For all shooters, choosing the right targeting equipment is a troublesome but vital issue since it determines how accurate they are. As far as taking precise aim is concerned, there is invariably a debate on which is better – riflescopes or red dot sights. While the two have technological differences, the choice often boils down to personal preference and the type of shooting involved. An appreciation of the pros and cons to enable you to make a better choice:
While there is no reason why you cannot use a riflescope for short-range shooting, it comes into its own in long-range shooting due to its greater magnification capabilities. The more advanced models come with reticles with more graded measurements that allow shooters to adjust for elevation and wind direction. Another reason shooters love riflescopes is the larger size of the objective lens that provides a better sight of the target with more light coming through it. However, the scope size depends on the shooting environment. Lighting may not be an issue when shooting in the open, but you may need higher magnification. A red dot sight may work out better if you are shooting at a short distance and do not need to move much between targets.
According to the Elevated Gunworks website, riflescopes are more versatile because you can adjust more precisely for elevation and wind. They are also more customizable and thus tend to be more accurate. However, riflescopes are heavier and bulkier than red dots, and it can be hard to engage in high-speed multiple-target shooting. You may also need to deal with higher parallax errors, especially when shooting from far using large magnification.
Red Dot Sights
A red dot sight gets its name because a red dot is superimposed on the lens instead of a traditional crosshair to pinpoint the target. Even though in recent times, holographic sights are becoming more popular, red dots sights are still in widespread use since they allow precision targeting. Because they come with no magnification, red dot sights are better for shooting at close range. You can also maintain a constant field of view. It is easier to use a red dot sight for getting off quick shots at multiple targets, especially when you need to move more because the sight is smaller and more lightweight than a riflescope. Moreover, you can keep both your eyes open while aiming, which allows you to be more aware of the field and improve your confidence in shooting.
According to Task and Purpose, overall, red dots being lighter and smaller allow faster acquisition of targets. With the shooter permitted to keep both eyes open, there is no problem with eye relief adjustment or parallax. However, because of little or no magnification, red dot sights are not suitable for long-distance shots. With the dot being fixed, the target can be obscured when it is at a distance. The absence of magnification also makes red dots harder to use in low-light conditions.
Both riflescopes and red dot sights have pros and cons, and the right choice depends on the shooter’s preferences and shooting conditions.