How to Shoot with a Red Dot Sight

Once upon a time, a red dot sight meant exactly that—a sight that projects an illuminated red dot as an aiming point onto an objective lens. It is now a generic term most shooters use to describe a type of weapon sight that uses any illuminated color aiming dot or another shape for the reticle. Many red dot sights will illuminate green and offer different reticle choices other than just a dot with an outer ring. The appeal of the red dot sight is its simplistic operation and accuracy. Beginners to professional competitors thoroughly appreciate all the benefits illuminated dot sights give them.

Black open-style reflex sight mounted to a GLOCK with a Coyote tan frame
Red dot or reflex sights project an illuminated red or green dot or another shaped reticle for super quick target acquisition.

There are a few different types of red dot sights—reflex, tube, prismatic, and holographic. The difference in the types is how the sight works to project the reticle. Reflex and tube sights use a reflective glass lens and an LED, prismatic sights use prisms and holographic sights use a laser. Sightmark makes three of these sights—reflective, prismatic, and tube.

Dot sights offer shooters a great advantage—speed! Target acquisition with these types of optics is quicker and far easier than with iron sights or magnified scopes. That is because they can reflect the reticle’s projection in parallel with the sight’s optical axis, ensuring the point of aim and point of impact always coincide. They are designed so the reticle is always in focus when pointed at your target. There is no aligning of sights and no adjusting for different distances. The dot stays in focus no matter the distance of the target.

Using Your Red Dot for the First Time

Turn on the unit and check to make sure it is working. Depending on the environment, adjust the brightness of the reticle using the knob or brightness adjustment buttons. If you are shooting indoors or in low-light situations, your reticle will appear fuzzy or have a halo effect if it is too bright. Alternatively, if you don’t have the brightness up high enough outdoors or in bright light, your reticle will disappear.

Mounting

Sightmark reflex, red dot and prismatic sights offer unlimited eye relief. Eye relief is the distance between the eyepiece and what your eyes see in the field of view. Red dots can be placed anywhere on your that gun that is most comfortable for you and reduces your line of the sight the most. For many, this is centered above the AR-15’s ejection port.

Man looking through a red dot sight mounted on an AR-15.
Red dot sights allow you to hit exactly where you need to, exactly when you need to.

When you have mounted, checked and corrected the brightness, you’re ready to shoot. (Always know your target and what’s behind it!)

  1. Look at your target.
  2. While remaining focused on your target, bring your gun up to the shooting position.
  3. Keep both eyes open.
  4. You will see the reticle move onto your target as you are bringing up your gun to shoot.
  5. Fire when the reticle meets the point you want to hit.

Once you have used your red dot for the first time, you will be able to quickly engage a target every time after.

Aiming a red dot is simple and fast. The reticle corrects itself and they are virtually parallax-free. Parallax is the visual movement of the reticle in relation to the target. When you move your head, the reticle will appear to move. Parallax is caused by the reticle not focusing at the same distance as the target. Sightmark’s dot sights are parallax-free anywhere from 10 to 25 yards to infinity. No sight is 100% parallax-free, as parallax will occur at closer distances.

Open-style reflex sight mounted a GLOCK pistol
Dot sights will fit on any gun with a rail. Mounted on a self-defense gun, a reflex sight gives you the tactical advantage.

Dot, reflex and prismatic sights are made for close quarters, close range, and for self-defense. They allow you to keep focused on the most important part—the target. With fast target acquisition and an accurate point of aim and shot placement, you hit exactly where you need to, exactly when you need to.

These sights offer an advantage over others because they allow you to remain situationally aware. You still can see your surroundings with their wide field of view and while aiming with both eyes open. When using a reflex sight with both eyes open, your dominant eye views the reticle and the target while the non-dominant eye is only viewing the target.  If the reflex sight’s line of sight to the target becomes blocked by debris, the dominant eye still sees the reticle.  The brain will continue to overlay the images of both eyes, and in this case, the reticle image of the dominant eye will be overlaid with the target image of the non-dominant eye.

Undoubtedly, red dot and reflex sights help you be a better shooter. They fit on any gun with a rail—handguns, shotguns, rifles…even bolt-action. Even though most reflex sights, apart from Sightmark’s prismatic sights, do not magnify, there are many units that are magnifier-compatible, as well as night vision-compatible. This versatility allows you to engage targets at further distances over 50 yards, as well as getting a close-range night vision scope for a very affordable price.

Unless you are long-distance precision shooting, there is no reason not to have one. With a red dot, you’ll spend more time hitting targets and less time wasting ammo.

Reflex, tube, prismatic, holographic? Which one did you choose and why? Tell us what you like and don’t like about it below in the comments.

 

 

 

Hunt Day and Night with Photon RT Digital Scope

Night vision optics like Sightmark’s Photon RT digital riflescopes and the sensors used in these devices have come a long way in a short period of time. Traditional night vision optics generally referred to as Gen 1, Gen 2 and Gen 3, have lost a ton of ground to digital night vision over the past several years, partly because of improved imaging and partly because of versatility.

Downed black wild boar
Take the Photon from day to night hunting.

While traditional night vision devices would have suffered irreparable damage if used during daylight, today’s digital riflescopes are perfectly compatible with daytime use. In fact, Sightmark Photon RT series digital scopes incorporate a special scope cover with a peephole designed to allow the perfect amount of light into the optic for crisp, richly contrasting digital imaging.

Hunt till You Drop!

Why is this important? It’s critically important, at least to Texans and an increasing number of forward-thinking states, because hunters can now use digital scopes like the Photon to hunt deer during daylight hours, then shift automatically to night hunting for feral hogs, predators and varmints. Like weekend-warrior football, playing both offense and defense, I like to call it “iron man hunting.” Honestly, if you can handle it, your hunt can last a solid 24 hours… or longer. Hunt until you drop!

Man hunting with a rifle with night vision scope mounted to it. He's wearing camo and a hunter safety orange vest
The Photon scopes have improved sensors and a 640×480 AMOLED display.

Until recently, the Sightmark Photon XT 4.5×42 was a favorite digital night vision riflescope among hunters. For a mere $500, you could have quality digital night vision, also compatible with daytime hunting, with imaging on par with Gen 1+, encroaching on Gen 2. Hunters jumped at the game-changing opportunity. Even better, the Photon XT included video-out capability, so hunters enjoyed more success and were capturing memories forever. Unfortunately, the video quality could be better, and people have struggled with finding seriously reliable DVR recorders capable of handling recoil.

Sightmark RT digital riflescopes are successors to the long-reigning Photon XT. Sightmark’s new Photon RT digital line of optics includes an improved sensor and 640×480 AMOLED display for detailed imaging for both day hunting, as well as night hunting. The Photon RT also features built-in video recording, an increased detection range compared to Sightmark Photon XT scopes, more powerful onboard infrared illumination, and Stream Vision App-compatible WiFi for viewing the display on a connected smartphone or tablet, remote control, transferring files, and downloading firmware upgrades. The Sightmark Photon RT digital riflescope even includes onboard video, eliminating the need for problematic DVRs, or pesky cables and really improves video quality.

Iron Man Hunting… Just How We Like it in Texas

Picture of three deer.
In Texas, we are allowed to hunt deer during the day with digital scopes.

If you’re down our way and think you’re up for a little iron-man hunting yourself, think about what types of optics may best fit your needs. It certainly makes sense to consider a day/night rifle scope designed for both day and night use to eliminate unnecessary trips in and out of the woods to change equipment.

Click here to shop the Photon line of digital riflescopes.

Do you use a digital night vision scope when you hunt during the day? If so, tell us your experiences about it in the comment section.

 

Sightmark Introduces Revamped Ultra Shot line: RAM Series

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2017/12/15) – Sightmark is proud to announce the release of the latest generation of Ultra Shot reflex sights, ripe with upgrades and a fresh new design. With three available models; R, A and M-Spec, Sightmark has created resilient close-range optics perfect for everything from target shooting to law enforcement and military operations on both AR platform firearms and shotguns. All RAM series sights are now powered by a CR123A battery, which provides superior battery life (200-2,000 hours) over other red dots and reflex sights. A wide lens quickens target acquisition while helping to maintain a wide FOV.  Quick-detach models include an improved QD lever allowing a low profile to keep the sights from snagging on gear or unlatching during the heat of the moment.

Sightmark Ultra Shot reflex sight
The newest Ultra Shot is fully upgraded to exceed all of your expectations.

Ideal for target shooting and hunting, the Ultra Shot R-Spec (SM26031), or Range Spec, features four reticle options with red or green illumination and a new low battery indication which prompts the reticle to blink when the battery is low. The R-Spec boasts 10 brightness levels, from low light to sunny outdoors, and slotted windage and elevation adjustments, able to be changed with a flathead or common tool.

The new aluminum-constructed Ultra Shot A-Spec (SM26032), or Advanced Spec model, retains many of the same updates found in the R-Spec, but adds six night vision settings, allowing the sight to be used in conjunction with night vision devices. Shockproof up to 8 ft., the R-Spec is shielded by a sturdy aluminum alloy housing and protective aluminum shield.

The most durable and advanced sights in the Ultra Shot line, the new M-Spec FMS (SM26035) and M-Spec LQD (SM26034) were designed for law enforcement, hunting and competition shooting scenarios. Waterproof up to 40 ft. and able to withstand up to .50 BMG caliber recoil, M-Specs feature motion-sensing activation (5-minute shutoff with motion activation, 12-hour auto-off) to conserve battery life but still keep the optics ready for when they need to be. These cutting-edge reflex sights have an integrated retractable sunshade that reduces lens glare and protects the optics during rain or snow.

Click here to check out the RAM series.

 

 

Introducing the Versatile Mini Shot M-Spec from Sightmark

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2017/12/06) – Joining an established line of reflex sights and red dots, the highly-anticipated Mini Shot M-Spec FMS (SM26043) from Sightmark is finally here. This all-purpose reflex sight is Sightmark’s most compact yet and utilizes an included low-profile mount or AR riser mount to fit perfectly on a variety of firearms, including pistols, shotguns, ARs and AKs. Though it was designed specifically for law enforcement, the Mini Shot M-Spec is also ideal for competition shooting, hunting and home defense applications.

Compact red dot sight mounted on an AR riser fixed mount
The brand new Mini Shot M-Spec is Sightmark’s most compact reflex sight to date.
Rear view of a compact reflex sight.
Recoil rated up to .375 H&H. This is one tough reflex sight.

The Mini Shot M-Spec’s extremely low power consumption provides 300-30,000 hours of battery life, depending on power setting, from a single CR1632 battery. 100% waterproof, this compact reflex sight’s aluminum housing with steel protective shield makes it one of the most durable reflex sights on the market. But the M-Spec wasn’t just designed to be rugged, it is also incredibly user-friendly due to ambidextrous digital switch controls that allow both left- and right-handed shooters to turn on its 3 MOA reticle. Forget the special tools, as windage and elevation adjustments can be made at the click of a button. The Mini Shot’s versatility doesn’t end with the firearm it can be mounted to, either—10 brightness levels allow the sight to be used anywhere from extremely low-light situations to bright sunny conditions.

Recoil rated up to .375 H&H, this unique sight boasts a 12-hour auto shut-off feature to help save battery. With an MSRP of $249.99, the Mini Shot is a no-brainer for shooters looking for a tough, small-sized reflex sight. The Mini Shot M-Spec FMS includes rubber cover, low profile fixed mount, AR riser fixed mount, battery and manual.

 

Sightmark Launches New Element 1×30 Red Dot Sight

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2017/12/06) Delivering tough-to-beat accuracy and a crisp, wide field of view, the new Sightmark Element 1×30 (SM26040) is their update to the popular Tactical Red Dot Sight (SM13041). Enhancements include a smaller, more precise 2-MOA red dot, improved brightness settings and two night vision compatibility modes.

Element red dot sight on mount
Sightmark meets customers’ demands with the new, upgraded Element red dot sight.

Sightmark has integrated improvements based on customer suggestions, nd added more of their own, including a longer range of adjustment for both windage and elevation, battery life (up to 15,000 hours) and an improved IP67 waterproof rating. Notably, the Elements’ windage and elevation caps can now be flipped and used as tools for making adjustments.

Shipping with a reliable cantilever mount, the Element 1×30 absolute cowitness height fits all magnifiers set up on the Aimpoint T1 mounting system, allowing shooters to engage targets at further distances. The Sightmark Element 1×30 red dot sight includes flip-up lens covers, a manual and a CR2032 battery in the box.

 

 

Save Your Ammo with Sightmark’s 6.5 Creedmoor Laser Boresight

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2017/11/16) – Nobody likes taking the time to sight-in their rifle. Wasted time and ammo, as well as frustration when fine-tuning, are just a few of the reasons why laser in-chamber boresights are becoming increasingly popular. Perhaps even more popular is the 6.5 Creedmoor rifle cartridge, which is dominating the long-range precision shooting and hunting game. Lucky for those who stay on the forefront of popular cartridges, Sightmark is proud to announce a 6.5 Creedmoor laser boresight (SM39020) that can also be used for .22-250 chambered rifles.

6.5 Creedmoor laser boresight
The new 6.5 Creedmoor boresight will also fit .22-250 rifles.

The quickest way to reliably zero your 6.5 Creedmoor or .22-250 firearm, this laser boresight is inserted into your rifle like a standard cartridge. A red laser shines through the tip of the boresight and out the barrel, allowing shooters to easily align their reticle to the boresight and get on paper for fine adjustments.

The boresight’s brass construction makes it durable and improves chambering and ejection. Since it is the size of a standard cartridge, the Sightmark 6.5 Creedmoor Laser Boresight is easily packed for travel and is extremely lightweight. The boresight is powered by 2x AG5 batteries and includes the appropriate batteries and a carrying case.

 

Sightmark Wolfhound 6×44 and Mini Shot M-Spec: Two’s Company

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2017/11/15) – Sightmark is proud to announce the new Wolfhound 6×44 Mini Shot M-Spec Kit. Military-inspired, these two optics work together to keep shooters on target no matter the situation. Designed for the MSR platform, the Sightmark Wolfhound reticle is ballistically matched to .223, 55 and 62-grain ammunition.  Etched into its top-tier glass lens, the Wolfhound’s 6×44 horseshoe reticle features a 7.5 MOA outer ring for flawless close-range shooting, while its .5 MOA central dot and holdovers at 300 to 900 yards allow the shooter to take precise long-range shots.

Included with the Wolfhound 6×44 is Sightmark’s new Mini Shot M-Spec. Built with a high-strength protective steel shield and 100% waterproof aluminum body, the M-Spec Mini Shot is a battle tested optic able to withstand any tactical situation thrown its way. Ideal for target shooting and law enforcement applications, the crisp 3 MOA red dot reticle has up to a 30,000-hour battery life with a 12-hour auto shutoff, giving shooters even more time at the range. The Mini Shot’s ability to mount on the Wolfhound 6×44’s top picatinny rail, gives shooters the option for close range operations and long-range precision shooting, making them effective at all distances. Included in the kit is a Wolfhound rubber lens cover, honeycomb filter, Mini Shot M-Spec rubber cover, Mini Shot low profile fixed mount, Mini Shot AR riser fixed and batteries for both units.

 

Sightmark Photon RT Revolutionizes Night Hunting

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2017/10/20) – Sightmark is proud to introduce the highly-anticipated Photon RT. Successor to the Photon XT, one of the most popular night vision scopes ever, the new Photon RT series of digital night vision riflescopes improves upon the XT generation with an upgraded core and new, user-friendly features while maintaining the same simplicity and durability that made the Photon XT line so successful. The Photon RT series consists of 4 models: Photon RT 4.5x42S (SM18015), Photon RT 4.5×42 (SM18016), Photon RT 6x50S (SM18017) and Photon RT 6×50 (SM18018).

Night vision riflescope
The Photon RT night vision scope has been upgraded with a new core and user-friendly features.

Designed for day and night use, new Photon RTs feature an upgraded 768×576 CMOS sensor, with 40% higher resolution over the Photon XT series and a detailed 640×480 LCD display. Serious hunters are sure to appreciate integrated built-in video recording, with sound capabilities, and 2x digital zoom. Ideal for hog and predator hunting at any hour, Photon RT series digital night vision riflescopes also feature a power input compatible with powerbanks via microUSB and work with the Pulsar Stream Vision app to allow remote viewing on phones and other smart devices.

While all Photons come standard with a built-in IR illuminator, dedicated hunters will welcome the invisible 940nm IR illuminator, standard on non-‘S’ models; this IR light does not produce a red glow when viewed directly. A side weaver rail on the Photon allows shooters to attach additional accessories or IR lights to increase performance and application uses. Continuing to keep the user in mind, Photon RTs also boasts 6 reticle options, one-shot zeroing, IP55 water-resistant protection and a recoil rating up to .375. All Photon RT models come standard with carrying case, USB cable, spare battery container, battery container pouch, lens cloth and user manual. Photon RTs are revolutionizing the affordable night vision optics game.

 

Sightmark Takes Home the Hardware

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2017/10/19) – Voted on by Optics Planet’s “Hand-Selected Product Experts” the winners of the Optics Planet 2017 Brilliance Awards are in. After competing against tens of thousands of products, Sightmark walked away with two Brilliance Awards in the following categories:

Best Boresighter: Sightmark OPMOD G.U.M.B. Limited Edition Green Universal Boresight

Best Gen 1 Night Vision: Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1×24 Night Vision Goggle Kit

Black, night vision goggle kit
The Ghost Hunter night vision goggle kit wins Optics Planet 2017 Brilliance Award.

Powered by a single CR2 battery, the Optics Planet Exclusive Limited Edition Green Universal Boresight attaches magnetically to the barrel of any size pistol or rifle, saving the shooter money on wasted cartridges and the expense of buying different boresighters for different caliber barrels.

Sightmark’s Ghost Hunter 1×24 Goggle Kit was chosen to be Optics Planet best Gen 1 Night Vision Goggle due to its ability to deliver high-quality image and resolution. The Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1×24 from Sightmark is equipped with a head mount for comfortable, long-lasting, hands-free operation. Safeguards include an automatic shut-off when exposed to bright light sources, ensuring years of operation and its built-in IR illuminator comes in handy when natural ambient light is not enough. Of course, both units are backed with Sightmark’s hassle-free Lifetime Warranty.

 

Sightmark Unveils 10th Anniversary Boresight Kit

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2017/08/01) – In celebration of a full decade of improving accuracy and enriching the shooting experiences of professionals and enthusiasts alike, Sightmark is excited to unveil a limited edition 10th Anniversary Laser Boresight Kit. This brilliantly polished stainless-steel set not only looks great on a desk, the boresights are fully functional and cover a wide range of popular calibers.

Bright, polished stainless steel boresight kit for 9mm to 12-gauge shotguns
The polished stainless steel boresight kit is a limited edition.

The all-new Sightmark 10th Anniversary Laser Boresight Kit (SM39045) includes in-chamber devices, each powered by 2x AG5 or 3x AG3 batteries, for 9mm handguns; .223/5.56, .243, .25-06, .270 .30-06, .308 and 7.62×54-cal. centerfire rifles; and 12-gauge shotguns. While the kit is compact and lightweight, the distinctive high-gloss, black-finish decorative display case is perfect for your desk or display cabinet until a little range time calls these boresights into action. Each boresight includes a red <5mW laser and on/off end cap to save on battery life.

Sightmark pioneered in-chamber boresights and the brand is still a trusted favorite when sighting in. From .17 HMR up to 12-gauge shotgun, Sightmark’s boresights are sure to get you on target faster while saving you money on ammo.

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