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The Advantages & Disadvantages of Using a Red Dot Sight on Your Pistols

Red dot sights are hugely popular among firearm enthusiasts, and pistol owners are no exception. There is good reason for the popularity of red dot sights, as you will learn by discovering their several advantages below. However, there are a few drawbacks of using red dot sights, which you should also know about before equipping your pistol with them. Below is more information about red dot sights to help you decide for yourself whether or not to use this technology:

The Advantages

Below are some of the most important advantages to be had when using red dot sights on pistols:

Faster target engagement

The bottom line when shooting any type of firearm is to put a bullet on the target as accurately as possible. However, in certain circumstances, such as self-defense, military, or law enforcement situations, being able to engage quickly is also critical.

While red dot sights do excel in accuracy, one of their big advantages is granting the ability to help the shooter locate the target quickly. Red dot sights involve a simpler sight placement and can be accomplished by lining up the red dot on the target; this eliminates the need to line up iron sights with the target, which ultimately slows the shooter down, and makes engagement a faster process.

Increased visibility for nighttime shooting

Another big plus of using a red dot sight when shooting a pistol is the advantage gained during nighttime action. The illuminated dot can be easily seen in all types of nighttime conditions, including moonlit, hazy or pitch black environments. The use of a red dot sight removes the need to visualize iron sights that are all-but-invisible in darkness. Confidently using a red dot sight in the darker hours does require some adjustment of the brightness of the red dot.

Easier to use for the visually impaired

Shooting for individuals with poor eyesight can be a frustrating endeavor, as it makes identifying iron sights and targets much harder. Trying to align all three of these while being able to see only one or two of the three at a glance is not conducive to good shooting. Fortunately, red dot sights take away a lot of the frustration by providing a highly visible, easy-to-see, aiming point. This can overcome the problems of poor eyesight that may come with age or with the onset of other conditions.

The Disadvantages

Here are a few disadvantages that you may incur by using a red dot sight on your pistol:

Need for battery replacement

Red dot sights are dependent upon a source of power to provide illumination. This involves the use of batteries that will need frequent recharging or replacement. If battery failure occurs during an inopportune time, then it may leave a shooter with no other aiming alternatives if their iron sights have been removed. Batteries will also need to be kept in close proximity to shooting activity, thus taking up some space in a shooter's limited-capacity gear.

Initial expenses can be high

Red dot sight prices have dropped over the years, but high quality sights are still expensive. You can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for a top-notch sight. In addition, red dot sights often require that pistols be custom cut to permit installation, and this kind of work can also be costly depending on where it is taken.

Sights may get in the way

Red dot sights have shrunk in size since their invention, and there are a number of sights that are superior in performance, yet much smaller, than their counterparts from years prior. However, red dot sights still add to the outlines of pistols, and this can make them more difficult to conceal or even handle during shooting.

To learn more about these pros and cons, contact local pistol training centers.