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As the title says, I know nothing about "dot" sights. I've never shot with one but did look down a friend's once on an AR. I really didn't pay it much attention at the time. As of late I've been thinking about rigging out an AR for quick target acquisition. I might mention that I'm an old guy & I want (need?) something a little better than regular open-sights. I started doing some googling & there are all kinds & the prices ranges - from $20 to over a grand! I noticed that some look like midget scopes & some are just an open lens sticking up(?) They are red or green with variable intensity(?) So finally to my question (I apologize if this is too dumb a question)....

What is a good decent starter for someone to dabble with without committing to some serious money?

TIA
 

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There are some cheap options out there, then there are better options. If you just want to "Try it" go cheap. Pitney makes some decent options. If you are committed to going to a red dot I'd go mid price range. I love the shake awake feature on my Romeo 5, and the fact thay it uses a AAA battery. Dont go smaller than a 2 MOA dot.
 

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I have one RDS, an Aimpoint. It is a pricey one, mil spec. It is very quick to use and effective. I also have a Leupold 2-7 VR something that has green dot installed by Leupold Custom shop.
i know you asked about red dots, but I found the neon green dot in the scope to be easier to pick up when hunting. No, you won't lose the green dot in natural greenery. Some red dot sights also come in green dot, which I now prefer. Just something to think about.
 

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I have one RDS, an Aimpoint. It is a pricey one, mil spec. It is very quick to use and effective. I also have a Leupold 2-7 VR something that has green dot installed by Leupold Custom shop.
i know you asked about red dots, but I found the neon green dot in the scope to be easier to pick up when hunting. No, you won't lose the green dot in natural greenery. Some red dot sights also come in green dot, which I now prefer. Just something to think about.
I also prefer the green. I have red on my banshee and green on my shield
 

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Decide on how much you want to spend and buy a red or green dot for that amount.
As with many things, the more you spend the better it will be.
 

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I second it for the Sig Romeo 5. It's tough and dependable. Mine is a red dot. Not sure if you can get it in a green dot. Its light weight with adjustable brightness. There is a video on YouTube that shows a guy torture testing it. I bought 2 off Palmetto state Armory for 119. 00 with free shipping. Currently they seem to be running about 139.00 plus or minus a few dollars. Dvor.com does have them for 129.00 right now . Lots of options out there.
I also have a Vortex strikefire that has both red and green dot. But it is not shake awake like the Romeo 5.
It also has 4moa dot versus 2moa dot on the Romeo 5. Alot depends on what your needs are, hunting versus home defense or just having a fun plinker.
 

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I have a few different red dot sights, AimPoint, millet, Burris and a couple of rifle scopes. If you want to pick up something, relatively inexpensive just to try, I recommend a Millet Redot. They are adjustable for brightness and the size of the dot. It used to be adjustable from 2-10 moa, now they only go down to 3 moa. There are a few companies that make the same model that also have red and green dots. I like the Redot, I have three. They are on an AR-15, Ruger 10/22 and a Marlin Camp 9. I like the smallest dot for hunting and the larger for fast work. They are not as rugged or quite as fast handling as a Sig or AimPoint but they are pretty tough and easy to point.
 

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As the title says, I know nothing about "dot" sights. I've never shot with one but did look down a friend's once on an AR. I really didn't pay it much attention at the time. As of late I've been thinking about rigging out an AR for quick target acquisition. I might mention that I'm an old guy & I want (need?) something a little better than regular open-sights. I started doing some googling & there are all kinds & the prices ranges - from $20 to over a grand! I noticed that some look like midget scopes & some are just an open lens sticking up(?) They are red or green with variable intensity(?) So finally to my question (I apologize if this is too dumb a question)....

What is a good decent starter for someone to dabble with without committing to some serious money?

TIA
Because you asked for help for different things to consider with a red dot, I want to point out a couple things that may or may not matter to you. The small MOA (2 or smaller) Is good for hunting or when you have time to take your shot. A large dot (3 or larger) can cover too much target or be distracting. The large MOA dot is good for combat and where you need to be on target fast to take your shot. Shake awake and large battery capacity that can handle staying on for thousands of hours is a very good feature. Red dots have a tendency to not get turned off when they get put back in the safe. These features will be sorely missed in home defense situations, or competition. I've got a second place ribbon to remind me to turn of my sight and bring fresh batteries...

Most red dots come with no magnification or very low magnification. You aren't trying to fighting parallax. No adjutment is needed for range. Zero parallax is good for anyone with astigmatism. Also, the red dot may be misshapen with an astigmatism, however if it covers the target, you're good to take the shot. No magnification allows you to use both eyes open. This gives much better situational awareness. If you practice and get comfortable with using a red dot on your dominant eye with both eyes open, you can, almost, just think the shot as you scan. For pest control, hogs, rats or rioters, you can get very fast on multiple targets. Red Dot sights have been a game-changer in competition shooting events. Look at how many 3-gun shooters use red dots. Red dots are an easy site to learn. If you remember peep sight/ghost ring sights, they are very similar. They basically a ghost ring that have an illuminated sight pin.

Red light is at the far end of the visibly light spectrum for humans. Its so close to the edge, our eyes don't adjust for red and it doesn't really affect our night vision. With old tired eyes, like mine, it takes longer to adjust to changing brightnesses. Green is right in the middle of our visible light spectrum. It shows up bright even when dimmed. Green will affect your night vision, but we can turn the brightness down so low, very little green light is needed for us to see relatively well.

If you are red colorblind, go with green. If you are green colorblind go with red. If you're both, go with green, it'll appear as brighter gray-ish.
 

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I have bought several of the Bushnell TRS-25s. In fact, I just bought another one. I believe they are 3 moa on the dot size. I have found them to be rugged and cheap. They have a newer model with a battery life that is fantastic, but, I have had so much luck with the 25's that I keep buying them. The 3moa dot does not bother me at a 100 yds or so. Sig and Vortex make some good units at reasonable prices as mentioned above.
 

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For a long time the mantra has been, “If you want a good red dot, buy an Aimpoint”. I don’t disagree. The Aimpont PRO is at the low end of super rugged, combat ready optics. I have one and it’s awesome, though heavy compared to the newest models.
All that being said, my Sig Romeo 5’s have been ok on my plinkers.
If you have an astigmatism, be aware you won’t see a dot, but rather some sort of mushy star.
I’ve got one and have been transitioning over to prism sights.

ETA: SKD has a sale right now. May be able to get a PRO under$400.
 

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I love my Trijicon MRO and my Holosun. I also have a couple TRS Bushnell's. The dots are a fuzzy little object in the viewer! But I can tear a target up at 100yds or less easily. They have a purpose and work well for the purpose which is fast target acquisition and both eyes open shooting.
 

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As the title says, I know nothing about "dot" sights. I've never shot with one but did look down a friend's once on an AR. I really didn't pay it much attention at the time. As of late I've been thinking about rigging out an AR for quick target acquisition. I might mention that I'm an old guy & I want (need?) something a little better than regular open-sights. I started doing some googling & there are all kinds & the prices ranges - from $20 to over a grand! I noticed that some look like midget scopes & some are just an open lens sticking up(?) They are red or green with variable intensity(?) So finally to my question (I apologize if this is too dumb a question)....

What is a good decent starter for someone to dabble with without committing to some serious money?

TIA
I don’t post much on the site, because most of what people are saying is straight forward. Reading through the reply’s they are spot on. I would just like to mention that entry level is a great idea. I spent quite a bit of money on a Trijicon MRO only to find out I have a reddot astigmatism. Not a fine dot... somewhat of a blury slash. Also look at holographic sights, Eotech top notch. Expensive but great for peeps like me with eye problems
 

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All good info here. I have an Aimpoint M4S which is an outstanding optic. I have hit targets at 300+ yards but it does take a little more time to acquire a good sight picture at that range but them that even goes for a magnified optic at that range. I have a SIG Romeo 5 that as stated is a tough optic. I mounted it on a Ruger Redhawk and before ever firing the first shot I dropped the gun onto the sight from just below waist height. The first shot fired cut the X-ring on the target at 25 yards.

I have a Vortex Strikefire II that has served well and also a Primary Arms SLx Advanced Rotary Knob Microdot Red Dot Sight this is a very serviceable sight that is quick to use and very good. It is important to know that to use this sight on an AR you will need to get a Micro Red Dot Riser also.
 

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The main issue I have with red dot sights is they are great at whichever range you sight them in at, but beyond that unless you have one with BDC of some sort you are going to be using good old Kentucky windage when you try to reach out or pull in closer. So I guess it's practice practice practice. I have one sighted for home defense, zeroed at about 20feet. I then shot 100yds with it. Did I say Kentucky windage ??
 

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The main issue I have with red dot sights is they are great at whichever range you sight them in at, but beyond that unless you have one with BDC of some sort you are going to be using good old Kentucky windage when you try to reach out or pull in closer. So I guess it's practice practice practice. I have one sighted for home defense, zeroed at about 20feet. I then shot 100yds with it. Did I say Kentucky windage ??
Depends on caliber. My 10 mmm is dead on at 25 yards and 100 yards. At 50 im a little high. Anything closer than 25 for a man sized target will stl get hit aiming center mass.
 

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As the title says, I know nothing about "dot" sights. I've never shot with one but did look down a friend's once on an AR. I really didn't pay it much attention at the time. As of late I've been thinking about rigging out an AR for quick target acquisition. I might mention that I'm an old guy & I want (need?) something a little better than regular open-sights. I started doing some googling & there are all kinds & the prices ranges - from $20 to over a grand! I noticed that some look like midget scopes & some are just an open lens sticking up(?) They are red or green with variable intensity(?) So finally to my question (I apologize if this is too dumb a question)....

What is a good decent starter for someone to dabble with without committing to some serious money?

TIA
I see "quick target acquisition" but hunting or ??? magnified or not?
Straight up red dot has a small field of view but mounting it closer to your eye will widen it up some.
 

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I see "quick target acquisition" but hunting or ??? magnified or not?
Straight up red dot has a small field of view but mounting it closer to your eye will widen it up some.
Yeah I don't recommend for hunting. The smallest dot you can get is 2 MOA. You can get separate magnifiers for them, but at that point yoh might as well get a low power prism scope IMO.
 

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Yeah I don't recommend for hunting. The smallest dot you can get is 2 MOA. You can get separate magnifiers for them, but at that point yoh might as well get a low power prism scope IMO.
That is why I asked him what he was looking for.
 

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I have 2 Sightmark Pro's. They don't cost a whole lot and I've been using them on an AR9 and an AR15 chambered in 7.62x39. They have multiple "dots" and adjustable brightness. Shooting with both eyes open has become natural and very effective for me. I'm even shooting my regular scopes with both eyes open now. I too don't get a dot. More like a tadpole but the main part of the dot is dead on. I've learned to ignore the "tail."
 
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Discussion Starter #20
I see "quick target acquisition" but hunting or ??? magnified or not?
Straight up red dot has a small field of view but mounting it closer to your eye will widen it up some.
Currently I have a scope on the rifle suitable for hunting. I thought I'd remove it & try an undignified site used for short range quick acquisition. The plan is to do more plinking & become more proficient with the rifle. Still don't know if it fits my needs as a home defense rifle.
 
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