are deliberately constructed with op[tic’s lens and LED. For long-range shooting, though the dot covers the less area of the target, while still makes aiming and hitting the target significantly easier. Another advantage of using the dot as a reticle is someone on the other end of the optic can’t figure out who is behind the ocular.

target practice

How to Use a Red Dot Sight

Understanding the working principle of a red dot sight is complicated since there is much physics involved with it. However, the technique regarding how to use a red dot sight is pretty straightforward. Below are the steps to aim something with a red dot sight. 

  • If you are shooting with a pistol, aim your target as usual while keeping both of your eyes open. You will see a reticle in front of the front optics.
  • If you are firing with a rifle, bring it along with your check but don’t reposition your head like putting it down or move it so that you get a better view of the target.
  • Place the stock close to the center of your chest, keep both of eyes open, and like a pistol you will see a retile appearing on the optics.
  • Place the reticle on point of the target where you want to hit
  • Pull the trigger while keeping your nerve calm.   

Types of Red Dot Sights

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25

Standard Rifle Optics

A considerable variety of Red Dots for Rifles are designed for incorporating into large firearms.  These optics feature two to three MOA or minute of angle, objective lens with 25mm or larger size and they are ideal for aiming something close or at a moderate distance. The term MOA may be a new term for you. It refers to how precise the optic is.

Miniature Red Dot

 As the name implies, these are the smallest red dots. They are becoming shorter and shorter with every successive year. These tiny sights can be fitted with pistol sights or with rifle optics.

Advantage and Disadvantages of These Sights

Every type of optic no matter how expensive it is comes with some advantages and disadvantages as well. The red dot sights are of no exception. Below are a few advantages and disadvantages of these sights 


  • Given the condition that these optics are mounted properly, offers quick aiming of the target. This is why they are the first choice of military and people who want to keep a pistol for self-defense.  
  • They are better sights than iron sights
  • They help to hit the target more accurately when used with pistols


  • Since red dot optics don’t offer any magnification, they are not ideal for aiming a target that is far away from the shooter
  • They use two lenses that don’t place inside a secured metal housing making them vulnerable to breaking. And if they break, replacing them is an expensive affair. 
  • They rely on batteries to power them. The longevity of the batteries depends on the frequency of their use. Depending on the frequency of use of the optic, the batteries may be be replaced in a week or so.  



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